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Finns Party MP retains foreign affairs chair despite Chinese business link

It was previously reported that the MP failed to disclose to the committee his stake in a Chinese state-backed tech firm.

Mika Niikko
Finns Party MP Mika Niikko. Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

Finns Party MP Mika Niikko will be able to continue at his post as chair of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, according to a decision reached by the body.

Niikko faced the committee Tuesday afternoon to answer questions regarding his ties to a Chinese state-funded company whose interests he has advanced in his official capacity.

The committee's vice chair, Erkki Tuomioja of the Social Democratic Party, said that MPs in general should receive better guidance on how to manage their foreign links and affairs.

The committee convened on Tuesday, the first day after a six-week Christmas break.

The meeting's official agenda only contained issues regarding Nato and Finland's partnership status in the military alliance, but it was widely known in advance that the topic of Niikko's connections to the Chinese firm would be brought up on Tuesday.

Links to state-owned Chinese firm

Yle's investigative news programme MOT reported on those links last year.

In January, the current-affairs magazine Suomen Kuvalehti reported that Niikko had failed to disclose his investment in the Chinese state-financed tech firm Realmax Group.

The publication reported that Niikko and Finns Party MP, Ville Vähämäki, were founding partners along with a Chinese man named Hang Si, but that neither MP had reported their involvement.

The threshold is relatively high for parliamentarians to intervene in matters related to how other parties choose MPs to stand as committee chairs.

The Foreign Affairs Committee handles topics such as major treaties, matters pertaining to general foreign and security policy, foreign trade policy, international organisations and other matters.

According to media reports, other MPs may also face hearings in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, MPs are to discuss the case of another Finns Party MP, Juha Mäenpää, concerning his derogatory statements about asylum seekers and immigrants while addressing Parliament last June.

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