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Home > Politics

Oh, Mr Hu

11 November 2005

This week in China, three Christians were imprisoned and fined for printing and distributing Bibles. Charged with 'illegal business practices', and falsely accused of having sold these bibles, the three Christians in question are most probably thanking their God as we speak that they weren't executed. Not that they deserved to be executed of course. God, no. Just that, that's China's style. China likes nothing more than to kill people it doesn't care for. So much so that between ten and fifteen thousand people are executed in China every year. As if that weren't enough, there's also torture, and Tibet, and censorship, and bird flu. Under these circumstances, you'd think that China's president, Hu Jintau would be so shunned in international circles that he'd make Robert Mugabe look like David Walliams. And yet, when he came to London this week, Tony Blair did everything but buff his tiny glans with his tonsils. Although who knows what happened behind closed doors?

Ironically, whilst Blair was painting the town red in honour of Mr Hu, his other special friend, Mr Bush, was having private meetings with the Dalai Lama. This of course, was part of the build-up to Bush's own visit to Beijing in just over a week's time. Also part of the build-up was the press conference he gave to a round table of Asian journalists on Tuesday. During this meeting, Bush said, 'I will continue to remind President Hu about, for example, my personal faith and the belief that people should be allowed to worship freely. And a vibrant, whole society is one that recognizes that certain freedoms are inherent and need to be part of a complete society.' Blah blah blah blah.

Blah blah Blair came out with similar guff before Mr Hu strolled into town on Tuesday. As did Charles Kennedy and everyone else due to meet him. However, nothing appears to have come of it. Hu moved on to Berlin yesterday with his photo frames and jewellery box from the Queen, with whom he and his wife lodged, and there wasn't a single mention of the very real progress made in terms of maybe diluting China's attitude towards censoring and murdering those who do not wholeheartedly toe the Communist Party line.

Could it be that Mr Blair, Mr Bush et al really don't give that much of a finger of fudge for the murdered and tortured, for Tibet or Tiawan, or indeed for anything else apart from... well, you know. Which brings us to the good news, the reason that Mr Hu's visit was a great success. Contracts worth 783m have been signed with Lloyds of London, Rolls Royce, Airbus and engineering and design consultancy Arup, who are working together with Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation 'on the integrated masterplanning for the world's first sustainable city'. Good-oh.

It wasn't all red light and carpets for Mr Hu however. There were also hordes of protesters following his every move. Mr Hu ignored them. Happily for Hu, so did everybody else. On Wednesday night there were hundreds of them gathered at London's Guildhall where Mr Hu was welcomed to the plushest of banquets by Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Of all people. Mr Hu made a speech to the 700 guests in attendance. It is said that shortly after he spoke the words, 'China's growth means more opportunities and a bigger market for the rest of the world', the protesters outside could feel the heat from 1,400 palms being rubbed together in anticipatory glee. He also admitted for the first time that as many as 26 million Chinese people are living in poverty, although he remained tight-lipped about his plans to have them all executed.

Oh, Ken Livingstone was there too, stuffing his face on behalf of London and raising a glass to honour Mr Hu. Cheers. Here's looking at Hu. One of the politest, one of the most powerful, one of the most vicious, inscrutable, murdering little bastards in the world. We salute both you and your money.

Amen. (Sssshhhh.)

Free Tibet.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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