Weapons Ban Remains

The EU isn’t letting France and Germany twist its arm on selling arms to China:

Europe seemed farther away than ever from lifting its 16 year-old arms embargo on China today, following statements by German officials and a vote in the European Parliament that urged linking the embargo question to human rights improvements in China.

“We want to reach a consensus, but this requires that everyone in the European Union votes in favor,” Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, said in a parliamentary debate on the embargo question. “For this it is necessary for China also to move.”

“It is in China’s power to sign the human rights conventions relatively soon,” Mr. Fischer continued, calling on China specifically to “ease administrative detentions and above all move towards a peaceful settlement of the disputes across the Taiwan Strait.”

Alsotoday, the European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, voted 431 to 85, with 31 abstentions, on a resolution urging the European Union not to lift the arms embargo.

Ironically, Fischer’s Green Party is one of the main obstacles to lifting the ban.