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Sarkozy congratulates Chinese in France on Spring Festival
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a congratulatory message on Saturday to overseas Chinese living in France to celebrate the forthcoming Chinese lunar new year, which falls on February 7.

"I would like to give you, your family and relatives all my best wishes for a successful career and a happy life" in the coming new year, Sarkozy said in a message sent to the Chinese-language daily, Nouvelles D'europe.

"Celebrations for a traditional Chinese new year are always important for people of Chinese origin who were nurtured by Chinese culture," which, he said, is an occasion celebrating their special traditions, their roots and their identities.

The Chinese people are attractive and fascinating, and overseas Chinese living in Europe have increased mutual tolerance and understanding among people of different backgrounds, he said.

This is why the Beijing Olympic Games is important: with the event, China welcomes the world and embraces the value of tolerance, opening and diversity as embodied in the spirit of sports, he added.

(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2008)

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