NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
As the attitude of the United Kingdom becomes increasingly more hostile towards the Isle of Man with what really amount to unilateral cuts to the VAT agreement and threats (as part of a wider range of sanctions against offshore centres generally) to interfere in our ability to generate income it is important that the Manx government maximise and diversify the Islands economic base.
With that in mind the Chief Ministers initiative in leading a trade delegation to China is to be welcomed. China although its economy has slowed in recent years is still a world leader and seemed set to overtake the United States for pole position in global terms prior to that countries oil shale boom.
China presents huge opportunities to many European countries and undoubtedly the Manx mission is just a minor player in terms of the great twenty-first century eastern economic stampede.
However we should not prostitute our own values as a society for the sake of a quick buck.
It is pointless of us to trumpet out commitment to democratic values via our economic support to developing nations whilst turning a blind eye to what the Chinese do to their minorities.
The plight of Tibet and its people has been well publicised for years. Less well publicised (perhaps because of the current antipathy towards Moslems) is the fate of the Uyghur people (and other minorities) of the so called Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the PRC.
The Uyghur have suffered considerable repression since demonstrations about an influx of migrants from greater China turned nasty from about 2007 onwards.
Whilst there is no justification for Uyghur violence equally there is no justification for actions taken to isolate the country from outside media scrutiny. Whilst greater China is presently fairly open for Western media restrictions still exist on access to Tibet and Xinjiang.
Trade by all means but not at any price!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur)
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues
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