History is littered with tragedies in which individuals or nations betray their long-term interests for short-term advantage. This week's show trials in China may be just such a case. In a world full of danger and drama, the Tianjin trials have won little attention at home or abroad. Only China watchers and human rights campaigners freeze to attention as a mighty country, one which says it is ruled by law, holds a group of lawyers for a year without access to family or representation, and then convicts them in trials unworthy of a great nation.
Don't imagine I'm writing an attack on China. I've lived here on-and-off for three decades and I pay tribute to China's many immense achievements since then. But this week's Tianjin trials have been a charade unworthy of a great civilisation and are surely not in China's long term interest. They deserve the attention of Chinese citizens and the world. Read more