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EU Holds Firm On China Arms Embargo

January 18, 2007 -- The European Union today insisted that its arms embargo against China will remain until the nation's human rights record improves.

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner made the remarks at a press conference in Beijing on the last day of a three-day visit to China.

"We would also like to see the release of the prisoners from the Tiananmen Square and also the abolishment of the reeducation through labor," she said. "Those are very important steps and, of course, we would hope to see some progress on these matters. That could help."

Ferrero-Waldner said the EU also wants to see China ratify the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

China has repeatedly called on the EU to lift its arms embargo, which was imposed after Beijing's brutal crackdown during the Tiananmen democracy protests in 1989.

Ferrero-Waldner also urged China, India, and other developing nations to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, saying the issue was "crucial for the whole world."


Copyright (c) 2007. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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