CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Chinese envoy's letter to French senator over Taiwan island trip plan a 'measured heads-up'
Published: Mar 16, 2021 09:57 PM
China France File photo: cnsphoto

China France File photo: cnsphoto

A letter from Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye to French Senator Alain Richard, who is planning to visit the island of Taiwan in the summer, was a "measured heads-up," Chinese observers said, noting the French politician is taking an opportunistic path to challenge the bottom line of China's sovereign integrity concerning the island for the sake of individual interests and at the cost to overall friendly China-France ties. 

Citing the French news website La Lettre A, some Taiwan media outlets reported that Lu had sent a "hardline" letter to Richard on February 18 in an effort to lobby the French senator, who is also the head of the "French Senate's Taiwan Friendship Group," to cancel the organization's plan to visit this summer.

In the letter, Lu condemned the trip and said it would pose a threat to the current cross-Straits situation, while pointing out that it would send the wrong message to the island's secessionist forces. Lu also urged France to avoid any official engagement with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority in Taiwan in any form.

It is a typical move by the narrow-minded secessionist media in Taiwan to portray the island as a victim, Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Reiterating China's consistent and clear political stance over the Taiwan question in the form of a personal letter is a measured approach, which is appropriate in this case, otherwise there would have been an official statement from the Embassy, Wang said. 

It is also a very courteous heads-up to the French senator reminding him not to take an opportunistic path over China's bottom line on sovereignty, or ruin the overall warm ties between China and France.

Observers noted that the DPP authority in Taiwan has been investing heavily in the so-called parliamentary-level "diplomacy" as a way to fool itself and forget the fact there is only one China in the world.

Wu Chih-chung, "the diplomatic representative from Taiwan in France," called Richard a respected senator and friend of the island. Richard, who served as French defense minister from 1997 to 2002, visited the island of Taiwan in 2015 and 2018 when serving as a senator and head of the "French Senate's Taiwan Friendship Group."  

However, during an interview with china.com.cn in 2019, Richard lauded the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative as a demonstration of China's willingness to open up.

Such self-contradictory swaying in political stances shows a lack of credibility in such a politician, Wang said.


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