An interesting perspective from Adam Williams, author of three historical novels on China, about the execution of Akmal Shaikh:-
It’s sad when cultures cannot meet halfway. It happened after the Americans bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. Every Chinese believed that it was deliberate while most Westerners thought it was an accident. The dislocation was surreal. No argument could bridge the gulf of understanding or mindset. Old friends and colleagues shook their heads and looked stony. It happened again yesterday when a Briton was executed for drug smuggling. 99% of Chinese approved the verdict, ridiculing our pleas that they test the poor man’s sanity. It was partly pride. They are strutting the world like a cockerel these days and will not be told what to do. The result of their obduracy is they’ve earned the anger of possibly their most friendly ally, for, as it appears, Akmal Shaikh died because mercy was considered to be a loss of face.