Zapatero says EU must lift Chinese arms embargo

22nd July 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 July 2005, BEIJING — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called on the European Union to lift an arms embargo against China during an official visit to Beijing.

22 July 2005

BEIJING — Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero called on the European Union to lift an arms embargo against China during an official visit to Beijing.

Zapatero said his government agreed with China the arms embargo should be lifted.

He also said European Union reluctance to recognise the Chinese market system could be overcome.

Zapatero was on a short visit to meet his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, discussed bilateral relations and trade during a meeting.

Zapatero and Wen met on the first day of the Spanish leader's official visit to China.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of a contract under which European aviation giant Airbus will sell 20 A-330 aircraft to Air China for USD 3.1 billion.

Zapatero expressed Spain's admiration for his host country, which he called "the modern China, which is becoming a great global power".

The Spanish leader said he planned to discuss a number of bilateral issues with his Chinese counterpart, as well as Chinese relations with the European Union.

Wen thanked Zapatero for visiting China and said the trip would help improve mutual understanding and cooperation.

During the private meeting between the leaders, Wen, according to Spanish officials, said China did not want to maintain the enormous trade surplus it currently enjoys with Spain.

The Chinese leader said he was willing to help open the door for Spanish exports and encourage his countrymen to visit Spain, whose government has set a goal of attracting 10 million tourists from the Asian nation over the next few years.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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