At the Paris Tribunal, 5 Chinese families are waiting to know if they can stay in France or if they will be forced to leave. One of them is a 35 year old woman who was afraid of revealing her identity.
The immigrants wait for the courts to decide their case. Most of them do not speak French because they work in a completely Chinese environment. They now have their kids as translators! Jacques Daguenet is the elected representative of the Communist party in the 11th district of Paris. He says since he returned from summer vacation two weeks back, he has been talking day and night to immigrants who have received eviction notices.
The number of Chinese immigrants being asked to leave France is rising. Last year, the French Interior Ministry distributed a circular in police stations saying illegal immigrants could get residency papers if they fulfilled certain conditions like living in France for a long time, being married and having children… Anthony spelt Jahn is a member of the Non government organisation called Education without borders. He says it did not guarantee they would be able to stay in France, but it was a way of getting the illegal immigrants to declare themselves.
“In particular the Chinese families, jumped on the boat. They appeared kind of massively. At one point there were 900 families on one day. The all kind of came out of the woods, after living hidden and largely within their community, they are now in great danger. One because, in fact, there are a great deal of Chinese immigrants in Paris, the second element is that Nicholas Sarkozy when he was interior minister and now as president has still fixed an objective of 25 thousand expulsions per year.“
Anthony Jahn says with the enlargement of the European Union, the police are no longer after the Eastern Europeans whose countries are now a part of the European Union. They now focus on the Chinese population. But at the same time, Europe has changed.
The number of expulsions of Chinese has gone up by more than 20 percent in one year. This year, many more are expected to leave.Listen to the report:
Let’s first have a look at the business perspective. It's not easy for European businessmen to set up shop in China. They’re still prevented from running wholly owned foreign enterprises there because of trade barriers. But what about the other way around, Chinese businesses coming to Europe? Back in 2005, Fritz Schramma, the mayor of the German city of Cologne, launched a programme to encourage Chinese companies to settle in and around the city. It was called China Offensive. Deutsche Welle’s Monika Manke has been finding out how successful the initiative has been.
Meanwhile, European businesses in China often complain that they're the victims of unfair competition with local companies. They accuse Chinese judges of bias when arbitrating disputes and say competitors receive concealed subsidies from Beijing. And patent rights are also a problem - European companies claim their Chinese rivals make no bones about stealing their ideas. Well the European Commissioner for Competition Nelie Smit-Kroes is in China this week to discuss the problems. Radio Netherland's Beijing correspondent Karen Meirik asked Ms Kroes if the Chinese see her as an ally in getting their goods to the European market.
Some European leaders talk of a “strategic partnership” between China and the EU, yet some major stumbling blocks in what some describe as a marriage, if not, at least an engagement, are standing in the way. One of them is the Weapons Embargo, imposed by the EU after the massacre by the People’s Liberation Army of unarmed civilians, around Tiananmen Square in June 1989. It’s now 18 years later, and the embargo is still in place. I asked RFI’s Brussels’ correspondent if the embargo isn’t a bit outdated by now?
The 1949 Chinese communist revolution rarely brings to mind provincial France. But as it turns out, the tiny French town of Montargis, about 90 kilometres south of Paris, played a key role in that revolution. Montargis had an influential effect on hundreds of Chinese youths who came to work and study there. Now, the town is trying to capitalize on its communist link to attract Chinese tourists. Eleanor Beardsley has more.
This webpage receives support from the European Union