The meetings this week between President Xi Jinping and British leaders came with a clear instruction from the Communist regime: do not raise the issue of human rights. The Chinese told British diplomats that any questioning about the regime’s continued denial of basic human rights would be viewed as a hostile act. As always, the Chinese just want to talk about business and not people. What is most striking is that many countries have become so dependent on China that they follow such outrageous dictates.
China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming warned that Britain risked good relations with China if it mentioned human rights and could prevent what the Chinese promised as “a golden era for the relationship.” In other words, if you just ignore that China is denying a billion people the most basic freedoms, you can benefit from cheap Chinese goods.
The Chinese clearly do not want their leader’s visit to be spoiled by mention of the fact that he is the head of an authoritarian and hypocritical regime. Why spoil a perfectly good visit with references to the systemic denial of political and religious rights?
Liu had a truly impressive convoluted spin: “We don’t shy away from talking about human rights. What we are against is to use human rights to interfere with other countries’ internal affairs and to try to impose your own system on to others.” Hmmm, that I thought Yogi Berra just died but it appears Liu is challenging for his place in internally-conflicting sentences. In other words, we are happy to talk about human rights so long as we do not talk about it.
Various British leaders and groups are refusing to sell out on human rights, but the British government appears eager to avoid a confrontation. David Cameron is under fire for business deals and his effort to woe the Chinese. The British government appear to have limited references to the issue and it was Britain’s opposition leader that most forcibly raised the issue.
In an almost comical understatement, Xi Jinping has said that his country has “room for improvement” on human rights. The “improvement” would likely start by recognizing and allowing human rights. It is like saying that Death Valley could benefit from some more water.
14 thoughts on “China to Britain: Do No Raise Human Rights Or Risk Ruining “Golden” Relationship”
“Consumer-Voting” is a far more powerful tool than voting at the election booth (in our post-Reagan campaign finance system).
Simply iniate a consumer labeling program grading things like: Fair Trade, Antibiotic use, American Exports that nation purchases from us, etc. and let consumers vote with their dollars.
This is the best and fastest way to do it.
Sad! This is a rather strange move by Britain, ONE Britain TWO Systems. In fact, the US global investment banks can start to move out from London city to other big financial centre in Europe and the candidates would be Frankfurt or Dublin.
Human rights….Britian has forced abortions too …but first they torture women via imprisonment in an asulym and declare them insane….then they force the abortion. Or they force them to carry to term and take the baby. Like they did to a foreign woman there while she was there on a business trip!
Isn’t that what the Chancellor of Germany said to Neville Chamberlain in 1938?
The reminds me of the Fawlty Towers episode where Basil tells the staff not to mention the war to their German guests.
1, October 23, 2015 at 9:01 am
I think ninian might need the same treatment he gives his patients.”
True colors shining through by the commenter noted above — one “Nick Spinelli.” Yes, just another “commenter”, though he clearly has the need to be/feel special.
human rights for this place: act the way we do and in accordance with our beliefs….
Pay little attention….
Funny thing about relationships with China… When your country owes them multiple trillion dollars or pounds… they get to dictate the terms of the relationship.
I think ninian might need the same treatment he gives his patients.
QUOTE “What is most striking is that many countries have become so dependent on China that they follow such outrageous dictates.”
You mean like we do with Saudi Arabia….and any other country that will supply us oil….
I think, rather than “In other words, we are happy to talk about human rights so long as we do not talk about it,” they are saying it’s okay for them to talk about it but it’s not okay for us to talk about it. In reality, of course, it’s doubtful that it’s okay for them to talk about it amongst themselves either.
We learned a lot from the British here in America. Which is why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights. Ask not what your Queen can do for you but what you can do for your country. Britain does not have a written Constitution yet. They still have Queeny. Their human rights record can be sporadic. Ask the drag queens.
The Chinese aren’t interested in what the British think. Nor what the Americans think either.
Neither country controls the high moral ground.
American financial corruption and criminality has been responsible for the Global Financial Crash and American democracy defies the definition of the word. The mass murders on American streets and schools continues unabated and the refusal to disarm your civilians amount to Crimes against Humanity. The torture of prisoners by the CIA are not really examples of freedom – except in America. Nor is the gerrymandering of the political system. Nor is the behaviour of the American Police and racially motivated institutional abuse. Nor is the totally bizarre American legal system in which paricipants ridicule the Law.
It is similar in the UK but maybe not quite so bad as our system has had a greater length of time to evolve. Our parliamentary system of “first past the post” is not really democratic and dies not reflect the wishes of the electorate. The British Army and Police have a chequered history. Our legal system locks people up the State doesn’t like and public enemies have been eliminated in parallel with US policy on such matters. We have engaged in wars leaving devastation with American allies in the Middle East which has thrown the region into turmoil and mat have been illegal.
I don’t think many people in Britain approve of what is going on in the current State Visit by the Chinese President, but you can better your bottom dollar that Members of Parliament and their financial backers and partners will have vested interests in the deals being brokered wit the Chinese. The concept of fair tendering for contracts will be thrown out with the bath water.
So the issues are more complex than abuses by China which of course are unacceptable and must be criticised. The warnings made by the Chinese Ambassador have not been widely reported in the British Press as yet. But this may change with time.
I predict that China will evolve as other countries in a natural political evolution towards democracy in its own time. In the same way that America is now starting to talk about Social Democracy for the first time. In the same way Canada has moved to the left in the recent election.
For if we are to ban trade with countries abusing freedom this would include most if not all Nations, but especially it would the United States and also the United Kingdom.
So we need to be careful what we wish for……
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