French President Nicolas Sarkozy has refused to meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to France, and the former French prime minister has also issued statements that diplomatic ties between China and France are warming. From Xinhua:
China has spared no efforts in hosting the 2008 Olympics, presenting the world a great country which is rising peacefully, said France’s ex-prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in an interview with Xinhua.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the French ex-prime minister who accompanied President Nicolas Sarkozy at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, referred to the ceremony as a great success.
China has, in a modest manner during the Games, shown the world its image as a peacefully rising country with its Olympic motto of “One World, One Dream,” he said.
The Beijing Olympics, along with the upcoming 2010 Shanghai World Exposition, is a proof of China’s further opening-up drive, he said, noting that China has gradually integrated itself into the world in various fields over the past 30 years.
Also from China Daily:
The Dalai Lama, who is on a 12-day visit to France, is expected to meet French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Human Rights Minister Rama Yade in the southern town of Lodeve where he will inaugurate a Buddhist temple.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy made it clear on the eve of the Beijing Olympics that he would not hold talks with the Dalai Lama during his current visit to France.
Sarkozy further clarified his position while in Beijing, saying he respected and would continue the traditional friendly relationship between Paris and Beijing.