Failure of Cooperation in Arms Embargo Against China Diversion of Interest and Decision Calculus of the European Union and the United States

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Zishen Ye


Almost three decades after an arms embargo was placed on China by the European Union (EU) and the United States (US), the arms trade between China and some member states of the EU has been thriving for two decades. The intention of this arms embargo is for the US and EU to work together to prohibit China from acquiring advanced weaponry. However, with arms exports peaking at over 400 million euros from the EU to China in 2003,1 some European nations’ blatant violation of the arms embargo against China is a textbook example of the failure of international cooperation. This paper will examine the reason behind this inefficient, if not a failed, cooperation between the European Union and the United States in the arms embargo against China. It will also illustrate the actions and interests of both actors.

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