While our government continues to fall over itself trying to encourage rich Chinese tourists and business-people to come and spend their money on our shores, it’s worth remembering that the wealth of these few privileged individuals is partly the product of a political system that abuses human rights and tramples civil liberties as a matter of course – as amply illustrated by the stand-off between thousands of pro-democracy protesters and the Chinese authorities in Hong Kong this last couple of weeks. The protesters, most of them students, have already been tear-gassed as they stage their campaign for political freedom. Still, at least the authorities haven’t shot any of them this time. Yet.
Meanwhile, notoriously tax-shy corporate behemoths in the west continue to prop-up China’s purportedly communist economy by exploiting the cheap labour that it provides to manufacture all those inexplicably expensive electronic devices. I hope you’re all happy with your shiny new iPhones – the cost may be even higher than you think.