Seems the Chinese Ambassador is none too pleased with Tower Hamlets residents as the row over building the new Chinese embassy in Mint Street escalates.
The argument is way past the throwing toys out of the pram stage as the Chinese government is now threatening to interfere with plans for the UK diplomatic mission in Bejing.
Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China has a very long job title and is very annoyed with Tower Hamlets.
The length of his job title is nothing to do with borough residents, him being annoyed is everything to do with borough residents and councillors.
A simple story
The reason for the upset is very simple. The UK Chinese Embassy wants to relocate to a new site where the Royal Mint used to be which is fine – as long as the People’s Republic of China starts treating Uyghur Muslims and the residents of Hong Kong properly.
Sounds fair to Moley. How about you? Exactly.
Trouble is Liu Xiaoming does not quite see it that way and after an exchange of letters between him and Mayor Biggs the People’s Republic of China is extremely annoyed.
This is how the Chinese Ambassador responded to the Mayor’s letter.
‘The so-called “arbitrary detention”, “widespread surveillance”, “restrictions of cultural and religious freedoms”, “forced labour” and “sterilisation” are all lies fabricated by a few irresponsible politicians and media from the West.’
That would be the Enquirer then and every publication on the planet then.
Moley was hoping he might get called an ‘Imperialist running dog’ just to find out what a ‘running dog’ is. He has always wondered. (This is the Wikipedia definition. if you are interested. Woof!)
The letter goes on….
The National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR
‘This Law was enacted to plug the legal loopholes for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong. It targets a few “Hong Kong independence” and violent elements who gravely undermine national security. It does not affect the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong SAR or the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people.’
Is this guy taking the mickey?
Tonight Cllr. Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat, Shadwell) and Cllr. Peter Golds (Conservative, Island Gardens) at LBTH Council will submit a formal motion on the issue which has the backing of Mayor Biggs.
Motion regarding the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China and the situation in Hong KongMotion-regarding-the-treatment-of-Uyghur-Muslims-in-China
You can watch Council for Wednesday, 18th November 2020 at 7:00pm via the Tower Hamlets Council live webcast.
The Mayor’s letter to the Chinese Ambassador was very polite and straightforward.
The treatment of Uighur Muslims and the situation in Hong Kong
‘We are an open, tolerant and welcoming borough and we want to be good partners and support good relationships but we, and many of our residents, are very concerned about the reports from Xinjiang and we would be failing in our duty if we did not raise these matters with you.’
Sounds fair, no?
The East End would be honoured to welcome the Chinese Embassy to our community and would be privileged to have the UK representative of such a great nation in our midst.
We love Chinese people and their culture and of course Limehouse was the original Chinatown so our connections go back many years.
But we cannot and will not stand idly by and ignore the way this world superpower treats the Uyghur Muslims in mainland China and the way Hong Kong residents are being treated.
In 1936 the people of the East End took to the streets and stopped Oswald Mosley’s fascists from invading our community at the Battle of Cable Street.
The irony is that according to our local historian Ray Newton the Battle of Cable Street actually took place in Mint Street which leads into Cable Street.
The Battle of Mint Street begins
So it is ironic that the People’s Republic of China wants to build its new UK embassy in Mint Street.
Note: Cllr. Andrew Wood (Independent, Canary Wharf) came up with the brilliant idea of renaming a road by the embassy ‘Tiananmen Square’ some time ago. Has to be done.
Our protests against the persecution of Uyghur Muslims and Hong Kong residents is already seeing signs of success as media outlets across the world give this cause the publicity it deserves.
The people of the East End will not back down. This evening a motion will be presented at the Cabinet meeting of Tower Hamlets Council.
Planning permission has not yet been granted for the Chinese Embassy and we can see no reason why it should.
David Chipperfield Architects
David Chipperfield Architects has been given the contract to design the embassy. We hope they would consider the morality of undertaking this work.
If planning permission is granted then residents will proceed to peaceful protests around the Mint Street site itself.
Traditional East End welcome
Protesting injustice is in the blood of everyone in the East End. Or as Cllr. Peter Golds so eloquently put it in the Daily Mail…
Sorry about that China! Sorry!