The expansion of China

Western policy towards China in recent years has been to welcome her economic progress, to assist her with technology and markets for exports, and to include her more in world bodies and world discussions. China was admitted to the World Trade Organisation on favourable terms as a developing country. She has a  seat on the Security Council of the UN as a major power.

More recently President Trump has asked questions about China’s approach to trade, investment and technology. He has argued that China has taken advantage of western good will and friendship to cheat on the acquisition of intellectual property. He objects to the asymmetric tariff regime China has been allowed, and has felt their currency has been too cheap to assist their exports. He has become increasingly suspicious of the Made in China 2025 policy which seeks to maximise self sufficiency and to gain access to more crucial technology. He is concerned about China’s Belt and Road initiative, designed to increase Chinese political influence across Asia, Africa and the Middle East through strategic investments and partnerships.

China has mainly used calm and reassuring words to avoid these disputes becoming too heated. China has positioned herself as an upholder of world institutions and world rules, confirming that she is happy with the current trade deal she enjoys from the WTO. At the same time China has become much more aggressive throughout the South China Sea area. She has created artificial islands, extended islands and rocks, built runways for military aircraft on them and installed missile facilities. The USA and her allies are seeking to keep open the international shipping lanes whilst being challenged every time they seek to traverse the seas well off China’s coast.

The UK is supporting her US ally in seeking open navigation of the South China Sea beyond Chinese mainland coastal territorial waters and shares some of the US concerns. The UK is also keen to develop its trading and wider economic relationship with China. China respects UK services and seeks know how and investment from the UK in those areas, whilst enjoying good access to our goods market. The issue is how  should the UK proceed from here?

Is Mr Trump right to confront China over trade matters? What is the solution to the verbal battle of the South China Seas, as US and allied naval vessels are challenged every time they seek to travel in what we regard as international waters?

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124 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    The behaviour of China particularly in the south China seas is indeed very worrying. Yes we and the USA are right to challenge it but are we really in a position to do this effectively?

    “Theresa May’s Alice in Wonderland Brexit will satisfy absolutely no one
    The deal that the Government is edging towards would be a constitutional, practical and electoral calamity” says Allister Heath today and he is surely exactly right.

    So T May has appointed a new cabinet secretary without proper due process. Let us hope he is not as appalling as one would expect of someone chosen by broken compass Theresa. The retiring Jeremy Haywood described his job at the cabinet office was as ‘chief policy advisory to the PM’. Clearly policy from abandon ship Cameron and the daft disingenuous, socialist May for the last 5+ years has been a total disaster. So was this his advice or was he ignored by these two dire PMs? Did he, for example, advise Cameron to instruct the civil service not to prepare at all for a leave vote outcome or was he overruled in this by cast iron Cameron? Did he object if he was overruled or did he just go along with this total negligence and outrage?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Sir Jeremy Heywood (sorry the stupid auto ‘correction’ again).

      Did Heywood also think that sending out the governments, blatantly one sided, leaflet of lies to every home at taxpayer expense, the project fear agenda from Carney and many government departments and the blatant sloping of the pitch to remain by the civil service throughout the referendum was all just dandy? Or was he again overruled by the dire, abandon ship, low tax at heart, cast iron, Cameron?

      • Hope
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Paris agreement and the like allows China to take advantage of the West. Again, it takes Trump to confront with the gutless wonders behind him who have the bare faced cheek to criticise and ondemn him, including May. At least he puts his country first.

        May claimed fair to all, and social justice: look at her honours list, look at appointment of chief of staff and now chief of civil service. Again, she appears unable to stop lying.

        JR, if there is no meaningful vote because Raab side stepped through procedural rules, will this apply to no deal as well? Namely, if there is no deal parliament cannot meaningfully amend it?

        I note former heads of govts from around the world view May/Govt as desperate to get a deal therefore no concessions from Brussels. Which means a bad deal for the UK.

        JRM question was redundant yesterday about ECJ. May has broke all commitments and promises, has he forgot? Her staff being untruthful in advising ministers so they want written assurance by the Attorney General on the meaning for any of her proposals! What does this say about trust in her! May claimed no immigration during her punishment extension, she now wants to extend that with immigration still taking place!

        May is still in bunker mode with her vassal state plan with a limited amount of her trusted advisors, including some ministers, on her side.

        Reply Parliament will vote on what it wants to vote on. A motion however cannot trump or repeal an Act. Parliament has legislated to leave on 29 March 2019, so only new legislation can reverse that.

        • Hope
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          Thanks. How resting to read Tony Abbott’s, frome Australian PM, view on Brexit. How ashamed All current cabinet ministers should be if they read it. What is clear to Abbot is clear to all the world and how embarrassing, for our country, it is for May to behave in such a pitiful subservient way. As Abbot says we do not need Barnier’s permission for anything.

          Pig headed May is a disaster, lacks integrity, no reasonable person can believe a word she says. Each day she remains in office each day your party will be in the worldliness. Many will not come back even if themUK left without a deal, as we All voted for. We voted leave not dependent on a trade deal, punishment extension or to remain in part.

          When will any of you call May out on her dishonest Kitkat policy to hide costs and ties to EU?

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            The ex Aussie premier should keep his nose out just the the ex USA president should have done during the referendum.

            Tony Abbott is right but he should not have said it publicly

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          But it would only need a resolution passed by both Houses to allow a minister to make a regulation amending the exit day specified in the Act, and I can visualise most Tory MPs and peers eagerly voting for such a resolution if Theresa May decided to defer our withdrawal either for a stated period or indefinitely.

          Section 20(1):

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/16/section/20/enacted

          ““exit day” means 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m. (and see subsections (2) to (5));”

          Section 20 (3) and (4):

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/16/section/20/enacted#section-20-2

          … (3) Subsection (4) applies if the day or time on or at which the Treaties are to cease to apply to the United Kingdom in accordance with Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union is different from that specified in the definition of “exit day” in subsection (1).

          (4) A Minister of the Crown may by regulations –

          (a) amend the definition of “exit day” in subsection (1) to ensure that the day and time specified in the definition are the day and time that the Treaties are to cease to apply to the United Kingdom, and

          (b) amend subsection (2) in consequence of any such amendment.”

          So Theresa May could trot off and agree with the EU and the other EU member states that the basic two year period specified in Article 50 shall be extended for however long, and a minister could then use Section 20(4) to change the definition of “exit day”.

          The only legal obstacle would be this in Schedule 7:

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/16/schedule/7/enacted

          “Power to amend the definition of “exit day””

          “14 A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 20(4) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

          I think we’ve already seen enough of Tory MPs and peers before and since the referendum to know that such a resolution could be passed with ease next week, if that is what the party leaders wanted.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      @ Lifelogic,

      “Yes we and the USA..” I like that; parity and the UK one step ahead of its younger brother.. Send the Prince of Wales and the Repulse. No air cover of course.

      • David Price
        Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:23 am | Permalink

        USA and UK naval vessels conduct freedom of navigation operations to affirm international rights in international waters specified by UNCLOS. The recent challenges to Chinese claims was by US, UK and French vessels in combination and individually such as HMS Albion’s patrol in waters near the Paracel islands in August

        Do the Dutch, German or Spanish provide that service for the international community?

        Does the EU actually do anything beneficial for the international community? Dumping agricultural overproduction at below market prices on poor developing countries does not count.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      “The behaviour of China particularly in the south China seas is indeed very worrying. Yes we and the USA are right to challenge it but are we really in a position to do this effectively?”

      Why? Haven’t we done enough damage in the past by interfering in other countries’ affairs? The Iraq war was the latest disaster we inflicted on the Middle East. Did any of them ever interfere in our affairs?

      And Rien Huizer is right when he ridicules your ‘we and the USA’. Hiding behind mummy’s apron strings again. The days of sending a gun boat are thankfully long gone.

      Let’s get our own house in order and leave others to do the same.

  2. Robert
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I am staggered that you have not mentioned the obvious – the 1922 committee.
    I was expecting so much. What went wrong ? I gather that it was managed, at least to some extent. I feel so strongly that the country is being betrayed and now yet another opportunity has passed by. Does T.M. Know the strong feeling in the country? I most certainly feel that it wasn’t represented at last nights fiasco.
    I have voted conservative all my life, as my parents did but now wonder if I will ever be able to again. I despair !

    Reply The meeting was not as described in the press, and nothing changed as a result of the meeting. I did not bill it as a significant meeting, and did not see it as a significant meeting.

    • Peter
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      I can well believe that media coverage was not accurate and that it was another meeting hyped up in advance. The thing that matters is rejecting the Withdrawal Bill.

      Remainers on TV anticipate the Withdrawal Bill by adopting a position that there is nothing acceptable to replace Chequers and its offspring and we will be better off with whatever May has managed to agree.

      Reply It sounds as if the journalists just got the official view of the meeting last night. It was a private meeting with a very range of questions from differing viewpoints. I and others like me saw no need to make it a big occasion or to brief about it.

      • Peter
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        Meanwhile Evan Davis on Newsnight was ranting about talk of denying Europe flights airspace.

        No criticism at all of assorted EU threats about delays at Dover and so on. The chancellors footdragging on funding No Deal preparation was weaponised into a claim we will not be ready for No Deal.

        The underlying message was that everything is the fault of the UK.

        Yes ,I know I should not bother with Newsnight – but sometimes you happen to switch channel and watch a segment from it.

        Reply The planes will fly on 30 March!

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          Peter. Well, I’m still booking my holiday for next year!! The boss of Ryanair has already conceded that a deal will be done over flights etc. Any steps to stop flights would not only affect us but users from all over the world. It would just not be viable.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          Dyson choosing to make electric cars in Singapore is a morale sinker.

          Brexit. Not going well, is it.

          Reply Mr Dyson decided to make things in Malaysia and Singapore years ago when we were fully committed to the EU. Since Brexit vote he has announced a major R and D facility in the UK – a big vote on confidence in Brexit!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            He should make them wherever it is best for the company. Private companies unlike the state sector have to compete in the real world. His R&D is still in the UK.

            The UK government should make the UK rather more competitive by giving us cheap non green crap energy, a bonfire of red tape, easy hire and fire, lower taxes and far, far less government.

          • Nig l
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, the high tec, high value added is done in the U.K, with the low cost production, where we cannot compete, in low cost centres. He has always espoused and to attribute it to Brexit again demonstrates the paucity of the Remain arguement.

          • Richard
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            EFT economist Edgar Miller has a good article today countering the daft car industry scare stories: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/10/25/protectionist-car-lobby-should-not-dictating-terms-brexit-rest/

          • Dennis
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Dyson will have R & D in the UK? All news about his cars in Singapore never mentioned that! Have you complained to the BBC yet?

          • Iain Gill
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            UK is priced out of manufacturing by the extreme anti pollution regulations forcing lots more cost into any attempt to manufacture here, together with the high cost of power as expensive anti pollution kit is mandated into electricity production. Its a political decision at the highest levels to export our pollution to other countries where we import goods from, and does nothing to improve net world pollution.

        • Original Richard
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          The Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, on 18/07/18 talked about banning flights when he warned that British flights could be banned from Irish airspace with a hard border as a result of Brexit. He said :

          “You [the UK] can’t take back your waters and then expect to take back other people’s sky.”

          This is despite Ireland requesting the Royal Air Force to take on the duty of high-end air policing of Ireland’s airspace.

          Reply International flying rights come under the Chicago Convention which is not under the control of the EU

          • Dennis
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            “Reply International flying rights come under the Chicago Convention which is not under the control of the EU”

            Yes but what about landing rights? Details my boy, details.

            Reply Bilateral agreements between states. No state has notified the UK that they wish to cancel them!

        • Dennis
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          The planes will fly – yes but which ones? Probably wrong but I have read that only those British carriers will be grounded – others OK so Ryanair will fly.
          Any truth in that?

          reply No

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Peter

          “The underlying message was that everything is the fault of the UK.”
          ==

          Could that be because ENGLAND (not Scotland or Ireland) voted Brexit, and not our European partners?

      • Alison
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Thinking militarily, can I urge you to remember ambush. I am a big fan. My father deployed it successfully every time against ruthless far eastern opponents in various wars and conflicts. It needs very careful fore-thought, then triple-checking of contingencies and risks. I agree, one big risk is leaks to the media or indeed to others. I am NOT just thinking of 1922 Committee meetings.
        Evidently the 1922 Committee meeting yesterday was very carefully orchestrated by Mrs May’s team, once again organizing attendance to support her, in particular for media purposes.

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I share your sense of despair. May’s agreement with the EU (if achieved) has the potential to replace Michael Foot’s Party Manifesto as “the longest suicide note in history”.

      • Bob
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Mrs May is relying on support from Labour MPs to get her surrender deal through the House of Commons. The Lords is already on side with it, so no problems there.

        This Parliament will in future be referred to as the Quisling Parliament.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      They are just a bunch of paper tigers, for all their huffing and puffing they don’t have the nerve to remove May, even though her negotiations are proving to be disastrous. Tony Abbott ex OZ PM has penned an article in the Spectator, which is pretty damming of our establishment, to pick out a couple a passages….

      “It’s pretty hard for Britain’s friends, here in Australia, to make sense of the mess that’s being made of Brexit. The referendum result was perhaps the biggest-ever vote of confidence in the United Kingdom, its past and its future. But the British establishment doesn’t seem to share that confidence and instead looks desperate to cut a deal, even if that means staying under the rule of Brussels.”

      “After the courage shown by its citizens in the referendum, it would be a tragedy if political leaders go wobbly now. ”

      If our politicians won’t take note of the electorate’s disgust at what is going on, perhaps they might take note of how our friends abroad are seeing it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        I don’t know about the “paper tigers” accusation, given that most Tory MPs have always wanted, and even now most still want, us to stay in the EU; that is to say, they want the UK to remain legally subjugated to the EU, as a party to the EU treaties present and future as they evolve into a full eurofederal constitution, even while telling their constituents the opposite; and while Theresa May has not yet found a way to give the eurofederalist majority in the Tory parliamentary party what she and they really want she has been gradually stepping back from the clean Brexit position she laid out in her Lancaster House speech of January 17 2017, which I suppose in retrospect can be seen as the pinnacle of her faux eurosceptic patriotism.

        • Hope
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          How refreshing it would be if all cabinet ministers were upbeat about leaving the EU like Tony Abbot in his Spectator article. All positive propaganda rathe the. The untrue scare stories sanctioned by May!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        Tony Abbott is one of rather few Oxford PPE graduates who is actually fairly sensible. The exception that proves the rule as they say.

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 26, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic

          Tony Abbott is one of rather few Oxford PPE graduates who is actually fairly sensible. The exception that proves the rule as they say.”
          ==

          According to the Sun-Herald newspaper Abbott’s tactics in student politics were like “an aggressive terrier”.

          One should treat his advice or opinions with extreme care as he was the shortest-serving Australian Prime Minister since William McMahon and was ditched by his own party.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Tony Abbott makes very sensible suggestions. But May’s Government is never going to do anything sensible unless forced to she is wrong on almost everything.

        https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/tony-abbott-how-to-save-brexit/

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Robert

      Theresa May lies again, and is not picked up by our host….is there no end to this woman’s duplicity and Brexit MP’s ineptitude? It seems the Brexit MP’s “jobsworth” is more important?

      From FACTS4EU https://facts4eu.org/news.s

      ANOTHER MAY-LIE HAS “EMERGED”

      TUSK DROPS MAY IN IT

      Following the latest EU summit, Theresa May ‘emerged’ to tell reporters that “a plan has ‘emerged’” to extend the Transition Period into year two of the next decade.

      We suggest that it was her clear intention to give the impression that the idea had come from the EU.

      Yesterday in the EU Parliament the unelected President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, exploded that notion.

      “Since Prime Minister May mentioned the idea of extending the transition period, let me repeat that if the UK decided that such an extension would be helpful to reach a deal, I’m sure that the leaders would be ready to consider it positively.”

      – Donald Tusk, unelected EU Council President, speaking at EU Parliament, 24 Oct 2018

      In other words: “It was Theresa’s idea and she’ll have to beg if she wants us to agree to it. However we will in the end, because it means you’re checking out…. but never leaving.”

      OBSERVATIONS

      The Prime Minister wanted the British people to believe the extension of the ‘Transition Period’ wasn’t her idea. Well, we think there is some truth in that. The idea probably ‘emerged’ from the real Brexit Secretary, the unelected civil servant Olly Robbins.

      Mrs May nonetheless wanted the British people to believe that the idea of extending their vassalhood to the end of 2021 (and most inevitably beyond) came from the EU.

      Sadly Mr Tusk’s statement to the EU Parliament yesterday proves this to be yet another lie from the Prime Minister.

    • Andy
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      We know what happened last night.

      The Brexit lions led by Rees-Moggy (see what I did there) went into the 1922 meeting determined to roar and bring down their pray.

      They actually curled up on her lap and purred and she stroked them. Good little Englanders.

      We now know that these gutless Brexiteers have accepted Chequers. Chequers IS Brexit. That is what you all voted for.

      Rubbish, isn’t. Fancy another vote?

      Reply This is all completely untrue

      • Andy
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Prey – obviously. iPhone spell check for you. Still pray and Brexit in the same sentence makes sense.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        I did see what you did there, Andy. Very good. I nearly laughed.

    • Dennis
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply – Surely it turned out to be a significant meeting as all participants cheered T May to the rooftops it seems – God’s gift to Brexit. That doesn’t often happen does it? What now?

      Reply No, it was not a significant meeting and it did not unite the party behind Chequers!

      • John Hatfield
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May, however is still Prime Minister and is still being allowed to pursue her intention, against the will of the electorate, to keep Britain in the EU.
        I am at a loss as to how this can be prevented.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    History tells us that proud, arrogant, powerful men, un-restrained by democratic institutions, start wars.

    Have we learnt the important lessons of the last 100 years?

    • Duncan
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      There’s no such thing as men. There are individuals with a male gender. You appear confused by your assertion

      Men is a sociological term devoid of literal meaning. A human being with a male gender is in fact a reality.

      Men and a man are two different things. The former exists in the realms of narrative. The latter in the realms of the real world

      Don’t let the societal obsessed left create another world outside that of the real world.

      There’s the real and then there’s the unreal, political-academic construction that is society

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood,

      That is what some historians tell us. I guess Thucydides may have wrestled with that question already. Wars between modern states (since 1648) tend to start by accident when there are few barriers to international conflict. You may have noticed that the US took the initiative in most post war conflicts it was involved in (usually upon a politcal challenge) as befits a true superpower. However the US never escalated conflict with strong opponents, as befits a superpower too. Perhaps useful to differntiate between minor conflicts between established states (Israel and its neighbors, Falklands, Iran-Iraq) from “interventions (both Gulf wars, Bosnia, Afghanistan (both USSR and NATO at different times) and quasi tribal conflicts: most African wars, civil wars, Bosnia, East-West Pakistan, etc). Korea and Indochina were possibly failed communications between cold war partners (Korea to early on the learning curve, an accident). In all these conflicts personalities played an important role but they were usually also part of institutional and cultural conflicts that had been around for much longer than those people. And historians like to create “cartoon characters” for their high- volume work…

  4. Nig l
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Ask theTibetans and I suspect the Taiwanese in the next 10/15 years or companies that have had their IP rights ignored.

    • Alison
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Not sure if I will pass moderation with this, but Tibet’s mineral resources were immense and extraordinarily valuable. This was a big element in the Chinese invasion in 49/55.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      The problem with a proud imperial power like China with such a long history and a “celestial mandate”is that territories like Tibet,Taiwan,Xinjiang,Manchuria(although the latter no longer exists as such) and the seas and islands thereabouts were either Chinese territories or tributaries until the “foreign devils” with their superior firepower and technology took over during the ” century of humiliation.”

      Now that their strength is returning and that of the collective west fading it is understandable that they should seek retribution and restoration of their hegemony.The question is how far the west is willing to go to prevent this.

      I don’t think we will ever be friends with China or be treated as equals-I don’t believe they treat anybody as equal apart from possibly the Russians with whom they share a Mongol inheritance-although I’m sure that there is significant additional trade potential in niche areas.

      As for IP rights infringement,it’s always happened;historically the Chinese were on the receiving end of it when the Byzantines stole the secret of silk production and established a very lucrative state monopoly to supply Europe!

  5. R.O'Connor
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Not a word abut last night’s supposed ‘High Noon’ of the 1922 Committee?

  6. Iain Gill
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Forget it John

    Nobody is going to vote conservative

    Ordinary voters betrayed by a terrible political class

    Mrs May will be laughed out of any decent gathering

    Tell them to feel ashamed

    Anything can happen now

    • ChrisS
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      The latest YouGov poll gives the Conservatives a 6 point lead over Labour.

      As long as Brexit is delivered, the Conservatives go into the next election with a better leader and a campaign designed and run by Lynton Crosby, they should win by a bigger margin than 6%, especially if the boundary changes are introduced first.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Fascinating, isn’t it, that both Labour and Conservatives think the other’s leader is so useless they’re happy to see them stay, as they think it gives them an advantage? What they don’t realise is that most people agree they are both useless and would like to see both replaced.

        • ChrisS
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t vote at all if May was still PM at the next election.

          The essential difference is that Conservative MPs and Constituency Associations will never let May lead them into the next election whereas Corbyn can seemingly do no wrong for his supporters, whatever Labour MPs think.

          Unless something strange happens, May will be long gone and Corbyn will still be there. With a good new leader ( ie, obviously not Boris ), The Conservatives should win.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        If the wooden lady is in charge the campaign will implode again.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          The wooden, wrong headed, disingenuous socialist and her side kick – the highest taxes for 49 years, IHT ratter, pension & landlord mugger Hammond the grim reaper.

          What would possibly go wrong? The only point in her favour is appalling vision of Corbyn/Mc Donnall and the SNP.

        • lojolondon
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          With the hard work and collusion of the BBC, which attacks Conservative ideas and sabotages every Conservative interview and gently promotes every Labour idea and interview.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        And polling companies have lost so much trust and respect, they have been so wrong so often I just don’t look at them as authoritative anymore. They told May & Co that she would win massively in 2017 when everyone outside of Westminster knew she was blowing it and lost many good MPs, some who should have been safe because they were doing a good job like Edward Timpson in Crewe.
        Then we got someone in our County who ran on a Conservative Manifesto then reneges on it at every opportunity, if she runs again she could lose another safe seat.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        and the polls were so good at predicting recent elections and referendums were they not?

        dont make me laugh

        if they cannot get me to vote conservative they are in serious trouble

        and my predictions have a lot better track record than the pollsters, as anyone who has been reading my comments on this blog for a number of years will know…

        • WeToldYou_No_EU
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          I agree and at the moment the Tsunami of political anger, against May, has not been seen.

          There is a strangely quiet atmosphere…all is calm…a Poll (as always, as reliable as a South West Train), says all is well.

          The oceans are calm…but the tide, weirdly, starts to recede…yes…all is well with the Tory Voters.

          Then…a massive wall of water/Tory voter anger, is seen looming in the distance.

          Don’t panic…all is well…

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        If the Conservative Parety waits too long, Labour may produce a more electable leader (no idea from where) than an ageing Corbyn.

  7. ChrisS
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Events in the South China Sea are deeply worrying. China is acting as a bully, claiming large areas of International Waters as its own by expanding new and existing islands that are claimed by other countries and building naval and air bases on them.

    The aggressive challenges to shipping of all types is in direct contravention of International law and the United Nations. Other nations such as the US and the UK have no choice but to challenge this hegemony by preserving rights of navigation.

    It is up to China to decide whether it escalates the problem by taking actual military action. The rest of the world cannot back down over this.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Why shouldn’t they be bullies, Chris ? Their soldiers and sailors are legions of hard-as-nails young men. Our military has gone bonkers with PC, cuts, legal actions and silly procurements.

      (27 actions required by captcha – it’s easier to get into my bank account.)

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        The Chinese military is large but unproven.Their record- over the past thousand years- has not been great!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      ChrisS

      Events in the South China Sea are deeply worrying.

      The whole China scenario is worrying. Whilst the west wets itself over climate change and global warming the Chinese just forge ahead with their building of hundreds of coal fired power stations. Since 2002 they have quietly gone about over 75% of the worlds Cobalt raw earth mining operations whilst western environmental ministers like Gove are panicking and making totally un-thought out statements on removing diesel driven vehicles from our roads. The Chinese will not become the biggest manufacturer of electric car batteries they will hold the whip hand and it will force all car manufacturers to move full production to China if they wish to submit to the rantings of the green lobby.Why this and the European governments cannot or will not see or wake up to the potential threat this will have on jobs and industry begs belief. Why the ministers are not supporting companies like JL and other interested parties to develop a hydrogen engine with the network to fuel them is yet another example that our standard of politicians are not in the box let alone thinking outside it.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        John further to my previous post please find part of a report circulating on the net regarding Cobalt mining:

        The auto industry is “waking up too late” to the fact that China will hold most of the world’s supply of battery raw material cobalt, Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of top producer of the metal Glencore, said on Tuesday according to a Reuters report.

        “If cobalt falls into the hands of the Chinese, yeah you won’t see EVs being produced in Europe etc. They are waking up too late … I think it’s because the car industry has never had a supply chain problem before,” Glasenberg told the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland.

        The Democratic Republic of the Congo today has six of the top 10 cobalt mines globally. Due primarily to Chinese investment, by 2022, the central African nation will host the nine largest cobalt producers. Congo also holds half the world’s reserves.

        Not only is primary production highly concentrated, but the downstream industry is beginning to resemble a monopsony. China, despite having no cobalt resources of its own, is responsible for 80% of the world’s cobalt chemical production, which overtook metal production around four years ago.

        Glasenberg told FT Chinese refiners and processors “will have most of the offtake of cobalt”:-
        “They’re not going to sell batteries to the world, more than likely they’ll produce batteries in China and sell electric vehicles to the world,” Mr Glasenberg told the conference.
        Beijing has made electric vehicles a centerpiece of its war on pollution. It also wants the sector to spearhead the country’s Made in China 2025 innovation drive.
        The China-Congo-Cobalt-nexus poses particular problems for automakers in the US and Europe. Not only in terms of securing supply but also the growing consumer awareness of ethical sourcing of materials.

        With Chinese opinions on ignoring renewable energy by supporting coal fired production the last thing they are even going to think about is the safe disposal of vehicle batteries. This as with turbine blades is a train smash just waiting to happen.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 26, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Chris

      “China is acting as a bully”
      ==

      Bully?

      We destroyed a whole generation of their people after we started 2 Opium wars against them and flooded their country with drugs.

      I don’t believe for a moment that they will accept moral guidance from us.

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    You ask what we should do about trade policy with China. There’s nothing we CAN do because the EU sets our trade policy with them and it looks like they will continue to do so for many years to come.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Trump’s desire to rebalance the playing field so that is not so tilted in China’s favour is understandable. China has benefited from favourable trading terms as it has developed its economy just as Germany and Japan did post WW2 in reconstructing their economies. Exchange rate adjustments played a role in that process – notably when the gold standard was abandoned and currencies were allowed to float. It seems to me that FX rate realignment will again play a part. Once again it will be through a weakening of the US dollar as China, Russia and others seek to escape US hegemony over the bulk of the world’s financial transactions. Empires decline through financial overreach. That will happen to the USA. At some point in the future it will also crimp China’s ambitions.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      The US is benefiting from the China relationship too. Just imagine the tech industry without Chinese hardware makers and Taiwanese chipmakers. US consumers have benefited enormously too. But in earnest, the US have much more that binds them than keeps them apart. They both know it but of course one has to be careful with the luddites in West Virginia. They vote, the Chinese don’t.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      It’s the theft of intellectual property and the insistence that any western ‘partner’ company must share its IP with its Chinese partner that I dislike most.

  10. Nig l
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Off topic, nevertheless puts into context another reason for France and Germany to play hardball. New data shows that we had a surplus of 68 billion pounds on our financial services exports, larger than the next three, put together.

    I guess Macron and Merkel are looking for a share of this as a trade off. Will Ollie Robbins also known as Theresa May give this away as well?

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Nig1

      ” we had a surplus of 68 billion pounds on our financial services exports, larger than the next three, put together.”
      ==

      You mean we are good at making money shuffling other people’s assets around?

      We certainly don’t seem to produce anything any more that other countries want to buy.

      But how can a country of over 65 m people prosper in the long run on a service and finance industry?

  11. agricola
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    China has been enjoying it’s cake and eating it for far too long. Dreadful on human rights, blatant ignoring of intellectual property, illegal territorial acquisition, manipulation of exchange rates to business advantage, dumping of surplus production to destroy competitors. Yes Donald Trump is quite correct in pointing out all these abuses and being prepared to do something about it. I ask the question, if our government are serious in supporting the USA in trying to get this rogue nation back in it’s box, why have they been so keen to borrow money from them to buy ourselves a French nuclear power plant.

  12. David Price
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    We must have a degree of self sufficiency in strategic capabilities regardless of who the big bullies might be – Russia, China, EU or even the USA. For me this means food, water, energy, defence, key technologies and manufacturing.

    Being able to earn a micro percentage on every financial transaction will not put food on the table or heat homes if we are reliant on importing everything tangible and so susceptible to coercion.

    So no, we should not give away technologies or processes that have been developed off the back of education, effort and enterprise in this country. Inward investment is worthless if it strips our intellectual property, ability to sustain our selves and economy or takes over key industries.

    It would appear however that many of our civil servants, establishment and politicians have been fully bought and paid for since our industries and government are clearly owned by others for their benefit.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I agree with every word you have written.

      I believe the age of Finance Capitalism is drawing to a close-and the increasing displacement of the $ will bring it to an end-making self-sufficiency or security of supply of essentials increasingly urgent.

  13. Lifelogic
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Also in the Telegraph we have Nick (let’s throw the election) Timothy who is, as usual, totally wrong.

    “An excessive focus on austerity is damaging society. The Budget is a chance to put matters right” he says.

    Osborne and Hammond and May have given us the highest taxes for nearly 50 years yet the state delivers so little of any real value at all. A dire NHS, police who have given up, endless worthless degrees, idiotic refuse collections, pointless grand projects (HS2 Hinckley C), loads of totally worthless degrees in fairly joke subject (for people who will never repay the soft loans) and ministers that go on about diversity in the fire service, plastics, biofuels and gender pay gaps.

    A state sector that pays wrongheaded people like Carney circa £800k and countless other people well over 200k plus gold plated pensions can hardly suggest there is much austerity in the state sector. What is desperately needed is to lift the austerity on the far more productive private sector for a change. This by cutting taxes, simplifying taxes, going for cheap reliable energy and having a bonfire of all the bonkers red tape.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      we have not had austerity, the public sector still wastes money hand over fist, we are still spending over half of everything we earn on the public sector, the national debt is still approx 2 trillion and going up several billions per month, quality of public services is diabolical, and the basics of democracy have broken down completely

      the country is in serious trouble, and entering uncharted waters

      corbyn thinking that turning the place into a Maoist or Stalinist paradise is a solution are clearly bonkers, but not much more so than the lazy ever so narrow section of society selected into conservative safe seats

      shambles what an absolute shambles our political class have created

  14. Dave Andrews
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Do the Chinese impose environmental taxes on their energy? Do they require companies to pay a National Minimum Wage like the UK?
    Can we have a level playing field please? We import large quantities of materials and products from China, many of which are in competition to industry here, yet our industries are stifled by taxes.
    So, either scrap the taxes in the UK the Chinese companies don’t have, require China to match our standards, or compensate with import duties.
    The same applies to certain countries in the EU. If companies pay their staff on the cheap, I hope that a future trade deal with the EU will distinguish between the individual countries when it comes to import duties to the UK.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      It is politically and economically stupid to pay too much for inputs. That applies to labour too. If Chinese firms can make widgets for half the price because their labour is willing to work for less why should one pay some union fossil to do a worse job for more? By the way, During the past 10 years China’s industry has developed a very modern sector with up to date equipment and high productivity. Management is getting better too.

  15. Adam
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    China, having become the World’s Factory, has provided good value & borne the brunt of much of the resulting pollution. Its scale & rapid development enable it to increase the power it exerts worldwide toward highest. The UK should cooperate with China to assist its people on their path to goodness, but be cautious about what effect so large a population would cause to the planet with so many more becoming high-level consumers.

    Most importantly, we should be far-sighted in preventing the risk of China’s excessive power & possible malevolent leadership, to protect the security & freedom of ourselves & other nations. Making the right decisions early might be as complicated as forecasting a game of 3-dimensional chess, but early response helps avoid unfortunate outcomes before they begin, with minimum effort & maximum effect.

    We should be friendly but maintain extreme awareness. Beware now that China might become as heavy, hard & hot to handle as Le Creuset ironware at a picnic.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    China, somewhat like the EU, knows how to play to win. When I buy a light bulb at a stupid price or scissors or a pullover – inevitably they are made in China. Not now with cheap labour but high tech equipment , which we surely could do here and remove the transport costs – global warmers speak up. This trade has enabled her to build up vast resources to be a massive player in world politics and power. I always had severe reservations about outsourcing 8000 miles away but with our destructive trade union power it was inevitable. Pity we don’t let the Chinese run our railways.

  17. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Well, it looks like we are really going down the road to hell. Too late now to stop Mrs May and her band of merry men from trashing democracy and taking us into a deal which will be worse than we had already. Well done her!! I won’t be voting Conservative at the next election.

    Trump is right to be concerned about China. There were some very worrying scenes on the news last night about internment camps etc. Shades of Germany during the second world war. Nearly everything we buy has Made in China stamped on it. I am sure they will garner most of the market for electric cars and the raw materials needed to make the batteries. They look to the future rather than being stuck in the past under the thumb over another nation.

    • Stuart Price
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      If you google ‘China’s Social Credit’ there’s an eye-opening Australian news report on how the system works. Just make sure you buy a pack of nappies every time you go shopping.

  18. GilesB
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    We should separate out trade and military issues. Each are complex enough on their own. And in any case sanctions are no more effective than gunboat diplomat to force trade, and both have unforeseen consequences.

    On trade we should recognise that China is both a developed country in some respects and a developing country in others. The most obvious distinction is between the coastal provinces (that have advanced though trade) and the inland provinces. But we would hardly want to have separate trade policies with each province with implications for hard borders and howls of interference in national sovereignty! Sounds familiar.

    Better to distinguish the differences by industry. In the past, terms of trade have rarely been revised. It is hardly surprising that tariffs agreed in the 1980s are no longer appropriate, particularly in fast-moving high tech sectors. If trade agreements had sunset clauses requiring annual renewals, they could be adjusted to reflect current realities rather than historical compromises.

    On the South China Sea we should use treat it as international waters and encourage other nations to do the same. But we certainly shouldn’t get into any military obligation to protect ships of other nations.

  19. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Communist China – long seen as a very backward, agricultural country – has taken the capitalist road but with a difference. They have adapted capitalism to a centralised, command economy and abandoned the old “Five Year Plan”system. This has been successful, in that millions of chinese have been taken out of poverty and the country has developed infrastructure, manufacturing industry, an internal services market, healthcare etc – and their military. They now have a middle class for the first time, professionals who have done well from the economic expansion

    The leadership of the chinese communist party has passed to Xi Jinping, his power at the top was consolidated and expanded at the recent 19th Party Congress. He clearly has territorial ambitions for China, this is the origin of the South China Seas artificial islands dispute, centred on the completely spurious “9 Dash Line” where they claim vast swathes of ocean, clearly China wishes to control sea communications to the Antipodes – and also to China, from the west.

    Our US ally fought a difficult and bloody war in the pacific against Japan, this involved taking a series of well defended islands. The Chinese have made the same mistake as Japan and fortified islands which are ultimately not defendable – once an opponent has neutralised their lines of communication.

    How should the UK respond? We are not militarily strong enough to make a difference in this dispute, so in my view we should stand aside whilst providing moral and diplomatic support to the US. Churchill found during WW2 that sending battleships and troops round the other side of the world to support isolated outposts of empire failed, the Japanese were too strong. What possible difference could we make in the S China Sea? We would just antagonise a possible major trading partner post-Brexit.

    The best way that we could support our US ally might be to take control of of the defence of our own home islands first – against the now clear, inescapable Russian threat. If we concentrated our forces to defend ourselves here, this would release US assets for service in the Pacific. One hopes that the MoD and the British military have woken up to the change in Russian posture, particularly after they actually carried out a Sarin nerve gas attack on persons going about their business here in the UK. Denying Russian naval vessels safe passage through our waters and controlling the airspace over the Scottish nuclear nuclear bases would be a good start. The government should provide Gavin Williamson’s department with the additional funds that he is asking for.

  20. Stred
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Six months ago I bought a bigger handwash soap in a bottle with a silver top and the English names of the brand shown and a made in England sign on it. Recent, I grabbed what I thought was the same brand in an identical bottle and with a very English name and England marked below. Checking the manufacture small print, it was marked made in PRC. I suppose we can’t complain after the history of Scottish spivs and the opium sales drive.

  21. Nick
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    On the general principle, “What is not defended is surrendered …”:

    Perhaps the time has come for the US to build a few islands of its own out there? And we could help.

    These could be described as ‘international observation and environmental monitoring outposts’, and the US could invite numerous scientific researchers and UN bodies to make use of the facilities there.

    Each island would of course need to be kept supplied, and for security reasons will need some form of defence. So I would imagine that an airfield on each one, and harbour facilities to allow the docking of various vessels, such as tugs, tankers, freighters and the odd heavy cruiser or aircraft carrier – you know, just for that occasional visit – would be necessary as well.

    Not a perfect solution, but a start, I think.

  22. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Off topic, it is a dangerous step for May to appoint the head of the civil service without due process or any recruitment procedure as any future Labour government can now do exactly the same.

    • Duncan
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      She’s mastered the art of insulating herself and her cronies from Eurosceptic criticism by inventing circumstances that silence her opponents. Heywood’s departure is a classic example of this type of gutter political tactics

      A disgusting politician bringing shame on the Tory party

      • Duncan
        Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        With the total capitulation of the spineless 1922 Committee all Tory MP’s have handed this weeping non-Tory PM a blank canvass on which to reshape the UK along liberal left lines.

        She’ll target freedom of speech. She’ll up State intervention and smash the private person and the private sector with more taxes with her lefty, virtue signalling crap

        And who’s to blame? Tory MPs and traditional Labour voters

        Do I care about China? No, I care about the direction of the UK is taking

        Reply There was no capitulation. Chequers is still opposed by a significant number of Conservative MPs.

        • Duncan
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          When Eurosceptics capitulate as they did last night at the 1922-Ctte John tends to write articles unrelated to Brexit and British democracy which I find slightly concerning

          Please don’t take us all for fools John. Contributors to your blog have the utmost respect for you as have I but let’s call a spade a spade shall we rather than indulging in smokes and mirrors. We get enough of that from May and her propaganda unit at No.10
          Reply Brexiteers did not capitulate last night. Nothing changed at last night’s meeting and there is nothing to report.

    • formula57
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Spare us please from the sort of ridiculous charade in which the United States indulges, most recently giving us the grotesque spectacle of the Kavanaugh supreme court hearing.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and Theresa May is making Corbyn/SNP/McDonnall more and more likely by the day. I still think we will escape him but only just. Very few in England actually want to be bossed about by the Scots Nats and have their economy completely destroyed by a mad marxist Labour Partly. Do they?

      Surely May will not remain PM for that much longer will she?

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    As with a lot of things Trump is correct. Western nations have sat back while China has hollowed out our economies, while stripping companies of the intellectual property. A fixed currency rate is the same as trade barriers, yet we have hardly heard a whimper from our politicians. George Bush did momentarily mention the currency manipulation , but did nothing about it, while Gordon Brown gave China aid money, and said we are open to trade, which was basically saying China could buy up any asset it wanted. As for Cameron and Osborne allowing China to get a foot hold in our power generation and infrastructure, they must have been mad. I gather Australia has barred Huawei from having any part of their 5G network, but then Australia is a country that values its independence, sovereignty, and has some self respect.

  24. Stuart Price
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    We are right to stand beside the USA in questioning China’s approach as it seeks to increase its sphere of influence, for a society that relies on ‘correction camps’ for its outspoken citizens is unlikely to ‘play fair’… not that we don’t have room for improvement. Our funding of the so called ‘white helmets’ in Syria could be seen as seeking influence, and playing within the rules, but the game we and the USA are involved in is not the same one the MSM portray on the Government’s behalf.

  25. Mark B
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Money will always trump (no pun intended) politics. As we are finding out over BREXIT.

    The artificial islands are, I believe, illegal. They therefore should be challenged by the whole world community. China has no right to extend its borders beyond those it has.

    China is using its wast wealth of cheap labour and growing domestic market to good effect diplomatically. Essentially, whenever we by Chinese made goods we are subsidising our own downfall.

    What has not been mentioned in this article, is the the fact that China remains a dictatorship. The people do not get a vote on who they elect. They, the Chinese Communist Party, have clearly gained much insight as to the fall of the USSR and how to maintain and grow their grip on power. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square. And not much has changed.

  26. Newmania
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    What do we achieve by pretending anyone cares what we think. China is 18% of Global GDP and rising fast, USA EU and Japan added to this make up about 3/4 of the global economy
    We are about 2.5%and have volunteered to be an isolated mendicant. We cannot afford to offend China any more than we can afford to offend Saudi Arabia and if anyone thinks volunteering to yip obediently at Trumps heels will do us any good they are deluded

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      We voted Brexit before Trump came to office fully expecting Billary Clinton to be in office (and against us.)

      What are you talking about, Newmania ?

      Things US are far better than we expected them to be and we can’t understand the gloominess in Whitehall.

      I expect Trump will get a second term. And no. WW3 didn’t break out before the first Christmas.

  27. rick hamilton
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    China is a far bigger threat than Russia long term. They are working off centuries of humiliation (as they see it) by the West. Mr Xi dreams of China challenging the USA as world leader and their currency displacing the dollar by 2047, the centenary of the Communist takeover. It won’t happen in a totalitarian dictatorship as they will never attract the world’s best and brightest in the way America does, but they will surely try to equal US military power at least in their region.

    We have to stick by our allies and show the Chinese that the South China Sea is international waters by persistently sending warships and aircraft. Power is all they understand.

    They despise weakness. Step forward Mrs T. May, world-class weak leader of the year.

    I hope this link to the latest issue of The Spectator will work.
    The former PM of Australia, Tony Abbott has some very succint and sensible advice for our hopelessly deluded PM:

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/10/tony-abbott-how-to-save-brexit/

  28. formula57
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    For unclear reasons and surprisingly, China has long seemed well-disposed to the UK.

    Given China will increasingly challenge the USA’s role as the leading power, it would be prudent to see Anglo-Chinese relations remaining good in the face of a more dangerous world.

    China does seem to purloin a vast amount of intellectual property though. Trump’s concerns in that regard likely are soundly based. As for trade generally, Trump’s stated aims may conceal his real aims, those latter being about reforming America and better providing for its security.

    I am aware from Australian websites of acute concerns there about the rise of Chinese power. We of course are on the other side of the world: something to rejoice about in this context.

  29. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Verily, Tory MPs flowed forth like a stream yet weir-some, 6th Form, and banged on their desks to greet Mrs Alspeak-May ( who can’t )

  30. Goran
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning Mr Redwood. Yesterday I came across a quote from Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO: “(…)if the UK leaves the EU with a ‘hard Brexit’ in March 2019 (..) the inevitable consequence will be chaos”. I can’t really see how this guy could be a part of project fear or something.
    Reply I think he is wrong. I have not yet seen a scare story that I believe. The planes will fly and the food will be imported.

    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: The problem is, Mr Redwood, that Theresa May et al seem to have no intention of rebutting these fear stories, but rather they seem involved in initiating some of them. Yet another sign that this government has not the slightest intention of honouring Brexit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply (Goran’s 9.22)

      “… food will be imported.” Meaning your tit-for-tat “They sell more to us than we do them.” response to any EU embargo is baseless unless we really are prepared to suffer empty shelves. Food will only be imported if we’ve caved in on key things.

      It is down to those on the 1922 Committee to tell the Brexit voting public why Leave is undeliverable. Only you can stop civil disobedience.

      (62 captcha actions. I work. I don’t have the time.)

  31. VotedOut
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Having been to China several times working on consultancy, I would advise extreme caution when doing business in China that involves any technical content even if it is outside any export controls.

    There are a lot of retired engineers doing consultancy in China that really the UK security services should provide support towards i.e. at least offer a guidance note on a website – or some indication of where to get some guidance. The irony is that the Chinese believe that is actually provided!

    If we are to go global after BREXIT, the UK government would do well to step up their support to businesses rather than running around afterwards locking people up who are trying to do the right thing.

  32. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    His Excellency (阁下) President Xi Jinping of The Peoples Republic of China is Head of 1,416,773,612 people as of Wednesday, October 24, 2018, based on the latest United Nations estimates.

    Second: We should regard China and her people as our self-educational project.

    Third: Learn how many political constituencies she has. How many languages and dialects.
    Hard, doorstep campaigning, perhaps.

    We need to have a preliminary dekko before our journey begins with the first step

  33. WeToldYou_No_EU
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Will May be able to convince her sheep in Parliament, to vote for her Deal…Brexit in Name Only, and with no voting rights?

    The voting public, who voted to Leave the EU, are not convinced…but May’s sheep will now drive this through, against their wishes.

    Not Hard Brexit…not Medium Brexit…not Soft Brexit…Just No Brexit, at all.

    I’ve voted Tory all my life.
    There are 4 Tory voters in my house.

    At the next Election, we will almost certainly give our votes to the Candidate most likely to unseat our Tory candidate.

    Not abstaining from voting…no chance…political revenge is a dish best served cold…and our household represents a reduction of the Tory vote by 8.

    Nor will we be beaten down by any threats about Corbyn.

    The CONservative Party has certainly conned us all…destroyed Democracy, and hopefully their reward is consigning themselves to the electoral dustbin for many years to come.

    Britain has changed radically over the years.
    However, we have managed to retain our Sense of Fair Play.

    We do not take kindly to politicians and Parties, like May and her Tory-Lite Party, that think they can treat us like fools.

    Just bring on that next Election…can’t wait!

  34. LondonBob
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The US is right, but too late, to seek fair trade but China is a behemoth that will dominate the world regardless. Best if the US seeks to manage and coexist than confront, as we did with the rise of the US.

    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      If you look at the Conservative Tree House website (US) and do a search on China on the website, you will find some excellent articles explaining exactly what President Trump’s policies are based on and why (plus videoclips). It is really fascinating, but sadly the UK “pundits” in the media do not seem interested in explaining exactly what P Trump is doing nor do they probably have much understanding/in depth knowledge. I have tried to post links and excerpts from the CTH website but comments are still in moderation and I don’t know if they will emerge.

  35. Bob
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    If you really want a clean Brexit Mr Redwood you will need a change of leadership in your party. Mrs May’s masked slipped at Chequers and she has no intention of allowing Britain self determination.

  36. Andy
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    It does not matter what we think. China has no need to care about our views.

    China worries about the views of military powers like the US and Russia.

    And it worries about the views of economic powers like the US, Japan and the EU.

    It should take account of soon to be big powers in its back yard – highly populated countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

    And, of course it should worry about its bonkers neighbour North Korea.

    But we are a tiny, isolated, militarily irreverent, economically backward small little island of 60m people in Europe thinks. We are an irrelevance.

    China does not care what we think or say. Our views barely matter more than those of diplomatic giants like Denmark or Slovakia.

    You voted for it to be thus. Brexit means irrelevance. So what you all think about China matters diddly squat.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      GCHQ. 5 Eyes. Special forces. Global universities/research establishments.

    • Steve
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      Given your very low opinion of Britain and the British people, why live here ?

      If you are so loathing of this country, go live somewhere else.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 27, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Steve

        Attack the argument, not the person or you’ve lost!

  37. James
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The spirit of conquest inevitably reasserts within people who are not constrained by democratic procedures such as open elections. Hopefully a Chinese Gorbachev will come along and be instrumental in redressing at least some of the social and economic deficiencies.

  38. ian
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I see in the news yesterday, more about what in the withdrawal agreement if the UK signs the agreement, the UK have up to March 2021 to sign a trading agreement with the EU otherwise a customs treaty will be imposed on the UK of an undefined nature which is leaving the EU to draft the agreement on rules and payment on a customs treaty, Mrs May is trying to have her own customs blueprint in the agreement but the EU is refusing to put it in the agreement and anyway, anything the UK managers to get in the agreement the EU is under no obligation to talk about, even if it pasted in the HOC, the EU calls it Ireland backstop.

    Now, in my opinion, only a simpleton would sign up to a one-sided withdrawal agreement like that.
    Once that agreement is sign by the UK, you are under the mercy of the EU with no way out, you cannot even go to WTO rules, that has to be agreed by the EU which is under no obligation to agree on anything.

    What Mrs May is trying to get into the withdrawal bill is a complete waste of time, it cannot be enacted and the EU will not talk about it until the UK has signed the withdrawal agreement, it an outline for talks in the future, the only way out of this agreement, if signed by the UK, is breaking all the laws and paying no money and sit back and wait to be thrown out and you all know that that will not happen, It would be called the Italian Job.

    John can give us a full update on the withdrawal agreement and what in it and a count of how many MPs in your party want to sign up to it and can you confirm, that anything Mrs MAY get into the agreement will not be a deal with the EU but only outline for talks once it is signed.

  39. ian
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I see that the top civil servant who overviewed the withdrawal agreement with the EU is now leaving. Topman.

    • Chris
      Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      His replacement, Sedwill, will continue in the same vein, I fear.

  40. ian
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The expansion of China is down to cooperation and companies earning as much money as possible and paying little to no tax on big profits with no oversite from governments, the taxpayers are left with the fallout and pay out to try to put things right while companies just carry or walk away with money and no obligation to taxpayers or the future, you take all the downsize and we take all the upside, all approved by western peoples government under globalization.

  41. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The trouble with most of these large Federations are that they are multicultural and polyglot and lack natural internal cohesion. They seek to generate cohesion by being externally aggressive. We can place the USA, Russia, China, India and the embryonic European SuperState in this category.

    With the (temporary?) exception of Europe, they all possess nuclear weapons. I say that if a country has acquired nuclear weapons it should be treated as developed and expected to conform to civilised norms, including trade behaviour. If they don’t like it, they can give up their nuclear weapons. Therefore, Mr Trump is entitled to demand that import tariffs imposed by the other Federations should be reduced to the American level; if he has to indulge in a little retaliation in order to bring this about, that’s OK.

    Intellectual property rights are more difficult. The enforcement of patents keeps prices high because designers and patent holders want to make good profits. Except where a UK firm is a designer, it is in our interest for patents to end early. For example, there are many occasions when ending the patent on a drug enables the manufacture of cheaper generic drugs. Our NHS pays top dollar for some specialist drugs, which is why NICE is so necessary. Parliament should examine whether reducing the duration of some patents would be in the national interest.

    Regarding the issue of Chinese behaviour on the high seas near China, military capability comes into it. We lack the means to confront China. What bargaining power do we have so far from home?

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 27, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      France has nuclear weapons.

  42. ian
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s the same with the withdrawal obligations, we the cooperations and companies who export to the EU take all the upside and the taxpayers and companies who do not export to the EU take all the downsizing If the EU imposes heavy customs payment on the UK taxpayers 15 to 20 billion a year so companies can sell goods to the EU which is less than 8 per cent of the UK business output, these businesses contribute 3 billion or less to cooperation tax the taxpayers and other companies with more rules coming in all the time, putting them under presser and out of pocket for the 8%.

    The cooperations and companies who export to the EU just carry on as if nothing has happened, nothing to pay out and business as usual, they can leave the UK at any time and set up in another country with no obligations and when it coming down to employing people, they now have AI and robotics to replace taxpayers who pay for it all.

    Maybe a better idea would be to make the companies pay the customs sums of money and put them up front to come to a deal with the EU, while other business and the taxpayers look on and let the gov take a back seat, I know what their answer would be, No deal with them wanting the government sort out a no deal right away and within two months you not hear about any more problems about coming out of the EU without a deal, we are ready to go, they wouldn’t think to ask if the government ready to leave because far as they are concerned, just giving out an order.

  43. ian
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    The government, civil servants the elite and Mrs MAY all want a customs union treaty with the EU, then labour party and the rest of the parties in the HOC want one with companies that export to the EU, and some people who work for the exporters, for the rest of the companies and people living in the UK, it does nothing for them, Can anyone ask the people who voted to remain in the EU, what it does for them apart from putting their taxes up and they still will have to show a passport as now with unknown regulation of what they can do. Maybe they think it a backdoor back into the EU, have they really sat down and thought about it, Can someone tell me, want people who voted remain get out of it.

  44. Ron Olden
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    As far as is possible the Trade situation with China needs to be separated from the Military one.

    Trade with China is nearly always beneficial to us.

    There are one or two things where National Security is an issue but that’s the only excuse for interfering with Trade.

    Everything that consumers and businesses in the UK import from China benefits them otherwise they wouldn’t buy them. They are better off buying it than not buying it.

    If China is artificially depressing its’ currency or sending us subsided goods, more fool China. It means cheaper goods for us and cheaper inputs for businesses located here.

    It’s like having the benefit of cheap labour, without the inconvenience, social and economic consequences, of them migrating here to live.

    If China builds up huge visible trade surpluses with us it must be either maintaining a huge invisible deficit with us and/or investing the money somewhere outside China.

    Usually it spends it’s cash buying UK and US Government Debt and other Western Bonds, all of which offer them derisory rates of interest, leaving us with more capital to invest somewhere more profitable.

    Chinese people are therefore working for us cheap and lending us the money they make at ridiculously low interest rates.

    Seems like a win win.

  45. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, there’s a rather weird article in the Irish Times today, which is also unusual as it is mildly critical of the Irish government’s approach to Brexit.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/newton-emerson-leo-varadkar-continues-to-show-a-tin-ear-to-the-north-1.3674167

    “Newton Emerson: Leo Varadkar continues to show a tin ear to the North”

    However the paragraph which strikes me is this:

    “The worst-case scenario for a hard Brexit set out by Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners – before Varadkar ordered them to stop planning for it – was of a dozen official crossings with Customs posts set 10 to 20 miles back, plus cameras and Customs officers with mobile equipment to enforce the remaining 200 crossings. A small percentage of commercial vehicles would be stopped, a smaller percentage again physically inspected and no other traffic would be delayed or disrupted.”

    So that is the anticipated level of additional nuisance for the Irish authorities which Theresa May mistakenly thinks she has a duty to avert by keeping the whole of the UK economy under EU law in perpetuity; even though only 0.1% of UK output is exported across that land border, which is a hundred times even smaller than the 12% which is exported to the EU as a whole that is used to justify our subjugation.

    Of course she could offer the alternative of passing and rigorously enforcing a new UK law to control just the goods which can be taken across that border from the north, rather than control all the goods in circulation throughout the whole of the UK, but that particular “creative solution” would not provide her with the pretext she wants for keeping us under the thumb of the EU in perpetuity.

  46. Den
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Of course the President is right about China and its ambitions for world domination.
    Why they are still treated as a “Developing Nation” is a mystery. They are a Nuclear Power and have a massive Army and Navy at their disposal whilst launching Satellites. Worse, they are acting as Imperialist in the Far East.
    Why they are permitted cheap postal charges to Europe and to the USA beggars belief. It undermines our local producers. And all because they remain classified as a “Developing Nation”. what nonsense is this? Why did our own Overseas Aid Department send them OUR money? How dumb can they be?
    China really are taking the Western Nations for suckers and it’s time to put them on a flat playing field in World Trade. Let the rest of the Western World follow President Trumps lead.

  47. ian
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Here come the remainers now for the second referendum with help from the EU blocking the agreement and refusing to rewrite it along with their customs duty treaty and regulation only for the UK.

  48. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Off topic. I see local authorities are struggling to fund care for the elderly and many old people are not getting the care they deserve. This is unacceptable when we are still sending millions abroad. Let’s get a grip and treat our elderly with compassion and care.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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