Madelin slams Chirac for betraying human rights

11th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 10 (AFP) - A French MP said Sunday he was shocked to hear President Jacques Chirac call an EU arms embargo on China outdated, calling attention to security tensions in annexed Tibet and with the island state of Taiwan.

PARIS, Oct 10 (AFP) - A French MP said Sunday he was shocked to hear President Jacques Chirac call an EU arms embargo on China outdated, calling attention to security tensions in annexed Tibet and with the island state of Taiwan.  

"I find it deeply shocking that France is advocating an end to the embargo on arms sales to China," Alain Madelin, a centre-right deputy in Chirac's ruling UMP party and a losing candidate in 2002 presidential elections, told the Radio-J station.  

"Why are we going to sell arms to China? To oppress Tibet? To oppress the Uighur people (a Muslim minority)? To threaten Tawain?" Madelin asked.  

"China needs human rights, freedom. It doesn't need our weapons."  

Chirac, who is on a state visit to China to pursue business contracts, said in an interview published Thursday by China's official news agency Xinhua that the EU ban on arms sales implemented after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre belonged to "another time" and should be ended.  

The US and Taiwan strongly oppose the lifting of the embargo while the European Union is divided. France and Germany want to scrap it, while Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands fear a hostile public reaction to such a move.  

"We will try to get the EU to lift as soon as possible an embargo which is of another time and which does not correspond any more to the reality of the situation," Chirac said in the interview.  

He made a similar call during a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Paris last January.  

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of unarmed civilian pro-democracy campaigners were killed by Chinese troops during the Tiananmen Square crackdown on the night of June 3 and 4 1989.  

China's rulers have consistently defended the crackdown, saying the actions were necessary for economic growth and China's emergence on the world stage.  

During his state visit, Chirac is heading a delegation of 50 French business leaders, some of whom have announced deals worth hundreds of millions of euros.  

Madelin, a proponent of US-style liberal economics, said he recognised the economic dimension of Franco-Chinese relations, but said: "We must give preference to democracies."  

Chirac's trip to Vietnam, just before China, also "shocked" him, he said, because of the implied endorsement of that Asian nation's "abominably Stalinist regime".

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

 

 

0 Comments To This Article