Under the front-page editorial headline "A Hard Blow for Moscow," the newspaper Le Monde interpreted the new Sino-American diplomatic ties as a green light from Peking to Washington to reinforce U.S. domination of the Pacific Ocean area.
The news came too late here to make the morning newspapers, and the French government refused all comment.
There were hints, nevertheless, that the French were pleased by the event. The afternoon Le Monde said that the French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing was informed of American intentions in October during a visit to Paris of U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.
France recognized the Peking government in 1964. The move by President Charles de Gaulle at the height of the Vietnam war was treated by the U.S. governement as an expression of French hostility.
One of Le Monde's commentators said recognition of Peking "only takes note of the fact that in international relations it is difficult to make 800 million indviduals go through the service entrance. Obviously, the Soviet Union may have desired for the recognition to come as late as possible and that it be restricted to enlarging the service enrance rather than rolling out the red carpet."