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Thursday, July 15, 2004

I've pointed before Europe's increasing desire to cozy up to China in regards to arms technology, all with the purpose of sticking their tongues out at America. Paris and Berlin are both now pushing to lift the arms embargo against China completely, and so steering into confrontation with the US:
The immediate dispute is over a French-German proposal, fiercely opposed by Washington, to lift the European Union ban on arms sales to China imposed after the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. But the broader and equally controversial background to the Franco-German initiative is the EU's drive to forge a strategic relationship with China, independently from Europe's links to the United States.
. . .
Washington rightly argues that lifting the embargo would send the wrong political signal by endorsing Beijing's unsatisfactory human rights record, on which it has recently been backsliding. And while EU arms exporters might still not win major contracts, they could certainly provide advanced technology that would substantially increase China's firepower - much of which is aimed at Taiwan and intended to deter the United States from intervening in any conflict over the island.
Washington is understandably horrified at the thought of its forces coming under fire, or even the threat of fire, from weapons that North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies had helped to produce. New European technology transfers would also heighten the risk of arms proliferation and threaten an uncontrolled free-for-all in which Russia abandoned current restraints on its arms sales to Beijing and U.S. defense industries demanded their share of the action.
Besides the obvious problems the EU would be creating, all this would further heat up the process of proliferation in a region already on an arms buying binge. Unfortunately this is all just too typical of the EU's irresponsible behaviour in foreign policy.
Not to be forgotten will of course be the implications for our own security:
But the Atlantic alliance will once again be severely strained if an out-of-its-depth Europe kowtows to China's demands to win favor in Beijing. Legislation is already making its way through the U.S. Congress restricting transfers of U.S. military technology to European countries selling arms to China and banning Pentagon purchases from European companies that do so.
If Britain doesn't block these EU moves, we will have lost all access to US military technology and research, and in all likelihood causing a major blow to our defence industry.

Good spot... Have a look at the Bruges Group site

http://brugesgroup.org.uk for my paper on Galileo.

Makes the same points.

See also: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com

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