We in the Netherlands are happy to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in China – even when it comes to genocide. Besides being amazing, he writes, it can also be racist Roelof Bowman.
With a beaming smile, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng shook hands with King Willem-Alexander at Huis den Bosch Palace recently. The result is a beautiful picture telegram The next day, “Beijing shows the outside world what it wants to plan.”
As is well known, Sino-Dutch relations are not entirely without problems. According to the cabinet, China is guilty of cyber attacks and operations on Dutch territory. At the request of the US, the government announced in March that exports of advanced ASML chip machines to China would be further restricted. Americans fear that the chips could be manufactured for military purposes.
Han Zheng wrote the fact that he came to the Netherlands telegram, indicating that China is not taking it all seriously. ‘In 2021, the Netherlands will invest 1.1 billion in China, making it the seventh largest investor in China. After Germany, the Netherlands’ most important import country is China.’
It all sounded so natural. But it?
China’s handling of human rights abuses is peculiar
Not really. China – and cyber attacks and the ASML issue are nothing in comparison – is a country committing genocide: against the Uyghurs, an Islamic minority in the western province of Xinjiang. A resolution to this effect was adopted by the House of Representatives in 2021, thanks to the support of the government parties D66, CDA and ChristenUnie. The VVD did not support the movement, but returned a year later.
Genocide, also known as Genocide: Not bad. You may curiously call it a vice-president who is jointly responsible for the ceremony in our king’s palace. But besides being interesting, it also illustrates our most spectacular way of dealing with Chinese human rights abuses.
Mao was responsible for 65 million deaths
Han Zheng and his boss, Chinese President Xi Jinping, are in Mao Zedong’s shoes. The founder of the People’s Republic of China died in 1976 and was responsible for 65 million deaths. Nevertheless, he was remembered by PvdA Foreign Minister Max van der Stoel as ‘a great leader and statesman’, and the House of Representatives observed a minute’s silence for Mao.
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