Taiwan: China and France trying to influence Taiwan polls
Beijing dismissed suggestions of a link between the timing of the unprecedented joint exercises —- launched on Tuesday about 1,250km from Taiwan's northernmost point — and the presidential election on Saturday.
Mr Chen described Paris as "evil hearted" for siding with the island's arch-foe in exchange for its own commercial interests, said Mr Chen, according to China Times.
But critics said the Taiwanese leader has been hoping for some sabre-rattling by Beijing that would push a large bank of undecided voters into his camp.
Just before the 2000 elections, then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji wagged his finger at Taiwan's pro-independence ambitions on national television, resulting in a rush of voters for Mr Chen.
Opposition candidate Lien Chan said his rival was making an issue out of the drills to win votes and urged China not to influence the outcome. — Reuters