China targeted European MPs, scholars, and NGOs. It seems like a reaffirmation of a claim of Chinese jurisdiction all over the world, but in fact it reveals the CCP’s weakness.
by Marco Respinti
For once, we agree with the Global Times, the daily voice of the CCP in English. The decision taken on Monday, March 22, 2021 by the European Union Council (after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union), to sanction Chinese officers guilty of human rights violation hit “a heavy blow to bilateral relations between the two sides.”
On Monday, the European Union imposed “restrictive measures on eleven individuals and four entities” (the Global Times wrongly mentioned 10 individuals) “responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses in various countries around the world.” Among the indicted countries, the Peoples’ Republic of China looms large with four persons and one entity found guilty of “large-scale arbitrary detentions of, in particular, Uyghurs in Xinjiang.” Under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, adopted on 7 December 2020, “the listed individuals and entities are subject to an asset freeze in the EU,” to a travel ban to the EU, and “persons and entities in the EU are prohibited from making funds available, either directly or indirectly, to those listed.”
The four Chinese individuals are Mr. Hu Hailun (朱海仑), former Deputy Head of the 13th People’s Congress of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), that its non-Han inhabitants call East Turkistan; Mr. Ang Junzheng (王君正), Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of XUAR; Political commissar of the XPCC and CEO of the China Xinjiang Group; Mr. Ang Mingshan (王明山), member of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee of XUAR and Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee of XUAR: as well as Chen Mingguo (陈明国), Director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB) and Vice-Chairman of XUAR People’s Government. The indicted entity is Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau (新疆生产建设兵团 公安局), based in Urumqi, XUAR.
This act by the European Union is notable for yet another reason. It applies legislation similar to the “Global Magnitsky Act” (Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act), which from 2016 allows the US government to sanction foreign officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world.
And the CCP’s reaction took just hours to display. In fact, according to Global Times, “the Chinese government sanctioned 10 individuals including Mr. Reinhard Bütikofer, chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with China, and Mr. Michael Gahler, chair of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, in addition to some members of the European Parliament affiliated with the parliaments of EU member countries such as Germany, Belgium, Lithuania and the Netherlands.” One wonders whether these 10 officials would have been 11 if the Global Times counted correctly as 11 (rather than 10) the persons indicted by the European Union. At any rate, “[t]he individuals concerned and their families are prohibited from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, according to the Chinese authorities. And the companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.”
But the CCP’s mouthpiece in English also uses its time to pour hatred on serious scholars, like German Dr. Adrian Zenz, senior fellow in China studies at the Washington, D.C.-based Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He is another one on China’s sanction list. Dr. Zenz has committed the unforgivable crime of documenting the dreadful transformation through educating camps in XUAR and is one of the most outspoken and reliable denouncer of the CCP’s genocide, as well as a debunker of its lies. Elegantly, the Global Times call him “an infamous anti-China pseudo-researcher, who has been spreading rumors about Xinjiang and stepping up a disinformation campaign against China” and a “rumormonger.” Earlier this month, Dr. Zenz was sued in China.
Alongside individuals, China has sanctioned “some other think tanks engaged in the disinformation campaign,” “including the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union, Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Germany, and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation in Denmark.”
The Global Times speaks of “EU’s arrogance” and “weaponizing human rights issues,” mentioning that “[t]he German Nazis conducted a large-scale planned massacre of Jews during World War II and 6 million died in the Holocaust; German colonists in 1904 slaughtered numerous Namibians to crack down on a people’s uprising and killed more than 100,000 natives as of 1908. Other European countries also had infamous misdeeds in their colonial histories,” which does not seem to justify the CCP’s attempt to engage in a genocide in 2021.
The reality is that, in spite of sounding like a loose application of Article 38 of the new Hong Kong Natuional Security Law, which theoretically asserts jurisdiction against every human being on earth, the counter-sanctions of the CCP reveals all its fear for the rising global awareness of its genocides. Governments, parliaments, and MPs are now denouncing them openly.