Dalai Lama’s visit to Paris may affect Sino-French ties

May 5th, 2009 - 2:13 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): Sino-French relations may take a dip if the planned visit by the Dalai Lama to Paris next month goes ahead, analysts have said.

The Dalai Lama could become an honorary citizen of Paris during his visit, a move, analysts say, could affect relations between China and France.

“The Dalai Lama’s visit will have an impact on bilateral relations,” said Zhao Junjie, a senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “The Dalai Lama intends to disturb Sino-French relations through his visit at a time when they are developing in a healthy way.”

The Dalai Lama is due to visit Paris June 6-8, his spokesman Wangpo Bashi said.

His visit is part of a European tour that includes Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands, the China Daily quoted Bashi, as saying.

“It is very possible that he will receive the title of ‘honorary citizen’ of the city of Paris from the mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, but no meeting with leaders of the French government is scheduled,” he added.

The Paris City Council, led by socialist Delanoe, approved a resolution in April 2008 to honour the Dalai Lama, but the French Government has distanced itself from the local government’s move.

The Dalai Lama received the titles of “honorary citizen” in Rome and Venice in February.

Pang Zhongying, a professor with Renmin University of China, said the impact on bilateral relations of the Dalai Lama’s visit is “manageable”.

“Sino-French relations, on the whole, are moving in the right direction. The Dalai Lama’s visit won’t return us to a state of tension again. But the visit will affect people-to-people relations between the two countries,” Pang said.

Sino-French relations warmed after several high-ranking French officials visited China. The ties were soured by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s December meeting with the Dalai Lama in Poland. (ANI)

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