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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - China Arms Embargo

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS PARIS 002316

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; BRUSSELS/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - CHINA ARMS EMBARGO
PARIS - THURSDAY, APRIL 07, 2005


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

CHINA ARMS EMBARGO

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

SEVERAL FRONT PAGES DEVOTE THEIR LEAD TO THE DEATH OF MONACO'S
PRINCE RAINIER, ALONGSIDE WIDESPREAD COVERAGE OF MOURNERS
FLOCKING TO ROME TO VIEW THE POPE LYING IN STATE.. MOST
OUTLETS CARRY PICTURES OF PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND THE
U.S. DELEGATION AT THE VATICAN.

A MAJOR STORY FRONT-PAGED IN THE ECONOMIC PRESS - LES ECHOS,
LA TRIBUNE - BUT ALSO IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO, IS THE
CONTROVERSY BETWEEN EUROPE AND CHINA OVER TEXTILE IMPORTS.
EDITORIALS AND COMMENTARIES NOTE THAT THE PROTOCOL FOR CHINA'S
MEMBERSHIP TO THE WTO CONTAINS SAFEGUARDS AGAINST "A DISARRAY
OF THE MARKET" IN THE TEXTILE SECTOR, WITH CHINA HAVING TO
CONTAIN ITS YEARLY EXPORTS TO 7.5 PERCENT. JEAN-MARC VITTORI
WRITES IN LES ECHOS: "WASHINGTON IS THINKING ABOUT INVOKING
THIS SAFEGUARD; BRUSSELS COULD DO THE SAME, AND BEIJING IS
CONCERNED THAT THEY WILL. THE ONLY EFFECTIVE RESPONSE WOULD BE
A RESPONSE COMING FROM EUROPE. BUT EVERYONE KNEW THIS WAS
COMING, POLITICIANS AS WELL AS BUSINESS LEADERS. AFTER ALL,
THE DECISION TO LIFT THE TEXTILE BARRIERS WAS MADE ELEVEN
YEARS AGO."

CHINA AND THE ARMS EMBARGO ELICIT AN EDITORIAL COMMENTARY IN
CATHOLIC LA CROIX, WHERE JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PLOQUIN CONTENDS THAT
THIS MAY BECOME THE NEXT BONE OF CONTENTION BETWEEN EUROPE AND
THE U.S., BUT MAY ALSO DIVIDE EUROPE, LIKE THE WAR IN IRAQ.
(SEE PART C)

LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION DEVOTES AN EDITORIAL TO THE
BOLKENSTEIN DIRECTIVE AND TO THE EU CONSTITUTION REFERENDUM.
FOR JEAN-MICHEL THENARD, "EUROPE IS DYING FOR LACK OF DEBATE.
THE FRENCH ARE GETTING BACK (AT THEIR GOVERNMENT) BECAUSE OF
TOO MANY DEBATES THAT NEVER TOOK PLACE, SUCH AS THE ONE ON THE
EU ENLARGEMENT. HAVING BEEN DEPRIVED OF THAT DEBATE, FRENCH
CITIZENS ARE TAKING THEIR REVENGE BY INCLUDING IN THIS ONE
ISSUES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CONSTITUTION, SUCH AS
COMMERCIAL DUMPING FROM EASTERN EUROPE AND RELIGIOUS AND
CULTURAL DUMPING FROM TURKEY."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

CHINA ARMS EMBARGO

"CUMBERSOME CHINA"
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE PLOQUIN IN CATHOLIC LA CROIX (04/07): "LIFTING
THE CHINA ARMS EMBARGO WAS TO BE THE SYMBOL OF AN AUTONOMOUS
EUROPE VIS-A-VIS THE U.S. ON THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA. THE
ISSUE IS TURNING INTO A MAJOR CACOPHONY AND THE RISK IS
GROWING OF SEEING THE EU DIVIDED, AS WAS THE CASE DURING THE
SADDEST DAYS OF THE WAR IN IRAQ. EUROPE'S LIFTING OF THE CHINA
ARMS EMBARGO COULD BECOME THE NEW TRANSATLANTIC BONE OF
CONTENTION. THE U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE COULD NOT HAVE
BEEN MORE EXPLICIT WHEN HE WARNED ABOUT POSSIBLE SANCTIONS
AGAINST EUROPEAN COMPANIES IN THE U.S. DEFENSE MARKET. FOR
EUROPE'S MOST PRAGMATIC BUSINESSMEN IT IS NOT CERTAIN THAT A
POLITICAL RAPPROCHEMENT WITH CHINA IS WORTH THE RISK. FRANCE'S
DIPLOMACY IS PARTICULARLY ANNOYED ABOUT THIS EMERGING NEW
IMBROGLIO. AFTER HAVING BEEN ABLE TO CONVINCE PRESIDENT BUSH,
BACK IN FEBRUARY, THAT LIFTING THE EMBARGO WAS INNOCUOUS,
PRESIDENT CHIRAC IS NOW FACING A NEW AND GROWING COALITION OF
OPPONENTS, MADE UP OF GREAT BRITAIN, SWEDEN, BELGIUM AND
ITALY. FOR EUROPE, THE CHOICE LIES BETWEEN IRRITATING
WASHINGTON AND VEXING BEIJING. AND ETHICS DO NOT PLEAD IN
FAVOR OF CHINA." LEACH

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