By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMSHALA, June 9: A group of 19 Members of Parliament (MPs) from eight different countries have formed an international coalition of lawmakers seeking their governments to take a tougher stance on China.
The inter-parliamentary alliance on China was founded by former UK Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith. Australian MPs, Andrew Hastie and Kimberly Kitching co-chairs the Australian branch of the coalition. The founder of the coalition said that the business industry should acknowledge the formation of the alliance citing the HSBC bank’s “appalling” backing of China’s new security law in Hong Kong.
Miriam Lexmann, a Member of the European Parliament, said the EU’s foreign policy towards the PRC had to be “values-based” in order to maintain its credibility at home and abroad. UK warned the Beijing administration to refrain from the “authoritarian” national security law in Hong Kong which risked destroying one of the biggest gateways to the Asian economy.
Duncan Smith said he was “astonished” at the level of interest shown to join the coalition, especially from countries like Sweden and Germany. “It astonished me that they should feel so strongly about it . . . What we’ve discovered is that underneath the surface there is genuine concern about China,” he further added. Beijing’s aggressive wolf-warrior diplomacy had initiated the need for the group as many countries reform their China Policy.
“There was a chain of events signalling quite a significant change in direction from the Xi government in that they were no longer interested in general diplomacy but were using their power to intimidate different nations,” the Tory leader told The Sydney Morning Herald. He has been against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s acceptance of the controversial Chinese vendor Huawei to supply 5G networks.
“We respect and support laws and regulations that will enable HK to recover and rebuild the economy and, at the same time, maintain the principle of ‘one country two systems’,” the HSBC statement said. MPs in Australia have complained that some business leaders are cowering down to China and undermining their government’s foreign policy on bipartisan support.
The list of the MPs in the international coalition are as follows; Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and Labour Senator Kimberley Kitching from Australia; Labour MP Baroness Helena Kennedy and Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith form UK; Republic Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Senator Robert Menendez from the USA; Greens MP Margarete Bause and Democratic MP Michael Brand from Germany; Independent MP Shiori Yamao and Liberal MP Gen Nakatani from Japan; Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, Liberal MP John McKay and Liberal Irwin Cotler from Canada; Liberal MP Trine Skei Grande and Conservative MP Michael Tetzschner from Norway; Liberal MP Fredrik Malm and Democrat Elisabet Lann from Sweden.