The European Parliament has overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on diplomatic officials to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in response to continued human rights abuses by the Chinese government.
As tensions escalate between the EU and China, the non-binding resolution also called on governments to impose more sanctions, provide emergency visas to Hong Kong journalists and further support Hong Kongers to move to Europe.
It was approved with 578 votes in favor, 29 against and 73 abstentions, and was supported by all the main European political groups, including the center-right group of the European People’s Party (EPP) of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the centrists. by the French Emmanuel Macron.
The 28 points resolution called on EU officials and member states to reject all government and diplomatic invitations to the 2022 Winter Olympics “unless the Chinese government demonstrates a verifiable improvement in the human rights situation in Hong Kong, the Uyghur region of Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and other parts of China ”.
The resolution focused on the Hong Kong crackdown and cited numerous specific cases of concern, including “notably” the closure of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily and the prosecution of staff and owners, the introduction and use of the law. national security and a community dob-in hotline and changes in education, courts and elections.
“The promotion and respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law must remain at the center of the long-standing relationship between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its action. abroad and the interest expressed by China in adhering to them in its own development and international cooperation, ”he said.
Beijing has so far resisted calls to improve its human rights record in the face of a movement to boycott the Olympics, rather than denying any wrongdoing and accusing countries of interfering in internal affairs.
In response to separate boycott calls from the UK Labor Party, China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it accused some people of trying to disrupt or sabotage the Olympics “for political reasons.”
“China firmly opposes the politicization of sports and interference in the internal affairs of other countries using human rights issues as a pretext,” said ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
The EU resolution is the latest point of conflict between the EU and China over the latter’s human rights issues, with recent tit-for-tat sanctions that caused a trade deal to be frozen before it was ratified. The resolution said the deal would remain blocked until China lifts sanctions on EU parliamentarians and academics.
China’s nationalist state tabloid Global Times condemned the resolution as the act of “a collection of the most radical and extreme ideologies in Western society, providing a stage for various political vices trying to attract attention.”
“In the [European parliament]Regardless of the facts, the responsibility and the consequences, those anti-China forces are simply trying to achieve the loudest voice and the greatest impact, “he said, advising the body to” hold back. ” “Beijing will not trade China’s core interests for the support of some European forces for the Winter Olympics.”
However, the editorial said that the “destructive” effect of the EU parliament could not be underestimated, noting the blocked trade deal. “This shows that their efforts are not so futile,” he said.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism