Status of Arms embargo by the West against China
The US and EU stopped exporting arms to China from 1989 reacting to the way the government of China dealt with protesting that took place during that time. China's People Liberation Army suppressed protests at the Tiananmen square and almost 2000 civilians died. Many people were put behind bars for many years and other people fled into exile to escape the ruthlessness of the government.

The arms embargo by the western powers were not supposed to be an economic punishment but to send a message to China's government. Important message to China was that She must uphold human rights and this are the European and American values. If arms acquired by China are for suppressing lawful protests by her citizens, then it's better not to allow the government to have them.

There is no existing legal binding

The arms embargo still stands upto now against China but technically European Union members are not forbidden to sell military items to China. Infact, at different forums countries who are European Union members have tried to convince the members to lift the embargo. Countries like France have put forward some arguments to support the lifting of the arms embargo on China. She argues that China is a major trading power with the rest of the world and despite the embargo, China has modernized her military.

There is no existing legal binding agreement among the western powers on the arms embargo against China and some EU nations have over the years pushed for it's scraping.

The Amnesty International claims that at

Human rights watchdogs monitoring countries across the globe on the issue of handling human rights have argued many times against scrapping of the Arms embargo against China. Amnesty International, a leading human rights monitoring body has on many occasions highlighted lack of significant improvements regarding human rights in China.

The Amnesty International claims that at least 500,000 are under punitive detention in China without being subjected to fair trial or completely without charge. Claims of harassment against human rights defenders, house arrests and censorship of media are some accusation levelled against China.



Other human rights abuse China has been accused of include blocking of the Internet and repressing of minority groups such as the Tibetians and Mongolians. Religion freedom has also been suppressed in China where some religious members have been imprisoned unlawfully and censored. This has resulted in China being indexed together with Myannmar, Sudan and Zimbabwe as countries with the highest human rights concerns. Due to these facts, The Western powers have been convinced that it's not yet time to lift arms embargo on China.

The Chinese defense ministry once issued a statement terming the arms embargo as a Cold War weapon meted against her and called for it to be lifted. US lifted the same Arms embargo against Vietnam and the argument by China is that the US should replicate the same to her. Vietnam as a neighbor to China is a trading partner and gets large quantities of imports from Vietnam for the longest period they started bilateral trade.

There have been fears that brexit could lead to the lifting of the embargo because London and the US are the most aggressive to see to it that it stays. The European Union members minus the UK, Nations like Sweden, France and Italy considering their arguments against the embargo seem capable to remove it. If brexit happens they can make unanimous resolve and declare to remove the arms embargo against China but the US would be the Only remaining hurdle to cross.

The decision to remove the Arms embargo has to be unanimous, and despite some western countries supporting its removal the Chinese government must prove her case. No country on the planet that operates on its own and every citizen, no matter from which continent deserves abhourable treatment. For China to have the European Union and the US to jointly issue a declaration removing the Arms embargo, She must release all political prisoners unconditionally; stop suppress of dissenting voices; allow freedom of media and internet and allow a mature democracy to thrive.

The status of the Arms embargo still stands after more than 30 years after it was implemented and western powers seem not to relent on upholding it until China takes drastic steps to improve her human right track record.

Share this Post:

Related Embargoes News: