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March 15, 2005 

Senate to Hold Hearing on Lifting of E.U. Arms Embargo on China

On March 16, 2005 the Senate Foreign Relations committee will hold a hearing on the lifting of the E.U. arms embargo on China. The hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. in room 419 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The witnesses scheduled to appear at the hearing include:

*Mr. Peter Brookes, Senior Fellow for National Security Affairs and Director, Asian Studies Center Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC
*Dr. Bates Gill, Freeman Chair in China Studies Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC
*Dr. Richard F. Grimmett, Specialist in National Defense, Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC

Separately, an E.U. delegation on Monday met with Bush Administration officials and several members of Congress to discuss the lifting of the E.U. arms embargo on China. While the E.U. officials indicated that the lifting of the arms embargo would be matched by tough export controls, many in Washington remain strongly opposed to the E.U.'s proposed action.

In the meantime, the E.U. is working to revise and strengthen the current E.U. Code of Conduct on Arms Exports that was adopted in 1998.
The E.U. has stated that strengthening the Code of Conduct would be a prerequisite to lifting the China arms embargo. The Code of Conduct lays down eight criteria against which E.U. Member States assess applications to export military equipment. According to the E.U., the revised Code would include several new elements: Member States' responsibilities with respect to brokering, transit/transhipment, licensed production overseas, intangible transfer of software and technology, end-user certification and national reporting will be clarified. The criteria will include additional references to anti-personnel mines, commitments under the multinational export control regimes and international humanitarian law. Work is also being carried forward on a "tool box" or set of measures providing for increased sharing of information and transparency, to be applied by Member States for a specific period with respect to arms exports to a previously embargoed destination.

Senior officials of the U.S. Department of Defense have recently indicated that if the E.U. arms embargo is lifted, the U.S. will require another layer of review on exports of defense article and services to E.U. countries in order to ensure that adequate measures are in place to prevent diversion to China.



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