Chirac’s Blunder

There has been a wave of protests on the internet and from Chinese democracy and human rights groups after Chirac made the remark that the EU should end the arms embargo on China, which was imposed after the 1989 massacre of student protesters, because the massacre was a thing of “another time.” The protest statements point to China’s ongoing violation of international standards. The latest is one issued by the group Tiananmen Mothers. Chirac’s remark overshadowed his gesture on human rights when he handed Chinese authorities a list of political prisoners. To further control the damage, Chirac talked about humanism in a speech at Tongji University. The 5-day visit, however, is now seen as a political “disappointment,” as this story puts it.

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