Arms Sales Blockade

The United States has by no means lessened efforts to prevent China from strengthening


By PEI YUANYING

A Czech company’s authorized sales of “Vera” Radar to China were recently cancelled. The Czech Government declared candidly that this decision was made in response to the request of a “great friend.” It was reported by the Space Daily of the United States that Washington has exerted pressure over Prague regarding the deal. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell allegedly had personally written to his Czech counterpart, requiring the Czech side to “take account of the international security interest and cancel the business.”

STOP IT: June 19, local residents rally in Taipei to protest against the Taiwan authorities’ plan to increase purchases of arms

The most recent action added to an already long record of U.S interceptions of arms sales to China. It has prevented the sales of Phalcon airborne early warning systems from Israel to China. It has also hindered the EU lifting a 15-year ban on arms sales to China. Moreover, it also criticized Russia and Ukraine for their arms sales to China. It is clear that the intention of the United States is to cut off channels for China to purchase arms.

The United States has listed a pile of reasons for its opposition to arms sales to China, claiming that the Chinese Government has human rights problems and the arms sales to China will affect the stability across the Taiwan Strait, lead to proliferation of weapons and result in enhancement of China’s military strength, which will constitute threats to the United States.

Who is undermining the stability across the Taiwan Strait? The United States keeps sending wrong signals encouraging “Taiwan independence” forces and sells large amounts of advanced weapons to the island. This is the major origin of the cross-strait tension. U.S. arms sales to Taiwan violate promises it has made in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques. But it always quote the Taiwan Relations Act, domestic legislation, to defend its promise-breaking actions, arguing that defense of Taiwan is the responsibility of the United States. This begs the question, is Taiwan the territory of China or the United States? What obliges the United States to safeguard an island that is not its own territory? It is evident that the United States means to take Taiwan as a counter to contain the mainland of China.

The excuse that arms sales to China will lead to proliferation of weapons is absolutely groundless. China seldom exports arms. In 2002, for instance, China’s arms export volume was only $400 million, while the United States exported $18.6 billion worth of weapons, including some sophisticated weapons.

The excuse of “China threat” is also far beyond reality. China’s weapons are fundamentally defensive. Its military budget for 2004 is only $25 billion, while the United States possesses the most advanced weapons and its military spending for fiscal year 2004 is as high as $400 billion.

China, focusing on national modernization, is keen for a peaceful international environment, close international cooperation and common development. It is incredible for such a country to threaten another. China is a big country with long boundary lines, which requires it to have adequate weapons to safeguard national security and maintain territorial integrity. Purchasing some weapons from foreign countries to replenish its security strength is the right of any a sovereign country.

As for those countries and companies stopped by the United States to sell arms to China, they not only lost the chance to make money, but also incurred great losses. This is really unfair.

The U.S. Government tends to appoint itself as a “human rights defender,” “symbolism of freedom,” “democratic standard-bearer” and “peace guardian.” But its current policy simply goes against all of these. Some U.S. and British scholars pointed out that today’s America possessed some features of an empire and thus called it a new empire or modern empire. Although the “modern empire” somehow differs from “old empires,” there is no difference between them in seeking world hegemony. The actions of Washington have proved it.

The U.S. National Security Strategy announces that the United States won’t allow any rise of a country or group of countries to challenge its standing. This appears to signal the ambition of an empire. In the logic of an empire, it is obliged to dominate world affairs and anything that is considered unfavorable to its rule will be listed as targets to be attacked. The U.S. opposition of any other countries to sell arms to China seems to reflect this logic.