British MEP Daniel Hannan (conservative) is not surprised that the European Union now plans to lift its arms embargo on China:
What the devil is Brussels doing fuelling the revanchism of a Communist tyranny? Taiwan has made real and strenuous efforts to embrace parliamentary democracy, yet has been shunned for its efforts. Red China, by contrast, has not only failed to apologise for Tiananmen, but continues to incarcerate many of the protestors it arrested at that time. How can the EU possibly consider backing a belligerent dictatorship against a small neighbouring state which upholds human rights, personal freedom and the rule of law?
The answer, I’m afraid, is that the EU places no more of a premium on democracy in its foreign policy than it does in its internal affairs. Just as it is quick to swat aside referendums which go the “wrong” way, so it has a measure of sympathy with systems of government which resemble its own: that is to say, technocracies, in which ruling Commissioners are insulated from public opinion. The politburos of Brussels and Beijing have a certain entente, a shared view of the world, a way of doing business. They can work with each other, mandarin to mandarin.
Read the entire column here