China on Thursday asked the European Union to scrap the embargo imposed on it against inking any arms deal with EU member countries, saying the 21-year-old sanction was based on “prejudice”.
“The EU’s arms embargo, in nature, is political prejudice against China, which runs counter to world tides and China-EU all-round strategic partnership,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters here.
The comments came after Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said on Tuesday that his country, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, was weighing the pros and cons of the embargo, Xinhua reported.
France had been one of the main supporters of lifting the embargo and “Spain is following that line,” Mr. Moratinos said on Tuesday.
“China’s request to scrap the embargo is aimed at removing political prejudices against the country and ensuring its equal rights,” Mr. Ma said.
“We hope the EU will make an early political decision, lift the arms embargo unconditionally and thoroughly so as to remove the obstacle to the sound growth of the China-EU relationship,” Mr. Ma said.
The EU imposed arms embargo on China following the military crackdown against the anti-government protesters at Tiananmen Square in 1989. In 2005, European Union’s discussions on lifting the embargo were shelved due to pressures from some EU members and other countries.