Keep the Ban on Arms for China

15 years ago, in the wake of the Tiananmen Square violence, the US and nations that now make up the EU agreed to an arms embargo towards China. Until their human rights record improved, China should not be supplied with weapons technology, argued the European and American states. Now, EU nations are facing a call from China to eliminate the "outdated" embargo in order to cement their new "strategic partnership". Roger Cliff and Evan S. Medeiros, two political scientists from the US-based RAND Corporation, argue that the embargo ought to stay in place. "China's human rights situation", they claim, "still has a long way to go". Moreover, there are other risks to regional security that justify keeping the ban. China's military technology has evolved by leaps and bounds during the 1990s, but would be even further bolstered by access to advanced European technology. The situation with Taiwan – made tenser by the reelection this weekend of President Chen – would only be exacerbated if China's military were to be improved. The stability of the region is too tenuous at this moment to be further rocked, argue the authors. Europe leaders, when the European Council meets at the end of March, should not alter the status of the embargo. – YaleGlobal

Keep the Ban on Arms for China

Roger Cliff
Monday, March 22, 2004

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

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