Almost 70 legislators from the seven G7 nations have penned a letter to the leaders of their countries urging them to “unite around a plan of action that addresses China’s internal & external behaviour” which they believe is “contradictory to international standards.” The G7 countries include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The letter was released by Norbert Röttgen, member of the German Parliament.
The legislators in their statement said, “Because the actions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are affecting global politics and our societies like never before, the G7 must stand up for the democratic principles we share and believe in. Representing the interests of our electorates, we urgently call our leaders to unite around a plan of action that addresses internal and external PRC behavior which we consider contradictory to international standards.”
The legislators called for the G7 alliance to act together as an alliance in order to “uphold the international order” while ensuring that China ‘plays by the rules’. The statement highlighted 5 areas of concern where the leaders called for “allied action”. The five areas include international institutional reform, technological standards, human rights, tensions in the Indo-pacific regions and co-operation on Covid-19.
The legislators accused China of taking advantage of ‘weakened international governance’. “The consequences of such behavior can be severe, as lately seen at the World Health Organization. Its international response to Covid-19 was severely undermined due to PRC interference and violation of its rules,” the letter said. They further said that China has still not fulfilled its obligations after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The legislators also cautioned, “The Free World must avoid becoming dependent on a country that rejects market principles and democratic values.” It also expressed concern that China has taken the lead in revolutionary technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and 5G deployment. The letter also highlighted the ethnic cleaning of Uyghurs in China.
“We call on G7 leaders to hold the PRC and its leaders accountable for its blatant violation of an international treaty through the implementation of the draconian national security law in Hong Kong. PRC expansionism in the region and around the world must entail consequences. Similar aggression with respect to Taiwan and contested territories in the Himalayas and the South China Sea must be deterred,” the letter stated.
The legislators also said that it is up to China to determine whether “Covid-19 is a case of cooperation or conflict.” “Early signs show that the PRC held back important information in the initial stages of the pandemic and undermined the WHO. In doing so, it denied the rest of the world critical time to respond to the virus. To prepare and prevent future outbreaks, we believe that an independent investigation into the origins and spread of the virus is necessary,” it stated.
The letter was signed by 67 representatives from the G7 countries and was addressed to US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.