Pandas, Poison and Propaganda Clouds British Foreign Office

Neil Heywood

Image:archivenet

Last November, Neil Heywood, a British businessman and corporate  intelligence consultant was found dead in a hotel room in a western Chinese city, he had been closely associated with the political elite of Sichuan Province, spoke fluent Mandarin, and if reports are correct had seemingly threatened to expose a web of corruption and financial irregularities, which would grossly endanger the high-level careers and profile of some politically powerful figures, including Mr. Bo Xilai’s and his wife, Gu Kailai. The latter is now under arrest on suspicion of murder, while Bo has been suspend from political office, the case has generated acute embarrassment for China’s Regime and also for the British Foreign Office (the equivalent of the State Department). So it is that today the British Prime Minister is meeting with a Senior Chinese leader to discuss the case, which has attracted the unwelcome attention of the media who are asking difficult questions, of which there are many.

Visitors to this site may have noticed mention before of the Foreign Office, a British government department that casts a shadow over the issue of Tibet in England, and according to sources there has managed to manipulate the Tibetan scene to such an extent that protests consistently fail to generate significant public interest, while those isolated events which do happen avoid any mention of Tibetan independence. It is of course entirely in the political interests of the Foreign Office to have an emasculated movement for Tibet, one that would not generate too much inconvenience or distraction for the larger work of mollifying China’s Regime, which is always hyper-sensitive to the subject of Tibet. The object of such appeasement is of course to maintain current and secure future economic benefits from China, including financial investments into a broken British economy. Any issue therefore which would undermine that process is regarded as an irritant, so it is that a vigorous and singular campaign for Tibetan independence within Britain would be anathema to the political aspirations and policies of the Foreign Office.

The name of the game is trade, and appeasement is a currency that goes a long way to furthering British interests in China, so it is that issues such as China’s horrendous program of forced sterilizations is deliberately omitted from the Foreign Office Human Rights Report on China and that no mention is ever made of Tibet’s independence, or that Tibetans inside occupied Tibet are struggling to regain their national freedom. These are explosive issues that could seriously destabilize relations with Beijing, so in a cynical move the Foreign Office has removed entirely the political truth from the subject of Tibet and transformed it into one of human and religious rights. These are seemingly discussed during an annual meeting with China, although the public are not graced with any details of what’s actually on the table, some say there would be no room for such topics, it being already occupied by French wines and the finest of cuisine.

Why Did British Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne Not Raise The Case?

Image:latimes

What trust or confidence however can be invested into such exchanges, in light of the subservient position of the British Government towards China, and its craven appeasement of that bloody regime? Should anyone doubt the extent of such uncritical accommodation  the death of Neil Heywood may provide an enlightening insight. From what we know, via the reported facts, the British Government, through the Foreign Office and its Embassy in Beijing, was informed of the death on November 16 2011 . At that time China assured Britain that Mr Heywood had died from “excessive alcohol consumption”, a claim some have noted that Foreign Office officials seem to have accepted without question. Why no immediate post-mortem was demanded by British Officials, to conclusively establish the cause of death, is not known, but its apparent willingness, to accept as fact, assurances from a regime, notorious for lies and propaganda, is a remarkable indication of how far the Foreign Office is prepared to go to maintain positive relations with China. More so when considering that just twenty four hours after the news of that death was reported to the British Government a Foreign Office Minister, Mr Jeremy Browne was in Chongqing to meet the Chinese politician at the heart of this story, yet seemingly chose not to mention a word on the matter, why the silence?

Would it not have been the duty and natural concern of a Foreign Office Minister to  raise the case during his visit, instead of participating in a propaganda photo with a panda? Could Mr Browne claim that he was not informed by his own Department of this hugely important matter? Can we really believe that he would have not been aware that a British national had died under very troubling circumstances? It would appear that no such thoughts troubled the visit made by Jeremy Browne and that the version of events provided by China were for a time taken as truth, despite the very worrying fact that Neil Heywood’s body was cremated with considerable haste, removing the opportunity to conclusively determining how he had died. Indeed according to a written statement released April 17 by the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, no pressures were applied to China until February 15 2012 who wrote  that  “urgent representations” were first made then by the deputy head of mission at the British embassy to officials from the Chinese foreign ministry, and informed them of suspicions that Heywood had been murdered and requested a full investigation.

William Hague Conceded China Was Pressured For Inquiry Months After Heywood's Death

Image:jeremyrowe

There are many questions surrounding this sad affair and no doubt the British Government has much to explain as to why its officials appeared to take so long to raise the case with their Chinese counterparts. While it is unlikely that the entire facts will emerge what does seem more certain is that the policy of the Foreign Office towards China, characterized by appeasement and compromise, resulted in an unhealthy willingness to believe China’s claims regarding the death, without any independent or verifiable evidence and a hesitancy to offer a forceful response.

Will David Cameron, Britain’s Prime Minister, accept with equal credulity the response on the subject from his meeting with China’s propaganda secretary Mr.Li Changchun, or will for once justice, human rights, and truth take precedence over commerce and politics? What do you think?

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