Monday, November 07, 2005

Chinese Woo Europe

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.


Budding Sinologist said...

Two questions cry out from all this:

Has anyone (in Europe) thought about the ramifications that this would have relative to another pro-democracy protest? The original purpose of these sanctions was to show China that killing protesters is not an acceptable action. Shouldn't the decision on whether or not to lift the sanctions be related to whether or not they have learned the lesson, not what Europe REALLY, REALLY wants to sell them?

Is the pictured spider poisonous? It would be more symbolic that way.

Carr said...

Yeah, Europe sales of weaponry would piss me for sure, and I'm European. I would never accept death penalty to be carried with an italian gun (well, I would never accept death penalty in general).

It's unbareable knowing how France and Germany, and other countries are bought so easily by Chinese market. All we can hope in, is Scandinavia. said...

I keep up with several of the biggest Swedish daily papers on-line. Any problem in the USA related to justice or human rights goes straight onto the front page, and is discussed at length on the opinion pages.

It annoys me that even big stories related to human rights problems in China --even though available on the big new services-- are often not mentioned at all.

They are fixated on US-related problems to the exclusion of all else, including China related issues. Criticizing China just wouldn’t give them as warm and fuzzy a feeling as bashing away the USA does.

I think you can see the same dynamic at the UN. They’ve got a blind spot as big as…well, China.

Scott in Taipei