Chirac pushes lifting of China arms ban

22nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac Tuesday called for the lifting of a European embargo on arms sales to China, but said the United States and Europe should work together to ensure the conditions were right.

BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac Tuesday called for the lifting of a European embargo on arms sales to China, but said the United States and Europe should work together to ensure the conditions were right.

Chirac said the ban "is no longer justified" but that it should be lifted "under conditions that Europe and the United States define together".

The French president, who was speaking ahead of a summit here between EU leaders and US President George W. Bush, was responding to Bush's concerns expressed shortly before about their plans to remove the arms embargo.

"There is deep concern in our country that a transfer of weapons would be a transfer of technology to China which would change the balance of relations in between China and Taiwan," Bush said after a NATO summit here.

The European Union imposed a ban on exports of military hardware to China back in 1989, in protest over the brutal suppression of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

Bush confirmed that he was going to raise the issue at the summit with leaders from the 25-nation European Union.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article