Thursday, April 21, 2005

France Allies with China in the Next Cold War

I read on Instapundit that France supports China's anti-secession law targeting Taiwan and want the European Union (EU) arms embargo against China lifted.

At the outset of a three-day visit to China, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said he supported Beijing's "anti-secession" law on Taiwan, and vowed to keep pushing for an end to an EU arms embargo that could open the door for Paris to sell weapons to the Asian giant.

Of course, France is not alone in their opinion of the arms embargo. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw agree the ban should be lifted.

China's anti-secession law, Taiwan's continuing drive towards independence, and a lifting of the EU arms embargo could converge into a scenario where our European allies are enriched by supporting China in an arms race with the United States. The Bush Administration advocates a "One China" policy and discourages Taiwan's independence movement for a very simple reason; the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. The United States has some pretty serious obligations under this legislation.

It is the policy of the United States --
  • to make clear that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means;
  • to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States;
  • to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character, and
  • to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.
Sec. 3. (a) In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 2 of this Act, the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.

The implications of this law are troubling in the face of China's growing impatience with Taiwan's independece movement. However, the thought of an escalated arms race between the U.S. and Europe, through their Chinese proxies is not all that far-fetched an idea. It would take an act of Congress to repeal the Taiwan Relations Act, but to do so at a time when the going gets a little dicey seems a little cruel and more than a little cowardly. The disposition of the EU arms embargo against China is worthy of close scrutiny by Americans.

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