Saturday, March 27, 2004


France has failed in its campaign to convince the EU to lift its 15-year arms embargo on China that was imposed after Tiananmen Square. The BBC reports:

"France is spearheading EU moves to lift the ban, hoping that China's rapidly expanding armed forces will offer a good market for its loss-making arms firms and that a coalition can be built with China to counterbalance the United States."

France seems to have ripped a page out of the US book of foreign policy during the Cold War--to wit, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Not surprisingly, there is no indication that France has supported the US resolution on China's human rights problems at the Human Rights Convention in Geneva (the Chinese government doesn't sound too supportive either). With respect to a few of these problems, Amnesty International writes:

"Following the attacks of 11 September 2001, the Chinese government has intensified its crackdown on Uighur opponents of Chinese rule and others branded as 'ethnic separatists' in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), in the west of China including detaining several thousand people. AI [Amnesty International] is concerned that the new provisions enlarge the scope of application of the death penalty in China and may be used to further suppress freedom of expression and association."

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