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Solana says arms ban to go; China appreciates
Updated: 2004-02-12 09:39

EU foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana said Wednesday that the discussions on lifting arms embargo against China within the European Union (EU) are "on right track," but he could not tell the "exact date" for the lifting at present. China expressed on Thursday its appreciation for the EU move. 

"I don't think lifting arms embargo is a big problem (for the EU and China)" said Solana, adding that the issue is only "a question" that is being discussed by the two sides.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said on Thursday at regular news briefing that China appreciates EU's move to discuss lifting arms embargo on China.

She said, with regard to arms embargo on China, it is in fact a product of the Cold War which undermines further China-EU cooperation in various fields and should thus be lifted completely.

After a meeting with Guan Chengyuan, head of the Chinese Mission to the European Communities, Solana told some Chinese media that the EU-China partnership has profound and broad content.

He noted that a mechanism of regular meetings of leaders between the EU and China has been set up, adding that apart from the leaders' meeting for this year, there will be frequent exchanges of visits between the senior officials from both sides.

Solana also expressed willingness to foster up not only good relations between the EU and the Chinese government, but good personal relations between the EU leaders and the Chinese leaders as well.

On January 26, the EU foreign ministers' meeting discussed the issue of lifting arms ban on China, and the ministers demanded the working groups under the EU Council examine the issue and then report to the ministers.

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