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Lawmakers in 8 countries form new alliance to counter China

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11:14 | 07/06/2020

A new cross-parliamentary alliance has been launched by senior lawmakers from eight democracies, including the US, help counter what they say is the threat China’s growing influence poses to global trade, security and human rights. 

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(Photo: Nation Thailand)

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China

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

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) launched on Friday, 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.

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.”

It 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.

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.

For the common defense of shared values

lawmakers in 8 countries form new alliance to counter china

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, Dhaka Tribune reported.

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

Chinese netizens, observers deride 'Eight-Nation Alliance' against China as a farce

Chinese netizens and observers have derided the newly founded alliance as a contemporary era "Eight-Nation Alliance" invasion force, calling it a farce that aims to seek attention and create an anti-China climate among the people of the West.

They added that times have changed and China will not allow being bullied as in the early 20 century and urged some Western politicians to abandon their cold War mentality and cease provoking China, Global Times said.

Some Chinese netizens mocked the IPAC, calling it the latest farce made by US politicians to attack China. "So this is the new Eight-Nation Alliance? Imperialism? Robbery? Theft? Corruption? Have you return everything you robbed or stole from other countries, including China?" a user commented.

Li Haidong, an expert from the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, told the Global Times on Saturday that Chinese netizens' reaction to the IPAC, calling it an "Eight-Nation Alliance" invasion force, reflects the Chinese people's antipathy towards the West's hostility and suppression against China.

“But China is no longer what it used to be in 1900 and will never, ever allow its interests to be trampled in any way”, Li said.

US Senator Marco Rubio, dubbed as "anti-China pioneer" stood out, particularly, in pushing for IPAC's establishment. Chinese experts noted that Rubio's intention in forming the coalition is quite clear - to pursue a consensus among Western society, governments, and media to counter China socially and politically.

Legislative organs in the Western countries have solid connections with the people; gathering anti-China lawmakers from these countries would facilitate the US in spreading the "China threat" theory and create an anti-China atmosphere among the people in the West, Li noted.

Representatives of Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Norwegian, and Swedish lawmakers also marked their presence in the group's formation, and more members are expected to join, reported the US media.

Li called Rubio's push for the alliance as well as similar thought processes of the other legislators as the byproduct of cold-war mentality, saying that the action of forming a countervailing alliance against one country is contrary to the general trend of international affairs, which is to address problems through cooperation and constructive solution.

With several domestic issues brewing that need urgent intervention, such as epidemic outbreak and economic recession, the US is yet to give up its hostility against China, which further proves the stubbornness of these increasingly influential anti-China forces in the country, Li noted.

"Times have changed, I believe many countries would follow the general trend of the world's peaceful development and disdain such cold-war mentality," he said.

lawmakers in 8 countries form new alliance to counter china

US Republican Senator Marco Rubio File (Photo: VCG)

'Eight-Nation Alliance' reflects West’s anxiety about China’s rise

The so-called IPAC reflects these members' panic and anxiety about China's rise. They try to use the national security legislation for Hong Kong and so-called China's "lack of transparency" in the COVID-19 fight to attack us, aiming at instigating the international community's widespread criticism of China, Global Times commented.

However, they cannot impose any substantive influence on China's development. As for the legislators who want to join in on the alliance, some of them want to increase their sense of presence, and some simply want to tag along. Instead of affecting China, they will simply make some noise truly showing their anxiety and powerlessness.

Some US' partners and allies follow the US' hostility toward China are commented “will harm their own diplomatic independence”.

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