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Viewing cable 04THEHAGUE1846, NETHERLANDS/EU CHINA ARMS EMBARGO: BRIEFING FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
04THEHAGUE1846 2004-07-22 14:02 2011-01-25 19:07 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001846 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/21/2014 
TAGS: PREL PARM MARR PHUM CH NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/EU CHINA ARMS EMBARGO:  BRIEFING FOR 
DUTCH OFFICIALS 
 
REF: A. THE HAGUE 1796 (NOTAL) 
...

19006

2004-07-22

04THEHAGUE1846

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL

04THEHAGUE1796

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 001846 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/21/2014 
TAGS: PREL PARM MARR PHUM CH NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/EU CHINA ARMS EMBARGO: BRIEFING FOR 
DUTCH OFFICIALS 

REF: A. THE HAGUE 1796 (NOTAL) 

B. THE HAGUE 1779 (NOTAL) 
C. THE HAGUE 1660 

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL COUNSELOR ANDREW SCHOFER FOR REA 
SONS 1.5 (B AND D) 

1. (C) Summary: Post coordinated a July 21 briefing for 
Dutch officials on U.S. concerns regarding a possible lift of 
the EU China arms embargo. MFA hosted the briefing which was 
also attended by GONL officials from MOD, Ministry of 
Economic Affairs and the PM's office. DRL Senior Advisor 
Susan O'Sullivan and EAP Analyst John Culver outlined in 
detail the nature of USG concerns related to Chinese human 
rights practices and its recent military buildup. Dutch 
interlocutors appreciated the broad scope of the briefing, 
describing the Chinese military buildup as disturbing. 
They also acknowledged that U.S. and Japanese invocation of 
their strategic interests was relevant to EU deliberations. 
The Dutch side also repeated previous arguments in favor of 
replacing the embargo with an enhanced EU Code of Conduct 
on arms transfers and asserted that China's current human 
rights practices could be viewed in a glass half empty/half 
full context. End Summary. 

2. (C) MFA Security Policy Bureau Director Maurits Jochems 
hosted the July 21 briefing for Dutch officials by DRL Senior 
Advisor Susan O'Sullivan and EAP Analyst John Culver. 
Present were MFA Amb. for Human Rights Piet de Klerk, 
representatives from MFA's Security Policy, Political Affairs 
and Asian Affairs offices as well as from Dutch military 
intelligence, Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Prime 
Minister's office. O'Sullivan and Culver provided 
comprehensive overviews of U.S. human rights and regional 
stability concerns regarding China followed by a question and 
answer session. 

3. (C) Jochems opened the question period by describing the 
report on China's military buildup as disturbing. He noted 
that the Japanese had also raised concerns about lifting the 
embargo with the GONL. He observed that China's rapid 
economic development provided a basis for rapid military 
modernization irrespective of EU action, and asked whether 
maintaining the embargo was relevant given Chinese progress 
in spite of it. Jochems said the GONL was looking at options 
to enhance the EU's Code of Conduct on arms transfers, e.g., 
a Code of Conduct Plus or Double Plus which would also 
capture dual use items. Finally, he suggested that the large 
presence of western, including Dutch, technology and 
manufacturing companies in China was already a major factor 
in China's buildup. 

4. (C) Jaap Werner, Director of MFA's Political Affairs 
Bureau (PolDir Siblesz's office), acknowledged that it was 
relevant to EU decision-making if the U.S. and the Japanese 
invoked their strategic interest in this matter. On the 
other hand, Werner suggested, China's military buildup might 
be understood in the context of its territorial problem or 
perhaps as a world power asserting itself. He asked 
pointedly why the U.S. preferred the embargo to a stronger, 
more effective Code of Conduct. Werner also argued that it 
was important to take into account positive trends in 
China's human rights and security practices, and suggested 
that an increased EU-China relationship could provide 
enhanced opportunities for engaging on issues of concern. 


5. (C) Margarita Bot, MFA Deputy Director for Asian Affairs, 
claimed China's human rights practices could be viewed in 
terms of a glass half empty or half full. She also 
suggested that U.S. arms sales to Taiwan might be a factor in 
China's rapid military buildup. The three Dutch military 
intelligence officers present disputed none of the 
conclusions and expressed interest in hearing more about 
China's military buildup. 

6. (C) While acknowledging some progress by China on human 
rights during the last fifteen years, the U.S. side stressed 
the consistent lack of tolerance by the PRC of anyone 
speaking out in criticism of the regime, noting the 
significant numbers of detainees. We also observed that the 
Chinese would treat an embargo lift as a significant 
propaganda victory. Noting Taiwan's decreased defense budget 
the U.S. side flatly rejected the suggestion that China's 
buildup was tied to increased U.S. arms sales. 

7. (C) Comment: The senior officials present (especially 
Jochems, Werner, and Bot) generally stuck to previously 
expressed comments (ref B) in their interventions, and did 
not challenge the validity of the information presented by 
the briefers. As noted in previous reporting, the strong 
Dutch desire for a successful EU-China Summit on their watch 
as EU President (refs A-C) has offset to a large degree 
traditional Dutch concerns regarding human rights and 
regional stability. This timely briefing served as a useful 
reminder that these concerns remain valid, and that the U.S. 
will not allow them to be swept under the rug for the sake of 
EU unity. Post very much appreciates the efforts of Susan 
O'Sullivan and John Culver in presenting such a detailed and 
thorough briefing on very short notice. End Comment. 
RUSSEL