The Londoner: Lady Bates warns of ‘anti-Chinese sentiment’

The Secretary General of the UK Chinese Business Association, Lady Bates, has told The Londoner that she is planning to write to publishers over a book which she says insinuates that her work on relations with Beijing has been a malign force in the UK.

Xuelin Li Bates married Tory peer Lord Bates in 2012. She told us she and her husband are going through book Hidden Hand by Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg “line by line”. She says the book, cited by UK media recently, suggests the links of Bates and a number of high-profile politicians with China have been part of a global “program of subversion”

Lord and Lady Bates warned criticism of China’s government was in danger of turning into Sinophobia. They claimed: “There has been a sharp rise in anti-Chinese sentiment as a result of legitimate concerns over the Covid pandemic, Hong Kong and cyber-security. However, this is now developing into a hostile climate of stigmatisation and suspicion towards those who have worked in good faith to build friendship and trade during what was referred to as a ‘Golden era’ in UK China relations.

"More worryingly, we are witnessing an alarming increase in racially motivated attacks against the British Chinese community here in London. I know there is a real sense of fear and anxiety amongst many Chinese community members in London at this time.

"We need to try and find a more balanced way in which we can rightly defend of national interests, express our concerns and yet do so in a constructive way which also recognises the immensely positive contributions made by the British Chinese community, Chinese businesses, students and tourists to this country and especially to this city."

Hamilton told The Londoner today: “Mareike Ohlberg and I stand by our research.”

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