Monday 19 April 2021

Vigilance needed to head off Chinese government influences: report

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The degree of influence that the Chinese government and the Communist Party has among the Chinese population in the Netherlands has so far been limited but a greater degree of vigilance is needed, according to a new report.

At the same time the report, which was funded by the government’s China knowledge network, says that the basis for influencing the Chinese Dutch has been laid and that there is potential for interference.

The report, drawn up by Leiden professor Frank Pieke, calls for a greater degree of vigilance and says the government should take proactive measures to prevent future influence on the Chinese-Dutch community.

In particular, the report says, the dialogue between the Dutch government and representatives of the Chinese communities in the Netherlands, which came to a halt after the government’s change in approach in 2011, must be restarted.

This, the report says, ‘will promote integration, participation, diversity and openness as well as sending a signal to China itself.’

Education

Educational materials for Chinese language teaching should be tailored to the Netherlands, rather than China and the government could also consider establishing a Chinese language media services, the report suggests.

In addition, the report says, the Netherlands should bring up cases of threats or intimidation against Uyghurs and other critics of the People’s Republic of China in the Netherlands at a diplomatic and political level.

Sanctions

Earlier this month China placed Dutch D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma on a sanctions list following the EU’s decision to impose its own sanctions against four Chinese officials for their treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the northwest.

The Dutch parliament has also become the first legislature in Europe to condemn the treatment of China’s Uyghur minority as an act of genocide.

Meanwhile, the University of Groningen has decided not to renew a controversial contract with the Chinese Confucius Institute to part-fund a Chinese language and culture teaching post. |

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