BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping despatched condolences on Friday over the death of former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, state tv reported, calling him an “outstanding French statesman”.
The former president died on Wednesday from Covid-19 aged 94, at his family‘s property.
Xi expressed “deep condolences” to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, state media mentioned, including that the previous president had “beloved Chinese tradition“.
Giscard “actively inspired pleasant exchanges and cooperation between China and France, and vastly contributed to the event of relations between the 2 nations“, Xi mentioned.
The Chinese chief mentioned Giscard was “an essential promoter of European integration”.
Giscard — who ruled for a single seven-year time period from 1974 to 1981 — visited China for the primary time as president in 1980, simply because the nation was starting to open up to the surface world.
The first French president to go to communist China was Georges Pompidou in 1973.