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 President Pompidou Concludes Visit to China

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President Pompidou Concludes Visit to China

Source: Peking Review, No. 38, September 21, 1973
Transcribed for www.wengewang.org

AFTER a successful week-long visit to China. President Georges Pompidou of the Republic of France Pompidou left Shanghai for home on September 17.

Premier Chou En-lai and Wang Hung-wen, Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice-Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Revolutionary Committee, as well as several thousand people from various walks of life in Shanghai gave the French President a warm send-off despite the rain.

The national flags of China and France flow over Hungchiao Airport on September 17. The well-wishers gathered there sang, danced and shouted slogans, wishing the steady growth of friendship between the people of China and France and of friendly relations between the two countries.

Bidding farewell to the Chinese leaders, President Pompidou thanked the Chinese Government and people for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and his party. When he was leaving China, the French President sent a message to Chairman Mao which said:

"Upon my departure from China, I wish to restate that I am much touched by the warm welcome kindly accorded to me by you and the Government of the People's Republic of China. I have been able to appreciate the beauty of your country, of which I still retain a precious memory, and to see that the ancient ties of friendship that unites China and France are full of vitality.
     "I am particularly glad to have met you and dwelled with you on all major problems that the present world is confronted with. Our frank and cordial talks will, I am convinced, contribute to developing in all fields the relations between our two countries for each other's interest and the interest of peace."
  Premier Chou and president Pompidou had talks several times during the latter's stay in China. They exchanged views in & friendly and deep-going way on major international questions and Sino-French relations. The Sino-French Communique was issued on September 17 (see p. 4).
  While they were in Peking, the distinguished French guests visited the Palace Museum and the Temple of Heaven.
     On the evening of September 12, the French President, accompanied by Chinese leaders Chou En-lai, Chiang Ching and Wu Teh, attended a performance of the modern revolutionary dance-drama The Red Detachment of Women,
     Before leaving Peking, President Pompidou held a press conference. He told the Chinese and foreign correspondents present that his talks with Chinese leaders had been conducted "with plenty of frankness, amity, cordiality and sincerity." He said that direct contacts between leaders of France and China were extremely beneficial and that he was satisfied with his visit.
     In reply to a question from a foreign correspondent about the French attitude towards the opposition to hegemony, President Pompidou said: "The position of France is well known. She does not favour hegemony by anyone. We are not for hegemony by others, nor are we for our own hegemony."
  On September 14, the French President gave a reciprocal banquet, [n his toast at the banquet, President Pompidou said that the hospitality accorded him by the People's Republic of China was an expression of a wish — "that of developing ever more friendly and confident relations with France." "This wish," he said, "will be heard all the more willingly and with a heart all the more open, for this wish is also that of France." The very constructive talks he had with Chinese leaders, he declared, had convinced him that between the two countries the reasons for understanding each other better and coming into agreement well were numerous and solid. He added that "the friendship between France and China is of such a nature that it cannot be exclusive of any other."
     "One can therefore expect," he went on to say, "that our two countries will strengthen their relations, that they will consult each other more regularly and closely on major international questions, that they will faithfully inform each other of their preoccupations.
     He affirmed that "one can also expect that our direct exchanges will develop on the basis of equal treatment and mutual benefit."
     In conclusion, he expressed the wish that the relations between France and China would become a "Long March" of friendship.
     In his toast, Premier Chou said that President Pompidou's visit "constitutes an important contribution to the further development of Sino-French relations. We have many common or similar views on international questions; this will help our two countries make further efforts for the improvement of the international situation."
     "Looking forward, we are full of hope and confidence. We place our hope on all countries which are attached to national independence, adhere to equality between all states, irrespective of their size, and dare to resist (he pressure of power. We place our hope on the people and on the younger generation. No force can stem the onward rushing current of history. The heroic death of Dr. Salvador Allende, President of Chile, will only serve to arouse still more the Chilean people to struggle. Whatever the zigzags, the prospects of the world is surely bright," said Premier Chou.
     That same evening, President Pompidou and French Foreign Minister Michel Jobert, accompanied by Premier Chou and Foreign Minister Chi Peng-fei, left Peking to visit Tatung city in Shansi Province.
  An ancient city in north China, Tatung has a history of more than 2,000 years. With the birth of New China, it has been transformed into a rising new industrial city with a population of 700,000. The distinguished French visitors took great interest in their visit to the well-known Yunkang Grottoes 16 kilometres west of the city. The grottoes were built during the 5th century A.D. in the Northern Wei Dynasty. Fifty-three grottoes with 51,000 statues in them still remain.
     In his speech at the banquet welcoming the French President, Hsieh Chen-hua, Chairman of the Shansi Provincial Revolutionary Committee, said that contacts between the Chinese and French people started very early and so did their art and cultural exchanges. President Pompidou said that both the people of China and France had ancient cultures. He said that cultural interchange between the two countries should be strengthened so that the fruits of the past milleniums could be made to serve the present times.
     After visiting Tatung and Hangchow, the French President and Foreign Minister arrived in Shanghai by special plane on September 16 and were warmly welcomed by leading members of the Shanghai Municipal Revolutionary Committee and thousands of people.
     In his toast at the banquet in honour of the French President that evening, Wang Hung-wen said that the President's visit had opened a new page in the annals of relations between China and France. He asked the President and the other distinguished French guests to convey the warm regards of the people of Shanghai to the French people on their return to France.
  In his speech, the French President spoke highly of the creative power, daring and initiative of the Shanghai people. He said: We must consolidate and multiply these ties. Both the Chinese and French people must work to make this enterprise a brilliant success.
  


  
  
  

 
 
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