Thursday, February 11, 2010

E.U. Considers Lifting Arms Embargo on China

Recently, in the hope of appeasing China, the E.U. has been considering lifting the arms embargo it placed on the nation in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square protests. The E.U. considers that lifting the 20-year-old embargo would be of great significance to the Chinese government, especially now that China is furious that the U.S. has decided to sell Taiwan $6.4 billion worth of arms. China, however, feels that lifting the embargo is nothing more than a symbolic gesture, signaling the E.U.'s acceptance of China as an equal player on the world stage.

Lifting such a ban would not be a simple thing to do though, as a strong resistance is already developing. Many countries are worried about China's behavior towards Taiwan and are reluctant to get involved in a potential arms race; others worry about the fact that China is still providing weapons to violent nations like Zimbabwe and Sudan, who continue to commit or support violence against civilians; more are worried that dropping the embargo would raise tensions with the United States; others feel that Europe is deluding itself to believe that China will accept them as an equal partner and probably will just continue to probe the E.U. for weaknesses that it can play up. China has long noticed problems between the E.U. nations and tried to exacerbate them, and many realize that if the E.U. can move forward it has to have a united front, otherwise China can and will best them; a dangerous proposition.

The proposal was brought up by the current Spanish presidency which lasts until July 1st. It will be interesting to see if the nations can unite on one front by then.

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