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French President Jacques Chirac signed treasonous agreement with China in 1997 establishing 'multipolar' partnership

Chinese Premier Li Peng (L) holds onto the wrist of French President Jacques Chirac as he points out the sights along a lake in the highly private Zhongnanhai central leadership compound during a walkabout on May 16, 1997 before holding talks there. Earlier in the day Chirac signed a declaration with President Jiang Zemin calling for a global partnership to build a multipolar world. (behind J. Chirac, is Foreign minister Herve de Charette and behind Li Peng is François Fillon, Minister of Post, Telecommunications and Space). (Photo by GERARD FOUET/AFP via Getty Images)

May 15-18, 1997

France - China. Visit of President Jacques Chirac to China

On the 15th, Jacques Chirac began the first visit of the head of a great Western state to Beijing since the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. In front of an assembly of French and Chinese businessmen, he evokes the issue of the "largest market in the world" and says that "Asia, and first of all China, draw the new horizon of France's external action".

On the 16th, President Chirac and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, sign a joint Franco-Chinese Declaration for a global partnership. The document mentions the cooperation agreements as well as the commercial contracts concluded by the two countries, including the firm order of thirty Airbus aircraft for an amount of 7.5 billion francs. The Declaration denounces, in the name of "multipolarity", "any attempt at domination in international affairs", which can only target the United States. Finally, the text states that "efforts to promote [...] human rights must be exercised with respect [...] of [their] universality [...], while taking full account of the particularities of each". Jacques Chirac, who advocates for the development of the rule of law in China, welcomes the double intention expressed by Beijing to accede to the International Convention on the Protection of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on Civil and Political Rights. French steps in favor of some imprisoned dissidents remain very discreet.

On the 18th, in a speech given in Shanghai, the last stage of his visit, the French President salutes the "return of [China] to the world stage, to the right place that must be his" and declares that France "wishes to accompany him in this historical process". He also says that "an exemplary implementation" of the "one country, two systems" principle by Beijing in Hong Kong "will facilitate the unification" of China, an allusion to the recovery of Taiwan. Finally, Jacques Chirac calls on Beijing to dialogue with its neighbors in order to guarantee regional security.