In an open letter, more than 100 renowned China experts, researchers and human-rights activists across the globe have called for a suspension of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI).
Prior to publication, the open letter to the EU institutions was provided to DER SPIEGEL, the German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. The open letter stated, “Despite evidence of ethnic cleansing, forced labor, and other gross human rights violations, the leadership of the European institutions have chosen to sign an agreement which exacts no meaningful commitments from the Chinese government to guarantee an end to crimes against humanity or to slavery.”
The letter continued, stating that the deal is “based on a naive set of assumptions about the character of the Chinese Communist Party,” and “entrenches Europe’s existing strategic dependency on China and runs counter to Europe’s core values.”
Even the current degree of dependency, the authors write, is “alarming.” The letter argues that Chinese state-owned companies took advantage of the period following the 2008 financial crisis “to buy substantial stakes in key European infrastructure.”
“Furthermore,” the letter continues, “it is delusional to imagine that China will keep promises on these issues of investment and trade when it has broken its promises so regularly in recent years.” As examples, the authors cite the suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, forced labor camps for the Muslim Uighur minority, the most recent sanctions Beijing has imposed on Australia and sabre rattling in the direction of Taiwan.
Among the signatories are researchers from the London School of Economics and from Princeton University in addition to Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress, who lives in Germany. The former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata and Harriet Evans, a professor at the University of Westminster and an expert in gender and human rights issues in China, have also joined the effort.
Source: Deutsche Welle, January 25, 2021