LATEST: Movie star Richard Gere yesterday (30MAR05) pleaded with France and Germany to ditch its plans for a new arms deal with China.

The AMERICAN GIGOLO actor urged for the ban to force the communist country to clean up its human rights record following the horrific Tiananmen Square protests in June 1989, which left hundreds dead.

Earlier this week (28MAR05), Gere asked the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) not to lift an arms embargo against China.

The Buddhist star has just visited Europe, where he campaigned against repression in Tibet.

Writing in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Gere said an arms ban "provides strong leverage" in resolving Tibet's political problems.

He writes: "The cause of Tibet is now at a critical juncture. This is a new day for the Chinese people and the Chinese government. Straightforward talk is all that is required."

Gere is a long-time supporter of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959 after the Chinese Army came to power.

31/03/2005 14:09