How did Hong Kong come to be in the hands of the British in the first place? Ranjeet outlines how the history of the small territory is enmeshed with the history of Britain’s looting and colonial rule in India, and with the brutal wars waged by the East India Company to force opium onto the Chinese people, thus saving the British treasury the steady loss of gold that was needed to pay China for tea and other luxury goods.
Huge fortunes were made, including the foundation of what went on to become HSBC, one of the world’s biggest banks, from this process of forcing peasants in Bengal to grow opium on a mass scale and then forcing the Chinese to take it.
In the process 17-18 million opium addicts were created in China, a three-year war was fought (1839-42), and the term ‘gunboat diplomacy’ was coined, as Hong Kong was wrested from the Chinese as a punishment for its temerity in trying to resist the British ‘free trade’ diktat.
But Hong Kong finally returned to China in 1997, so why does every British political and media spokesperson talk as if Britain should have some say in the running of the territory today?
Why is there blanket coverage in our media of the protests in Hong Kong, while British workers are left in total ignorance of the ongoing yellow vest movement just over the Channel in France, which has continued all year in the teeth of violent repression and the most brutal treatment from the French state?
What is the real motivation behind the anti-China hysteria in the west? What lies behind the Hong Kong protestors’ increasingly violent actions? Do Britain and the US really have the right, as they assert, to interfere in China’s internal affairs?
This show was aired to a worldwide audience on George Galloway’s increasingly popular Mother of All Talkshows (MoATS), on Sputnik Radio, Sunday 18 August 2019.