Hands up who was taught about the sacking of the Summer Palace at school… It’s OK, I can wait… Anyone? No? Nor was I. This may seem like an odd question, but please bear with me.
I wanted to write this piece to illustrate to people who may be wondering just why it is that I remain unafraid of the rise of China, and feel that the mainstream Western media’s portrayal of China as a behemoth is rather a dangerous position to take. Obviously I don’t mean it’s dangerous because the Chinese are dangerous; what I mean is that the more we wilfully misunderstand the Chinese as a nation and as a people, the worse the situation will become, and the wider the gap between us will end up being. Our British politicians are not doing a great job at diplomacy when it comes to meeting the Chinese. The whole Hinkley-C issue is the perfect illustration of how easy it is to fuck things up if you don’t know what you’re doing. I understand perfectly well that diplomats are trained in what to say and how to behave, but this is why it is even more of a mystery to me how, at least when it comes to the Chinese, they still manage to get it so wrong, so often. Read More