China calls for end to "prejudiced" EU arms embargo

19:55, January 28, 2010      

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China Thursday said the European Union's arms embargo represented political prejudice and called for its early lifting.

"The EU's arms embargo, in nature, is political prejudice against China, which runs counter to world tides and China-EU all-round strategic partnership," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular press briefing.

Ma's comments came after 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.

France had been one of the main supporters of lifting the embargo and "Spain is following that line," Moratinos said Tuesday.

The EU imposed arms embargo on China in 1989. In 2005, European discussions on lifting the embargo were shelved due to pressures from some EU members and other countries.

"China's request to scrap the embargo is aimed at removing political prejudices against the country and ensuring its equal rights," Ma said.

"We hope the EU will make an early political decision, lift the arms embargo unconditionally and thoroughly so as to remove the obstacle to the sound growth of the China-EU relationship," Ma said.

Source: Xinhua
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