EU votes for diplomats to boycott China’s Winter Olympics for rights violations

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The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on diplomats to boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in response to persistent human rights violations by the Chinese government.

Amid escalating tensions between the EU and China, the non-binding resolution also called on governments to impose new sanctions, provide emergency visas to Hong Kong journalists, and further support Hong Kong people to they settle in Europe.

It was adopted with 578 votes in favor, 29 against, with 73 abstentions, and was supported by all major European political groups, including the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) group of German Chancellor Angela Merkel , and the centrists of Frenchman Emmanuel Macron.

The 28-point resolution called on EU officials and member states to decline all government and diplomatic invitations to the 2022 Winter Olympics “unless the Chinese government demonstrates a verifiable improvement in the rights situation of man in Hong Kong, in the Uyghur region of Xinjiang, in Tibet, in the interior Mongolia and elsewhere in China ”.

The resolution focused on the crackdown on Hong Kong and cited many specific cases of concern, including “notably” the shutdown of pro-democracy Apple Daily and the lawsuits against staff and owners, the introduction and l use of the National Security Act and a community dob-in hotline and changes to education, courts and elections.

“The promotion and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law must remain at the center of the long-standing relationship between the EU and China, in accordance with the EU’s commitment to defend these values ​​in its foreign action and to the interest expressed by China to adhere to them in its own development and international cooperation, ”he declared.

Beijing has so far resisted calls for it to improve its human rights record in the face of a boycott of the Olympics, instead denying any wrongdoing and accusing countries of interfering in internal affairs.

Responding to separate calls to boycott Britain’s Labor Party, China’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday it accused some people of trying to disrupt or sabotage the Olympics “for political motivation.”

“China strongly opposes the politicization of sports and interference in the internal affairs of other countries using human rights issues as a pretext,” ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said. .

The EU resolution is the latest flashpoint between the EU and China on the latter’s human rights issues, with recent tit-for-tat sanctions leading to the freezing of a trade deal before even that it is not ratified. The resolution said the deal would remain blocked until China lifts sanctions against EU parliamentarians and academics.

Chinese state-nationalist tabloid The Global Times decried the resolution as the act of “a set of the most radical and extreme ideologies in Western society, providing a stage for various political vices attempting to attract attention ”.

” At [European parliament], regardless of the facts, responsibilities and consequences, these anti-Chinese forces are simply trying to get the strongest voice and the greatest impact, ”he said, advising the organization to“ stand by. hold back “. “Beijing will not trade China’s fundamental interests for the support of certain European forces in the Winter Olympics. “

However, the editorial said the “destructive” effect of the European Parliament could not be underestimated, noting the stalled trade deal. “It proves that their efforts are not so wasted,” he said.

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