China urges EU to 'trash' arms embargo
Updated: 2005-11-04 15:10
China says the EU's 16-year-old arms embargo is having a negative impact on trade and should be trashed, signaling the issue will be a top priority when President Hu Jintao visits Europe next week.
In a wide-ranging interview with journalists, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing reiterated Beijing's opposition to the "discriminatory" ban on China and urged the European Union (EU) to immediately lift it.
"All the leaders of the EU that I have come in contact with believe that (the embargo) is a legacy of the Cold War, is poorly founded and is useless and only harmful," Li said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (R) and Premier Wen Jiabao (C) chat with visiting British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in this September 6, 2005 file photo. Li said the EU should lift the 16-year-old arms ban on China. [newsphoto]
"This should have been thrown into the trash heap of history a long time ago."
Hu leaves for a tour of Great Britain, Germany and Spain on Tuesday, then heads to South Korea to attend the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC) leaders' summit on November 18 and 19.
The arms embargo has been a central issue for every high-level visit between China and EU countries for years.
France and Germany have urged the lifting of the ban, but Britain and other EU nations disagree, citing US security concerns in the Asia Pacific region, especially over Taiwan.