The European Parliament is expected to pass a motion on Thursday (July 8) to sanction Hong Kong officials and boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics.
According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, the main political parties in the European Parliament have finished drafting the motion on Tuesday and Wednesday, which severely criticizes Beijing for undermining Hong Kong people’s rights to freedom and blocking Hong Kong’s pro-democracy media Apple Daily. The motion also calls for sanctions against relevant Hong Kong officials and a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Reports say the motion will be put to debate and vote on Thursday. It is expected that the motion will be passed by an absolute majority. Although the motion is not legally binding, it will provide a reference for the European Commission and the EU Council to understand the mood of the European Parliament.
The European Commission, which is responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the EU, has not yet taken a position on whether to support a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics and sanctions against Hong Kong officials.
The South China Morning Post said the EU’s draft motion urged the parliament to take “targeted sanctions” against Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Secretary for Justice Eva Cheng Yeuk-wah, Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung, former Police Commissioner Lo Wai-chung and Chief Secretary for Administration Lee Ka-chiu, among other officials.
The sanctions list includes not only Hong Kong officials, but also mainland officials such as Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council of China, and his predecessor Zhang Xiaoming, Luo Huining, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong, and Zheng Yanxiong, director of the State Security Office of the Central Government in Hong Kong, as well as “some agencies of the People’s Republic of China that have been involved in the adoption of relevant measures and actions aimed at undermining the right to a high degree of autonomy and freedom in Hong Kong. “.
On the other side of the coin, Britain’s main opposition Labour Party also urged the British government and the royal family on Tuesday to launch a political boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing unless China agrees to the United Nations sending someone into the country to investigate systematic human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The British government has repeatedly condemned China’s human rights abuses, calling on the United Nations to send someone to Xinjiang, China, to investigate allegations of torture, forced sterilization and other persecution of Uighur Muslims there.
But the British government has not publicly stated that it is boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics. U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken said last month that Washington is seeking consensus among allies on whether to boycott the Winter Games. Beijing says the U.S. is politicizing sports by doing so.
AFP quoted Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Lisa Nandy as saying, “We have been asking the government to take stronger action against this horrific practice (in Xinjiang), including broader sanctions against senior officials responsible for what is happening in Xinjiang and a stronger response to the phenomenon of forced labor. “
We now call on you to use the Games as an opportunity to pressure China to allow unrestricted access to Xinjiang for a full, transparent and independent investigation by UN personnel,” Nandi said. Governments such as the United Kingdom have made numerous requests in this regard, but have not been able to implement them.”
Beijing vehemently denies the existence of international allegations that as many as a million Uighur Muslims have been arbitrarily detained, tortured or forcibly sterilized.
The Labour MP said that if the UN still does not have China’s permission by the time of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 14 this year, “the British government should not send ministerial officials, members of the royal family or senior representatives to Beijing in an official capacity to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.”
Labour said that if countries such as Britain were to adopt a political boycott, it would send a strong signal that the world is paying high attention to what is happening to the Uighurs and prevent the Chinese authorities from turning the Games into a public relations exercise for it.