Magazine article The Spectator

Letters

Magazine article The Spectator

Letters

Article excerpt

China's foreign policy Sir: As Hillary Clinton just stated, China and Russia 'neutered' the UN by vetoing the sanctions on Syria. Russia did it because Syria is an ally with which it does business. China vetoed because it wants no judgments on how it has mauled its own population since 'Liberation' in 1949.

Beginning with the slaughter of millions of landlords in the early Fifties, through the persecutions of the Great Leap, the Cultural Revolution, and Tiananmen, not to mention the suppression of Uighurs and Tibetans, Beijing never shrinks from internal violence.

It is to Foreign Secretary Hague's credit that, like Secretary Clinton, he condemned China's veto. This is almost unheard of in Chinese affairs. It is claimed here and in Washington that Beijing dislikes public criticism - as if everyone else likes it - and prefers straight talking 'behind the screen'. This is a Western conceit that permits no condemnation, ever, as in the recent meeting here between Prime Minister Cameron and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Although Beijing did not veto the Libyan action, it is unlikely it will come right on Syria. After all, it is keeping in prison for 11 years the Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who said at his trial that in China words alone are crimes.

Jonathan Mirsky London W11 Knight moves Sir: Toby Young (Status Anxiety, 4 February) makes an interesting observation that both parties have taken the populist view by supporting the removal of Fred Goodwin's knighthood. Surely the coalition could have made better political capital out of insisting he kept his gong? It would serve as a reminder of the folly of the previous Labour government's 'light touch' financial regulation.

Lest we forget, this laissez-faire stance resulted in city institutions making supranormal profits, which were taxed by a gleeful Treasury. The proceeds were then liberally spent on enlarging the state to unsustainable levels. No, Sir Fred he should remain: a reminder of the greed and complicity of the Blair and Brown governments.

Hugo Machin Director, Global REITS, AMP Capital Brookfield, London W1 Help needed Sir: In the issue dated 28 January, a note at the bottom of my article ('Give - and you shall receive') gave the impression that I was paying for the transformation of Auckland LETTERS Age of the porter Sir: Rory Sutherland (The Wiki Man, 4 29 February) asks why humanity landed on the moon before inventing the wheeled suitcase. …

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