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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Their freedom - and ours

For any libertarian, the Chinese gangster regime is an anathema. Micro control of citizens, the extinguishing of democracy, suffocation of freedoms of thought, movement and expression, mass executions, organ harvesting, state-tolerated piracy, officially sponsored cyber crime, corruption, injustice and the endemic mendacity of one-party propaganda. And I can write that without a scintilla of hyperbole - we have actually grown to accept this monolithic behemoth and its manifold and hateful repression of the human spirit as normal.

Hong Kong is the possibly the first time in modern history that pro-democracy protesters have waved the Union flag not as a symbol of colonial oppression but as a symbol of hope and liberation, the symbol of every freedom that is hateful to the gangster regime in Beijing. There are some 300,000 BNO passport holders in HK and we must welcome the moves by the FCO to extend their rights to live and work in the UK from six months to a year, and to unlock for them an easy path to full citizenship and permanent residence. The success they have made of HK betokens their economic vitality, agility, tenacity and appetite for hard work and application. Our universities should be filled not with the products of the PRC and the financial control that has enslaved several Oxford colleges and Russell group institutions to Huawei, but with the children of the free entrepreneurs of HK. They would add immeasurably to the common wealth of our nation, strengthen the reach and status of the City of London and add dynamism, innovation and thrusting growth to our economy, in exactly the way as did the Ugandans expelled by Idi Amin.

Already Brexit is allowing us to return our view back to a perspective we had almost lost, to the Anglosphere. The joint UK / US / NZ and Australian approach to China's moves in HK is absolutely crucial - in effect the Five Eyes nations confirming their solidarity. Boris's thrown-out notion of a D10 - a group of ten democracies - formed of the G7 plus India, South Korea and Australia to challenge China on specifically 5G to start with but potentially much more, is a clever move to not only re-orient UK foreign policy away from Europe but to give Germany, France and Italy a thump to the head to divert their own focus away from their collective navels and out towards the world.

Above all we must rapidly re-engineer the economy to supplement or replace reliance on China for anything. Diversification. At a time when we will have, in six months, the capacity to allow British Internationalism to blossom - including our unilateral ability to impose sanctions, form treaties and alliances and so on, our place as the world's fifth largest economy will not be insubstantial. In diplomatic terms we already box above our weight, and that ability will grow and mature as the FCO learns for the first time in forty years to think for itself.

China's actions over HK could well blow-back at the gangster regime in more ways than one - and could be the dawn of a new era for a Britain free from the EU.


Span Ows said...

Excellent blog-post Raedwald and I for one agree with every word. I read the other day re building nHK in UK.

That strange noise you heard earlier, I think it was a troll's head exploding.

Dave from Bolton said...

Sam Bowman takes the idea one further.
Create a Honk Kong II in the UK.

Mark said...


The troll hydra has many heads alas, but the multiple detonations of same will doubtless keep us entertained.

I believe in 1997, HK increased the overall Chinese GDP by something like 15%. Economically, China has grown enormously since, but on what basis?

If they want to destroy HK, there's probably not a lot we (or anybody else really) can do about it. Think 1956, short of an actual shooting war, what could the west really have done to help Hungary?

We have to accept that HK will soon be gone, never to return. All we can practically do is give a refuge to those 300000. Can't image they'll be fighting each other for EU "citizenship"

Mark said...

Sorry, SO+10!

Anonymous said...

" exactly the way as did the Ugandans expelled by Idi Amin."

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown?

Mark said...

That's one head head gone pop. 6 more!

Raedwald said...

Anon - although I disagree with just about everything YAB says, she almost certainly adds a fair whack to UK GDP and pays tax. People pay in various ways - exposed to advertising and so on - to experience her in contentious dialogue. We don't have to like the gladiators to realise they help fund the operation of the Colosseum.

Dave_G said...

The 300,000 HKers would certainly offset the 300,000 'brain surgeons' trying to invade the UK crossing the Channel.

I doubt there is anyone that can object to any nationality bringing a future to the UK - South Africans would be similarly welcomed - but we can't allow such advantages to be wiped out by allowing anyone/everyone to arrive and ride on the backs of the productive.

If we give HKers (et al) a path we must equally block the hangers-on.

Raedwald said...

Dave-G - agree. I've suggested that the annual fishing licences we will grant to France, Spain, NL etc are conditional on those nations taking effective measures to prevent illegal migrants from their territory entering the UK. If the French carry on in the way filmed by Nigel Farage - no fish licences for French boats

DJK said...

I am reminded of Auberon Waugh's plan, from back in the 1980s, to revitalise Liverpool by transferring several thousand Hong Kong Chinese there.

Poisonedchalice said...

Hear, hear Raedwald.

Since the very beginnings of Brexit, we have been saying that we could make the UK into another HK and now the CCP have delivered that possibility right into our hands.

Smoking Scot said...

No question, their entrepreneur spirit is strong, as I their love of material possessions and if they take up the offer then it will be to our benefit.

Of course they didn't much like the way people in Britain - and elsewhere - seemed somewhat hostile to them and their businesses at the start of the covid affair and they certainly have not forgotten the speech Maggie made telling them the lease would not be renewed.

The very best have the choice of virtually any country they wish to emigrate to, so ours is an option, should they wish to take us up on it. Perhaps not to live here, rather for the passport.

I suspect if Canada, Australia, NZ or the USA decide to jump on the bandwagon, then HK will have a problem. But let's not kid ourselves; China may be all the things you say about it, but they're not stupid. They need HK - and much of what they're doing is for the benefit of businesses that are sick fed up of these incessant protests.

Agreed, the gesture does serve to bang European heads together, though myopia is now an art form amongst most of their political class.

jim said...

Mmmm, an awful lot of Chinese restaurants or lychee pickers. Now why would HMG make such magnanimous noises, come to Blighty you huddled masses? HMG is not noted for noble selfless actions, cynical media management yes, bringing in 300,000 immigrants? Priti would have a conniption.

Because Blighty knows they won't/can't come she chucks out a cheap gesture. Despite all the noise, they are probably better off where they are. Those who can afford to leave already have a house in Mayfair and continue to make a packet. President Xi is no Idi Amin.

Then if I were thinking of upping sticks and moving my family and money would I really see the UK as a prime spot. Yes, the laws are OK but there is a lot of uncertainty around. A devaluation on the cards? A trade war with the EU? Unless desperate - probably not.

The deeper question is which way is the world moving. Toward American style democracy (the best money can buy) or toward Chinese style 'management'? Neither is particularly attractive. But all that face recognition and social credits does look the way to go in a crowded world. Professional and hard edged, Priti and Dommy would love it.

Anonymous said...

Your accusations against China are perhaps true.

However, with just a few thousand dead from covid 19, and the epidemic extinguished, they have a National Day Of Mourning.

With over a hundred thousand dead and rising relentlessly, Trump plays golf.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

DJK said...

Anon (13:19): The US has 100,000 dead; Britain, with 1/5 of the population has 60,000 dead (ONS). So what's Boris' excuse?

Still, it's not an either/or between China and the USA. New Zealand, Australia, Czech Republic, Austria, and several others have managed to combine western democracy, a very low Covid 19 death rate, and a still-functioning economy. (A functioning economy follows from keeping the death rate low.)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some of the HongKong's entrepreneurial spirit is owed to John Cowperthwaite. If we adopted his laissez faire attitude we would already have our own Hongkong.

Raedwald said...


Smoking Scot said...

It's sad that some people still have not grasped the enormity of the crisis they faced in Wuhan. They have several public hospitals, yet they still had to build two flat pack hospital and convert a thudding great stadium to handle their case loads.

And unlike Britain where we never needed any of ours, the ones in Wuhan were filled within a week to ten days. We saw video of doctors working for three days non stop, then falling asleep in the car park floor. We saw nurses who were obliged to stay in the facility for a month. It was pure chaos for week after week... after week.

There's no way of finding out why, but the reduction in cellphone subscriptions of 21 million resulted in some claiming it was because of Covid. China was very fast to give a variety of plausible reasons why this had nothing to do with Covid, but admitted these had not been verified by the phone providers.

Britain has handicapped itself by including deaths in care homes and private houses. In many cases there was no way they could verify it was by or with Covid. And that extends through the whole system, essentially to keep the numbers up. Cyprus and Greece have been at pains to conduct postmortem examinations on each case. With Cyprus they report 17 dead of the virus and a further 7 with the virus. As all had preexisting conditions it was important for the medics and the family to know.

If that ratio is indicative then, as I said, Britain isn't doing itself any favours in the league table.

However going back to China, their policy is to send out assistance and expertise to many underdeveloped countries. If you're a cynic, which I am, you might be suspicious that a plane load of PPE is a cheap price to pay for that country to vote against any retaliatory measures that may come up at the UN.

Another, more sinister development is they're hacking into every single facility that's working on a vaccine. They make no real effort to disguise themselves, meaning they're pretty desperate. For sure they can copy drugs, but they're way behind on raw R and D.

The most cautious estimates I've seen is Greater Wuhan had about 300,000 deaths by or with Covid plus another 200,000 elsewhere in the country.

And why are they resisting an external inspection of that laboratory in Wuhan? If it did not originate from there, then let the inspectors look at everything. But no, they don't want to do that; they can't stop Trump, but they're doing all they can to bully Australia to think of something else.

G. Tingey said...

The first prat of your post is spot-on.
The Han are really racist, colonialist, brutal oppressors - ask the Tibetans or the Uighurs, eh?

The second half is total bollocks


While we are at it:
PLease demonstarte any advantage from leaving:
E Air safety regulations
Erasmus programme
Galileo Programme
... and many other "peripheral" mostly-EU-associated bodies, where we benefit greatly from CO-OPERATION

Mark said...

@Tingey Troll

Hastening the collapse of toy town Austria-Hungary springs to mind

John Vasc said...

I agree that we should offer Hong Kong citizens secure residence in the UK.

But we should not ignore the fact that China has not only anticipated such a move, but is doing everything it can to prompt and provoke it. We should ask ourselves why. One reason is for the Chinese government to rid itself of a dissident, troublesome population, as a form of ethnic cleansing. Their other motive is more directly dangerous to the UK and the west:

We already know that Hong Kong has been infiltrated over the past few years from across the border by a large number of CCP agents: some appear openly as a counter-demo force at Freedom demos, many however are silent sleepers. If we grant UK passports en masse, thousands of Chinese CCP agents could easily conceal themselves in the onrush, with false identities and fictional qualifications/professions.They will act out the subversive instructions given to them by the CCP, which knows that neither terror nor sabotage but a pervasive and well-directed cultural influence is the most subversive long-term tool of all. British universities (for example) are easy prey, and an effective instrument of propaganda.

Raedwald said...

You're right to be wary JV

And I don't suppose it's anyone here, but please be aware that if you send emails with unknown links or attachments I will delete without opening.

fnord said...

However, with just a few thousand dead from covid 19, and the epidemic extinguished, they have a National Day Of Mourning

You believe the numbers from China.

How quaint.

John Brown said...

“Above all we must rapidly re-engineer the economy to supplement or replace reliance on China for anything.”

Absolutely correct. We need :

- To diversify our trade away from China, especially strategically important items, such as PPE, 5G, steel making etc.

- Invest heavily in our own R&D in AI, 3D printing and all forms of carbon free power.

- Stop the corruption of our civil servants and educational establishments by the Chinese state with their offers of jobs and research projects etc. We’ve seen the result of 40 years of EU corruption. We must not let the same happen again with China.

- Stop the Chinese stealing our intellectual property. I would not allow any Chinese students to study any STEM subjects in the UK.

- Apply the principle of reciprocity in our relations with countries. For instance, if we are not allowed to buy property or hold the majority share in businesses in a country then they cannot do this in our country.