International ties

Realistic interests dominate Sarkozy's visit

By Xie Dehao (
Updated: 2010-04-29 14:24
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in China. However, during this visit, he isn't surrounded by ire or fervor of Chinese officials or the masses. Instead, he starts the trip in a rational and realistic environment, and the situation will most likely remain until the end of his visit.

The honeymoon between China and France, started during the period of former French President Jacques Chirac, has completely ended now. The compliments between the two countries were replaced by rational political exchange and realistic interests.

After a strained period starting in 2008, the two nations have better realized their own strengths and each other's positions. They begin to seek new aspects that will benefit both. As Valerie Niquet, the director of Asia Center at French Institute of International Relations, wrote in Le Figaro, each side is trying to "avoid misunderstanding". It will also be the diplomatic principle of the two countries in the future.

French media defined Sarkozy's visit as "political" to end the unpleasant past between China and France. His trip also is intended to enhance the bilateral relationship and establish a more steady future. However, unlike his last visit, Sarkozy's delegation may not get multi-billion dollars worth of deals from China this time around.

Topics including deep cooperation of environmental and sustainable development, cultural and language exchanges of the younger generation and more beneficial cooperation of enterprises will play important roles in Sarkozy's visit. He may also want to persuade China to have a clearer stance on the Iran nuclear issue, to work more closely with Western countries on climate change and revalue its currency.