Chinese Premier Criticizes Long-standing EU Arms Embargo

Posted September 20th, 2012 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged that Beijing will maintain its efforts to help resolve the eurozone debt crisis, but criticized a long-standing EU ban on arms sales to China.

Mr. Wen spoke in Brussels Thursday at a European Union summit with China.

Mr. Wen initially spoke favorably of strengthening ties between China and the EU but later, as he broached the topic of the arms embargo, a video feed to reporters was cut off. EU officials attributed the lapse to confusion about when the public part of his speech was finished and the private talks began.

The EU arms embargo was put in place after Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

This could be Mr. Wen's last time at the summit, as the Chinese Communist Party is expected to change out Beijing's leadership in the next few months.

Mr. Wen later told a meeting of business leaders that Europe is on the right track in handling its debt crisis and said the next important step is to implement planned reforms. He said China, one of Europe's biggest trade partners, will try to do its part to resolve the crisis.

China has been buying European bonds, an important aspect of Europe's recovery plan.