China tells Germany to exclude German human rights critic from lawmakers’ technology trip or it will be scrapped

German parliamentarian Margarete Bause, a champion of human rights and China’s enemy. Image: Alamy

DHARAMSALA, 6 Aug: China has yet again pulled the plug on a planned visit by a German parliamentary delegation to its country, according to reports.

A trip to China later this month by a German parliamentary delegation on technology appears in doubt after Beijing rejected the inclusion of a frequent critic of its human rights record, reports the SCMP.

The communist regime is said to have provided an ultimatum to the delegation of the Bundestag (constitutional and legislative body at the federal level in Germany) over their planned trip by demanding the exclusion of a frequent critic of its human rights record in the delegation failure to which the entire delegation will be denied access.

According to the report, Beijing has scorned over the inclusion of German Greens party member Margarete Bause, who was set to join the trip by a Bundestag committee on digitalisation to learn about China’s AI and start-ups.

“The Chinese stated that Mrs Bause had to refrain from being a member of the delegation, otherwise the whole committee would be denied access. So, de facto, she was declared persona non grata,” a spokesman for Bause’s office was quoted as saying in the report.

The move was an attempt by Beijing “to silence members of parliament who speak loudly and clearly for human rights”, the German lawmaker has told German Press Agency (DPA).

Meanwhile, Germany’s parliament is reported to have appealed to China to reconsider its stance.

According to a Bundestag spokeswoman, a letter was sent to the Chinese ambassador to Germany over the matter which stressed that the chamber has sole responsibility for appointing the delegation members.

China and Germany are said to have agreed on the delegation in April. The “Digital Agenda” delegation was set to visit Shanghai and Beijing over 23 August to 1 September to learn about China’s AI and start-ups.

The 60-year-old lawmaker has been a vocal critic of China’s poor human rights record and mistreatment of its Uighur Muslim minority.

Additionally, China has previously barred German legislator Michael Brand to visit Tibet over his support for ‘Tibetan Independence’ in May 2016, DPA reported that a Bundestag human rights committee had also been refused entry for a trip in September to Beijing and the autonomous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

German Greens party member Margarete Bause became part of the Bundestag committee on digitalisation to learn about China’s AI and start-ups after Dieter Janecek, a German politician for her party was originally meant to go but couldn’t and suggested Bause as a replacement.

As it stands, it is unclear whether the digitalisation committee will still visit China without Bause, the report concluded.

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