Fly me to the moon

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Tiananmen

I was waiting for a response. But as usual, it never came. It has been like this since Obama, and probably even before. In fact, it´s been like this since mankind did its ultimate achievement: get to the moon and come back. However,just like the Sinatra song, although we were taken to the moon, most people never came back -they just stayed among the starts for ever more.

I am talking about the recently returned bookseller Lam Wing-kee, whom everybody seems to have forgotten. Lam came back to Hong Kong to provide the Chinese government with evidence related to his business -the name and contacts of people in China who were buying forbidden books from Hong Kong bookstores. Lam however, decided to defy China and go public with an explosive tale: He, together with all the other booksellers, was taken against his will to China, where he was blindfolded and handcuffed without any explanation and put under 24/7 surveillance for five months. And, of course, his televised confession was staged. According to Lam, “This confession had a director and a script. It was all provided by them”,

Now all but one are back to Hong Kong. Gui Minhai, who was accused of a crime he didn´t commit, is still in China. And he is not a Chinese citizen. Not even a Hong Kong citizen. He holds a foreign Swedish passport. Regardless of the evidence, no foreign government -not even Britain or Sweden- seems to care about the fact that one of his citizens was kidnapped and falsely accused by a repressive government famous for killing its own people.

Once more, this situation exemplifies how China and the United Kingdom are not fulfilling the promises of the Joint Declaration. China for not respecting the “One country, two systems”, and the United Kingdom for not caring at all that its own declaration is not being respected.

But the Chinese government knows it well: Europe is the laughting stock of the world.

Back in 1860, the Chinese (Qing Dynasty) government kidnapped two British envoys, Henry Loch and Harry Parkes, together with the journalist Thomas William Bowlby. They were confined and tortured because they wanted to arrange a peace treaty. Among the whole lot of kidnapees, 20 died and only 16 barely survived. So, in retaliation, the British and French forces burnt down the Qing Empire’s Old Summer Palace.

In 1896, the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini of Zanzibar was poisoned by his cousin, who raised to power and defied the British Empire. Three days later the British took the Zanzibar Sultnate in what has been called the “shortest war in history”: the conflict ended in 38 minutes.

The U.K. doesn´t need to start an armed conflict against China over a non-white Swedish or British citizen, but it could do something better than “Flying to the moon”. For instance, it could “Brit mong the stars”, as it did among the seven Seas in the good old days.

Let’s hope that the Brexit and China’s ass licker David Cameron’s resignation will bring something better for the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and the world. Otherwise, we may as well fly to the moon and never come back.

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