(TibetanReview.net, Oct30’21) – As world leaders prepared to gather in Rome for the G20 leaders’ summit over Oct 30-31, legislators from 14 countries, joined by political exiles from Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, urged that China be not given a free pass on human rights in exchange for its cooperation on issues like climate change in their Oct 29 meeting, reported the scmp.com Oct 30.
Among those who addressed the Oct 29 meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance against China’s (IPAC), a grouping of some 200 lawmakers, diplomats and experts from over 20 countries across the world, was the Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Mr Penpa Tsering. He called China the principal stakeholder in the global disharmony, according to a Tibet.net report of the CTA Oct 29.
But “despite being politically, militarily, and economically empowered, China lacks the moral power,” Penpa Tsering was quoted as saying.
“For the G20 members of the democratic countries, it is not enough to have freedom in your own countries since the entire world is an interdependent community of human beings. It is paramount that you ensure the values you cherish in your countries be available to those ruled by authoritarian ones like the Chinese government,” the Sikyong has further said.
“The one subject they don’t appear to be discussing at the G20 is really the elephant in the room, which is what are we going to do going forward about the terrible misbehaviour of arguably one of the most important nations of all, which is China,” the scmp.com report quoted Iain Duncan Smith, a former British Conservative Party leader, as saying.
“So, we’re here to remind our leaders at the G20, that the subject that they don’t want to talk about, we are going to talk about it because it is vital to human rights, to economics, and to climate change.”
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has also addressed the conference by video link. The event was stated to have been partly funded by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, an NGO with links to the government in Taipei.
“China has taken on other nations to deflect attention on the pandemic’s origin. Meanwhile, it preaches that authoritarian systems are superior to democracy,” Wu has said.
IPAC, which was founded a year ago and recently confirmed funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy and billionaire philanthropist George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. It used the event to announce its first members in India.
The meeting comes amid reports of Chinese intransigence in talks to reach a deal on climate at the G20 and the subsequent COP26 summit in Glasgow.
In a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the eve of the diplomatic flurry, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has raised concerns over “the erosion of democracy in Hong Kong and human rights in Xinjiang”, but also agreed to “cooperate on areas of shared interest, such as developing clean and green technology and supporting the sustainable recovery of the global economy.”