The self-immolations which have taken place in Tibet have obviously caused consternation in many countries – and, of course, France. There are no ways to move forward on this – as regards Tibet – other than dialogue between the Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama to reach a lasting solution. This solution must fully respect Tibet’s cultural and spiritual identity, in the framework of the People’s Republic of China of which Tibet is part.
Every time we’re given the opportunity to speak to the Chinese authorities, we broach these questions. I did so myself a few days ago when I was received by the highest Chinese authorities. We continue to do so, not to be provocative, but with a desire to be effective, which you no doubt will share. The same goes for the Nobel prizewinner you mentioned, and his wife. Which means quite simply that the French President, as part of the state visit he’ll be paying to China, will certainly talk about human rights issues. He will do so with a desire to be effective and without being provocative.
We think this is how France can reconcile a commitment to human rights, which is part of our culture, with the need for a detailed dialogue with China, a great country to which we’re committed./.