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Britain's Straw in Beijing to Discuss Possible End to EU Arms Ban


British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is meeting with Chinese leaders in Beijing Friday for talks expected to focus on Britain's push for the European Union to lift its arms embargo on China.

Mr. Straw has said he believes the embargo, imposed after China's 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, will be lifted in the next six months.

The United States is strongly opposed to the move, but Mr. Straw told the Financial Times this week that Washington and the European Union would have to "manage those differences" in the coming months.

Mr. Straw says Britain supports lifting the ban because a new EU code of conduct will ensure Beijing does not use European weapons for internal repression or for external aggression.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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