As a first sign Europe might be turning away from its weapon embargo against Taiwan by deploying three Eurocopter EC225 helicopters, sending a message to Washington, writes defense analyst Wendell Minnick in Defense News.
The three SAR helicopters will go into service in July during a ceremony presided over by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. The procurement is the first European defense sale to Taiwan in two decades and sources in the MND complain that procuring the EC225 sends the wrong message to Washington, which has continued to provide arms to Taiwan despite threats by Beijing.
Europe has declined to sell weaponized platforms to Taiwan due to pressure from China. The EC225 SAR falls outside that restriction and Europe has shunned defense deals to Taiwan for fear of angering China, a far more potent market for European aerospace and non-offensive defense systems.
Savaged by economic problems, the European Union appears ready to lift the arms embargo placed on China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.