Beijing: China urged the European Union on Thursday to lift its arms embargo on the Asian nation to boost relations, after the bloc’s Spanish presidency said it was reconsidering the ban.
“We demand the lifting of the arms embargo with the aim of removing… political prejudice against China, and upholding China’s equal rights,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters.
“We hope the EU can make the political decision as soon as possible, and immediately, unconditionally and completely remove the arms embargo against China, so as to remove all obstacles in the way of China-EU relations.”
Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Tuesday that his country, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, was “weighing the pros and cons” of the embargo.
Europe’s ban on arms sales to China was introduced after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
“We believe that in essence the arms embargo is political prejudice against China, going against the world trend and the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership,” Ma said.
France has been one of the main supporters of lifting the embargo and “Spain is following that line,” Moratinos said Tuesday.
In 2008, the European parliament voted to retain the arms embargo as long as Beijing helped armed forces and groups involved in African conflicts.