UK to be isolated by following US foreign policy: George Galloway

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/2 12:56:28

George Galloway Photo:Sun Wei/GT

Editor's Note:

The United Kingdom has gone back and forth regarding political attitudes toward China the past few months. In addition, London has repeatedly interfered in China's domestic affairs, particularly with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Why does the UK feel this colonial compulsion to continue to meddle with China? Is London prepared for deteriorating China-UK ties? Former British MP George Galloway (Galloway) shared his viewpoints with Global Times (GT) reporters Xu Hailin and Sun Wei in London.

GT: The British government has been interfering in Hong Kong's affairs since the violent protests broke out in the city last year — but this is part of China and its domestic affairs. The national security law for Hong Kong went into effect on June 30, despite interventionist voices from the UK and some other Western countries. Is the UK in the position to handle China's affairs in Hong Kong?

Galloway: Britain's days of "handling" affairs in Hong Kong are over. Our ignominious extortion of China to obtain it was illegitimate from the beginning. An Unequal Treaty is not a Treaty but a theft. Despite Royal goodwill expressed at the handover, Britain has never truly accepted that Hong Kong is a part of China, and has not been allowed to in any case by the US. There was no democracy in Hong Kong under British rule, it was a colony ruled from London and through a London appointed governor. Hongkongers are merely pawns in the US game against China, with Britain playing the role of cat's-paw.

GT: China has been committed to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, ensuring Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy. Why does the UK find fault with China on Hong Kong at the cost of good China-UK relations?

Galloway: There is a division amongst the British ruling elite about China. A section doesn't want to lose out on the considerable advantages of trade and investment with China, particularly in a post-Brexit world. This accounts for the issues with Huawei, for example. But the now dominant trend within the British government is fully aligning UK policy with that of the US. Its vision - of Britain as the 51st state of the Union - has won out. So buckle up for years of hostile British policy toward China.

GT: In the past few months, the British attitude toward China has gone back and forth. Months after giving green lights to Chinese high-tech giant Huawei and its 5G network, the UK changed its tune in May. It now says it will shrink Huawei's involvement to zero by 2023. Why has there been such a sharp turn in London's attitude?

Galloway: The elevation of Boris Johnson and the geopolitical victory of the Americophile tendency in the UK government. Put quite simply, they have won out. Should Trump lose in November this may be revisited.

GT: Britain seeks higher international status in the post-Brexit era, but under pressure from the US, the UK has followed suit with Washington's moves. Meanwhile, it will also have to "live with the consequences" of weaker ties with the European Union. Has the UK found its steady direction after Brexit yet? How will this affect London's pursuits of playing a more important international role?

Galloway: Having alienated its European partners by leaving, and in a contentious way, Britain is losing the opportunity to play an independent, even pivotal role in world affairs. Instead, by tail-ending US foreign policy Britain often seems determined to be isolated in an Anglo-Saxon union making new enemies all the while. Britain's relations with Russia for example are now practically non-existent. The same may happen with China unless this course is corrected. We have become the tail of the American dog. It is an unenviable, undignified place to be.

GT: The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging. Some British politicians were trying to blame China for their mishandling of COVID-19. By harming benign cooperation agreements with China, would this help the British government fight against the virus?

Galloway: The British government knows very well that China is not to blame for the coronavirus crisis, and indeed there is a dread realization that the virus may not even have emerged from China in the first place. This is pure projection. The blonde duet of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have mishandled the whole crisis in a quite criminal way. Their populations have paid a high price for that. It is no coincidence that their performance has yielded the worst and second worst outcome in the whole world.

GT: In the post-Brexit era, China could be an important partner for the UK for economics and trade. However, some people believe that the "golden era" between the two countries has ended. Is Britain prepared to face a fragmented China-UK relationship?

Galloway: I think the "golden-era" is over, for now at least. The well has been poisoned and it is not safe to drink from it. When the consequences start to be felt by the mass of the people this may change. For now we must fight a rearguard action, rebutting the lies against China, reporting honestly on China's achievements. This will have to be done through social media mainly where China still has friends, all over the world.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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