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The Left’s shameful silence on China The lack of outrage over the regime's behaviour betrays a deep hypocrisy and lack of principle

As China cracks down on liberty in Hong Kong, Labour looks away. Credit: DALE DE LA REY/AFP/Getty

As China cracks down on liberty in Hong Kong, Labour looks away. Credit: DALE DE LA REY/AFP/Getty


July 13, 2020   4 mins

I have attended enough conferences and meetings across the labour movement in my time to know that these events often become cauldrons of debate about the pernicious works of assorted foreign powers and the best methods for uniting the Left internationally in the task of confronting them. Special hostility is reserved for the United States and Israel, of course, which are seen as the embodiment of all things evil. In fact, such is the obsession with these countries, one could be forgiven for concluding that, in the eyes of the Left, no other regime runs them close in the oppression and tyranny stakes.

Usually conspicuous by its absence from such debates is China — or, more pertinently, the nature of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC). It’s an omission that has become even more glaring in light of recent events in Hong Kong. The national security law recently imposed on the territory, which will inevitably have the effect of quelling protest and freedom of speech, ought to have been the prompt for the British Left to abandon its reticence and, as one, speak out in unequivocal condemnation of the CPC’s repressive methods. But much of the Left remains either silent or ambivalent. If Hong Kong is a litmus test, too many on the Left are failing it.

China has always been something of a hot potato on the Left, which — much as the Soviet Union did — creates all manner of factional and doctrinal disputes. For some, the Chinese system, if not truly socialist, resembles something approaching it and is therefore worthy of qualified support. Or at least is undeserving of explicit criticism. Their desire to see a bulwark against Donald Trump and what they see as US imperial ambitions, and the belief that only China will ultimately have the means to play that role, persuades them to look the other way when confronted with the facts about the CPC’s nefarious activities. It was probably this kind of thinking that lay behind Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to attend a state banquet given in honour of the Chinese president in 2015, while later declining an invitation to the one held for Trump.

Corbyn glad-hands China. Credit: Yui Mok – WPA Pool /Getty

Some diehard Stalinists, in search of a new lodestar since the collapse of Soviet communism, go further and openly wax lyrical about the wonders of the Chinese economic system. Their historical foes among the ranks of British Trotskyism, on the other hand, have traditionally felt little sympathy for the Chinese model, dismissing it variously over the years, just as they once did the Soviet Union and its satellites, as ‘state capitalist’ or a ‘deformed workers’ state’.

A certain layer on the Left, while ill-disposed towards the current regime, feels at least a residual fondness for Maoism and the cultural revolution. It’s a manifestation of the impulse felt even by more sensible elements on the Left to romanticise tyrants and revolutionaries provided they are dead. It might be said that when John McDonnell threw a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book across the despatch box to George Osborne, he was laying bare this impulse.

Meanwhile, many on the mainstream democratic Left in Britain have no time for the CPC or the Chinese system but are reluctant to voice full-throated condemnation for fear of the hornet’s nest that might be stirred up across the wider movement. So they are content to put away the whole subject in a box marked ‘too sensitive’ and refocus their attention on the easier targets in Washington and Jerusalem.

This really won’t do. There is no good reason for the Left to walk on eggshells around China. A regime that ruthlessly suppresses dissent, outlaws free trade unions, exploits workers mercilessly, and routinely uses the army against strikers is no friend of the labour movement in Britain or anywhere else. And in the context of the regime’s wider abuses, not least its persecution of Christians and Muslims, horrific birth limitation policy, repression of Tibetans and disregard for the environment, turning a blind eye becomes nothing short of inexcusable. By all means attack Trump and Netanyahu over their transgressions; the criticism is often deserved. But this type of selective outrage betrays a deep hypocrisy and lack of principle.

Today, however, it is obvious that it is no longer just the Left that is troubled by the China question; it bedevils the Right, too. Very recently, the former chancellor Philip Hammond criticised Tory colleagues for displaying ‘anti-Chinese sentiment’. In taking this stance, Hammond was emulating the approach of his predecessor, George Osborne, who, while in office, made a big push for a strategic realignment with China. A general softening among many Tories to the prospect of deepening ties with China is unsurprisingly correlated to the latter’s embrace of full-blown capitalist economics (albeit a version rigidly directed by the state) and entry into the global market. Who cares about human rights violations when there is highly-profitable commerce to be done?

The Right once knew where it stood with China. It opposed it, just as it did the Soviet Union. But today’s China is a different beast. As the towers of mammon in Shanghai and elsewhere began to be erected and opportunities in the way of investment and trade opened up, much of the Right’s hostility to China’s authoritarian regime seemed to dissipate, with only a dogged band of Atlanticists, civil libertarians and MPs of good conscience now putting up any real resistance. Whether the rapprochement will survive the fall-out from Covid-19, however, remains to be seen.

What we do know is that as China flaunts its growing prosperity and international status, trashing freedoms and liberties as it goes, it finds itself defended in Britain by a somewhat unconventional combination of free marketeers and old-fashioned communists, with each group claiming the success of the Chinese economy as the fruits of its own ideology. Premier Xi Jinping has hardly helped matters by simultaneously attributing it to both Marxist philosophy and free market economics.

In truth, the Chinese system is a deeply unappealing fusion of neoliberalism and brutal state authoritarianism. It’s the Square Mile meets the Stasi, a rapacious capitalism enforced by despots. No one, whether on the Right or Left, should look upon the CPC regime as anything other than the tyranny it is. And those on all sides of the spectrum who believe that democratic freedoms and civil liberties should always come before political expediency or the exigencies of global trade must not falter in their duty to speak out.


Paul Embery is a firefighter, trade union activist, pro-Brexit campaigner and ‘Blue Labour’ thinker

PaulEmbery

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Alan Girling
Alan Girling
4 years ago

Some flavor of the bias in favor of China came through when that cancel-culture loving so-called ‘journalist’ George Eaton of the New Statesman got Roger Scruton cancelled by slandering him in his criticism of the CCP, misquoting him to imply he was racist towards Chinese people — exactly the tactic the CCP itself uses to deflect criticism, calling it ‘racist’, knowing very well how sensitive the West is to such accusations. It’s the level some on the left have reached: acting as useful idiots for the CCP.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Girling

They are called ‘Baizuos,’ a Chinese slur for SJWs/Wokies/Intersectionals/Alt-Left/Reg-Left/Ctrl-Left/People-with-too-much-time-and-ethically-sourced-fundamental-veganist-quinoa-on-their-hands.

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
3 years ago
Reply to  authorjf

Thanks for that.

G Harris
G Harris
4 years ago

Modern China has got b****r all to do with socialism, and the left, like it has done on so many other burning issues, has cravenly kept quiet about it in favour projecting pretty much everything nowadays through the narrow, navel gazing prism of gender, race and sexuality.

China today is an autocratic, crypto fascist, imperialist, militaristic, mercantilist force that we in the West continue to placate and/or ignore at our peril.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Well said.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
4 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Yes, while we are busy being politically correct and “woke”, China is “cleaning up”, metaphorically speaking, and laughing all the way to the bank.

cbarclay
cbarclay
4 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

‘Modern China has got b****r all to do with socialism’. The same could be said of modern Russia. Which begs the question why do so many socialists support those two countries? As bulwarks against US hegemony? Presumably. Or because they are also attracted by the autocracy, totalitarianism and censorship?

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  cbarclay

Apparently it’s because the PRC aren’t REALLY fascist. I mean, it’s obvious! They have ‘Communist’ in the name, so they couldn’t possibly be fascist! Just like ‘Antifa’ have ‘anti-fascist’ in the name, so they couldn’t possibly be fascist! And yet, for some explicable reason, they don’t like it when people point out the same about their fellow totalitarian death cultists, the ‘National Socialist Worker’s Party of Germany…’

markvelarde
markvelarde
4 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Maybe national socialism

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  markvelarde

International socialism – internationalism = national socialism. No wonder Deng is sometimes compared to Bukharin; he represents the transition away from Max Weber’s notion of charismatic authority to bureaucratic authority. There’s only so long you can run on revolutionary energy. Of course, people can try and revive it, as with our good buddy, Shifty Xi; (did I spell the first part of his name correctly???) But unforeseen consequences can arise, and not all of them are particularly pleasant for those who do attempt to revive the supposed ‘good old days’ of the 1930s and 40s…

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Nick Cohen (the Observer, NOT the Guardian, DAMMIT!!!!!!) pointed out in his book ‘What’s Left’ that the Bloomsbury Set used to be pretty big on Mussolini and Hitler, if I recall correctly. I think the Bloomsbury Set are different from the Chipping Norton set though, who are big on bombing Libya and battering helpless contractors around the head with plastic lunchboxes. Which is also pretty bad, when you think about it!

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
4 years ago

Inasmuch as the business owners and moguls in China get to keep ownership provided they serve the state, it would seem to me to be Fascist more than anything else. Before private enterprise was encouraged you could call it socialist. That’s decades’ back now. Private business serving a one-party state with a strongman leader and expansionist designs? If anyone on the so-called Left is supporting it for its supposed ‘socialist’ credentials then they’re not thinking hard enough.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Fascism masquerading as Marxism, and predictably Western “useful idiots ” have fallen for it hook, line, and sinker. Bravo!

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
4 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

That is the whole point, I have not seen anyone on the left doing any such thing. Emberry certainly fails to provide any evidence, in his piece. The picture of Corbyn and the Chinese ambassador show above was not the banquet but a meeting that Corbyn had asked for to make representations on human rights abuses. There is a picture of him somewhere in full fig at the actual banquet looking very uncomfortable and he never did it again. McDonnell and the little red book was a joke which probably was not that funny. After the death of Mao and the fall of the Gang of Four it was obvious that the Chinese were moving rapidly to a state capitalist society and I have never heard anyone in the Labour Party say anything much else. It was, of course Nixon who took the charm offensive to Beijing, followed by myriad businesses eager to exploit the cheap labour and failing to imagine that the Chinese might take some of them to bits and work out how to make them. These are the same Capitalists who have so arranged things that, despite our proud industrial heritage, we cannot build things any longer; none of this can be laid at the door of the left, either in the Labour Party or outside it.

E S
E S
4 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

Meeting, or banquet, Corbyn still seems rather happy (note big smile in photo) to shake hands with the leader of a country known for its human rights abuses. He doesn’t seem one bit uncomfortable or flustered – why’s that? Did he come to some sort of ‘human rights’ deal with his ‘friend’? Nothing on the news (any news) about that.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
4 years ago
Reply to  E S

it is usually customary to smile for the camera

Stephen Follows
Stephen Follows
4 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

That’s not the ambassador he’s glad-handing – it’s Xi Jinping himself.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

He has ‘friends in the CCP.’ After all, ‘sometimes we have to work with people with whom we profoundly disagree!’

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
4 years ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Great point!
Vast military resources aside, the CCP seems to have learned from previous socialist failures and realized that economic power is the weapon that works.
Of course you still have to watch your mouth but “Make the State rich and you’ll get rich too” has a Hitler-ish overtone that is producing far better results than Stalinist “Make the State rich or else”.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
4 years ago

It’s almost like the left isn’t actually concerned about worker welfare, trade unions or the general labour movement. Who would have thought?

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

The Left cares only selectively about any issue — when it gets them money and/or votes.

Sarah Lambert
Sarah Lambert
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Sieger

This could be said for the Right too.

Damien D
Damien D
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Lambert

true

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Damien D

Basically true of any pre-packaged, materialistic ideology.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

The problem is that for the left, the workers tend to get in the way and refuse to submit to every single infallible ex cathedra pronouncement of their enlightened opinions. Apparently this is some kind of deal-breaker. Odd that, isn’t it! 🙂

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
4 years ago

“The Liberal leader was asked which nation he admired most. He responded: ‘There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.'” Justin Trudeau, current Prime Minister of Canada. CBC, 2013

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan Girling

Really, you should commit that man Trudeau, for Treason, while you still have a chance.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

It’s OK, I think his supporters are against collusion with dangerous foreign powers, so we can probably give him the benefit of the doubt! I gather he’s a big fan of Cuba, by the way.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  authorjf

How very comforting, thank you.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Girling

Can’t wait for the Trudeau eulogy for Shifty Xi as well! Is the UK sure we want to be part of CANZUK with Peking’s Top Man in Canada??? (Sue, sue, SUE!) 😛

Robert Forde
Robert Forde
4 years ago

I have been criticising the attitudes of my leftish friends to China since the 1960s. This article (correctly, IMO) highlights the hypocrisy of both left and right wing parties towards China. Why, then, does the headline imply that only the left (whatever that is) is at fault? Indeed, Embery makes clear that some left wing movements are explicitly opposed to the CPC. He also makes clear that right wing governments (and we’ve had one for a decade) have overlooked civil rights abuses to make deals with China. Again, why the headline?

The truth is that parties across the political spectrum have behaved as if the CPC was a reasonable regime, with a record that was at least acceptable. It isn’t. The question then becomes one of what we are prepared to do about it.

Sarah Lambert
Sarah Lambert
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Forde

The Left and the Right have avoided conflict with the CCP. Johnson, May and Cameron encouraged Huawei, Hinkley Point and the British Steel takeover. Go a little further, there is Osborne and HSBC.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Sarah Lambert

Boris needs to bury Cameron by making a foreign policy reset! No more pointless wars in the Middle East, but what we really do need, instead of conventional, lethal warfare, is a psychological, information and economic crusade against the cancerous Red Fascist abomination! It’s time for a United Front: the whole world united and rallied around ISIS, why can’t we do the same for a death cult that is even more dangerous, and has a lot more deluded idiots with real media platforms defending it? The USA has actual Tankies who decry critical news reporting over Xinjiang; wouldn’t be surprised if the UK have, as well…

val.fell1948
val.fell1948
4 years ago

I find the racist card now extremely riduculas. People have nothing against the long suffering Chinese population. Somehow we have to stop the Chinese dictatorship in their attempts to dominate others. Until the civilised world governments make a stand collectively, we will continue to see the atrocities these despots are causing. For the sensible, it has nothing to do with the Chinese race, who they are, colour or creed, but to do with their uncivilised behaviour towards Human and Animal life.

Janice Mermikli
Janice Mermikli
4 years ago
Reply to  val.fell1948

I agree with your post. The only problem is: just how can “the civilised world governments make a stand collectively”? They are all so divided and – to be frank – scared stiff of China – with the possible exception of Australia (see Scott Morrison’s remarks about the CCP.) Can they find the courage and unity to oppose China?

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago

If not, they will be buried by history.

mike otter
mike otter
4 years ago

To this excellent article I am keen to add that for at least the last 40 years
the British Labour Party has been no friend of the labour movement in Britain, China or anywhere else.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

They seem to have chosen petit-bourgeois intellectuals as their protected class. Wokies, student activists and the think tank industrial complex.

Robert Sieger
Robert Sieger
4 years ago

An “embrace of full-blown capitalist economics (albeit a version rigidly directed by the state)”? Sounds a lot like the German National Socialism from 1933 to 1945.

Neil Colledge
Neil Colledge
4 years ago

It seems less and less about the political right or left … and more and more about absolute power corrupting absolutely. Politicians don’t rule the world, billionaires and trillionaires do. Those men and women occupying High Office understand perfectly well that their careers depend on toadying up to and obeying whichever elite families have sponsored them. The ordinary people count for very little. This is depressing and disheartening, almost impossible to explain to a wide-eyed trusting child ….. Truth be told it makes me sick and has done for years. The game of power is vicious and brutal. It probably always has been, since the time of The Mandarins and Kublai Khan.
A small start may possibly be to legislate, that no leader may hold office longer than eighteen months (long enough to be impactful, but short enough not to be tempted). It may be useful to legislate that no individual be allowed a net-worth of more than $1 billion – any surplus to travel into the public purse and be evenly distributed.
The American Indians held pow-wows between the oldest village members. These could carry on for days until a solution was reached, with which every elder was in agreement. There must be modern-day examples of this but only The Berkshire Hathaway Discussion with Buffet/Munger and Putin’s State-Of-The-Nation Q&A coming to mind ….. There most likely are a few more.
In today’s world this is pie-in-the-sky. Whatever economic reset this Covid-19 pandemic delivers, will still be to the benefit of The Elites. Nothing will really change except that the poorest will remain poor ….. the richest will remain rich.
The solution to the world’s challenges, does not depend on moving from political left to political right. It certainly doesn’t depend on moving from one politician to another.
A small part of the solution may lie in talking to one another much more, making attempts to speak one another’s languages, understanding one another’s histories much more.
The most profound need is to understand human nature, be honest about human nature. Before condemning any world leader, it may also be wise to remember that wherever God builds his Church, the devil will have his Chapel ………. and vice versa.

E S
E S
4 years ago
Reply to  Neil Colledge

Interesting.

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
4 years ago
Reply to  Neil Colledge

“Nothing will really change except that the poorest will remain poor ….. the richest will remain rich.” Be careful. To me this reveals our tendency to arrive at totalist, universal, final word assessments of the lot of human beings, in other words, the religious impulse, which does not, or should not, apply to the historical, the material, ie. conditional, relative, concrete reality. Because it is demonstrably untrue that ‘the poorest will remain poor’ etc. Economic development over the past 200 years has proven that, quite obviously, and just in the last 20 years millions of people have be brought out of absolute poverty by UN measures. By and large, human progress within the context and impetus of western Enlightenment values, science and the spread of technology has accelerated the well-being of the population of the earth in a very short period by factors not imagined for millennia upon millennia.

Neil Colledge
Neil Colledge
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan Girling

Hi Alan – I’ve never really done the number-crunching as to relative rising or falling of rich & poor. I’m less optimistic than you, but would be delighted to be proved wrong … The biggest question that I keep researching & asking, over and over again …….. is where has this Covid-19 phenomenon REALLY come from??

h w
h w
4 years ago

Thank you for this article.
My country, Canada, has closely embraced this violent, repressive regime in the name of access to the huge market for business and cheap toys for all. The costs of this pandering to Beijing are horrific for the Chinese, and the costs to Canada are becoming hard to ignore.

Not counting COVID-from China effects which amount to a massive CCP-esque upscaling of state control and dependency, we have:
1000s dead from overdoses due to fentanyl from China
– manufacturing industries eliminated due to offshoring to China’s exploitative factories
– Chinese drug money laundering via casinos, luxury car and home purchases
– local students denied their chosen public school enrollment due to well-off fee-paying international students from China and elsewhere being given preference
– quintupling of housing prices in part due to the wealthy from China and other nations buying up homes as safe investments for wealth got on the backs of exploited labour.
Our local labour-union backed city council politicians visit and celebrate Chinese ‘sister cities’ and fail to critique the exploitation, human rights violations, and brutality of the regime.

Robert Flack
Robert Flack
4 years ago

The parallels with the 1930s is quite astonishing. China is on the rise as was Germany. The “elite” backing China just as they backed Hitler. We kept reducing our army just as we doing now. Please god this time we don’t have a war.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Flack

‘First, we are not for it; secondly, we are not afraid.’ That’s what the vile Mao Zedong said some decades ago, tastelessly joking about how even nuclear war, to him and his boys, wasn’t a big deal at all. He even speculated on the numbers, flippantly dismissing the possibility of several hundred million people dying as some trivial contingency that they didn’t need to worry about too much… That’s the ruthlessness we are dealing with. We need to be under no illusions about how barbaric the mass exterminationist lunatics of the CCP always have been, and always will be.

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

A significant number of people are pretty well informed on the iniquities of the Nazis have some vague knowledge of the millions murdered by Stalin but are wilfully ignorant of the millions starved to death by the CCP under the chairmanship of Mao. Only one of these monstrous regimes is still in power.

Tris Torrance
Tris Torrance
3 years ago

You mentioned the sensible elements of the Left, but do any still exist?

Following 2015, Brexit, Trump, the demolition of Corbyn, the shame of anti-Semitism and the excretion of the liberal elite from their self-appointed hegemony, the Left seems to have lost its collective mind and is reduced to sticking its fingers in its ears and squealing insults.

Is there anything left that is even worth trying to salvage? Honestly?

sglindsey
sglindsey
4 years ago

and still nothing on Amnesty International UK

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago
Reply to  sglindsey

They seem to be too busy moralising about manspreading on the Tel Aviv subway, or the fat-shaming of omnisexual alcohol-positive self-diagnosed demi-partnered trans-Siberian unicyclists! Their priorities, frankly, seem rather askew to me.

morrisonmike
morrisonmike
4 years ago

Sorry, which “The Left” are you talking about? All of “The Left”? Or just some of them? Just looking up a handful of will known left wing commentators and “China Uighurs” shows me a lot of condemnatory content. Or you mean APART from that content?

G Harris
G Harris
4 years ago
Reply to  morrisonmike

It would help if you provided some examples.

G Harris
G Harris
4 years ago

As to the apparent racial element in terms of criticising China, I have a close acquaintance who is from a wealthy Chinese by birth family, although she resolutely considers herself to be entirely British NOT Chinese, and she just scoffs when I mention this potentially delicate aspect, in some people’s eyes anyway.

To her, and she has been a regular visitor there for years in terms of the need to fulfil family residency requirements for the family business, China’s ruling elite is truly wicked and corrupt and its grip is tightening and becoming ever more frightening for the population at large.

andrew.kidd6
andrew.kidd6
4 years ago

Where are the Silence= Violence demos?

Ronnie B
Ronnie B
4 years ago

Excellent article. All members of Parliament, senior civil servants and business leaders should be made to recite the last paragraph every day.

Jasper Carrot
Jasper Carrot
4 years ago

I do get fed up to the back teeth by labelling so much as being one particular political leaning or another. The article is predominantly about China & the CCP, so by continuing to remind us of Left, or latterly Right, is tedious & dilutes the point.
The point is, that China has always been a complex & diverse culture, either side of the 1949 ‘revolutionary conflict’ – brutality has often been evident. The level of cruelty & intolerance of anything beyond President Xi’s ‘dream’ is particularly & heavily dealt with – Tibet, Sino-Indian confrontation from the 1960’s – renewed now, Hong Kong, Taiwanese aggression, S. China Sea coercion & a complete disregard for UNCLOS & the BRI is showing similar levels of intolerance … & who knows what the fall-out will be in respect to Huawei.
China, more so under the current life-long leader, has embarked on a course of absolute control of all things perceived to be Chinese & the increasing evidence infers that Chinese citizens, wherever they are in the world, will remain under CCP scrutiny.
The UK has been generally weak in making a broad attempt to discuss international matters of importance & generating, then maintaining an effective dialogue at home & abroad. Leaving the controlling influence of the EU requires a more positive level & scale of effort, more so as an island nation in such a complex international level of increasing disorder … will our politicians desist from being predominantly a one-problem-at-a-time-please group of limited horizon spectators? … the Chinese leadership has a long-term view & the UK’s political parties should endeavour to create some cross party agreement on foreign, defence & security policy that will not be undone by the next government. Such a view should be taken up by more journalists & commentators, rather than re-issuing a party-politicised focus.

Leti Bermejo
Leti Bermejo
4 years ago

WTF?

The lack of outrage over the regime’s behaviour betrays a deep hypocrisy and lack of principle

Errr…and what about the RIghts shameful silence eh? Or are you too busy doing juicy deals with the billionaires to give a shit?

steve gouldstone
steve gouldstone
4 years ago

It seems rather ironic that an article discussing the reticence of the west to criticise China, is actually very mealy-mouthed itself when it comes to describing the abuses in China!

I would have thought one million Uighur Muslims held in state concentration camps for Stalinist ‘re-education’ might have been worth mentioning?

And how about the mounting evidence of organ harvesting to order – incredible though this seems to any civilised person? (The tally of prisoners executed – where the Chinese government claim the organs come from – and the numbers of organs transplanted, don’t match at all). It is really not clear where the extra organs come from. But perhaps it’s very useful for the authorities to have religious minorities they want to suppress at the same time as the market for organs grows?

John Broomfield
John Broomfield
4 years ago

It all went pear-shaped with the Xi. We do not know the extent to which Xi’s authoritarian rule was dictated by the communist party.

We were able to defeat the USSR economically but China’s communists have cynically used capitalism to enable the country and its party to prosper.

China has much of Asia and Africa on its side so our options seem somewhat limited. We’ve got nothing but our principles so we should double-down on human rights and cyber defence.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago

We need an army of white hat trolls to demoralise, disorient and confuse the CCP. If elections are now won and lost online, perhaps revolutions can be too! People need to cause absolute chaos on the Chinese internet if there is to be any radical change. Absolute mayhem is the bare minimum needed to destabilise the abominable Red Fascist dictatorship. A global United Front could emerge online, as much as offline. Plenty of people have studied the Chinese language these days: why not use these skills to topple the hideous, Gulag-dodging, Maoist death cultists?

hijiki7777
hijiki7777
4 years ago

I think this is daft. Last year I went to an event organised in the East London mosque about the plight of the Uigers. There were people there from Labour, Lib Dems and the Greens, but no Tories. As for Maoism, that died out on the British left in the 1970s.
However there is a problem not addressed in the article that needs to be considered, whether you are left or right. From an economic point of view we depend on China more than they depend on us. In the old days for a country like South Africa we could apply economic sanctions with the idea that they capitulate and give up apartheid. We do not have that leverage over China. So given we have a weaker hand than they have, how do we get them to support democratic and human rights?

Dan Poynton
Dan Poynton
4 years ago
Reply to  hijiki7777

Don’t worry, there’s no doubt that Maoism (if not Stalinism) is on the rise in the West these days, albeit rather prettified under the guise of “equality of outcome”, “tolerance” and “inclusion”. And although economics should not prevent us from standing up against the brutishness of China anyway, there is plenty indicating that China’s economy is not nearly as healthy as its bravado would have us believe. Massive debt and a drastically ageing demographic are but two indications. Xi Jinping is most worried that there is not much “bread” left for his citizens, and he’s busy now stoking fanatical nationalism to give his minions their “circuses”.

mzeemartin8
mzeemartin8
4 years ago

“But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.”

“ardent capitalist John Lennon

David Hutchison
David Hutchison
3 years ago

The Left are always, but always in favour of anything that damages the West, whatever it is.

M Blanc
M Blanc
3 years ago

The Left have in mind for us what the Chicoms have in mind, and in reality, for the Chinese people. Why wouldn’t the Left refuse to criticize or actually praise the Chinese regime. Sure, some of them have these historical factional grievances, but their ultimate goal is totalitarianism.

cormac.mcsparron
cormac.mcsparron
3 years ago

Come on now, right, left and centre have actively courted China with only the odd murmur of protest for decades. Now that the Orange One has decided he needs a trade war, and little poodle BoJo must do his masters bidding if he wants a US trade deal, and all we hear is China, China! Hypocrisy of the highest order.

Damien D
Damien D
3 years ago

Left or right… As the French film director Audiard once said “When a 6ft4 man talks , everyone listens” Unfortunately China is now a power house of such scary size and might that when they sit at negotiating tables everyone gets bullied just the same

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
3 years ago

Copying the anti-apartheid movement there has been a constant vigil outside the Chinese Embassy vigorously protesting agains the treatment of the Uighurs. The pecuiar thing is everyone on the vigils if a ‘leftie’. You don’t see any Tories, libertarians or Unherd supporters there. I will also wage that you never will. Protests takes time, stamina sapping reserves of determination and the necessity of fighting feelings of defeat when you feel that no impact has or is being made. Of course the anti-apartheid movement would never have succeeded if it had not been the decades long determination by conservatives to oppose the South African regime, would it? So eay to berate the left for supposedly supporting totalitarian regimes.

I NEVER met anyone on the left who supported the Soviet Union and its totalitarian satellites; there were of course always a few old CP’ers defending Stalin and trying to distort history to do so. But to call them members of the ‘left’, or treat them as representative, is twisting the truth in a way Stalin and Mao would have approved of.

As for the picture of Corbyn how many pictures of Tories could you find, if you chose also meeting the Chinese leadership? Or, say, say mingling with officials and ministers of those well known bastions of freedom Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Belize, Qatar, etc? This is not anysis but childish playground ranting.

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
3 years ago
Reply to  Philip Clayton

Good perspective from the other side. No, conservatives are not the most dedicated protesters, which makes sense of course. On the other hand, while you may not be able to find people on the left who supported the Soviet Union, it’s not as though they view its history as any kind of an indictment of the cause. They often think merely that they will get it right next time. Germany and Italy took care of fascism for good, but it seems to be taking a lot more suffering and millions more dying before Marx is finally laid to rest.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago

Ah, Todorov O’Donnell, or is it Tongzhi Johnny? I remember that one! I’d say ironic Maoism isn’t as funny when the person doing it actually IS a Maoist. I think radical contrarian performance theatre about our old friend the Chairman tends to fall a bit flat when the person making said spiffing jests are ACTUAL Maoists or Trots. Yes, a good article from Paul Embery. Tankies like O’Donnell and Milne seem to want to destroy the very heart and soul of Labour.

and.romeda
and.romeda
4 years ago

Priceless. I’ll be critical of China when people recognise the abuse and fraud being carried out by their own nations. Or maybe you think it’s perfectly normal for New York City, Belgium, the UK and USA to be hit 354x, 134x, 105x and 63x worse than the Far East”Š People in glass houses should learn to do arithmetic. See our Chart Update and videos on Peerless Reads YouTube for the absurdity of western power centres being hit hundreds of times worse than half the planet. You didn’t notice? Strange. You don’t want to believe it? Absurd. Worst case of Stockholm Syndrome in history.Chart Update

Aidan Trimble
Aidan Trimble
4 years ago
Reply to  and.romeda

That’s if you swallow the figures coming from Far Eastern totalitarian States I suppose?

Robert Flack
Robert Flack
4 years ago
Reply to  and.romeda

Hit by what?

Riccardo Tomlinson
Riccardo Tomlinson
4 years ago
Reply to  and.romeda

I’d agree with a lot of this. The China Of Xi Jinping is a proper police state and what is happening to the Uighurs is atrocious. Nonetheless, the generalised criticism of this article betrays great ignorance.

China is investing more than any other country in renewable energy. They’ve worked tirelessly to better their citizens, and their speed and efficiency is astonishing. The one child policy is long gone and in truth they treat their minorities a lot better than most in the West would imagine.

They’re a threat To the West for sure, but mostly because they appear so obviously to be in the ascendancy .

As a neutral outsider, you would say the Chinese system has many advantages over the squabbling, divided, clay-footed nations of the West.

I’m not a neutral outsider, but it serves none of us to read such lazy half-baked stuff about China.

authorjf
authorjf
3 years ago

And better still: Hitler made the trains run on time, and Mussolini reduced the numbers of bedbugs in Italian hotels… I bet if renewable energy existed in the 1930s, Hitler could have built a few windfarms, instead of the Autobahns! Presumably that would have got him off the hook with the ‘adults in the room’ of the day, just as Shifty Xi’s progressive social justice war on carbon emissions amply makes up for his bloody orgy of mass murder, torture and DIY organ removals.

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
4 years ago
Reply to  and.romeda

Um, seems like a bit of whataboutism going on here. Why do the sins of one’s own nation preclude criticism of another? One can call it hypocrisy if it’s from govt. to govt. but any individual including this writer is free to be an independent thinker who is not identical to his citizenship. Must we all merely look at our own navels, or shut up? That is ridiculous.

cbarclay
cbarclay
4 years ago
Reply to  and.romeda

Beijing is proud of you, Comrade.