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After repeated threats and insults against parliamentarians and a French researcher, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Chinese ambassador, who, according to the Quai d'Orsay, declined the invitation, citing " agenda issues ". </p><div> <p>Tensions continue to grow between Beijing, Paris and Brussels. France expects the summons of the Chinese ambassador to be honored "as quickly as possible" by the Foreign Ministry, declared Tuesday (March 23) the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, in the midst of a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and the European Union.
The French foreign ministry denounced Monday the “unacceptable remarks” of the Chinese embassy towards a researcher and French parliamentarians, specifying that the ambassador would be summoned.
“After the multiplication of unacceptable comments made publicly by the Chinese Embassy in recent days, including in the form of insults and threats against parliamentarians and a French researcher, we recall the basic rules enshrined by the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations which are attached to the functioning of a foreign embassy, in particular with regard to its public communication “, added on Monday Agnès von der Mühll, spokesperson for the Quai d’Orsay, during a daily update with the press. “The embassy is invited to strictly comply with it.”
Tuesday, on the antenna of France Info, Clément Beaune confirmed that the ambassador had indeed been summoned, but that he had declined by evoking a problem of agenda.
“The problem of the agenda, I do not believe in it too much and it does not work in that direction,” said the Secretary of State. “Neither France, nor Europe are doormats. When one is summoned, when one is an ambassador, one goes to a summons to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
An urgent request from France
“We are waiting as soon as possible for this summons to be honored,” he added.
“Ambassador Lu Shaye did not visit the French MFA today due to an agenda. Tomorrow, he will go there to make representations to the French side on the sanctions imposed by the EU on individuals and Chinese entities and issues related to Taiwan, “the Chinese Embassy tweeted Monday evening.
Lu Shaye had already been summoned by the Quai d’Orsay in April 2020 following messages and tweets from the embassy defending Beijing’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic and criticizing its management by Western countries.
In addition to the issue of sanctions, France wishes to explain itself to the ambassador on two bilateral points.
“Small strike”, “mad hyena”, “ideological troll”: the embassy has been unleashed in recent days against Antoine Bondaz, a researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS), whom it criticizes for its “anti-Chinese” positions.
Ambassador Lu Shaye also declared himself “firmly opposed” to a plan to visit French parliamentarians in Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces, denounces every visit by Western officials to the island and threatens to use force in the event of a formal proclamation of independence by Taipei.
Diplomatic showdown over the Uyghur issue
Paris also deemed “unacceptable” Beijing’s decision to sanction ten European nationals, including a French MEP, and four organizations in retaliation for EU sanctions for Beijing’s crackdown on the Muslim Uyghur minority.
The words of the Chinese Embassy in France and the actions against elected officials, researchers and European diplomats are inadmissible. I asked that the Chinese Ambassador be summoned to remind him firmly of these messages.
-Jean-Yves Le Drian (@JY_LeDrian) March 22, 2021
</div> <p>According to studies by American and Australian institutes, at least a million Uyghurs have been interned in "camps" in the Chinese region of Xinjiang (northwest) and some subjected to "forced labor" and "sterilizations".
China categorically denies the last two accusations and claims that the “camps” are “vocational training centers” intended to distance the population from religious extremism and separatism, after a series of attacks attributed to Uyghurs.
Beijing announced Tuesday that it had summoned EU Ambassador to China Nicolas Chapuis “overnight” to “condemn in the strongest terms” European sanctions “based on lies and false information”. “The EU is not qualified to pose as a lesson-giver to China on human rights,” Deputy Foreign Minister Qin Gang told him.
“China urges the EU to recognize the gravity of its mistake, correct it and end the confrontation, so as not to cause further damage to Sino-European relations,” he added.
With AFP and Reuters
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