THE UK government stepped up its war with China this week when it took the decision to ban the Chinese ambassador to the UK from the grounds of both the House of Commons and the Lords.
Ambassador Zheng Zeguang was banned by the Speakers of both Houses from attending a reception at Westminster on September 15 hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary China Group (APPG) and the China-Britain Business Council.
The notice that Zeguang wasn’t ‘welcome on the premises’ came after five MPs and two peers, who were placed on a blacklist earlier this year, complained to Commons speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.’
A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy said the decision to prevent China’s ambassador meeting MPs in Parliament is ‘despicable and cowardly’ and will harm the interests of both countries.
The sanctions against the MPs and peers were imposed by China last May after they were accused of spreading lies and disinformation about alleged human rights abuse of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province.
At the time of these sanctions, China’s foreign ministry warned the UK not to ‘go further down the wrong path’ or face more retaliatory action from China, saying: ‘China is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests.’
The sanctions, which bar these individuals from entering China, followed decisions by the US, UK, the EU and Canada to impose travel bans on some Chinese government officials and freeze any assets held by them in these countries. Behind this tit-for-tat sanctioning lies the tremendous tensions tearing world imperialism apart.
On the one hand, the business leaders represented by the APPG and the China-Britain Business Council are desperate to benefit from the massive power of the Chinese economy.
This week, the Daily Telegraph reported that ‘China’s central bank has muscled in on the London stock market to grab a bigger stake in Britain.’ The People’s Bank of China now ‘owns UK shares worth $17.1 billion including stakes in most of the FTSE 100.’
China has financial stakes in over 100 British companies including the most crucial energy sector. It was Chinese investment that saved Jaguar cars from extinction, and the Tories are still wondering how they will finance future nuclear power projects if they completely ban the involvement of the state-backed China General Nuclear company.
No wonder business leaders are keen to keep in with the Chinese ambassador. But this has brought them into conflict with the drive by the ruling class in the US and its UK ‘lap-dog’ to break with China.
In the past China was viewed by the capitalist ruling class as the ‘workshop of the world’, a source of cheap labour that could be exploited by all the multi-national companies.
What they hadn’t counted on was the strength of the Chinese economy, even under a deformed workers state, to power ahead, build the most advanced industries and now be poised to overtake the once mighty US economy which is plunging into recession.
China is now seen as the main threat to US imperialism, and it is demanding that the British ruling class join the campaign to bring China down and drive it back to being a useful supply of cheap labour by destroying its nationalised planned economy.
The diplomatic war on Chinese officials has been accompanied by a massive build up of military forces in the China Sea, with the Tories sending the UK’s major aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, plus support ships, as part of the military build up to ‘counter’ China.
Workers will not be hoodwinked by all the hand wringing from Tory MPs about unproven allegations of human rights abuses by China when the British government is happy to support and collude in the proven human rights abuses by imperialism and its allies around the world.
Workers will see that this attack on China by UK and US imperialism goes together with attacks on the working class at home. The enemy of the working class is the desperate capitalist ruling class at home, not China.
The only way forward for the working class of the world is to put an end to capitalism with the victory of the world socialist revolution.