Dutch Parliamentarians Speak Out Against Government’s ‘China Strategy’

The Dutch government’s new ‘China strategy’ admits that collaboration and trade between China and the Netherlands is important but that China must play fairly and abide by internationally agreed rules. Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok said, “we have been too good-natured and gullible in the past” regarding issues such as “cyber espionage and influencing of our values and norms.”

But, members of both coalition and opposition parties in the Netherlands expressed disappointment and surprise that their government’s China Strategy does not include a discussion of China’s abominable  human rights abuses, including the live forced organ extraction of innocent prisoners of conscience, and will debate the government’s published strategy in the lower house of the Dutch Parliament.

Parliamentarian Martijn van Helvert said, “we do not accept the human rights situation in China.” Parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma said the strategy “only contains analyzes, but is not even the beginning of an answer to the gross violations in China.” All agreed that trade interests should not go before human rights.