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ICC Note: It was hoped that perhaps the U.K. would take a more principled stand against China because of the human rights abuses being committed there now.  But economic interests of both the U.S. and the U.K. appear to have overruled any misgivings about China’s human rights record. 

By Xin Lin

10/21/2015 China (Radio Free Asia)

As Chinese President Xi Jinping clinched investment deals worth some U.S.$30 billion on his state visit to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, rights activists hit out at the British government for going back on its own principles and ignoring the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing crackdown on rights lawyers and ethnic minorities.

“If the U.K. is going to totally ignore the ever-worsening rights situation that we have at the moment in China, then that will cause a fundamental conflict with its principles as a democratic country,” U.S.-based Chinese legal scholar Teng Biao said.

He said focusing on the economic benefits of warmer ties wasn’t a wise move.

“The Chinese economy is built on unjust foundations, and its infringement of civil liberties will damage the interests of the whole world, including those of the U.K.,” Teng said.

He said Xi is a different sort of president from his predecessors.

“He is much more ambitious, and he has a lot more power concentrated in his hands,” Teng said. “He is very likely to turn China into a fascist country with Chinese characteristics.”

London-based academic Xu Yi agreed, echoing other commentators’ comparisons on Tuesday with the appeasement policies towards the Nazi regime in Germany before World War II.

While human rights protesters have made an appearance during Xi’s trip, their protests have largely been eclipsed by pro-Xi protesters, who were seen waving identical banners from a supply bearing the diplomatic bag address of the Chinese embassy in London, local media reported.

According to the Hong Kong-based Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, at least 293 lawyers, law firm staff, human rights activists and family members have been detained, questioned by police, forbidden to leave the country, held under residential surveillance, or are simply missing.

While many have since been released, 31 remain under criminal detention, enforced ‘disappearance’ or residential surveillance, with the majority being held in unknown locations, the group said.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress representing the interests of the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uyghur group in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, said the Uyghur community was “disappointed” by Xi’s regal reception in Britain.

And Cameron’s former policy adviser Steve Hilton hit out at the prime minister for failing to confront Xi over human rights and cybersecurity concerns.

“This is one of the worst national humiliations we’ve seen since we went cap in hand to the IMF in the 1970s,” Hilton, who left Downing Street in 2012, told the BBC, in a reference to the 1976 debt crisis prompting a loan request to the International Monetary Fund.

“The truth is that China is a rogue state just as bad as Russia or Iran, and I just don’t understand why we’re sucking up to them rather than standing up to them as we should be,” Hilton said.

[Full Story]