EU and India set up trade and technology committee to fight China and Russia

The European Union and India issued a joint statement on April 25, announcing the establishment of a special committee on trade and technology to promote cooperation between Europe and India. Although the two sides have different positions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the establishment of the committee, in addition to confronting China, also provides India with a viable alternative to shed Russian influence.

President of the European Commission von der Leyen visited India. On the 25th, the two sides announced the establishment of the EU-India Trade and Technology Committee to jointly address challenges in trade, technological security and other fields and deepen related cooperation. The US was previously the only country to sign a similar Indo-European technology agreement with the EU.

The joint statement said that following the establishment of the EU-US Trade and Technology Committee in 2021, this is the second trade and technology committee established by the EU and other countries, and the first trade and technology committee established by India and another country. Strategic partnership "takes a critical step".

When the trade and technology committee formed by the U.S. and Europe met for the first time last September, the media reported, “This is a meeting between allies who are eager to show a united front as a bulwark against China.” Relations against China, "which is also the goal of President Biden"; although the word "China" was not mentioned in any of the topics of the meeting, topics such as "abuse of technology to threaten security and human rights" clearly provided "a good source for discussions around China". a lot of leeway."


EU and India set up trade and technology committee to fight China and Russia  The European Union and India issued a joint statement on April 25, announcing the establishment of a special committee on trade and technology to promote cooperation between Europe and India. Although the two sides have different positions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the establishment of the committee, in addition to confronting China, also provides India with a viable alternative to shed Russian influence.  President of the European Commission von der Leyen visited India. On the 25th, the two sides announced the establishment of the EU-India Trade and Technology Committee to jointly address challenges in trade, technological security and other fields and deepen related cooperation. The US was previously the only country to sign a similar Indo-European technology agreement with the EU.  The joint statement said that following the establishment of the EU-US Trade and Technology Committee in 2021, this is the second trade and technology committee established by the EU and other countries, and the first trade and technology committee established by India and another country. Strategic partnership "takes a critical step".  When the trade and technology committee formed by the U.S. and Europe met for the first time last September, the media reported, “This is a meeting between allies who are eager to show a united front as a bulwark against China.” Relations against China, "which is also the goal of President Biden"; although the word "China" was not mentioned in any of the topics of the meeting, topics such as "abuse of technology to threaten security and human rights" clearly provided "a good source for discussions around China". a lot of leeway."  Referring to the EU-India Trade and Technology Commission as a "strategic coordination mechanism", the joint statement said the dramatic changes in the geopolitical environment underscored the need to deepen "joint strategic" engagement. The Trade and Technology Council will provide political direction and the necessary structures to operate political decisions, coordinate technical operations and report to the political hierarchy to ensure implementation and follow-up of key areas of economic sustainability in Europe and India.  The Strategic Coordination Mechanism will enable all partners to address challenges at the intersection of trade, reliable technology and security, thereby deepening EU-India cooperation in these areas.  It was the latest visit by the European Union to encourage New Delhi to distance itself from Moscow and to back Western opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, von der Leyen said it was in India's strategic interest to have a close relationship with the EU.  She believes that for the EU, strengthening and stimulating its partnership with India is a priority for the next decade. Both economies thrive in a world of common rules and fair play. However, these values ​​are threatened by Russia and China. She pointed out that "the reality is that the core principles underpinning world peace and security are already at stake." Von der Leyen mentioned that before the outbreak of the Ukraine war, China and Russia declared the so-called "no upper limit" strategic partnership.  She said, “What does it mean for Europe and Asia that Russia and China have concluded a seemingly limitless agreement? They claim that their friendship has no end, that cooperation has no no-go zone, and it was in February of this year. Invasion of Ukraine. What can we expect from the 'new international relations' that both sides are calling for?"  She said the EU's vision is for the Indo-Pacific to remain free and open, to become more interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient, with a An open and rules-based security architecture that serves all interests. Therefore, the EU will deepen its cooperation with regional partners, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  Von der Leyen also criticized China's "debt trap diplomacy" in her speech, saying, "Some countries are forced to accept proposals that are not in line with sustainable development. They are faced with a situation where they cannot fully control their infrastructure, regardless of Whether it’s a seaport or an airport, whether it’s a bridge or a railway. But in our future investments, it should never come at the expense of a country’s independence.”  She cited the EU’s Global Gateway program, arguing that India in particular could Benefit from the program's funds in areas such as climate protection and energy production, as well as digital technologies.  India has so far refused to condemn the Russian aggression and abstained in a UN General Assembly vote to suspend Russia's membership of the Human Rights Council. In addition, India has continued to buy oil from Russia despite Western pressure. New Delhi has also recently procured a batch of air defense system weapons.  So Von der Leyen emphasized that what happened in Ukraine will have an impact on the Indo-Pacific region. A country battered by the two-year COVID-19 pandemic must now contend with rising food, energy and fertilizer prices, a direct result of Putin's choice of war. Therefore, the outcome of the war will not only determine the future of Europe, but will profoundly affect the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world.    Annual World Religious Freedom Report released, U.S. lawmakers specifically mention China  The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom held a video conference on Monday to release its 2022 World Religious Freedom Report. Two heavyweight members of the US Congress specifically mentioned the issue of religious freedom in China at the meeting. The committee proposes adding a special adviser on international religious freedom to the White House National Security Council.  The report reviews international religious freedom policies since the Biden administration took office.  "Hit the opponent's nerve"  The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who spoke first, affirmed the important role of the Committee in defending international religious freedom in the United States at the meeting. She especially pointed out the influence of the Committee on the issue of religious freedom in China. So far, seven members have been sanctioned by the Chinese government, which clearly shows the influence of the committee's work and hits the nerves of the other party."  Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has long been concerned about China's human rights issues, emphasized at the meeting that both former Secretary of State Pompeo and current Secretary of State Blinken correctly defined the Chinese government's atrocities against ethnic minorities such as Muslims in Xinjiang as racial Extinction.  Senator Rubio also pointed out that "the law on the prevention of forced labor of Uyghurs that I proposed at the end of last year was passed in Congress, and American companies can no longer avoid the issue of forced labor in Xinjiang."  Nury Turkel, vice chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, pointed out at the meeting that the Biden administration has continued many policies and practices on religious freedom during the previous Trump administration, and has issued a response to the Biden administration. He affirmed his concerns about religious freedom in Xinjiang and the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.  He also pointed out that the U.S. Congress passed a permanent reauthorization of the Magnitsky Act this month and was signed by President Biden, which will allow the U.S. government to sanction those responsible for religious persecution through visas and property freezes. people.  Controversy over Biden administration policies  Fu Xiqiu, founder of the China Aid Association, an American human rights organization that focuses on religious freedom in China, analyzed to this station that the Biden administration has indeed continued the policy on religious freedom under the Trump administration, but he believes that there are still differences between the two. Differences in layout, "(Biden's administration) has diluted religious freedom in principle. In a speech at the beginning of his tenure, Secretary of State Blinken particularly lowered the priority of religious freedom in US policy concerns."  When Blinken released the annual report on world human rights at the U.S. State Department on March 30 last year, he criticized the Trump administration for creating a hierarchy among various human rights and placing religious freedom and property rights above other basic freedoms. He emphasized that all human rights coexist on an equal footing. There is no hierarchy in which some rights are superior to others.  Fu Xiqiu said of Blinken's statement, "This subverts a consensus in the U.S. Constitution that religious freedom is the first freedom and the foundation of all other freedoms and human rights, because freedom of conscience and belief are involved. freedom of."  Yilixiati, vice-chairman of the World Uyghur Congress, believes that the Biden administration, like the previous U.S. administrations, is as always upholding freedom and democracy. He analyzed, "The values ​​of the Democratic Party are based on liberalism, so they emphasize human rights. Of course, these human rights include religious freedom, individualism, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, etc., emphasizing the equality of freedom. "  He does not agree with the overemphasis on the importance of religious freedom. "Putting religion too much in the front of social politics is often counterproductive. I think that liberal democracy should be promoted in a secular way. Once religion is excessively interfered in the political field. , often resulting in excess and bias.”  Freedom of Religions in China This report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommends that ten countries, including Myanmar and China, continue to be included in the list of "countries of special concern" for religious freedom in 2022. It also recommends that countries such as Afghanistan and India also be included. this list.  The report's overall assessment of religious freedom in China over the past year has continued to deteriorate. The report mentions China's vigorous implementation of the "Sinicization of religion" policy and calls for religious groups and believers to support the Chinese Communist Party's rule and ideology. The report also highlights the role of the National Conference on Religious Work held late last year in promoting these policies and practices.  While China recognizes various religious sects, including Buddhism, Catholicism and Islam, those religious groups deemed to have foreign influence are particularly vulnerable to persecution, the report noted. The report recommends increasing financial and visa sanctions in China on officials and entities responsible for persecuting religious freedom.  Fu Xiqiu, who is also a Christian pastor, told this station that the Chinese government's persecution of religion has intensified in the past year. Reporting people who believe in Christianity and so on has intensified."  He also mentioned that the trend of suppressing religious belief on the Internet is also on the rise, and keywords such as God and Jesus have become sensitive words, and netizens have to use pinyin instead.  Our reporter asked the host of the meeting if he had any policy recommendations for Chinese Christian groups. Turkle, vice-chairman of the International Commission on Religious Freedom, did not mention policy measures specifically targeting Christianity in his response, but said the commission's recommendation is "to specifically sanction those individuals or officials who help shape religious policy, especially officials from China's United Front Work Department. , and officials of China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs, the implementers of these policies should not keep them in a state of invisibility.” He stressed that the sanctions may not have an immediate effect, but will have a long-term effect.  Turkel emphasized that religious freedom is a matter of human nature, a matter of national security, and a matter of values, and the U.S. government should try its best to cooperate with its allies bilaterally or multilaterally on this issue.  Turkel also pointed out that in the latest report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom proposed adding a special adviser on international religious freedom to the National Security Council to make policy recommendations for the US government to implement its commitment to religious freedom.  Source : rfa


Referring to the EU-India Trade and Technology Commission as a "strategic coordination mechanism", the joint statement said the dramatic changes in the geopolitical environment underscored the need to deepen "joint strategic" engagement. The Trade and Technology Council will provide political direction and the necessary structures to operate political decisions, coordinate technical operations and report to the political hierarchy to ensure implementation and follow-up of key areas of economic sustainability in Europe and India.

The Strategic Coordination Mechanism will enable all partners to address challenges at the intersection of trade, reliable technology and security, thereby deepening EU-India cooperation in these areas.

It was the latest visit by the European Union to encourage New Delhi to distance itself from Moscow and to back Western opposition to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, von der Leyen said it was in India's strategic interest to have a close relationship with the EU.

She believes that for the EU, strengthening and stimulating its partnership with India is a priority for the next decade. Both economies thrive in a world of common rules and fair play. However, these values ​​are threatened by Russia and China. She pointed out that "the reality is that the core principles underpinning world peace and security are already at stake." Von der Leyen mentioned that before the outbreak of the Ukraine war, China and Russia declared the so-called "no upper limit" strategic partnership.

She said, “What does it mean for Europe and Asia that Russia and China have concluded a seemingly limitless agreement? They claim that their friendship has no end, that cooperation has no no-go zone, and it was in February of this year. Invasion of Ukraine. What can we expect from the 'new international relations' that both sides are calling for?"

She said the EU's vision is for the Indo-Pacific to remain free and open, to become more interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient, with a An open and rules-based security architecture that serves all interests. Therefore, the EU will deepen its cooperation with regional partners, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Von der Leyen also criticized China's "debt trap diplomacy" in her speech, saying, "Some countries are forced to accept proposals that are not in line with sustainable development. They are faced with a situation where they cannot fully control their infrastructure, regardless of Whether it’s a seaport or an airport, whether it’s a bridge or a railway. But in our future investments, it should never come at the expense of a country’s independence.”

She cited the EU’s Global Gateway program, arguing that India in particular could Benefit from the program's funds in areas such as climate protection and energy production, as well as digital technologies.

India has so far refused to condemn the Russian aggression and abstained in a UN General Assembly vote to suspend Russia's membership of the Human Rights Council. In addition, India has continued to buy oil from Russia despite Western pressure. New Delhi has also recently procured a batch of air defense system weapons.

So Von der Leyen emphasized that what happened in Ukraine will have an impact on the Indo-Pacific region. A country battered by the two-year COVID-19 pandemic must now contend with rising food, energy and fertilizer prices, a direct result of Putin's choice of war. Therefore, the outcome of the war will not only determine the future of Europe, but will profoundly affect the Indo-Pacific region and the rest of the world.

Annual World Religious Freedom Report released, U.S. lawmakers specifically mention China

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom held a video conference on Monday to release its 2022 World Religious Freedom Report. Two heavyweight members of the US Congress specifically mentioned the issue of religious freedom in China at the meeting. The committee proposes adding a special adviser on international religious freedom to the White House National Security Council.

The report reviews international religious freedom policies since the Biden administration took office.

"Hit the opponent's nerve"

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who spoke first, affirmed the important role of the Committee in defending international religious freedom in the United States at the meeting. She especially pointed out the influence of the Committee on the issue of religious freedom in China. So far, seven members have been sanctioned by the Chinese government, which clearly shows the influence of the committee's work and hits the nerves of the other party."

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has long been concerned about China's human rights issues, emphasized at the meeting that both former Secretary of State Pompeo and current Secretary of State Blinken correctly defined the Chinese government's atrocities against ethnic minorities such as Muslims in Xinjiang as racial Extinction.

Senator Rubio also pointed out that "the law on the prevention of forced labor of Uyghurs that I proposed at the end of last year was passed in Congress, and American companies can no longer avoid the issue of forced labor in Xinjiang."

Nury Turkel, vice chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, pointed out at the meeting that the Biden administration has continued many policies and practices on religious freedom during the previous Trump administration, and has issued a response to the Biden administration. He affirmed his concerns about religious freedom in Xinjiang and the diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

He also pointed out that the U.S. Congress passed a permanent reauthorization of the Magnitsky Act this month and was signed by President Biden, which will allow the U.S. government to sanction those responsible for religious persecution through visas and property freezes. people.

Controversy over Biden administration policies

Fu Xiqiu, founder of the China Aid Association, an American human rights organization that focuses on religious freedom in China, analyzed to this station that the Biden administration has indeed continued the policy on religious freedom under the Trump administration, but he believes that there are still differences between the two. Differences in layout, "(Biden's administration) has diluted religious freedom in principle. In a speech at the beginning of his tenure, Secretary of State Blinken particularly lowered the priority of religious freedom in US policy concerns."

When Blinken released the annual report on world human rights at the U.S. State Department on March 30 last year, he criticized the Trump administration for creating a hierarchy among various human rights and placing religious freedom and property rights above other basic freedoms. He emphasized that all human rights coexist on an equal footing. There is no hierarchy in which some rights are superior to others.

Fu Xiqiu said of Blinken's statement, "This subverts a consensus in the U.S. Constitution that religious freedom is the first freedom and the foundation of all other freedoms and human rights, because freedom of conscience and belief are involved. freedom of."

Yilixiati, vice-chairman of the World Uyghur Congress, believes that the Biden administration, like the previous U.S. administrations, is as always upholding freedom and democracy. He analyzed, "The values ​​of the Democratic Party are based on liberalism, so they emphasize human rights. Of course, these human rights include religious freedom, individualism, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, etc., emphasizing the equality of freedom. "

He does not agree with the overemphasis on the importance of religious freedom. "Putting religion too much in the front of social politics is often counterproductive. I think that liberal democracy should be promoted in a secular way. Once religion is excessively interfered in the political field. , often resulting in excess and bias.”

Freedom of Religions in China
This report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommends that ten countries, including Myanmar and China, continue to be included in the list of "countries of special concern" for religious freedom in 2022. It also recommends that countries such as Afghanistan and India also be included. this list.

The report's overall assessment of religious freedom in China over the past year has continued to deteriorate. The report mentions China's vigorous implementation of the "Sinicization of religion" policy and calls for religious groups and believers to support the Chinese Communist Party's rule and ideology. The report also highlights the role of the National Conference on Religious Work held late last year in promoting these policies and practices.

While China recognizes various religious sects, including Buddhism, Catholicism and Islam, those religious groups deemed to have foreign influence are particularly vulnerable to persecution, the report noted. The report recommends increasing financial and visa sanctions in China on officials and entities responsible for persecuting religious freedom.

Fu Xiqiu, who is also a Christian pastor, told this station that the Chinese government's persecution of religion has intensified in the past year. Reporting people who believe in Christianity and so on has intensified."

He also mentioned that the trend of suppressing religious belief on the Internet is also on the rise, and keywords such as God and Jesus have become sensitive words, and netizens have to use pinyin instead.

Our reporter asked the host of the meeting if he had any policy recommendations for Chinese Christian groups. Turkle, vice-chairman of the International Commission on Religious Freedom, did not mention policy measures specifically targeting Christianity in his response, but said the commission's recommendation is "to specifically sanction those individuals or officials who help shape religious policy, especially officials from China's United Front Work Department. , and officials of China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs, the implementers of these policies should not keep them in a state of invisibility.” He stressed that the sanctions may not have an immediate effect, but will have a long-term effect.

Turkel emphasized that religious freedom is a matter of human nature, a matter of national security, and a matter of values, and the U.S. government should try its best to cooperate with its allies bilaterally or multilaterally on this issue.

Turkel also pointed out that in the latest report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom proposed adding a special adviser on international religious freedom to the National Security Council to make policy recommendations for the US government to implement its commitment to religious freedom.

Source : rfa
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