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China: China-France communiqué and G20, a glorious defeat?

Chinese president Hu Jintao and French leader Sarkozy met ahead of the G2O summit on 1 April to repair the ties damaged since last year, when the torch relay was disrupted in Paris and President Sarkozy met with the Dalai Lama in spite of China's opposition.

China and France unveiled a press communique simultaneously after the meeting, in which France stated that it ‘reaffirms its adherence to the one-China policy and the position that Tibet is an integral part of the Chinese territory’, so that “France refuses to support any form for ‘Tibet independence'”.

China appreciated France's stance on the issue and in the G20one day later the host, British premier Gordon Brown seemed to recognize the repaired friendship and assigned Hu Jintao a seat right next to Sarkozy at the formal banquet.

The rift between China and France started since last year when France failed to prevent the Tibetan dissidents from spoiling the torch relay in Paris, a ceremony viewed by many Chinese as showing that China's honor as a great power was restored. The China-France controversy escalated when Sarkozy met with the Dalai Lama more than once and peaked when Chinese citizens voluntarily boycotted the French goods and enterprises in China.

The Chinese administration echoed their dissatisfaction by suspending some business deals with France. Premier Wen even avoided France deliberately at his diplomatic visit to Europe in February.

Now, everything seems to have been changed  with the global economic downturn in which China prevails with her ongoing growth and huge market. The western world conceded. Criticisms on Beijing died down and France gave up.  Is it so?

The Chinese blogsphere and internet, however, show their disappointment at the communique.

yun3578ufolala, posting on the popular online bulletin board Tianya, thought the statement was acutally a French ploy:

看似法国向中国低头认错,问题来了,以前从未有任何国家作出类似的表态,要表也是表台湾,说明台湾确实存在地位未定的问题(就国际社会的立场来看),所以我们要求别人承认。但西藏跟台湾完全不一样,一是西藏一直处于大陆的主权范围,二是西藏从未有单独的对外外交关系。和尚是以个人的身份(顶多是个宗教领袖)在外与人打交道,主要目的是让政治实体(特别是有国际影响力的如五常和欧盟)承认其政治地位,造成西藏问题国际化和西藏地位未定论。

那么让我们来看看,法国这样一表态,在国际社会的眼里,西藏的地位开始慢慢向台湾问题靠拢了

It seems that France has recognized China's authority in Tibet but there is a problem, in that there has never been any country that made such a statement about Tibet before.  They were exclusively about Taiwan partly because we need other countries to recognize Taiwan as part of China instead of its present ambivalent international status. But Tibet is completely different; first, it is governed under the sovereignty of mainland China and second it has never had a separate diplomatic status. That's why the Dalai Lama negotiates with the western world in his personal capacity in order to let other political entities to intervene thus making it an international issue instead of a domestic Chinese affair.

Thus with such maneuvering the status of Tibet is gradually becoming seen as that of another Taiwan.

Pages of replies followed the post. inzaghile agreed on the point, saying

以后的国际事务中西藏问题又成了别人的一个砝码!!!

Tibet is now another stake in any upcoming international bargaining.

SpEedBaBy thought CCP should have done better:
个人也觉得吃亏了…….

tg脑子进水了,自己家的事情,老是和人家联合公报个p……
真他妈有病…..自己的老婆,儿子都要人家认定…不知道怎么想的….
直接让其道歉才是真的……

I also think we lost.
What's wrong with the CCP? It always wants to issue communiques even on domestic issues. Even a wife and son should be admitted by foreigners as ours or they don't belong to us. All it should ask France for is apology.

水寨头目 thought it was not all a concession and had no binding power

从公报字面看,法国以后该见老和尚还会见,没有什么约束,因为傻上次见秃,也没说支持藏独,只说关注人权啊自由啊民主啊什么。

Judged from the literal meaning, France is free to meet with Dalai Lama in the future without any restraint. Sarkozy said nothing about his support on Tibetan independence last time either, but only talked about human rights and freedom.

风马云旗 parodied a row of statements:

我重申一个中国….承认北京是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认天津是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认上海是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认河北是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认山东是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认山西是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认河南是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认辽宁是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认内蒙是中国的一部分
我重申一个中国….承认新疆是中国的一部分


I reiterate there is only one China…and Shanghai is part of China
I reiterate there is only one China…and Beijing is part of China
I reiterate there is only one China…and Guangdong is part of China
I reiterate there is only one China…and Fujian is part of China
I reiterate there is only one China…and Shanxi is part of China

huangdiany concludes

法国棋高一着成功将西藏问题台湾化

France has prevailed in this issue in that it has has succeeded in ‘Taiwanizing’ Tibet.

The G20 meeting came right after the meeting. Though Chinese netizens commonly think it as but a G2 meeting in which only China and America matter, pessimistic voices and worries are not absent. 統一口徑 supposed that Chinese should be more realistic:

G20不是北京奧運

The G20 Conference is not another Beijing Olympics.

要知道,G20裏除了中國,還有韓國,還有印度,還有墨西哥,還有土耳其等等。在G20裏,中國隻是其中一員。就像我們早期處理國際關系堅持的原則,這個世界不是美國的,也不是蘇聯的。同樣,即便中國現在成了世界第三大經濟體,這個世界也不隻是中國的。

We should know that besides China there is also Korea, India, Mexico and Turkey etc.. China is just one of the G2O. The principle we followed before is that the world belong neither to the U.S nor the USSR. Similarly, though China has become the third largest economic entity in the world, the world is not China's!

對中國來說,對過去取得的經濟成就沾沾自喜是可恥的,因爲它迄今仍是一個鉗制言論、沒有新聞自由的國家,仍是世界上貧富懸殊最大的國家,仍是一個封建特權思想濃厚的國家。中國在經濟上已步入世界前列,但卻與民主政治和現代文明相去甚遠。

It is shameful to be arrogant on our economic achievements because China is still a state clamping down on free speech and news freedom, a state with the largest wealth disparity, a state still with emphasis on privilege. Despite its strong economic power, China is far from democracy and modern civilization.

對于普通中國人來說,我們迫切需要的不是一個在國際上動辄展示自己“不高興”的中國政府,不是一個在世界各地一擲千金博取“中國有錢了”奉承的中國政府,我們今天需要的是一個懂得自我約束、自我檢讨的負責任的政府,一個真正接受最高立法機構和公民監督的理性政府,這個政府真正相信并懂得,現代民主政府的惟一合法基礎來自選舉産生它的公民。

As an ordinary Chinese I believe that what we should be seeking is not a Chinese government that frequently says ‘we are not happy and parades how rich we are as a nation.’ We want a self-disciplined, self-critical and responsible government which is supervised by the legislature. It should understand and believe that the ultimate and only source of legitimacy of a democratic government comes from the citizens who vote for it.

Post edited by Bob Guy

4 comments

  • Howard

    To show mutual respect to France, the China government should include in the comminuque a sentense like this:
    “The China government reaffirms its adherence to the one-France policy and the position that la Corse is an integral part of the French territory, so China refuses to support any form for ‘la Corse independence’”.

  • […] “The western world conceded. Criticisms on Beijing died down and France gave up. Is it so? […]

  • piecenik

    great presentation BC.

    you’ve again shown
    the many-faceted nature
    of the debate.

  • knights

    Howard, your statement is an enlightened one!

    Cheers!

    Knights of ONE China

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