Sarkozy broached crucial topic with Hu

Sarkozy broached crucial topic with Hu

They reached a “true convergence of views” on France’s reform plans in talks between President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in the Mediterranean city of Nice, a senior French presidential adviser said.

Sarkozy later said he also broached the sensitive topic of human rights, following complaints by activists that he was avoiding the subject so as not to offend Hu given the high diplomatic stakes of the visit.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived at a chic restaurant near the Nice seafront for a dinner with Hu, Sarkozy said the two discussed “all subjects... without taboos.”

Activists and political opponents had criticised Sarkozy for not speaking up in favour of the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month in a move that enraged Beijing.

Having overseen billions worth of Franco-Chinese trade deals, Sarkozy was seeking China’s backing for his plans for financial reform when he takes over the G20 presidency at a summit in South Korea next week.

“There is a true convergence of views between China and France on the aims to be achieved and the means necessary to achieve this reform,” the adviser told reporters.

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