A special committee of the European Parliament is concerned about interference by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the democratic processes of the European Union (EU) and calls for measures to be taken to counter the threat.
On Tuesday, Nov. 9, during a hearing in Brussels, European parliamentarians called for the creation of a working group focused on monitoring China’s activities in the EU, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
The proposal prepared by the Commission, which is expected to be approved by a vote in Parliament next year, is based on the measures implemented by Taiwan to address the Chinese regime’s meddling on the island after a delegation traveled to Taipei to learn from the Taiwanese experiences on the issue.
Among the issues addressed by the Commission, the Confucius Institutes were given a particular mention. According to the legislators, intellectual knowledge is stolen from the countries where these institutes operate with strong control by the CCP.
Also, the report calls for attention to the extraterritorial scope of Hong Kong’s National Security Law imposed by the Chinese regime on the island. For example, they allude to an occasion in which the Hong Kong authorities, under the Chinese regime’s command, asked the Danish police to help them obtain information on how a former Hong Kong legislator had been able to flee the island to that country.
Regarding Chinese interference in democratic processes, a fact that raised even more alarms was the pressure exerted by the Chinese envoy, Zhang Ming, to influence the historic vote aimed at expanding trade relations between the EU and Taiwan that took place on Oct. 21 of this year.
On the other hand, another worrying development for the EU occurred in Germany and involved the Confucius Institutes of the universities of Duisburg-Essen and Hannover. Two conferences intended to promote a book on the current CCP leader Xi Jinping were canceled due to pressure from representatives of the Chinese consulate.
The book, entitled “Xi Jinping – the most powerful man in the world,” was written by Stefan Aust, a journalist and former editor-in-chief of the weekly Der Spiegel, and Adrian Geiges, veteran China correspondent of the Hamburg-based current affairs weekly Stern.
According to Der Spiegel, Germany’s Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek expressed her concern about the activities of the 19 Confucius Institutes at the country’s universities in a letter and called for their closure.
The Confucius Institutes, installed in several Western universities and advertised as Chinese language teaching centers, are considered a propaganda and infiltration tool of the Chinese Communist Party.
Germany will join two nearby Nordic countries that completely closed such CCP propaganda institutions if the minister’s request is granted. Sweden was the first, followed by Norway, which announced in March that it would close the country’s only Confucius Institute located in Bergen, according to the German media.