Tuesday, October 14, 2003
France and Germany appear to have convinced the Communist leadership in China that closer ties with the European Union would be beneficial. Following on from the recent agreement on Galileo, both sides appear to favour closer ties on economic and political grounds. They also wish to develop a closer military bond with the communists and make a profit.

France and Germany have been pushing hardest for closer ties with China, hoping to cash in on a lucrative market but also to develop a strategic alliance as a counterweight to American power after the diplomatic trauma of the Iraq war.

Last June, the French defence minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, proposed sharing sensitive military technology with Beijing. She called for a softening of the arms embargo imposed on the country after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Another reason to leave the European Union as it develops dreams of grandeur incommensurate with its present capabilities or forthcoming decline. However, the French or the Germans will have to overcome opposition from the 'ethical' smaller countries.


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