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2004-02-19 19:09:16

    Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday it welcomes the passage of a resolution by the European Parliament last week demanding that the European Union (E.U.) maintain its arms embargo against mainland China.

    The European Parliament, the E.U.'s legislative arm, unanimously passed the resolution Feb. 10 asking the European Commission -- the E.U. executive body -- not to lift the ban on arms exports to mainland China without its prior approval. "We welcome the European Parliament's move, " said Wang Yu-yuan, director of MOFA's European Affairs Department.

    According to Wang, the European Parliament already passed a similar resolution last December. As some E.U. member states, including France and Germany, have been advocating lifting of the arms ban imposed in 1989, the European Parliament voted against such a proposal again last week.

    Given this development, Wang said, the E. U. is not expected to bring up the topic again in the near future. Nevertheless, Wang said, MOFA will continue to monitor developments on this issue.

    The European Union imposed the arms export ban against mainland China after Beijing conducted an armed crackdown on pro-democracy students at Tiananmen Square in 1989. While Germany and France have been pushed for the lifting of the ban with a view to facilitating their acquisition of lucrative business contracts in mainland China, Wang said the European Parliament doesn't support such a move because it is still dissatisfied with Beijing's human rights record.

(By Sofia Wu)


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