was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator. Follow him on Twitter @georgegalloway
The British and American governments would not tolerate violent protests in their own countries but, when it comes to Hong Kong they beat the imperial drum for “democracy” and “human rights.”
Rick Sanchez, RT America host, asked me this week: “How many conflicts can China handle at the same time?” And that is the question the US and some of its allies are systematically posing. They too want to know the answer.
The proximate reason for Rick’s question was another flare-up in the territory of Ladakh, long-disputed between India, China and Pakistan. Its eruption turned up a notch the intensity of the “Full-Court Press” in which the US presses China everywhere, aggressively probing, and seeing what cuts through.
From Tibet through the Falun Gong, the annual “China Bans Ramadan” canards, to naval and US Bomber Command maneuvers in the South China Sea region, the trade wars and the coronavirus scapegoating, it is becoming difficult to fit them in a single sentence.
So much so, I’ve started a new paragraph in order to raise the two most serious: Taiwan and Hong Kong.
This year alone the Trump administration has broken with the US state policy on Taiwan – a policy made nearly 50 years ago by Richard Nixon – in significant ways, which may get more significant still.
Pompeo – looking as always like he was fresh from the set of the Sopranos – first hailed the re-election of a “president” in Taiwan. Beijing branded his remarks a serious violation of the one-China policy.
In fact the US is no longer trying to hide its encouragement of “independence” for the island and is busy turning it into an increasingly militarized fortress which has the additional benefit of boosting US arms sales. Washington enlisted the Taiwanese “government” in support of the South China Sea provocations and significantly, over Hong Kong.
And Hong Kong looks set to be the front line.
The former British colony – extorted from China as punishment for daring to refuse opium from the imperial drug dealer – was ruled by Britain for 150 years without the slightest trace of democracy or human rights being glimpsed.
But Britain – now loyal adjutant to the US empire – is deeply concerned about Hong Kong “democracy” and “human rights.” So last week Fat Pang, known here as the last British Governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten, was taken from his glass case in the British Museum to say so in the most vice-regal terms.
In America the tone was more New Jersey mob-boss, but it was stereo.
And right on cue – again, in the middle of a pandemic – the murderous rioters returned to the streets of Hong Kong, ruthlessly attacking the public and police alike.
Property – private as well as public – was sacked by huge mobs. People, women as well as men, were mercilessly set upon. And the two governments, which would tolerate neither in their own countries – kept up the imperial drum-beat of “democracy” and “human-rights.”
The more they denounced China’s new Hong Kong security laws, drafted to combat the pre-coronavirus violence and wrecking, the more it was obvious to me that not only were these laws necessary but were long-overdue.
As the rioters hoisted foreign colonial-era flags, and brandished their calls for Hong Kong independence and American-led “liberation” from China, it became as plain as a pike-staff that China’s challengers were really an orchestra, their movements scripted by the conductor, brought in by his baton when the script requires them.
The building crescendo over Hong Kong – as bold as brass – is designed to draw the Chinese government into a trap. The strings of trade-war confrontations aim to tie China up in tariffs and tit-for-tat. The chorus of false accusation over coronavirus grows louder. The Fat Lady in Washington is doing some throat-clearing and may be preparing to sing.