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Euro-Bush Brings Up China, European Integration.
In a previous WILLisms.com post (here), we gave the President high marks on his Europe trip thus far, but an incomplete on the subject of China, as nothing public had been uttered about that emerging superpower.
Now, the silence on the issue has been broken.
First, a smidgeon of background info:
The European Union has apparently decided, unfortunately, to remove its embargo on arms sales to China. The embargo dates back to the aftermath of June 1989's Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The President pressed the issue mostly in private, but responded candidly yesterday at NATO headquarters in Brussels. NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer expressed support for the "common values that bind us, in the past, in the present, and in the future."
Here is the entire exhange on China:
"Q Mr. President, European countries are talking about lifting their 15-year arms embargo on China. What would be the consequences of that? And could it be done in a way that would satisfy your concerns?
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, meanwhile, said, of lifting the ban:
"It will happen."
What's next, a Chinapean Union?
National Review, meanwhile, gives the President low marks on the issue of European integration:
"The project of a federal EU has long been driven, at least in part, by a profound, and remarkably virulent anti-Americanism, with deep roots in Vichy-era disdain for the sinister 'Anglo-Saxons' and their supposedly greedy and degenerate culture. Throw in the poisonous legacy of soixante-huitard radicalism, then add Europe's traditional suspicion of the free market, and it's easy to see how relations between Brussels and Washington were always going to be troubled. What's more, the creation of a large and powerful fortress Europe offered its politicians something else, the chance to return to the fun and games of great power politics....
Blogger Chrenkoff notes, however, that inclusion of Eastern Europe into Europe may prevent some of the ill effects of a Franco-German dominated E.U. (he also notes in the same post that Russia has as many spies in the U.S.A. now than it did under the Soviet Union, so it's worth reading):
"Keeping the European Union in check: The Eurocrats must be starting to regret the admission of the new members to the EU. The uncouth newcomers are rather less well disposed towards statism and trendy leftyism than their Western betters and are already shaking the comfortable Brussels status quo. This from the Czechs:
One can only hope. It is also possible, however, that Eastern European nations may be swept away by "the mania," the anti-American mania that dominates much of France's political culture. As Europe integrates further, it is not out of the question that those nations formerly behind the Iron Curtain, nations currently filled with grateful Americaphiles, appreciative of the efforts and ideology of the United States during and after the Cold War, will move toward a feeling of rivalry (and even possibly antagonism) against the U.S.
Hopefully, Chrenkoff is correct, and the Eastern European nations, with their freer markets and more pro-American attitudes, will rub off on the rest of Europe. Unfortunately, the U.K. seems to be missing a prime opportunity to lead a sort of pro-U.S. alliance within the E.U., which could keep France and Germany in line.
Posted by Will Franklin · 23 February 2005 06:32 AM
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