London hostile to lifting China embargo

Published on 12 January 2011 at 12:47

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“Britain and EU clash on arms sales to China,” headlines The Times, on the third day of Chinese vice premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the UK. Although Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign affairs chief, has recommended reform of Europe’s embargo on selling arms to China, the UK remains firmly opposed, arguing that “Beijing’s poor progress on human rights and political freedoms meant the time was not right to reverse the blockade imposed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.” Lady Ashton, backed by France and Spain, has warned that “political restrictions on arms exports have become a major impediment to further co-operation between European countries and China, especially in the field of security.” However, on his visit to 10 Downing Steet, Li Keqiang, tipped as a possible leader of China “steered clear of calling for an end to the weapons ban,” the London daily notes.

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