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Lööf regrets using China as example

Published söndag 22 april 2012 kl 10.34
Listen to reactions in Swedish to Lööf's statement
(2:29 min)
Annie Lööf earlier this year. File photo: Adam Ihse/Scanpix

Enterprise Minister Annie Lööf on Saturday discussed trade relations with China and opened the door for possible weapons exports there, despite an EU trade embargo. After several critical voices were raised, her press secretary on Sunday SMS'd the news agency TT saying that using China as an example was "regrettable." Lööf has also clarified that she is well aware of the embargo.

The minister's statements are "very worrying," says Anna Ek, chairperson of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.

The embargo has been in place since 1989, reports Swedish Radio.

Lööf is quoted as saying that "Sweden should export to countries where cooperation and memoranda of understanding exist."

She further asked what consequences not exporting goods would entail.

"Two things are very peculiar," says political scientist Ulf Bjereld. "She insinuates that China is in a grey zone, but the foreign department is very clear in its description of the country as a dictatorship."

"The second point is that she insinuates that we could sell weapons to China despite the EU embargo," he tells the newspaper Aftonbladet.

In the SMS to TT the minister communicated that "I won't be proposing that Sweden exports weapons to China, and I don't consider China to be a democracy."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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