Sat, Nov 06, 2004 - Page 2 News List

German government to continue China arms ban

CNA , Taipei

Taiwan praised the German federal parliament yesterday for passing a resolution opposing the lifting of the EU's arms embargo against China.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the move was in compliance with mainstream public opinion and deserves the most positive recognition from the Taiwanese government.

The ministry called the international community's attention to the significance of Germany's move and urged other EU members to continue to maintain its ban on the sale of arms to China.

The resolution was adopted on Oct. 28 with the support of the ruling coalition Social Democratic Party and their ally in parliament, the Green Party.

According to the resolution, the German government is must to pressure other EU members to continue to monitor China's progress on improving and protecting human rights and resolving conflicts within its territory by using peaceful means as the criteria for whether to lift the arms embargo.

The German parliament asked the EU to work out binding measures on controlling arms exports by its member nations to China.

Before lifting the embargo, the EU must also consider China's progress in complying with the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, protecting human rights and private property and improving the right to self-government of minority ethnic groups in China, the resolution said.

Other considerations should include the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and rocket propulsion materials and technology as well as Beijing's attitude to a peaceful resolution to the ongoing disputes across the Taiwan Strait, it said.

The arms embargo was introduced in 1989 after a bloody crackdown ordered by the Chinese government on a pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Hundreds, if not thousands of people were killed.

Taiwan has launched an international campaign opposing the EU's plan to lift the embargo on the grounds that China has targeted more than 600 missiles at Taiwan and is continuing its aggressive military buildup.

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