Sat, Mar 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

EU won't address ban on China arms sales soon, Germany says


The 25-state EU would not address in the first half of this year a proposal to lift the ban on arms sales to China, German officials said on Thursday.

The officials made the remarks ahead of the opening of a two-day EU summit meeting in Brussels that concluded yesterday.

According to the German officials, the China arms ban issue was not on the agenda for the summit. Moreover, they said, the issue was not expected to be tackled during Austria's EU presidency in the first half of this year.

Germany and France were originally keen to push for the removal of the ban on arms sales to China imposed by the EU after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in which Chinese troops brutally killed unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators.

But since German Chancellor Angela Merkel took office last November, Germany has changed its position on the issue and no longer pressures the EU to remove the ban. Many party caucuses in the German Bundestag, or parliament, are even planning to come up with a motion to demand that the EU not lift the ban.

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