Asia Unhedged was amused by the musings of Nigel Inkster, former director of operations and intelligence for the Special Intelligence Service, MI6 on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Britain this week.

While British Chancellor George Osborne extolled Xi’s visit as a bilateral opportunity to “stick together and make a golden decade for both our countries,” Inkster voiced a different view.

“China is a country that deals in hard power and it’s a country that’s never been shy about pursuing its own self interest. If the UK demonstrates any vulnerabilities, these will likely be taken advantage of,” Inkster said. He warns that vigilance is appropriate.

Scene from the First Opium War

Hmm … a certain amount of time has passed, but isn’t this exactly what formerly “Great” Britain did to China in the fabled Opium Wars of the 19th Century? Not to beat a long-dead, and now stinky horse — but many in Britain’s former colonial possessions might have a word to say about his Britannic majesty’s pursuit of hard power, national self-interest and taking advantage of other countries. What about the millions of Chinese who became addicted to the sap of the Indian poppy at a time when China paid the price of commercial vulnerability?

While President Xi isn’t exactly known for his tender touch in world affairs, Asia Unhedged points out that he hasn’t arrived in the sceptered isle carrying casks of opium under his arm. Prime Minister David Cameron says Xi has brought 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) in deals and investment as part of his visit. The deals are expected to create 3,900 jobs in the UK, in sectors including the creative industries, retail, energy, health and technology, financial services, aerospace and education.

But spookmaster Inkster is unmoved. He expressed concern over “a propensity on the part of some areas of the UK government to see China as little more than a giant hypermarket, to which we can export clones of Eton and Dulwich College and the kind of Burberry rainwear that few British nationals would ever wear.”

Yes, Mr. Inkster — this is clearly a crime against humanity. Little Chinese boys in black Eaton top hats and Chinese wearing Burberry rainwear that few British nationals would ever wear. Whatever is the world coming to?

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

Join the Conversation

13 Comments

  1. I do like the way you have presented this specific situation plus it does offer me personally some fodder for consideration. However, through everything that I have personally seen, I simply just wish as the feedback pile on that men and women remain on issue and don’t embark upon a tirade of some other news du jour. All the same, thank you for this exceptional point and while I can not really concur with it in totality, I respect the point of view.

  2. Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I am writing to make you understand of the beneficial encounter my wife’s princess went through viewing your webblog. She even learned several pieces, which include what it is like to have an awesome teaching style to let men and women completely learn about specific complicated subject areas. You undoubtedly exceeded visitors’ expected results. Many thanks for churning out these warm and helpful, safe, revealing as well as unique tips on this topic to Jane.

  4. I’m really impressed with your writing talents as smartly as with the layout to your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it your self? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

  5. Hi my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and include almost all significant infos. I would like to peer more posts like this .

  6. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks for every other informative site. The place else could I get that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a venture that I’m simply now operating on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *