France to protect Chinese tourists in wake of knife attack in Paris: Ambassador

Updated 2018-05-15 13:45:01

France will continue enhancing public security to protect Chinese tourists, who represent opportunities for the French economy, French Ambassador to China Jean-Maurice Ripert told a press conference in Beijing on Monday.

Ripert said a Chinese citizen, who was among those wounded in the recent deadly Paris knife attack, is not in critical condition now. In spite of growing concerns over public security in France, local authorities will continue to carry on anti-terrorism activities and seek more cooperation between China and France.

A man with a knife randomly attacked bystanders on Saturday night in Paris' downtown Opera district, killing one person and injuring four others, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The attacker was shot dead by police, and he shouted Islamic slogans when attacking passengers.

"France will never give in when it faces terrorism, and it should not shut the door when attacks happen," Ripert said.

Since 2015, France has been a victim of terrorist acts, while local public security authorities have been working hard to fight those acts, the ambassador noted.

"In the past 15 months, there were 22 premeditated plans were stopped, and French police reacted very fast. Chinese tourists should have more confidence," he said.

As the top destination in Europe for Chinese tourists, France attracted more than 2 million Chinese visitors in 2017, Ripert said. The country welcomed in total 89 million foreign tourists in 2017, a record high. "We're not satisfied, as we aim at 100 million foreign tourists by 2020," he noted.

To attract more Chinese tourists, France has come up with measures such as the launch of mobile payments and free Wi-Fi in some public spaces. Also, public transport offers information in Chinese.

"To further enhance public security continues to be a top preoccupation, but the number of theft cases in Paris declined 25 percent in 2017," the ambassador noted.

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