By Li Qingqing Source: Global Times
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
The Guardian on Sunday published an opinion article titled “China will punish Britain for defying its will. We need allies to hold the line.” The author said that the UK should not abandon its “basic values” as it engages with China, claiming that the UK must work with its “democratic allies to form a united front” against “Chinese threats.”
Similar views seem to be common in the Western countries. The UK is not “defying” China’s will, but harming China’s interests, by blackening China’s national security law for Hong Kong, interfering in China’s domestic affairs and blocking China’s leading high-tech company Huawei.
China is safeguarding its national interests, and this is completely justified for any sovereign country. The UK and other Western countries are still trying to dominate international relations under the guidance of their own interests.
The exchanges between any two countries should be based on mutual benefits. This is common sense. China defends its own interests from being harmed by other countries, and if this is “defying China’s will,” then the UK is actually forcing China to bow to the UK’s will. This will never happen.
The UK was once a powerful empire. But now, due to its diminishing influence, some British elites feel a sense of loss when facing the changing international situation and developing countries’ reasonable demands.
“We have never treated the People’s Republic as an enemy” – the article declared. But obviously, the UK’s moves contradict this claim. It has followed US steps and become vigilant against China in almost all aspects, using so-called democracy and universal values as excuses to interfere in China’s domestic affairs.
However, given the poor performance of some Western countries, including the UK, in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the “democratic allies” have lost their moral high ground of universal values. Their so-called human rights have been reduced to nothing but an empty concept. Britain and some other Western countries, especially the US – the spiritual leader of the West, are no longer in a position to play the card of human rights. This being the case, how can they even form a democratic “united front” against China when their starting point cannot hold water?
The UK needs to be aware of its current condition: Domestically, it has been hit hard by the COVID-19; internationally, it will also face many economic and political challenges in the post-Brexit period. The UK needs reciprocal cooperation, instead of suppression and alienation.
The international system dominated by major Western powers needs to be reformed and improved. This is not China’s “will,” but an inevitable historical trend. The UK and other Western countries cannot stop the trend with their hollow slogans.