A Matter of Principle; Not Money

The People’s Republic of China has imposed a new national security law for Hong Kong, provided for by Article 23 of the Basic Law, criminalizing sedition, collusion with foreign powers, subversion and terrorism – all run-of-the-mill contrived offenses used by autocracies. It is important to note that our Western conception of terrorism does not fully align with the Chinese. For them, terrorism can include “damaging public transport”, as has happened in the Hong Kong Democracy Protests. Note too that these offenses are attended by a maximum life sentence. The Beijing-backed Hong Kong Chief Executive has the power to appoint judges to hear cases related to this law, dangerously damaging the separation of powers fabric left by the British in 1997. Most importantly, those “convicted” in sham trials will be disbarred from public office, as recent elections have seen an influx of pro-democracy activists. This is one of the most decisive steps yet by the PRC to fully bring Hong Kong into its autocratic orbit.

While this gross violations of democratic norms, human rights, and the tacit agreement between the British and Chinese at the time of Handover, is taking place, no less a place than the United Nations Human Rights Council, would overwhelmingly support China’s “right to govern its internal affairs”. They have seemed to forget that just a few weeks ago many of those same nations, for very good reason, supported a resolution condemning systemic racism against persons of African descent. Rising to the George Floyd moment is certainly commendable, but the question must be asked as to why is it acceptable to comment on the internal affairs of the United States but not China. Both nations have unacceptable challenges, and both need to be called out for them.

Ultimately, 70 nations supported the new security law at the UNHRC. Among these were the typical characters, i.e. dictatorships and autocracies, such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela and Russia. More worrying however were the other supporters. They were mostly developing nations in Africa, and even three CARICOM member states (Dominica, Antigua and Suriname). These states are beneficiaries of one of the most brilliant debt traps in colonial history – the multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative. I do not attend foreign policy meetings in any of these nations, and so cannot speak definitively to what has motivated their positions. However, it is undoubtable that this looks like developing nations “selling out” to wealthy geopolitical benefactors. That is deeply regrettable.

Barbados must be wary of the ostensibly benevolent Chinese. Our foreign policy has always been guided by Barrow’s philosophy “friends of all; satellites of none”. We receive aid and assistance from the United States and American-dominated institutions, Canada and EU nations and institutions. In spite of that, we still have an independent streak in UN votes, voting against the US in a number of key votes, much to the dismay of the Americans. The Chinese are not interested in such a relationship. The BRI is said to be a quid pro quo arrangement. If only that was it. Unfortunately for developing nations, the BRI is “something for something less”. In other words, you give up so much more than you will ever get. According to France 24, “Sri Lanka turned over a deep-sea port to China for 99-years after it was unable to repay loans. Pakistan needs an international bailout. And Montenegro has had to make difficult choices after taking on crushing Chinese debt to pay a Chinese company to build a new highway.”

High-minded idealism sometimes does not always collide with economic reality and that is a fact which I readily recognize. However, while states are confined by the strictures of reality, ordinary citizenry are free of those constraints and therefore we must always be aware of and always sound our voices loudly at the clear and present danger which the rising geopolitical fortunes of the People’s Republic of China poses to freedom and democracy everywhere. The lives of Hong Kongers matter. Democracy matters!

55 thoughts on “A Matter of Principle; Not Money

  1. @ KK
    Some very interesting issues you have raised about our relationships with mainland China. They do require some in depth analysis. But you must bear in mind that China never pretended to be a democracy as defined by the West. So on what moral ground should we protest new rules of engagement wrt Hong Kong?

    • @Vincent

      There are guiding principles Western society hold others accountable- human rights abuse for example?

  2. @ Davif BU

    They are Western Principles,hence China can ignore them.Shaming will be most ineffectual.

    • @Vincent

      There are always consequences, once they can accept them. China cannot have its cake and eat it as well.

  3. The British robbed the Chinese of Hong Kong during the murderous opium wars. The Chinese will never forget that, and rightly so. Before Britain interferes in internal Chinese affairs, they should first learn cleanliness and decency from China, so that the corona plague will disappear from Britain.

    As for Britain: it will be very lonely around the island after the BREXIT. The Europeans are turning away, China as their new enemy. Only the Americans will remain, who will economically rape the British.

    As for Barbados, we can’t afford a confrontation with China. Chinese loans and tourists are too important. It would be far better if we showed solidarity with China in the struggle against colonialism and imperialism and supported each other, see Caribbean Claims Conference.

    Now back to my rice bowl and my chopsticks!

  4. Is this contribution approved by our leader and prime minister? If that opinion were official government position, we’d be in a lot of trouble. And we don’t need any more trouble at the moment.

    I interpret the essay as an act of rebellion of an outspoken member of BU against our leader.

    We’re back where we were three months ago: Tron as the only neutral and trustworthy observer, defending Mia Mottley.

  5. The so-called western powers are the worst human rights abusers on the planet and have been for the last 500 years. They are also the biggest lying hypocrites. Barbados should stay out of China’s business and we would be real idiots to follow the white supremacists saying we want to pick a fight with China. China was a civilisation long before the Europeans left where they were living to visit terror and human rights violations on the rest of the human race. Now they want to stop China’s rise so they can put it back in a position where they can wage a war on it to make its people take drugs. Don’t we have enough problems of our own to sort out? As the songs say, leave people business alone and mind you own funky business.

  6. Britain has offered to take in up to 3 million HK residents if they want no part of a HK regime under China’s thumb but China has said it is under no directive to let them leave if it doesn’t want them to go. Britain’s gesture may be an empty one or China may just let those that it has no interest in keeping go to Britain, an act reminiscent of the Mariel boat lift where Castro emptied Cuba’s jails and asylums prior to departure to the US.

    Canada arrested a Huawei executive on a warrant from the USA for allegedly violating US sanctions against Iran, the detainee Meng Wanzhou just happened to be the daughter of Huawei’s founder and is a member of the Chinese hierarchy, China promptly arrested two Canadians on espionage charges and has held them virtually incommunicado for 2 years while seeking the release of Ms. Wanzhou, (she is under house arrest at her Vancouver mansion not an actual prison) and is fighting extradition to the US. The speculation is that China won’t release the two Canadians (called the two Michaels as each first name is Michael) so it is a diplomatic standoff and China slowly ups the ante by cancelling Canadian export orders to China.

    Another incident under the radar was the deaths of approximately 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers on June 15 as a result of a border skirmish over disputed territory. China and India have been involved in border skirmishes/war since 1962 and India has generally gotten the worse of them but so did the Soviets when they were involved with disputes with China.

    Bottom line, China doesn’t care what the West wants or does, it marches to the beat of its own drum.

  7. It seems that the red youth organisation is breaking up. Has the outspoken senator welcomed the new opposition member yet? What is the code word for this operation? Walter Polovchak?

    Has our leader been informed of the incident? If not, who will tell her? Is there a sedative ready?

    The Honourable Minister Walcott has lots to explain to His Highness Yan Xiusheng.

  8. When I think of Human Rights abuses, USA and UK’s wars are top of the list.
    Wars for Peace is now being changed to Wars for Human Rights.
    Peace and Human Rights are not achieved by Wars.
    China has been developing the Developing World while USA and UK have been engaging in Racial Wars and turning a blind eye to Israel who are also part of their Military Industrial Complex and Spying Networks. When new inventions like Drones were developed in 2000 the PNAC Wars kicked off and are still going on but not reported anymore.
    China is an economical strength which USA does not want fair competition against. UK does whatever USA says.

  9. Barbados, like Tron states, has to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL not to bite the hand(Chins) that presently feeds them $.


    Your obviously anti China, as Wily generally is, however China has to recognized as a leading world economy/power and their political philosophy cannot be easily disregarded based on the results. One should be evaluating why this style of governance works even though it’s contrary to western governance philosophy, which the “present” Republican US president leads, hummmmmm.

    • @Wily

      China targets the West as an important market for its products and services as well as investments. If it values the opportunity to fill the vacuum left by the USA especially would it not be sensitive to Western positions? The Cold War era is gone. We operate in a so-called era of globalization.


    Why is the Chinese leadership choosing to impose the National Security Law on Hong Kong even though it will likely hurt China’s economy?

    And, through the eyes of a Hong Kong businessman, how is the Chinese regime actually waging war on the U.S. and the free world?

    The Chinese Communist Party have90 Million Brains and more joining Every Devising Schemes how to have Control over the world…you have no idea how Powerful they are… 90 Million Gangsters Controlling One Billion Slaves…

    In this episode, we sit down with Elmer Yuen, CEO of Golden Bridge Technology Inc.


  11. David of BU
    Human Rights abuses of West are committed under umbrella of National Security abroad and Policing at home to circumvent laws.
    When the Devil says you are something you tell him you are not that.
    When the Devil says you are not something you tell him you are that.
    If you cannot see that USA and UK are stoking up tensions and protests in Hong Kong for their own agenda you are missing.

    • @Kiki

      Saying no such thing. Both are hegemonists and these issues must be viewed through geopolitical lens.

  12. @ Wily
    China is generally recognised as the second biggest economy in the world, and on purchasing power parity, the dominant economy. It is still officially seen as a developing economy, while an economy such as Canada or Australia, is seen as developed.
    In the 1960s/70s, the same thing happened to Japan. What does that tell you? Look at trhe bogus trade war the US and allies a re waging on China, using Huawei as an excuse.

  13. “In the 1960s/70s, the same thing happened to Japan. What does that tell you? Look at trhe bogus trade war the US and allies a re waging on China, using Huawei as an excuse.”

    The 80’s bubble lead to Japan buying properties in USA.
    USA’s attitude/MOwas let them have what they want and we will take it back again.
    The 90’s collapse of Japan’s and Russia’s Economy had CIA’s fingerprints all over.

    • @Kiki

      The bottom line is that China, a so-called communist maintains preferred trade status.

  14. West was pretending to want China to join the Capitalist way, but USA does not want China to become the most successful economy.
    West is deluded to think it can outsmart China who play a long term game and not for the trappings of short term gain.

  15. @Sargeant
    “Canada arrested a Huawei executive on a warrant from the USA for allegedly violating US sanctions against Iran.”

    Canada was wrong to arrest the lady. There was no “warrant” nor extradition papers. She was arrested after Canada shared its passenger lists with the US. It took the US some three months to send Canada extradition papers with the so called charges. Canada does not have sanctions on Iran and should not be enforcing the US sanctions. I am with the Chinese on this issue. I also agree with them re Hong Kong….one country, one government, the same rules and regulations.

  16. Asians are much better, more intelligent and cheaper better value in IT technology and development.
    US IT industry is outsourced to Asia. The next Generation tech is being deemed a security risk to and by the biggest spies and hypocrites in the world.

  17. @ Dame Bajan

    You are right. The Americans can force the rest of the world to carry out their unfair policies. But the tools they use, the dollar, is fast declining. The threat, their military might, is being neutralised by the Chinese. Now they want to stop Chinese technology.
    I am not a lover of Chinese nationalism, but we need a balance to US hegemony. I badly wanted the EU to provide that balance, until the Brits allowed the US/Trump to encourage them to leave.
    We may not like the Chinese, but they are all we have to hold back US savagery. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  18. @Hal Austin

    The West is way, way behind the Chinese with the 5G technology. That is what has them running scared. It will take them 7-10 years to catch up to China and they don’t want it to advance, so they are using their dirty politics hoping to castrate Huawei’s 5G network.

  19. @Dame Bajans

    Spot on. The trade war against China is nothing to do with stealing technology or intellectual property. They want to halt Chinese technology. The Yanks fight with claws if necessary.
    Chinese economic power comes mainly from US greed. Wall Street just wanted to make money and could not care less about US industry. So, they were quite prepared to transfer jobs to China because they were cheap.
    The example I like is just before 2008, Walmart was selling television sets for US$1 each. Just imagine: manufactured in China, sailed across the Pacific, then across the US to be sold on the East Coast for $1. They are now paying the real price.
    Just look at the stool pigeon Pompeo and the way he is sucking up to Trump. The good bit is that we only have four more months of this. Not even the Yanks will vote Trump in for another term.

  20. @DameB
    I disagree on Meng. The US had issued an arrest warrant for her in August 2018. Canadian authorities arrested her, at the Vancouver airport in Dec 2018. Ms Meng is a Canadian permanent resident as of 2001. Canada and the USA do have an Extradition Treaty. Hence whether Canada, or Mexico (her final destination), shared the information, Canada is bound to notify the USA when a person with an outstanding arrest warrant is to enter our land. Matters proceeded in a timely manner, up until May 2019. Then the bullshit hit the fan. lawyers began their usual ‘delay tactics’. The presiding judge should have FORCED a decision, by refusing to grant extensions. She should have been either extradited, or set free. (a decision reached) Whether you or I ‘think/feel’ she is innocent or guilty is not relevant. The Canadian Courts must work FASTER in such cases. In this way, it doesn’t appear, as it likely is, that politics are at play.

  21. The rightwing racism populism of Trump and Johnson regimes seem to be the natural state of racism in USA and UK on reflection.
    Anti-China propaganda is very much a part of rightwing racism populism mindset against socialism.

  22. @David

    “Cold War era is gone”

    What makes you think the COLD WAR is over, it’s defenetly changed, new players added, some deleted and a host of new potential nuclear enemies added into the mix. Used to be you knew who the enemy was, today its not easy to assertain whose friendly and whose not. Todays its more of a Julius Ceasar Brutus situation, whose hiding the knife.

    As national security goes it’s BUYER BEWARE.

    • @Wily

      You do not accept that post Soviet Union we have seen the rise of detente to replace Cold War tactics?

  23. Has the Chinese Embassy already lodged an official protest? Or has our Honourable Minister just managed to avert the worst by kneeling down?

    K2 is as much a loose cannon as comrade commissar with his strange love for Venezuela. Our leader must finally take a firm stand and ensure that there is a unified line in foreign policy.

  24. A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly against the city.

    But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through all alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

    For the traitor appears no traitor; he speaks in the accents familiar to his victim, and he wears their face and their garments and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.

    He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the plague. — Marcus Tullius Cicero, from a speech given to the Roman Senate, recorded in approximately 42 B.C. by Sallust.


  25. @Northern Observer:

    What was the arrest warrant for? doing business with an Iranian bank? How come the US did not come and get her sooner? Forget about extradition treaties. Trump said if China gave in to his trade demands he would release Weng. At that time the Canadian government should have let her go, because it showed it was a political move. She is an American political prisoner in Canada.

  26. @Khalid
    Good work.You are in touch.The others will wake up later. Some of these people here only know “geopolitics”. They can’t think outside the cold war box. As China apparently has. All they watch is CNN or FOX. Very biased American TV. They don’t appear to understand values such as freedom and what it means to those who don’t have it. Like my friend in Hong Kong. “Existentialist threat” means nothing to them.

    That is because there are no CCTVs or facial recognition on every road in Barbados as obtains in China.Yet. We’re going smart card first, this year. Or no forced organ transplants of political prisoners like that practised on the Falun Gong in China. Or the sealing of residents with covid-19 in Hubei into their apartments with steel plates. I could go on.

    One asinine bill was passed here recently and there was a hue and cry on social media. In China those who posted such objections on their We-chat (equivalent of Facebook) page would have had them removed, been visited by the police or jailed by now or all of the above. Yep!

    So far the Chinese have got a Confucius Institute at the UWI Cave Hill and almost every day they are giving Barbados something e.g tablets. They are warming up.

    A former Chinese ambassador to Bim was recalled because he/she (no clues here) was not recruiting Barbados fast enough. I stand by that assertion.

    They have left their mark in J’a: See: Who wins and who loses? Jamaica on China’s Belt and Road Initiative
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd_6YgGWBeI. You should watch the video posted by Freedom Crier on July 06.

    Yep! Tron and the others of like mind are right. We should just keep quiet, squeeze in our pooches and hold out our hands for more from China. We are between a rock and a hard place. Or is it that: once a slave, always a slave?

  27. @David

    “You do not accept that post Soviet Union we have seen the rise of detente to replace Cold War tactics?”

    Wily does agree there was a brief period of detente after the cold war, USSR broke up under some inteligent leaders for a PERIOD, then came along Dictator Putin and within a few years has erased all detente gains, its back to the COLD WAR, however the NEW opposition has changed considerably.

    • @Wily

      You should respect that there will always be tensions in the world underpinned by different ideologies; religion, political, philosophy etc. It is not a binary matter to solve. The East should not be expected to sit passively in the corner while the West strategize how to conquer the world.


  28. @Dame Bajans July 6, 2020 6:20 PM

    Your showing exactly why Barbados is a FAILED STATE, no respect for the rule of law, just smire the rules when they do not suit you. Canada has an Extradition Agreement with numerous countries, Barbados included, and when one of these countries, under their law, request and individual be detained under the extradition greement it’s the countries obligation to follow through with the request. These Extradition Agreements were signed in good faith fully knowing that other countries have signifigant legal differences from our own. If you object STRONGLY to the other countries legal system then do not enter into an agreement.

    Under the law you cannot pick and chose what you like and don’t like.

  29. @DameB
    because the current POTUS tends to use everything as transactional leverage to get what he wants, or what he thinks will secure his re-election, does not mean the initial arrest warrant was ‘without merit’. It delves far deeper than simply doing business with an Iranian bank. (its merit is part of the extradition hearings?) And pray tell, was the USA to pull a SEAL mission to extract her from Vancouver home? (come and get her) They have to wait until Canada SENDS or does NOT SEND her to the US. I would risk to bet, POTUS was not even aware of the arrest warrant prior to Dec 2018.
    So my point again….Canada has dragged its sorry ass in court proceedings. A DECISION on her extradition should have been reached long ago.

  30. The words ‘freedom and democracy’ can be twisted to mean anything if you don’t check the facts. Let’s take the demonstrations in Hong Kong. I don’t know how many arrests have been made but as far as I am aware no one has been killed by the police. This is under the ‘communist’ government of China which is supposed to hate freedom and democracy. Let’s see how the ‘mother country of freedom and democracy’, Britain, dealt with protests in the same Hong Kong in 1967 when it had it as a colony. The British arrested over 5000 people and shot dead some 36. Which government showed the most respect for freedom and democracy? Can you imagine, protesters breaking into the US senate or the British parliament, smashing it up and hanging Russia’s or Iran’s flag In similar vein to the protesters in Hong Kong? The world is a lot more complicated place than the propaganda of the western media would have you believe.

  31. @Hal AustinJuly 6, 2020 1:35 PM The good bit is that we only have four more months of this.”

    Agreed. And not even 4 months, but perhaps a mere 117 days.

    @Hal AustinJuly 6, 2020 1:35 PM “Not even the Yanks will vote Trump in for another term.”

    I am not sure about this though. people frequently vote against their own best interest. For example Brexit.

  32. Tee White

    The British ain’t de best examples uh human rights all de time (mau mau, slavery etc etc etc)

    But de facts:

    Pro-communists violently loot. Build 8,000 home-made bombs. Murder journalists. Set buildings on fire. Uh 8 year and 2 year old killed when de bastards wrap up a bomb in a gift and lef it outside uh dem home. Most hong kongers was against dese vagabonds. Ultimately, 51 dead; 800 injured.

    People standing up fuh dem basic civil rights. Some uh dem get out uh hand yes. Howevah, large scale police misconduct. Right now, more dan 2600 injuries and 9000 arrests.

    Dem dere is facts.

  33. @Ordinary Black Man
    Dem dere is your alternative facts – sounds very much like the British version of events to me.

  34. @ Ordinary Black Man July 7, 2020 5:33 PM

    The British don’t like the Chinese because they don’t submit to their supremacy like the coloured peoples in the Caribbean. The British want to keep Hong Kong as a bridgehead to China to siphon off information for the Five Eyes and smuggle narcotics into China. China should align itself with the EU, where France and Germany have successfully fended off British influence.

    K2 should take a look at Guyana and Trinidad to see the catastrophic British policy of splitting society. Even today the British are stirring up blacks and Indians against each other to promote their oil business.

  35. Addendum

    You should try to understand the Chinese perspective. Hong Kong is the result of the opium wars.

    To the Chinese, British occupation is what blacks call slavery. The British have caused the deaths of millions of Chinese through drug trafficking. Even today they refuse to pay reparations.

    It would be best if CARICOM and China were to join forces in a “Caribbean and Chinese Claims Conference” (C4). I recommend Charles Jong, our leader Mia Mottley´s most trusted advisor as chairman. He knows both worlds and his highly respected by the Chinese for the art of surveillance.

  36. EVER WONDER WHY BARBADOS DID NOT VOTE?… Think Barbados is Tied to China in a much greater way than we realize! When the Gov accepts funding from China they are Atomically Muzzled and Silence is Consent!

    Elites, and most Politicians, Dictators, LOVE a Communist system. Ordinary people DO NOT. That is the TRUTH. The globalization experiment has failed, high jacked and corrupted by dictatorial regimes who have abused our laws and used our values of fairness and freedom to achieve their own goals. The UN, WHO and WTO are no longer fit for purpose and must be replaced with a better system consisting of free nations that respect sovereign rule and God given human rights.

  37. @ Piece the Prophet July 8, 2020 8:04 AM

    Oh you Great Prophet!

    It happened just like you said! The outspoken candidate has proven to be a loose cannon, and our leader Mia Mottley must now clean up the mess. His career had only just begun, and it is already over.

    Charles Jong should install a special app on the outspoken candidate’s mobile phone that automatically corrects articles critical of China.

  38. On the article , of course it is about money. Money is power. The tech war is about Apple and Google vs Huawei, despite the attempt top push the security view.

    That is purely money, money and more money. You understand that who controls the tech, controls business et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

    David, as per Wily, of course the Cold War is alive and well. Just living anonymously, where he is difficult to find, but there nevertheless, watching and pulling strings.

    As Wily says, the players have changed somewhat, but the Eagle and Bear are still scratching at each others territory, with the Panda having entered the grounds. Everyone else is staying in their tents and peeping out.

    Highly likely that the Apple & Google vs Huawei tussle is not only real, but symbolic of the change in world empire status.

    Under the current fool, the great Empire is sliding, now being replaced by the Chinese Empire of the 21st century.

    The thing is, China present an unusual conundrum for the saboteurs. Traditionally, well placed action and money could cause divisiveness in a nation, weakening the fabric of the opposition. However, China is …….. China. No such luck.

    Militarily, it is too large, both in human terms and arms, to challenge. Thus, we have come to a direct trade battle, being conducted as a surrogate for another type. Make no mistake that this is significant. This is about who rules the world for the balance of the 21st century, into the 22nd.

    What can we lil chipmunks do, while the big animals tussle? Hide in the trees and watch, grab the acorns offered occasionally and wait.

  39. @David
    Timing dear boy, timing! There’s an election on the horizon and the leader is not making any progress on the domestic front so let’s shift the focus to the rival real or imagined. If this consulate could be closed today it could have been closed two years ago but the leader was busy courting China to buy produce from midwestern farmers to boost his election chances (the Gov’t is subsidizing those farmers to the tune of billions of dollars for unsold produce and the farmers are still crying poor) but China didn’t budge.

    When will he close any Russian consulates? Obama did, but General Flynn asked to Russians not to retaliate because the incoming Pres would reopen them and the leader’s history with Putin is one of acquiescence because Putin holds the goods……
    Look for the story beyond the story

    • @Sargeant

      The other presidents started wars, it has always been the MO entering a presidential election. Nothing new in the tactic is there?

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