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Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Rogue nations, book burners and ethics

Many who have business or overseas contacts with not only Chinese but many people from SE Asia will know the importance of 'face' - and of saving and losing face. The raucous, primitive, violent and abusive nature of social media is not a happy place for those with such sensitivities, yet several times, normally after I have criticised China, I have received a wounded but polite little note. I suspect they're from Chinese students doing their compulsory two hours a day on the interweb defending the motherland - 'chide gently to bring offender onto path of righteous truth' or something. Yesterday China avoided the stigma of sanctions for human rights abuses announced by Dominic Raab in the Commons against named officials. The loss of face if Chinese individuals are named as human rights abusers would be grievous. 

He certainly managed to hit a spot with Russia, KSA, Burma and North Korea, though only the first three pretend to be liberal if not quite democratic. Chinese executions, concentration camps, organ harvesting and repression haven't earned them this disgrace as yet - maybe we still need their PPE. The latest repressive security law imposed on the people of Hong Kong literally encourages the book burners - books condemned by the Beijing regime are, even as I write, being seized and destroyed; Hague writes about it in today's 'graph

It is however Russia and China that are stoking the fires of the Culture War on the internet in an effort to destabilise the West. Whilst naive and credulous children are rioting on the street in London because someone called a trannie a tranny on the interweb, Sergei Magnitsky and Jamal Khashoggi, a lawyer and a journalist, were being murdered by their own state officials. 

And it's partularly important to distinguish between people and regimes, between holy Russians and Putin's gangster regime, between China's Beijing autocrats and the people of Hong Kong. These subject peoples simply don't enjoy the democratic freedoms that we take for granted; the rampant voting corruption even in Putin's most recent referendum on his own tenure is accepted with just a shrug of the shoulders. 

Whilst I'm encouraged by our finally moving out of the twentieth century and into one in which GRU assassins and CCP executioners, Korean torturers and Saudi head-choppers are not only unacceptable but that such actions have consequences, we cannot be complacent about the threats that such rogue nations pose to our liberal democracy. At least it seems we now accept that China, Russia, KSA and the like are not benign regimes but threats to our way of life. Now we must reform our economies to stop selling them arms and technology and buying from them factory goods and fuel that are killing their own citizens and undermining ours. 

The global corporates have been quick enough to respond to inconsequential movements such as BLM. Let's now test them with a commercial and trade policy in line with an ethical foreign policy when human lives and human freedoms rather than hurt feelings are at stake. 

Rogue states are once again burning books


Span Ows said...

Yes, to be honest I was stunned by Rabb's statement yesterday: not for the patent and GLARING lack of China/Chinese but that they actually mentioned KSA. Things are changing? Maybe the current back-tracking from Huawei was one reason to 'delay' mentioning China. We have a lot of eggs in taht basket and not worth dropping that basket before a few smaller ones are to hand.

DiscoveredJoys said...

I dunno Raedwald, the credulous children (aimed by their handlers) already *know* that all skin colours are equal, all sexual and gender orientations are equal, and that any inequality is an evil conspiracy.

How are they going to take the news that some cultures are driven by 'face', some by 'honour', some by 'harmony', some by 'competition', and some by enlightenment values? It's going to be hard to argue that all cultures are equally valid when you are being blown up or beheaded.

Unknown said...

I think the point about Jamal Khashoggi was not that he was a "journalist" but that he was a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood. KSA is as hostile to the Brotherhood as it is to the Iranians.

Don Cox

Thud said...

Re.Khashoggi, I will not be loosing any sleep over his demise.

Poisonedchalice said...

We also need to seize their assets in the UK. There are far too few "Unexplained Wealth Orders" issued for my liking. Just think how many billions we could sequester from these international crooks, in order to fill our coffers up a bit post covid.

Anonymous said...

The best counter to 'Rogue nations' is the Commonwealth of Nations - 'an association of sovereign nations which support each other and work together towards international goals'. The key is respect for each other. From little Tuvalu upwards together we can make the world a much better place: nations busily trading with each other, ensuring each remains a unique place for future generations to enjoy.

True diversity is hundreds of monocultures. Multiculturalism will put an end to diversity.


Dave_G said...

It's the culture that uses jealousy to achieve its aims that we need to be wary of.

They use the BLM marker.......

Span Ows said...

Poisonedchalice "We also need to seize their assets in the UK. There are far too few "Unexplained Wealth Orders"..."

Indeed, imagine how many they'd be if the politicians didn't vote themselves immune from such dreary goings-on.

jim said...

Seems to me the Chinese handling of the Hong Kong situation was/is clumsy. Lacks subtlety and finesse. So why go about it this way, is it an error or part of some plan. Cock-up or conspiracy? Cock-up - shoooorly not.

Then the USA is in an election year, suffering from industrial decline and the virus. So a spot of China-bashing and willy-waving seems in order. Then the UK is scratching around for a trade deal and it looks as if Huawei is a sacrificial pawn - for now. Not a few months ago GCHQ told us the security risks from Huawei were 'manageable'. Now they are 'not so manageable', what has changed? The US may be cutting off the supply of telecoms chips to China. What happens if China rolls its own chips? Bad news for the spies and bad news for US industry, not so smart.

The more interesting question is what happens post November. Looks like Covid will really be biting then. If Trump gets in again he may be looking to his legacy. Others will be looking to reduce the harm he does. Or he is replaced. Either way US industry will not be wanting the hit from having a profitable relationship with China blocked. The Huawei fuss may even die down. I'm sure this factors into the fuss to get Huawei out by 2025. The hawks know that the issue is liable to get fudged. As they say East of Suez 'slowly slowly catchee monkey'.

Another interesting question is how China will develop. Being nasty to the Uighurs seems very unsophisticated. The mark of a person is how (s)he deals with difference. China looks like holding herself back through these clumsy interventions. Sure, US politics looks like it is run by gangsters, but no need for China to look the same.

Unknown said...

My impression is that the current ruler of China, Xi Jinping, is a clumsy, controlling bully with no sense of humour. He cannot tolerate anything but total subservience to his narrow view of the world.

China was, I think, making good progress until he seized power.

Don Cox

Span Ows said...

jim, softly softly?

Greg T said...

Quite possibly
Xinjiang was handled suprisingly delicately undr Mao - even during the Cultural Revolution.
The Biss went through there last year ... her report on the Han overt racism & bullying (which has since got even worse) was really scary.
Even supposedly honoured "Western Tourists" - who are supposed to take back favourable impressions of the Central Kingdom were given hassle by the security goons.

DeeDee99 said...

I seem to recall the late Robin Cook declaring that we would have an ethical foreign policy when he was Foreign Minister.

Prime Minister Blair then lied to Parliament and the nation in order to participate in Bush's illegal war, helped blow up Iraq and was directly responsible for the death of Dr David Kelly. Robin Cook ended up dead on a mountain.

If I were Raab, I'd be very careful.

Watch what they do, not what they say.

jim said...

BTW, Ethics is a county to the east of London. Arms sales are a good earner, don't ask questions.

So here we are, Wednesday and nothing much happening - again. Our host does well to dredge up any sort of story in these doldrum times. Sitting around waiting for Covid to go away and a whizzy trade deal to drop into our lap.

Ah, but what light breaks. Sunak may knock a bit off property sales tax - what joy - I can slap the knockoff straight on the selling price. And so on up/down the ladder. We seem to be getting back to all the old nostrums, care home deaths - all the care home's fault. Planning reform - too difficult, give it to nasty Dominick. Industrial policy - dredge up some professors of nothing much, leave to cogitate or fall asleep and forget.

Never mind, parliamentary recess in a few days. Not back till September and then its Party conference time. Then back to doing nothing and going nowhere. Back in the day such a lazy ineffective government would have had a takeover bid and risked the feel of cold steel, no such luck.

Dave_G said...

The policy of incompetence, ignorance or down right apathy is surely a precursor to claiming that what we really need is a 'central control to make all these decisions for us'.....

They tried (and failed) with the EU but will try again with the 'new' EU - the UN (as reconfigured to provide a global government).

Anonymous said...

Ey oop!

What's all this about Martyn Selmayr's plans to visit MoD sites as part of a reorganisation initiative? Who voted him in?

Anonymous said...

Liz has just worked out GB is going rogue. The picture on Boris' face is apt.