Search

 

Cablegate: Eu Official in Beijing Downplays Spanish Comments

VZCZCXRO1283
RR RUEHAG RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHBJ #0245 0291055
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 291055Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7841
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L BEIJING 000245

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/29/2020
TAGS: PREL MASS PGOV ECON CH EU
SUBJECT: EU OFFICIAL IN BEIJING DOWNPLAYS SPANISH COMMENTS
ON LIFTING CHINA ARMS EMBARGO

REF: BEIJING 137

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson. Reasons 1.
4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) EU Mission Political Counselor Alexander McLachlan
told PolOff January 29 that some EU member states were
annoyed with Spanish Ambassador to China Blasco Villa's
recent statements to Chinese media that suggested that the EU
would consider lifting its arms embargo against China. The
Spanish Ambassador had spoken carefully enough to avoid
speaking explicitly on behalf of the EU, McLachlan said, but
he had still given the Chinese the unfortunate impression
that there were exploitable differences among EU member
states on this issue. "This is the Spanish talking and
seeking advantage at other EU states' expense," he said.
"The Chinese recognize that and do not believe the Spanish,
but now they are using the issue as a lever against us."

2. (C) McLachlan pointed out that PRC Premier Wen Jiabao had
stated explicitly at the December 2009 PRC-EU Summit that
China expected the EU to lift the arms embargo before the
next summit, tentatively scheduled for October 2010 to
coincide with the Asia-Europe Meeting. PRC media had
commented recently (at least three separate articles in
newspapers January 29) on the EU arms embargo and called for
it to be lifted.

3. (C) "There isn't even a mechanism for discussing lifting
the arms embargo," McLachlan said, noting that public opinion
in the EU would not support such an action at this time and
that, in any case, before lifting the embargo the EU would
need to consult very carefully with the United States to
ensure that such a move would not jeopardize Europe's access
to U.S. arms and technology.

4. (C) McLachlan allowed that there was some support among
"pragmatic" China experts in the EU for lifting the embargo.
These voices argued that the European Union's code of conduct
for arms exports, a legally binding document, was more
stringent than the China arms embargo, which McLachlan
claimed was a non-binding "political declaration." The
embargo singled out China, had no legal effect and was an
outsized irritant in Sino-EU relations, McLachlan argued.
For these reasons, new EU High Representative for Foreign
Affairs Catherine Ashton was considering whether there might
be a way to "get off the back foot" on this issue with China
while still keeping a de-facto embargo in place.

5. (C) McLachlan's prediction was that there would be no
movement on lifting the embargo beyond provocative statements
by Spain during its presidency, because despite the benefits
to Sino-EU relations of lifting the embargo, the consequences
from the United States and from Europeans angry at China's
human rights record would be too much to ignore.
HUNTSMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>

World Vision: India’s Second Wave Shows The Global Fight Against COVID-19 Is Far From Won

As India’s COVID-19 daily infection rates reach devastating levels, international aid agency World Vision has warned that the world is nowhere near defeating this virus and some nations are yet to face their worst days. Andrew Morley, World Vision ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>