Nigel Farage, the British politician and broadcaster, who has led the Brexit Party since 2019, published an opinion article on Newsweek titled, “The Virus is Yet Another Reason to Rethink the West’s Relationship With China.” The following are excerpts from his article.
I believe that attention should now turn to China. When President Trump has talked about the “Chinese virus” (others have called it the “Wuhan Virus”) he has been met with waves of criticism and accusations of racism. In the House of Commons, the shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry even said of Trump: “Now he’s calling it the foreign virus, blaming it on Europe for its spread and today blaming China.” I hate to break it to Ms Thornberry, but Trump is right. And it is time we all challenged China.
Isn’t it time we in the West had a grown-up conversation about China, beginning with the truth that several layers of the regime—from sanitary inspectors to secret police— are responsible for this nightmare? Isn’t this the moment when we need to remind ourselves that China is a deeply unpleasant communist dictatorship, a surveillance society that executes thousands of its own people every year? We all need to examine our attitude to the Beijing regime. For too long, no global leader dared to say a word against it, much less adopt a remotely conditional approach to engaging with the regime. The priorities of globalization have been deemed far too important for human rights to even be considered. This is plain wrong.
The Left screams and shouts about Trump and, indeed, about anybody it perceives as being on the Right. We are all smeared as racists, fascists and homophobes. These days many of us are classed as transphobic, too. But while the Left is happy to pummel us into submission on so many subjects, they barely say a word about China. What about the oppression of Chinese Muslims? What about Tibet? Perhaps Emily Thornberry would do better by attacking President Xi rather than Donald Trump.
Ironically, the Serbian leader Alexander Vucic has been complaining this week that the EU won’t help his country and praising his new best friend, President Xi, who has apparently offered to step into the breach. Similarly, Italy has been happy to receive a helping hand from China, in the form of medical supplies. It would be nice if these acts of assistance would be accompanied by at least some admission of responsibility for allowing the situation to escalate in the first place, but one can hardly blame the Serbs and especially the Italians for taking help where they can find it. Still, this global crisis is as good a time as any to set ourselves the goal of recalibrating our relationship with this murderous autocracy that has brought the world such misery.
The West’s supply chains have become too dependent on China. To see China now exploiting a crisis that they have caused to spread their influence further and deeper into Europe should send a chill down our spines. If nothing else, Boris Johnson must see that his decision to invite the Chinese firm Huawei to build Britain’s 5G network is the wrong one. I have pointed out before that many members of our big business class, of the civil service, and indeed of our political class are increasingly in the pay of China. They ought to take their noses out of the trough and have a think. Their financial wellbeing is not above the good of our nation. The political correctness which their business deals engender means we are not able to speak the truth openly about a crisis like this one. This is highly corrosive.
I have no ill-will against the Chinese people whatsoever; nor against Chinese doctors battling the pandemic in Wuhan, nor against Chinese scientists working shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues around the world to break the code of the disease. But the fact remains that China is an ideological state with its own long-term purpose in mind, and President Xi—now in a totally commanding position in Chinese society—is not our friend.
Related posting on Chinascope:
Source: Newsweek, March 18, 2020