‘Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China’ includes nine Western economies . . .
A group of high-profile lawmakers from nine Western economies launched today a new cross-parliamentary alliance to help counter what they say is a threat to human rights and the international rules-based order posed by China’s ascendency on the global stage. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) seeks to both unite like-minded democratic economies against what it sees as the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasingly flagrant actions and pressure their governments to take a more robust policy stance on China. Participating economies currently include Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, U.K., U.S., as well as members of the European Parliament. The group aims to push for policy changes in five areas: safeguarding the international rules-based order, protecting human rights, trade fairness, strengthening security, and protecting national integrity. IPAC, which says it will receive no external funding, has said one of its first goals will be to push for legislation aimed at pressuring China to halt it’s “appalling treatment” of its Uighur people.
Spurred to action . . .
IPAC is the latest development in a growing international backlash against Beijing, which has angered members of the international community with its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its increasingly aggressive diplomatic actions. More specifically, the CCP’s continued detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig following Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s CFO in Vancouver last December, and China’s recent punitive tariffs on Australian goods following Australia’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19. In IPAC’s inaugural media release, it charged that governments are “not doing enough” to counter Beijing’s actions against human rights and aggressive diplomacy, pointing to Beijing’s recent imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong as yet another recent example.
What role will Canada play?
The two Canadian IPAC members are Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Conservative Member of Parliament Garnett Genuis. Genuis told the Toronto Star, “We don’t want to be in a situation where individual countries are targeted and isolated one at a time.” Yesterday, Genuis posted on Twitter that over the past 31 years, China’s “record on human rights and respect for international law keeps getting worse.” Genius says he expects that more legislators, including from across party lines in Canada, will join the alliance.
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