Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

EU warming, China cooling

I note with interest that even the New York Times understands that the Bush administration deserves credit for the European Union’s turnabout on its plans to lift its arms embargo on China. Today’s NYTimes article
notes that "European diplomats cited China’s newly adopted antisecession law and intense American opposition to easing restraints on weapons sales to explain the shift. The Chinese law adopted this month threatens military action if Taiwan pursues formal independence from the mainland."

And then this:

But sentiment shifted after President Bush visited Europe in February, where he lobbied against the lifting of the embargo while also backing a highly restrictive code of conduct on arms sales to replace it. Congress has appeared ready to increase the stakes, threatening to punish any European companies that sell arms to China and seek defense business in the United States.

Though European officials cited the antisecession law as the reason for maintaining the embargo for the immediate future, some Chinese analysts say it was the United States that played the decisive hand.

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