On Thursday, 5th June 2020, Legislators, representing parties across the political spectrum, have established a global coalition, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance for China, to pressure their governments to take a tougher position on its relations with the world. The European Union Parliament and the new formed group of lawmakers from eight countries stated, “International cooperation is needed to protect democratic values from an increasingly assertive communist China”
In Britain, the committee will be co-chaired by Labour peer Helena Kennedy and former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan-Smith. The other members of the group are Japan, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australia and the European Union, as well as the USA. Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez, the US senators, are co- chairs.
The co- chairs further added, “China under the rule of the Chinese Communist party represents a global challenge. When countries have stood up for the values and human rights, they have done so alone, sometimes, at great cost. No country should have to shoulder this burden on their own. No nation should be able to freely jeopardize global values and human rights”
The alliance comes at a time of rising tension between Beijing and other major global powers, from the status of Hong Kong and the origins of Covid-19 to the technology firm Huawei and China's mass incarceration of Muslim minorities in its far- western Xinjiang region. Last month Beijing blamed Washington of driving the two countries into a fresh Cold War. This week, United Kingdom has continuously cautioned, by Beijing, of "consequences" of Boris Johnson's promise of a route of citizenship for millions of Hong Kong people in reaction to Beijing's stringent new protection legislation on the region.
China's increasingly authoritarian leadership under Xi Jinping has undermined the belief that led to decades of democratic engagement: that as the country became richer, it would open up politically. The group stated, “The assumptions that once underpinned our engagement with Beijing no longer correspond to the reality. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China has been created to promote a coordinated response between democratic states to challenges posed by the present conduct and future ambitions of the People’s Republic of China. By developing a common set of principles and frameworks that transcend domestic party divisions and international borders, our democracies will be able to keep the rules-based and human rights systems true to their founding purposes.”
A statement by Chen Wen, Minister at the Chinese embassy in London further read, “It’s a misinterpretation of China’s foreign policy and a misreading of the current world situation. China is a force for positive change.”
Canada saw two of its citizens — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — detained without trial as a result of the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co., a Chinese executive. Norway had trading ties with China disrupted for six years — and salmon prices plummeted — after the Nobel Peace Prize was given to a Chinese dissident.
Australia's attempts to keep China responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, which first broke out in the mainland city of Wuhan, contributed to higher restrictions on Australian barley and bans on certain foods.