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

 


Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>



UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Save The Children: One Year Under Taliban Rule, Girls Are More Isolated, Hungry, Sad: New Report
One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an economic crisis, crippling drought and new restrictions have shattered girls’ lives, excluding them from society and leaving them hungry...
More>>

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>