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China not eager to buy weapons by appealing to lift EU arms embargo,says premier(06/12/04)


       Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Beijing on Dec.6 that China's appeal to lift the European Union's arms embargo does not mean it is eager to buy weapons from EU countries.

    China means more to oppose discrimination by making the appeal because mutual respect and trust, equality and reciprocity constitute the basis of Sino-EU relations, said Wen, when answering questions by journalists after his talks with visiting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    Wen expressed his appreciation for the positive efforts made by the German government and the governments of many EU countries to lift the embargo.

    Wen said he holds that the embargo, a product of the Cold War, is outdated and does not match the established Sino-EU overall strategic partnership.

    He said he believes that leaders of EU countries will have the courage to settle this issue with their own wisdom.

    Schroeder, who arrived here Monday afternoon on a three-day working visit as Wen's guest, said his view on lifting the embargo will not change although there are debates over the issue inside Germany.

    He said he believes that lifting the embargo does not necessarily mean China wants to buy weapons from EU countries, and it does not necessarily mean Germany wants to sell weapons to China either.

    The European Union has had an arms embargo against China for 15 years.



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