In a move that has really irked BushCo., Australian news is reporting that Australia has defied lobbying efforts by the US and Japan to keep a united front against the EU's proposal to lift the arms embargo to China, which was imposed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
The EU has said they will lift the embargo, but not when. And with Australia's decision to break ranks, it's going to be that much more difficult for BushCo. to oppose the move. The US is worried that not only will ending the embargo make it much easier for China to attack Taiwan, but also more difficult for the US to protect Taiwan in that event:
Some US officials believe Australia has been bribed and bullied by Beijing.Don't you hate it when someone comes along and tries to coerce and bully your coalition of coerced and bullied?
The Howard Government places a high premium on its relations with China, with which it is hoping to negotiate a free trade agreement.
The Bush administration is generally so grateful to the Howard Government over its support on Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror that it will not make a public fuss. But it is deeply disappointed at the inability of Washington and Canberra to co-ordinate their China policy. This follows remarks last year by Mr Downer in Beijing that Australia would not be bound to support the US if Washington felt compelled to take military action against China to protect Taiwan.