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Summit Unione europea – Cina tra commercio, Covid-19 e diritti umani

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L’Unione europea e la Cina hanno tenuto il loro 22° vertice bilaterale in videoconferenza il 22 giugno 2020. Il presidente del Consiglio europeo, Charles Michel, e la presidente della Commissione europea, Ursula von der Leyen, accompagnati dall’alto rappresentante Josep Borrell, hanno incontrato telematicamente il primo ministro cinese Li Keqiang e il presidente cinese Xi Jinping. Al centro del vertice vi sono stati molteplici argomenti: commercio, azione climatica, sviluppo sostenibile, diritti umani – non negoziabili secondo la Von der Leyen – ed anche la risposta al coronavirus. “Il summit di oggi Ue-Cina è un’opportunità estremamente necessaria per andare avanti su tutti gli aspetti della nostra cooperazione”. Così su Twitter la presidente della Commissione Ue.

22° Summit

Il 22 giugno si è tenuto in videoconferenza il 22° summit tra l’Unione europea e la Repubblica Popolare Cinese, incontro di fondamentale importanza dal punto di vista geopolitico, soprattutto a seguito della strategia lanciata dall’UE nel marzo 2019. L’UE infatti ha ricordato gli importanti impegni assunti in occasione del vertice passato ed ha sottolineato la necessità di attuare tali impegni in modo dinamico e orientato ai risultati, in quanto ad oggi i progressi fatti sono limitati. L’agenda del summit in questione comprendeva le relazioni bilaterali tra i due attori, le questioni regionali e internazionali, la pandemia di Covid-19 e la ripresa economica. Importante tema è stato anche quello degli investimenti: l’UE ha fortemente sottolineato la necessità di portare avanti i negoziati per un ambizioso accordo di investimento globale UE-Cina che affronti le attuali asimmetrie nell’accesso al mercato e garantisca delle condizioni di parità. Per fare ciò sono necessari progressi urgenti, in particolare per quanto riguarda il comportamento delle imprese statali, la trasparenza dei sussidi e le norme che affrontano i trasferimenti di tecnologia. L’UE ha ribadito anche l’urgente necessità per la Cina di impegnarsi in futuri negoziati sui sussidi industriali in seno all’OMC e di affrontare l’eccesso di capacità in settori tradizionali come l’acciaio e le aree ad alta tecnologia. I leader hanno avuto una discussione anche sui cambiamenti climatici, in quanto la Cina è partner dell’UE ai sensi dell’accordo di Parigi, ma deve impegnarsi in un’azione nazionale risoluta e ambiziosa per ridurre le emissioni a breve termine e fissare un obiettivo di neutralità climatica al più presto possibile. Infine, il vertice è stato anche l’occasione per discutere dell’importanza del settore digitale per le economie e le società di tutto il mondo. L’UE ha sottolineato che lo sviluppo di nuove tecnologie digitali deve andare di pari passo con il rispetto dei diritti fondamentali e della protezione dei dati.

Le questioni più spinose: Covid-19, Hong Kong e diritti umani

In risposta alla pandemia di COVID-19, l’Unione Europea ha sottolineato la responsabilità condivisa di partecipare agli sforzi globali per fermare la diffusione del virus, potenziare la ricerca su trattamenti e vaccini e sostenere una ripresa globale verde e inclusiva. L’UE ha sottolineato la necessità di solidarietà nell’affrontare le conseguenze nei paesi in via di sviluppo, in particolare per quanto riguarda la riduzione del debito, ed ha invitato la Cina a cogliere appieno gli insegnamenti che derivano dalla gestione dell’epidemia e dalla risposta sanitaria internazionale al COVID-19, commissionata dalla risoluzione adottata nell’ultima Assemblea mondiale della sanità. Infine, l’UE ha inoltre invitato la Cina a facilitare il ritorno dei residenti dell’UE in Cina.

Quanto alla questione di Hong Kong, l’Unione europea ha ribadito le sue gravi preoccupazioni per le misure della Cina in merito alla legge sulla sicurezza nazionale adottata da Pechino e considera tali misure non conformi alla Legge fondamentale di Hong Kong e agli impegni internazionali della Cina, esercitando pressioni sui diritti e sulle libertà fondamentali della popolazione protetta dalla legge e dal sistema giudiziario indipendente. Infine, l’UE ha espresso una certa preoccupazione per il deterioramento della situazione dei diritti umani, compreso il trattamento delle minoranze nello Xinjiang e del Tibet e dei difensori dei diritti umani, nonché delle restrizioni alle libertà fondamentali. A tal proposito, i leader dell’UE hanno sollevato una serie di singoli casi, compresi i rapporti sui cittadini scomparsi dopo aver riferito/espresso le loro opinioni sulla gestione dell’epidemia di Coronavirus, nonché la detenzione arbitraria del cittadino svedese Gui Minhai e di due cittadini canadesi: Michael Kovrig e Michael Spavor. La Presidente Von der Leyen ha ribadito che i diritti umani e le libertà fondamentali non sono valori negoziabili per l’UE, mentre il Presidente del Consiglio europeo Charles Michel ha affermato “[…] dobbiamo riconoscere che non condividiamo gli stessi valori, i sistemi politici o l’approccio al multilateralismo. Ci impegneremo in modo chiaro e sicuro, difendendo con fermezza gli interessi dell’UE e mantenendo fermi i nostri valori”.

South Korea to attend China’s Silk Road summit amid diplomatic rift

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South Korea has accepted a last-minute invitation from China to a conference on a new Silk Road, days after a new president took office on Seoul pledging to engage in discussions with Beijing to ease tension over a U.S. anti-missile system. Chinese President Xi Jinping extended the invitation to the Belt and Road conference in Beijing during a telephone call on Thursday with new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon’s spokesman, Yoon Young-chan, told a briefing on Friday. Ties between South Korea and China, who are important trade partners, have been strained by Seoul’s decision to host a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) antimissile system in response to a growing missile threat from North Korea.

Rouhani opens 5th WAIC summit in Qazvin

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The 5th World Assembly of Islamic Cities (WAIC) summit has convened Sunday in the Iranian city of Qazvin with President Hassan Rouhani in attendance. In addition to representatives from the United Nations, ambassadors, governors and a number of urban and religious science scholars from Iraq, Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Palestine, Indonesia, China, Morocco, Pakistan and Afghanistan are also in attendance. Over 800 Iranian and international guests are taking part in the 5th summit of the World Assembly of Islamic Cities currently underway at Imam Khomeini International University in Qazvin. The World Assembly of Islamic Cities (WAIC) is an international non-governmental and not-for-profit organization which promotes sustainable urban development according to the ideals of Islam. WAIC seeks to provide a forum for exchange of approaches to sustainable Islamic Cities from technological, scientific, managerial, cultural and spiritual perspectives.

Trump and Al-Sisi discussed peace summit in US this summer

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US President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have discussed the possibility of holding an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit in the United States this summer. Indeed, Trump administration expects Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf Nation to play an active part in motivating the Palestinian side to return to the negotiating table. Al-Sisi has presented to President Trump the Arab Nation position on the conflict. Both countries have also evoked the renewal of an annual joint military training.

13th Summit of ECO, Aliyev said: the friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan are based on mutual support.

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The 13th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) kicked off in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Wednesday. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan IlhamAliyev attended the event. He said Azerbaijan has good relations with countries that are members of this organization and is strengthening economic ties with its partners on both bilateral and multilateral levels. President Aliyev stressed that the friendly and fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan are based on mutual trust and support. He also made some remarks on the consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenia’s ignoring international law, noting that Pakistan is one of the 10 countries that have recognized the Khojaly genocide officially.

The Lebanese-Jordanian summit will address the Syrian and Iraqi refugees crisis

The Baabda Presidential Palace has completed arrangements for President Michel Aoun’s trip to Egypt and Jordan next week, his second Arab trip after his election as president. On Monday, Aoun will first meet in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab. He will later head to the Arab League headquarters for talks with its Secretary-General Ahmed AboulGheit. For their part, Lebanese ministers will hold meetings with their Egyptian counterparts. On Tuesday, Aoun will head to Jordan for talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II. The Lebanese-Jordanian summit will address the Syrian and Iraqi refugees crisis and study the ways to alleviate their impact on the economies of both countries.

African leaders are attending a mini summit on the Libyan crisis

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African leaders review Libya crisis at Addis Ababa mini-summit: “there is no military solution” says AU chairman, Chad’s Idriss Deby despite insistence from the head of the African Union Commission, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, that the “dire situation in Libya cannot be allowed to continue”, African leaders attending a mini-summit on the Libyan crisis held in the Ethiopian capital today were given little encouragement that a breakthrough was on the horizon. Chairing the meeting, Chadian President Idriss Deby who is the AU’s current head said that the AU could not support any military intervention in Libya by anyone hoping to try and normalise the situation there. Instead, international efforts to promote peace had to be followed and respected. The mini-summit was convened by Deby to assess the situation and international efforts to resolve it.

Winter ices migrants flows but not concerns

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Only a year ago, in 2014, the most important route into Europe for migrants was across the Mediterranean sea, in boats of up to 800 passengers from the North African coast to Italy (Lampedusa sas primary destination) or Malta: the southern route. So far in 2015, migration along the alternative eastern route has rised.

 

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Matter of fact, during 2012 a fence was erected on the border between Turkey and Greece, forcing migrants to take boats from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands or travel north to the Bulgarian border. In 2014, Bulgaria began building its own fence to prevent this.

In September 2015 alone, 156,000 immigrants took the eastern route compared to just 7,000 in the same month the previous year.

The Schengen area makes things easier once the migrants have entered Hungary or Slovenia, but, on the other hand, things are getting much harder to deal, to administrate for these countries. In early July, Hungary began building a fence on its Serbian border, forcing the migrants on the west route through Croatia, often entering Hungary from there and a second fence was built on the Croatian border in October, pushing people up to Slovenia. Actually, Slovenia is building a fence itself. Balcans countries are struggling in order to face the situation. Albanian Government has already stated that the country will make what’s in it’s possibilty to mitigate the pressure in the area.

European countries are forced, under pressure, to find long term solutions, Germany in first place.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and most powerful woman in the planet, is facing risks on her own political body, over migrants crise . When migrants began to arrive in large numbers over the summer, she announced publicly that they were to be welcomed rather than turned away. Considering that an imponent number of Syrians living in Turkey have been able to make a living only because of temporary employment or casual labor, but , as Turkish economy has begun to deteriorate, unemployment has grown by being unaffordable, those Syrians are also leaving Turkey. So, what’s next?

Germany is home to the vast majority of past Turkish immigrants into Europe, and tensions have long been high over the issue. Syrians have a explicit and strong case for asylum, and it is extremely hard to repatriate them. The European Union wants to keep the Balkan countries from confronting one another over migrant flows. At the same time, the bloc wants to keep borders within Europe as open as possible to preserve the union’s structure while apportioning them fairly across the Continent. The Oct. 25 summit likely discussed all of the possible solutions along the migrant route and most summits during last two years have tried the same.

As temperatures drop immigrant flow will arrest the emergency. The latest flows have also revealed a drop in the portion of migrants from Syria and a rise in Afghan and African migrants, partly because of cheap Turkish Airlines flights to North Africa. Unlike Syrians, authorities will find it much easier to send back migrants from these points of origin.

But the fact is that war keeps on radicalizing in Syrian territories, which is much more than a preview on warmer season to come: migrants are most likely not stopping their desperate journeys.

 

Sabiena Stefanaj

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Sabiena Stefanaj
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