How are authoritarian regimes able to suppress citizens? Should we blame the west? But the west promotes human rights. Who manufactures and control arms sales? Western powers. Who sells arms to authoritarian regimes? Western Powers. Is the west on a double standard? In recent uprisings in Africa and Middle East, the West has continued the export of arms to authoritarian regimes, particularly in Bahrain.
In the article from Oxford Analytica Daily brief service, it is stated that the uprising in Africa and the Middle East have brought into question the ethics of arms sales by Western powers to countries with power human rights records. In Bahrain, for example, the police used weapons manufactured in the US to suppress democratic protestors. This questions the principles of Western powers, especially US in particular. The US should have remained committed to promoting human rights by not taking sides in this case selling arms to Bahrain.
Are western powers following principles they have always talked about? According to an article about Arms sales entitled “The New Diplomacy,” US sale of Airborne Warning and Control systems planes to Saudi Arabia is one in a number of controversies. The entire world is aware that Saudi Arabia is a non democratic state and has poor records on human rights. Why should the US risk such technology to a country like Saudi Arabia? In the near future, if People in Saudi Arabia start rising up and demanding for their human rights, there will be a similar situation like that in Libya. In Libya, Gaddafi’s authoritarian regime has been using such weapons bought from the West and the Soviet to suppress Libyans.
There are severe consequences that result from Arms sales, like wars. In wars, civilians are killed, displaced from their homes, and war destroy property. With all these consequences, why should Western powers continue the sale of Arms to regimes that have poor human rights records?
A text report from the News Square a program broadcast by Chinese central radio Taiwan service, a foreign ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao was quoted, “I think we should ask the US side whether it really has sincerity in honoring its international commitments So we argue the US side to fully understand the sensitivity and the harm of US arms sales to Taiwan, strictly abide by the three Sino-US joint communiqu©s, particularly the 17…….only in this way, will Sino-US relations continue to develop healthily.” From this statement, it is clear that in order for US-China relations to stay healthy, there is need to control the sale of arms to regimes that US-China has interest in. Say that US continues selling arms to Taiwan. It will be possible for China to sell nuclear weapons to North Korea. Also, China is a trade partner to US; it will not be a good idea to lose a partner like China.
Arms Sales by western powers is based on double standard that has caused and will result into severe consequences like killing of civilians in authoritarian countries, damage on international relations especially US-China relations. Therefore, US should remain committed to the principles of promoting human rights without taking sides.