Status: 23.03.2021 5:38 p.m.
The mutual sanctions are followed by a need for diplomatic discussions: the Chinese ambassadors have been summoned to Berlin, Paris and Brussels. The EU ambassador had to make an appearance in Beijing again.
Tensions between China and the EU are intensifying: After the EU imposed sanctions on Monday for suppressing the Uyghurs against Beijing, China immediately reacted with punitive measures against Europe. Now the Chinese ambassador in Berlin has been invited to an “urgent discussion” at the Foreign Office.
Ambassador Wu Ken has made clear the view of the German government that the Chinese sanctions “represent an inappropriate escalation that unnecessarily strain relations between the EU and China,” said the Foreign Office. “Therefore, this step, which is incomprehensible in terms of content, should be reversed immediately.”
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels that they had insisted on a discussion because they wanted to make it very clear that the sanctions against MPs and scientists were absolutely incomprehensible.
Diplomats also called up in Paris and Brussels
Belgium and France also called in the Chinese ambassadors. In Paris, more “unacceptable statements” are the cause. A few days ago the Chinese embassy in France described a China researcher as a “petty criminal” on its Twitter channel. In addition, she posted a screenshot with statements from the scientist, according to which French MPs could not be required not to travel to Taiwan.
“Insults against independent researchers and arguments with elected representatives of the republic are inadmissible and have no place in the relations that the Chinese embassy is supposed to help develop between France and China,” said the French Foreign Ministry.
China warns of damage to relations
China had previously called in the EU ambassador – in protest against the European Union’s sanctions. Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang urged Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis that the EU must recognize the extent of its mistake and correct it in order to avert further damage to relations with China, the Foreign Ministry said in Beijing.
During the conversation, Deputy Foreign Minister Qin Gang pointed out that the punitive measures were based on “lies and false information.” The sanctions are contrary to reality and common sense, Qin Gang was quoted as saying. The European Union is not qualified to act as a human rights teacher. China is urging the EU to recognize the seriousness of this mistake, correct it and end the confrontation “in order not to harm Sino-European relations any more,” it said.
First sanctions in 30 years
The EU had decided on Monday for the first time since 1989 sanctions against China because of its dealings with the Muslim Uyghur minority. The foreign ministers of the 27 member states imposed punitive measures against four authorities and party representatives as well as one institution. They are all held responsible for human rights abuses and the suppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province.
In return, China immediately imposed sanctions on ten EU politicians and four institutions in the EU. Affected are, among others, the German EU parliamentarian Reinhard Bütikofer from the Greens, the CDU politician Michael Gahler and the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. The European Union should refrain from “teaching others about human rights” and “interfering in China’s internal affairs,” the government said.
China’s ambassador to the Foreign Office is quoted
Kai Küstner, ARD Berlin, 23.3.2021 · 18:30