FAPA Says No to EU's Lift of the Arms
Embargo to China!
The European Union (EU) is contemplating
to lift its arms sale embargo to China after the annual EU/China
summit meeting this coming December. The EU imposed its ban on
selling arms to China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. The
15-year-old embargo of arms sales to China is a clear gesture of
Europe’s ongoing dissatisfaction with the pace of political reform
in China and the Chinese government's continuing violation of human
Lifting the embargo would require
unanimous agreement of the EU member states. Currently the
pro-lifting camp counts France, Italy, Spain and Germany among its
members. Most of the Nordic countries, however, and some of the East
European countries are opposed. The UK and the EU’s current
president -the Netherlands- are neutral on the issue but seem to
lean towards keeping the ban.
The Formosan Association for Public
Affairs (FAPA) is a Taiwanese American grassroots organization that
promotes freedom, human rights and democracy for the people of
Taiwan. FAPA vehemently objects to the EU plans to lift the arms
embargo to China for various reasons.
First, such lift
will alter the current fragile military balance across the Taiwan
Strait and will rapidly tip the balance in China’s favor. Graham
Watson, British member of the European Parliament, argued in the
International Herald Tribune in August 2004, “For Taiwan, the
lifting of the EU-China arms ban could only send one signal. Taiwan
lives with the daily intimidation of its democratic institutions by
the People’s Republic of China. The prospect of EU-made submarines
and missiles being the tools of this intimidation should be out of
The 2004 U.S.
Defense Department’s report on the military power of China already
cautioned that the PRC’s ambitious military modernization casts a
cloud over Beijing’s declared preference for resolving its
differences with Taiwan through peaceful means. Richard Lawless, the
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, testified in a House
International Relations Committee hearing last April that, “As the
PRC accelerates its force modernization program, Taiwan remains
isolated in the international community, especially in the area of
security cooperation.” It goes without saying that Taiwan's security
will be seriously damaged should China be able to acquire advanced
weapons from Europe.
such lift will aggravate the already strained relationship between
the U.S. and the EU and impact the immediate U.S. security
interests in the region. The Far Eastern Economic Review wrote last
August that, "American officials are convinced that a lifting of the
embargo could result in a Chinese People's Liberation Army equipped
with advanced military systems from Europe. If U.S. forces and Asian
allies are called on to intervene militarily in a crisis in the
Taiwan Strait, their safety would obviously be imperiled to a
greater extent." And, one day these arms may even be used
against US armed forces if conflict in Taiwan Strait erupts.
since the original Tiananmen Square protesters are still in jail and
China continues to imprison its citizens for their democratic
aspirations, lifting the ban (which after all originates from the
1989 massacre) would be tantamount to saying to those in prison that
Europe does not hesitate to arm the oppressor.
Conclusion: The EU must
not lift the arms sale embargo to China.
H.RES 57 (109th
On February 2, 2005, U.S. House of
Representatives passes H.RES.57, urging the European Union to
maintain its ban on arms sale to China.
FAPA Press Release
Text of the
HCR 512 (108th Congress)
30, 2004, 25 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote to the
Prime Minister of the Netherlands, current chair of the European
Union, urging him to do whatever he can to make sure the EU does not
lift its arms embargo on China.
FAPA's Press Release
House of Representatives' Letter to the EU
On October 7,
2004, Rep. Steve Chabot and Sherrod Brown have introduced House
Concurrent Resolution 512 (HCR 512), arguing against such lift. We
urge you to contact your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the
resolution. Since the EU will meet with Chinese leaders in early
December, time is essence here. Call your Members of Congress to
co-sponsor the resolution! Making phone calls to the offices of your
Members of Congress is much more effective than mailing, faxing or
e-mailing the petition letters. Please click below to find out how
to talk to your Members of Congress to support HCR 512.
contact your Members of Congress
Text of the resolution
FAPA's Press Release (10/08/2004)