The current crisis has reminded us how interconnected the world is. Developments which seem to take place somewhere far away can rapidly have the impact on the whole world. Today it’s the virus. Tomorrow climate change.
The Chinese Communist Party was given the opportunity to show how the common future should look like. The Chinese propaganda machine claims that China has demonstrated its ability to respond to the health crisis and that European countries could also benefit from China’s experience.
Do you know how to do it? You know, a corpulent guy, that politician or whomever, demonstrated it on TV. Just turn the tap on. No, don’t worry, they promised us they are reducing the water price. They even took over that company that billed us.
Coronavirus has become water for the mill of all those who would like a strong central, authoritarian-like government. On the Polish radio, I have already heard the cries of admiration for the Chinese system, which apparently would be more effective than the European Union is.
Take James Bond for instance. Ever since the series’ soft reboot in 2006 with Casino Royale, there is not a single enemy country in the movies, despite the fact that Russia upped its game in manipulating the internal politics of Western countries, and China sugarcoating its increasingly Orwellian dystopia.
Two weeks ago, the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and his Taiwanese counterpart, Ko Wen-je, signed a partnership agreement on joint economic and cultural cooperation between the two capitals – Prague and Taipei.
Even though Hong Kong operates under separate laws within the ‘one country, two systems’ model, the invisible hand of mainland China is becoming increasingly visible in the territory. In response, mass protests have been ongoing for four months in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is much more than meets the eye. Beyond the soaring skyscrapers and glimmering shopping malls, it is the only place on Chinese soil where citizens dare stand up to those in power and, once in a while, manage to force concessions out of them.
Recently, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced that her government will withdraw the contested bill that would undermine the rule of law by allowing extraditions to mainland China, which sparked three months of protests in the city. However, demonstrations are unlikely to end anytime soon.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Chairman of the European Research Group on the House of Commons, claimed that this treaty would make the UK a vassal state. It is difficult to not agree with him. The last treaties that gave jurisdiction to foreign courts were the aforementioned 19th-century treaties with China.