Partnership with China may be risky attraction for France

French and Chinese officials, Daniel Verwaerde and Wang Yiren, sign a bilateral atomic energy agreement in Paris in July, 2015 (photo: dpa)
French and Chinese officials, Daniel Verwaerde and Wang Yiren, sign a bilateral atomic energy agreement in Paris in July, 2015 (photo: dpa)

China’s interest in closer relations with France presents an impressive array of opportunities and risks. Economically, China’s hunger for technology and resources and France’s need for cash and markets make for a good fit between the partners. Yet Paris must weigh the benefits of Realpolitik against the dangers of strengthening a global competitor who may be seeking hegemony.

In the half-century since President Charles de Gaulle (1959-1969) established diplomatic relations with Beijing, France and China have enjoyed a special connection. Both countries had an interest in escaping from the bipolar model of international relations, epitomised by the Cold War rivalry between the United ...

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