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  • China says EU sanctions targeting Chinese officials over their involvement with rights abuses in Xinjiang are based on lies and false information.

  • A statement from China's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gang also warned that the sanctions could harm EU China relations.

  • The statement comes a day after the EU sanctioned for Chinese officials and one entity with asset freezes and travel bans for rights abuses against the weaker Muslim minority in China's northwestern Xinjiang region.

  • EU Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels Usually they're averse to confrontation with China, but not this time sanctions would be imposed on Beijing.

  • This package includes for individuals and one entity from China who have had an active role in the design and implementation of the Chinese policies in Xinjiang, were made aware during the meeting that China has retaliated to those sanctions and rather than changes policies and address our legitimate concerns.

  • China has against turned a blind eye and these measures are regrettable and unacceptable.

  • China's retaliation blacklisting 10 EU individuals and four entities.

  • The EU wasn't alone, though, in imposing sanctions over China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang province.

  • The U.

  • K, the U.

  • S and Canada also approved penalties.

  • Sanctions will be useless to China, you know it will only reunite the Chinese people.

  • And the basic response I heard is that the officials feel honored to be sanctioned by, uh by the U.

  • S.

  • E.

  • U or other countries because they have successfully safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.

  • The UN says at least one million wigger Muslims are detained in camps with reports of forced labour, torture and sterilization.

  • Beijing denies the claims and says the camps provide vocational training and help in fighting extremism.

  • Experts are questioning whether this coordinated pressure campaign goes far enough to cause a real impact on China and joining me Now from Brussels, one of the 10 individuals counter sanctioned by China Michelle Gala He's a member of the European Parliament and the foreign policy spokesman of its largest parliamentary group, the E P P.

  • Mr Gala.

  • Welcome.

  • How do these Chinese sanctions impact your work?

  • Well, de facto not.

  • It is politically unfortunate as it makes dialogue more difficult.

  • It's also totally unjustified, but it doesn't impact on my work.

  • I had no travel plans to China have no business is running there in so far.

  • I'm by no means affected What about the European sanctions?

  • Will they pressure China interconnecting its course in Xinjiang?

  • Well, it is about shedding a light on events that are ongoing.

  • I mean the atrocities and the outrageous things that go on in these intern internment camps and in the so called reeducation camps or how they ever try to dress it up.

  • This is these are unbearable situations, collective custody for an ethnic and religious minority.

  • And it helps those who are affected those who are struggling and fighting against these circumstances to get the national the necessary, uh, international attention.

  • And it was joined by the U.

  • K, the U.

  • S.

  • And Canada.

  • So 30 countries all together who are on the same line, I'd like to talk a bit about the Chinese counter sanctions.

  • The EU last December agreed in principle to an investment agreement the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, or CI with China.

  • This is still to be ratified by the European Parliament, of which you are a member.

  • Do you think this agreement will now be ratified?

  • Well, uh, there have been discussions about that before, and, uh, of course, these discussions will be, uh, become stronger in the house although I would say for me personally, I would not make my personal sensitivity is a base for my political attitude towards this agreement.

  • In principle, it is something that would broaden the market access for our enterprises and reduce a bit the de facto discriminations that our enterprises have been exposed on the Chinese market in comparison to their entrepreneurs access to our market.

  • So in so far, that is, in principle, something that is more in our interest.

  • But speaking of that interest, you have members of the European Parliament such as yourself who have been sanctioned by China.

  • You actually believe there could be a possibility that the European Parliament nonetheless ratifies the CIA?

  • I would not speculate.

  • At this stage, we have to conduct a thorough discussion, how to react and how to uh well, finally find a solution.

  • It is definitely, uh not, uh, not away here, too, at this stage to to make definitive recommendation in this regard, you talked about European market access.

  • Now that isn't an environment where China is the largest trading partner of the EU.

  • Talk to us a bit about the U.

  • S.

  • Relations with China, so you have on the one hand, the CI, which you do not want to discuss in detail.

  • On the other hand, the EU sanctions China.

  • What is EU foreign policy towards China?

  • Well, our foreign policy.

  • I would perhaps describe it as a triad.

  • It's cooperate where possible compete were needed and confront where necessary.

  • I would say that is the the framework in which we are acting and accordingly we have to see in each and every respect what suits us best and when it's necessary to cooperate.

  • For instance, on the climate agenda globally.

  • Yes, when it's, uh in the framework of the w t.

  • O where we have to get the W t.

  • O standards fully applied also in China, then we need to talk with them, of course.

  • But when it's about its assertive policies also to to its own neighborhood in the southeast of Asia, I think it's good to strengthen them.

  • These countries we have cooperation with, uh, South Korea.

  • We have a free trade agreement with Vietnam with Singapore, um, and, uh, with Japan.

  • And so far we are also strengthening.

  • Uh, these, uh, contacts, uh, in order to give these countries a better, better standing.

  • And also we would hope that the ASEAN countries would further integrate economically and politically if possible.

  • What does this mean for the trans Atlantic relationship, given that the United States, UK and Canada imposed coordinated sanctions on China just like the EU?

  • Well, I would say that we are in a situation where we should definitely coordinate our policies in my well, that's not on the current agenda.

  • But I would definitely wish that we would come at some point with the U S.

  • To a t tip 2.0.

  • So to say, a free trade agreement with the US and we have got one with Canada we've gotten with Japan.

  • I think that is, that would be the best framework to have a have a better standing towards uh, this, uh, China.

  • Michelle Galata is pleasure talking to you.

  • Thank you so much for joining us.

China says EU sanctions targeting Chinese officials over their involvement with rights abuses in Xinjiang are based on lies and false information.

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