Wednesday, December 08, 2004
The French and German governments have been enthusiastic supporters of the Republic of China in its campaign to remove the arms embargo established after the democratic uprising of 1989. This is a policy designed to establish clear divisions between the European Union and the United States of America by enhancing their relationship with the last great communist power.

Given the economic and political problems faced by these two powers, China has recognised their courting may mask an acceleration in their relative economic decline. The tone of the PRC's response to the latest delay was aggressive...

The announcement immediately sparked a complaint from Beijing that it was being discriminated against by the 25 nation bloc.

A joint statement issued by EU leaders and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao after summit talks in The Hague, said the EU had "confirmed its political will to continue to work towards lifting the embargo." China, said the statement, had "reaffirmed that political discrimination on this issue was not acceptable."

Despite the link of the embargo with China's 'human rights' record, the tone of the summit indicated that both sides preferred to terminate this embarrassing moral stain on the Middle Kingdom's record. The communists view the divisions within the former West with some satisfaction. They may note that history has turned away from Fukuyama's Hegelian horizons towards a darker and more authortarian mode, underpinned by culture and technology. Perhaps they savour the ironic flavour brewed by an illiberal Europe providing arms so that communist-nationalists can plan for the destruction of an emerging Taiwanese democracy.


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