Reciprocity must be the basis in EU-China relations, according to EP report

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reciprocity must be the basis in EU-China relations, according to EP report

The European Parliament (EP) today approved a report from ECPM MEP Bas Belder on the state of play of relations between the EU and China. The report analyzes and assesses recent developments in the People's Republic of China on political, economic and social issues and makes recommendations to both Chinese and European authorities.


Under the absolute leadership of President Xi Jinping, the People's Republic of China is developing very dynamically internally and externally. "Accurate tracking and interpretation of this complex process is necessary for a realistic European approach to the close relationship with Beijing. This report wants to make a responsible contribution to this, " says Bas Belder.


A crucial principle for solid EU-China relations is reciprocity in all areas. For example in terms of market access, but also in terms of press freedom and other human rights. " Reciprocity builds mutual trust and forms a firm foundation for a strategic partnership between the EU and China ", says Belder, who continues: " This reciprocity is an ideal image ". The report leaves no doubt about the raising concerns and criticism from the European perspective on the autocratic  Chinese Communist Party policy. Speaking of Tibet, Xinjiang , the sinification of all religions, the social credit system , the militarization of the South China Sea, the law on international NGOs, the raising of tensions in the relationship with Taiwan, exactly these are the sensitive issues subject to Chinese censorship.


Belder: " With this open, factual view from the European Parliament on EU-China relations, the intention is to promote the well-being of citizens of the People's Republic as well as the promotion of European interests ".


The report also encourages self-criticism in the European ranks. China's dynamism worldwide and therefore also across Europe and in Europe ( for example the development of the Belt and Road Initiative ) urgently requires a well-considered European strategy. To name just one big challenge: Beijing is now thinking of northern and southern copies on our continent, following the controversial 16+ 1 format in which no fewer than eleven EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe and five Balkan countries cooperate with China.


Finally, the report underlines the need for a strong promotion of our knowledge of China through substantial support for independent think tanks of a high scientific level.



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