The following editorial, published by the Morning Star following the meeting between the Chinese and US presidents in Indonesia, makes a number of important points. It states that: “Western media has attacked every Chinese administration since it became clear economic reforms were never intended to lead to Western-style market primacy — when Hu Jintao retired a decade ago pundits were bewailing China’s ‘lost decade’ under his leadership since it had still not dispensed with the dominant role of public ownership (it still hasn’t).”
Refuting the claim that China is pursuing isolationist policies, it notes that the Belt and Road Initiative has eclipsed the World Bank as the biggest source of development credit worldwide and that China is the biggest trading partner of a majority of nations. It adds: “US policy has created the cold war. It is the product of an effort to maintain the hegemony of Washington and the Washington consensus — an international economic pecking order no socialist should support… The lesson is clear. Support for the new cold war on China is contrary to everything the left stands for — it’s a threat to peace and a defence of a grossly unjust world order… A serious socialist left should neither accept nor ignore the normalisation of anti-China aggression. It serves the interests of our ruling class — and undermines our own.”
Joe Biden claims a new cold war with China can be avoided.
Washington and Beijing have a responsibility to “manage our differences”, the US president says.
Fine words, and welcome, if the three-hour head to head between Biden and Xi Jinping has actually opened a path to greater co-operation.
We must hope so. China and the United States are the world’s largest economies, the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, the world leaders in scientific development.
Arresting global warming is one crucial area where it is difficult to see how progress can be made unless the breakdown in relations between Washington and Beijing is reversed.
But given the barrage of misinformation that substitutes for fact-based assessments of China across the West, we need to take Biden’s description of the cold war with a pinch of salt.
The narrative pushed openly by the Biden administration and parroted by the gormless war hawks who lead Britain’s Conservative and Labour parties is that the democratic West faces an existential threat from rising “authoritarian powers,” notably China and Russia.
China is described as authoritarian, aggressive and getting worse. Xi is said to have turned his back on the “opening up” policies of his predecessors and to lead a China that is “increasingly isolated”, in the words of the BBC.
The purpose of these reports is to convince us that worsening relations with China are China’s fault. This is not true.
Western media has attacked every Chinese administration since it became clear economic reforms were never intended to lead to Western-style market primacy — when Hu Jintao retired a decade ago pundits were bewailing China’s “lost decade” under his leadership since it had still not dispensed with the dominant role of public ownership (it still hasn’t).
As for China’s supposed isolationist turn, we must distinguish between Covid lockdown policies designed to protect public health — and which have done so far more effectively than any Western government — and the actual engagement of China with other countries.
Xi’s “isolated” regime has seen the Belt & Road project eclipse the World Bank as the biggest source of development credit worldwide. China is the biggest trading partner of a majority of nations.
“Isolation” is shorthand for trade decoupling with the West, not the world — but even that is misrepresented.
The aggression has all been one way, with the US and its allies slapping sanctions on Beijing in a bid to stymie its development, most recently through a near-total ban on the export of computer chip components to China. China — despite the ability to hit back hard given its dominance of key resources like rare earths — has tried to maintain trade ties wherever possible.
US policy has created the cold war. It is the product of an effort to maintain the hegemony of Washington and the Washington consensus — an international economic pecking order no socialist should support.
If China’s rise is a threat to “the West,” it is not that it threatens our freedoms (unlike our own governments) but the globally privileged position of US-aligned capital and the permanent subordination of a super-exploited global South.
This is no doubt why Biden felt able to rail against the “China threat” at the G7 summit of rich countries in June but has to tone down the rhetoric at the G20, where developing countries have a voice.
The lesson is clear. Support for the new cold war on China is contrary to everything the left stands for — it’s a threat to peace and a defence of a grossly unjust world order.
And that means resisting everything the new cold war entails — from higher military spending to the paranoid crackdown on cultural bodies like the Confucius Institutes.
A serious socialist left should neither accept nor ignore the normalisation of anti-China aggression. It serves the interests of our ruling class — and undermines our own.
2 thoughts on “The Biden-Xi summit and our need to resist a cold war against China”
From my personal PaGaian perspective, having this quality and depth of ancient cultural heritage to draw on is what better enables Chinese leaders past and present to synthesise the political, social and economic dynamics that we humans have been immersed in for millennia – for better and for worse. Hence for example, contemporary China’s ability to synthesise the political, economic and social dynamics of communism, capitalism and socialism and – so far at least, produce a form of socio-economic governance and productivity that is working relatively better than most if not all other forms. This is a most unlikely consideration let alone successful outcome within the relatively dualistic cosmologies and ideologies of the West, where the political and social dynamics of capitalism, communism and socialism are inevitably seen as a choice to be made between incompatible opposites.
I am from Vancouver,Canada and i wanted to say that i just listened to Canada’s foreign Minister, Melanie Joly slander China saying China is interfering in other Asian countries. China is not part of NATO which causes wars in all parts of the world. Canada is part of NATO and got troops in multiple Eastern European countries. There are mercenaries also from Canada in Ukraine.Canadian War-Ships have sailed through the Taiwan Strait. With a record like that Canada is not in a position to criticize China for interfering in other countries.
Canada is not an Independent country. It always follows the US foreign policy whether it is good or bad. The majority of countries in the world gets help from China and that can’t be said about Canada or the USA. It is Canada, USA and Europe that should be condemned for been part of NATO and causing wars and Destruction in all parts of the world.