G7 and Scholz urge China to uphold international law and respect human rights – POLITICO

On Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged China to uphold the international order and pressure Russia to end its war on Ukraine “immediately” – a message that was reiterated later in the day by the G7 foreign ministers.

Both the Chancellor, who was speaking during a visit to Beijing, and the G7 ministers, who issued a joint press release following a meeting in the German city of Münster, also raised concerns about China’s human rights record, particularly regarding the treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.

“As a global political player and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China has a responsibility for world peace,” Scholz told reporters.

“I said [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] that it is important for China to use its influence on Russia,” he added. “This is about adhering to the principles of the UN Charter that we all agreed on , principles such as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any country , which is also an important concern for China. »

Scholz, who spoke alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, stressed the need to cooperate with Beijing to preserve biodiversity and combat climate change, but expressed concern that China was “closing many sectors” of its international economy to foreign competition and does not respect intellectual property. .

Along the same lines, Scholz urged China to respect human rights and said China could not dodge backlash over its much-criticized treatment of Uyghurs by saying it was of an internal matter.

The issue of human rights “particularly applies to the protection of minority rights”, said the Chancellor. “All members of the United Nations are committed to this. Recalling this obligation and calling for the implementation of these rights, for example in Xinjiang province, is therefore not interference in internal affairs.”

In their joint statement later Friday, the G7 foreign ministers also urged China “to abide by the principles of the United Nations Charter on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes” – a call that was particularly aimed at tensions around Taiwan, than Scholz also raised.

Beijing must “refrain from threats, coercion, intimidation or the use of force”, the G7 ministers said of Taiwan. “We strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to alter the status quo by force or coercion.”

“We will continue to raise our concerns with China over its human rights violations and abuses, including in Xinjiang and Tibet,” the G7 statement said. “We reiterate our concerns over the continued erosion of Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms and autonomy, and call on China to act in accordance with its international commitments and legal obligations.”

The foreign ministers also criticized Iran’s violent crackdown on protesters, threatened further sanctions against Tehran for its supply of drones to Russia and stressed that “Iran must never develop a nuclear weapon”.

The G7 ministers also condemned the “unprecedented series of illegal ballistic missile launches” by North Korea and warned that “any nuclear test or other reckless action must be met with a swift, united and international response.” robust”.