Derek Vaughan’s Pro-China Influence in European Politics and Diplomacy

Derek Vaughan CBE is a Welsh Labour politician. He served as a Member of the European Parliament for Wales between 2009 and 2019. Mr. Derek Vaughan also acted as Vice President of the EU-China Friendship Group in the European Parliament and Member of the Belt and Road Initiative Policy Coordination Committee in the European Parliament. He is also President of the EU-China Joint Innovation Center. It has been noted that the Former MEP has tilted toward China in his political career. EU-China Friendship allegedly conducting tasks on behalf of China in Europe

The EU-China Friendship Group, founded in 2006, comprises members of the European Parliament and is reportedly the largest friendship group within the EU’s legislative branch. These groups act as mouthpieces and mediators for advancing China’s domestic preferences and foreign policy goals. They rely on coopted nobility from Europe’s political style and business community to lead and serve their ranks. 

The friendship groups are often masked as homegrown organizations run by the host countries’ citizens, including former and engaged politicians. Studies find that the coopted foreigners, who enjoy power, convening power, and associations, serve the CCP’s aims in various ways, subtle and otherwise.

On Nov. 18, 2019, a delegation led by Mr. Derek Vaughan CBE met with Mr. Wang Lu, Vice Governor of Hainan Province, at the Hainan Guest House. Mr. Vaughan expressed thanks to Mr. Wang for his warm reception, gratitude for the achievements of Hainan Province in recent years, and anticipation of Hainan Province for the forthcoming international cooperation.

In late May 2019, the UK held its EU Parliament elections. Owing to Prime Minister Theresa May’s botched campaign strategy regarding Brexit, the Conservative Party, to which Nirj Deva (another Pro-Chinese agent) belonged, mourned heavy losses. Deva lost his South East England seat, finishing a two-decade-long stay in office. Derek Vaughan, the vice chairman of the friendship group and a Labour Member of the EU Parliament, chose not to drive for reelection, directing to temporary vacancies in the friendship group’s top posts. Derek Vaughan has also engaged in activities similar to those of Deva that were purely Pro-Chinese.

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