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“Immediate Establishment Is Advisable”: Chinese Diplomacy in the Negotiations over the Establishment of Sino-French Diplomatic Relations

Social Sciences in China, 2018

Vol. 39, No. 2, 2018

 

 “Immediate Establishment Is Advisable”: Chinese Diplomacy in the Negotiations over the Establishment of Sino-French Diplomatic Relations

(Abstract)

 

Yao Baihui

 

From 12 December 1963 to 23 January 1964, the diplomatic representatives of China and France held talks on four occasions in the Swiss capital, Bern. The talks concluded with an agreement on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In the Bern talks, the Chinese position was basically that “immediate establishment of Sino-French diplomatic relations is advisable.” For this reason, China made some compromises over matters such as the form and content of the communiqué announcing the establishment of diplomatic relations and the timing of its publication, but remained firm, at least, over putting out an independent statement declaring China’s principled stand over the government of the People’s Republic of China being the sole legal government representing the Chinese people and Taiwan being an inalienable part of Chinese territory. China took the strategic direction of the advisability of “immediate establishment” of Sino-French diplomatic relations partly because of the necessity of developing Sino-French relations and partly because the top Chinese leadership saw this as a possibility. However, the talks in Bern did not resolve all issues and the question of relations between France and Taiwan were to become a stumbling block for the normalization of Sino-French relations.

 

Keywords: Sino-French relations, establishment of Sino-French diplomatic relations, Chinese diplomacy