‘Fervent Sinophile’ Boris Johnson Pushes for China Trade Deal, Despite Genocide Objections

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosts Chinese New Year celebrations outside 10 Downing Street on January 24, 2020 in London, England. The lunar new year, which begins tomorrow, marks the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac. (Photo by Lauren Hurley/Getty Images)
Lauren Hurley/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly leading a push to begin trade talks with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) despite objections from backbench Tory MPs that Britain should not have closer economic ties with the allegedly genocidal regime in Beijing.

It has been revealed that during a meeting in Downing Street with Chinese business leaders, Mr Johnson expressed his desire to deepen economic ties with China despite “whatever the political difficulties” there may be.

The Prime Minister proudly told the Chinese businessmen that he is “fervently Sinophile”, at the February 12th meeting, The Guardian reported on Sunday.

A bipartisan group of campaigners, including Tory backbenchers, have been seeking to add a genocide amendment to the UK’s Trade Bill that would require a High Court review of trade deals with countries, like China, which have been accused of committing genocide.

However, Boris Johnson’s government has successfully blocked the introduction of the amendment on two separate occasions, using what former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith dubbed as “arcane procedural games“. The House of Lords will decide on Tuesday if they will attempt to pass the amendment for a third, and final, time.

One of the main organisers of the genocide amendment and Hong Kong Watch fellow, Luke de Pulford said: “While the Uighurs are forcibly sterilised, their children brainwashed and tens of thousands enslaved, the UK is bending over backwards to secure more Chinese trade. How bad do things have to get before Boris Johnson realises that this kind of thing enables Xi Jinping’s brutal regime?”

The British government suspended trade talks with China last year in response to the introduction of the draconian national security law in Hong Kong, which stripped the former UK colony of the freedoms promised under the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Yet, Mr Johnson has reportedly expressed his intention to restart talks with China through the China-UK Joint Trade and Economic Commission (Jetco) and the Economic and Financial Dialogue annual meeting between the UK and China, though no firm date has been set for either to resume.

While the British leader has recently become embroiled in diplomatic spats with the CCP, including his decision to bar Chinese tech giant Huawei from the UK’s 5G networks over security concerns and Britain’s offer to open citizenship paths to millions of Hong Kongers, Johnson has long expressed his admiration for China.

As Mayor of London, Mr Johnson backed then-Prime Minister David Camera’s push for a “golden era” of UK-Chinese relations to increase economic ties.

In June of last year, Johnson said: “I’m a Sinophile and believe we should continue to work with this great and rising power.”

In January, the PM declined to match the Trump administration’s call to classify persecution of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang as a genocide, claiming that such a move would have to be a “judicial matter“.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will demand that the United Nations receive “urgent and unfettered” access to Xinjiang to investigate claims of human rights abuses.

Mr Raab will submit reports of abuses in Xinjiang, including modern slavery, forced sterilisation, and torture, which he will say are “taking place on an industrial scale.”

Earlier this month, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minority survivors of the concentration camp system in Xinjiang backed up longstanding allegations of human rights abuses by survivors of the camps, who have reported that prisoners are subjected to torturerapeforced sterilisation, and organ harvesting.

Speaking to the BBC, the witnesses claimed that women were regularly gang-raped and tortured, with some guards even sexually abusing women by electrocuting them from the inside with electric batons.

The most recent estimates from the American government suggest that there are currently some 2 million people interned by the Chines Communist Party in concentration camps, down from as many as 3 million. The drop in population comes amid reports that the CCP sold inhabitants as slave labourers to factories across the country.  Communist officials claimed the prisoners “graduated” from the camps.

The dictatorship in Beijing has previously hailed the success of the camps as liberating Uyghur women from being “baby-making machines” through their forced sterilisation programme.

In a report published in January, Britain’s Conservative Party Human Rights Commission claimed that Uyghur slave labourers are forced attend “Mandarin Chinese language classes and political indoctrination classes” while being monitored for their “thoughts”.

The Tory human rights commission said: “We believe that the CCP is committing mass atrocity crimes against the Uyghurs and others in [Xinjiang]… and that is evidence indicative of the crime of genocide.”

Though the persecution of the Uyghur Muslim population in Xinjiang and the vicious crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong tend to grab the most attention internationally, the Communist Party has also repressed Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners as well as Christians.

In the second quarter of last year, the UK imported more goods from China than any other trading partner at £11 billion, according to the Office for National Statistics, marking the first time that China topped the import list for any economic quarter.

This month it was revealed that in 2020, China overtook the United States as the European Union’s top trading partner, with trade ties between the bloc set to rise by an additional €120 billion in trade through an investment pact signed December. The deal has been criticised for being signed with minimal concern for tackling China’s human rights abuses.

Through the wealth accumulated in trade with Western powers, the Chinese state has embarked on what Brexit leader Nigel Farage has characterised as a “communist takeover” of the UK, as CCP billionaires have been found to be buying up struggling schools across Britain to spread communist propaganda.

Firms linked to the Chinese military have also been found to be partnering with top universities in the UK to develop new weapons technologies for the communist country.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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