China will certainly take strong action in response to the visit to Europe by Taiwan Vice-President Lien Chan , scholars and diplomats in Beijing say. Taiwan's Central News Agency said that Mr Lien had stopped off in Vienna, although there was speculation that he had gone to France. The Chinese Foreign Ministry declined to comment. Early yesterday, it was rumoured in Taipei that the Vice-President might have gone to France to discuss Taiwan's purchase of French weapons. One European diplomat in Beijing said: 'Well, you saw the reaction that came last year when [Taiwan President] Lee Teng-hui visited the United States, and I think that implies that there would be a certain reaction as well if a high ranking Taiwanese official was to make any sort of visit to France.' The formal response of the French Embassy in Beijing was that it had no information about a visit or planned to visit there. A handful of French businessmen agreed that such a visit, if true, would likely lead to the sort of anti-French reaction that followed the 1993 sale of French fighter planes to Taiwan. 'It would cause trouble for French companies, but it would only be in the short term. France had a chance to do business with China this spring when they were angry with the US, so if this is true, the US will be happy to have China mad at somebody else for a little while,' said a European banker. Yu Keli , a Taiwan expert at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said such a visit would indicate that Taipei leaders had not learned from the mistakes they made when Mr Lee visited the US last year. 'This would show Lee Teng-hui clinging obstinately to his course,' said Mr Yu.