On July 8, lawmakers in the European Parliament approved a new resolution on Hong Kong, calling on European officials to “reject the invitation” to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing due to China violates human rights.
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Lawmakers in the European Parliament called for a boycott of the 2022 Olympics (Image: Getty Images)
“It is clear that many EU member states and also the European Commission have voiced their opposition to China’s repressive measures in Hong Kong, but quite reluctantly.” Mr. Reinhard Butikofer, Chairman of the Chinese delegation of the European Parliament in Germany spoke on July 8. “However, the consensus on these issues in the European Parliament is very strong. We will fight to ensure that member governments in Europe also take a firm stance.”
China is facing growing criticism across the European Union, although many of the bloc’s member states are still hesitant about a direct confrontation with the communist government. As can be seen, a series of controversies over human rights, especially the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal crackdown on the Muslim Uighur group in Xinjiang and the persecution in Hong Kong, has alienated the West from the Beijing regime, even as China’s diplomats repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and vowed to “respond” to such criticism.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stated on July 8: “China firmly opposes using human rights to politicize sports and interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Attempts to disrupt, obstruct and sabotage the preparation and organization of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games for political motives are extremely irresponsible, and will only harm the interests of the athletes. members in all countries, as well as the international Olympic career.”
General Secretary of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping opposed the European Parliament’s resolution by turning to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He confirmed he would join the Belt and Road Initiative last month, despite US diplomatic warnings that “It was China who determined” [Hy Lạp] is the locomotive“in the game for economic influence in Europe. The two leaders agreed that “Their bilateral relations are at a high level, which can promote the multifaceted cooperation between Greece and China”, the Greek side emphasized in a summary of the call.
“Xi invited Mr. Mitsotakis to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled to be held in Beijing and the Greek Prime Minister accepted the invitation.” according to the summary.
Greek Ambassador to NATO Spiros Lambridis said that Athens does not consider Chinese investment in Greece to affect “strategic relationship with another partner”, while arguing that the agreements reached to date can coexist with the country’s obligations as a member of NATO and the EU.
Currently, China’s desire to lobby for access to European countries such as Greece is facing many difficulties, especially in post-Soviet countries that see the United States as their irreplaceable bulwark against Russia. For example, Lithuania flipped at the last minute in participating in the so-called “17+1 Dialogue” with Southern and Eastern European countries in May, after playing a trick on Mr. lower-level to a 17+1 online summit in February – when the communist leader is scheduled to meet with heads of state privately.
Last week, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis insisted that the 17+1 grouping was divisive and was not in the interest of Europe.
Lithuanian officials are pushing to get rid of that form altogether and replace it with a “27+1 group,” which brings every member of the EU into a single dialogue with China. The effort is also meant to constrain the special foreign policy of France and Germany, the EU’s western heavyweights.
French and German officials are now believed to have concluded investment deals with China during the transition from former President Donald Trump’s administration to the presidency of Joe Biden. However, the European Parliament froze that deal after China punished European officials for accusing Beijing of human rights abuses.
Minh Ngoc (According to Washington Examiner)