Dutch city ends ties with Chinese sister city as it exits communist regime


At least eight Dutch municipalities and two provinces have cut ties with their Chinese sister municipalities as Dutch national representatives seek to secede from communist China, according to a new report. Many other Dutch cities and regions are reconsidering such relationships.

About 35 municipalities in the Netherlands now have sister city ties, or “bonds of friendship”, with Chinese municipalities for trade and cultural exchange.according to investigation A survey of local governments conducted by the Netherlands’ Rotterdam Handelsblatt (NRC) found that in the past two years alone, a quarter of such partnerships were abandoned on the grounds of differences in core values. ing. And more Dutch cities are preparing to cut ties with China. Dutch Times.

Some city officials have cited China’s human rights abuses, including the massacre of the Uyghur minority in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, as one of the main reasons for severing ties. Persecution of Falun Gong.

Dutch municipalities such as Breda, Tilburg and Eindhoven have cut ties with their Chinese sister cities at the insistence of local councils, according to the report.

Arnhem will end its sister city relationship with Wuhan in central China in 2021. “Democratic principles, the rule of law, freedom of the press and expression must be respected,” the mayor said. Ahmed Marshu of Arnhem.

Furthermore, Dutch universities are also “increasingly reluctant to accept doctoral students on Chinese government-subsidized scholarships”, citing security of knowledge as the main reason. The Netherlands is also home to strategically important manufacturing companies, such as his ASML, which builds machinery used to make high-end computer chips.

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The ASML Holding logo is installed at our headquarters in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on January 23, 2019. (Eva Plevier/Reuters)

The Dutch report was released at the same time Chinese Communist Party Vice President Han Zheng is visiting Portugal and the Netherlands from May 7-12.

Britain, Sweden and the Czech Republic had already cut sister city ties with Chinese cities since the COVID-19 pandemic, citing China’s human rights abuses.

german city port keel is now reconsidering a sister city bid from China’s port of Qingdao, citing security and potential espionage concerns.

sister city

After World War II, European cities in democracies began to develop relationships based on shared values ​​and culture with the aim of promoting trade and cooperation as part of their post-war recovery. In 1954, the United States established a “sister city”. program For world peace and development.

But communist countries have since used sister-city relationships with western municipalities to push their policies.

according to official data From 1973 to 2015, the CCP established sister city (and province) relationships with 1,450 cities and 473 provinces in 133 countries.

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A British man signs a petition calling on the British City Council to end ties with its Chinese sister city during a rally against the Chinese Communist Party in Newcastle, England, October 1, 2022. (Ai Ping/The Epoch Times)

Epoch Times columnist Cheng Xiaolong wrote in an earlier article: “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is using this twin city relationship to export communist ideology, spread CCP propaganda, lies and false information, and strengthen its infiltration.” [into the international community]and gain economic benefits. ”

Since 2008, the Chinese Communist Party has held biennial conferences on the theme of International Friendship Cities. At the first meeting, the then president of the China Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries articulated the concept of “city diplomacy”, stressing that such diplomacy should be subordinate to and serve the Chinese Communist Party diplomacy. Since then, the International Friendship City has been viewed by top leaders of the Communist Party of China as one of the main routes for building diplomatic relations.

On December 28, 2016, the official website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China published the “Notice on the Inspection and Correction Situation of the Party Group of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries”, stating: Public diplomacy should better serve the core work of the party and the state. ”