Expatica news

Chirac urges EU end China arms ban

PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) – French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday renewed his country’s call for the European Union to lift an arms embargo imposed on China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The embargo “makes no more sense today,” Chirac said at a joint media conference in Paris with his visiting Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.

The French president said his foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, had urged his EU counterparts meeting in Brussels Monday to lift the embargo, “which dates back more than 15 years and which no longer corresponds with the political reality of the contemporary world.”

That meeting referred the issue to technical-level officials for review.Chirac added that he hoped the restriction would be scrapped “in the coming months”.

The embargo was imposed after June 1989, when China sent tanks to crush weeks-long pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, killing hundreds.

Several EU countries, including the Netherlands and Sweden, remain reluctant to lift the ban, citing notably China’s controversial human rights record, according to diplomats.


                                            Subject: France news