Saturday 12 September 2020


A call to de-twin London from Beijing has been opposed in the London Assembly by the Labour Party.  Tory mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey had tabled a motion for the immediate de-twinning of the cities over China's treatment of both the Uighur Muslims and Hong Kong.  Strangely, there was no mention of coronavirus, despite growing evidence that China lied about the spread of the virus leading to the collapse of Western economies and hundreds of thousands dead.

Bailey's motion read as follows.
This Assembly notes that on 21 June the Government formally suspended extradition
arrangements with Hong Kong, following the imposition of controversial new security
laws on the territory by the Chinese Communist Party.  This is a significant step and
recognises the Chinese Communist Party’s actions with regard to Hong Kong as an abuse
of human rights.

In addition, this Assembly also condemns the ongoing persecution of Uigher Muslims, and
notes the ongoing international concerns regarding the Chinese Communist Party’s
human rights record.

This Assembly believes London is a truly global city, and therefore has a responsibility to
show that we support democracy, human rights and people across the world.  Therefore, in
light of ongoing human rights and other abuses by the Chinese Communist Party, this Assembly calls on the Mayor to rescinding of the twinning arrangement agreed in 2006.

The motion was defeated by nine votes to eight with Labour AMs voting against and the Greens abstaining.  Was this merely a case of two left-wing parties opposing a Tory motion for the sake of it, or were they more interested in defending the interests of the Chinese Communist Party?

Labour hit back by saying that their own motion condemning the Chinese government had passed.  However, the Labour motion contained nothing but a series of limp-wristed proposals including a review into 'the future viability of twinning arrangements'.  The final two paragraphs of the motion condemned an (alleged) rise in Sinophobia following the pandemic and called on Khan to write to Priti Patel demanding a 'hate crime action plan' to deal with the (alleged) problem.

Sorry London Labour, but hasn't government already got its hands full dealing with real problems - like the resurgence of a virus unleashed on the world by China?