Sunday, August 10, 2008

Point Counterpoint.

Over at Conservative Home, two alternative visions of China emerge, first up is Edward MacMillan Scott a Tory MEP, "China Is A Terror State":

Mr Cao Dong was a tour guide in Beijing. When I met him he was 42. He was terrified, but he came to a dingy hotel room to tell me about his life in a prison camp in North East China. There are about 15 such camps in that province alone, each holding thousands of the seven million Chinese undergoing forced labour, or for many, torture.

Cao Dong said that one evening, his best friend was taken from their cell. Next, he saw his friend’s cadaver in the morgue with holes where body parts had been removed.

His crime was being in the Falun Gong.

On the hand Conservative MP Dominic Carswell says, "Ease off the China-bashing, please":

Behind some of the anti-Chinese rhetoric, I detect just a hint of Western resentment. Perhaps, as with anti-Americanism, anti-Chinese sentiment will become a form of Euro-jingoism?

Many commentators seem clever enough to realise that China is going places on the world stage. Yet few have thought through how we might need to respond.

Rather than hurling shrill certainties, perhaps we should use the occasion of these Olympics to ponder; the West has learnt much from China over past centuries. Perhaps its time to learn again?

Yes that's right Dominic Carswell appears to believe that objecting to a regime that imprisons people for their religion then murders them for their organs is a sign of jingoism!

I am all for constructive engagement with China, but we shouldn't blind ourselves to the sort of regime it is China's crimes seem objectively to be far greater in extent than those of Zimbabwe or Iran or many other international lepers, but because of its power we are reluctant to say so.

In fairness to Carswell it should be noted that he does recognise some of the problems and furthermore is hardly alone in sucking up to China. Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone and George Galloway have been praising the Chinese regime to the skies in recent weeks.


John M Ward said...

I see our Douglas has now become Dominic :-) You might like to correct that.

I suspect that, in a sense, both are right in their own way. Just goes to show how complex foreign matters tend to be -- rarely is it a simple case of black and white. Life is never easy when it involves foreigners, it seems...

Ross said...

I'll change the Douglas/Dominic thing later, thanks for pointing it out.

"in a sense, both are right in their own way"

I kind of agree with that, it is certainly true that China has made huge improvements over the last 30 years and that should be acknowledged. Even so some of the things that China does, such as imprisoning and murdering Falun Gong members and taking their organs, is so outrageous that I suspect that any weaker country that attempted that would be treated as a pariah.

JuliaM said...

"Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone and George Galloway have been praising the Chinese regime to the skies in recent weeks."

With friends like those...