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Dhaka Tribune

Lawmakers of eight countries form new alliance to counter China

Nations have faced intense economic or political consequences for crossing China’s strategic ambitions

Update : 05 Jun 2020, 04:16 PM

A new cross-parliamentary alliance has been launched by senior lawmakers from eight democracies, including the US, to counterbalance China’s global ambitions.

According to them, China’s growing influence poses a threat to global trade, security, and human rights.

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China launched on Friday, comes as the US struggles to assemble a cohesive alliance to take on China’s growing economic and diplomatic influence, reports Bloomberg.

The US has been leading foreign governments 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 defense 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.

Nations faced intense economic or political consequences

The list of participating nations includes the US, Germany, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, as well as members of the European parliament.

Several of those nations have faced intense economic or political consequences for crossing China’s strategic ambitions.

The 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.

“The time has come for democratic countries to unite in a common defense of our shared values,” UK lawmaker Smith said on Twitter.



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