TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — French scholars on Saturday (May 30) bashed European governments for maintaining ambiguity on their opposition to the Hong Kong national security law and said their prioritization of economic interests has made them easily devourable by China.
As it has become more apparent that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is planning to override Hong Kong's autonomy, many countries have reprimanded Beijing's decision for the new legislation, including Taiwan, the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. However, as some scholars have pointed out, most of Europe has been relatively quiet in criticizing China's freedom-curtailing measures.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Harvard Kennedy School senior researcher Philippe Le Corre pointed out that the European leaders have been spewing "double-talk" on Hong Kong's situation. He described their responses as "divided" and "distressing," saying that the U.K. was the only country in Europe that has taken action to support Hong Kong citizens.
Le Corre also called out the German government and its chancellor Angela Merkel for putting the nation's economic interests ahead of human rights. He noted that the CCP has become more blatant in its mission to destroy any adversaries in or outside of China and that Europe's inactivity would only help extend the CCP's global influence.
In a separate article published by Le Figaro, Francois Heisbourg, senior adviser for the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), also offered a similar analysis on the current Europe-Hong Kong picture. The former French government official stressed that European countries’ financial dependency on Beijing, which he described as a "predator," has made them vulnerable to Chinese pressure.
Despite its mishandling of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, China has become such a superpower that it could alter the world's perspective on international events, Heisbourg added. He mentioned that the real danger lies in China's surging nationalism which fuels CCP military threats towards Taiwan.
Although Heisbourg believed that a global war will not take place, he said an Asia-Pacific military conflict is rather likely, reported CNA.