Taiwan anti-secession law gets French approval

21st April 2005, Comments 0 comments

BEIJING, April 21 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin Thursday said Paris had no objections to China's anti-secession law aimed at Taiwan, appearing to put it at odds with the European Union.

BEIJING, April 21 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin Thursday said Paris had no objections to China's anti-secession law aimed at Taiwan, appearing to put it at odds with the European Union.

"The anti-secession law is completely compatible with the position of France," Raffarin said in a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao.

France's position appeared to disagree with that of the European Union, which said in March that it opposed any use of force between China and Taiwan and warned against "any unilateral action".

The Chinese parliament early last month adopted an "anti-secession" law giving its military the legal basis to attack Taiwan if the island moves towards independence.

"Relations between the two sides should rest on constructive dialogue," the European Union said in statement last month. "The EU urges all sides to avoid any unilateral action that could stoke tensions."

Raffarin made the remark just minutes after vowing to continue pushing for an EU arms embargo against China to be lifted.

The 25-member bloc is mulling when to do this with one of its main concerns being China's sabre-rattling stance on Taiwan.

Although Taiwan has been ruled as a de facto independent state since 1949, China considers the island part of its territory that must at some stage be brought back under its control, by force if necessary.

Taiwan authorities have slammed the anti-secession law as tantamount to issuing the Chinese military a blank check to invade the island, leaving people in constant fear of war.

Cross-strait ties have worsened since President Chen Shui-bian won the presidency in 2000, breaking a 51-year grip on power held by the nationalist Kuomintang. He was re-elected in 2004.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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