Former French presi极速pk10技巧dent Jacques Chirac died on Thursday, at the age of 86, his family has announced.
The center-right politician, who developed close ties with China and was a champion of a united Europe, served as prime minister under former socialist president Francois Mitterrand for two years before being elected to become the 22nd president of the Republic, from 1995 to 60 7.
He took France into the Eurozone, and survived an assassination attempt at the 60 2 Bastille Day military parade, but his authority was undermined after the French people rejected the proposed European constitution in a 60 5 referendum, and in 2011 he received a two-year suspended prison sentence for corruption during his time as mayor of Paris in the 1970s.
Chirac had a particularly close relationship with China, visiting the country numerous times as president and also after his retirement, and was known to be a great lover of Chinese poetry.
"Never in the long history of France－China relations have our communications been so close, our mutual trust so much deepened and high-level contacts so frequent," he said in an interview before his final presidential visit to the country, in 60 6.
All four of his grandparents were school teachers, but with wildly differing political views, and throughout his career Chirac was famed for changing his position on major political issues, including on the European Union, leading to one of his nicknames of La Girouette, the weathervane.