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OPINION: British imperial nostalgia for foreign interference

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

The disillusion of imperial nostalgia only exposes its hypocrisy and declining power

COMMENT | Xin Ping | At the just-concluded Munich Security Conference, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson willfully pointed his finger at others over the issue of Ukraine by saying, “people would draw the conclusion that aggression pays, and that might is right.”

It seems that the British leader fails to realize that his country has faith in nothing but power and might. Britain should seriously reflect on its colonial legacy and sordid history of foreign interference that has left so many countries in turmoil and trouble.

If British India was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire, then Kashmir has been the biggest crack in it when the crown finally fell over in that land.

In 1857, to fight against the British colonizers, Indian Hindus and Muslims jointly started the “Great Mutiny,” which triggered a sense of crisis among British colonizers.

In order to consolidate their rule and prevent the Indian independence movement, the British Empire applied the most treacherous plot of “divide and rule” by deliberately fomenting and inciting religious conflicts between Hindus and Muslims to drive a wedge between the united rebellions.

Accumulated misunderstandings and religious hatred have resulted in numerous riots, massacres and acts of revenge as Pakistan and India claimed independence separately in 1947, claiming at least half a million lives and causing 12 million to become homeless. The humiliation and hatred incited by colonists still haunt the two peoples on that land generation after generation.

Even today, Britain is more audacious and scrupulous in its intervention in Hong Kong’s internal affairs despite the fact that the British government no longer has sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision after Hong Kong’s return to the motherland in 1997.

Britain has kept issuing so-called six-monthly reports on Hong Kong, publicly meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs. On the sly, multiple British intelligence agents were planted in Hong Kong to incite and organize subversion and violence.

Under the disguise of human rights and religion, they played secret and dirty roles in Hong Kong’s government, judiciary, chambers of commerce and media, providing fund and policy support to opposition forces. It is obvious for all to see when rioters violently stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council in 2019 and displayed the colonial-era Dragon and Lion flag.

Though the sun has already set on the British Empire, Britain still indulges in its old imperial days, trying to make its influence felt around the world to relive its global ambition of controlling and lording it over others.

The Guardian even quoted a global survey two years ago revealing that a third of people in Britain believe the country’s old-time colonies were better off for being part of an empire, a higher proportion than in any of the other major colonial powers.

In fact, with more than 18 million COVID-19 cases, a suffering economy and the tortuous Brexit, Britain is overstretching its capabilities to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. The disillusion of imperial nostalgia only exposes its hypocrisy and declining power.



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