Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

For the Socialists and Democrats, the Chinese counter-measures targeting European individuals and entities, including S&D MEP Raphaël Glucksmann and the European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights, are totally unacceptable and must be lifted immediately.

Today in the plenary, the S&Ds will express their full solidarity with all sanctioned members and will demand that the EP stops all procedures on the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) as long as there are sanctions imposed against their colleagues.

S&D MEP Raphaël Glucksmann, chair of the special committee for foreign interference (INGE), said ahead of the plenary:

“The Chinese regime is committing a crime against humanity. EU sanctions are targeting criminals and entities responsible for the systemic atrocities against Uyghurs. In response, Chinese counter-measures are a direct attack on our democratic institutions. Beijing is trying to dictate its own rules to our decision-making process. In this context, and as long as sanctions are imposed on EU institutions and EU elected representatives, we refuse to discuss the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.

“It is now clear that the Chinese regime does not consider itself as bound by any international treaty or contractual commitments. The EU must act consequently and use its market power to impose an economic cost to repeated Chinese violations of fundamental rights and breaches of international law. It is time to defend our principles and protect our strategic interests.”

Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero, S&D MEP and responsible for the EU-China Investment Agreement, added:

“The S&D Group welcomed the first ever use of the European Mechanism against a number of Chinese authorities over human rights violations in March. We recognise the courage of the EU Council and we support High Representative Josep Borrell, who will now steer us through this new phase of our relationship with China.

“China’s response to the EU’s sanctions over human rights violations was to retaliate against the European Parliament. Out of solidarity with our blacklisted colleagues and out of respect for the democratic institution we serve, we reiterate our call for putting the EU-China Investment deal on hold for as long as the sanctions against members of this house are in place. China took aim at the heart of European democracy. But we will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated.

“We do not want to buy – or sell – goods produced under conditions violating fundamental rights. This is why we are working to put new trade tools in the EU’s hands – from mandatory due diligence to a ban of goods produced under forced labour. China is an essential trade partner and key for combatting the climate emergency. But the EU cannot normalise its relationship with China as long as we do not see real progress on human rights and ending forced labour.”

Note to editors:

After the EU imposed on 22 March restrictive measures against Chinese officials over the large-scale arbitrary detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China responded with retaliatory sanctions on 10 EU individuals, including members of the European Parliament, diplomats and European scholars. Five MEPs on the list are Reinhard Bütikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphaël Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann. The subcommittee on human rights of the European Parliament and the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union are also sanctioned.

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