This thesis aims to discuss US objection to EU’s lifting of arms embargo against China, and to analyze this arms embargo issue’s impact on US-EU relations.
1989, massacre in Tiananmen Square erupted, the US immediately imposed legislative sanctions on arms exports to China, and the European Union(the European Community at hat time) followed on. However, the EU’s arms embargo on China was merely a “political declaration”, which was not legally binding to EU’s member states, and each country still obeyed its own rules and procedures dealing with the sanction against China.
2003, France and Germany initiated the proposal for the lifting of arms embargo against China. The US objected firmly due to the unimproved human rights record in China; besides, China might gain access to advanced weapons and technology from Europe, which will change Cross-Strait’s balance of power, and further endanger US security benefit in East Asia.
2005, as the EU were about to lift the arms embargo, China passed “Anti-Secession Law”, indicating its will to execute non-peaceful measures if Taiwan acts in any forms of independence, which led to the suspension of the lifting of arms embargo.
China’s burgeoning economy, high speed of military modernization, and desire for advanced military technology has place the US on alert. The US and the EU share the idea of democracy and human rights and are militarily aligned, and are heavily interdependent on economy as well; however, they perceive different views about China’s rise and have long disputed on arms embargo; therefore, the US’s motives for objecting the lifting of arms embargo, and the issue’s impact on US-EU relations, will be articulated in this thesis.