Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Europe Wants to Start Arming China Again

From an article yesterday by Frank J Gaffney in the Washington Times.

France and the EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, are pushing hard for lifting an embargo on arms sales to Communist China imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre. All other things being equal, the French and Germans expect, with help from a double-dealing British government, to dispense by next spring with opposition to such a step from the Netherlands, New European states like Lithuania and the European Parliament.

Gaffney cites Mark Helprin's WSJ piece posted a few weeks ago.

The implications of European weapons manufacturers joining Russia in arming China to the teeth are quite worrisome. Thoughtful observers, like acclaimed author Mark Helprin, warn of China's rising application of its immense accumulated wealth to strategic advantage. The latter include: neutralizing U.S. dominance in space and information technology (Chinese acquisition of IBM's personal computer division is not an accident); moving aggressively to dominate the world's critical minerals and other resources (especially those relevant to its burgeoning energy needs); establishing forward operations in choke-points and other sensitive areas around the globe (including, in our own hemisphere, in Cuba, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, Brazil and Venezuela); and acquiring financial leverage by purchasing vast quantities of U.S. debt instruments.

Chirac as always is certainly one of the villians of this story, but Javier Solana's name has also been popping up as an eminence gris in a number of reports of nefarious schemes. I plan to post a profile of this little-know individual soon.

Update - China is rattling swords over Taiwan

From yesterday's Financial Times

China said yesterday its armed forces had a "sacred responsibility" to crush moves towards independence by Taiwan, whatever the cost, and described relations with the island as "grim".

The warning followed Beijing's announcement this month that it would submit an "anti-secession" bill to the National People's Congress next March.

Joseph Wu, chairman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, described the bill as "a serious provocation and an absolutely unnecessary escalation of tension".

"China has gone too far. This is an urgent call to the international community to stop China before it's too late," he said.

The defense whitepaper that contained the threat also had recommendations of how the PLA needs to become a leaner fighting force that is better equiped technologically. This fits right in with their cozy relationship with France and Europe.
papijoe 7:11 AM