Chirac snubs Taiwan with one-China call
PARIS, Jan 26 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Monday told his visiting Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, that France's position on a planned referendum in Taiwan was that it wanted to see just "one China".
“France is attached to the principle of there being one China,” Chirac said when Hu raised the issue in talks at the start of a four-day state visit, according to Chirac’s spokeswoman Catherine Colonna.
The statement appeared to be a slap for Taiwan’s president, Chen Shui-bian, who has called a referendum on his island’s ties to China for March 20, alongside elections in which he is seeking another term.
China has called the Taiwanese plebiscite unacceptable, maintaining its view that Taiwan – which set up a rival administration in 1949 – is a part of its territory.
Chirac said the one-China policy had been France’s “constant position for 40 years” – since Paris recognised Beijing’s Communist government.
Colonna said the issue would be explored further when Chirac hosted a state banquet in Hu’s honour later on Monday and in a joint statement the two leaders are due to deliver on Tuesday.
Subject: France news