PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18 OCTOBER 2021
INTER-PARLIAMENTARY ALLIANCE ON CHINA GATHERS IN ROME FOR G20 COUNTER-MEETING
Representatives from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) — a body of some 200 global parliamentarians — will gather in Rome to stage a counter-meeting ahead of the G20 Leaders Summit to demand a tougher stance towards the Chinese government.
The conference, taking place on the 29th of October, will see parliamentarians from five continents meet with prominent leaders of groups targeted by the Chinese government, including Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration Penpa Tsering, former Hong Kong legislator Nathan Law and Uyghur artist and activist Rahima Mahmut.
Earlier this year the Chinese government imposed travel bans and other sanctions on nine IPAC members, including former UK Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, Belgian Green MP Samuel Cogolati, EPP MEP Miriam Lexmann and Lithuanian Social Democratic MP Dovilė Šakalienė — all of whom will be present at the Rome conference. Chinese state controlled media outlets have frequently criticised the work of IPAC parliamentarians, with the Global Times branding IPAC as a “malevolent” and “nuisance” alliance.
Other parliamentarians attending the Rome conference include Japanese Representative Shiori Yamao, French En Marche! Senator André Gattolin and Ugandan Forum for Democratic Change MP Lucy Akello. The Rome conference will be the first time that IPAC has met in person since its launch in June 2020, with the Alliance having since grown to become the world’s largest China focussed network of international legislators.
Speaking ahead of the Conference, Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP said:
“We will be in Rome to draw attention to President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party’s systematic onslaught on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We will be in Rome to remind democratic states of their responsibility to safeguard the international rules based order – rules that we have helped to shape and are now under threat from Beijing. True leadership means addressing these challenges, not pretending they don’t exist. This G20 must be a turning point and China must be at the top of the agenda.”
Samuel Cogolati MP said:
“We cannot continue ‘business as usual’ with China while the Chinese government sends near daily incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, commits atrocities in the Uyghur Region and oversees the dismantling of Hong Kong’s freedom and autonomy. There can be no further excuses for inaction. This G20, we need to see democracies find the courage and leadership that so far has been lacking.”
- Journalists interested in attending press conferences or arranging interviews with legislators over the course of the IPAC Rome conference are invited to contact the IPAC Secretariat using the details above.
- A provisional list of speakers at the conference is included below
Provisional list of speakers:
- Sikyong Penpa Tsering
- Nathan Law
- Rahima Mahmut
- Minister Joseph Wu (virtual)