Chinese Defence Minister Zhang Aiping met his French counterpart Charles Hernu on June 8, on his first stopover in a month-long tour of Western nations.
1. GV Entrance to Defence Ministry 0.04
2. SVs & CU French Defence Minister Charles Hernu greets Chinese Defence Minister (3 shots) 0.20
3. SVs Hernu is introduced to Chinese delegation (2 shots) 0.36
4. GV French and Chinese flags 0.38
5. GVs SV Defence Ministers walk to position and salute as French national anthem is played (5 shots) 0.57
6. GVs & CU Chinese Foreign Minister signs Golden Book as Hernu looks on (3 shots) 1.16
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: PARIS, FRANCE
Chinese Defence Minister Zhang Aiping met his French counterpart Charles Hernu on June 8, on his first stopover in a month-long tour of Western nations. Before leaving Peking, the 6-year-old general told reporters China hoped to buy advance weapons and military hardware from friendly countries, in a drive to modernise its 3.2 million-strong armed forces. He said China had a policy of self-reliance but could not hope to match the sophisticated weaponry available in other countries. Paris was said by informed sources to be interested in selling Mirage 2000 combat aircraft to China and Zhang's visit closely followed one by Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang. The general was to visit the United States next, in a follow-up to US Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger's talks in Peking last September and President Reagan's trip in April. Other countries on Zhang Aiping's schedule were Canada and Japan. A communique issued after the June 8 talks in Paris said the Chinese military delegation had expressed strong interest in buying French arms. The communique, issued by the French Defence Ministry, did not specify what equipment the Chinese had in mind, but informed sources said they were particularly interested in buying troop-carrying Super Puma helicopters. Aerospatiale, which manufactures the aircraft, demonstrated its performance to Chinese officers in high-altitude test in Tibet last year.
Source: REUTERS - FREDERIC FABRE