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China to send police 'to help patrol Paris streets'

The Local/AFP · 7 May 2014, 08:49

Published: 07 May 2014 08:49 GMT+02:00

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Chinese police will help patrol tourist destinations in Paris this summer after a rise in muggings and attacks on Chinese tourists, a source in France's interior ministry told AFP this week.

The ministry source said the Chinese police would help their French counterparts in Paris tourist spots but declined to give numbers.

More than one million Chinese visitors come to France every year and there have been concerns over a number of muggings and attacks against them.

In March last year, a group of 23 Chinese visitors were robbed in a restaurant shortly after they landed at Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport.

The tourists were on a 12-day trip across Europe but it all went awry when they stopped for dinner at Le Bourget, to the north of Paris in the Seine-Saint-Denis area. On leaving the restaurant they were attacked by three men.

That attack prompted the then Minister for Tourism Sylvia Pinel to pledge to do whatever was needed to protect Chinese visitors. 

Pinel said "everything will be done to find the perpetrators" and underscored "the determination of the French government to ensure the security of tourists in France."

The number of Chinese visitors to France is expected to be given a boost this year because of events linked to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Paris and Beijing.

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France continues to make efforts to woo Chinese tourists, whose spending power, means they are a huge boost to the tourism industry.

In January the Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that Chinese visitors would get fast-track visas in order to make it easier for them to come to France.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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