Jeremy Corbyn to challenge Chinese President Xi Jinping on human rights in one-on-one meeting | UK Politics | News | The Independent

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the left-leaning UK Independent, Jeremy Corbyn will meet the Chinese President this week to raise the case of Liu Xiaobo, the only Nobel Prize-winner in the world under house arrest, and to call for the release of imprisoned human rights lawyers.  The Independent claims that the Labour leader had threatened to use a white-tie state banquet on Tuesday evening to raise human rights concerns with President Xi Jinping, prompting British and Chinese officials to quickly arrange a one-to-one meeting.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn to challenge Chinese President Xi Jinping on human rights in one-on-one meeting | UK Politics | News | The Independent

Clearly, David Cameron and George Osborne are careful not to embrass President Xi during his state visit with focus on human rights in China. Osborne has decided that Chinese gifts are moe important than other issues (see the excellent NYT article that suggests that the UK is putting commerce ahead of national security).

BUT Jeremy Corbyn, love him or loathe him, is currently the leader of the UK’s Labour Party. Corbyn may be a dangerous loose canon but his potential intervention is a power play. I bet David Cameron and George Osborne are seething.

Let me ask two open question:

Is it right to muzzle Corbyn? If so, how should it be done effectively?

Thoughts?

Britain to Put Commerce With China First in President Xi Jinping’s State Visit – The New York Times

Xi Jinping 习近平

Xi Jinping 习近平 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the NYT, the British government has been criticized by many for putting commercial interests ahead of other concerns, including human rights, cybersecurity and China’s growing territorial ambitions. This is a carefully targeted article that concludes that Britain is putting commerce ahead of national security.

Source: Britain to Put Commerce With China First in President Xi Jinping’s State Visit – The New York Times

Personally, I think that the NYT article has touched an important nerve. National security has been savaged under George Osborne‘s austerity regime. Also Osborne’s defacto status as Deputy Prime Minister has allowed him to subordinate foreign policy in favor of short-term interests. Cameron and Osborne have often been criticized in lacking strategic vision, other than reducing Britain’s borrowing. Now we have witnessed a significant policy shift by Osborne in favor of China.

This week there will be much focus on the benefits of a closer Britain and China. Eventually, more serious commentators will follow the NYT’s lead and explore the opportunity costs and the risks of the policy shift.

Let me ask an open question:

Given the UK’s EU referendum, should there now be greater public scrutiny of the policy shift towards China?

Thoughts?