Illustration: Xia Qing/GT
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday wildly called for the United Nations to be given “urgent and unfettered” access to Xinjiang in a recorded speech to the UN Human Rights Council. His office said Britain would condemn China’s human rights record as a voting member of the UN Human Rights Council.
It’s well known that Britain is second only to the US in terms of the COVID-19 death toll among Western countries and its per capita rate of deaths is even higher than that of the US. But the UK Foreign Secretary’s office is making a shameless imperialist act against China about human rights that has stunned Chinese people.
A day before, it was reported by British media that Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared he was “fervently Sinophile” at a Downing Street roundtable with Chinese businesses. Johnson said he was determined to improve China-UK ties “whatever the occasional political difficulties.” The prime minister also signaled he wanted a resumption of formal trade discussions between the two countries by reactivating the Economic and Financial Dialogue and the China-UK Joint Trade and Economic Commission.
Britain has shown two faces. As one of the members of the Five Eyes alliance, London has closely followed Washington’s lead in the crusade against China. However, at such a climax, the UK occasionally blew the horn to call for strengthening cooperation with China. People cannot help but ask: Which face of Britain is true?
This question has increasingly become meaningless. As an old capitalist country, the UK is naturally arrogant and profit-seeking, and showing arrogance has increasingly become a way for it to seek profits. To deal with such a UK, the most important thing for us is to act based on China’s interests, instead of indulging London. We should do things favorable to China, making Britain fully aware of who China is.
Do we have to discuss human rights with the US and the UK? If we talk to them, our audience is a third party. In other words, we aim to make our views on human rights heard by international society by debating. The US and the UK have linked and confined human rights to political rights, putting it above basic human rights, such as the right to survive and develop. They even use their value of human rights to attack the basic human rights urgently needed to be strengthened in developing countries. International society has seen through their absurdity in the face of the pandemic.
Now, the Five Eyes alliance is trumpeting so-called human rights against China. Who else in the world still doesn’t understand this is in fact a strategic suppression and harassment of China carried out in lockstep with the US? The COVID-19 death toll in the US is approaching 500,000. The freezing cold in Texas has killed several dozens, including an 11-year-old who was frozen to death at home. This is a horrible human rights outlook. Anyone who thinks with a brain rather than feet will at least partly understand Washington and London are merely posturing.
The wrestling around human rights has been highly politicized in nature. The resources that the Five Eyes can mobilize have been overdrawn. They are bluffing, but their offensiveness is waning. China’s rapid development and the simultaneous improvement of people’s livelihood are appealing and persuasive. Even if some people are jealous and dissatisfied, they know the fact that the Chinese people are living a better life. Facts speak louder than words. China is gradually standing at an advantageous position to win more support.
Despite the shouting, the US and the UK cannot intervene in China’s human rights development. The Chinese public no longer believes what Washington says, but increasingly feels contempt for the US and the UK’s chaos and hypocrisy. China now has enough strength to support the country to walk its own way while ensuring its own security. Forces that play politics with lies can only harm their own country in the end.
From a more positive perspective, China should gradually build a set of levers that can be used to sanction outside provocateurs over human rights issues and countries that really trample on human rights. For instance, the long-lasting unsolved frequent vicious shootings in the US have constituted a serious violation of human rights, and related institutions and individuals should be sanctioned. China needs to explore what it can do in this regard.