A high-ranking military delegation from China-the first such team to visit the western world since 1949-is in France on an arms-buying mission.
A high-ranking military delegation from China-the first such team to visit the western world since 1949-is in France on an arms-buying mission. During its ten-day visit, the delegation which includes eight generals is having top-level talks which could lead to the purchase of sophisticated French fighter aircraft and other military equipment.
SYNOPSIS: The Chinese team arrived last Thursday (15 September) and the following day visited the Arc de Triomph in the French capital to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Delegation leader General Yang-the armed forces Chief of staff, was one of the 57 founding members of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. He's also close to Chinese Vice-Premier Teng Hsiao-ping-one of the country's most powerful politicians.
French and Chinese officials said China was interested in buying electronic equipment and the planned Mirage Delta 2000 jet fighter aircraft. Chinese technical experts began talks during the Paris Air Show earlier this year with officials of the company which is building the aircraft. General Yang arrived in France with a visit to the company on his schedule.
General Yang and his fellow officers were also due to visit a ground-to-ground missile base, and tactical atomic missile regiment in Eastern France. They were meeting French Prime Minister Raymond Barre for talks and were due to be given a detailed analysis of western military strategy-particularly towards the Soviet Union. Their principal escort during their visit is General Guy Mery, who visited China last year and was taken to the site of the country's nuclear experiments.