Were the Brits of days gone by of more stirring stock than today's Brexiteers?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... aven-worse
Chris Patten: A craven Britain has demeaned itself with China, Brexit will make it worse
Hong Kong’s last governor is ‘astonished’ at Britain’s behaviour and says it must be firmer as it searches for a post-EU trade relationship
Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong.
Tom Phillips in London
Wednesday 28 June 2017
The British government’s “kowtowing” to China on issues including human rights and Hong Kong’s quest for democracy will become increasingly craven following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the former colony’s last governor has warned.
In an interview with the Guardian marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control, on 1 July 1997, Lord Patten attacked what he called London’s repeated failure to challenge Beijing over its erosion of the territory’s freedoms and autonomy.
The Conservative peer said a sequence of “outrageous breaches” of the Sino-British handover agreement – including the alleged abduction of a group of political booksellers – had prompted little more than “a slightly embarrassed clearing of the throat” and some “tut-tutting” from Downing Street.
How China changed Hong Kong: views from the city
“On the whole, we have continued to operate under the delusion that unless you bow low enough you will never do any business in China,” Chris Patten said.
“I think we should be much firmer in standing up to China on some of these issues. Why should the Chinese tell … a western political leader whether or not he or she can meet the Dalai Lama? … Why should anybody in China be allowed to scold us for saying too much about turning atolls and reefs in the South China Sea into military bases?”
“It is astonishing that we have demeaned ourselves in the way we have. I don’t think that the only way you can have a good and constructive relationship with China is by behaving in that sort of craven way.”
Patten, who is now chancellor of the University of Oxford, said Britain’s “increasing disinclination” to inject principles into its foreign policy was enabling the ever-more repressive and aggressive policies coming out of Beijing.
But the kowtowing was only likely to intensify as a post-Brexit “Global Britain” sought to expand trade relationships with countries such as China.
“Are we more likely … to take a firm line with China – on trade issues, on economic issues, on political issues – on our own than we would within the EU?”
“I don’t think that the outlook outside the European Union is one in which we are more likely to behave honourably towards Hong Kong than we have inside.”
“The worry is that there will never be a point at which we say to the Chinese: ‘No,’” Patten added.
Patten was speaking as thousands of Hong Kongers prepared to take to the streets to mark the 20th anniversary of handover and with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, due to fly in for a politically sensitive three-day visit to oversee celebrations.
According to local reports, Xi, who has overseen a major crackdown on dissent since taking power in 2012, will review a unit of the People’s Liberation Army, visit a major infrastructure project – possibly a 19-mile bridge linking Hong Kong with the mainland – and swear in the city’s new chief executive, Carrie Lam. Lam was elected in March in a vote that involved just 0.03% of Hong Kong’s registered voters. The South China Morning Post said a “massive security blanket” had been cast over the city.
Thousands of protestors are expected to take to the streets on 1 July for an annual pro-democracy rally that has been held almost ever year since 1997.
Xi no evil: Hong Kong bans protest slogans as Chinese president visits
Emily Lau, a veteran democracy campaigner who will join the march, said: “There are people who are very angry with Beijing for refusing to listen to our demands [for greater democracy] … If they continue with this very, very hostile policy of alienating us then I guess we cannot go forwards.”
Before his arrival Xi told Xinhua he hoped to see “a more beautiful tomorrow” in the former British colony, which enjoys greater freedoms than the mainland thanks to the “one country, two systems” formula agreed before Hong Kong’s return to China.
However, Patten, who governed Hong Kong for five years until 1997, said he feared Xi was determined to completely roll back the political freedoms guaranteed to its citizens under the handover accord.
“[Xi’s] game plan is that abducting people on the streets in Hong Kong shouldn’t be anything that causes any anxiety. I think the game plan would be that for people to call for greater democracy in Hong Kong or for greater respect for Hong Kong’s autonomy is the sort of thing that would get them locked up.”
Western democracies now had a duty to support young activists such as Joshua Wong who were fighting to prevent that happening.
“It shouldn’t just be Britain in our decadence which has to keep an eye on that. It’s also a matter for America and for other European countries.”
PS:In this there is a stark warning to India regarding dealing with China.China will break every commitment that it signs and stab the other party in the back,when it least expects it .It is a duplicitous,arrogant,greedy,grubby,pestilential warmongering nation,that lusts after wealth of others wherever it can find it.This is clearly seen in the increasing labelling of Indian states in the NEast as being part of China.