NATO, not China, is to blame for the Ukraine crisis

This combative opinion piece from Global Times addresses the recent comment by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg effectively labelling China as an accomplice in Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. The article recalls NATO’s history of aggression – belying the alliance’s claims to a ‘defensive’ character – and draws the logical conclusion that “this obsolete military organization … should have been dismantled long ago.”

The Ukraine crisis was largely triggered by NATO’s aggressive eastward expansion. The bloc is the culprit. Instead of reflecting on itself, NATO piles pressure on other countries to stand with it against Russia. This is unreasonable and quite sinister.

“China should join the rest of the world in condemning strongly the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday, “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law so we call on [China] to clearly condemn the invasion and of course not support Russia. And we are closely monitoring any signs of support from China to Russia.”

NATO is a puppet of the US, a Cold War military bloc manipulated by the US. The obsolete military organization has launched many ruthless military aggressions and triggered corresponding disasters in which local people underwent great suffering. NATO’s aerial bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 during the Kosovo War is one example. 

Continue reading NATO, not China, is to blame for the Ukraine crisis

Reminder: 21st Century Socialism – China and Latin America on the Frontline (19 March)

Our next webinar takes place on Saturday 19 March 2022, midday (US Eastern) / 9am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain)

China is the world’s largest socialist country and a leading proponent of multipolarity. As such it has an indispensable role in inspiring and creating a favourable environment for the global transition to socialism. Meanwhile, in the last two decades, progressive governments and movements in Latin America have been blazing a trail in exploring new paths towards socialism in the 21st century. Friendship and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Latin American left is therefore an indispensable component of the global struggle for socialism and against imperialism.

This event will explore a number of themes, including the history of friendship and solidarity between China and Latin America; the legacy of Hugo Chávez in encouraging a new era of socialist internationalism; the US’s aggression against popular movements – regime change coups, economic warfare, lawfare and destabilisation; China’s emerging role as a key partner for Latin America and the Caribbean; the growing attraction of the Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America; the place of Latin America in the US-led New Cold War; China and Latin America on the global frontlines of resisting imperialism; the renewal of diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua; and the role of international law and the UN in pushing back against hegemony.

Confirmed speakers

  • Dilma Rousseff (keynote) – Former President of Brazil
  • Ma Hui – China’s ambassador to Cuba
  • Carlos Miguel Pereira – Cuban ambassador to China
  • Carlos Ron – President, Simón Bolívar Institute (Venezuela)
  • Jiang Shixue – Director, Center for Latin American Studies, Shanghai University (China)
  • Margaret Kimberley – Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report (US)
  • Ben Norton – Journalist, Multipolarista (Nicaragua)
  • Camila Escalante – Reporter, Kawsachun News (Bolivia)
  • Elias Jabbour – Adjunct Professor of Economics, Rio de Janeiro State University (Brazil)
  • Francisco Domínguez – Secretary, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (Britain)
  • Carlos Martinez – Co-editor, Friends of Socialist China (Britain)
  • Moderator: Radhika Desai – Convenor, International Manifesto Group (Canada)

Supported by

Ambassador Qin Gang: Where China stands regarding Ukraine

In this important article, originally published as an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Qin Gang, China’s Ambassador to the US and one of his country’s most skilled and experienced diplomats, sets out Beijing’s principled position on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine for the American public and refutes a number of misconceptions being spread in that regard. Most importantly, he makes it crystal clear that:

Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China. There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine. China is the biggest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, and the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.

Many Americans are understandably trying to understand where China stands as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, so I want to take this opportunity to explain fully and dispel any misunderstandings and rumors.

There have been claims that China had prior knowledge of Russia’s military action and demanded Russia delay it until the Winter Olympics concluded. Recent rumors further claimed that Russia was seeking military assistance from China. Let me say this responsibly: Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China. There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine. China is the biggest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, and the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.

Continue reading Ambassador Qin Gang: Where China stands regarding Ukraine

Deteriorating healthcare system reflects deep-rooted problems with US democracy

The following article by Carlos Martinez, first published in CGTN, describes the escalating healthcare crisis in the US, particularly the wave of maternity ward closures in low-income and remote areas. Carlos compares this with the universal public healthcare system in China, which continues to gain strength.

A recent Vox report notes that maternity wards throughout the United States have been closing down, a process that has been underway for several years but which has accelerated over the course of the pandemic.

Predictably, this wave of maternity ward closures has resulted in increased travel times for women in labor. There have even been reports of people having to give birth on the side of the road, unable to reach a medical facility in time. Such a situation is scandalous, particularly in one of the world’s richest countries and a country that considers itself a leading force of democracy and human advancement. And yet it is barely considered newsworthy to the Western media.

As is so often the case, low-income and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately impacted. This is a direct function of the private healthcare system in the U.S., which is driven by profits rather than the imperative of providing crucial services to the population. It is often not financially viable for hospitals to provide labor and delivery services in remote rural or low-income areas.

Continue reading Deteriorating healthcare system reflects deep-rooted problems with US democracy

China’s Two Sessions vs Biden’s State of the Union: A tale of system divergence

In his latest article on The Chronicles of Haiphong, Danny Haiphong compares two recently-held major political events: China’s ‘Two Sessions’ and the US State of the Union address. Danny observes that, while Biden’s address was a predictable sequence of false promises and assertions of American hegemony, China’s Two Sessions were an exercise in democracy, summing up thousands of intensive discussions and debates over the past year and, on that basis, setting out concrete tasks for the coming year – with a clear focus on improving living standards and stepping up efforts to tackle climate change and biodiversity. Danny notes that this system divergence, with China continuing to rise and the US continuing to decline, is a major part of the US ruling class’s motivation in fomenting the current New Cold War, which offers nothing for ordinary people in the West and which must be firmly opposed.

The two largest economies in the world have been busy on the political front. U.S. President Joe Biden opened the month of March with his first State of the Union (SOTU) Address. China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 4th for the annual two sessions conference. Rarely are these events discussed together. What binds them is a tale of system divergence.

Joe Biden’s SOTU presented a snapshot into an empire in decline. The first fifteen-plus minutes of the speech were spent beating the drums of war with Russia over its intervention in Ukraine. Biden announced new restrictions on airline flights to and from Russia that pile onto an already intense package of sanctions designed to starve Russia into submission. Ukraine was portrayed in a predictably heroic light, with Biden passionately asserting that the U.S. stands with the people of Ukraine for “freedom over tyranny.” Biden promised that the U.S. would punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his so-called rejection of diplomacy, but stopped short of calling for direct U.S. military involvement.

Beyond pouring gasoline on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Biden used the State of the Union to pour American exceptionalism on the U.S. public. “We are going to be okay” assured Biden, detailing accomplishment after accomplishment with the typical American hubris. Job numbers are growing. The pandemic situation has improved. And Biden made sure to spend ample time promising the public more jobs and a revival of manufacturing to win the battle of “democracy” versus China’s “autocracy.”

Continue reading China’s Two Sessions vs Biden’s State of the Union: A tale of system divergence

Wang Yi’s press conference provides global snapshot of China’s foreign policy

The following transcript of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s press conference on 7 March 2022, held on the sidelines of the Fifth Session of the 13th National People’s Congress, provides an instructive and valuable global snapshot of China’s foreign policy. Touching on Ukraine, Russia, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, the South Pacific, China-Africa cooperation, China-Latin America cooperation, Taiwan, the Global Development Initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative, the New Cold War and more, the constant theme is China’s unwavering commitment to peace, global development, conflict resolution through dialogue, solidarity and cooperation; in summary, the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. Wang reiterates China’s unambiguous opposition to the New Cold War, to unilateralism and bloc politics, and calls for safeguarding the UN-based system of international law, based on the UN Charter.

Wang Yi: Friends from the media, good afternoon. I am very pleased to meet you again. For the world, the year ahead continues to be full of challenges. The world has not completely defeated COVID-19, and yet it is now facing the Ukraine crisis. An international situation already rife with uncertainties is becoming more complex and fluid. At such a critical moment, countries need solidarity, not division; dialogue, not confrontation. As a responsible major country, China will continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism. We will work with all peace-loving and development-seeking countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, jointly meet challenges, and continue to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. We will strive together for a brighter and better future for the world. With these words, I’m ready to take your questions.

China Central Television: The Beijing Olympic Winter Games has been a great success, which was not easy under the current international circumstances. Some foreigners say that China has more confidence and strength than it staged the Olympic Games in 2008. What is your view?

Wang Yi: With the joint efforts of China and the international community, the Beijing Olympic Winter Games has achieved a full success. We have presented to the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Games, and a more confident, self-reliant, open and inclusive China. Around 170 official representatives from close to 70 countries and international organizations were at the Opening Ceremony, supporting China with concrete actions. Here, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to friends from all countries that have participated in and supported Beijing 2022.

Beijing 2022 is not only a success for China, but also a success for the world. It represents not just the triumph of sport but, more importantly, the triumph of solidarity. The Games was held amid the spread of Omicron and rising tensions over regional hot-spots. It also faced politically-motivated attempts of disruption and sabotage by a handful of countries. Under such circumstances, it was inspiring to see that the overwhelming majority of countries and people chose to unite under the Olympic spirit, bringing hope to people beset by the pandemic and confidence to a world overshadowed by instability.

As we speak, athletes from around the world are giving their best performance on the winter Paralympic field of play. I am confident that the light of unity and cooperation created by the Olympic and Paralympic Games will shine through mist and rain, and illuminate the path for humanity to jointly forge ahead into the future.

Continue reading Wang Yi’s press conference provides global snapshot of China’s foreign policy

Ben Norton, Danny Haiphong and Carlos Martinez discuss China-Latin America relations

In this stream recorded on 10 March 2022, Ben Norton, Danny Haiphong and Carlos Martinez discuss a number of issues: the evolving relationship between China and Latin America; the motivation for our forthcoming event 21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline; the connection between multipolarity and socialism; the unfolding crisis in Ukraine; and Russia’s role in an increasingly multipolar world.

Common prosperity in action in Anhui Province

In this video made for CGTN by Michael Dunford, Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (and Friends of Socialist China advisory group member), we get a glimpse of common prosperity in action, as Michael travels to a village at Tuohu Lake, in the northeast of Anhui Province. With the aim of revitalizing the village and promoting high-quality sustainable development, the village cooperative has worked with the local authorities to improve the water system and to adopt traditional, environmentally-friendly agricultural practices. Combined with technologies such as an internet-of-things monitoring system and e-commerce, the villagers have been able to significantly improve their standard of living whilst simultaneously contributing to biodiversity and environmental protection.

Interview: China’s democracy represents people while Western-style democracy serves the interests of monopoly capitalism

This interview with Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong was published in Global Times on 7 March 2022. Global Times reporter Yu Jincui asks Danny’s opinion regarding the 2022 ‘Two Sessions’, the evolution of China’s whole-process people’s democracy, the comparison between Chinese and Western democracy, and the motivation for setting up Friends of Socialist China.

GT: What’s your expectation for the Two Sessions this year and how do you view its significance concerning China’s future development?  

 China is holding the two sessions in a moment of unprecedented global crisis. The resurgence of COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant has dampened the economic forecast in China and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has certainly raised questions about the future of international stability and China’s role in helping secure it.

Despite the gravity of these developments, China will use the two sessions to begin discussions on a number of policies that embody the spirit and mission  of the 14th Five-Year plan. At the top of the agenda is the dual management of COVID-19 and economic growth targets. Issues and policies relating to China’s goal of achieving “common prosperity” on the road to fully building a modern socialist country by 2050 will undoubtedly be the subject of deliberations at the two sessions. 

My expectation is that the two sessions will reaffirm China’s capacity to lead by example through whole-process democracy. China is the only world power at the moment in a position to chart a development plan that meets the interests of the people for a better life. Through direct consultation and participation of grassroots deputies representing all levels of society, China possesses a mechanism in the two sessions which can chart a clear path toward meeting concrete development goals.

GT: How do you understand whole-process people’s democracy? Compared with Western-style democracy, what do you think is the biggest difference?

 Whole-process people’s democracy is a governance system congruent with socialism with Chinese characteristics. Whole-process people’s democracy establishes a system of consultation and grassroots mobilization which takes into account China’s specific conditions of development. Direct elections are held at the village level and corresponding deputies at higher levels are subsequently elected by lower levels of the governance system based upon a record of service to the people. Whole-process democracy is bidirectional, meaning that regular consultation occurs between higher levels of the governance system such as the NPC and provincial and local authorities to ensure policies properly balance national priorities and local considerations.Whole-process people’s democracy is different from Western-style democracy in several areas. The biggest difference is that whole-process people’s democracy is structured to meet the goals and plans set forth by the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics while Western-style democracy is structured to serve the interests of monopoly capitalism. Unlike Western-style democracy, whole-process people’s democracy does not view procedure as an achievement in and of itself. A major measure of success is how well deputies and governance structures serve the desire of the people for a better life. Western-style democracy, on the other hand, views the election of representatives itself as the highest achievement. The question of whether this system serves the needs of the broad masses of people is generally ignored in order to obscure the fact that powerful corporate interests set the policy agenda well before votes are cast.

GT: Over 5,000 deputies of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference are gathering in Beijing. They come from all walks of life across the country. How do you see the difference between Chinese lawmakers and American lawmakers? A view holds that US lawmakers are more adept at playing electoral politics rather than solving real problems facing the country. How do you view this? 

 US lawmakers are generally selected by wealthy elites first and elected by the people second. The majority of representatives in the US Congress are millionaires who accumulated their wealth through satisfying the interests of monopoly corporations and private financial institutions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example, has achieved a net worth of about $100 million during her more than 30-year career in Congress. US lawmakers and their staff often move from government positions to the corporate boardrooms of their donors and lobbyists. Several former aides to Democratic Party Senator Joe Manchin currently work for energy lobbies that played a key role in stymying increased investment in infrastructure and renewable energy development.

The immense influence of private wealth over the political careers and policies of US lawmakers incentivizes procedure over solving real problems that impact the lives of the impoverished and oppressed. Unlike China, where the government is structured to enact people-centered development plans, the US governance system is designed to reproduce policies that reinforce the status quo. This explains why despite rhetorical differences on certain issues, Democrats and Republicans from Joe Biden and Donald Trump to members of Congress often carry out a similar policy framework of increased war spending, subsidies for the wealthiest corporations, and austerity measures that negatively impact the livelihoods of ordinary people.

Another stark difference between lawmakers in the US and China is their social character. Poor workers in the US generally do not have the means or wealth to compete in elections that require massive financial expenditures to run successful campaigns. Furthermore, the interests of ethnic and racial minorities are only given attention when social conditions, such as the Black Lives Matter protests, demand it. It’s clear, however, that Joe Biden’s key role in writing legislation that led to an enormous rise in the African-American prison population and his support of militarizing police departments that exacerbate racial tensions indicate that the interests of racial minorities are treated as an afterthought.

In China, ethnic minorities are not only provided representation at the highest levels of governance but their economic, cultural, and political interests also find expression in policy discussion and implementation. Furthermore, wealth is not a determinant of political participation. Lawmakers come from all walks of life and are judged by their service to the village, municipality, province, and the nation at large.

GT: China insists that countries with different political systems can coexist, and it emphasizes win-win results in the development process. However, the US and some Western countries want to divide the world into democracy vs autocracy. What risks and consequences will this bring to the world?

 Viewing the world from the prism of “democracy” and “autocracy” is indicative of a new Cold War mentality. The US describes China, Russia, and a select number of countries as “autocratic” to justify its policy of unipolar aggression. The label “autocracy” comes with an equally aggressive propaganda campaign that influences public opinion to support war. Furthermore, Americans and citizens of the West are taught to blame their problems on a foreign “adversary.” Major threats to humanity such as war, climate change, and poverty become increasingly difficult to address when so-called “democracies” in the West pursue narrow self-interests and divide the world instead of win-win cooperation. This is the true character of Western-style “democracy:” endless militarism and domestic policies that favor a small, wealthy minority of the population.

GT: Friends of Socialist China is aimed at spreading an understanding of Chinese socialism. Why do you choose to engage in such a work? Being an editor of Friends of Socialist China, What are the difficulties in promoting the understanding of Chinese socialism in the Western world?

 Friends of Socialist China was conceived by myself and colleagues of mine amid great dissatisfaction with the low level of solidarity with China that exists even among the most progressive-minded journalists and activists in the West. 

It is important to us that the New Cold War being led by the US is challenged not just on the basis of its irrationality and negative consequences for humanity, but also from the standpoint of an endless stream of misinformation about China.

Much of the propaganda spread by Western media is based on a Cold War understanding of China that negates the important achievements of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the modern era. This is a great disservice to people in the West. People in the West are denied the right to learn from China’s successes in poverty alleviation, renewable energy, high-technology, COVID-19 containment, infrastructure development and more. We hope to change that in the interest of peace. People in the West need to know the real China if they are to develop the empathy and solidarity required in the development of world peace. 

The biggest impediment to this work is the highly concentrated private media in the West and how it acts as a lever of misinformation for US-led cold war policies. Public opinion on China has declined significantly, and anti-China propaganda has led to a spike in racist incidents toward Chinese and people of Asian descent in the US and the West. All of this creates inevitable hostilities to our work, but we have also seen an increasing number of people take interest in China and want to do their part to reverse these troubling trends.

GT: Under the crisis of capitalism and democracy in the US, what changes have occurred in the attitudes of young Americans toward socialism? Is socialism becoming more attractive?

 Rampant inequality and dim prospects for the future have indeed increased interest in socialism in the US, especially for young Americans under the age of 35.

This is a massive shift in the post-Cold War status quo in the US which argued that the world had entered the “end of history”, meaning capitalism would forever remain hegemonic. The collapse of the Soviet Union paved the way for an unprecedented expansion of US aggression and wars on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and several others. Finance capital also found ample room to expand to the point where it became “too big to fail” after causing the biggest global economic crisis since the Great Depression in 2007-08. 

Amid increased spending for war and decreased spending on social needs, young Americans have become frustrated with low wages, diminished job prospects, high costs of living, blatant racial injustices, and the hypocrisy of political officials spending enormous resources on massive defense budgets, fossil fuel subsidies, and stimulus packages for the wealthiest financial institutions responsible for their problems. Young Americans desire a kind of “common prosperity” that takes their interests into account. They believe that socialism is worth exploring as a possible way forward. However, the debate over what socialism would look like in the US remains unresolved. We at Friends of Socialist China understand that while China’s model of socialism cannot be exported to the US, its commitment to improving the lives of the people certainly deserves more attention.

Greetings on International Women’s Day

Greetings and solidarity on International Women’s Day to the women of China and to all women around the world building socialism and fighting for liberation.

From the Cold War to the New Cold War: an ongoing project of imperialist domination

The video embedded below is a speech given by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez on 6 March 2022 at an online panel discussion entitled ‘Demystifying modern, socialist China: From Belt and Road to Xinjiang’, jointly organised by the Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire Morning Star Readers & Supporters groups. Carlos discusses the imperialist nature of the original Cold War; its relation to the current state of international relations (particularly the escalating tensions between the US and China); and the importance for progressive, socialist and anti-war forces of struggling against this New Cold War.

Beijing’s Winter Paralympics: a symbol of human rights

This article by Keith Lamb, originally published in CGTN, examines the preparations that have been made in China for the 2022 Winter Paralympics, and explores how these connect to a growing understanding in China of disability rights, along with an expanding infrastructure to support those rights.

Holding both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in Beijing is unprecedented. Also, it is no lesser an achievement that Beijing will hold both the Summer and Winter Paralympics. If the Olympics represent the harmonious bringing together of global diversity, united in the pursuit of excellence by competing for gold, then the Paralympics goes a step further by including excellence from all members of society.

Some see the Paralympics as a charitable sideshow to the Olympics but this is not the case. Even in the Olympics, athletes are separated in different divisions. The 100-metre sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica’s gold, in Tokyo 2020, is no lesser an achievement than gold in the men’s division.

Likewise, athletes in combat sports are divided by weight. Welterweight boxer Floyd Mayweather would easily be floored by a “run-of-the mill” heavyweight but he is nevertheless classed, in terms of skill, as one of the best of all time.

Continue reading Beijing’s Winter Paralympics: a symbol of human rights

Political structures in socialist China

This month sees the annual sessions of China’s leading advisory and legislative bodies – the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People’s Congress (NPC). They are a key event in the country’s political calendar where the programme for government is debated and agreed. In this article, Charles McKelvey provides valuable insights into China’s socialist democracy and how it differs from bourgeois democracy.

In the Wikipedia entry on China, there is a section on “Politics of China,” and a subsection on “National People’s Congress.”  As is evident from the extensive citations, this subsection on the “National People’s Congress” was written on the basis of the archives and documents of the government of China, including those of the National People’s Congress.  It is a straightforward description, revealing the structures through which the Chinese political process favors the power of the people and limits the possibility for control of the decision-making process by the bureaucracy of the Chinese state, a Chinese capitalist class, or foreign capitalist or imperialist interests.  At the same, these structures permit the Communist Party of China to control the political process only insofar as the Party has support of a strong majority of the people.

One does not find in the Wikipedia entry on China any correction of supposed misstatements of fact or alleged distorted understandings found in the above-mentioned subsection on the “National People’s Congress.”  This is curious, given that the Western intellectuals who disseminate their claim of authoritarianism in China certainly have the means and resources to rectify any errors that appear in the English-language entry on China in Wikipedia.  The reason for this curiosity is that Western intellectuals who disseminate the claim of authoritarianism in China (and other states constructing socialism) use a strategy of ignoring the structures of people’s power.  They pretend that structures of people’s power do not exist, with the realistic expectation that their audience will not be informed about such structures, thus permitting Western “anti-authoritarian” intellectuals to get away with claims that are contradicted by reality.  Rather than refuting particular explanations offered in defense of the structures of people’s power, the strategy of the Western intellectuals is to depend on the deep-seeded and wide tendency to not pay attention to such explanations.  They therefore have no response to a fact-based description of the structures and processes of the National People’s Congress in China.

Continue reading Political structures in socialist China

Explaining China’s abstention on the UN General Assembly resolution regarding Ukraine

What follows is an explanation by Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, of China’s abstention on the UN General Assembly resolution regarding Ukraine on 1 March.

This explanation was supplemented by Wang Wenbin, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference on 3 March 2022, who noted the escalating sanctions regime being installed by the US and its allies against Russia, observing that the US also had an important hand in creating the crisis: “International media lately mentioned many times that George Kennan, former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, suggested to the US government in 1990s that expanding NATO up to Russia’s borders would be the most fateful error. Regrettably, the US government turned a deaf ear to this. Tulsi Gabbard, former member of the House of Representatives, said that the crisis could have been ended and the war easily avoided if President Biden had simply promised not to accept Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO. But they chose not to do so. Those who created the problem should be the ones to undo it. We hope the culprits of the crisis can take real action to ease the situation and resolve the problem instead of shifting the blame to others.”

Mr. President,

There continues to be dramatic changes of the situation in Ukraine. What is now unfolding is indeed heart-wrenching. China’s basic position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and unequivocal. We always believe that all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, and that international disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The top priority right now is to ease the situation on the ground as much as possible, and prevent the situation from escalating or even getting out of control. Russia and Ukraine have already held their first round of negotiations. Despite their differences, both sides have shown their willingness to continue the negotiations. China welcomes this. Faced with the highly complex and sensitive situation, China once again calls on the international community to stick to the overall direction of political settlement and foster an enabling atmosphere and conditions for direct dialogues and negotiations between the parties concerned.

Continue reading Explaining China’s abstention on the UN General Assembly resolution regarding Ukraine

Interview: is China an imperialist force in Latin America?

Interviewed by Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman for Sputnik’s By Any Means Necessary radio show, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez discusses the recent expansion of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean. He specifically addresses the issue of whether China’s relationship with the region is exploitative, and compares and contrasts it with the behaviour of the US and the international financial institutions.

The full show can be found on Sputnik News.

USA vs China: Whose Economy is Winning?

What is the real state of the world economy? This webinar on 28 January 2022, organized by the International Manifesto Group, assessed the relative strengths of the two most important protagonists, China and the US. As the rift between them deepens with the threat of direct military confrontation looming, propaganda has virtually replaced hard facts. Speakers included Michael Hudson, Mick Dunford, Michael Roberts and Alan Freeman. The webinar was introduced and moderated by Radhika Desai. This report was originally published on New Cold War.

Introduction by Radhika Desai

Rumour and speculation are swirling about the USA’s post-COVID recovery whilst allegations that China is suffering a ‘slowdown’ are hard to distinguish from simple Cold War hype. At stake also are the social systems of the two economies, as the USA still struggles to throw off the pandemic by opening the vaults to Big Pharma, whilst China reigns in its property speculators and private technology companies ,and goes ever more green, at the same time ambitiously recentring its economy in response to the USA’s aggressive trade and technology restrictions. Our panel’s three experts will dissect the war of words and detach facts from flimflam.

Continue reading USA vs China: Whose Economy is Winning?