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France sends De Gaulle's bullet-sprayed car to show in China

De Gaulle in his black Citroën DS 19, in Dakar,  Sénégal, 1959.
De Gaulle in his black Citroën DS 19, in Dakar, Sénégal, 1959. AFP

A Citroen DS car, riddled with bullets from the 1962 attempted assassination of Charles de Gaulle, has been despatched to Beijing as one of the star attractions in events to mark the 50th anniversary of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations.

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The car went on show in Beijing on Monday, after arriving in China by plane. It will be put on display in several Chinese cities as part of a travelling exhibition.

France was the first western power to establish full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, when in January 1964, De Gaulle broke ranks with the United States and helped Mao Zedong's government to gain global recognition.

The French leader and his wife were travelling inside the DS when in August 1962 opponents of Algerian independence tried to kill De Gaulle.

France is currently attempting to boost its trade and investment ties with China and both President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault have visited China since their Socialist Party came to power in 2012.

Last month Citroën unveiled a new DS model which will be sold in China, the world's largest auto market.

PSA Peugeot Citroen is also in talks with Chinese giant Dongfeng about a shareholder tie-up which would give the French car manufacturer a much-needed cash injection.

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