Sun, Mar 20, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Lifting of EU arms ban on China poses a threat: experts

CNA , TAIPEI

A lifting of the EU ban on weapons sales to China would fuel Beijing's hegemonic ambitions, posing a serious threat to security in East Asia and the Pacific, academics said yesterday at a seminar in Taipei.

In the seminar sponsored by the Taiwan New Century Foundation to express the nation's opposition to a likely removal of the EU's ban, foundation chairman Chen Lung-chih (陳隆志) said that the issue is of great significance to the safety and livelihood of the people in Taiwan and to peace and security in the Asia-Pacific.

The international community must make Beijing realize that its "Anti-Secession" Law targeting Taiwan not only constitutes a violation of the UN Charter, but also poses a threat to world peace, Chen said.

Chen suggested that the government launch a publicity campaign against the law in Europe and increase the country's international visibility to relay the strong desire of the Taiwanese people for peace and democracy, and to help the EU face up to the "serious consequences" that lifting the arms embargo would have in the Taiwan Strait and the rest of the world.

Wu Chih-chung (吳志中), a professor at Soochow University in Taipei, said that it is just a matter of time before the EU lifts the ban and that Taiwan won't necessarily be a loser if it does so. He noted that the lifting of the ban might bring about an opportunity for Taiwan to step up its strategic partnership with the US and Japan.

According to Wu, a lifting of the arms ban may inflame disagreements between what he calls "two polarized geopolitical and strategic blocs" that are increasingly taking shape in East Asia -- the US, Japan and Taiwan as one bloc and China, Russia, France and Germany as the other.

Chang Yang-pei (張洋培), a senior researcher at the Taiwan Research Institute, said that it is very possible that the EU will make a decision on removing or maintaining the ban this year.

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