Morning View: UK can't stop China but can be wary of it

News Letter Morning View on Monday October 17
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Morning View

China's president, Xi Jinping, has called for his country's military development to be accelerated.He wants the nation's vast People's Liberation Army to safeguard Chinese interest and Mr Xi outlined territorial claims over which the superpower will go to war.

This is predictable talk, and consistent with past rhetoric, but it is nonetheless terrifying because Beijing means it. China is communist is in many respects no such thing.

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There is nothing socialist about its economy which combines the worst of capitalism - corruption and environmentally destructive development and gross wealth inequality - with the worst of communism, tyranny and repression.

Now China and Russia are moral allies in a doctrine of rule by force. India, which ought to be one of the west's great friends, is currently keen to do business with those two dictatorships.

Meanwhile, much of Europe is still confused about China, as it was about Russia, wanting to trade with it while protesting about its values.

In the latter instance it has meant wealthy Germany still having to source more than a quarter of its gas from the invaders in Moscow.

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The UK was right to ban Huawei technology in the Britain's 5G and to prohibit Chinese input into our nuclear power on security grounds.

Western values of democracy and free speech and the rule of law are now in grave peril. In Hong Kong they are already being removed.

Taiwan, another Oriental outpost of such values, is next in line. A war there could make the horrifying Ukraine conflict look like a picnic.

Britain can do little to stop this physically but it can use its cultural clout to build coalitions in defence of our spiritual allies, as it did in support of Kiev.