China and France: New BFFs?

Check out this intriguing editorial from our friends at the China Daily Europe. According to commentator Cui Hongjian, the French presidential election drew unprecedented interest from China. But new French President Francois Hollande may want to do his homework and take a different tack than he previously has when dealing with China. Why?

“In China, the interest was economic rather than prurient: the new leader would dictate the economic course of the country and the continent, which would have a direct bearing on the Chinese and global economies.

Although both Nicolas Sarkozy and Hollande wisely veered away from foreign policy as a key subject in the election debate, the Chinese public managed to elicit some information on their China policies from speeches – and reached their own conclusions.

Essentially, it boils down to this: Hollande has no experience of handling affairs concerning China. He has never been to China nor has he had any dealings with foreign affairs.

Conclusion: He is likely to take a hard-line stance on China.”

Why is this a bad thing? Well…

“China and France play an important role in international affairs. Cooperation between the two sides is vital in aspects such as promoting multi-polar politics, active participation in global economic governance and dealing with regional and international hot-button issues. Building a favorable international environment is also consistent with the interests of France.

That said, as a result of internal pressures and the president’s unfamiliarity with China affairs, Sino-French relations might go through some turbulence initially but the two sides will sooner or later be able to find a practical and effective way to get along as the world copes with an economic crisis.

In short, France’s interests do not allow for impractical ideology.”

For more on France, China, America and the world beyond, have a look at the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!

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