PETER HITCHENS: If the West is truly to resist China, we’ll need subtler weapons than the bluster and bombast deployed over Taiwan

What a lot of rubbish Western leaders and commentators are extruding about Taiwan

If the Western world is really prepared to defend Taiwan against the arrogant aggression of mainland China, why don’t they invite the last free bit of China to join Nato

After all, Nato these days operates all over the world, bombing Libya and sending troops to Afghanistan. It cannot say that China is outside its area. 

And Taiwan maintains very serious armed forces which would be a credit to the alliance. 

If the Western world is really prepared to defend Taiwan against the arrogant aggression of mainland China, why don¿t they invite the last free bit of China to join Nato? After all, Nato these days operates all over the world, bombing Libya and sending troops to Afghanistan. It cannot say that China is outside its area. And Taiwan maintains very serious armed forces which would be a credit to the alliance (Pictured: Taiwanese fighter jets)

If the Western world is really prepared to defend Taiwan against the arrogant aggression of mainland China, why don’t they invite the last free bit of China to join Nato? After all, Nato these days operates all over the world, bombing Libya and sending troops to Afghanistan. It cannot say that China is outside its area. And Taiwan maintains very serious armed forces which would be a credit to the alliance (Pictured: Taiwanese fighter jets)

But no such invitation will be offered because our defence of ­Taiwan is bluster, a lot of noise made to hide utter weakness. 

Such a pledge might face a real test from China, a genuine superpower, rather than from a semi-decrepit Russia. So we do not make the pledge. 

The truth about Taiwan is that the West abandoned it long ago, and is quietly hoping that the Taiwanese will make peace with Peking (I refuse to call IT by its new name), as the people of Hong Kong eventually sank under Chinese dictatorship, while we did nothing to enforce the treaty we had signed with the Peking superpower. 

This was not our first shameful retreat. In late 2008, Gordon Brown sought Peking’s help in stemming the banking crisis. China saw our bankruptcy as its chance. 

For decades, it had resented Britain’s longstanding and correct view that Tibet’s position was special and different from the rest of China. 

This infuriated the Chinese leadership, who like to pretend that Tibet has always been part of their empire. 

We do not know exactly what happened, but a few weeks after the IMF approach, the then Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, slipped an announcement on to the Foreign Office website that Britain had finally – after 60 years of refusing to do so – recognised Tibet as ‘part of the People’s Republic of China’.

When I found out about this in 2010, I wrote ‘This is a total and unmitigated diplomatic defeat, and a warning of worse to come as we learn to toady to the new superpower.’ 

Since 2005, we have had two Chinese presidential visits to Britain, during which our police have worked hard to ensure that the visiting tyrants have been spared the sight of protesters against their rule. 

Tibetan freedom campaigners have been especially roughly handled. Can we really pretend to be resolute defenders of Taiwan when we (yes, that includes the mighty USA, though the British record is no better) are too scared of China to recognise Taiwan as a country or to maintain an embassy in its capital Taipei? 

It really is time that we in the West began to understand the danger from China is already far greater than from any other country, and comes from China¿s wealth and influence as well as from its undoubted military power. (File pic)

It really is time that we in the West began to understand the danger from China is already far greater than from any other country, and comes from China’s wealth and influence as well as from its undoubted military power. (File pic)

Or when we allowed ­Taiwan to be expelled from the United Nations on the say-so of the Communist Chinese? Of course we cannot, and the Chinese dictatorship knows it. How they must laugh at our posturing. 

It really is time that we in the West began to understand the danger from China is already far greater than from any other country, and comes from China’s wealth and influence as well as from its undoubted military power. 

Cambridge University recently developed a startling closeness to China. It has rowed back a little from that, but many other British universities have lucrative and sycophantic ‘partnerships’ with China. 

The problem is worse in free countries closer to the People’s Republic. Last year, Radio New Zealand reported the suspicions of academics that the Chinese Communist Party was infiltrating universities there. 

Also in New Zealand, a distinguished China expert, Anne-Marie Brady, suffered mysterious break-ins and other harassment after publishing material unwelcome to the Chinese state. 

New Zealand’s political and academic establishment has, to put it politely, done little to support her. 

If this can happen in an established Western parliamentary democracy, who is safe from it? At the peak of its power, Stalin’s Soviet Union never managed to attain such influence in Western countries. 

People sometimes ask me why I refuse to call the Chinese capital by its new name and stick to calling it ‘Peking’. 

It is very simple. I do it because I know it annoys the Chinese Communist Party. And I regard it as a personal duty to show my contempt for that horrible organisation. 

I spent long periods in China in the early part of this century, reporting for The Mail on Sunday, hugely helped by the brilliant photographer Richard Jones, who was in those days based in Hong Kong and was ceaselessly in and out of the People’s Republic. 

Together, we investigated official cruelty, brutality and vandalism. We spoke to a woman whose house had been demolished because she refused to have an abortion (a woman’s right to choose, anybody?). 

We saw appalling pollution. We were among the first Westerners to report fully on the oppression of the Uighurs in China’s far west, now well-known but then, in December 2009, little-noticed. 

Richard’s superb pictures revealed too much of the truth. At the end of our journeys, especially when we slipped back into what was then the safe haven of Hong Kong, we would breathe out with relief and wonder why the world was not paying more attention. 

After my first visit to modern Shanghai, a gigantic monument to the new mixture of tyranny and prosperity, I told Richard that I found China exhilarating, astonishing and terrifying. It seemed that a frightening new power was arising, writes Peter Hitchens

After my first visit to modern Shanghai, a gigantic monument to the new mixture of tyranny and prosperity, I told Richard that I found China exhilarating, astonishing and terrifying. It seemed that a frightening new power was arising, writes Peter Hitchens

After my first visit to modern Shanghai, a gigantic monument to the new mixture of tyranny and prosperity, I told Richard that I found China exhilarating, astonishing and terrifying. 

It seemed that a frightening new power was arising. It was enormous and had limitless potential, as an economic force and a military titan. 

And it had smashed into tiny pieces the fantasy which gripped the Western world at the end of the Cold War. 

This fantasy was that despotism, such as the old Soviet Union’s, made people poor as well as unfree. So the idea spread that, as people get more prosperous, they will want and get political freedom. 

China proved for all time that tyranny can make people affluent, and that they do not automatically seek political freedom just because they are better off. 

By contrast, the old Soviet Union was always greatly limited by its failure to make its people prosperous. 

Anyone who visited it with open eyes could see the grim conditions of its people. And for the same reason Moscow had little power to buy friends and allies in free nations, relying instead on Communist fanatics or pathetic loners for sale for a few hundred pounds. 

What we face now is wholly different and much more dangerous. The USSR’s leaders suspected so strongly that they were wrong that they eventually gave up power. 

China’s power elite is utterly confident in its rightness, and fiercely patriotic, too. It does not secretly envy us. 

On the contrary, it despises our weakness. If we wish to resist it, we need better, more subtle weapons than bombast. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Obama State Department blocked FBI from arresting supporters of Iran nuclear program in US: emails

The Obama-Biden State Department “actively interfered” to prevent the FBI from executing…

Train star Charlie Colin dies at 58 after ‘falling in shower’ as fans pay tribute to band’s founding member

CHARLIE Colin, one of the founding members of the ’90s pop rock…

Jennifer Lopez Wears Simple Wedding Band to ‘Atlas’ Events Amidst Ben Affleck Split Rumors

Celebrity At the ‘Atlas’ premiere, Jennifer Lopez was unruffled in a ruffle…

Yankees’ Clarke Schmidt vows to quickly fix pitch-tipping issue: ‘Could easily see it’

Less than a day after Clarke Schmidt and the Yankees said they…