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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Sarko slams China on Dalai, but nets $30 bn contracts

November 27, 2007

27 Nov 2007, 0000 hrs IST,Saibal Dasgupta,TNN

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BEIJING: French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday demonstrated how 
bilateral politics can multiply business by bagging $30 billion worth 
of contracts from Chinese leaders, after attacking them over issues 
ranging from trade to the Dalai Lama's status. The size of the 
contracts is about three times the expectations of the French 
industry, sources said.

The deals will enable French suppliers of nuclear reactors and 
aircrafts to race ahead of Russian and American enterprises, which 
themselves are eyeing the Chinese market to bag similar deals. France 
will not only upgrade Chinese nuclear technology but has also offered 
to give Beijing a 35% stake in three uranium mines that it owns in 
Africa.

The deals come at a time when Beijing has cancelled a series of 
meetings with German government representatives following chancellor 
Angela Merkel's recent meeting with the Dalai Lama. Government 
leaders in the US, Canada and Australia have also met the Lama in 
recent months and Beijing would do almost anything to stop Paris from 
following suit, sources said.

"The total amount of these contracts has never been matched before," 
Sarkozy said after attending the contract-signing ceremony along with 
Chinese president Hu Jintao. French officials accompanying their 
president were exuberant.

"It's a record. In the history of the civilian nuclear industry, 
there's never been a deal of this magnitude," Areva chief executive 
Anne Lauvergeon said after his company got a contract to supply two 
European Pressurised water Reactors.

The French president also helped Airbus win a deal to supply 160 
planes worth $17 billion. This includes 110 planes from the short-
haul A320 family and 50 A330 wide-body passenger airliners.
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