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French Senate President conveys Sarkozy's sympathy note to Chinese torch bearer

2008/04/21

 

French Senate President Christian Poncelet (L) reads President Nicolas Sarkozy's sympathy note to Chinese torchbearer Jin Jing (front R) in Shanghai, east China, April 21, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

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    SHANGHAI, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Visiting French Senate President Christian Poncelet made a special trip to meet with Chinese torchbearer Jin Jing upon his arrival in Shanghai Monday morning.

    Poncelet also conveyed President Nicolas Sarkozy's sympathy note to Jin Jing, a wheelchair-bound fencer who was attacked during the Olympics torch relay in Paris.

    "I would like to express to you my deep feeling towards the way you were shoved in Paris on April 7 when you were holding the Olympic flame. You showed an outstanding courage, which honors you, and (through you) all your country," Sarkozy was quoted as saying in the letter.

    On April 7, the torch relay in Paris was interrupted many times. The most notable incident was that several supporters of "Tibetan independence" rushed toward Jin Jing and tried to snatch the torch.

    "I understand that the Chinese people's feelings were hurt by what went on that day, and especially by the intolerable attack you suffered and which I condemn with the utmost force," Poncelet read from President Sarkozy's letter.

French Senate President Christian Poncelet (front L) hands over President Nicolas Sarkozy's sympathy note to Chinese torchbearer Jin Jing (R) in Shanghai, east China, April 21, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

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    "What happened in Paris on April 7 has engendered a feeling of bitterness in your country. I want to assure you that the incidents that were brought about by a few people on this sad day don't reflect the feelings of my fellow countrymen for the Chinese people," the letter says.

    Sarkozy also invited Jin Jing to come to France in the near future as his personal guest as well as French people's guest, in a bid to erase that "painful moment".

    Poncelet's special visit was made amid China's growing anger with France mainly due to the disruption of the torch relay by Tibetan secessionists during the chaotic Paris leg.

    Calling upon Jin Jing at Shanghai Disabled Persons' Sport Training Center, Poncelet hu