PRESIDENCY OF FRENCH POLYNESIA

Communication Department

April 4th, 2001

President Jiang ZEMIN arrives at Tahiti-Faa‘a International Airport for 12 hrs

The Air China 747-400 landed this morning at 6h30 at the Tahiti Faa‘a International Airport, with onboard the President of the Republic of China, Jiang Zemin.

He and his wife were greeted twenty minutes later by the French High-Commissioner, Jean Aribaud and the President of the Government, Gaston Flosse. Deputy-mayor, Michel Buillard, along with the Minister of the Economy, who is an active member of the Chinese community, Georges Puchon, also greeted President Jiang Zemin, on his descent of the plane.

A guard of honour, made of air force military base men, led the Chinese delegation towards the procession of cars, which were to take them to the Meridien Hotel, located on the western coast of Tahiti. This is where the most important man of the People’s Republic of China will take a rest.

However, President Jiang Zemin, his Vice-president and several other ministers, forming the Chinese delegation had a glimpse of the Polynesian culture, with the presentation of a traditional dance, given by the group of O Tahiti E. The entire Chinese delegation was made up of around 200 members.

The President of the People’s Republic of China also made sure to personally meet the fifteen member representatives of the Chinese community, in Tahiti, present at the airport this morning.

The President was touched by such a warm welcome and took the time to share some thoughts on that with President Gaston Flosse. The Polynesian president said that he was delighted to host such a distinguished guest and dignitary, in respect with the Polynesian tradition He also presented the very kind regards from President Chirac.

President Zemin, said that he was very excited to make a stop-over in French Polynesia, after a 17 hrs flight from Beijing, in order to take a rest for a few hours, before starting his official trip in South America, starting with Chile.

Jiang Zemin, should have lunch at the residence of the President Gaston Flosse, in the district of Arue, on the East coast, before taking off tonight to continue on the rest of his trip.

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