By Siukei Cheung
Image credit: @drnik.
In a scathing editorial, the Global Times makes clear that Britain, with a floundering economy scarce recovered from recent economic crises and headed towards a triple dip recession, is not in a position to negotiate with China on political or moral grounds.
The editorial reprimands Britain for its hardline diplomatic relations with China, though it spares prime minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne for indicating a willingness to cooperate on economic grounds.
“China has more leverage than Britain has in their bilateral relations. China cultivating more contacts with separatists in Northern Ireland and Scotland would make London quite uncomfortable. China’s GDP is close to that of Germany’s, France’s and Britain’s combined. If Britain and China start competing over who can be tougher against the other, can Britain be the winner?”
The article claims that the Chinese government was particularly “bothered” by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and foreign secretary William Hague, who have remained staunchly unapologetic for the prime minister’s meeting with the Dalai Lama last May.
Clegg and Hague are said to be wasting time by supporting such a “cheap trick of politicians, media and state leaders.” The article continues that “once China adopts political and economic counter measures, they can hardly bear the suffering.”
Though China’s leaders officially ceased contact with Britain since the meeting with the Dalai Lama, the freeze-out has been compounded by William Hague’s reticence towards visiting China, ever. The last occasion being almost three years ago in July 2010 and lasting just one day.