Wilson-Truss spat on China mirrors UK political mess, decay
Published: Nov 15, 2021 11:08 PM
Combo picture shows UK foreign secretary Liz Truss (L) and British ambassador to China Caroline Wilson (R). Photo: Xinhua & VCG

Combo picture shows UK foreign secretary Liz Truss (L) and British ambassador to China Caroline Wilson (R). Photo: Xinhua & VCG

Foreign policy of some Western countries has become so fanatical that one wonders if the position of top diplomat has been taken by a radical populist. The latest case is Britain. 

British media recently exposed a rift between one of its ambassadors and the British foreign secretary. Caroline Wilson, British ambassador to China, was reportedly accused of "lobbying UK cabinet ministers on behalf of the Beijing regime". 

The Daily Mail cited sources saying that Wilson sent letters to ministers attending secret meetings of the UK National Security Council that "effectively argue for the appeasement of China." The report did not indicate what information Wilson wrote in these letters classified as "the appeasement of China."

The Daily Mail said the move risks putting Wilson at odds with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who was labeled as "one of the most hawkish members of the cabinet on China" by some Western media outlets. 

The Wilson-Truss spat on China bemused the Chinese public as Wilson was caught in a huge controversy this March with an article written by her entitled "Do foreign media hate China?" Her article was published at a time when foreign media, and British media in particular, have been increasingly holding an anti-China agenda, with fabrications and rumors used in their China coverage.  

Wilson, as British ambassador, no doubt stands for British interests.

According to the Daily Mail, when Truss worked as international trade secretary, her differences with Wilson appeared. At that time, Wilson asked why the UK didn't adopt a more emollient approach to China, similar to how "we treat the French." Truss replied: "Because the French aren't committing genocide."

In a bid to slander China, the UK's hawkish politicians represented by Truss turn black to white. The "genocide" of Xinjiang is a groundless lie, but France did carry out genocide, which was even admitted by French President Emmanuel Macron. When visiting Rwanda in May, Macron asked Rwandans to forgive France for its role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus died. And Truss and her like should not pretend to be innocent. There are numerous incidents of massacres Britain had committed in the colonial era. 

"After Brexit, Britain has fallen into a plight. It seems to be lost in finding an appropriate strategy for foreign policy. It created "Global Britain" and attempted to seek an opportunity to sign Free Trade Agreements with China and India, but none of which has succeeded. Its relations with the EU are at odds. Britain has fallen into a severe involution. The open divergence between Wilson and Truss mirrors the political decay and mess in the UK," Wang Yiwei, director of the institute of international affairs at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Wang said, "In the age when anti-China Western politicians run amuck, the UK's appointment of Truss as the country's foreign secretary shows that in Britain, a hardline stance against China is its political correctness, rather than practical cooperation and attempts to achieve a win-win result."

As one of the few hardcore US allies, London's foreign policy has also increasingly tagged Washington's, from sending an aircraft carrier to patrol in the South China Sea, to signing AUKUS deal that targets China, not to mention blatant interference in China's internal affairs, such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang. 

Chinese netizens jokingly said this is not Great Britain; this is Little Britain. The Wilson-Truss spat shows that Britain could come up with a more reckless China policy.