Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, attending an EU-China summit in Brussels, has demanded the European Union lift a longstanding arms embargo against Beijing.
Against a backdrop of mounting trade disputes, Wen met for a one-day summit with senior EU leaders including European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.
The BBC noted that this is Wen's last EU-China summit before he steps down under a Chinese leadership transition to take place later this year.
Wen said Thursday that he "deeply" regretted the arms embargo, which European countries imposed on China in 1989 in response to the bloody crackdown on protesters at Tiananmen Square, Agence France-Presse reported.
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In addition to the arms embargo issue, the Chinese premier called for the EU to recognize China's "full market status" by lifting tariffs on Chinese goods.
“I deeply regret this and hope the EU side will take greater initiative to solve these issues,” Wen said, according to AFP.
Following political talks Thursday, Wen told a business conference that China will continue to help resolve the euro zone debt crisis, after months of investing in European government bonds.
Bloomberg reported that Wen said China will continue to "play its part" in tackling the crisis.
"As a responsible long-term investor, China has pursued greater diversification in its investment and Europe has been one of the major markets for China's foreign-exchange reserves investment," Wen said, according to Bloomberg.
"China will continue to play its part in helping resolve the European debt issue through appropriate channels," he said.
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