China says if the European Union doesn’t start selling it weapons again it’ll be like political discrimination: Watch out bilateral relations.A ban was imposed after the Chinese army crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui says it is now ‘out of date; lifting it should not be tied to China’s human rights record’. And: “China has no intention of importing weapons from European countries,” sounded like a gesture to allay fears Beijing would menace Taiwan, over which it claims sovereignty. The current Dutch EU presidency said last month that the 25-nation bloc was ready to give a positive signal at Wednesday’s EU-China summit in The Hague. Germany and France support a review of the ban, while Britain has said lifting it could look like the EU puts trade before human rights. Beijing dismissed a media report that China would not buy Airbus planes if the ban was not lifted. Many EU nations want to be sure a new code of conduct is an effective block on the sale of equipment that could be used in domestic repression or that might fan regional conflicts.
What to put first, trade or human rights -- EU arms ban dilemma with China