Aggressive rebuttal of Chinese signals hardening position by EU towards Chinese
New York (22/12). Reuters reported the Germany’s United Nations envoy, during his last scheduled UN Security Council meeting, appealed to China to free two detained Canadians for Christmas, prompting China’s deputy UN envoy to respond: “Out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance.”
The Chinese response besides bad taste is not contributing to peace and stability. The Chinese official comes across as a party megaphone of an oppressive regime in suit.
The German ambassador pointed out the Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou spends Christmas in a 7-bedroom mansion given all the privileges of comfortable living while the two Canadians are held under trumped up charges in China in small prison cells.
Human rights groups receive a steady stream of reports from Asia, not just China of the use of extra-judicial detention and arrests for what are political acts. ‘Western political leaders, including Germany and the EU as a whole, are still under the illusion of a peaceful transition of Chinese power. The Asian political elite has no intention to change or adopt a western style of law and order.”, the expert who teaches Asian politics in Europe.
“On the contrary, Asians and China feels empowered to rule through dictatorial strength. It views the west as weak. And taken the response they are right”, he added.
Germany finishes a two-year term on the 15-member council at the end of this month and Ambassador Christoph Heusgen plans to retire after more than 40 years as a diplomat.
“Let me end my tenure on the Security Council by appealing to my Chinese colleagues to ask Beijing for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Christmas is the right moment for such a gesture,” Mr Heusgen told the council session, whose official agenda topic was Iran. (full German speech can be seen here)
Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who was working as an adviser for the International Crisis Group think tank, and businessman Spavor were detained by Beijing in 2018 shortly after Canadian police picked up Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.
China’s deputy UN ambassador Geng Shuang accused Mr Heusgen of abusing the Security Council to launch malicious attacks on other members “in an attempt to poison the working atmosphere”.
“I wish to say something out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance, Ambassador Heusgen,” Mr Geng said. “I am hoping that the council in your absence in the year 2021 will be in a better position to fulfil the responsibilities…for maintaining international peace and security.”
Mr Heusgen also used the Security Council meeting to advise Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy to read certain articles about Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who said he had tricked a Russian secret agent into disclosing details of a botched plot to kill him. Russia’s FSB security service dismissed the recording as a fake.
Mr Polyanskiy replied: “It seems he’s developed a certain dependency on the council, there’s never a meeting without criticism of Russia even if that’s not suitable for the subject matter. I hope that after Jan 1 that Christoph’s symptoms will improve.”