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Europe

U.S. Warns Against Lifting China Arms Embargo

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department has warned the EU not to lift its arms embargo on China.


The EU, led by France and Germany on this issue, is considering dropping the arms sanctions against China, which have been in place since the Chinese government violently suppressed demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989. But the spokesman, Richard Boucher, said, "Certainly for the United States, our statutes and regulations prohibit sales of defense items to China. We believe that others should maintain their current arms embargoes as well." He continued, "We believe that the U.S. and European prohibitions on arms sales are complementary, were imposed for the same reasons, specifically serious human rights abuses, and that those reasons remain valid today." However, the EU itself is far from united on the issue. French President Jacques Chirac has recently declared that the sanctions "make no sense now," but Sweden is against lifting the embargo. Denmark, which until recently was thought to be in favour of maintaining the arms ban, appeared to have changed its mind. According to Danish paper Information, the Chairman of the Danish parliament's foreign policy committee has said that Denmark would be in favour of lifting the ban if China agreed to concrete improvements in return, such as including human rights in its new Constitution. (EUpbserver.com)

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