Sarkozy Acts as Chinese Mount Anti-French Protests

President apologizes to Paralympian fencer
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 9:18 AM CDT
French Senate President Christian Poncelet, left, hands over President Nicolas Sarkozy's sympathy note to Chinese torch bearer Jin Jing, right, in Shanghai.   (AP Photo/Xinhua, Fan Jun)
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(Newser) – Two weeks after the Olympic torch relay in Paris, anti-French backlash in China is gaining steam. Rare demonstrations on the streets of Chinese cities, seemingly with the government's tacit approval, have seen French flags burned and defaced with swastikas. As the nations' relationship deteriorates, Nicolas Sarkozy has been forced to step in, reports the Independent.

The French president wrote a letter to Jin Jing, the Paralympic torchbearer who fended off demonstrators from her wheelchair, saying he regretted that she had been "pushed around." Sarkozy is also dispatching top diplomats, including ex-PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin, to meet Chinese authorities and to encourage them to quell the anti-French movement.