China's treatment of its Muslim Uighur minority reminds one of the horrors Nazi Germany inflicted upon the Jews, Reform Party chairman Kaja Kallas said.
"It is terrible what China is doing to the Uighur people. The parallels one can draw with Nazi Germany and the Jews are frightening," Kallas told ERR's "Otse uudistemajast" webcast on Wednesday.
Human rights organizations and Uighurs who have managed to escape to the West say that China has launched a campaign in the northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region that sees local Uighurs tortured, starved, raped and sterilized in an attempt to destroy their national identity. It is claimed that up to one million Uighurs are kept in internment camps to re-educate them from what China claims is Islamic extremism.
Kallas said it is regrettable the European Union has not managed to shape a strong common position when it comes to China. She gave as one of the reasons Beijing's investments and many European countries' strong dependence on them.
The head of the opposition Reform Party finds that Estonia should also adopt a more critical stance on China. She pointed out that Estonia never officially thanked Taiwan that China treats as a breakaway province for a delivery of personal protective gear. "It is going too far," Kallas said in terms of Estonia's China policy.
"It seems to me that we should be more consistent. If we criticize Russia for human rights violations, we should do the same for China. Otherwise, we are just not credible when talking about Russia," she said. "Likewise – if Europe fails to address human rights that form one of its foundations and core values, who will?" Kallas asked.
The European Union should introduce rules that would stop Chinese companies from becoming more influential in Europe, she found. "The conditions on which China gets to grow its influence are completely different from those in Europe," Kallas said, adding that Chinese companies do not have to observe the kind of competition and environmental requirements that apply to companies in Europe.
Editor: Marcus Turovski