Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 3 News List

EU urges peaceful talks between China, Taiwan

STAFF WRITER , WITH AGENCIES

The EU has repeated its plea for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to resolve their disputes through peaceful dialogue.

The EU made the appeal on Saturday in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of a summit meeting with China in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

Although the EU reaffirmed in the statement its commitment to the "one China" policy, the 25-member bloc didn't forget to express its belief that the "Taiwan issue" should be resolved peacefully through constructive dialogue between the two sides.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫嘉寶) represented China in the ninth summit meeting with the EU, held on the eve of the semi-annual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which was hosted by Finland this year because it holds the rotating EU presidency.

The stances expressed by both sides on the Taiwan issue were the same as they have expressed in previous conferences.

Wen reiterated his country's plea for the EU to lift its ban on arms sales to China. The joint statement said China had made it clear that "the embargo should be lifted."

The EU "recognized the importance of this issue" and agreed to continue work on a European code of conduct in arms trade.

The arms embargo was a response to the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre in which Chinese troops brutally crushed pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing.

The EU and China also agreed to launch talks on a wide-ranging treaty to extend their growing economic ties.

However, Beijing warned Brussels not to link trade to the issue of human rights.

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