Sarkozy in China: Airbus, Areva, and A Little Bit of Everything Else

Global media have blanketed French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s first official visit to the Middle Kingdom, with the French government describing Sarkozy’s meeting with Hu Jintao as a “nice pingpong game.” The results of game so far? Unprecedented successes for French business, vague promises on currency reform, and even vaguer promises on human rights. To wit:
  • Aircraft giant Airbus has signed a contract worth $14.8b to sell China 160 aircraft
  • French nuclear reactor company Areva has agreed on an $8b deal with Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp to build two 3rd generation nuclear reactors
  • Alcatel-Lucent has signed telecom deals with China Mobile and China Unicom worth ‚Ǩ750m
  • Hu Jintao has pledged to “evolve” the criminal system in a way that will “reduce the number of cases in which the death penalty is applied.”
    The Financial Times has the details on the business deals (via MSNBC), while AP concentrates on the issues not resolved (via CNN). The BBC, meanwhile, speculates that Sarkozy’s profitable reception may be a reward for his being the “rare Western leader who has not recently played host to the Dalai Lama.” [Image: Sarkozy and Hu Jintao review Chinese Troops, AFP via the BBC]
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