British diplomats were left “fuming” and the Foreign Office was “outraged” after Hugo Swire, a British foreign minister in charge of Far Eastern affairs, was refused meetings with Chief Executive CY Leung and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam during a recent visit to Hong Kong. The snubs offered by the two native chiefs were believed to have come by order of their master Beijing, which has been hiding less and less its contempt for an obsequious Britain begging for Chinese business contracts and Chinese cash. China knows how willing and masochistically happy Britain is to swallow open insults. The British government has kept an obediently low profile following the mysterious murder of a white British teacher by his sinister Madam Butterfly—the wife of a senior Chinese leader who was on the verge of becoming the Macbeth of China. The teacher had allegedly been the ghost-writer of academic works for their Harrow and Oxford-educated son, whose guardian was a senior political adviser of Margaret Thatcher. The murder of a British expat, had it happened in Shanghai during the heyday of the Empire, would have been met with Chinese bandits being openly hanged on the Bund and the Shanghai police commissioner fired. Britain, and the family of the victim, had their mouths sealed, with the Daily Mail whispering the juicy bits just as the visiting Chinese premier—with a handful of contracts worth US$3 billion to Britain—proudly ordered a mandatory meeting with the Queen. This is beside the swarms of ranting Chinese shoppers on their shopping rampages at Harrods, emptying shelves of Burberry scarfs and trench coats. Even though the French have dared to cry out “Le Peril Jaune,” Britain’s retaliatory options are limited. Annoyance is occasionally revealed by the expulsion of a few Chinese caught breaching their student visa restrictions by working as cheap laborers, prostitutes or pimps, while others continue to rush their Porsches and Ferraris through the streets to get to a lecture at Oxford or Imperial College. Now even CY Leung and Carrie Lam—a former civil servant under the British governor and a member of that class of Hong Kong Chinese colonial subjects until 1997—dare to snub the British. However, they still have their British nationality papers hidden in a pillow or stuck underneath a mattress, an insurance policy issued to them by their former magnanimous master in case things turn sour and they are lined up against the wall by a Communist firing squad. The British Home Office is now talking about revoking British nationality for British Islamic terrorists, a “right” the Brits now regret having unconditionally rewarded to too many ungrateful alien jerks who treat the basic British core values of freedom, tolerance and democracy with hostility. I miss the unequivocal George Bush: “You are either with us, or against us.” Swire does not need any American bluntness. Had he hinted with a smile at an FCC luncheon that Her Majesty’s government is about to reconsider the legitimacy of some British passports previously handed to some extremely wrong people, he would then have a fair chance of receiving a phone call from a sobbing Lam. She would tell him quietly how she misses the handbags at Liberty and afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason, before confessing that she had not meant to be Judas, but only made that treacherously stupid decision because she was held at gunpoint by a ranting PLA soldier. She would hastily add, of course, that she was calling from a phone box on a street corner at midnight in Wan Chai to avoid her phone being tapped. Would Swire then reverse the snub? Time may tell. Chip Tsao is a best-selling author, columnist and a former producer for the BBC. His columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.