Today’s launch of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) gained significant press coverage from around the world.
The Times commented on the broad international reach of the Alliance, with senior legislators from eight countries represented. At the time of writing this number has since risen to ten, with co-chairs joining from Norway and Lithuania. Time Magazine reported that this group had been drawn together by a desire to create a coordinated strategic response to China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy. The Dhaka Tribune noted that by mounting a united front individual countries would be less at risk of reprisals from Beijing.
The cross-party nature of the Alliance drew particular attention. The Sydney Morning Herald highlighted the diverse range of parties represented within the coalition, uniting legislators as politically diverse as the German Green Party and the American Republican Party.
News of the launch was especially well received in Hong Kong, where Beijing’s passing of the National Security Law has been met with much local resistance. The South China Morning Post reported that the group was leading the call for democratic countries to take a tougher stance on China’s undermining of international rules based order. Many of the Alliance’s advisory team are based in Hong Kong, as detailed in the Stand News.
IPAC co-chair Baroness Helena Kennedy published a piece in The Times to mark the launch of the Alliance, she highlighted the need to hold China to account for human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region. Fellow UK co-chair Sir Iain Duncan Smith, writing in The Telegraph, argued that IPAC’s launch was a promising sign that democratic countries are beginning to realise that China has not lived up to hopes of its positive role in global affairs, and that a new approach is needed.