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Cablegate: Supporting the Eu Arms Embargo On China

VZCZCXRO5952
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHC #3969 0481658
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171655Z FEB 10
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2923

C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 013969

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2020
TAGS: PREL PARM CH EUN
SUBJECT: SUPPORTING THE EU ARMS EMBARGO ON CHINA

REF: USEU 133

Classified By: EUR A/S PHILIP H. GORDON. REASON: 1.4 (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: This is an action request for all Embassies
in EU countries to reiterate our position that the EU should
retain its arms embargo on China. Spanish officials,
including the Spanish Foreign Minister, signaled a possible
review of the arms embargo under Spain's Presidency of the
EU. Although USEU reports that there is no active discussion
of this in Brussels (reftel), we believe it is important to
reiterate that the U.S. remains firmly opposed to any lifting
of the embargo. END SUMMARY.

----------
BACKGROUND
----------

2. (U) Spanish Ambassador to China Carlos Blasco told Chinese
journalists on January 21 that "we hope to intensify talks on
lifting the (arms) embargo." Subsequently, when asked about
these comments at a January 26 press conference, Spanish
Foreign Minister Moratinos stated that his government would
be "reviewing the decision" on and "weighing the pros and
cons" of lifting the arms embargo.

3. (C) The EU imposed the arms embargo on China, alongside a
similar U.S. arms embargo, following the violent suppression
of protestors at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The last major
push to lift the EU arms embargo came in late 2004/early
2005. France and Germany were strong proponents of lifting
the embargo at the time. In the end, a combination of our
public and private opposition, NGO pressure, and the passage
of a Chinese anti-secession law authorizing the use of force
against Taiwan persuaded EU governments to maintain the
embargo.

4. (C/REL EU MEMBER STATES) ACTION REQUEST: Posts are asked
to approach host government at the appropriate level to
reaffirm U.S. opposition to the lifting of the arms embargo,
and solicit host government views on the issues, using the
below talking points:

-- We are concerned by recent comments suggesting that the EU
may consider lifting its arms embargo on China.

-- The United States position on an arms embargo has not
changed since the Tiananmen crackdown of June 1989 or since
the last time the EU considered lifting the ban in 2004: We
continue to believe that lifting the embargo is not
warranted, on either human rights or security grounds.

-- In terms of human rights, the Chinese Government's actions
over the last few months have ignored international concern
over specific human rights cases, including the harsh
sentencing of Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison and the
execution of British citizen Akmal Shaikh. Public comments
at this time from senior European officials suggesting that
the EU may seek to lift the arms embargo undercut these
international concerns regarding Beijing's human rights
practices.

-- We refer you to the Department of Defense's annual PLA
Military Power Report, which highlights the increased
capabilities of Chinese military forces. Lifting the arms
embargo would have serious implications for the security and
stability of the Pacific region.

-- (If the EU's Code of Conduct is brought up) We believe
that the Code of Conduct and 'toolbox' of export controls
cannot replace the embargo.

-- We should continue to discuss the requirements of security
and stability in East Asia in the context of the U.S.-EU
strategic dialogue on Asia.

5. (U) Please slug all responses for EUR/ERA, EAP/CM, PM/RSAT
and ISN/RA. Department thanks Posts for their assistance.
CLINTON

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