I was first amused, then annoyed and, by the time it had ended, disgusted by the British House of Commons debate on banning Donald Trump from the United Kingdom, which took place on Monday, January 18. Was this the same House of Commons that allowed China’s ruthless authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, to speak to its esteemed members in October last year? True, both men share an admiration for Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin. Both are seen as modern populists, at home and abroad. Both want to make their countries ‘great again’. However, there are quite a few reasons for the UK Parliament to be ashamed of singling out the Donald, having given Xi Dada the red carpet treatment three months earlier.

David Cameron and Xi Jinping. Photo: Stand News via TVB.

Donald Trump wants to “shut down parts of the Internet”. In Xi Jinping’s China, Internet access itself is restricted and sometimes completely shut down.

Donald Trump sent his lawyers “to make complaints disappear”. In Xi Jinping’s China it’s lawyers themselves who disappear.

Donald Trump said America’s southern neighbors are “stealing our jobs”. Xi Jinping’s China stole shoals and reefs from its southern neighbors.

Donald Trump had his security remove a journalist from one of his venues. Xi Jinping’s China is the world’s number one jailer of journalists.

Donald Trump wants American citizens to arm themselves to prevent gun violence. Xi Jinping has quoted Chairman Mao’s dictum to his military staff: only the Party controls the gun.

Donald Trump. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Donald Trump said terrible, inexcusable things about Muslims. Xi Jinping’s China has done terrible, inexcusable things to Muslims.

Donald Trump is happy with the televised debates with opponents. Xi Jinping is happy with the televised confessions of his opponents.

There’s a small chance that Trump will compete for executive power with a Socialist. There’s no chance Xi Jinping will allow anyone to have executive power who is not a Socialist.

Donald Trump has publicly declared his love of women. Xi Jinping’s China kidnaps the bookseller working on a book about his love of women.

Donald Trump has said he is a great advocate of women’s rights. Xi Jinping’s China just jails advocates of women’s rights.

Donald Trump publicly says he’s really, very rich. Xi Jinping’s China simply blocks access to a publication saying he’s really, very rich.

Oh, of course, both Trump and Xi say the UK should mind their own business. On that I agree with both the candidate and the dictator.

Latest

Alexander Zwagerman

Alexander is a lecturer at the Arnhem Business School in the Netherlands and a fellow of the Sima Qian Foundation, advising governments and businesses about how the rise of China affects the global economy. With over ten years of work experience in China, he has written extensively about Chinese business and how free market solutions would solve many of China's problems. He has published books and articles in Dutch and English. On Press Freedom Day 2016 a Dutch collection of his essays was published by Pharos publishers and the proceeds were donated to HKFP.