Back when John Major was the Prime Minister in 1991, he visited China and its leader, Li Peng. It was a controversial trip, because the Tiananmen Square Massacre had occurred just two years prior, China had become ostracised from the international community, and Li Peng was known as “The Butcher of Beijing.”

Major was the first western leader to visit China after Tiananmen Square

Major was the first western leader to visit China after the massacre, and it was pretty badass: he didn’t hold back in challenging his host on hot button issues of Tibet, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and of course, the infamous massacre.

Theresa May’s visit, however, was not quite as badass. It came at what is being called the worst human rights crisis in China since the Tiananmen Square massacre, as the Chinese government are taking away people’s human rights and silencing any protestors or naysayers, but May didn’t mention it once. Instead, she just drank tea and had a good time.

The only praise she’s been getting after her visit is from China, thanking her for “sidestepping” the human rights issue. Not exactly the sort of commendation she should be looking for. Some have pointed out that May ignored the human rights issue for the sake of the trade deal she hopes to strike with China. Brexit has got us up S**t Creek without a paddle and the only way out is a trade deal with China, so it would be wise not to tick them off. Still, ignoring human rights and silencing people – it’s hard to condone, frankly.