The first webinar in "Europe Debates" series
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has once again revealed how China’s uncontrolled actions undermine the global social, economic, and political order. To many, China is not a fair and accountable partner and is considered as a rising threat to our European values.
The list of its violations it long and varied: from organised campaigns of disinformation and fake news, to censoring whistle blowers and blaming the West for their own mistakes; and from violent oppression of ethnic and religious groups to intellectual property theft, personal data harvesting, and protectionist trade practices. China must be held accountable for its role in this unprecedented health crisis and the subsequent global economic and social breakdown. Not only did it fail to contain the health emergency allowing it to escalate to a pandemic, but today takes advantage of this global panic to improve its economic and political influence, even profiteering by selling equipment and medical supplies to European governments.
Europe must finally come up with an answer and confront China on its policies and practices that fall outside internationally accepted norms.
The European Conservatives and Reformists Party invites you to join a virtual panel conversation discussing the role of China as a new global threat. Bringing together leading European politicians, we will discuss Europe’s efforts to protect its citizens and their interests from Chinese actions, and how to ensure peaceful cooperation, unobstructed international trade and economic competition, while limiting Europe’s dangerous overdependence on China.
ECR PARTY HOLDS FIRST EUROPE DEBATE’S PANEL
The European Conservatives and Reformists Party hosted their first online panel ‘Europe Debates: Is China the New Global Threat?’. The online meeting was organised by the ECR Party and moderated by Basil Coronakis, the founder of New Europe Newspaper in Brussels. Panellists included Polish Member of the European Parliament Anna Fotyga, Spanish MEP and journalist Hermann Tertsch, Swedish Member of Parliament Mattias Karlsson and leader of Fratelli d’Italia in the European Parliament Carlo Fidanza.
The debate centred around Europe’s relationship with China, in the context of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Panellists set out their views on how fragile relations between Europe and China should continue after the crisis.
MEP Anna Fotyga, recently appointed to NATO’s future reflections committee said: “We are already seeing a major shift in China away from non-intervention. And we are seeing an intertwining of the art of cooperation and the art of war.” She went on to say: “I started my work this legislature (of the European Parliament) by asking the Commission about dependence on China including medical supplies”
Spanish MEP Hermann Tertsch talked about his concerns about the nature of the regime: “The regime is even tougher than before. And the repression is even worse than before Tiananmen.” And added: “Chinese policy has always had the fundamental advantage of not following the rules of others when trading as with everything else.”
Whilst Swedish MP Mattia Karlsson highlighted some of the concerns around animal rights: “We need a common demand that China has to close the wet markets and until this happens we should have an international ban on animal products from there.”
Finally, Carlo Fidanza MEP talked about the threat posed from China buying up infrastructure: “We should avoid signing dangerous memorandums on Belt and Road. It looks good but they want to takeover strategic infrastructure around Europe. We must defend the internal market.”
The webinar was the first in the series ‘Europe Debates’ events held online. ‘Europe Debates’ is a series of panels, lectures and seminars hosted on current affairs with leading conservative politicians from across the European Union.
Chief Executive of the ECR Party Richard Milsom said: “Just like everyone else, we have had to adjust the way we work as a result of the social distancing measures in place across Europe, and so the Europe Debates series of online panels is our way of ensuring the conservative message is still heard across Europe”
ECR Party Executive Director
Member of the European Parliament, Poland
Hermann Tertsch MEP
Member of Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Carlo Fidanza MEP
Member of the European Parliament, Italy
Mattias Karlsson MP
Former Leader of the Sweden Democrats, Founder of Sweden’s First Conservative Think-tank, Oikos