Hollywood star Richard Gere has urged the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) to rethink its plan to lift an arms embargo against China.

The EU refused to sell weapons to the Asian nation following the horrific Tiananmen Square protests in June 1989, which left hundreds dead - but it is now considering re-opening trade with China.

Gere condemned the embargo lift as he promotes his film Shall We Dance? in Japan, only a day after French President JACQUES CHIRAC met Japanese Prime Minister JUNICHIRO KOIZUMI in Tokyo yesterday (27MAR05), who vehemently disagrees with the EU plans.

During a press conference in the Japanese capital earlier today (28MAR05), Gere said, "I so agree with your prime minister that the European Union should not remove the ban against selling arms to China. I agree with him totally."

Referring to a new Chinese law which allows the use of force against Taiwan, Gere added, "They should not be rewarded for this anti-secession legislation that's in now."

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

28/03/2005 17:13