China has launched a new diplomatic offensive aimed at getting the EU arms embargo lifted.

Just a few days before Hu’s arrival in Britain, which currently holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency, China revived one of the thorniest issues in their relations — the bloc’s arms embargo against Beijing.

“All the leaders of the EU that I have come in contact with believe that (the embargo) is a legacy of the Cold War, is poorly founded and is useless and only
harmful,” Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told journalists Friday.

“This should have been thrown into the trash heap of history a long time ago,” Li said, highlighting the fact that the embargo was having a negative impact on trade and should be lifted.

The ban — implemented following the brutal crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen
democracy protests — as well as the row over Chinese textile exports are sure
to figure high on the agenda for Hu’s talks with EU leaders.

Analysts say the EU is not yet ready to budge on the arms embargo. France and
Germany have urged the lifting of the ban, but Britain and other EU nations
disagree, citing US security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region.

The hypocrisy of France and Germany is mindblowing; living out here in the Land That Europe Sold Down the River has immunized me from ever believing European cant that it is morally superior to the US. You can’t oppose the US invasion of Iraq and then turn around and attempt to sell weapons to China. Fortunately this moral disconnect appears confined to the rarified air of those in high places.