The European Parliament has overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on diplomatic officials to boycott the Beijing Olympics in 2022 in response to continued human rights violations by the Chinese government.
In the escalating tensions between the EU and China, the non-binding decision also called on governments to impose further sanctions, provide emergency visas to journalists in Hong Kong and further support Hong Kongers to relocate to Europe.
It was adopted by 578 votes to 29, with 73 abstentions, and was supported by all of Europe’s mainstream political groups, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center-right, European People’s Party (EPP) and centrists. by France’s Emmanuel Macron.
The 28-point resolution called on EU officials and member states to reject all government and diplomatic invitations to the 2022 Winter Olympics “unless the Chinese government demonstrates a verifiable improvement in the human rights situation in Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur region, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and others. places in China ”.
The decision focused on the breakdown in Hong Kong and cited several specific cases of concern, including “in particular” the closure of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily and the prosecution of staff and owners, the introduction and use of national security law and a dob-in. community hotline and changes in education, courts and elections.
“The promotion and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should remain at the heart of the long – standing relationship between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its external action and China’s expressed interest in respecting them in its own development and international cooperation, ”it said.
Beijing has so far resisted demands to improve its human rights record in the face of an Olympic boycott movement instead of denying any wrongdoing and accusing countries of interfering in internal affairs.
In response to a separate boycott call from the UK Labor Party, China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it accused some people of trying to disrupt or sabotage the Olympics “out of political motivation”.
“China is strongly opposed to the politicization of sports and interference in other countries’ internal affairs by using human rights issues as a pretext,” said ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
The EU resolution is the latest hotspot between the EU and China on the latter human rights issue, with recent tit-for-tat sanctions leading to the freezing of a trade agreement before it was even ratified. The decision said the deal would remain blocked until China lifted sanctions on EU parliamentarians and scholars.
China’s nationalist state-owned tabloid, the Global Times, declared the decision an act of “a collection of the most radical and extreme ideologies of Western society, creating a scene for various political vices trying to draw wide attention”.
“By [European parliament]”regardless of the facts, responsibilities and consequences, these anti-Chinese forces are just trying to achieve the highest voice and greatest influence,” it said, advising the body to “hold back.” “Beijing is not exchanging China’s core interests with the support of some European forces for the Winter Olympics.”
However, editors said the “destructive” effect of the European Parliament could not be underestimated, noting the blocked trade agreement. “This proves that their efforts are not so futile,” it said.