AUSTRALIA PASSES MAGNITSKY LAWS: Legislation to enable Australia to implement travel bans and asset freezes on perpetrators of human rights abuses passed with overwhelming cross-support. The moves follow successful campaigns from IPAC members Senator James Paterson, Senator Kimberley Kitching and Kevin Andrews MP, with calls to use the legislation against PRC officials responsible for abuses in the Uyghur Region and Hong Kong. The Guardian.
EU LAUNCHES FUND TO RIVAL BEIJING’S BELT AND ROAD: A new 300 billion Euro infrastructure development fund will help counter the PRC’s influence in the developing world. IPAC co-chairs called on the EU to support countries at risk of falling into ‘debt trap diplomacy’ ahead of the G7 Summit this year. Politico.
LITHUANIA CONFIRMS DIPLOMATIC BOYCOTT OF BEIJING OLYMPICS: The President, Foreign Minister and other Lithuanian officials will not be attending the 2021 Beijing Winter Olympics, in light of severe human rights abuses in the Uyghur Region and elsewhere. LRT.
UK PREPARES TO DEBATE HONG KONG VISA EXTENSION: A cross-party amendment led by IPAC member Damian Green MP could see the UK’s BN(O) visa offer extended to Hong Kongers born after the 1997 handover. The amendment will be debated in the House of Commons next week. The Telegraph.
SWISS BANKS LINKED TO UYGHUR ABUSES: IPAC Switzerland Co-Chair Fabian Molina called on financial firms to adhere to basic human rights standards in investing, following a report revealing links between UBS and Credit Suisse to forced labour abuses in the Uyghur Region. Blick.
FRANCE, NETHERLANDS, ITALY, SWEDEN BACK SUPPORT FOR TAIWAN: This week saw resolutions passed in the French National Assembly, Irish Senate and Dutch parliament in support of deeper diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Elsewhere IPAC Sweden Co-Chair Joar Forssell called for Sweden to stand in solidarity with Lithuania and Taiwan as they come under greater pressure from Beijing. Le Figaro. Focus Taiwan. Taipei Times. Expressen.