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Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Opposes Xi Jinping’s Visit to Europe

Press Release: World Uyghur Congress Opposes Xi Jinping’s Visit to Europe

Press Statement – For Immediate Release 
05 May 2024 
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
+49 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

Today, on May 5th, Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to start his six-day visit to Europe, marking his first trip to the continent since 2019, with the exception of his trip last year to Russia. Despite recent developments within Europe, including arrests and charges related to Chinese espionage, as well as China’s deepening ties with Russia, European countries exhibit varying degrees of concern amidst increasing views of China as a ‘systemic rival’. Xi’s trip aims to address criticism while highlighting areas that remain receptive to Chinese influence.

“France has the obligation to raise the continuous human rights abuses committed by the Chinese regime inside East Turkistan, Tibet, and Hong Kong, as well as across Europe with China’s growing transnational repression,” expressed World Uyghur Congress President, Dolkun Isa. The Uyghur genocide must be raised publicly by Macron, urging Xi Jinping to end the ongoing erasure of our people, reflecting the resolution adopted by the Assemblé Nationale recognizing the Uyghur genocide.”

On Monday, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China, Xi Jinping will hold meetings with French President Macron and European Commission President von der Leyen before proceeding to Belgrade and Budapest. In France, the increasing trade deficit of the EU with China, as well as the war in Ukraine, will be on the agenda. Whereas particularly in Serbia and Hungary, the growing investment ties with China and the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade by NATO on May 7, 1999, will contribute significantly to Beijing’s enduring mistrust of NATO.

The World Uyghur Congress opposes the openness displayed by Europe towards the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its leader, Xi Jinping. Particularly, Hungary’s position blocking the discussion on China’s human rights abuses and the Uyghur genocide is of concern, as well as the recent news on the China-Europe Railway Express, a train set to transport agricultural goods produced by Uyghur forced labour which left East Turkistan for Salerno, Italy on May 3. In light of the EU forced labour regulation and due diligence directive, products made by forced labour, produced inside and outside the EU and companies involved in these violations through their supply chains will face bigger scrutiny. Yet, one thing that is significantly missing is the focus on Uyghur forced labour. France should nevertheless raise China’s state-import forced labour scheme and advocate for a strengthening of EU’s trade tools against these violations. The WUC furthermore calls on Macron and von der Leyen to explicitly raise Beijing’s abuses against Tibetans, Hong Kongers, and Uyghurs and take a strong stance against the CCP’s growing transnational repression, which endangers the lives of the community’s diaspora and the security and sovereignty of European nations.