HOW far does a country have to sink before we decide to take action in one form or another?
A new Trade Bill is being bedevilled by accusations of appalling human rights’ abuses and even genocide in China, with the Government, understandably, reluctant to have its hands tied.
However, there’s strong support on both sides of the House to ask British courts to determine genocide, the Government then having a free hand to take what action it deems appropriate.
A muddled fudge was pushed through the House this week, which failed to satisfy many of us.
This, while human rights’ groups believe that more than a million Uighurs are being used as forced labour, detained in so-called “re-education camps,” tortured, raped and forcibly sterilised.
The Uighur independence movement is being crushed and further squeezed by mass, inward migration of ethnic Chinese.
The situation is so serious that the US has formally accused China of genocide.
If all this wasn’t bad enough, China appears less and less inclined to observe the rules we all live by.
In January, their navy was reported conducting provocative military exercises in the South China Sea, close to disputed Taiwan.
Last month, 3 million British national overseas passport holders in Hong Kong lost their freedoms when the Chinese abrogated a joint treaty guaranteeing them until 2047.
And, here in Britain, we are unravelling China’s deep involvement in our telecommunications, universities, former military assets and power supplies.
Trade is of course the lifeblood of every nation, but not at any price, and China continues to push the boundaries.
As our country remains ravaged by Covid-19, it’s time to re-assess our relationship with China.