George Osborne’s epic kowtow to China

The Dalai Lama is right: the UK's China policy is about 'money money money" - where the sale comes first

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

Any British Prime Minister who meets the Dalai Lama knows it will upset the Chinese government — but for decades, no British Prime Minister has much cared. John Major met him in 10 Downing Street, as did Tony Blair. These were small but important nods to Britain’s longstanding status as a friend of Tibet. Of course the Chinese Communist Party disliked seeing the exiled Buddhist leader welcomed in London — but that was their problem.

How things have changed. Now China is far richer and Britain is anxious, sometimes embarrassingly so, to have a slice of that new wealth. From the start of his premiership, David Cameron has been explicit about this. ‘I want to refresh British foreign policy to make it much more focused on the commercial,’ he said. ‘I want to be much more focused on winning orders for British business overseas.’ Diplomats received new orders: promote the interest of businesses, help the recovery. Britain had a new message for the rest of the world: we want your money.

During his five-day trip to China this week, George Osborne went further. At times he seemed to be auditioning for the role of the Chinese Communist Party’s new best friend. ‘Let’s stick together to make Britain China’s best partner in the West,’ he declared at the Shanghai stock exchange — the scene of much mayhem in recent months.He went so far as to claim that Britain and China were ‘two countries whose cultures have done more to shape the world than almost anyone else’ – a novel theory, if nothing else.

‘No economy in the world is as open to Chinese investment as the UK,’ he declared. All told, the Chancellor looked as if he was attempting the world record for the longest kowtow in diplomatic history. The Chinese will seldom have seen anything like it. Its state media later praised him for his “pragmatic” decision “not to stress human rights” during his visit. He is their kind of capitalist: one whose chief interest is in cold hard cash.

Even now, the Chancellor is seeking to atone for what he believes was one of Cameron’s worst diplomatic mistakes: meeting the Dalai Lama three years ago. It had been a low-key event, not in No. 10 but in St Paul’s Cathedral — a venue chosen to minimise Chinese anger by framing this as a meeting with a religious man, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Osborne was against the meeting but the Foreign Office (which had arranged a similar one for Gordon Brown) assured him that Beijing would get over it in a few months. And anyway, since when could an authoritarian communist regime dictate who the British Prime Minister sees?

But things had changed. Beijing sensed that it had more leverage over a prime minister with such a visible appetite for doing Chinese deals. So it cancelled a planned official trip to Britain and instructed Cameron to ‘stop conniving at and supporting separatist attempts to achieve Tibetan independence.’ The Prime Minister, to his horror, was then saluted by campaigners for standing up to China — he had intended no such thing. He wasn’t angry with China so much as furious with his officials for having misjudged its mood. Soon afterwards, Xi Jinping became the Chinese president and the position on the Dalai Lama hardened further. Even pop stars who had been nice about him, such as Bon Jovi and Bjork, have found themselves banned from China.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 22.27.35
Jon Bon Jovi showing a picture of the Dalai Lama in his concerts. He is now banned from visiting China

A year later, Cameron was still in Beijing’s sin bin. ‘This is ridiculous,’ he told officials. ‘I have made overseas trade a cornerstone of my premiership and I’m not being allowed to go to China. I’ve got to go to China!’ He berated them about the ‘heavy price’ he was being made to pay for ‘doing what I was told would not become a major incident’. The Foreign Office had not just misjudged Beijing, it had misjudged No. 10. The Prime Minister was quite serious about his mercantilist foreign policy, and his Chancellor was hellbent on setting up Chinese deals for British companies. Relations with the Dalai Lama were, to put it mildly, a lower priority.

We know all this because of the extraordinary accounts given by No. 10 aides in Cameron at 10, a new book by Anthony Seldon and Peter Snowdon. The Prime Minister offered them unprecedented access to his staff in hope of producing a book that would eclipse Lord Ashcroft’s. While Cameron at 10 is broadly sympathetic, it reveals the extent to which both Cameron and especially Osborne were devastated about upsetting Beijing, and set out to do whatever it took to make amends.

A deal was eventually struck whereby the Prime Minister would declare, in public, that he had ‘no plans’ to see the Dalai Lama again. Diplomatic relations thawed eventually — but as we’ve seen this week, the apologies to Beijing have never stopped. Osborne has offered China a splurge of British government money (much of it, of course, borrowed from China). He’s promising a £500,000 grant for Chinese arts organisations, £300,000 for the digital archiving and translation of Qing dynasty poetry and £700,000 to encourage the Chinese to visit the north of England.

But perhaps the Chancellor’s most valuable gift was his decision to let his hosts design, build and operate a nuclear power station in Britain. This is quite a coup for China, which is not renowned for its expertise in this area and has hitherto only been able to export to the likes of Romania and Pakistan. Now, thanks to the Chancellor’s generosity, Beijing will be able to boast that its civil nukes are good enough for Britain. Just why he should be so keen on Chinese nuclear power when vast quantities of shale gas have been found in Britain is an open question — one that few in the Treasury will have the courage to ask.

All of this baffles the American government. Why, they wonder, would Britain let the Chinese anywhere near their nuclear power stations? Both the CIA and GCHQ spend much of their time guarding against state-sponsored computer hacking. A cyber-attack on a nuclear power station would be an unthinkable disaster. China is one of the few nations to engage in industrial-scale hacking, which is why our spies rightly and rationally ‘war-game’ against a Beijing-inspired attack.

So why does the Chancellor then invite state-owned Chinese companies to build nuclear power stations here? Worryingly little is said about the security concerns. Osborne seems to brush all questions aside in pursuit of Chinese money for his own great leap forward: projects such as high speed rail, his ‘northern powerhouse’ and that new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

The Obama administration has already complained about Britain’s compliant attitude to China. It asks, for example, why Osborne has been so keen to help the Chinese build a rival to the World Bank. The Chancellor has signed up Britain as a founder member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which the US fears could become an instrument of Chinese foreign policy. ‘We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China,’ an Obama administration official told the Financial Times. ‘This is not the best way to engage a rising power.’ That official makes a crucial point: will this pandering make China more likely to respect Cameron and his government?

There have been precious few signs that the Chinese regard Britain as a good friend, let alone its best in the West. When MPs tried to visit Hong Kong last November, they were told that they’d be turned back at the airport: an outrageous snub that ought to have resulted in the Chinese ambassador being summoned for rebuke. Hugo Swire, the Foreign Office minister, refused to do this — not that it helped him much. When he visited Hong Kong in January, he was refused meetings with the former colony’s top two officials. Beijing is discovering that it can treat Cameron’s government however it pleases.

President Xi has been in Washington this week — a visit studded with awkward conversations about civil liberties and computer hacking. The Americans, it seems, still feel able to highlight national areas of concern. When Xi arrives on his state visit to Britain, he can expect the sort of non-stop flattery he receives at home. All he will have to do is write some cheques, bail out whichever of Osborne’s pet projects are in most trouble — and then marvel at just how cheaply the British can be bought.

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Show comments
  • MC73

    This sort of fawning will win zero respect from the Chinese. Nor will they invest just to reward it. This is not particularly a Chinese thing, of course, no-one respects a bumlicker.

    Has Britain declined to such an extent that it can’t build its own power stations? If so, who is looking after the ones we have?

    Incidentally, as BT uses Huawei kit to run most of Britain’s internet and phone connections, China has little need to ‘hack’ anything.

    • Clive

      The Huawei stuff has been scrutinised by our 25 blokes and blokesses and found secure, it appears http://www.techworld.com/news/security/no-evidence-that-huawei-is-spying-on-uk-say-gchq-spooks-3605828/
      After years on the naughty step over suspicions of spying, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has been given the all clear by the GCHQ-controlled committee given the job of monitoring its technology for backdoors.

      • Colin

        Please tell me you’re not the CIO of BT, please…

        • Clive

          Well, you have an electronic device that’s communicating with the world (of course, how much of the world…)

          So no, can’t be me

    • Velo

      An insightful contribution – thank you.

      • Ian Beale Steeplecoque

        I bet the disciples of Reaganomics and Ludwig van Mises love grovelling to the largest Communist state in the World. Central control seems to work in China.

        • MC73

          “Central control seems to work in China.” Hmm… China has moved from a totally centralised economy to a largely centralised one, with a bit of room for entrepreneurship. This has driven a huge increase in living standards but most people remain vastly poorer than the poorest in the UK and US. This poverty is almost entirely due to the stultifying effect of the controlling state.

          • Ian Beale Steeplecoque

            So ” a bit of room for entrepreneurship” seems to work. But full rein to snout in trough greed has singularly failed. The poorest in the USA live by the Mud in Mississippi and Tennessee. The average income there is £5,000 a year. On a par with much of China. China has 10 million $ millionaires, the same as the US.

          • Allow me to +show you a suberb way to earn a lot of extra money by finishing basic tasks from your house for few short hours a day — See more info by visiting >MY____$DISQUS$____ID;}

    • Luke

      Britain is used to bum licking it has been licking Washington’s bum for decades.

      That now Britain is looking for opportunities to benefit Britain without seeking permission from their now very distant American cousins is refreshing.

      The Chinese don’t respect much of anything that is not Chinese. It makes little difference what they think it is what they do that counts.

      • rtj1211

        All rising imperial powers throughout history have always felt themselves superior. The British, the French, the Germans, the Americans, probably the Romans too for all I know. Definitely the Russians under Peter the Great…….what’s so different about the Chinese?? The Indians will become the same……..

        • ItinerantView

          ‘what’s so different’
          Didn’t you know? the European colonial powers and the British in particular are the only empires that have ever existed- history starts with the Atlantic slave trade and Europeans are the only racists in the entire world- one BBC ‘documentary’ maker stated they ‘invented the slave system’

          The Chinese can’t have an empire, they’re poor wee victims of white privilege and exploitation- anything they procure by foul means or fair is merely recompense for evil Western imperialism.
          Meanwhile back in reality you’re probably quite correct, supremacism is an inherent part of Imperialism.

          • Luke

            Your comment besides being nonsensical is also unreadable. The slave trade existed thousands of years before European civilization.

          • ItinerantView

            Calm down dear, it was satire- however, the stunted and disingenuous notion that Britain is solely responsible for the slave trade and only whites can be racist, is being slowly woven into the social and legal fabric.
            Now that, is truly nonsensical.

    • Tom M

      “…..Has Britain declined to such an extent that it can’t build its own power stations…..”
      Unequivocally yes. Especially so for nuclear ones.
      As far as Huawei goes apparently we’ve cleverly solved that one. We have the Cyber Security Evaluation Centre in Banbury. This Govenrment run establishment evaluates Huwei’s software there. So that’s all right then.

      • rtj1211

        Well, as long as its standards are a bit higher than the testers employed by VW et al………I have to say, I saw how regional government tendered for ‘evaluation contracts’ years ago and you had to ask yourself if the loss of business with the client due to thorough but unfavourable evaluations was worth the hassle. So then you had to ask whether you were amoral enough too wave through dodgy stuff as ‘acceptable and proper’. Mostly, you hoped that you would only be awarded the bits that genuinely WERE tickety boo……

    • perdix

      I think GCHQ has the job of checking Huawei’s kit before it can be deployed in the UK.

    • Heidi Berry
  • Henry Hooper

    They two, let alone the party they represent would sell their souls to the devils….why are we feigning surprise?

  • Yorkieeye

    Of course investment means jobs and no politician can contemplate mass unemployment for the sake of principle. It’s just a pity we can’t achieve this goal without selling off the country.

  • Callan

    Osborne might do something of benefit to the country if he were to take a side trip to visit Immigration Headquarters in Hong Kong and find out how to implement an effective and virtually foolproof identity card system. No multiple benefit claimants there and most certainly no millions of illegal immigrants roaming the streets.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Ah, but that would require them actually wanting to control mass immigration to our country, trouble is they don’t.

      They make great pretence to the electorate that they take their concerns over migration seriously , but of course that is just a lot of rubbish they tell the electorate to get themselves elected. For as we see as soon as they get elected they find actually fulfilling the promises they made to the electorate just too much like hard work, and no effect what so ever is made to the millions pouring into our country.

      The fact is no one can be so incompetent as our lot are where controlling immigration is concerned. Their ranks are stuffed with people from the top universities, yet it is beyond them to put in place a system to count people in and out of our country. Incompetence? No, It is a manufactured incompetence , so they can lie to the electorate while keeping the migrant flood gates wide open for their backers.

      • Clive

        It’s difficult, to be fair

        Remember the problems Nigel Farage / UKIP got into when he tried to talk numbers of immigrants at the last election.

        The problem is, once you allow in an immigrant, how many subsequent family members do you allow in ? Then there’s a possible spouse and their family members, etc.

        • Blindsideflanker

          Not lets not be fair.

          If your credit card company can manage billions of transactions across hundreds of millions of terminals, a day , and get your bill right, it shouldn’t be beyond the whit of our Russell Group University educated establishment to count people in and out of our country from a few dozens ports of entry and exit.

          Now either our Russell Group Universities are a load of rubbish, and churn out a product line of thickos, or else the British establishment’s heart just isn’t there to control our borders.

          • Clive

            It’s not the counting that’s the issue, it’s who you give permission to in the first place

            Suppose you married a Chinese woman (very nice, Chinese women) and the government would not let her settle here ? Would you be happy, or just accept it and go and live in China…where if they follow the same process, they won’t let you settle either

          • Blindsideflanker

            I believe 33,000 foreign spouses were refused entry for not having sufficient funds to support their family, and some 20,000 we allowed into the UK. Those numbers are irrelevant to the 500,000 who are coming into the country.

            As to counting them in and out, I was using this as shorthand to point out the lack of control.

  • jeremy Morfey

    And why do they do it? Because they can.

  • Clive

    We persistently run a current account deficit. We have since the 1990s. This piece by Robert Peston is from May 2014:
    Anyway the good news is that the Bank of England believes that the UK’s net investment income will improve a bit over the coming years, but that it will remain “weaker than its average over the past decade”.

    That means we are probably in for a prolonged period of current account deficits being rather higher than they have been since the last time we generated a surplus (which, just so that I can spoil your morning, was as long ago as 1983).

    Or to put it another way, we will either have to continue to borrow large sums from the rest of the world, or we will have to sell some of our overseas assets.

    That said, they would not worry about our ability to repay if the value of our assets exceeds our total liabilities, if we have a positive net international investment position, or NIIP.

    So what is the value of the NIIP?

    Well it tends to swing around a good deal, but right now it is just about in balance, according to the official data, having been negative in 2012.

    So the direction of travel is benign.

    Even so, on the face of it we don’t have a surplus of crown jewels to pawn or flog in extremis.

    Except that the Bank of England believes the official position understates the true position, because assets are included at cost rather than market value.

    It has attempted a revaluation at current prices and believes that the NIIP at market values is positive to the tune of just under 30% of GDP.

    Our Net International Investment Position (NIIP) is -25% or so according to the ONS http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/bop/balance-of-payments/q3-2014/sty-current-account–income-balance-and-net-international-investment-position.html
    but if what Peston says is true, that’s due to valuation at cost. Nevertheless, we are on a downward trajectory which presumably Osborne is trying to correct with big trade deals which he hopes we will profit on.

    • Terry Field

      Wot overseas assets?

      • Clive

        The overseas assets the ONS plainly thinks we have

  • Velo

    For several countries, lifting visa restrictions for Chinese citizens is one of the main concessions made to China in return for financial bail-out. Does this also apply to the UK?

  • Hughcity

    The Obama administration took it for granted that China’s new Intl’ Industrial bank would be a joke and they underestimated major western economies singing on to support it in droves including UK. The U.S. Could have been involved and had a seat at that table, but no, it was the JV team attitude. Not so, and instead of realizing their mistakes the Obama administration is angry. Hell of a miscalculation. China’s can order 300 Boeing aircraft in an afternoon and that will get Obama thinking about his pivot again.

    • perdix

      I think the 300 Boeings are going to be “finished” in a new Chinese factory. The Chinese are very good at absorbing other people’s technology.
      Story has it that when China wanted to build high speed railways they insisted that Siemens form a partnership with a local state company and share the technology for the trains. When a later tranche of trains was required, the local company was the preferred bidder. Now I read that China plans to become a world leader in the export of high speed trains. And, German State Railways has now opened a buying office in Beijing!
      You won’t hear much about this from the DT who distributes propaganda for the Chinese government.

  • Frank

    One does have a very strong feeling that all this sucking up will end up in acute embarrassment and possibly disaster (buying half-baked nuclear technology is unlikely to be safe or cheap in the long run).

    • DearyMe

      Indeed. Babcock ordered the huge crane for lifting the QE carrier sections into place from China. Eventually they had to send out their own egnieers and quality team out there to ensure it was built to the agreed spec. Good luck with power station!

      • ChuckieStane

        The crane doesn’t belong to Babcocks – it is only leased from the Chinese and will go back when the project is completed.

        • Jambo25

          They still had to send their own engineers out to make sure that required modifications were made.

  • Andrew Phillips

    It’s weird how people sing the praises of UK engineering and scientific talent – whilst simultaneously signing an agreement to outsource such work.

    • rtj1211

      Britain will profit from trading the renminbi in London, China will profit by building UK nuke power stations etc.

      So yet another piece of ‘diversifying the UK economy’ – yeah right.

      • Zhang Wei

        Correction London will profit.

        • Toy Pupanbai

          And who, is London?

  • MrJones

    The City is desperate for a new bolt hole after they scuttle off from the ruins of Britain with their loot.

    Hopefully the Chinese won’t be foolish enough to let them in.

  • Rockingham

    George and Dave will kiss any butt they have to, they have no pride.

    • rtj1211

      GSK, prostitutes, Chinese Officials, losing face in public……..there is a price, I guess……

  • Colin

    There is a view, pepetrated, by much of the U.K. political / Media complex, that we can no longer compete, on the world stage. Their collective view is: that we just have to sit here, and take it, like, we’ve had our turn, now it’s for someone else to lead the way, in innovation and global commerce. It sickens me to see the likes of Osborne and Cameron, as well as brown and Blair, before them, sell us down the river.

    • Clive

      You could take the view that encouraging a trading relationship with a huge nation like China suggests we can compete with them

      • Jambo25

        Not if you’re making Britain China’s bitch.

        • Clive

          How is competing being someone’s bitch ?

          • Jambo25

            How is it competition to beg the Chinese to finance the building of a dodgy nuclear power plant by offering them twice the probable market price for the electricity it will produce and then offering them further financial inducements to seal the deal? How is it competition to go to China and not even mention the possible ‘dumping’ of cheap steel on the European market that appears about to be responsible for the closure of SSI on Teesside and thousands of redundancies today? Osborne was in China to kowtow and beg the Chinese to invest the money in the UK that he cannot persuade the City and other UK institutions to do.

      • rtj1211

        You could further take the view that diversifying away from both the EU AND America is a way of minimising dependence on anyone. I hope this is not the prelude to a Yellow River Special Relationship Mark II, however. Special relationships in future should be with countries of population 30 – 100 million, not 300 – 1000 million…..

    • Will

      UK ran a £22.1 billion trade deficit with China in 2014. We are their customer. We provide support to their GDP at the expense of ours. Our close alliance and many commonwealth nations are at odds with China. Some of them are faced with military threat in South China Sea. China calls Putin, Sudan, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela as “old friends”. The authority can be brutal, repressive at times. Osborne may not have any issue with that, but how dare he declared “WE embrace China”. What “WE” he was referring to? This is selling not just his own soul, but the whole nation down. What a true disgrace.

    • rtj1211

      In terms of ruling the world, yes. In terms of building great products and companies, no. That can be done from the smallest country in the world with skill, dedication, finance etc. Britain should stop trying to control the world and lets its companies compete in it. It should focus on creating the conditions to build great companies, maintain them in this country and reinvest the proceeds internally.

      What it actually does is encourage people to sell out darn quick, then siphon their earnings off to Switzerland or the like and emigrate to the Caribbean to live the life of riley.

    • Zhang Wei

      You are now the United Kingdom of arse lickers and beggars

  • Blindsideflanker

    Osborne’s values

    Tells English cancer patients that there isn’t the money to pay for drugs to keep them alive.

    Spends three million promoting football in China.

    Major UK funding boost for grassroots football in China

  • mrmrsspence

    My husband says that when socialists run out of other peoples’ money, they have the option of printing more via QE (see Corbyn). We don’t want that. Instead we appear to be going after other peoples’ money further afield. I am confused, isn’t that socialism on just another even more insane level?

    • Cobbett

      Never heard of CH Douglas?

    • Ian Beale Steeplecoque

      Your husband is wrong.

    • rtj1211

      Your husband should ask whether George Osborne is a socialist then……

      • opnyrhrts


  • Jambo25

    If Cameron’s there I’m worried about Chinese pigs.

  • David(Mdavo)Bullard

    And I thought the SA government were the only people being duped. More fool me.

  • trace9

    Two farts begging as One.. Right-on. Nelse., the telescope’s at the seeing-eye – if not from the Good Ship Victory.

    FREE Tibet! – et alus us..

  • Chamber Pot

    ” The ritual of the kowtow, which requires an individual to kneel with both knees on the ground and bow so as to touch their forehead to the ground, presented a particular dilemma (for the Macartney Mission in 1793)…..British subjects, who regarded the act as slavish and humiliating, generally avoided kowtowing to the (Chinese) emperor’s edicts by leaving the room when such messages were received “.

    And here we are just over two centuries later with these two shameless microbes tripping over themselves in their haste to grovel in front of the new Red Emperor while at the same time throwing His Holiness the Dalai Lama under a bus.

  • Terry Field

    Britain is a pragmatic state, and is in the process of forgetting 1940.
    That may prove to be a quite catastrophic error.
    Wallpaper-Boy is doing his bit for the Kow Tow in Bayjyng, and Pig-Lover is organising his coronation when he returns, so long as he is forgiven the criminal responsibility for Porky-abuse when he retires to his new life as a Sam-man.
    America is going elsewhere, (Pacific-bound – “bye y’all in Good-ole Yourup”enjoy them Moooslym Bruthrhud!!!!!) and the white House correctly thinks the country is a comedy show run by a small number of utter tossers. (sorry for the politically sophisticated language, I know you sophisticates get the meanings).
    Buit look on the bright side!
    Corbyn will roll slathering in front of Poooootyn when he becomes Chief Asylum Maladministrator!!

    • Ian Beale Steeplecoque

      Sorry Terry. I think you understated it. It is much worse than that.

      • Terry Field

        Probably, but it got too much for me decades ago and I buggered off, so I am not up to speed with the degree of putrefaction.

  • Cobbett

    I wouldn’t trust the Chinese as far as I can levitate. But I suppose they’ve got it right not having a democracy. They plan for the long term. Cameron can flog off what’s left of the country, he’s gone in 5 years.

    • Ian Beale Steeplecoque

      He is gone in 3 years.

      • Daffy Duck

        Let’s see what happens after the conference. If the rank and file support his vision of the world . His cabinet will either have to fall into line, resign or rebel.

        Otherwise he could be gone by the end of October. You can’t lead if no one will follow.

        • Ian Beale Steeplecoque

          You did. Cameron is standing down by 2018.

      • Cobbett

        To be honest that isn’t much of a comfort.

  • John Andrews

    Free Tibet.

    • Terry Field

      Do you not mean Free Tebbit???

      • rtj1211

        Perhaps we should knight the person who locked him up in the first place?!

  • Michael Faraday

    We aren’t an equal power wise to China and America so why not just cash grab with whats left of the little influence we have. America can pick up the pieces since they definitely want to and do play world police.

    Though shunning Tibet to promote china relations is basically selling our values in fairness and justice exachanged for money.

  • Jaria1

    Apparently a better pokicy than ignoring China as previous gvts have

  • rtj1211

    Well, yesterday, the Spectator published a very extended kowtow/grovel to non-doms based, mostly, in London.

    So I guess the only question is this: do the benefits of non-doms outweigh the benefits of China or vice versa??

    You can’t have it both ways, Speccy, unless the answer is an unequivocal: ‘Non-dom money is hundreds of times better than Chinese money……’

  • paul

    Being old Public School Boys they may enjoy a bit of back door action with the Chinese which makes a change from sex with dead animals !!

  • WarriorPrincess111111

    More like, China is an ally of Russia and the UK along with their parent leadership the US would like to put pressure on China by creating a huge marketing relationship that will cause China to re-think its allegiances.

  • mollysdad

    This nay be why he wants to repeal the Human Rights Act and introduce Extremism Disruption Orders. To please the Chinese Government we must get rid of Christian foreign devils and other splittists.

  • Hoghton

    Surely Conservatism is about more than the bottom dollar? Shakespeare has a great phrase for this:”base spaniel fawning”.

  • Mambo #5

    Under Prime Minister David Cameron, the United Kingdom is pursuing a clear policy aimed at enhancing national and economic security, a trend likely to continue when current Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne becomes Prime Minister in 2020.

    The couple’s efforts have worked: not insignificant social and cultural harms aside, Britain is now in a much better position economically than it was when Cameron took office. Closer financial links to China and the successful imposition of ruthless austerity measures have tidied the nation’s books, even while leaders insist there is still more work to be done. Of course, the actions of the British government over the past five years have been notably lacking in one crucial quality: morality. Granted, it is not tenable to disparage cancer sufferers or the mentally ill, but it has been conspicuously evident that neither Cameron nor Osborne flinch at the prospect of hurting their country in ways that are either not immediately noticeable, or not ultimately damaging to their prospects of re-election. Under the leadership of either one, Britain is unlikely to inject into its foreign or domestic policy a scintilla of the sort of ethical reasoning being called for by current leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. The result will be a materially richer, but spiritually impoverished United Kingdom. More and more, the situation in our union will grow to resemble the dystopian vision evoked in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Abroad – in the occupied Palestinian territories; in Syria; Iraq; and Afghanistan, we will contribute significant bulk to the oppressive boot being stamped down on the faces of the disenfranchised and marginalised.

    The Conservative vision for the United Kingdom is not immoral; it is amoral. The limits of its cruelty are clearly demarcated, but only by the electorate themselves: institutionally, the party possesses nothing in the way of ethical feeling or concern. That means that if the country speaks up – as it has been speaking up – about the vital need to keep the NHS afloat, the NHS will be kept afloat. But if the country does not raise its voice to insist we disentangle ourselves from rampant human rights abusers such as China, there will be no incentive for the Conservatives to do so. What we face for the foreseeable future is a managerial politics. Gone are the days of leaders who thirst for social justice. Today, “compassion” is nothing more than a spin-word, trotted out by the Tories to appeal to those bleeding-heart types who only seek perfunctory assurance from their government that we remain “the good guys”. The fact that in the wake of his recent trip to Xinjiang, George Osborne was praised by Chinese state media for not bringing up the issue of human rights just goes to show how much this is not the case.

    Formerly the largest Empire in the world, we remain a profoundly damaging and stultifying actor on the world stage, perpetuating economic inequality and the anomie of technophilic modernity; inhibiting efforts to push forward human rights; and blocking out, at every juncture, the voice of mainstream Islam – which alone stands to do away with the need for the Empire-serving, and to a certain extent self-created, “War on Terror”.

  • d21121

    Since when did co-operation mean bending over and letting China fuck us in the ass?
    China has no interest in co-operating with the west; stealing Trillions of dollars a year from foreign companies in intellectual property theft through state sponsored hacking, telling it’s citizens on state run TV that China and the West are at war, re-writing history books claiming it won WW2, selling weapons to ISIS ( I could go on).
    China is a spoiled brat who likes to stomp it’s feet and cry foul play when anyone holds it account for it’s actions, we respond by giving China candy in the hope that it will stop crying.

  • Zhang Wei

    This unabashed arse licking of the Chinese by the incumbent UK government is most amusing. China is the master and Britain is it’s lapdog!

  • Martin Humphrey

    I’m waiting for Boy George to outsource MI5 to the Chinese secret service – then hail it as a great deal for the taxpayer

  • CheshireRed

    The Hinkley Point ‘deal’ is laughably incompetent. If Labour were signing up to it the Speccie, Telegraph and DM would all be in nuclear meltdown over, but for a Tory to be authorising such insane build costs of an outdated technology AND locking the public into a double-the-going-rate electricity deal for 35 years is simply astounding.

  • Tan

    I dont see it as fawning… The British loves money….and the Chinese so happens to love money also…
    Without money…. without wealth….GB cant rebuild their navy…without a powerful navy, army and airforce,,, Great Britain will never be able to regain their respected place.
    The USA will like the Brits to be a good poodle….but i think Brits at the highest level wants to be free of the yoke.
    No point going against a titan when that titan is so far away and can never harm GB.
    That titan can help GB a great deal… If GB plays it correctly,, it could spell the raise of GB again…

  • Velo

    Several years ago, the governor of China’s central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, said he wants to replace the dollar as a reserve currency on open markets. If Dave & George understand the repercussions, perhaps that’s why they’re kowtowing now. See:

  • The_Missing_Think

    “Britain plans to target only IS while Russia is blasting all Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s enemies, including moderate freedom fighters.

    A British official said: “Russia’s actions complicate the issue.”

    Mr Cameron also wants to get an assurance that China will not oppose Britain in the UN.”

    “The PM will put his bombing proposal to Xi at Chequers on Thursday, saying China has its own problems with jihadis.”


    I’d put my money on the bear getting the biggest bowl of noodles.

  • rationality

    The pivot to China is most welcome as the US empire crumbles from within. It is totally in our interests to cut ourselves adrift from the psychopathically criminal cabal running the show as its policies cause misery to those in the Middle East with Europe (purposefully) getting all the blowback. I don’t care if China does want to rule the world as its highly unlikely that they would fund Islamic terrorist groups that are used a bogeyman against the West as a means to increase the surveillance state while the US ludicrously states its doing this to spread freedom and democracy.

    I increasingly see the Dalai Lama in the same manner as NGO’s are used to promote Western (Zionist) interests in the guise of humanity and equality against countries the US wants to increase its deranged policies. I’m not saying that the Tibetans have been treated badly by the Chinese, they have but I’m more concerned with the dying US empire lashing around dangerously as the petrodollar runs out of steam. Its just so blatant how they use the rock star image of coolness personified for the DL by a compliant, remote and treacherous media to promote its destabilising interests.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Your monicker is “rationality” yet you prefer China to the USA? Would you wish to see China as the world’s policeman? Seriously? Even allowing for your being wildly unrealistic about the USA’s essential strength, and proven ability to re-boot itself when times are hard, your vision is fantastical. China remains a one-party authoritarian state, and a nation that ultimately despises Westerners. Their contempt for us will not have been lessened by Osborne’s performance.
      I hate the “surveillance state” more than most but the blame lies far more with our own governments than with the USA.

      • Abie Vee

        If the world has to have a global policeman, let that policeman be International Law. And let that International Law be enforced where absolutely necessary , where all diplomacy has failed, by the UN. In the free world, the USA largely exempts itself from international law, as does their client-state Israel. Enough is enough… it’s high time the dogs of war were brought to heel. As they say: Mankind must put and end to war, before war puts an end to mankind.

        I know a whole caboodle of Chinese people. Not one of them “despises” Westerners; they admire us in many ways. The Han do think they’re a cut above the rest, but that’s common enough in most countries and cultures, the UK included.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          Your idealism is admirable in a way but not remotely realistic. There always has to be a global policeman and in its absence, anarchy reigns – power abhors a vacuum and all that. I suggest most Westerners would sort of prefer the USA in that role to China. The Han have always been top dog, and that’s naturally who I had in mind. I doubt the lion is lying down with the lamb anytime soon.

          • Abie Vee

            UN dear. UN.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Seriously? The UN, that famously corrupt, ineffectual, cash-sucking body? I wouldn’t trust the UN to wash my car.

      • rationality

        You obviously don’t have any idea of how geo-politics really works today. It isnt the American people that are running the show it’s the Zionists. Why do you think we have millions of Muslins coming into Europe right now? No matter what our elites think of us, this type of genocide is driven by pure hate and has historical similarities with Constantinople, Spain and Babylon. I do not believe that the Chinese would use Islam as a means to eradicate a culture in which Islam will inevitably be worse then what came before. Theres no logic to it.

        I think many people now would see China as the lesser of two evils. China doesn’t murder 3000 of its own citizens to make a spectacular event as a pretext to illegally invade several countries and then let these displaced angry people into our society under the pretence of ‘huminatarianism’. This event was the excuse for the surveillance state and its why London has the most cameras in the world. So it really did come from the US. Who do you think Blair was answerable to? I thought all this was obvious now. China doesn’t fund Islamic terrorist groups. At least China doesn’t pretend to be a democracy where every four years the US people get to vote for bought and paid for politicians following the Zionist lobby.

        I am rational. You need to look beyond the mainstream media to get how things are run.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          Ah, I see – you’re like that other bloke who posts voluminous, highly detailed messages that we’re being taken over by lizard people the late USSR er, somebody or other… “Murder 3000 of its own citizens” – yes, of course it makes perfect sense. I used to know a girl whose grandfather was convinced the moon landings were contrived in Hollywood. And of course there’s a track record of certain people thinking that those Zionists were responsible for bad things…

          • rationality

            I have no idea what this lizard people thing is. I’m more concerned about the future of Britain and Europe than silly nonsense.

            If you want to spend some time on 9/11 the lies fall apart very quickly. Check the Clean Break initiative from Richard Perle and what the neocons were really about. If more people were aware of this murder then we might start to wake up to all the other lies.

            As for the last comment I just roll my eyes. Its obvious that you believe everything that you’re told and that you’re a cuckold who cares more about other cultures then the 70 million of our own that were genocided. Do you honestly believe that the German people were THAT evil? Think about it logically and come back to me.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Sure, will do, as a priority. Whatever your idea of the meaning of “cuckold” it’s certainly original…

    • Mr_Ominous

      The US establishment has engineered the TTIP and TPP trade agreements as a means of creating a global economic system that they will control. We will be trapped in an undemocratic system that benefits American big business and dollar hegemony. We need to be pragmatic about our position. China won’t be our friends but they won’t be destabilising Europe with mass migration, multiculturalism and Wahhabi Islam courtesy of the Saudis like the Americans currently are.

      • rationality

        And that’s just it. We’d rather be ruled by the Daleks than the ‘Americans’ and their genocidal immigration policies. They just want us gone and i can’t believe we’re doing nothing.

  • Castro Spendlove

    Does anyone really think that the Chinese president isn’t aware of China’s human rights record? The Chinese will pay no attention at all to be being nagged. Also I don’t actually hear anyone saying that we should cut all links with China because of human rights because the real politik of the situation is
    China can do what it wants and I suspect that the Chinese people will embrace their own nationalism before they reject the one party state.

    And any way, how far up – or down – the scale of HR violaters are we prepared to take action against? Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Hungary, Africa? I bet that Amnesty International has a fat file marked USA, should we start with it?

    If we want our government to be the international beacon of virtue on this matter then so be it but HR didn’t seem to bother the Germans or French when the dust settled – sort of -in Iraq and Egypt flying in looking for government contracts like flies around a cow’s arse.

  • PeteTongue

    How are portfolios of ‘ethical’ pension funds developing, BP and banks still a major player making us all feel good?