Fischer says China arms embargo should remain

5th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 April 2005, BERLIN - German foreign minister Joschka Fischer said in an interview to be published on Wednesday that he opposes calls by his boss, chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, to lift the European Union arms embargo on China.

5 April 2005

BERLIN - German foreign minister Joschka Fischer said in an interview to be published on Wednesday that he opposes calls by his boss, chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, to lift the European Union arms embargo on China.

"The Chancellor knows that I have a skeptical position on this," said Fischer in an interview with the Die Zeit weekly.

Fischer told the paper that he fully supported the stance taken by his Greens party.

Greens co-leader Claudia Roth said on Monday that China's persecution of minorities and excessive use of the death penalty were among the reasons the party was against ending the European Union arms embargo imposed in 1989 after Beijing's bloody crackdown on Chinese pro-democracy protests.

Schroeder, who is keen to boost trade with China, insists he would not be bound by any German parliamentary vote over the EU arms embargo because he has the exclusive right to make foreign policy under the constitution.

The EU had been widely expected to lift the ban on arms sales to China in June but this is now in doubt following approval of a Chinese anti-secession law which would allow use of military force against Taiwan if the island seeks full independence.

Beijing views Taiwan as a renegade province.

Any lifting of the EU embargo would require unanimous approval of all 25 member states.

DPA

Subject: German news

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