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Sarkozy praises China amid uproar over Dalai Lama

December 9, 2008

International Herald Tribune
Monday, December 8, 2008
PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy has praised China as "one of the greats of the world" and insisted that he "always thought there was only one China."
That accommodating language comes amid an uproar by Beijing over Sarkozy's weekend meeting with the Dalai Lama. Sarkozy has justified the encounter in the Polish city of Gdansk by saying it was his duty to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Sarkozy said Monday during a speech about human rights that "France would be unfaithful to its history" if it made no room for Nobel Peace Prize winners.
China postponed an EU summit and summoned the French ambassador to say Sarkozy's meeting with the Dalai Lama represented a "rude intervention" in Chinese affairs. Many in France fear trade retaliation.
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