- By Mustafa Osmanić
The world superpower China, a 1.4 billion strong nation, hyper productive, technologically advanced and economically dominant. Cameron’s feeble attempts to bully-boy President Xi
China’s President Xi commences an official state visit to the UK, signing deals to fund many UK industries including a £multi-billion, nuclear energy infrastructure for the UK, creating 25’000 British jobs. But many in the UK are unhappy. Delusions of grandiose gripped Prince Charles who refused to attend the state dinner as well as the hundreds of protesters, demonstrating against the visit over China’s cheap steel prices.
Chinese tourist enjoy high standards of living in China and high incomes, spending some £3’000 on an average shopping trip in the UK, well over 400% of any other nation’s tourists. China is more productive, more efficient and cheaper than the UK when it comes to the steel industry, a fact lost on many. The protests nonsensical, calls to abandon billions of pounds of investment and trade because our industry is no efficient enough. Even if the British workers took no wage the efficiency of the UK steel industry means Britain could still not match China’s prices.
But demonstrations from Prince Charles and the public fail to see that a small Arctic island nation of 53 million (England) is not an equal partner to the 1.4 billion strong Chinese super power. Proportionately the UK stands to benefit a lot more from China’s deals, leaving many questioning on who’s terms are negotiations taking place when only one party actually needs the trade.
President Xi Jinping began his state visit to Britain with a political show of strength, as the Chinese embassy filled the Mall with thousands of supporters kitted out with T-shirts and flags, outnumbering and drowning out small numbers human rights protesters in a sea of red.
Speaking to parliament, the Chinese president promised a bright future for UK-Chinese relations, saying the fates of the two countries were “increasingly interdependent”. In an address more heavily loaded with aphorisms than substance, Xi steered away from geopolitics while making clear that his government would not take lectures on democracy from the UK of all nations.
In his 11-minute speech, Xi acknowledged that he was addressing the “mother of parliaments”, dating back to the 13th century, but added: “In China, the concept of putting people first and following the rule of law emerged in ancient times.” He noted that one Chinese legal charter went back 2,000 years.
President Xi left parliament in no doubt as to who the super power is.
Thousands crowded the surrounding grounds of Buckingham palace to welcome President Xi with the sea of red supporters 6 deep vastly outnumbering the hand full of anti-china demonstrators. Many feeling it is better to befriend and trade with the super power than attack them over issues many see as hypocritical given the UK’s own shady track record of international and domestic policies and actions.