Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's Begin The Third Opium War!

China's governing regime is corrupt and brutal. It executes many people on trumped up charges and is not deserving of much sympathy. Plus my blog is being plagued by Mandarin spammers (do they really believe that I have enough Chinese readers to make it worthwhile?). However I can't understand the outrage over them executing a convicted drug smuggler.

I do feel sympathy for Akmal Shaikh and his family, however I can't feel a great deal of outrage over the execution of someone who knowingly chose to commit a capital offence even if his supporters claim he was mentally ill (was there any evidence that he was considered mentally ill before his arrest?). It is a tragic waste of a life but China has the right to set penalties for drug smuggling.

Whilst Iain Dale is right to say that "Wars have been started over less", most people consider the Opium Wars, fought to give Britain the right to sell dope to the Chinese, to have been one of our less heroic military ventures.The Chinese are quite touchy about that part of history, burning down the Summer Palace* is a particular sore point, so it would be a mistake for the British government to push this issue too hard as it will weaken our credibility when objecting to real injustices.

* Although I can't see why it should be considered that bad, insofar as it specifically targeted the Chinese government rather than the masses it seems quite a humane policy. The Americans aren't upset about us burning down the White House during the war of 1812 after all, so why the Chinese are so upset is beyond me.


Mark said...

The Iain Dale link shows how much he has become a fully paid up member of the political class. For portentiousness, flatulence, and an exaggerated sense of its own importance, it rivals the Skibbereen Eagle's editorial of a century ago, in which it famously warned the Chancelleries of Europe that it had it's beady eye on them.

If the Tories get in next year, perhaps Dale could be given a post as bag carrier at the FO, where he can continue to audition as a replacement for Boy Miliband- another member of our political class unable to come to terms with this country's much reduced status in the world.

bharat patel said...


Ross said...

"where he can continue to audition as a replacement for Boy Miliband"

No one deserves to be compared with David Miliband.

banned said...

I fully support the Chinese governments right do deal with drug dealers as they see fit (I'm sure that will reassure them) though I have little sympathy for their Summer Palce since the red guards would have done for ir during the cultural Revolution anyway.