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French support sought on "One China"
( 2004-01-19 23:39) (China Daily)

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Monday called on France to oppose independence moves made by Taiwan authorities ahead of a State visit to France by President Hu Jintao.

"China appreciates France's support of the one-China policy. We hope the French can support China's position in opposition of Taiwan independence and the referendum," said Liu Haixing, deputy director of the ministry's Western European Affairs Department.

Hu's French visit from January 26 to 29 coincides with the celebration of 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. He will attend a series of celebrations marking the occasion.

Hu, who visited the French town of Evian last June for talks on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit, will be making his first State visit to France since taking office last March.

Hu will address the national assembly -- the first such speech by a Chinese leader to the French parliament, according to Liu.

During the four-day stay,the two nations are expected to sign a series of business agreements, including the manufacture of DVD players and TV sets, glass production and atomic energy, Liu said.

Turning to the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail system, Liu said the project remains within a feasibility study period, and that no agreement will be signed on the project.

"But China welcomes France to participate in bidding," he said.

After the French leg of his trip, Hu will pay a State visit to Egypt, Gabon and Algeria. It will be Hu's first visit to Africa as Chinese president.

During Hu's Egypt stop between January 29 to February 1, the two countries are expected to sign documents on economic and technological co-operation, China's preferential loans to Egypt and investment memoranda on a special economic zone in the Suez gulf area, said Zhai Jun, director of the ministry's Department of West Asian and North African Affairs.

In Egypt, Hu is also scheduled to visit the headquarters of League of Arab States (LAS) and meet LAS Secretary-General Amr Mahmoud Moussa. Both sides will "probably" announce the establishment of the Sino-Arabian co-operation forum, according to Zhai.

The forum most likely will cover a broad range of fields including politics, economic and trade issues, culture, education, health and sports.

Hu's Gabon trip, from February 1 to 3, is the first visit of a Chinese president to that nation in the three decades since the two countries forged diplomatic ties, said Zhao Jiangping, counselor of the ministry's Department of African Affairs.

In Algeria, the last leg of Hu's visit, Hu will witness the signing of agreements on economic and technological co-operation and higher education between the two countries, according to Zhai.

The spokesman added that China now is still discussing an energy co-operation deal with Algeria and may sign a deal during the visit if the two sides reach consensus.

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