Europe's Embargo: Keep the Ban on Arms for China


Mar 22, 2004

This commentary originally appeared in International Herald Tribune on March 22, 2004.

When the European Council meets at the end of March, European leaders may decide to lift the European Union's 15-year-old embargo on weapons transfers to China, which U.S. and European policy makers imposed in 1989 after the Chinese military's violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing.

Lifting the embargo now, however, would send mixed signals to China on human rights and on the Taiwan issue, assist China's rapidly accelerating military modernization program, undermine stability across the Taiwan Strait, and further exacerbate tensions in trans-Atlantic relations...

Roger Cliff and Evan S. Medeiros are political scientists at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization.

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