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  • The Chinese Communist Party gains more influence

  • Over Europe

  • But a new effort in the UK

  • is seeking to change that.

  • Welcome to China Uncensored, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Europe's financial elite are in bed with the Chinese Communist Party.

  • The EU abandoned human rights to get a China investment deal.

  • But some in the British government are trying to make sure the UK doesn't make the same

  • mistake

  • For more, I spoke with Benedict Rogers, the Co-founder and Chief Executive of Hong Kong

  • Watch, and Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission.

  • Benedict, as always, it's a pleasure having you on.

  • Thank you.

  • It's always a great pleasure to be with you.

  • It seems like every time we talk, there's been another horrible thing that's happened

  • in Hong Kong.

  • Last week, the Hong Kong government arrested more than 50 pro-democracy activists.

  • What do you think of the international response to that?

  • I think the international response has not been anything like what it should be in proportion

  • to the significance of these arrests.

  • This was essentially the final dismantling of what existed as a democracy movement.

  • That's not to say the democracy movement won't try to carry on.

  • But in formal terms, it was the biggest mass arrest in one swoop that there's ever been

  • in recent years.

  • And the international community's response was some strong words, but very little else

  • and even those strong words were rather lost in the midst of everything else going on.

  • So I definitely want to see more action.

  • Well, definitely seems like the Communist Party chose to make those arrests on a very

  • particular day, January 6th, almost as if they knew the rest of the world would be distracted

  • by something else.

  • Well, absolutely January the 6th, was a pretty dark day for democracy, in terms of the arrest

  • of people in Hong Kong, in the morning, Hong Kong time for the simple crime in [inverted

  • commas 00:00:01:40] of trying to carry out an election.

  • And of course it ended with the very ugly scenes in Washington, DC, a beacon of democracy

  • around the world as well.

  • So at whilst I wouldn't compare the two, and I think America's democracy is strong and

  • Hong Kong's freedoms are being dismantled, so it would be wrong to compare them.

  • But nevertheless, they both have happened on the same day.

  • And that was a very alarming.

  • You worked on the UK Conservative Party Human Rights Commission Report on China, which is

  • called The Darkness Deepens, very cheerful by the way.

  • The report calls out the mendacity, brutality, inhumanity, insecurity in criminality of the

  • Chinese Communist Party.

  • You don't mince words there, do you?

  • We don't, but it's a report that is based on hours and hours of testimonial evidence

  • that was presented to the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission in hearings throughout

  • much of last year, and pages and pages of written evidence.

  • And that evidence was submitted by a wide range of sources, all essentially saying the

  • same thing.

  • I think what's significant about this report is that, there are other reports that highlight

  • particular issues, the Uighurs, the situation in Hong Kong, Tibet and so on.

  • There's very few reports that I've come across that put the whole picture together and show

  • that the CCP, is not only committing a very likely genocide against the Uighurs and dismantling

  • democracy in Hong Kong, it is across the board, it is Christians, it's following Gong practitioners,

  • its civil society, activists, lawyers, bloggers, et cetera.

  • It's an 88 page report with a long list of tragedies.

  • And it follows, of course, the report that the commission published in 2016, which was

  • titled The Darkest Moment.

  • And the reason for that title at that time, was that one of the people who gave evidence

  • then said that the situation in 2016 was the darkest moment since the Tiananmen massacre.

  • With Hindsight that title was perhaps a bit premature and hence The Darkness Deepens.

  • I don't know if that's funny or tragic?

  • Yeah.

  • Well, it's very tragic in reality, but you have to keep a sense of humor in very dark

  • times.

  • And we found ourselves as a commission, faced with that linguistic challenge, what title

  • did we give this?

  • If we titled it the darkest moment four years ago?

  • Well, so then what's the next one going to be called if it gets worse?

  • I think we'll have to come to that when we get to it.

  • But any suggestions there, let me know.

  • Just a stream of swears.

  • Well, okay, so hopefully won't get to that point.

  • So what actions does the reports suggest the UK take against the Chinese Communist Party's

  • human rights abuses?

  • Well, it calls first of all for a comprehensive and coordinated thorough review of UK-China

  • policy across government departments.

  • So not just the Foreign Office, but across relevant government departments.

  • And for a total reset and recalibration of that relationship.

  • It calls for targeted sanctions, which have not yet been applied, it urges Britain to

  • work with our allies to lead the establishment of a coalition of the free world to act as

  • much as possible together.

  • That shouldn't mean the lowest common denominator, countries should be as robust as they possibly

  • can be.

  • But there is a need for the democratic world to unite and coordinate much more than they

  • have been because essentially, we need to form a united front to counter the CCP's united

  • front.

  • I like the sound of that.

  • I know recently, some UK Members of Parliament have suggested a genocide amendment to the

  • UK trade bill.

  • What is that?

  • Yes.

  • So that is an amendment that was pioneered in the House of Lords by people like Lord

  • Alton and quite amazing range of members of the House of Lords, former cabinet ministers,

  • the former head of the Royal Air Force, the former head of our intelligence services,

  • former Supreme Court judges, and whole range of other really distinguished figures.

  • And it now goes to the Commons next week.

  • And what the amendment tries to do is two things, firstly, to create a mechanism whereby

  • people who believe there was a case of genocide, and this applies not simply in the case of

  • China, but genocide anywhere, wherever it happens, can come to the High Court of England

  • and Wales and ask the High Court to make a preliminary determination as to whether the

  • evidence does suggest genocide or not.

  • And the consequences of that, if the high court does conclude that it's genocide, under

  • this amendment the government will be required not to enter into a bilateral trade deal with

  • the states that are found to be committing genocide.

  • So if a trade deal is already in place, that should be revoked, and if it isn't in place,

  • steps towards one should be stopped.

  • That's the effect of it.

  • And it was designed to answer a very simple problem, which is that for decades now, this

  • isn't always the position of other governments.

  • But the British government's position has always been, it's not for governments to determine

  • whether something has genocide, it's for the courts.

  • That's a perfectly logical theoretical position to have, but the problem with it is the International

  • Court mechanisms are very unsatisfactory, and particularly in the case of China, you're

  • never going to get a referral.

  • So this is an amendment designed to get out of that vicious circle.

  • Well, you certainly phrase that in a very polite way.

  • But so it sounds pretty straight forward.

  • Don't trade with countries that commit genocide.

  • But it seems like the UK government is not happy about it.

  • So if the genocide amendment passes, would the UK government actually apply that to China?

  • Well, that's the big question.

  • If it passes and becomes law, and if then a case is brought to the High Court of England

  • and Wales in regard to the Uighurs, for example.

  • And if the High Court concludes that what's happening to the Uighurs is genocide, then

  • under the law, the UK would not be able to negotiate a trade deal with China in those

  • circumstances.

  • Now, realistically, there's going to be quite a long timeframe to complete all those steps.

  • But nevertheless, if it passes, it would send a very important message.

  • And it would be law that people can go to the court, see if the court decides it's genocide.

  • And if it does, the government must abide by the requirements of that amendment.

  • So, speaking of trade, the EU has recently announced a major investment deal with China.

  • How would this deal affect human rights in China?

  • The EU's deal is one of the most appalling deals that I've seen.

  • And what was so striking about it was the timing of it.

  • Firstly, it came a few days after the European Parliament itself, one of the EU's main institutions

  • had passed a resolution calling for targeted sanctions, calling for access to the camps

  • in Xinjiang and very importantly calling for any investment deal to have particular standards

  • around labor rights.

  • And just a few days later, the European Commission and the member states completely ignored the

  • European Parliament and went ahead with this deal that has no safeguards on human rights.

  • It has maybe a few vague promises by the CCP to move towards signing various international

  • agreements, but we all know what to think of the CCP is word.

  • We can't ever take the word for anything other than essentially an untruth.

  • And coming just a short time before the transition in the United States as well, it sends a pretty

  • bad signal to the new administration in the U.S. I think most people agree, it's a bad

  • deal in itself, and it was very bad timing.

  • And I hope that the European Parliament and other member states will reconsider it before

  • it's too late.

  • Is it too late to do something about the EU-China investment deal?

  • Well, it has been signed.

  • So in that sense, probably is too late, but I think there were steps that EU could take.

  • I said when the 53 were arrested in Hong Kong, that in response to that, the EU should immediately

  • revoke and reconsider the deal.

  • Unfortunately, they didn't listen to me.

  • But I think we need to keep up the pressure on the EU itself and on member states to take

  • action going forward.

  • If they can't revoke the deal, then at least they need to balance it with other measures,

  • including the application of targeted Magnitsky sanctions.

  • You're a part of two upcoming events about human rights in China that people can join

  • online.

  • Can you tell us about those?

  • Yeah.

  • So the first, later today on the 13th of January, is the launch of the Conservative Party Human

  • Rights Commission Report, The Darkness Deepens.

  • And that's an online event, I've tweeted about it, there's an event invitation out there

  • people can register.

  • And at that event, we will have some very amazing speakers, Iain Duncan Smith, who is

  • the former leader of the British Conservative Party, but also the co-chair of IPAC, the

  • Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, we'll be speaking at it.

  • So will Nathan Law, the highest-profile exiles, Hong Kong activist, Rahima Mahmut, who's a

  • very high-profile Uyghurs campaigner, Simon Cheng, who you may recall was a British consulate

  • employee in Hong Kong, who ended up in jail in China and suffering some horrific torture

  • there.

  • And Dr. Teng Biao, a pre-eminent Mainland Chinese exiled lawyer and an activist.

  • And I'll say a few words as well, so that's the lineup at that event.

  • And then tomorrow, Thursday, the 14th of January, the MacdonaldLaurier Institute, think tank

  • in Canada together with Hong Kong Watch, IPAC and a number of others, has a big online conference

  • on human rights in China as a whole.

  • And with a number of politicians and prominent activists speaking at that and looking at

  • what are the ways forward to addressing human rights in China.

  • I'll definitely put links to those events below, and I hope everyone watching definitely

  • checks that out.

  • Benedict, it's always great to have you on, thank you for being here.

  • Thank you very much for having me.

  • Thank you for watching.

  • I've put the links to those events in the description below.

  • Once again, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Thanks for watching China Uncensored.

The Chinese Communist Party gains more influence

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Europe’s MAJOR China Failure

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    zijun su posted on 2021/06/15
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