In September, Chinese ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang had his invitation to a House of Commons event revoked, and has since been banned from entering the Houses of Parliament.
This impulsive and reckless move by the British government was carried out at the behest of a group of MPs and peers who had received travel bans from China in March and whose assets in the country had been frozen.
The group includes members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) – a collection of ministers from the UK (including Iain Duncan Smith of the Conservatives and Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Labour party), Australia, Japan and Europe who believe the west’s ongoing drive to war with China just isn’t moving quickly enough.
The decision to block Ambassador Zheng Zeguang from Parliament is a piece of rank hypocrisy. Firstly, because ministers involved in IPAC have been pressuring their respective governments as well as the United Nations to step up investigation of what they call a ‘genocide’ taking place in Xinjiang. The group has been at the forefront of trying to make the label of genocide stick. (Sixty IPAC parliamentarians call for UN investigation into Uyghur genocide, IPAC, 21 June 2021)
Indeed, after ‘succeeding’ in having Ambassador Zheng banned from Parliament, one of the MPs blustered: “If the genocidal Chinese regime think they can shut down free speech by parliamentarians in a democracy there are consequences and in this case it is that the Chinese regime must not have a platform in the mother of parliaments.”
Given that these charges are entirely fabricated and are merely one more pretext to justify interfering with China’s sovereignty in the good old tradition of imperialist domination, it was entirely in keeping for China to react by limiting the reach of these MPs’ warmongering activities.
And the hypocrisy stretches further still. The restrictions China placed on these MPs were themselves implemented in response to sanctions of high-ranking Chinese officials by then foreign secretary Dominic Raab back in March. (UK sanctions perpetrators of gross human rights violations in Xinjiang, gov.uk, 22 March 2021)
Raab justified these sanctions by reference to the supposed “gross human rights violations taking place against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang”. Clearly, this ‘genocide’ myth is now playing the role that the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ lie played in the Labour party’s drive to war in Iraq.
This is not, therefore, a situation in which both governments are at fault. The British ruling class – via its government, its loyal opposition and its media – is pushing these trumped-up charges of ‘human rights violations’ against China in order to paint a picture of China as a hostile entity in the minds of the British people.
These lies, endlessly propagated by corporate media and bourgeois politicians, are designed to soften up the public so that they will accept our rulers’ intervention in Chinese affairs, whether in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, the South China Sea or anywhere else.
The real motives for such interventions are not ‘moral’, however, but strategic. A large section of the British ruling class is enthusiastically joining the US imperialists in their desperate quest to ‘contain’ the ‘threat’ (to imperialist world domination) posed by a rising China.
As evidenced by the new Aukus treaty, which binds Britain and Australia ever more tightly into the axis of aggression, our ruling class is driving us inexorably towards all-out war. Its actions are proof, if proof were needed, that the real enemy of the workers is not abroad but right here at home.
The British working class must resist this drive to war by any means necessary: we have no interest in such a catastrophic conflagration. Since neither the Chinese people nor their government is any threat to us, there is no possible justification for cooperating in the imperialist war effort, which will only bring enormous suffering to the masses of both sides, and which cannot possibly be won.