Friday, April 16, 2021

"As long as we are not blinded by unjust temptations, as long as we do not let evil get its way through us, we are fulfilling our responsibility."

 jimmy lai handcuffs getty

 (Image from the Catholic New Agency, August 18, 2020)

When it comes to successful businessmen, all too often I fear we are tempted to assume that they are pragmatists when it comes to matters of conscience. Today's conviction of Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong attests to the fact that there will always be those willing to stand for a principle, even when self-interest might dictate otherwise. From Xinjiang to Hong Kong and even Taiwan, we are witnesses to the rise of an imperialistic China that is as intolerant of dissent as were the architects of the Cultural Revolution. China may not yet present a  military threat comparable to that posed by the Soviet Union in the late 1970s, but when it is host to almost one-fifth of the world's population what its government permits (and proscribes) matters to us all. Would that there were a greater willingness on the part of western governments to recognise the existential threat that the present regime poses (not least through the Belt and Road initiative) and to commit to supporting those within China who, like Jimmy Lai, are willing to sacrifice even their freedom in defense of those liberties that we in the West take for granted.  


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