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has there ever been an elected leader more estranged from protecting democracy than Chirac?

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Chirac calls for lifting arms ban on China

Paris, France, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- French President Jacques Chirac is calling on the European Union to lift a long-standing arms embargo against China.

"France supports lifting the embargo," Chirac said in an interview with China's official news agency, Xinhua, adding it no longer reflected present day realities.

The European Union imposed the weapons' ban following China's 1989 crackdown against pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, in Beijing.

Today, European countries are divided over lifting the embargo, with Sweden and the Netherlands opposed to doing so. The United States is also against it.

Chirac noted "stong reservations" on the part of Washington, but said Paris would push for a swift lifting of the embargo. His remarks were posted on the French presidency's Web site, and came ahead of Chirac's trip to China on Friday.

During his visit, the French president is expected to press for greater trade and foreign investment with China.
 

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Chirac: Arms to China Good, American culture danger to world

Chirac lashes out against US cultural domination
Thu Oct 07 2004 21:37:42 ET

French President Jacques Chirac warned Thursday of a "catastrophe"
for global diversity if the United States' cultural hegemony goes
unchallenged.

Speaking at a French cultural center in Hanoi ahead of Friday's
opening of a summit of European and Asian leaders, Chirac said
France was right to stand up for cultural and linguistic diversity.

The outspoken French president warned that the world's different
cultures could be "choked" by US values.

This, he said, would lead to a "general world sub-culture" based
around the English language, which would be "a real ecological
catastrophe".

Citing Hollywood's stranglehold over the film industry as an
example, Chirac stressed that only with government assistance could
countries maintain their cultural heritage.

Vietnam is a former French colony, but only around 375,000 of its 81
million people speak French. English is considered by most people a
far more valuable and practical second language, particularly among
businessmen.
 
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