Sarko Too Nice to China: Critics

French president assailed for abandoning human-rights concerns
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 9:01 PM CDT
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy attends the funeral memorial service for the late French Martinican poet and politician Aime Cesaire at Pierre Aliker stadium in Fort de France, Martinique, Sunday,...   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – Paris seems to have reversed a tide of anti-French sentiment in China, but critics wonder if President Nicolas Sarkozy’s charm offensive has undermined his country’s commitment to human rights, Der Spiegel reports. Since Sarkozy’s messages of conciliation have gone out, China’s Foreign Ministry has praised the French president and state media has reversed its criticism of recently boycotted supermarket chain Carrefour.

"A few calls for a boycott of a French supermarket in China were enough to cause President Nicolas Sarkozy's commitment to human rights to falter badly,” writes Die Tageszeitung. “Sarkozy has shown that he is prepared to grovel,” writes Berliner Zeitung, “and has maneuvered himself into a position of weakness, where it is now possible to blackmail him."