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  1. #2126
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    Britain’s opium era strategy to deal with China

    THE DAOGUANG EMPEROR tasked Commissioner Lin Zexu with suppressing the opium trade bedeviling China in 1839.

    Lin initially tried diplomacy.

    As British traders were growing the drug in India and then smuggling it into China, he hoped an appeal to their country’s sense of honour might be salutary.
    Before the outbreak of the First Opium War, he wrote to Queen Victoria, explaining the harm that was being caused by the “barbarian merchants”, and inquiring “where is your conscience?”

    As no reply was forthcoming, Lin destroyed 20,000 chests containing 1,150,000 kg of opium in Humen, Guangdong, whereupon Britain invaded China in support of its drug traffickers.

    The answer was violence

    Britain, as the world’s greatest military power, had little difficulty in overcoming a country that was weak, introverted, and technologically handicapped. The peace terms it subsequently imposed on China in the Treaty of Nanking (1842) were humiliating in the extreme, although they were only the start, and other foreign powers also muscled in on its territory. It is little wonder, therefore, that, after 1949, it became common for schools throughout China to display posters proclaiming, “Wu Wang Guo Chi” (Never forget national humiliation).

    Those days, however, are gone forever, although this has not pleased everyone. As China spreads its wings and assumes its rightful role in world affairs, its former oppressors are panicking, with some reverting to type.

    As the “Chinese century” unfolds, Western powers are again adopting hostile stances, and, like their forebears, trying to demean China. They have sought, for example, to use Hong Kong as a Trojan horse for national destabilisation, Taiwan as a means of provoking Beijing, and Tibet as a tool for dividing China, and this is by no means all.

    Unscrupulous politicians

    In Britain, as elsewhere, unscrupulous politicians have sought to whip up anti-China sentiments among the general public, and to harm the trading and other links between the two countries. Theirs has been a sustained campaign, mounted at the cultural, educational and political levels, and it is now bearing fruit. Following a small circle election among paid-up members of the governing Conservative Party, Liz Truss has triumphed in the contest to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, and her incoming administration is expected to prioritise confrontation over cooperation in its dealings with China.

    This should surprise nobody, as Truss and her ilk, eager to buttress US hegemony, see Britain’s role in the post-Brexit era as one of subservience to Washington, facilitating its agenda and promoting the illusion that one size fits all. They resent China’s successes, and obsess about its resurgence. In consequence, they belittle its achievements, try to contain its progress, and decry the revival of a country their predecessors ruthlessly exploited, although China is not without redress.

    The question of reparations

    On Sept 1, for example, Poland announced that it is suing Germany for US$1.3 trillion of war reparations for the Nazis’ invasion and occupation of the country in World War II, and this might give Truss pause for thought. After all, during the First Opium War, British troops, according to The Sage Encyclopedia of War, killed or wounded between 18,000 and 20,000 Chinese, rising to approximately 30,000 Chinese in the Second Opium War.

    In both wars, the invaders indulged in shameful destruction, and, in 1860, the Summer Palace (Yuanmingyuan), described by the French writer Victor Hugo as “one of the wonders of the world”, was torched, on the express orders of the British High Commissioner, the Earl of Elgin.

    This, of course, was no ordinary palace, and it comprised over 80 square miles filled with pagodas, libraries, fountains and palaces, some designed by Jesuits and built in the European baroque style. Before the palace was razed, invaluable artifacts were looted, with French assistance, and many ended up in foreign museums, as also did those stolen by the Eight-Nation Alliance in 1900. Some are housed in the British Museum, and this was why, when the former prime minister, David Cameron, visited Beijing in 2013, he faced demands for the return of the artifacts, said to number 23,000.

    His dirty work complete, Elgin, as the BBC’s Chris Bowlby explained in 2015, “made a triumphant entry to the center of Beijing, his procession symbolising British and Western domination – and Chinese humiliation”.

    Stunning scale of addiction

    Theft and violence apart, it is estimated that British actions resulted in one out of every 10 Chinese becoming addicted to opium. This inevitably ruined many families, and nobody could complain if China sought redress for the wrongs inflicted upon it in the nineteenth century, just as others have done.

    Indeed, two Kenyan tribes, the Talai and the Kipsigis, are currently suing the UK for over US$200 billion in the European Court of Human Rights for alleged colonial era abuses, including torture, while being forcibly removed from their lands to make way for plantations, and they are also demanding an apology.

    In 2013, moreover, a group of Kenyan civilians, brutalised by the British during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s, successfully sued Britain for compensation, and the then-foreign secretary, William Hague, magnanimously apologised for the “torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the colonial administration”.

    Or just an apology

    Even in the absence of reparations, it is always open to the British government, knowing the pain still felt by many Chinese people, to acknowledge the errors of its predecessors, and this would not only demonstrate good faith but might also help to bring about closure. It could, most obviously, issue a formal apology, for which there is ample precedent.

    On Feb 17, 2022, for example, the Dutch government apologised to Indonesia for its role in “systemic and extreme violence” during the country’s struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule between 1945 and 1949, and this was reportedly well received in Jakarta.

    Of course, it takes real statesmanship for political leaders to acknowledge their country’s past injustices, and this could be a problem for somebody like Truss, but it is by no means insuperable. On June 8, 2022, for example, when Belgium’s King Philippe expressed his regrets for the exploitation, racism and acts of violence committed by his country’s colonisation of the Democratic Republic of Congo in earlier times, he stopped short of a formal apology, and this halfway house is an alternative means by which Britain can seek to atone for its actions.

    Nobody, however, should hold their breath, and, throughout her election campaign, Truss, whose earlier comments on Hong Kong revealed a woeful ignorance of Chinese history, took every opportunity to demonise China.

    She even announced plans to classify Beijing as a “threat” to national security, bracketing it with Russia. Quite clearly, Truss hopes such brazen hostility will gratify the US, not least because its secretary of state, Antony Blinken, described China in May as the biggest threat to the international rules-based order.

    Following the U.S line

    Throughout her short, if inglorious, tenure as foreign secretary, Truss blindly followed the US line at every turn. Even though, for example, it meant stabbing neighbouring France in the back in 2021, she eagerly signed the AUKUS defence pact to supply Australia with the technology it needs to build nuclear submarines.
    Although, in a typical sound bite, she claimed the pact showed Britain’s readiness to be “hard-headed”, it simply demonstrated her readiness to do whatever Washington wants, and she learned nothing from its shabby treatment of France, whose own submarine deal with Australia was suddenly scrapped. If the US is prepared to treat its oldest ally so shabbily in order to facilitate its military expansionism in the Asia-Pacific region, there is no reason to suppose it will not also betray Britain whenever it wants, just as it did during the Suez Crisis (1956), and this should have been a wake-up call for Truss.

    Truss ignores the key data

    Although Truss’ anti-China rhetoric certainly delighted Conservative Party hawks, it grated with Treasury realists, who appreciate the importance of strengthening economic cooperation with Beijing. After all, China is Britain’s third largest trading partner, accounting for 7.3 percent of its total trade, and it provides huge opportunities for British entrepreneurs. Whereas Britain imports about twice as much from China as it exports, its supply chains for vital products, including antibiotics and antivirals, are highly integrated with the Chinese economy. Britain is also heavily reliant on China for such things as clothes, consumer goods, office machinery and telecoms, and business services account for 45 percent of imports in the services sector.

    However much, therefore, she wants to please the US, it is suicidal for Truss to compound Britain’s economic meltdown by poisoning yet further its relationship with China. Quite clearly, Britain will be the big loser if Truss insists on cutting off its nose to spite its face, something of which her predecessors, David Cameron and Theresa May, were always acutely aware.

    Even Boris Johnson, whose valedictory advice to his successor on July 20 was to “stay close to the Americans”, favoured enhanced trading links with China, and he only revoked Huawei’s role in Britain’s 5G mobile network in 2020 after the US applied the thumbscrews.

    There are, however, now ideologues within the Conservative Party who speak openly about decoupling the UK from China, and their hand has been strengthened with Truss’ election. Although once dismissed as crazies, Truss cannot be trusted to resist them, and some may even enter her government. She has a long record of pandering to party fanatics, most notably over Hong Kong, and this strongly suggests they will now expect to dictate her China agenda.

    Extraordinary crisis

    Expectations of Truss’s cabinet are, moreover, very low. The Observer’s former editor-in-chief, Will Hutton, said last week that “we watch on hopelessly as Truss prepares to form a cabinet populated by misfits, failures, ideologues, third-raters and opportunists to manage one of the greatest economic and social emergencies since 1945”. He even prophesied that her cabinet would be “a titanic constitutional and democratic failure”.

    As the UK faces an extraordinary crisis, its friends will wish it well, but it is hugely worrying that the British people find themselves in the hands of a political lightweight. Truss lacks not only vision but also competence, and this is a classic case of lions being led by donkeys. Although, if her record is anything to go by, she will be an entirely negative factor in world affairs, events will hopefully bring her to her senses. She needs to understand that, if Britain is to survive its economic woes, she must place the interests of its people above her grandstanding, however much it upsets Washington.

    Bigotry, blunders and bluster

    It will, of course, be difficult for somebody whose career has been fashioned by bigotry, blunders and bluster to provide any true leadership, but Truss can at least try. In the meantime, everybody who admires the UK and wants it to prosper will hopefully cut it some slack, and not be wholly alienated by her manic posturing. If properly governed, Britain still has much to offer the world, and its revival cannot forever be stifled by mediocrities.

    The sad truth, however, is that, as things stand, there is little to suggest that Truss is made of the right stuff or can rise to the challenges her country faces. Unless, therefore, she gets real, the biggest beneficiary of her succession, apart from the Sinophobes, is likely to be the opposition Labor Party, whose leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is, say the pollsters, set fair to win the forthcoming general election, due by 2024.



    Grenville Cross is a senior counsel, law professor and criminal justice analyst, and was previously the director of public prosecutions of the Hong Kong SAR. He has been awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star which is the highest Bauhinia Star rank in the honours system of Hong Kong, created in 1997 to replace the British honours system of the Order of the British Empire after the transfer of sovereignty to People’s Republic of China and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

    Britain’s opium era strategy to deal with China - Pearls and Irritations



  2. #2127
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Fucking hell, he's even whining about Queen Victoria now, and she's been dead for 120 years.

    What a wanker.


  3. #2128
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    China is fuelling the opiate crisis with fentanyl, yet they don't seem to want to ban the precursors used to make it. Fuck China.

  4. #2129
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    Oh how the worm turns.

  5. #2130
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    ^
    You seem happy about it. Says a lot about you.

  6. #2131
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    I have a sense of irony. You seem incapable of humour. Says a lot about you.

  7. #2132
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Fucking hell, he's even whining about Queen Victoria now, and she's been dead for 120 years.
    What a wanker.
    When one has nothing



    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Oh how the worm turns.
    So you happily, with smilie, approve of thousands of drug-related deaths as somehow avenging century-old transgression. Words fail.

  8. #2133
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    You seem happy about it. Says a lot about you.
    He has shown his true colors many times on here. I will not soon forget the times he cheered on the Russians as they committed atrocities in Ukraine. He attempted to claim that the Bucha massacre was a hoax, faked by the Ukrainians. He is a massive scumbag.

  9. #2134
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Then stop selling arnaments to Mexican drug cartels, and your selected Terrorist causes du jour. Or admit you are a massive hypocrite.

    Oh, and if you want to send an emissary to China to appeal to their sense of honor, and cease supplying some of the base chemicals that are synthesised into fentanyl- be sure to send a brit.

  10. #2135
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I have a sense of irony. You seem incapable of humour. Says a lot about you.
    I live in the city that is the epicenter of the opiate crisis in Canada. Trust me, it's not humorous. It's also not Britain, you ignorant tool.

  11. #2136
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    sabang seems to be losing what little of the plot he had left.

  12. #2137
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    sabang seems to be losing what little of the plot he had left.
    He does seem a bit more stressed since he came back from Pattaya. Not sure if it's because he knows he won't have sex for a long time now, or because Putin is losing, or because Xi hasn't invaded Taiwan. Maybe all three?

  13. #2138
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    because Putin is losing, or because Xi hasn't invaded Taiwan.
    His whole paradigm is collapsing right before his own eyes. That would tend to piss a person off.


  14. #2139
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    Really? When the real winner from this war is China? [P'ssst, yes it's a China thread]

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    When the real winner from this war is China?
    You can be exceedingly dim at times. Russia and China are the big losers in regard to this war. Both of their militaries rely on most of the same shitty weapons and equipment, as well as sharing a close military doctrine. Lots of further ramifications in that. But without a doubt, the US and NATO are the big winners.

  16. #2141
    Chinese spy sabang's Avatar
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    You are such a dimwit. Have you not noticed the precipitous fall in the Euro and Sterling, and that Europe and the USA are in recession?
    Meanwhile, both China and India are benefitting from cheap, stable energy supply. Stick to war porn- it's what you do best.

  17. #2142
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    He does seem a bit more stressed since he came back from Pattaya. Not sure if it's because he knows he won't have sex for a long time now
    I think he's still having sex. Just not with anyone else.


  18. #2143
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    You are such a dimwit. Have you not noticed the precipitous fall in the Euro and Sterling, and that Europe and the USA are in recession?
    Meanwhile, both China and India are benefitting from cheap, stable energy supply. Stick to war porn- it's what you do best.
    The Euro and Pound are rising against the yuan, and you conveniently left out the US dollar, which is crushing it.

    As far as how China and India are doing, here you go.

    Explainer: What is pushing China towards economic slowdown & how it may impact India - Times of India

    Stick to cheap wine, it's what you do best.
    Originally Posted by sabang
    Maybe Canada should join Nato.

  19. #2144
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    The Euro and Pound are rising against the yuan, and you conveniently left out the US dollar, which is crushing it.
    He just reeks of his own disingenuity.

    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Europe and the USA are in recession?
    More of your bullshit. The US is not in a recession.

    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    Stick to cheap wine, it's what you do best.
    I think he is on it right now.

    I stand by my previous comment, US and NATO big winners. China and Russia, big losers.

  20. #2145
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    Technical Recession Confirmed: Economy Shrank 0.6% Last Quarter, Final GDP Shows


    The U.S. economy shrank for a second quarter in a row this year, a third and final estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis confirmed Thursday—once again signaling the start of a technical recession even as economists predict signs of a slowdown will only grow in the coming quarters, likely prompting the official scorekeeper to declare the economy has entered a recession.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2022/09/29/technical-recession-confirmed-economy-shrank-06-last-quarter-final-gdp-shows/?sh=4b5ae28444da


    Sorry those bloody commies at Forbes rained on your charade snubs.


    And oh looky here now Mountieboy- the CNY has performed way better than the Euro, GBP & JPY in 2022-




    You should be squirming with embarrassment, you lazy school children. Do your homework.


    [Sab, don't show them the performance of the Russian ruble please. Too cruel]
    Last edited by sabang; 05-10-2022 at 11:23 AM.

  21. #2146
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    16 Oct just around the corner. Big day for Xi.

    What ya think Sab?

    Don't do pastes so have a look.

    China sets date for party congress at which Xi will get rare third term – POLITICO

  22. #2147
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Meanwhile, both China and India are benefitting from cheap, stable energy supply.
    Five reasons why China's economy is in trouble

    Five reasons why China'''s economy is in trouble - BBC News


    China's economy is slowing down as it adapts to a punishing zero-Covid strategy and weakening global demand.

    Official growth figures for the July to September quarter are expected next week - if the world's second-largest economy contracts, that increases chances of a global recession. Beijing's goal - an annual growth rate of 5.5% - is now out of reach although officials have downplayed the need to meet the target. China narrowly avoided contraction in the April to June quarter. This year, some economists do not expect any growth.

    The country might not be battling steep inflation like the US and the UK, but it has other problems - the factory of the world has suddenly found fewer customers for its products both domestically and internationally. Trade tensions between China and major economies such as the US are also hampering growth.

    And the yuan is on course for its worst year in decades as it plummets against the US dollar. A weak currency spooks investors, fuelling uncertainty in financial markets. It also makes it difficult for the central bank to pump money into the economy.

    All of this is happening at a time when the stakes are especially high for President Xi Jinping - he is expected to secure an unprecedented third term at the Communist Party Congress (CPC) which begins on 16 October.

    So what exactly has gone wrong?


    The full article is on the link.

  23. #2148
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    And oh looky here now Mountieboy- the CNY has performed way better than the Euro, GBP & JPY in 2022-
    Your graph shows those currencies against the US dollar, and China has dropped over 11%. Where is your graph comparing those currencies against the yuan?

    You really are on the sauce early today.

  24. #2149
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    All set up, innit. He's a slam dunk- for better or worse. The Chinese way is to have their internecine squabbles and lobbying behind bamboo curtains, and what the Masses get to see has been pre-ordained and exquisitely rehearsed. Not like us unruly westerners.

  25. #2150
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    You really are on the sauce early today.
    Are you seriously so dumb you can not see that is a graph tracking the relative performance of the CNY, EUR, GBP & JPY vs the USD in 2022, which clearly shows that the CNY has outperformed the other three? Your home town really must have a problem with fentanyl.

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