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POLITICIANS calling for Boris Johnson to lead international opposition to a new security law in Hong Kong should realise that “Britain’s empire in the Far East is dead,” Communist Party leader Robert Griffiths warned today.
Seven former foreign secretaries — David Owen, Malcolm Rifkind, Jack Straw, Margaret Beckett, David Miliband, William Hague and Jeremy Hunt — wrote to incumbent Dominic Raab urging the formation of an “international contact group” to co-ordinate a Western intervention in the Chinese territory, supposedly along the lines of the group set up in 1994 to intervene in the wars that broke up the former Yugoslavia.
But Mr Griffiths called them “backward-looking” and said politicians ought to realise that Britain no longer holds colonial control of Hong Kong.
“The hypocrisy of their confected outrage is staggering — one can only imagine their response had a gang of violent protesters broken into the Commons chamber and smashed it up,” he told the Morning Star, in a reference to Hong Kong rioters’ assault on the territory’s Legislative Assembly last year.
“Even more ominous is their veiled threat to plunge China into the same division and destruction which British, US and Nato intervention fomented in the former Yugoslavia.”
And Stop the War Coalition national officer Chris Nineham said that Britain should not seek to lead international opposition to China on the issue.
“Britain has long been the most loyal servant of US foreign policy,” he told the Morning Star. “Our government remains one of Trump’s closest allies and Trump is currently engaged in a campaign of extremely dangerous provocations against the Chinese government, including military escalation.
“The fact that Britain formerly ran Hong Kong as a colony is a reason for disengagement not involvement.”
The push for Britain to line up behind US President Donald Trump’s anti-China offensive has been backed by Labour shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy, who has called on Mr Raab not to let Chinese actions “go unchallenged” and echoed US hostility to any role for Chinese tech giant Huawei in building Britain’s 5G network.
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