EU is split over the arms embargo on China

Lifting the European Union's arms embargo on China can be delayed under pressure from a group of countries, led by the UK With the United States hostile to the idea of a resumption of EU armaments exports to the Chinese, several EU countries want to put a brake on the move in response to Beijing's law which would permit the use of force to stop any Taiwanese independence efforts, reports the Independent. According to a senior European diplomat, cited by Reuters: "It is clear that China has not fulfilled certain conditions for lifting the embargo, notably by not raising tensions in the region". China insists that the EU must keep to its timetable. Condemning the embargo as unfair, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said: "It is unreasonable to link China pushing the EU to lift the arms embargo and China passing the anti-secession law." According to the Guardian, the Chinese position has backing from France, "ever-anxious to provide a counterweight to the US". EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Wednesday that keeping the European Union's arms ban on China is "not justified" as the situation has changed from 15 years ago, informs Xinhua. The arms embargo was imposed in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre. The UK is also happy to see the ban lifted, writes the Independent, "but it is sensitive to the damage that such a move could inflict on transatlantic relations".

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