Euro MPs: Xi’s team misjudges EU

The European Union’s decision to extend sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights violations until the end of 2022 shows that Chinese Communist leaders are under the illusion that the EU will bend to Beijing and that Brussels has proved Xi Jinping’s team wrong in its assessment, the head of the European Parliament’s delegation on relations with China, Reinhard Butikofer, said today.

Reinhard Butikofer, head of the European Parliament’s German delegation on relations with China, commented today on the EU’s decision to extend sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights violations for one year.

A few days ago the Chinese leadership was under the illusion that the EU would end the sanctions imposed on Chinese officials in March this year and give in to Beijing, said Butikofer. But today’s decision by Brussels has proved that Xi’s team was wrong in its assessment.

Noting that the line towards China to be taken by the new German government coalition coming to power is also playing a positive role at this moment, he called on China to recognize the reality that the EU is willing to engage in dialogue with China, but that it will also draw a clear line if necessary.

The EU today adopted a decision to extend for one year, until December 8, 2022, the sanctions against individuals and entities that commit serious human rights violations in countries around the world, with 14 individuals and four entities currently on the sanctions list.

The EU’s global human rights sanctions regime, which began in December 2020 and was announced in March, imposed travel bans and froze the assets of Chen Mingguo, head of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region’s Public Security Bureau, and Wang Mingshan and Wang Junzheng, senior local Communist Party officials; Zhu Hailun, former secretary of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee, was locked up; and the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps was also sanctioned.

China then doubled down on its retaliation against the EU, sanctioning 10 members of the European Parliament and EU countries, as well as four European institutions, among which Bao Ruihan is listed.

The new German government is expected to take office this week, and Foreign Minister-to-be Annalena Baerbock will take a tough stance on China, saying recently that China is a partner when it comes to climate change and epidemics; however, Europe is a member of the transatlantic democratic alliance and is in institutional competition with authoritarian China, and Germany will pursue strategic cooperation with its democratic partners in the future to defend common values and interests.