The Briton convicted of drug smuggling in China has been executed, the Foreign Office has confirmed.
I stayed-up until the early hours this morning to learn of this man’s fate; this is confirmation that China will not under any circumstances capitulate under diplomatic pressure from the West when it comes to domestic affairs.
We’d better get used to it – within a generation, China will be the only superpower on Earth, and we’ll have little choice but to accept its view of the world and learn to cope with it.
The fact that the calls from Downing Street and the White House to spare this man’s life went unheeded reminds us of a simple fact – we need China more than it needs us; the balance of power – like the balance of trade – has shifted against us and is not likely to swing back in our favour.
Having worked in China and spent a lot of time there, I can tell you that then when it comes to their system of justice, they are uncompromising:
They are tough on crime, and tough on the perpetrators of crime.
My thoughts go out to Mr Shaikh’s family, who will mourn not only his loss, but also the fact that a man so obviously in need of support, care and attention clearly didn’t receive it – with tragic consequences.