EU votes to continue arms embargo against China

Citing China’s record in human rights, threats aginst Taiwan and the mistreatment of AIDS victims, the EU Parliament dismissed the urgings of France and Germany to lift the EU’s 14-year -old arms embargo against China. voting to keep the embargo in place.

The European Union assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that rejected talk of lifting the embargo — in place since the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 — as promoted by EU leaders and China itself.

“The human rights situation in the People’s Republic of China has improved over the years but remains unsatisfactory,” said the resolution, which was addressed to all 15 present member states and the 10 due to join in May.

“The crackdown on fundamental freedoms continues as well as torture, ill-treatment, mistreatment of HIV-AIDS sufferers, arbitrary detention, the high number of death sentences each year, and the lack of respect and protection of minority rights.”

The parliament — which traditionally takes a strong line on human rights — also said that it believed “it is the wrong time, in view of Chinese threats against Taiwan, to open the way to a lifting of the European arms embargo”.

I don’t really know much about the history or the significance of this embargo, but it sounds as though it may be mainly for show. China has nevertheless been lobbying hard to get the ban lifted, according to the article.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Interesting that it was France and Germany that wanted them lifted. One dictator gone and their looking for another to sell arms to.

December 19, 2003 @ 5:20 pm | Comment

Typical and unsurprising.

December 20, 2003 @ 8:36 am | Comment

Before anyone goes to town with the Old Europe-bashing, we Brits sell military hardware to plenty of dodgy regimes too.

December 21, 2003 @ 3:01 am | Comment

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