While the left ear hears an idealistic notion that trade, talks, and investment will be sufficient to keep the peace and enable positive engagement with the dragon, the right ear is focused on China’s lack of democratic values, civil liberties, freedom, and human rights
London: The G7 emerges as a new collective international state for spreading health and wealth, gender equality, and education. Hopes that the G7 agenda for countering the rise of authoritarian China were watered down to concern and strongly opposing “any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions” in the post-summit statement. Boris Johnson’s dictum of building back better and greener stretched across the globe with unprecedented spending, at least from UK and US. Revenue from The Global Minimum Corporation Tax and the current cheap borrowing will be focussed on social welfare, infrastructure, education, and future pandemic preparedness including reliable supply chains. Johnson said at the close of the summit that the advice he had, looked like the SARS2 disease came from an animal, not a lab leak, although he kept an open mind.
The Global Times published a grim satirical G7 cartoon of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, an indication of how China sees each democratic country as their adversary, the symbolism directed at each democracy was offensive and insulting, an example of free speech for the CCP but not dissenting citizens. Imagine the response from China if the cartoon had been in reverse, a satirical depiction of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP celebrations in July.
NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s press conference was more specific than the G7 about China, “We are concerned by China’s coercive policies which stand in contrast to the fundamental values enshrined in the Washington Treaty. China is rapidly expanding its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and a larger number of sophisticated delivery systems. It is opaque in implementing its military modernisation. It is cooperating militarily with Russia, including through exercises in the Euro-Atlantic area. We also remain concerned about China’s use of disinformation.” NATO took decisions in eight key areas and is seeking new relationships in nations across Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
China’s new ambassador, Zheng Zeguang, has arrived in UK, on 11 June in a video he said the Prime Minister and President Xi had “charted the course for further advancing our bilateral relations” in 2020. The Chinese Embassy’s statement regarding the G7 Communiqué suggested that the democracies had wantonly smeared China and “issued fact-distorting content on Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other matters, confounding right and wrong.” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is thought to be most hawkish about China’s civil rights suppression in Hong Kong. Raab’s 48th Six Monthly Report on HK stated “The National Security Law is not being used for its original purpose, as stated by Beijing”, resulting in Ambassador Zeguang asking the UK to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs to avoid disruption to bilateral relations.
Westminster seems divided on UK-China relations and the benefits of Chinese characteristics, the left ear hears an idealistic notion that trade, talks, and investment will be sufficient to keep the peace and enable positive engagement with the dragon. The right ear is focussed on China’s lack of democratic values, civil liberties, freedom, and human rights; many MP’s are hopeful trade is the bargaining chip, the others are more hawkish. Since 2015 with regards to China trade policy and foreign policy have been aligned, how the Integrated Review and the National Security and Investment Bill affect investment in academia, R&D, space, AI and energy is the challenge for the Conservative government.
Meanwhile, although the SARS2 infections are rising hospitalisations are low, Boris Johnson has chosen to prolong the last of the restrictions until 19 July, obviously following the science of the sages who advise the government. Even this date has the potential for extension with a third wave predicted on 1 August. This new freedom date is only two days before parliament breaks for the summer recess on 22 July, thus providing little opportunity for scrutiny of legislation and Bills until September, and then only for two weeks until the conference recess. There are 49 Bills currently pending before the Commons and the Lords, and new statutory instruments are added daily. The Telegraph published an article by Sarah Knapton that claimed much of the data regarding various vaccine efficacies was out-of-date, making the modelling give a false projection of excessive deaths, possibly misleading the government.
The effects of intermittent and degrees of the lockdown over the past fifteen months are unfathomable, despite the Chancellor’s generous support countless independent businesses and livelihoods have been lost, the 450 number of cancer deaths a day is known to have increased through lack of diagnosis, anxiety and mental health issues have soared. Government information is drip-fed and then perishes, last week credence was given to the lab leak theory, then the cover-up of the origins of the virus hit the headlines with reputable investigative journalists reporting that Sir Jeremy Farrar, Chief of the Welcome Foundation was part of the group that suffocated debate and systemically disowned the lab leak theory. The world is counting on President Biden’s investigation to discover how a malevolent virus travelled the globe as freely as it did.
UK is counting on Johnson’s public inquiry to reveal if former chief adviser Dominic Cumming’s latest online revelations are sufficient to make Matt Hancock accountable for the alleged misdemeanours, known coronavirus management failures and the lack of transparency around disclosures of financial and possible conflicts of interest amongst those in senior positions. In a published WhatsApp text message the Prime Minister called Hancock “totally hopeless”.
The British Medical Journal has questioned whether charitable organisations, health researchers or scientists have gained from big pharma associations during the pandemic.
In a comment in the House of Commons that verged into authoritarianism Hancock said “I think there is a material difference when it comes to the state’s responsibility to offer the vaccine to all adults. The duty that we have when somebody has not been offered the vaccine is greater than the duty we have when we have offered a vaccine but somebody has chosen not to take it up.
There is a material difference between those two situations”. Do the Coronavirus Act powers permit a coercive vaccination policy whereby the NHS will withhold treatment to the unvaccinated?
Here lies a dichotomy for governance and citizens who pay their National Insurance contribution and are simultaneously conscientious objectors to the vaccine. How do the human right of thought, conscience, and religion shape up against a mandatory vaccine policy?