IPAC Newsletter 22 January 2021

IPAC co-chairs Els van Hoof MP and Samuel Cogolati MP questioned Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès on the negotiation of the EU-China CAI investment deal, highlighting security risks arising from China’s access to EU energy and telecommunications markets and human rights concerns around China’s failure to ratify ILO conventions on forced labour. 

European Parliament
An Urgency Resolution on the Chinese government’s crackdown in Hong Kong co-authored by IPAC co-chair Miriam Lexmann MEP passed with an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament, with IPAC co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer MEP also taking part in the debate. The resolution condemns the rushed conclusion of the EU-China CAI investment deal as undermining the EU’s credibility on human rights

Australia’s Ambassador to France thanked IPAC co-chairs Sen. André Gattolin and Isabelle Florennes MP for their expression of solidarity with Australia. Last month IPAC members from nine parliaments called on their governments to stand with Australia against intimidation from the Chinese government.

The Swiss Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee passed a proposal led by IPAC co-chair Fabian Molina MP to introduce a Swiss ‘Magnitsky’ Act, allowing for targeted sanctions on perpetrators of human rights abuses. The proposal will now move to the Parliament. 

United Kingdom
‘genocide amendment’ to the Trade Bill proposed by IPAC members was narrowly defeated in the House of Commons, with support from all major opposition parties and dozens of government rebels. The amendment would have enabled genocide cases to be considered in UK courts.

IPAC member Lord Alton has tabled a revised amendment to the Lords, where it is expected to gain cross-party support. 

United States
The US State Department ruled that China has committed genocide in its repression of Uyghurs, with support from the new Biden Administration. The judgement comes after IPAC co-chair Sen. Marco Rubio led bi-partisan efforts last month requiring the US Secretary of State to make a determination on the issue.