LONDON: Lawmakers from 8 powerful nations have formed an alliance to counter China, calling it a big threat to the global trade, security and human rights.
The new Inter-Parliamentary Alliance has been formed by senior lawmakers from eight democracies - US, Germany, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway as well as members of the European Parliament - to counter-balance China’s growing global ambitions.
These senior lawmakers from eight democracies believe that China’s growing influence poses a threat to global trade, security, and human rights.
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China was launched on Friday – at a time when the United States is trying to take allies onboard to cobble up a cohesive alliance to take on Beijing’s growing economic and diplomatic influence.
It may be noted that the ties between the US and China have strained in the recent past after the outbreak of coronavirus in China’s Wuhan, regarding the Americans claim that the COVID-19 virus was developed in a Chinese lab to attack Americans.
The US has also been a frontrunner in condemning Beijing’s move to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong that threatens the city’s autonomy.
The newly launched group said it aims to “construct appropriate and coordinated responses, and to help craft a proactive and strategic approach on issues related to the People’s Republic of China.”
The group is co-chaired by US Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Bob Menendez, former Japanese defence minister Gen Nakatani, European Parliament foreign affairs committee member Miriam Lexmann, and prominent UK Conservative lawmaker Iain Duncan Smith.
“China, under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, represents a global challenge,” Rubio, a frequent critic of Beijing and supporter of US legislation targeting China for its actions in Hong Kong, said in a video message on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Beijing has repeatedly stressed that the situation in Hong Kong is an internal matter, saying China’s broader economic and diplomatic expansion poses no threat to the world.
China’s economic rise is putting the global, rules-based order under pressure and countries that have tried to stand up to Beijing have mostly done so alone -- and “often at great cost,” said the group.
Several of these nations have faced intense economic or political consequences for crossing China’s strategic ambitions.
The Donald Trump Administration’s assertive efforts to rewrite the US’ bilateral trade relationship with China have prompted a protracted trade war that has had global consequences, with US journalists ejected from China as well.
Canada saw two of its citizens - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - detained without trial as a result of the arrest of a Chinese Huawei Technologies Co. executive.
Norway saw trade relations with China derailed for six years-- and salmon exports fell - after a Chinese dissident was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Australia’s efforts to hold China accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic, which first broke out in the mainland city of Wuhan, led to new tariffs on Australian barley and bans on some meat.