Taiwan: Protestors urge EU not to drop Ban on arms Sales to China
The activists, who favor Taiwan's full independence from China, said lifting the embargo imposed after the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing's Tiananmen Square would provide China with more weapons to threaten the island.
"The arms embargo is a precious demonstration of the importance that EU countries attach to the universal values of human rights and peace," protest organizer Peter Wang said in a statement.
"Lifting the ban would show that the EU is no longer so concerned about such principles," he said.
"In addition to supporting and arming the infamous military and repressive regimes in North Korea, Burma and Cambodia, China is also threatening us here in Taiwan," Wang said.
China views Taiwan as part of its territory despite their split in 1949 and has repeatedly threatened to invade should the island declare formal independence.
Taiwan's defense ministry says China has 600 ballistic missiles aimed at the island and the number will surpass 800 before the end of 2006.
"How can you justify providing China with weapons which will target our people?" Wang asked.
"Selling weapons to China is like rewarding its repression and belligerence," he said.
At a protest outside the French Institute in Taiwan, France's de facto embassy here, a protestor wearing a mask of French President Jacques Chirac handed a mock missile made of paper to an activist posing as a soldier from China's People's Liberation Army.
The activists also demonstrated outside the representative offices of Germany, Italy and England.
Taiwan's foreign ministry has already urged EU not to drop the arms sanctions, warning that supplying China with advanced weaponry would help it prepare for a war in the Taiwan Strait and create a major security threat to the rest of the world.
The United States, a key Taiwan ally, also wants the embargo to remain.
China on Thursday renewed its call for the ban to be lifted,
saying it was "a product of the Cold War".
Source: EU Business