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Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping proudly stood together in Beijing in February and told the world that their countries' friendship ‘has no limits'.

Neither, it seems, does the shameless and disgraceful hypocrisy of Big Business - trumpeting its ‘principled' stand against Russian aggression while continuing to support the equally brutal Chinese regime, which has become Putin's lifeline in its war against Ukraine.

Within days of the Kremlin's invasion, a parade of virtue-signalling global brands announced their oh-so-noble intentions to abandon their business interests and exit the Russian market.

Disney, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, BP, Shell… hundreds of companies joined the self-righteous corporate cavalcade.

Profits be damned! We're putting our values first! 

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping proudly declaring their countries' friendship ‘has no limits' at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping proudly declaring their countries' friendship ‘has no limits' at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February

Xi Jinping (pictured) has presided over more than a million people being detained in Xinjiang; women made to endure forced sterilisation; accusations of torture and sexual abuse

Xi Jinping (pictured) has presided over more than a million people being detained in Xinjiang; women made to endure forced sterilisation; accusations of torture and sexual abuse

But how to make eat cleaning do those ‘values' fit with tolerating genocide carried out by a country which has more than a billion potential consumers and is set to become the world's largest economy by 2030?

China's crimes against the Uighurs and other mainly Muslim ethnic groups have been well documented.

More than a million people detained; women made to endure forced sterilisation; accusations of torture and sexual abuse.

Where is the stampede of Western companies falling over themselves to dissociate their brands from these crimes against humanity?
In fact, far from condemnation, the titans of the business world have become apologists for Beijing.

This is not a one-off moral lapse. The examples of corporate leaders prostrating themselves in a humiliating kowtow to China over the years are far too numerous to list.

But in the light of the sanctimonious grandstanding over Ukraine, some deserve special mention.

Oil giant BP was one of the first companies to leave Russia after the invasion, announcing the move with a statement from its chief executive, which read: ‘My heart goes out to everyone affected.'

Isn't it curious, though, that his heart has seemingly been unmoved ‘by the situation unfolding' in China, where far more people have been victimised, for far longer?

Indeed, BP's website still states that it ‘is one of the leading foreign investors… one of the first foreign companies to begin operating in China… playing an active role in China's economic development', with ‘extensive interests'.

Above: UK-based Uighurs demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament. Disney, which pulled out of Russia in protest at the war in Ukraine, is still fully committed to China and even filmed the live action version of Mulan in Xinjiang

Above: UK-based Uighurs demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament.

Disney, which pulled out of Russia in protest at the war in Ukraine, is still fully committed to China and even filmed the live action version of Mulan in Xinjiang

Above: What is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang. Nike and Apple (along with Coca-Cola) lobbied against legislation in the US Congress designed to outlaw the use of slave labour from Xinjiang, home of the Uighurs

Above: What is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang. Nike and Apple (along with Coca-Cola) lobbied against legislation in the US Congress designed to outlaw the use of slave labour from Xinjiang, home of the Uighurs

Disney announced that it was pulling out of Russia because of the ‘escalating humanitarian crisis' caused by Russia's ‘unrelenting assault on Ukraine'.

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