European Union leaders signed the “General Agreement on Investment” with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) last week despite warnings from parliamentarians and government officials at a time when the CCP is under intense scrutiny for its role in the pandemic and its record of human rights violations.
In an interview with Breitbart, the founder of Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers, expressed his disappointment with European Union leaders for their lack of ethics in doing business.
“Just at a time when people are finally waking up to the dangers of the CCP, after a year in which the whole world has suffered a global pandemic caused, at least in part, by the CCP’s mendacity and repression, and at a time when increasingly experts are accusing the CCP of committing genocide against the Uighurs, now is not the time to be doing such deals, especially without any human rights safeguards in them,” Rogers said.
The agreement, which has been characterized as the first stage of cooperation between Europe and China, paves the way for the 120-billion-euro ($145 billion) annual trade between the two members.
However, some officials objected to the agreement citing primarily the widespread use of forced labor in China, especially in the Xinjiang region, where the Uighur Muslim minority is concentrated.
“We cannot facilitate investment in China if we are not committed to abolishing forced labor,” said Franck Riester, deputy trade minister at the French Foreign Ministry, in an interview with Le Monde.
For its part, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Dec. 17, calling for “China to put an end to plans for forced labor and mass imprisonment of ethnic minorities.”
Supposedly, the CCP has agreed to make the necessary changes to conform to the World Trade Organization conventions that prohibit the use of slave labor and establish workers’ rights to form a union.
However, according to the International Labor Organization’s official website, China has been a member since 2001.
It is not clear how European leaders trust or think that the CCP will change something that has been practiced for decades or that it is not aware of these alleged UN conventions, which it violates at will.
British Conservative leader Nigel Farage used his Twitter account to celebrate the recent separation of the U.K. from the European bloc and to target the CCP:
Stopping China is the next big battle to fight. pic.twitter.com/4UZB2s9O3S
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 1, 2021
“The next big challenge is, in some ways—is an even bigger challenge than the European Union was—a bigger threat to our independence, our way of life, our liberty. And it is China.”
Farage said Brexit was his life’s project and answered questions from his supporters about his next goal. He said, “My next campaign is to make sure people understand, who China are, what the communist party is, what it’s doing to its own people, what it wants to do to the rest of the world.”
“We need to wake up to the threat that is posed by China. My next campaign is to make sure we are no longer dependent on China,” Farage said.