Foreign Ministers Group of Seven (G7) countries rebuked China on issues concerning Hong Kong, human rights violations in Xinjiang and military assertiveness in the South China Sea. They raised serious concerns about the regional stability amid China’s unilateral actions.
G7 Leaders reiterated their serious concerns over human rights issues in China including alleged forced labour camps and a crackdown in Hong Kong against anti-government protestors and the persecution of the Uyghur minority in the province of Xinjiang. G7 ministers on Wednesday, in a joint statement said,
“We continue to be deeply concerned about human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and in Tibet, especially the targeting of Uyghurs, members of other ethnic and religious minority groups and the existence of a large-scale network of “political re-education” camps and reports of forced labour systems and forced sterilisation.”
Disputes over the South China Sea have compelled several foreign entities to outpour their opinions and inculpate China. Leaders raised concerns about the situation in and around East and South China Sea. The G7 ministers said-
“We remain seriously concerned about the situation in and around the East and South China Seas. We underscore the importance of peace and stability across Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross- Strait issues.”
The said ministers reiterated their strong opposition to any “unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order and express serious concern about reports of militarisation, coercion and intimidation in the region.” The statement incorporated certain other dialogues too. They said,
“We call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to end the targeting of those who defend rights and freedoms and democratic values, to uphold the independence of the judicial system and to ensure cases are not transferred to the mainland.”
The leaders of G7 urged China to uphold its commitments to act responsibly in cyberspace, including refraining from conducting or supporting cyber-enabled intellectual property theft. The ministers also supported Taiwan’s meaningful participation in World Health Organisation forums and the World Health Assembly in a bid to strengthen global cooperation.
Soured relations between EU & China
In a recent development, the EU pledged to block the EU-China investment deal while dozens of Brussels lawmakers denounced China’s attempts to “gag” European critics via sanctions. The EU’s take on China has hardened over a period. According to South China Morning Post, at a debate in the European Parliament more than 30 members took the floor to condemn the sanctions imposed by Beijing last month. They denounced the sanctions and targeted a host of elected officials, ambassadors, academics and think tanks.
The EU reiterated their serious concerns regarding human rights issues in China including alleged forced labour camps and a crackdown in Hong Kong against anti-government protestors and the persecution of the Uyghur minority in the province of Xinjiang. Denouncing the retaliatory sanctions, the MEPs slammed Chinese attempts to “interfere in the democratic life of our nations and our European Union”.
Soured relations between China & Australia
Australia scrapped the controversial Belt and Road (BRI) agreement with China claiming the deal was contrary to the national interest. Australia’s PM Scott Morrison eliminated the agreement signed between the State government of Victoria and the National Development and Reform Commission of China signed in 2018. This termination might mean an end to further Sino-Australian cooperation in the fields of industrial production, biotechnology and agriculture.
Soured relations between China & its neighbouring countries
Disputes over the South China Sea, have compelled several foreign entities to outpour their opinions and inculpate China. In a recent development, international public opinion raised concern over the domineering Coast Guard Law of China stating that Beijing uses the law to legalise violence caused by its coast guard forces in order to serve the country’s unilateral sovereignty claim in the East Sea alias South China Sea.
China has been more assertive in sovereignty disputes of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The said islands are subject to a territorial dispute and are in whole or partly claimed by numerous countries, namely, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. China claims virtually all of the South China Sea while the Philippines claim the Spratly Islands as being within its exclusive economic zone alias West Philippines. A United Nations tribunal dismissed China’s claim to virtually claiming all sovereignty of the South China Sea. Earlier, Beijing had rejected this ruling.
Lately, it appears China’s Xi Jinping has witnessed a cold shoulder while countries across the globe either cleared their stance or strengthened their relations with one of the world’s largest trading resource.