UK Ambassador’s Condolences on Death of Former CCP Leader Met With Mixed Reactions

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The British ambassador’s connection of condolences pursuing the decease of erstwhile Chinese person Jiang Zemin, which made references to the precocious Queen Elizabeth II and the gathering of the two, was met with mixed reactions.

One China adept said it’s “absurd and distasteful” that comparisons were made betwixt the Queen and “a brutal dictator,” portion different said the Twitter station was “a exemplary of sobriety and diplomatic practice.”

But the China watchers were agreed connected the appraisal of Jiang’s legacy, which they said indispensable see his run to eradicate the adherents of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong.

Jiang, former leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), roseate to powerfulness successful 1989, weeks after the then-paramount person Deng Xiaoping sent tanks and troops to crush pro-democracy pupil protesters gathering astatine Tiananmen Square successful Beijing, replacing Zhao Ziyang, who was sympathetic to the pupil demonstrators.

During his tenure, Jiang often touted his achievements, including bringing Hong Kong backmost from British regularisation successful 1997 and enrolling the state into the World Trade Organization (WTO) successful 2001. His engagement with Western governments besides gave him the estimation of a somewhat progressive and colourful character.

Epoch Times Photo Police detain a Falun Gong practitioner successful Tiananmen Square arsenic a assemblage watches successful Beijing connected Oct. 1, 2000. (Chien-min Chung/AP Photo)

However, what Jiang ne'er mentioned was the galore Chinese dissidents who were enactment down bars. The suppression reached a caller precocious successful the summertime of 1999 erstwhile helium launched a run to “eradicate” Falun Gong wrong 3 months.  The run remains ongoing to this day.

An autarkic people’s tribunal chaired by the salient British barrister and justice Sir Geoffrey Nice KC successful 2019 recovered that Falun Gong practitioners had been and continued to beryllium the main radical of victims killed for their organs. Evidence emerged successful caller years suggesting the Uyghurs and different taste minorities person besides go victims of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting.

According to World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, a erstwhile elder People’s Liberation Army authoritative successful 2014 alleged that Jiang gave the archetypal order to nonstop organs from Falun Gong adherents.

The erstwhile CCP person died successful Shanghai connected Nov. 30, aged 96, according to Chinese authorities media.

The UK’s ambassador Caroline Wilson posted a connection connected Twitter connected the pursuing day, offering condolences implicit Jiang’s decease connected the UK’s behalf.

Epoch Times Photo Undated handout photograph issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of Caroline Wilson, who has been appointed arsenic the caller ambassador to China, taking implicit the relation successful September 2020. (FCO via PA Media)

“China is mourning Jiang Zemin,” Wilson wrote. “Born similar Queen Elizabeth II successful 1926, the 2 met successful 1986 connected Her State Visit. The archetypal Chinese person to sojourn the UK, erstwhile President Jiang oversaw the instrumentality of Hong Kong & China’s introduction into WTO. The UK offers its condolences.”

The Twitter station was accompanied by 2 photos featuring the two—one taken successful Shanghai during the Queen’s authorities sojourn successful October 1986, erstwhile Jiang accompanied her arsenic the mayor, and 1 taken astatine the Chinese embassy successful London during Jiang’s authorities sojourn successful October 1999.

Mixed Reactions

Benedict Rogers, Epoch Times contributor and co-founder and lawman president of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said it’s “both absurd and distasteful” to marque immoderate examination “between a brutal dictator and our much-loved Queen.”

In an email to The Epoch Times, Rogers said galore parts of China person “no crushed to mourn,” adding, “The British ambassador should beryllium much cautious and little subservient to the CCP successful her tweets successful future.”

In a abstracted connection connected Jiang’s legacy, Rogers said Jiang was “no progressive.”

“Let america not whitewash the information that Jiang has humor connected his hands and his bequest is 1 of repression arsenic overmuch arsenic it is of economical advancement,” helium said.

Lord Alton of Liverpool, besides a vocal advocate for quality rights, said successful an email to The Epoch Times, “Jiang Zemin’s epitaph and immoderate appraisal of his beingness is incomplete if it makes nary notation to his barbaric bid to ‘eradicate’ Falun Gong ‘by immoderate means possible.’

“The brutality of his ideology has inflicted large suffering connected millions of radical which the niceties of diplomacy cannot ignore,” the crossbench adjacent said.

Alton and the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission were sanctioned by the Chinese authorities past twelvemonth for highlighting the quality rights atrocities successful Xinjiang, which was determined to beryllium genocide by the Uyghur Tribunal, U.S. government, UK Parliament, and a fig of legislatures successful Europe and North America.

Epoch Times Photo (L-R) Lord David Alton of Liverpool, erstwhile Hong Kong pro-democracy District Councillor Timothy Hin-Long Lee, planetary quality rights campaigner and Head of Global Magnitsky Justice run Bill Browder, and pro-democracy activists Venus and Francis astatine a Stand With Hong Kong study motorboat successful Parliament successful Westminster, London, connected Nov. 14, 2022. (V/The Epoch Times)

Roger Garside, a erstwhile diplomat who doubly served successful Beijing, argued Wilson’s connection was “the minimum that could and should beryllium said by a UK authoritative representative.”

The tweet was not a judgment, but stated “three facts which are each important to the United Kingdom and it does truthful successful wholly neutral terms,” the subordinate chap of overseas argumentation deliberation vessel Henry Jackson Society told The Epoch Times.

“It doesn’t praise Jiang’s grounds successful immoderate way, it doesn’t connection heavy condolences, specified arsenic different messages astatine this clip from different countries person done,” helium said, referring to a round-up of condolences connected the Chinese regime’s authorities website, featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Czech President Milos Zeman, respective leaders from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Garside besides emphasised the information that the connection was issued successful the sanction of the ambassador, not the British authorities arsenic would beryllium expected if it was the decease of former person of a adjacent ally.

“And it is, I would say, the minimum that could and should beryllium said by a UK authoritative typical successful this message,” helium said, “I deliberation it’s a exemplary of sobriety and diplomatic practice, peculiarly erstwhile compared to statements issued connected behalf of galore different governments.”

However, Garside said, the UK and its allies “should ne'er person accorded Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin, “the honour of a authorities visit” aft the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, adding that helium recovered it “repulsive” that immoderate person of the world’s largest Communist Party should beryllium invited either to code the UK Parliament oregon beryllium entertained by the Queen astatine the Buckingham Palace, referring to the authorities visits of Jiang and currently Chinese person Xi Jinping.

In 2015, Xi was invited to code Parliament during his authorities sojourn to the UK, opening the curtain of a alleged “golden-era” of the Sino-British relationship, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared was implicit past month.

Commenting connected Jiang’s legacy, Garside besides said immoderate appraisal of his relation successful past should notation that helium played a starring relation successful the persecution of Falun Gong.

Jiang “must person been good aware” of forced organ harvesting arsenic helium “initiated and led the horrific persecution of Falun Gong,” helium said.

The West ‘Failed to Recognize’

Looking backmost astatine Western Democracies’ strategy of engaging with the Chinese authorities successful the decades since 1979, Garside said helium believes that successive governments successful the UK, the United States, and their allies person “failed to onslaught the close balance” betwixt short-term economical gains and the defence of their democratic values and cosmopolitan quality rights.

“They fostered the complacent presumption that accrued commercialized and concern would automatically pb to betterment successful the argumentation of the Communist Party of China connected quality rights. They failed to admit the totalitarian quality of the regime,” helium said.

Asked what the close equilibrium is going forward, Garside doesn’t judge it makes consciousness to effort “completely decoupling crossed the board,” but said, “we person to judge that determination volition beryllium abbreviated word fiscal outgo successful presumption of commercialized and concern to giving owed value to our information interests.”

“The alternate is overmuch much damaging successful the agelong term, some to our governmental interests and economical interests,” helium said. “Because our economies volition lone flourish successful a steadfast mode if we person the close governmental framework—the regularisation of law, autarkic judiciary, state of expression.”

Commenting connected Sunak’s recent statement of the Chinese authorities arsenic the “biggest state-based menace to our economical security,” Garside said the authorities besides poses a menace to the UK’s governmental values, citing the CCP’s sanctioning of individuals, countries, and publishers for criticising its quality close grounds oregon publishing contented unacceptable to the authorities and its “long-term and precise palmy strategy” of undermining U.N. bodies specified arsenic the Human Rights Council.

“You can’t abstracted retired the two, and China doesn’t separate. The Chinese Communist Party doesn’t abstracted retired authorities and economics. It regards them arsenic intimately linked, and we should bash the same. And if that means educating our colonisation amended connected these matters past the authorities should instrumentality a pb successful that,” helium said.

Frank Fang contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Irish-based newsman focusing connected UK news. Lily archetypal joined the Chinese variation of The Epoch Times earlier turning her absorption connected the UK successful 2020. Contact Lily astatine [email protected]