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IPAC passed common plan of Parliamentary Action against China, to address the violation of human rights and to develop alternate supply chains

Senator James Paterson, IPAC Co-Chair for Australia, said, "This document sets out a clear pathway to help democracies resist coercion and intimidation from Beijing. Only by acting together can we hope to preserve and maintain the values we hold so dear, which were paid for by the sacrifices of previous generations.

On September 14, the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) agreed on a common plan of action to address the Chinese government’s activities with respect to other nations and its own citizens. IPAC, which is an organization of legislators from countries around the world, adopted the communiqué on Wednesday to set out a plan to defend human rights and hold CCP accountable for the human rights violations in China and Hong Kong.

60 legislators from 30 countries attended the meeting.

The plan also aims to safeguard the rules-based international system, strengthen democracies internationally, and support Taiwan and Ukraine. Furthermore, the communiqué included the need to make efforts to move critical supply chains away from PRC.

In the press note issued by IPAC, the group said, “Since its foundation in June 2020, IPAC has grown from 8 founding legislatures to 29, spanning five continents. Among the legislators attending are the network’s newest members from Ukraine, whose accession to the network was announced at a press conference on Capitol hill.”

Senator James Paterson, IPAC Co-Chair for Australia, said, “This document sets out a clear pathway to help democracies resist coercion and intimidation from Beijing. Only by acting together can we hope to preserve and maintain the values we hold so dear, which were paid for by the sacrifices of previous generations. We leave the summit stronger than ever, determined to continue and deepen collaboration within this extraordinary network, and determined to implement this important communique in each of our countries.”

Source: IPAC

Ukrainian IPAC Co-Chair Oleksander Merezhko MP, who is the latest member of IPAC, said, “After February 24, I realized that in our struggle against Russia’s aggression, we can only count on democratic countries, including Taiwan, but not on the PRC which in effect has sided with Russia in a “no limits” partnership. It is my firm belief that today more than ever, democracies should support each other in order to survive. This alliance to me is about the solidarity of those who believe in democracy and human rights, and who understand the danger posed by neo-totalitarianism to the democratic free world.”

IPAC’s communique on China

Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) was founded in June 2020. Its aim is to promote reform in to approach of democracies toward the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since its establishment, the group has raised concerns over the practices of PRC within its borders, such as human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims, and across borders.

Its communique noted, “after two years of campaigning and considerable growth of the network, the 30 legislatures of IPAC are united in pursuing the following plan to safeguard democracy and defend universal rights.”

It noted that the human rights records of the PRC government have been on a deteriorating path. Still, the Chinese government continues to deny basic rights, including freedom of expression, thought, conscience, and religion, to its citizens. Furthermore, mass surveillance, arbitrary detention, and enforced disappearances against opponents of its rule are on the rise.

They explicitly highlighted “the industrial scale human rights abuses taking place in the Uyghur Region, where a growing body of legal opinion finds credible evidence for mass atrocity crimes, alongside ongoing abuses in Tibet and the dismantling of Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms” in particular.

IPAC noted that the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has failed to obtain access to the Uyghur Region that is facing atrocities at the hands of the Chinese government. They said, “No country can be allowed to violate human rights with impunity. IPAC will continue to call for our governments to act to hold the PRC government to account for its abuses.”

The communiqué also talked about the economic influence PRC has gained over the years in the backdrop of the Belt and Road Initiative. They noted, “In recent years, the PRC has sought to use its economic influence to coerce other states into acquiescence. As recent disputes with several nations have shown, the PRC practices formal and informal trade bans, popular boycotts, and other coercive trade techniques to achieve its political aims. Similarly, the PRC has used its Belt and Road Initiative to exert leverage over-indebted nations like Sri Lanka and Malaysia and to secure political support within multilateral institutions. Such coercive diplomacy is unacceptable and has no place in a rules-based international order based upon reciprocity and mutual respect.”

To counter China’s influence and put a curb on human rights violations, IPAC called for Reducing strategic dependency on the PRC through building diverse and resilient supply chains. They further suggested “Scrutinising and limiting exports and technology transfer of specific sensitive equipment and technologies to the PRC, in particular, where there are grounds to suspect undesirable use relating to internal repression, the interception of communications or surveillance.”

They also called for developing an alternative to PRC’s One Belt, One Road initiative and expanding programs such as “the Global Investment and Infrastructure Partnership, the EU’s Global Gateway Initiative, the Three Seas Initiative, and other similar endeavours initiated by Japan, India, and other countries to provide sustainable routes to development for emerging economies.”

Source: IPAC

Furthermore, IPAC also expresses concerns over the increasing influence of China on Hong Kong and Taiwan. Also, it expressed concerns over the support China is providing to Russia following the military action against Ukraine.

BJD MP Sujeet Kumar and Congress MLA Ninong Ering are members of the IPAC.

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