Image: AP/Himalayan Times
Well the inevitable has arrived and the goal of China’s regime, to extend its cancerous control over Hong Kong, realized. Defended by what that fetid authority claims as ‘law’. According to declarations from Beijing it ‘s now a criminal offense to show any sign of dissent against the Chinese authorities. Opposition to the dark excesses of Xi Jinping’s dictatorship is met with a range of vicious and oppressive punishments.
Torture, executions, forced-labor and disappearances are the incoming abnormal for Hong Kong, a grim and dangerous future awaits. One that was entirely predictable and known to those British politicians and civil servants who in signing their 1984 agreement with China cruelly and cynically betrayed the citizens of Hong Kong.
It is unlikely that the true nature and extent of Britain’s appeasement during those negotiations shall ever be fully known, even what will prove a heavily a redacted account of events is scheduled to remain a secret until 2026
What is blatantly clear is that the British in their early talks with Deng Xiaoping’s regime told ithemselves that it was possible to keep control and influence over Hong Kong. That position soon crumbled and Margaret Thatcher and her advisors adopted a strategy of prioritizing UK financial interests in the region. The assurances on protecting freedoms, democracy and autonomy were always destined to be little more than posturing, diplomatic face-saving for the British. After all in their over a century of rule in Hong Kong they had done almost nothing to build genuine democratic rights and infrastructure. It was a colonial occupation.
Image: Courtesy of CNN
The platitudes offered by Britain on its treaty obligations to ensure civil and political freedom for Hong Kong’s citizens are exposed when measured against the economic determination of several UK governments to secure lucrative trade relations with China. That remains the policy of Boris Johnson and his advisors. Even as protestors today took to the streets in Hong Kong to oppose the tyrannical law imposed by Beijing the focus of British foreign policy consultants is securing profits from the Chinese.
In truth, like the State Department, the British Foreign Office and political establishment have long known about the odious excesses of China’s regime. Just like they knew in their negotiations on Hong Kong that they were consigning its people to the bloody maw of Chinese rule. We see reports today that one or two members of the British authorities have spoken in their Parliament of their concerns about Uyghur women being forcibly sterilized on order of the Chinese authorities.
This is political opportunism, not a legitimate commitment to human rights. We say this because as part of activism over the years our network worked tirelessly to tell governments including that of the UK of China’s mass forced sterilization campaigns. Yet despite detailed documents and reports on the issue made available to political representatives in England, no action was taken. Indeed those women whose lives had been viciously traumatized by China’s forced sterilization policies were ignored, while the very same foreign relations advisors who counseled the UK government on Hong Kong remained tight-lipped. Fully aware of the atrocities but more concerned with encouraging and maintaining commercial relations with the Chinese tyranny.
A similar duplicity and appeasement contributed to the failed treaty on Hong Kong, there was never any genuine commitment to protecting citizens rights there. The emphasis was upon securing long-established British economic interest in the region It was with that in mind that Margaret Thatcher and her negotiating advisors signed up to the empty promises agreed by China.
Image: courtesy of CNN
It was from the beginning a treachery forged from financial interests, with a final tragic and unavoidable conclusion. Those architects of the Sino-British Joint Declaration knew damn well what the outcome would be, but it was not the fate of Hong Kong’s people which troubled them. Rather protecting British political, diplomatic and economic interests!