Taipei Times righteously angry
because France is trying to pressure the rest of the EU into lifting the arms embargo on China. Read their editorial (via RealClearPolitics) French perfidy must be challenged
As France tries to pressure the rest of the EU into lifting the arms embargo on China, some readers might remember that Christine Deviers-Joncour — the erstwhile mistress of former French foreign minister Roland Dumas whose tell-all books played a serious role in clarifying details of the scandal surrounding the kickbacks involved in Taiwan’s purchase of Lafayette frigates in the early 1990s — once wrote a book about herself called The Whore of the Republic.
The former lingerie model’s right to this title is now under severe challenge from France’s Defense Minster Michele Alliot-Marie, who last week said — and you should probably reach for your sick bags now — “France has the strictest, most stringent rules applying to the sale of weapons of the European Union and probably in the world.” As the American writer Fran Lebowitz once said: “To the French, lying is simply talking.”
In Taiwan we know about French arms sales — principally how they are manipulated so that everyone in on the deal can pocket huge wads of cash at the taxpayers’ expense. According to Dumas himself, the sum involved in the Lafayette case was US$500 million with People First Party Chairman James Soong’s then office, the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) secretariat general, acting as bagman. What could Alliot-Marie’s “strict rules” be? Perhaps she means a strict scale of bribes.
The Taipei Times editors are acutely aware that France needs revenues, so they propose,
But Taiwan should go further and impose a massive tariff, say 100 percent, on all goods made by French companies; the proceeds, such as they might be, should go to the defense budget. That this violates WTO protocols bothers us as much as the UN bothers US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. That the French might retaliate makes us laugh. Let them double the price they pay for information technology if they want; much of it simply cannot be sourced elsewhere. Taiwan, however, will survive more expensive Louis Vuitton bags.
As far as the USA goes, EU fails to sway Bush administration on lifting China arms ban (emphasis mine),
Mrs Giannella’s diplomatic mission to Washington came at a very unfortunate moment.
On Monday (14 March) the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China adopted a controversial law authorising an invasion of Taiwan if the island seeks independence.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she hoped the new Chinese law would dissuade Europe from resuming arms sales to China.
“I hope it will remind the Europeans that there are still tensions in the region”, she said, speaking to reporters on her plane beginning a six-nation Asian tour.
“It is not a time to end the embargo”, she said, according to the New York Times.
Helen at EU Referendum explores the issues raised by the possibility of lifting the arms embargo on China, and realizes that “At the moment it looks like the actual decision to lift the embargo will be taken during the British presidency”, and points out that
In fact, both the French and the British governments insist, the new regime with its tougher code of conduct, that will, nevertheless, continue to be voluntary and unenforceable, will provide a better control of what goes to China.
Added to which, according to Mme Alliot-Marie, increased sales of arms to China (although, of course, they will not increase) will mean that the country will not feel the need to produce its weapons. Mme Alliot-Marie was clearly brought up to believe six impossible things before breakfast.
. . .
The code of conduct, if it is to work, would need complete openness about the sales of arms and France, for one, has no intention of giving out detailed and sensitive information or sharing it with 24 other EU member states. Apart from anything else, that would inevitbaly mean that the Americans would find out what was being sold exactly.
I agree with Kudlow, who says, ” I will wait to see if China moves constructively to help the US in North Korea, and my Anglospheric bias still points to India as America’s real political and economic friend in that part of the world.” The Economist Survery of India and China, dated Mar 3rd 2005 had this article, Rivals and partners
India hopes to be, in a phrase often heard, “China 15 years ago”: on the point of becoming an export powerhouse. Hong Liang, an economist with Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong, says that, even in China, this idea is attracting attention. Policymakers have noticed, she says, that the emergence of China as a lower-cost competitor was a proximate cause of South-East Asia’s financial crisis in 1997. Looking around for the source of such a threat to China, India is the obvious candidate.
As this survey has argued, India is not going to play that sort of role without radical change. Many think it will never happen, and argue that this does not matter: India is doing very well, growing faster and lifting more people out of poverty than ever, against a political and social backdrop immeasurably more complex than China’s. The comparison is pointless; the two countries are just too different.
That may be true. But India needs to raise its growth rate not as part of some artificial race with China, but for its own sake. Because of its population profile, not to do so would bring a big rise in unemployment, with all the misery that implies. The obstacles are certainly daunting, and include some political reform. Elections in February in Bihar, India’s most backward state, and the one where crime and politics have become least easily distinguished, served as a reminder of how difficult that will be in India’s federal system. The growth of parties relying on particular lower-caste groups for their votes has led to unwieldy and often ugly coalition politics. But in a democracy, that is not a reason for making it harder for such parties to share power.
points to a possible partnership between India and China, as their societies face new challenges. Be that as it may, many of us are aware, as is Luis of Hispalibertas, that
los esfuerzos de la UE para levantar el embargo de armas contra Pekín no pueden ser calificados más que de absolutamente irracionales, imprevisores e ignorantes de las circunstancias reales que se viven hoy en la zona.
China no es sólo un gigante económico, es sobre todo un estado comunista y liberticida con ansias expansionistas.
(my translation:) The EU efforts to left the weapons embargo against Peking can’t be called anything other than absolutely irrational, careless, and ignorant of the real circumstances now prevalent in the area.
China is not only an economic giant, it is above all a communist state, against liberty, and with expansionist aims.
As for France’s record in its disclosure of sensitive international information, it stands on its own.