Friday, July 16, 2010

China should not give much priority to its relations with Britain

By China Watcher

The recent trip by the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to China has damaged the already worsening relations with China. Instead of building political trusts and enhancing economic ties, he has completely shown discourteous acts by passing negative remarks on Tibet.

The issue of Tibet has been and always will be a prerogative of the Chinese and nothing to do with foreigners or let me put it specifically, Western government. Westerners in this context, I refer to comprising mainly the people and its government from the US, France, Germany and the UK at this particular juncture. Let me reiterate that these governments and its people are sympathizers of the Dalai Lama.

Britain has its own fair share of problem with the Northern Irish community who wants independence from UK but this was not given for the fact that it still wants to preserve a united Britain. There were still dissenting bombs exploding every year in Northern Ireland and there is nothing the UK government has done other than to delay the ultimate truth.

Mr. Hague raised his concerns on Tibetans while meeting with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. It is also likely that he picked up the same topic when holding strategic talks with Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo. Both Chinese officials sternly refuted the British stance on the Tibet issue. But the Western media mentioned that the Chinese officials took these criticisms in stride. Is that so? I personally do not think so, as the Chinese Foreign Ministry made it very clear and warned that the Tibet issue bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and that it is China’s internal affairs.

As a government seeking stronger relations with Beijing, Britain should show real sincerity in respecting China's core interests. The situation of human rights in present-day Tibet is the best in history if compared to the situation when it is still a feudal country ruled by the monks. Britain, as a former colonizer in India, would clearly understand this particular predicament when it ruled India which is just next door to Tibet in the early 90s. With due respect, Britain should not give any stage to Tibetan separatists led by the Dalai Lama.

Judging from the unfriendly remarks passed by one of the highest British officials, I doubt whether there would be an improvement in ties between China and UK since the execution of a British subject by the Chinese authorities last year and the trading of words at the Copenhagen summit on global warming between the two nations.

China and its people can accept criticisms but it must be constructive and do not borders on Chinese sovereignty. The Western media also said that the Chinese government is the hated ruler and did not have the support of its own people. Let me say it one more time. Most Chinese nationals including overseas Chinese supported the inclusion of Tibet within China and that most Asian nations would agree that it is essentially a Chinese affair except perhaps, Japan who has a long history of rivalry with China.

The fallout of political issues will leave indelible marks on co-operation in other fields sooner or later and it will impact the current so-called partnership with Beijing on economic growth.

I would suggest that the Chinese enterprises and its hordes of companies to do less business with the British government.

The cultural values and customs between the East and the West are really wide. In Eastern society, we do not go to someone home to embarrass the host but to the Westerner this is acceptable. If I am the host, I would tell my guest to pack his bags and leave my home immediately.