China, US differ on EU's lifting arms ban
The US House of Representatives adopted a resolution calling on the European Union to maintain its arms embargo against China, with some lawmakers accusing Europeans of putting "greed" ahead of US security.
"This is a very short-term decision for very few profits," said Republican Representative Mark Steven Kirk, who singled out French President Jacques Chirac, saying he was "doing this."
The resolution calls on President George W. Bush to use his trip to Europe this month to "urge that they (European leaders) reconsider this unwise course of action."
Democratic Representative Tom Lantos decried what he called the "greed driven policy by Europe which was twice liberated by the US."
EU leaders declared in December their "political will" to lift the embargo.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said last month the weapons ban would likely be gone in six months.
In an interview with AFP and Reuters Tuesday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reiterated Washington's opposition to scrapping the weapons ban.
Rice said Washington has had a "good dialogue" with the Europeans over the prospect of the EU lifting the embargo and that she found "Europeans open to our concerns and willing to try to understand them and so we'll see how we can address "
FM: US opposition unreasonable
The US opposition is "unreasonable", said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan Tuesday in a regular news conference.
The EU arms embargo is a legacy of the cold war, a political discrimination and a barrier that needs to be removed in the further development of Sino-EU ties, according to the spokesman, adding that the resolution of this issue will not undermine the interest of third parties.
"We have a hope that on this issue, third parties, including the United States, will not stand in the way and will conform with the natural trend," Kong said.