The political system in communist China is brutal, and is not deserving of any praise

News Letter editorial of Tuesday March 2 2021:

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

At the weekend, the Chinese communist dictatorship got more of what it wants in Hong Kong

Some 47 pro democracy activists were charged with violating a hated and bitterly resisted new security law in the city state.

This repression might well be working, and will finally extinguish opposition and protest in Hong Kong, which has been one of the most vibrant, dynamic and exciting places on earth: a venue for open trade, democracy and innovation.

This is all happening less than 25 years after Hong Kong was handed back to China from Britain, and it flouts the international agreement of that return.

More importantly, it flouts the civilised standards of all the great first world democracies, from Germany to America to Japan to Taiwan (the latter being another place that China wants to annex and then crush political dissent).

As the elder statesman John Cushnahan has written on these pages numerous times, the EU has been muted in its opposition to what China is doing for trade reasons. America and the UK have been better, but they too have commercial elements who would prefer just to trade quietly with Beijing.

Here in Northern Ireland, China claimed over the summer that Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill had offered their support for China’s approach to Hong Kong. Such a development would not have been a surprise, because local politicians can seem uninformed on global events. But happily, both first and deputy first minister denied having given such endorsement.

At the weekend, however, Chris Hazzard tweeted gushing praise for President Xi’s anti poverty plan. Solidarity, he said.

Perhaps this Sinn Fein MP knows little about Beijing: That it has far worse wealth inequality than the UK, with a feeble safety net for the poor and untrammelled wealth for the rich; that it puts Uighur Muslims in camps; that it slaughtered students in 1989 to wipe out China’s pro democracy movement.

Ignorance about such a vile regime and system of rule would certainly be preferable to any hint of support for it.

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Alistair Bushe

Editor