Paul Staines points out a splendid example of the French state doing its bit to support the world’s largest tyranny
Not content with just lobbying other EU countries to lift the arms embargo on China imposed in the wake of the Tiannamen Square massacre in 1989 (who says the French are always against free trade?), they are training with the Chinese navy. The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, said they would be China’s biggest ever joint military exercises with a foreign power. (Note to Beijing, it took Churchill a single day to sink almost the entire French navy, but maybe you have not got many seafaring friends to learn from.)
Taiwan obviously is anxious about the situation – which they describe as a threatening show of force. The French not content with cruising the seas with Taiwan’s mortal enemy recently condemned President Chen Shui-bian’s plan to hold a referendum on missile defense as part of this coming Saturday’s election, prompting Taipei to suspend top-level ties with Paris.
I suppose with reduced opportunities for arms sales to Iraq the prospect of equipping the Chinese military appeals.