“Something must be done about China” cry out some commentators who haven’t a clue about the realities

The level of naivety about China is extraordinary. As someone who was actively involved in the opening up of China in the 1980s I have seen Chinese ambition and Western greed close at hand from the start. It was always a pact with the Devil, and the Devil was always going to win, and some !

Gradually, over 30+ years, a dependency on China both as a market for British goods and services and as a key supplier to Britain of a very wide range of manufactured goods has been put in place. This is not going to change, indeed it is certain to expand further.

Hand-wringing over Hong Kong will rightly be treated with disdain by those of us who saw close at hand the iniquity of Thatcher’s “Joint Declaration” sell out in the 1980s. After Tiananmen Square in 1989 British businessmen couldn’t wait to get back to Beijing and to pick up where they left off. We had neither a principled foreign nor trade policy at that time and we haven’t developed one since, or even tried to.

Without exception my HK friends thirty years ago, having been rejected by British abandonment sought the citizenship of friendlier nations who saw the contribution they could potentially make. Visit the vibrant Hong Kong communities in Canadian or Australian cities if you doubt that. A new generation will surely take the same path. Britain’s hugely belated offer of residence will be treated with the contempt it deserves.

2 thoughts on ““Something must be done about China” cry out some commentators who haven’t a clue about the realities

  1. That piece by Edward Lucas all sounds a bit Déjà Vu. It’s the kind of rhetoric punted by the vote leave camaign​ back in the day. Example: “A chillier relationship will mean costs for (among other things) our supply chains, our universities and our financial system”. Remove China and insert the EU and you will get the point. There is more of it to follow “But the more we and other countries make clear that we prize self-respect over money, the more China’s greatest weapon against us is blunted”
    Mr Lucas doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand for a moment that Britain is now an insignificant offshore Island in the Atlantic and nobody gives a tinkers cuss what Britain does or thinks.
    He will be suggesting next that the navy sends that billion-pound aircraft carrier waste of money to the South China Sea for some playful sabre-rattling.
    I know little of China and I am sure Paddy your experiences are infinitely greater than mine. However, in historical world power politics, the big guys can always lord it over the smaller fry until their hearts and minds follow.
    Edward Lucas and his Ilk still believe Britain is a world power with actual influence. He needs to get out more.


  2. After Tiannamen Square I swore not to return to China and haven’t though I still go back to Hong Kong. The Chinese lost respect for Britain a long time ago. We just don’t count at all.


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