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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-02-01

“Beijing furious at arms sale”

Relations have rarely been so openly tense between Beijing and Washington as over the past weekend. With the announcement of a $6.5 billion arms deal between the US and Taiwan, Beijing has spoken of “gross interference” and is warning it will sanction US companies involved in the deal.

The International Herald Tribune leads with the US sale of 6.5 billion dollars of arms to Taiwan, including Patriot anti-missile systems. The paper says the deal was intended to show American firmness at a time when Washington is increasingly uneasy over Beijing’s new found assertiveness on a range of issues.

China Daily leads with the headline, “Beijing furious at arms sale”. This is its toughest response in three decades to US arms sales to Taiwan. The Chinese Government has announced it would curtail military exchanges with Washington and sanction US companies involved. Inside, the state-run paper says this is an attempt by Washington to “slam the brakes on rapidly warming cross-Strait ties.” Its editorial is no less damning:

“Despite repeated warnings by Beijing, Washington, as always, went its own way…”

The paper speaks of American ‘arrogance’ and of ‘gross interference’ in China’s ‘internal affairs’.

“More than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the US is still bent on integrating Taiwan into its defense strategy in Asia and still dreaming of using the island as an “unsinkable” aircraft carrier to contain China’s growth.”

Other stories in today’s international papers:

The Guardian: “The West owes Haiti a bailout: and it would be a hand-back, not a handout”

The Irish Times: “Ryanair near bottom of ‘ethical ranking’ list”

Daily Mail: “Why a woman has the last (and longest) laugh”





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