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EU to send China positive signal on arms ban
(Xinhua/China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-23 10:08

The European Union (EU) said in Brusells Monday that it is ready to send China a "positive signal" on arms embargo when leaders from both sides meet in the Netherlands in December.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot, who is now also the head of the Council of the EU, told reporters after the first day of the ministerial meeting that the EU is to send the positive signal on lifting its 15-year old arms embargo despite opposition from human rights campaigners and the US.

"We are ready to give a positive signal as far as the lifting of the embargo is concerned, but ... there remain a number of concerns", he said.

At present the EU member states are divided on the issue.

It is expected that any revision of the ban would be coupled with a tightening up of the EU's code of conduct which governs arms sales which may be enough to get an agreement among EU members.

China urges EU to lift arms embargo

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said in Beijing on November 18 that China hopes the European Union (EU) will lift its arms embargo soon.

The European Union has had an arms embargo against China for 15 years, and the restrictions are a product of the Cold War and not suitable for the current development of the China-EU relationship, she said at a regular press conference.

Zhang said she hoped that the European Union will make decisions that benefit China-EU relations, such as opposing the direct linkage of arms embargo and removing the human rights issue.

"China has made remarkable progress in human rights field," shesaid.

Zhang said China and the European Union have held 17 human rights dialogues with fruitful achievements.

The two sides can solve their divergence in this area through dialogue mechanism, she said, hoping the European Parliament will make more contributions to healthy development of China-EU relations.

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