‘Prince of Darkness’ Peter Mandelson Said China Will Prove Human Rights Critics Wrong: Claim

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01: Lord Mandelson delivers a keynote speech during an event hosted by the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign on March 1, 2016 in London, England. The Britain Stronger In Europe group is currently campaigning to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union ahead of the …
Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Labour Peer and former spin doctor for ex-PM Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson reportedly told the Chinese government that people attacking the communist regime over human rights abuses will ultimately be “proved wrong”.

Lord Mandelson, who was dubbed the “Prince of Darkness” during his time as communications boss for the left-wing Labour Party in the Tony Blair era, allegedly made the comments during an investor meeting on February 5th with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, alongside other CCP leaders and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Minutes of the meeting leaked to the Mail on Sunday reportedly said: “With one side [UK] missing any governmental representation, Peter Mandelson acted in that role.”

During an opening statement given to the meeting, Mandelson reportedly made “a reference to the changing political atmosphere, with ‘a movement questioning the West’s relationship with China’ and China’s desire to be a genuine long-run partner in the international system.”

“We are confident that China can prove them wrong,” he allegedly said, in an apparent attempt to gloss over growing concerns among the general British public over concentration camps in Xinjiang, forced organ harvesting, and the attacks on democratic liberties in Hong Kong.

The meeting refrained from levying any criticism towards the Chinese government, focussing instead on how “China and Europe can work together to do things more innovatively and better, using improved business models and technologies,” the paper claimed.

They also heard from the chief executive of Prudential Mike Wells, the chairman of metals and mining giant Rio Tinto Simon Thompson, and Mark Tucker the chairman of the HSBC bank, which has been accused of colluding with the CCP by debanking pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

A former Cabinet minister under both former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — resigning several times from government positions over allegations of corruption — Mandelson has since re-emerged to advise Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in recent weeks.

Mandelson, a former member of the Youth Communist League, is alleged to be closely tied with the secretive 48 Group Club, which lobbies for closer ties between the Chinese state and the United Kingdom.

A 2020 book entitled Hidden Hand: Exposing How The Chinese Communist Party Is Reshaping The World, characterises Mandelson as a “fellow” of the 48 Group Club and “one of the more loyal friends” to the Chinese Communist Party. The Labour Peer admitted to giving a speech for the 48 Group in 2004 but said in July that he could not recall if he was a fellow of the group.

The book claims: “So entrenched are the [Chinese] influence networks among British elites that Britain has passed the point of no return and any attempt to extricate itself from Beijing’s orbit would probably fail.”

A spokesman for Lord Mandelson’s lobbying company, Global Counsel, claimed that his remarks were taken out of context, claiming that his full remarks were thus: “We are offering each other a lot already. You will not be hearing complaints from us today – instead, how we can do things innovatively and better”, and “We realise the political climate is not perfect. There is a movement questioning the West’s relationship with China. They will call out China’s foreign policies and adherence to international rules and norms so as to claim that China does not want to be a long-term partner with the West in the international system. We are confident that China can prove them wrong.”

“At no point did Lord Mandelson take up a role associated with or representative of the UK Government,” the spokesman added.

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