Although there is still no question of Chinese influence in Dutch society, the basis for this has been laid. It is now important for the government to take measures to limit influence, concludes Leiden anthropologist Frank Pieke, who drafted a report (pdf) on the influence of the Chinese state and the Chinese Communist Party on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( CCP) on the Dutch-Chinese community.
Pieke warns that there is a potential for interference from the Chinese community and advocates proactive measures to prevent future influence in the Netherlands.
The Chinese diaspora is increasingly seen by Xi Jinping’s government as a way to gain influence abroad, says the Leiden researcher. In the Netherlands, this is done, for example, through Chinese-language media and the Chinese student organization. “This leaves little room for opinions or activities that are inconsistent with the Orthodoxy of the People’s Republic, especially when it comes to China’s foreign policy and sovereignty claims.”
In his report, Pieke criticizes the Chinese-language media in the Netherlands, which he believes are largely directed from news agencies in China. He argues for a more extensive offer with room for independent media, for example through a Dutch news organization that reports in Chinese.
There must be a warning system for Chinese influence in the Netherlands. Organizations that strive for stronger ties between China and the Netherlands should also be better researched. This could reveal and counteract manipulation by the Chinese government.
Harassment in the Netherlands
Organizations and groups that stand up for the rights of Uyghurs, Tibetans and Hong Kongers in the Netherlands are often faced with intimidation from the Chinese government or are afraid of it, Pieke of the Leiden Asia Center notes. There are also many Chinese who, despite living in the Netherlands, still try to avoid topics that Beijing sees as sensitive.
The Netherlands must ensure that Chinese-Dutch people feel the freedom and security of their opinion, says Pieke. He advocates that more is done to bind Chinese communities to Dutch society.
In addition, he believes stricter rules should be introduced for activities that members of the Chinese Communist Party want to organize in the Netherlands. For example, there must be complete disclosure and covert party activities must be prohibited.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 36,500 people with Chinese nationality lived in the Netherlands. This number has grown significantly over the past twenty years due to the influx of students and labor migrants.
Source site www.nu.nl