In a recent interview with Die Zeit, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder explained his view that the arms embargo against China must be lifted. Spiegel International has posted a portion of the interview, in which Schroeder says:
Democracy can’t exactly be imposed on them from the outside. It was right to start a dialogue on the rule of law with China. And the embargo in 1989 was not imposed because we held the view that China would pursue an aggressive foreign policy supported by the military. The embargo was imposed because of the scenes at the Gate of Heavenly Peace (Tiananmen Square). Almost 16 years have passed since. I’m betting on further development toward more liberalism.
Schroeder also stated his belief that he alone, and not German Parliament, can make a final decision on the matter. Spiegel also summarizes German newspaper editorials’ response to Schroeder’s position.