Communiqués

Joint statement of 29 March 2021 on Chinese sanctions against members of Parliaments

Joint Statement signed by President Sassoli, the President of the Belgian House of Representatives, the President of the Dutch House of Representatives and the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliaments on Chinese sanctions.

Chair's statement of 23 March 2021 on EU sanctions on human rights violations; Counter-sanctions by the PRC

EU sanctions to four Chinese individuals and a Chinese entity on human rights violations; Counter-sanctions by the PRC

Statement by the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China

Chair of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens/EFA, DE) issued the following statement today:

"As the Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China. I do welcome the decision by the EU Foreign Ministers to impose sanctions on four Chinese individuals and one Chinese entity because of the atrocious human rights violations for which they are responsible. These sanctions target ZHU Hailun 朱海仑, former Deputy Head of the 13th People's Congress of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), WANG Junzheng 王君正, Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; political commissar of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps and CEO of the China Xinjian Group, WANG Mingshan 王明山, Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, CHEN Mingguo 陈明国, Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB) and Vice- Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region People's Government, and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau 新疆生产建设兵团公安局, also known as bingtuan, which runs the detention centres in Xinjiang and which is responsible for serious human rights violations including the large-scale arbitrary detentions and degrading treatment of Uyghurs and people from other Muslim ethnic minorities. This is an example of what the EU's global human rights sanctions mechanism was made for.

The People's Republic of China has retaliated with counter-sanctions. While the EU sanctions human rights violations, the PRC sanctions the criticisms of human rights violations. Chinese leaders seem to be of the opinion that they should export the oppression of free speech, which they have enforced in their own country. The Chinese sanctions do not only target ten individuals of which five are members of the four biggest democratic groups in the European Parliament and three members of national parliaments, they have also targeted the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights, the Political and Security Committee of the Council as well as researchers and think-tanks. The sanctions include also myself as the Chair of this China Delegation.

This Delegation has endeavored to uphold and develop exchanges and contacts with the Chinese side, notwithstanding deep differences and mutual criticism. However, by sanctioning the Delegation Chair, the Chinese authorities seemed to be signaling that they do not have the intention to pursue any form of cooperation. It is obvious that the Delegation cannot go back to normal in its work unless the Chinese sanctions are lifted, which we demand."

Joint statement of 23 March 2021 on human rights abuses in China

MEPs continue to firmly condemn human rights abuses in China

Statement by leading MEPs following the decision by Chinese authorities to sanction the Subcommittee on Human Rights and other European entities and officials.

"We take note of the decision by the Chinese authorities to impose sanctions in retaliation to the Council's decision of 22 March to impose sanctions on four Chinese officials and one entity.

The Subcommittee on Human Rights has a duty to monitor the human rights situation across the world and to promote and protect these rights in accordance with the values and objectives on which the European Union is founded, namely, the principle of universality of human rights. We believe that China's measures aim to undermine our work.

We wish to express our solidarity with other parliamentarians, European universities, think tanks and academics who have also been targeted by these sanctions.

Regarding the situation in China, we reiterate our serious concerns about the abuses in the country, in particular the persecution of the Uighur minority in the province of Xinjiang, and the repression of all dissenting and opposition voices. We firmly condemn these acts and the Chinese government's recent attempts to interfere in the democratic life of our nations and our European Union.

As elected Members of the European Parliament, we will continue to actively denounce human rights violations and breaches of international law, and to urge the EU to keep the respect of human rights at the core of all its external policies."

The statement is co-signed by:

David McAllister (EPP, Germany), Chair of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee;

Maria Arena (S&D, Belgium), Chair of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights;

Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D, France), Chair of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation;

Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens/EFA, Germany), Chair of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China.

Bureau letter of 31 October 2020 to Dr Ghebreyesus, Dir.Gen. of WHO on Taiwan

A letter from the Bureau of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China regarding a higher level of involvement of Taiwan in the next World Health Assembly, scheduled to start on 9 November 2020.

Revisiting Europe's "One China Policy"

Chair's and Vice-Chair's message of 20 August 2020 to Ambassador Zhang Ming

Your Excellency, dear Ambassador Zhang Ming,

I hope this note will find you at good health and enjoying your summer.

Today, we are writing to you to express a concern that we share regarding your country's reaction to the Taiwan travel plans of some of our Czech friends and colleagues.

We would like to ask you to convey our considerations to your government.

As you know, the President of the Czech Senate, Mr. Miloš Vystrčil, together with the Mayor of Prague, Mr. Zdeněk Hřib, and other company, are going to visit Taiwan in the immediate future. By paying this visit, President Vystrčil is realising a plan that his predecessor, President Jaroslav Kubera, had been pursuing before he died, unfortunately, in January. At the time, a leak made public serious threats on the part of the People's Republic of China against Czech interests if that visit went ahead. According to our information, the Chinese side has since continued exerting pressure with the aim of preventing such a visit.

EU Member States and Parliamentarians in particular have every right to develop economic, cultural and other relations with Taiwan free of PRC interference. We regret the increasingly bellicose attitude which your government is displaying vis-à-vis Taiwan and clearly express our support for the age-honoured EU position that any changes in cross-strait relations must be pursued peacefully and not imposed unilaterally against the will of Taiwanese citizens. Fostering dialogue with Taiwan interlocutors is part of European efforts to support peace and stability in cross-strait relations.

Members of the European Parliament have visited Taiwan in the past, as you know, and will continue to do so in the future. This is why we express our solidarity with our Czech colleagues and hope that your side will stop interfering with freely elected legislators' delivery on their political duties.

We remain fully yours with

Best regards,

Reinhard Bütikofer

Chair

European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the People's Republic of China


Maria Spyraki

Vice-Chair

European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the People's Republic of China


Joint statement of 1 July 2020 on the new national security law in Hong Kong

MEPs deeply concerned about the new national security law in Hong Kong

Joint statement by Members of the European Parliament David McAllister and Reinhard Bütikofer on the new national security law in Hong Kong.

The Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (EPP, DE) and the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China, Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens/EFA, DE), issued the following statement on Wednesday, 1 July:

"We deeply regret that the Chinese National People's Congress adopted on 30 June 2020 the new national security law for Hong Kong.

The new law does seriously limit Hong Kong's fundamental freedoms and does undermine the "one country, two systems" principle, both of which are very important for the European Union and for the international community. China's decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It also goes against China's international commitments, could undermine its reputation and could have a negative impact on business confidence.

In a resolution adopted on Friday, 19 June, by 565 votes to 34, with 62 abstentions, the European Parliament voted in favour of bringing China before the International Court of Justice over its decision to adopt a new national security law for semi-autonomous Hong-Kong.

We support Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's proposal to consider swiftly a coordinated response with other international partners."

Chair's statement on Chinese Communist Party campaign to suppress Uyghur birth-rates

Joint statement by the Chair and the first Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China

The Chair, Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens/EFA, DE) and the first Vice-Chair, Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE) of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China of the European Parliament issued the following statement on Tuesday, 30 June 2020:

"We are deeply shocked by the newest revelations about the Chinese Communist Party's massive campaign to suppress Uyghur birth-rates in Xinjiang. The reports about forced sterilizations and abortions as well as severe sanctions against birth control violations are of an unprecedented atrocity and further corroborate the assessment that we may be witnessing the implementation of a genocide.

The European Parliament condemned the massive detention of Uyghurs in political 're-education camps' in Xinjiang in its resolution of 19 December 2019 in response to the revelation in the China-Cables. The new findings underline the urgent need of an independent investigation of the situation and the need of a sanction regime for human rights violations.

We recognize the urgency of the situation and call on the European Commission, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Member States to univocally condemn this practice and act swiftly to find an adequate response".

Joint statement of 19 June 2020 on current tensions at the Sino-Indian border

Leading MEPs regret current tensions at the Sino-Indian border

  • Regret the casualties incurred during recent tensions
  • Call upon India and China to avoid any further escalation
  • Appeal on India and China to settle down their disagreements in a peaceful manner through dialogue

Joint statement by leading MEPs on EU-China and EU-India relations on the current tensions at the Sino-Indian border.

The Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (EPP, DE), the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China, Reinhard Bütikofer (The Greens/EFA, DE), and the acting Chair of the Delegation for relations with India, Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D, RO), issued the following statement today:

"We deeply regret the casualties incurred during recent tensions at the Line of Actual Control between India and China and convey our sympathy and condolences to the affected families.

As strategic partners of the European Union, we call upon India and China to avoid any further escalation, not least in view of their extremely important role for peace and stability in the region and globally.

We appeal to India and China to resolve their disagreements in a peaceful manner through dialogue.

Last but not least, we stand ready to engage with both countries by means of parliamentary diplomacy."

Chair's message of 30 January 2020 to Ambassador Zhang Ming on coronavirus

Your Excellency, dear Ambassador Zhang,

I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy to the Chinese people, in particular those from Wuhan, in the present coronavirus crisis. My sympathy goes out to those who are infected and fight for their lives, to those who already lost loved ones, and to everybody encountering hardships due to the restrictions imposed. That includes those who had to cancel their travel plans during the long-awaited Chinese New Year holidays and are worried about the safety of their families.

On the international level we will all agree that public health emergencies must be handled quickly, transparently, and without undue administrative or political considerations. The international community is certainly joining with China in the wish that researchers around the world will soon find a way to contain the virus and to help those infected.

My best regards,

Reinhard Bütikofer

Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the People's Republic of China


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