With Xi Jinping soon to land on UK soil, politicians from both the China and the UK have begun lavishing compliments upon each other, throwing around terms like “visionary” and “golden era.”
Britain has said it is determined to roll out “the reddest of red carpets” for the Chinese President. Ahead of Xi’s arrival, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the two countries are set for a “golden era” of cooperation.
Chancellor George Osborne has made it clear that questions regarding human rights and political freedom will not be voiced in public, with Xi’s visit seen as an opportunity to improve diplomatic, but most importantly economic ties between the two countries.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair also crawled out of the woodwork to give his two cents on proceedings: “I expect President Xi’s visit will strengthen the relationships still further between Britain and China at the political level, at the economic level and at the people-to-people level.”
In return Xi Jinping has spoken equally as kindly of the UK, praising Britain as “visionary” for stating that “it will be the Western country that is most open to China.” At times like this we are reminded of the letter Emperor Qianlong sent to King George in 1793 after the failed Macartney Mission. All he wants is Britain’s submission.
But the love-in isn’t being embraced by all. The Financial Times reports that China hands at the Foreign Office are not pleased by the act of kowtow. “We will just have to hold our noses,” said one official as he contemplated a week in which Mr Xi will be feted in London and Manchester.
To cap off the strange mood of the occasion, the People’s Daily has put out another propaganda video, very different from its previous one released prior to Xi’s arrival in the US which asked people their opinions about the Chinese President.
Instead, this one tells the story of the wonderfully harmonious relations between the peoples of China and the UK in a piece entitled: “China in every walk of lives in the UK.”