EU wants progress on rights

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am

The European Union said yesterday it wanted progress from China including the signing of a human-rights treaty as it makes a final decision on whether to lift an embargo on selling weapons to Beijing.

Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn of Luxembourg, which holds the EU presidency, said the 25-member bloc also wanted to draft a code of conduct for all nations once subject to arms embargoes.

'The possible lifting of the arms embargo would be followed by a more effective and enhanced code of conduct concerning arms exports,' he said at a meeting in Kyoto between the EU and 13 Asian nations including China.

'The European Union has also stressed that it expected progress in its relations with China in all domains ... and I would like to insist on all domains.'

He said that included China joining the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which Beijing has not ratified.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing pressed for an end to the ban imposed after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.