European Parliament should stop pointing accusing finger at China
The new European Parliament paid excessive attention to Hong Kong in its first debate on Thursday morning and passed a motion supporting the ongoing protests in the city. This is interference in China’s domestic affairs. The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the European Parliament for turning a blind eye to facts and for confusing right and wrong. It is astonishing that members of the European Parliament (MEPS) are so arrogant and ignorant to make indiscreet remarks about China’s policy.
It’s no accident that the new European Parliament passed the motion.
First, it is influenced by Europe’s long-term cultural colonialism and cultural imperialism. Europe always attaches great importance to the so-called human rights issue, and it is used to pointing fingers at issues in other regions with a condescending attitude. Take the Hong Kong issue as an example. In fact, many MEPS have never been to the city before. They don’t know much about the situation in Hong Kong, let alone have an insight into it.
Second, there have been new changes in the political climate of Europe over the past two years, as shown by the European Green Party’s (EGP) rise in the European Parliament elections in May this year. The EGP doesn’t just focus on climate and environmental protection. It used to express public support for separatist forces in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and called for the boycott of Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. It’s very likely that this motion was able to pass due to the EGP’S incitement. Traditional political elites in Europe are increasingly vigilant against China and they define the country as a systemic rival. Influenced by these factors, political forces in Europe tend to continuously stir up troubles on China-related issues.
Third, with the proliferation of populism and the rapid development of social media, Europe has entered a posttruth era. This gives some radical politicians the opportunity to use the internet and social media to express extreme political views in order to attract attention and gain support. These people have deep ideological prejudices against China. Although there are only a small number of these people in Europe, they have influenced quite a few Europeans.
Finally, the European Parliament is trying to divert public attention with non-european issues. It also wants to showcase its own international political influence in an attempt to validate its significance. The EU is facing unprecedented challenges. Brexit has run into a dilemma, and it is not yet known what kind of impact it will have on the bloc. Confronted with populism and the rise of right-wing forces, the EU has not been able to respond effectively. Terrorist attacks, refugee crises and debt crises have emerged one after another, leaving the bloc busy with its own problems while worsening contradictions within the EU. During the first meeting of the new European Parliament, when MEPS pointed fingers at Hong Kong, they avoided internal bickering.
Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, does not have outstanding achievements. For a long period of time before she was elected, marathon talks among EU leaders in Brussels have failed more than once to reach agreement on a candidate to replace former European Commission president Jean-claude Juncker. The inefficiency of the European Parliament is for all to see.
The European Parliament should mind its own business and respond to the real concerns of Europeans. The author is a vice director at the institute of Sino-german People-to-people Exchange Center, Shanghai International Studies University. opin[email protected]altimes.com.cn