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This article appears in the June 11, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Who’s Behind the
Anti-China Campaign in Europe?

[Print version of this article]

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After European and Chinese leaders had successfully negotiated a Comprehensive Agreement on Investments between the European Union and China, the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to freeze ratification.

June 4—On May 20, the European Parliament voted almost unanimously to suspend ratification of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investments (CAI) negotiated between China and the European Union, thus rupturing relations, and sabotaging an agreement that promised to bring Sino-European economic relations up to a new level. The agreement, seven years in the making, would have resolved almost all of the complaints the EU had in terms of the questions of technology transfer, state aid, and so-called “level playing field” issues. It would have paved the way for expanded investment in both directions.

The sabotaging of this agreement was led by a trans-Atlantic mobilization of anti-China forces, led by Great Britain. While these forces have been mobilizing for years, their determination escalated the first day the Biden Administration entered office, to assure that the existing anti-China policy would not shift as a result of a new presidential administration.

The British mobilized the same so-called “human rights” mafia responsible for ten years of brutal war in Syria, and the bloody overthrow of Libya’s government in the last decade that plunged that country into a civil war. It is the same mafia that created the fake charges of human rights violations, which have brought the West’s relations with Russia to the precipice of strategic conflict. This report will show that these forces established a series of “human rights regimes,” tribunals, and international organizations specifically to target China, particularly on the phony issue of human rights violations against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang province. These forces and new organizations were set into motion and are responsible for sabotaging this CAI as well as future relations with China.

The EU and China negotiating teams had completed a draft agreement ready for ratification in December 2020, following a surprise breakthrough achieved at an eleventh-hour video conference, bringing together Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, which overcame the last stumbling blocks.

Although the Biden Administration’s National Security adviser Jake Sullivan, upon hearing of the agreement, tweeted “The Biden-Harris administration would welcome early consultations with our European partners on our common concerns about China’s economic practices,” the agreement went through.

The agreement then went to the European Parliament (EP) for normal review and ratification. While this process generally rubber-stamps EU agreements, this time the “human rights” advocates in the EP foreign policy committee, along with the media, went into action. They brought up issues such as (alleged) “forced labor” in China, despite the fact that the issue was specifically addressed in the agreement, including commitments by China to ratify the relevant International Labor Organization (ILO) Fundamental Conventions. While these allegations failed, a trans-Atlantic campaign was launched on the over-the-top claims that China is committing “genocide” against the Muslim Uighur minority.

British Commonwealth Started the Attack

The first to bring up sanctions on the Uighur issue had been Great Britain. On Jan. 12, 2021, the British Foreign Secretary announced a package of measures to ensure that British public or private sector organizations were not complicit in, nor profiting from, alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang. He also called for joint action among Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and the EU. The only country to respond was Canada, which on the same day imposed the same measures. Nonetheless it was clear the UK was continuing to pressure its “allies” for joint action.

On March 22, the British Foreign Office announced unilateral sanctions on Chen Mingguo, the director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, the local police force; Wang Mingshan, a member of Xinjiang’s Communist Party standing committee; Wang Junzheng, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC); and the former Deputy Communist Party Secretary in Xinjiang, Zhu Hailun.

On the same day, shooting their own feet, European foreign ministers approved sanctions against the same individuals, but as part of a package of sanctions that targeted North Korea, Sudan, and Russia under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. That Regime had been established on Dec. 7, 2020, just two weeks before the conclusion of the EU-China negotiations.

This new sanctions regime was initiated by the Netherlands as a means of getting the EU to, in effect, accede to the notorious Global Magnitsky Act of the U.S. Congress. The Human Rights Sanctions Regime did not become “Global” until adopted by Estonia, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia, and the United Kingdom. These are also the most Russophobic and Sinophobic countries in Europe. Other countries saw no reason to join, until the Netherlands submitted a proposal to the European Council, to get the ball rolling in the powerful EU bureaucracy.

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Wang Yi, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for overseeing the accession of new EU members and relations with EU border states.

These sanctions were announced only two days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held their first round of high-level meetings with China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the foreign affairs chief of the Chinese Communist Party, Yang Jiechi. Blinken initiated similar sanctions in “solidarity” with “our allies.” Unlike the UK and Europeans, the United States sanctioned only two individuals: Wang Junzheng, the secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps; and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

China reacted swiftly to this outrageous intervention into the internal affairs of China based on fake charges. These were the first sanctions imposed on China by Europe since the Tiananmen Square events in Beijing in 1989. On March 22, China announced sanctions against more than 30 individuals and entities it said were “propagating the lies and slanders” against China. The “individuals concerned, and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China, their property in China will be frozen, and Chinese citizens and institutions will be prohibited from doing business with them.”

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DoS/Ron Przysucha
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (right), meeting with CCP Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left), in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 18, 2021.

The fact that the bulk of the sanctions were against British individuals and organizations, demonstrates that China knew very well where the command center for these operations lay. As will be seen, the individuals hit hard were all in the EU, and almost all were integrated with those targeted in Britain. It seems America and Canada were let off lightly. China sanctioned the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Gayle Manchin; the vice-chair Tony Perkins; and in Canada, the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights and one of its Conservative Party Members, Michael Chong. These are, in fact, entities and persons who had targeted China over the Uighur issue before China targeted them.

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Gayle Conelly Manchin, Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Her Majesty’s Anti-China Command Center

On top of the list of those sanctions is Tory grandee Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former head of the Conservative Party, who called the sanctions a “Badge of Honor.” Duncan Smith began acting against China in 2015 when he expressed opposition to the Conservative government of former Prime Minister David Cameron, whose government sought stronger ties with China and hosted a state visit to London by Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was Sir Iain who convinced British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel the introduction of Huawei’s G5 network in Great Britain in June 2020.

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CC/UK in Spain
Iain Duncan Smith, co-founder and co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

Duncan Smith co-founded and is currently co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), an international organization of over 100 lawmakers including U.S. Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Bob Menendez, to “promote a coordinated response among democratic states to challenges posed by the present conduct and future ambitions” of China. Tory MPs Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani, Labour Party peer Baroness Helena Kennedy and crossbench peer Lord David Alton—all members of IPAC—were also put on the sanctions list.

Also sanctioned were Conservative Party MPs Tom Tugendhat, chair of the House of Commons Foreign Policy Committee, and Neil O’Brien, policy advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. These two anti-China warriors co-founded the Conservative Party’s China Research Group in April of 2020, which was also sanctioned by the Chinese. Another Tory outfit put under sanctions was the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission. A look at their website reveals their chief targets are both China and Russia.

Also sanctioned was the Uighur Tribunal and its chairman, the solicitor Sir Geoffrey Nice. One of its advisers is the above-mentioned Baroness Kennedy QC. The Tribunal was initiated at the request of Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uighur Congress in June 2020, to investigate that group’s bogus claims of genocide against the Uighur population. The tribunal was launched on Sept. 3, 2020, with assistance from the Coalition for Genocide Response, of which Nice, Baroness Kennedy and Lord Alton are also patrons.

China has issued a “red notice” with Interpol demanding Dolkun Isa’s arrest for terrorism. The World Uighur Congress is the international umbrella organization for Uighur exiles with headquarters in London and Munich Germany, where Isa has been given asylum. For the years 2016-19, the Congress received at least $1,323,698 from the U.S. government’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Other overlapping Uighur organizations have received similar grants from the NED.

Essex Court Chambers, a firm of commercial barristers, was also sanctioned as a result of several of its senior members having issued a report claiming there was a “very credible case” that the Chinese government was committing genocide against the Uighurs.

Last but not least among the Brits sanctioned was Newcastle University academic Dr. Jo (Joanne) Smith Finley, who apparently is one of the leading profilers of the Uighurs. With funding from the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK and other sources, she has authored such titles as Uighur-Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang, Situating the Uighur between China and Central Asia, and The Art of Symbolic Resistance: Uighur Identities and Uighur-Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang.

Last January Smith Finley gave testimony on alleged genocide against the Uighurs in the House of Commons, and called on the Johnson government to employ “Magnitsky-style” sanctions against China.

Anti-China Nests in the European Union

The European Parliament, in suspending its ratification of the EU-China Agreement, claimed that the sanctions against its members were an over-the-top reaction to the EU Sanctions, which of course they arrogantly claimed were justified. In point of fact, China’s sanctions were very precisely targeted and appropriate since the charges concern gross intervention into China’s internal affairs based on unsubstantiated claims. China’s sanctioning of the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union, a body representing all 27 EU governments, underscored China’s outrage at this unwarranted provocation.

Sanctions were leveled against five European Parliament Members, all sitting on the Human Rights subcommittee of the Foreign Policy Committee. Rather than launch an investigation on the criminal failure of the European Commission to secure the COVID-19 vaccines required to protect the European population—a failure that led to the death of tens of thousands of European citizens—these parliamentarians wasted taxpayers’ money on issues totally irrelevant to the lives of the citizens they are supposed to represent.

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CC/Michael Rose
Reinhard Bütikofer, founding member of the Green Party in Germany.

The five included Reinhard Bütikofer, a German member of The Greens/EFA faction in the EP. Bütikofer began his political career as a member of the Maoist Communist League of West Germany. The fact that this organization broke with China after the death of Mao and abandonment of the brutal Cultural Revolution is at the root of his anti-China crusade. In any case Bütikofer and a fellow member of this Maoist party in 1980 became founding members of the Green Party, which now is the most anti-Chinese, and anti-Russian party in the Bundestag. It is feared that if the Greens win the German elections in September and their leader, Annalena Baerbock, who is a graduate of the London School of Economics, becomes Chancellor, there will be a permanent rupture of relations between Germany and both China and Russia, which will have a profoundly negative impact on European relations with these two powers.

Bütikofer sits alongside Sir Iain Duncan Smith as co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. In 2020, he was one of 40 European Parliamentarians who called for EU member states and the European Commission to cut European public funding for Chinese 5G vendors Huawei and ZTE. Bütikofer is a leading Russophobe as well.

Michael Gahler, a German member of the European People’s Party faction, the Christian Democratic Union in Germany, and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, was sanctioned. Ahead of this year’s G-7 Summit Gahler, along with 70 legislators from Europe, America, and Japan, issued a letter calling for a tough stance on China, insisting they “avoid becoming dependent” on China for IT.

The other EP members sanctioned by China were the French “new right philosopher” Raphaël Glucksmann, whose neo-conservative think-tank Cercle de l’Oratoire supported President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq—he accused China of the “worst crime of the 21st Century” in its treatment of the Uighurs; Miriam Lexmann of the European People’s Party faction and the Inter-Parliamentary Group on China; and Ilhan Kyuchyuk of the liberal Renew Europe faction were sanctioned.

Among the members of national parliaments sanctioned were Sjoerd Wiemer Sjoerdsma of the Dutch Parliament, who in February pushed through the Dutch Parliament a non-binding resolution condemning alleged human rights violations against the Uighurs; Samuel Cogolati of the Green party in the Belgian Federal Parliament, an anti-China warrior of the above-described Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China; and Dovilė Šakalienė of Lithuania’s Social Democratic Party, the co-chair of that Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

Leading Fabricators of Uighur Genocide Myths

Last, but certainly not least, the Chinese sanctions targeted an academic and two think-tanks who have taken the primary role in circulating highly publicized but unsourced and unsupported reports of “genocide” allegedly being carried out in Xinjiang.

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Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

The academic is Adrian Zenz whose career as a major propagandist on the Uighur issue is too long to be detailed here. He is a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, authorized by an Act of Congress in 1993 for the purpose of “educating Americans about the ideology, history and legacy of communism.” Its founder was the infamous Zbigniew Brzezinski. Zenz has been a star “witness” at the hearings of the above-mentioned Uighur Tribunal.

The first think-tank put under sanctions was the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies in Germany, the largest European institute dedicated to China studies. Founded by the Mercator Stiftung, the foundation of the German Schmidt family, owners of the large “Metro” retail store chain, it has been the arch-critic of China in Germany. On its advisory board is Caio Koch-Weser, Chairman of the Board of the European Climate Foundation, which stands at the center of the so-called “Great Reset” of the world’s economy for climate change.

The other think-tank put under sanctions was the Copenhagen based Alliance of Democracies Foundation founded in 2017 by former NATO Secretary General and former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. They hold their Democracy Summit annually, and in 2020 the theme was facing the “challenges related to the authoritarian resurgence by both China and Russia, the escalating tensions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the U.S.’s role as a global leader, and how tech can support democracy.” It was addressed by then Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The question is not so much whether the anti-China campaign will succeed in breaking relations between China and European Nations. It were better to ask whether any European nation can afford to break relations with the second-largest economy on the planet, representing one fifth of humanity. The accompanying article shows that, already, several European countries are refusing this directive to act against their own interests and are seeking rather to expand ties with China.

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