It is looking like by early next year the EU will have lifted arms sanctions with China, imposed after Tiananmen. France seems to be the major proponent of lifting the ban. A code is being considered:
The EU is drawing up a tighter code of conduct, which Europeans believe will be enough to govern arms sales after the ban is lifted.
Negotiations over the code of conduct are a current source of tension between EU capitals, and its completion is seen as a prerequisite for the ending of the arms embargo. Current rules allow some military sales: In 2002, the EU exported $280 million in arms to China, with France making up half the total. The new code could be agreed next month, diplomats said.
Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, said: “Within the EU there is a willingness toward lifting the arms embargo.”
However, this would only come after “certain adjustments to the EU code of conduct on arms exports,” said Balkenende, the acting EU president.
Code of conduct my ass. Is it not clear to everyone that the Chinese authorities will do what they like? I mean how likely is that the situation will get better after the ban is lifted? Or is it more likely the situation will get worse?