Did Canada supply ‘infected insects’ to US military during the Korean War?

Even more than 70 years later, the claim, advanced by the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), that the United States resorted to bacteriological, or germ, warfare during the 1950-53 Korean War (known in China as the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea and in the DPRK as the Fatherland Liberation War) remains one of the most controversial issues surrounding that brutal conflict. Official western circles have constantly tried to dismiss it as nothing but crude communist propaganda, despite its corroboration by various international delegations, including some of the finest minds of the age, such as the world-renowned British scientist, Dr. Joseph Needham.

In this important and detailed article, which we are very pleased to reprint from The Canada Files, Jeffrey S. Kaye, sheds signicant new light on the issue, centered on possible Canadian involvement and the stand taken by the then Chair of the Canadian Peace Congress, Rev. James G. Endicott. 

Like Needham, Endicott was an important historical figure. As the article notes: “He was a famous churchman who spent over two decades as a missionary in China, and was a leader of Canada’s United Christian Church. Endicott was well-known inside Ottawa’s government hallways. In the 1940s he had been an adviser to Soong Mei-ling, aka Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and China’s New Life Movement…Endicott had tried to convince Chiang Kai-Shek, unsuccessfully, of the importance of implementing land reform. Reporting back to the OSS [Office of Strategic Services, the US intelligence agency in World War II] on Chinese leaders in both the Kuomintang and Communist Party, Endicott found himself more and more drawn to the sincerity and popularity of the Communists, and he came to feel they offered the best hope for the Chinese people.”

Referring to the role of Fort Churchill in Canada’s Manitoba province, Kaye cites a 2020 book by Nicholson Baker, Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act, which described the military facility as the site of “Canada’s Defence Research Northern Laboratory, which did cold-weather weapons testing.” The area had been used by Chemical Corps researchers since 1946 and was the site of a US test release of radioactive mosquitoes in 1949. That same year, suspicions fell upon the site after a number of Inuit [indigenous people] succumbed to a mysterious illness.

This was significant as: “Quite famously, the first reports of US germ warfare in 1952 came during the dead of the Korean and Manchurian winter. Critics pointed to pictures the Communists released of insects wiggling on mounds of snow. They made much of the fact that it seemed absurd to think insects could be used as weapons in such a harsh climate.

“Was the secret work at Fort Churchill related to experiments with insect cold-hardiness or perhaps the breeding of more cold resistant insects and bacteria to be used in germ warfare during the Korean War…

“Biological warfare researchers in the West, as well as in Japan, were interested in how their bioweapons would work in wintry conditions. This was important as from the standpoint of these countries, the Soviet Union, with its vast tracts of frigid countryside, was thought of as their most likely target.

“Shiro Ishii, the leader of Unit 731, Japan’s World War Two biological warfare unit, was, according to General MacArthur’s office in postwar Tokyo, an expert on ‘the use of BW in cold climates.'”

Japan’s Unit 731, which was based in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, was notorious for its cruel experiments on Chinese, Soviet and other prisoners. It is well-established that its work was taken over by the United States following the conclusion of World War II.

The article also cites entomologist Jeremy A. Lockwood’s book, Six-Legged Insects: Using Insects as Weapons of War, establishing a connection between biological warfare research by Canada and the USA’s still notorious Fort Detrick: “Although Camp Detrick’s upper echelon was partial to airborne dissemination of pathogens, the Canadians’ progress with rearing and disseminating insect vectors could not be dismissed. Entomologists from the two countries collaborated on a series of field experiments ranging from the banal to the bizarre.”

Faced with tremendous threats and pressure, including calls for him to be charged with treason, Kaye details Endicott’s stand:

“For his part, faced with strong public criticism from Canadian politicians and editorial writers, not to mention possible prosecution, Dr. Endicott denied having accused Canada of any cooperation with the United States in biological warfare attacks against China or the DPRK. But, Endicott reiterated his belief in the veracity of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s charges regarding US use of biological weapons. His conviction stemmed from a recent trip to northeast China, where he visited alleged germ war attack sites, and interviewed Chinese scientists, as well as peasant witnesses to the infected insects and feather bomb attacks.”

He continues: “Both declassified records and oral histories have been used in recent years to document the fact that Canada was in league with the United States biological warfare program. Endicott, knowing he was walking on thin legal ice – the Canadian government had recently passed a draconian law against anyone speaking out against allied forces fighting in the Korean War – may have pulled his punches to stay out of prison.

“The new law stated that a Canadian citizen could be prosecuted for ‘assisting, while in or out of Canada, any enemy at war with Canada or any armed forces against whom Canadian forces are engaged in hostilities whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are [fighting].'”

Moreover, this matter is not merely of historical interest. As Kaye explains: “According to Canada’s 2022 submission to the UN Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) review conference regarding ‘confidence building measures’ relevant to adherence to the Biological Weapons and Toxin Convention, Canada’s Biological Defence Program at DRDC spent ‘approximately $3,365,269 CAD.’ Another $4 million was spent on contracts with ‘external entities’ in industry and universities.

“Canada’s BWC document states, ‘No offensive [BW] studies of any kind are permitted by the Government of Canada.’ But it notes that military research does continue on ‘the mode of action and toxicity of toxins and the mode of action and infectivity of biological agents,’ supposedly exclusively for defensive purposes. But the Canadian government has made such claims historically before, and has been proven to have lied.”

Despite the threats made against him, Rev. Endicott continued to campaign. As the article notes: “On Sunday 11 May 1952, Dr. Endicott appeared before approximately eight to eleven thousand attendees at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. He was the featured speaker at a rally commemorating the close of a three-day session of the Canadian Peace Congress. According to Endicott’s biographer, son Stephen Endicott, in his 1980 book, James G. Endicott, Rebel Out of China (University of Toronto Press), the meeting was threatened by Endicott’s ‘opponents [who] arrived at Maple Leaf Gardens with eggs, tomatoes, firecrackers, stink-bomb, and placards’ (pp. 295).

“In response to the threat, Peace Congress officials had called upon five hundred ‘peace supporters, seamen, auto-workers, steel and electrical workers, miners from Sudbury, and other trade unionists’ who volunteered to protect the meeting. In the end, there was no significant disturbance (p. 296). The Canadian government intervened to the extent it could by preventing black scholar WEB DuBois from crossing the US border to address the meeting…

“In Dr. Endicott’s pamphlet, I Accuse, published after the May 1952 speech, the former missionary, turned activist against imperialist war crimes, asked the public:

If you had seen what I have seen, what would you say?

What would you say if you had seen with your own eyes sections of the brains of children who had died from acute encephalitis following germ-war bombardments by US aircraft?…

If you had talked to churchmen and Red Cross officials who thoroughly confirmed what the others said?

If as a result of all this you found out beyond reasonable doubt that germ warfare had been committed, what would you say?

Would you be silent? That would make you an accomplice.

Or would you speak out?”

This is an important and well-researched article which deserves to be carefully read. 

It was late April 1952 and the Korean War was nearing its second anniversary with no end in sight. In Canada, newspapers and the Canadian government erupted in fury when it was reported that the Canadian Peace Congress’ chairman implied that Canada may have supplied infected insects to U.S. forces, who were accused of bombing the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and China with bacteriological or “germ” weapons.

China and the DPRK (also referred to as North Korea) accused the United States, under the umbrella of United Nations intervention, of using fleas, flies and other insects that had been deliberately infected with plague, cholera, anthrax and other diseases, to deliver deadly pathogens to Communist troops and civilians.

Continue reading Did Canada supply ‘infected insects’ to US military during the Korean War?

Bank rescue implies US insecurities about technological hegemony

We are pleased to publish this original article by Serena Sojic-Borne – a community organizer in New Orleans and member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization – about the economics and geopolitics of the banking crisis.

Serena locates the origins of this crisis in overproduction in the US technology sector, along with the risk-taking behavior inherent to venture capital. She further explores the link between the situation of the US technology sector and the escalating US-led New Cold War on China. In contrast to the chaos and declining innovation of the tech industry in the US, China is “successfully regulating larger firms and taking advantage of smaller start-ups to fuel technological growth for the socialist state”. The only response the US has is, contrary to all its free market rhetoric, to resort to protectionism. The article cites former chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Jon Bateman recommending that Washington “institute controls in technology areas where China seems close to securing unique, strategically significant, and long-lasting advantages.” This provides important context to, for example, the attempts to ban TikTok.

Hence Cold War attacks on China are, to a significant degree, an expression of a capitalist system that’s running out of steam.

Less than one month before Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released “US Hegemony and its Perils,” a report outlining the strategies of US imperialism. Technological monopoly, important among them, now exposes its contradictions. The recent banking panic reflected just how much American capitalism threatens its own technological growth, and the lengths the US will go to salvage it.

SVB relied on the tech industry. During the height of the pandemic, tech boomed as it provided for work and education going remote. The bank’s main depositors came from this sector. As firms rushed to corner their share of the expanding market, SVB scrambled to make new deposits profitable. Lending money wasn’t easy, because the industry rolled in revenue faster than it could re-absorb it. So the bank invested in held-to-maturity securities, such as long-term bonds. The longest-term bonds yielded the best interest rates of the time, even though these rates are unprofitably low today.

The writing was on the wall when the tech industry reached a point of overproduction and reversal in 2021, months before the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes began. Big companies laid off workers and small ones closed down. SVB’s loans failed and its deposits started declining. Higher rates only lit the match, and burned up the value of bank’s low interest assets. Silvergate and Signature suffered similar fates because of their similar reliance on a tech-related expansion in cryptocurrency.

Some commentators say this is the story of an interest rate crunch, and blame SVB for failing to diversify its assets. Others recognize the difficulty of doing so when lending opportunities were scarce, and will still blame SVB for being too reliant on one economic sector.

Continue reading Bank rescue implies US insecurities about technological hegemony

China, Vietnam to uphold and develop socialist democracy

Relations between the socialist neighbors of China and Vietnam have continued to move forward on a warm and comradely basis since Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, became the first foreign leader to visit Beijing following the conclusion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last October.

On March 28, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang held a telephone conversation with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son, marking the 15th anniversary of the conclusion of a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement between the two countries.

Calling China and Vietnam comrades and brothers, Qin said the Chinese side appreciates Vietnam for giving top priority to its relations with China in its foreign policy. China also views and develops its relations with Vietnam from a strategic and long-term perspective, he noted.

The Vietnamese Foreign Minister said that his country has always supported China’s development and growth, appreciated China’s positive contributions to regional and global peace, stability and prosperity, and firmly believed that China will realize the Second Centenary Goal as scheduled and build a great modern socialist country with Chinese characteristics, adding that Vietnam is willing to work with China to promote the “comradely and brotherly” traditional friendship between the two countries.

The previous day, Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, who was recently elected Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee at its annual meeting, had a video call with the Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue.

Zhao said that China and Vietnam are friendly socialist neighbors, adding that China is ready to work with Vietnam to consolidate the traditional friendship, adhere to high-level strategic guidance, strengthen strategic communication, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, cement public support for the friendship between the two countries, commit to the path of socialism suited to their respective national conditions, and build a China-Vietnam community with a shared future that bears strategic significance.

China’s whole-process people’s democracy is a new form of political civilization created by the people under the leadership of the CPC, Zhao said, adding that China is willing to work with Vietnam to uphold and develop socialist democracy, and to showcase the advantages and bright prospects of the socialist system.

Vuong Dinh Hue, who is also a Political Bureau member of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee, said that Vietnam regards developing relations with China as a strategic choice and the top priority of its foreign policy and firmly adheres to the One-China policy.

The following articles were originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese, Vietnamese FMs vow to promote bilateral ties to new level

Xinhua, 28 March 2023

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on Tuesday vowed to take the 15th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between their countries as an opportunity to lift bilateral ties to a new level.

In their phone talk, they also pledged to strengthen strategic communication, consolidate mutual political trust, and enhance exchanges at all levels and in various fields.

Calling China and Vietnam comrades and brothers, Qin said the Chinese side appreciates Vietnam for giving top priority to its relations with China in its foreign policy, and for being among the first to send a warm and friendly congratulatory message to the new Chinese leaders.

China also views and develops its relations with Vietnam from a strategic and long-term perspective, Qin noted, adding that the Chinese side stands ready to work with Vietnam to well implement the strategic consensus reached by top leaders of the two parties, strengthen the top-level design of practical cooperation, and deepen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam’s “Two Corridors and One Economic Circle” plan.

Continue reading China, Vietnam to uphold and develop socialist democracy

Online event: The Counter-Summit for Democracy

Our next online event takes place on Sunday 2 April 2023, 11am (US Eastern) / 8am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain) / 11pm (China).

Biden‘s attempts to consolidate a ‘democratic’ alliance are part of the escalating US-led New Cold War. Labelling socialist and anti-imperialist states as ‘authoritarian’, the US ruling elite seeks to consolidate a military, economic and political bloc on the basis of its own narrow interests, and to build popular support for its rising hostility towards China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, the DPRK, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, Eritrea, Zimbabwe and other countries in the crosshairs of imperialism.

The US and its allies are seeking to universalize the Western model of so-called liberal democracy. This narrative provides valuable cover for the fundamentally plutocratic nature of neoliberal capitalism, whilst simultaneously asserting that all other models of democracy – such as China‘s whole-process people’s democracy – lack legitimacy.

Held to coincide with Biden‘s Summit for Democracy 2023, this counter-summit will: expose the hegemonic reality behind the US’s talk of a ‘rules-based world order’; explore alternative models of democracy; denounce US-led attempts at ‘decoupling’ and incitement of division; promote an emerging multipolar, multilateral model of international relations; and call for global cooperation to solve the vast problems collectively faced by humanity.

Confirmed speakers

  • Vijay Prashad (Executive Director, Tricontinental Institute)
  • Seyed Mohammad Marandi (Professor, University of Tehran)
  • Luna Oi (Vietnamese blogger and broadcaster)
  • Victor Gao (Chair Professor, Soochow University)
  • Margaret Kimberley (Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report)
  • Lowkey (Musician and activist / Journalist with MintPress News)
  • Carlos Ron (Venezuelan vice-minister / President of the Instituto Simón Bolívar)
  • Ben Norton (Editor, Geopolitical Economy Report)
  • Pawel Wargan (Coordinator of the International Secretariat, Progressive International)
  • Ju-Hyun Park (Organizer and writer with the Nodutdol collective)
  • Calla Walsh (Co-Chair of the National Network on Cuba)


This webinar is jointly organised by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group, and is co-sponsored by the following groups:

Please register and spread the word!

The Summit for Democracy is really a summit for hegemony

In this opinion piece for China Daily, Carlos Martinez exposes the hypocrisy and cynicism of Joe Biden’s second Summit for Democracy, which takes place 28-30 March 2023. Carlos writes that the goals of this Summit are: firstly, to buttress Biden’s 2024 presidential campaign, diverting attention from the startling lack of progress his administration has made thus far in improving people’s lives; and secondly, to consolidate a global military and economic alliance built around the specific interests of the US ruling class and its ‘Project for a New American Century’. This is a Cold War alliance aimed at the containment and encirclement of China, the undermining of Russia, and escalated hostilities against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran, Syria, Belarus, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and other countries.

Carlos writes that “Biden’s Summit for Democracy is part of an elaborate marketing campaign that places an equal sign between hegemonism and democracy and, conversely, between sovereign development and authoritarianism.” Such division is reckless and dangerous, particularly at a time when humanity faces collective existential threats of the magnitude of climate change and nuclear war.

The article notes that Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group are organizing a Counter-Summit for Democracy on Sunday 2 April, in order to expose the hegemonic reality behind US talk of a “rules-based world order”.

Embedded below the article is a short video, produced by China Daily, in which Carlos Martinez and David Castrillon-Kerrigan, a professor and researcher at Externado University of Colombia, share their views on the Summit for Democracy.

With his second so-called Summit for Democracy, US President Joe Biden is seeking to achieve two goals, one domestic and one international.

On the domestic front, he is still struggling to define a political identity that can appeal to voters in next year’s presidential election. Consistently polling about 40 percent in approval ratings, Biden has delivered very little for the American people in over two years in office.

The Biden administration’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic has been abysmal. There has been precious little action on the social justice issues that are supposed to be the hallmark of a Democratic leadership. Real GDP growth is projected to be almost zero this year. And the United States is failing in its climate action responsibilities.

Worse, it has been sending tens of billions of dollars worth of heavy weaponry to Ukraine to fight a proxy war against Russia, while its infrastructure crumbles and tens of millions are denied access to healthcare.

In the face of his administration’s failure to actually improve people’s lives, Biden is campaigning on the basis of liberal democratic ideology — a very specific vision of democracy based on the political and economic needs of the capitalist class. His strategists have calculated that this narrative will help create some distance between him and his likely competitor for the presidency — which could be Donald Trump, who is not known for adhering to any sort of democratic thinking, bourgeois or otherwise.

Continue reading The Summit for Democracy is really a summit for hegemony

Rapid progress of China-Honduras relations

Friendly relations between China and Honduras are already making rapid progress since the two countries established diplomatic relations on March 26, with President Xiomara Castro expected to visit Beijing soon.

Meeting Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina on March 27, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng conveyed President Xi Jinping’s cordial greetings and best wishes to his Honduran counterpart.  President Xi attaches great importance to China-Honduras relations and welcomes President Castro to visit China as soon as possible to jointly draw up a blueprint for bilateral relations, Han said. He also stressed that China welcomes Honduras to join the Belt and Road and is willing to enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs, and jointly safeguard the interests of developing countries.

For his part, Minister Reina conveyed President Castro’s sincere greetings to Xi Jinping and said she is willing to visit China as soon as possible. Honduras, he said, intended to learn from China’s successful development experience and deepen practical cooperation with China to benefit the two peoples.

The previous day, Reina and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang jointly met the press after signing the agreement to establish diplomatic relations. Qin Gang said that, with the establishment of diplomatic relations, China stands ready to work with Honduras on the basis of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development so as to lose no time in actively carrying out friendly exchanges at all levels and practical cooperation in various fields, so as to benefit the two countries and two peoples. China welcomes President Xiomara Castro’s visit to China at an early date and invites Honduras to organize a delegation of entrepreneurs to China to discuss cooperation in trade, tourism, investment and more. China-Honduras relations have set sail, Qin noted.

Reina said that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Honduras and China is a historic step that has ushered in a new era for the benefit of the people of the two countries. Honduras is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in such areas as finance, trade, infrastructure, science and technology, culture, and tourism, and to increase communication and coordination within multilateral frameworks. Honduras stays committed to safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and the people’s right to self-determination, and the establishment of diplomatic relations with China is in line with these principles. He thanked the Chinese side for inviting President Castro to visit China and expressed confidence that this visit will benefit the two peoples as well as all humanity.

The following articles were originally published on the websites of the Xinhua News Agency and the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Chinese vice president meets Honduran foreign minister

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng met with Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina on Monday in Beijing.

Han conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s cordial greetings and best wishes to Honduran President Xiomara Castro.

President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to China-Honduras relations and welcomes President Castro to visit China as soon as possible to jointly draw a blueprint for bilateral relations, Han said.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Honduras meets the trend of the times, and is in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples, Han said.

China stands ready to work with Honduras to carry out exchanges concerning state governance, and welcomes Honduras to join the Belt and Road cooperation to turn complementary strengths into the energy of comprehensive cooperation, he added.

China is willing to work with Honduras to enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs, jointly safeguard the interests of developing countries and build a community with a shared future for humanity, said Han.

Continue reading Rapid progress of China-Honduras relations

China’s Iran-Saudi peace deal is big blow to US economic hegemony

The following thoughtful article by Ben Norton, originally published in Geopolitical Economy Report, discusses the potential geopolitical ramifications of the recently-announced Iran-Saudi peace deal, brokered by China.

The article focuses in particular on the waning power of the US dollar and the possibilities for ending decades of dollar hegemony. Ben points out that the petrodollar system, which the US has leveraged to maintain the dollar as the global reserve currency, is now weaker than it has been since its inception, with China setting up multiple deals in recent years to purchase energy in yuan. The Iran-Saudi peace deal will create space for a further development of this trajectory away from the dollar, and has the potential to fundamentally alter the power balance in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia shifting away from its traditional role as a regional proxy for US interests.

As Ben writes, “Riyadh’s gradual move away from its historical role, firmly ensconced in the heart of the US-led camp, reflects a larger global trend toward a multipolar world.” At the heart of this global trend is China’s emergence as the world’s largest economy (in PPP terms) and its increasing diplomatic activity in support of multipolarity and a reconfiguration of international relations, based on the principles of the UN Charter. Given that Saudi Arabia now does more trade with China than the US (as is the case for two-thirds of the world’s countries), it is only logical that it should attempt to balance its international relations. Certainly it would be utterly self-defeating for the Saudis to submit to US pressure to join a New Cold War strategy aimed at isolating China and Russia.

The article cites Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his famous The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, warning that “the most dangerous scenario” for Washington’s unipolar hegemony “would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘antihegemonic’ coalition”. Unfortunately for his successors, and fortunately for the masses of the world, Brzezinski’s nightmare is becoming reality. As Ben concludes, “decades from now, historians will likely look back at the Iran-Saudi agreement as a watershed moment, reflecting China’s new role on the global stage as a negotiator of peace, symbolizing the end of US unipolar hegemony and the rise of a multipolar world.”

China surprised the world on March 10, announcing that it had successfully sponsored peace talks between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Four days of secret negotiations in Beijing led to a historic agreement in which the two West Asian nations normalized relations, following seven tense years without any official diplomatic ties.

Iraq had previously hosted peace talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but these were sabotaged in January 2020 when US President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike to assassinate top Iranian official Qasem Soleimani, who had been involved in the negotiations.

China’s diplomatic breakthrough is part of a larger process of Asian integration, and constitutes a step toward bringing both Iran and Saudi Arabia into the BRICS system and institutions like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

In addition to encouraging stability and peace in a region that has been devasted by decades of US wars and meddling, this deal will have huge economic repercussions across the planet.

More tangibly, the agreement is a significant blow to the petrodollar system that the United States has used to maintain the dollar as the global reserve currency, thus threatening the very foundation of its economic hegemony.

Saudi Arabia has long been one of the world’s leading producers of oil, in the top three (along with the US and Russia). Iran has consistently been among the top 10 producers of crude.

As de facto leader of OPEC, Saudi Arabia has significant influence over the price of oil on the global market. Since the 1970s, Riyadh has agreed to sell its crude in dollars and then invest those petrodollars in Treasury securities, helping to strengthen the value of the greenback and increasing global demand for the US currency.

But the petrodollar system is facing new challengers. The Saudi government publicly confirmed in January that it is considering selling oil in other currencies.

This declaration came just a few weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping took a historic trip to Riyadh. There, Beijing signed agreements with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Arab League.

Continue reading China’s Iran-Saudi peace deal is big blow to US economic hegemony

China and Honduras formally establish diplomatic relations

On Sunday March 26, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Honduras formally established diplomatic relations. Meeting in Beijing, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and his Honduran counterpart Eduardo Enrique Reina signed a joint communiqué, in which the two countries announced that they had decided to recognize each other and establish relations at the ambassadorial level. 

Agreeing to exchange Ambassadors as soon as possible, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reported:

“The two Governments agree to develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

“The Government of the Republic of Honduras recognizes that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson added: “Honduras is an important country in Central America. The Government of Honduras chooses to stand with 181 countries in the world, recognize and undertake to adhere to the one-China principle, sever the so-called ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan, establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and undertake that Honduras shall no longer develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan. This is the right choice that is in line with the prevailing trend and supported by the people. China highly appreciates that.”

Honduran President Xiomara Castro indicated in a tweet on March 1 that she had instructed her foreign minister to negotiate the establishment of relations with the People’s Republic of China. This fulfils a promise she made during her election campaign in 2021. However, the United States exerted tremendous pressure on Honduras not to establish ties with Beijing, overtly threatening the impoverished nation with a loss of aid and the imposition of sanctions. Following President Castro’s March 1 announcement, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken dispatched a delegation to the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, seeking to strongarm the government into reversing its decision. On March 17, speaking in the Nigerien capital Niamey, part of an African tour designed to counter the continent’s growing friendship with both China and Russia, Blinken himself referred to the planned Honduran move, insisting that “Taiwan has a lot to offer.”

Following the announcement from Beijing, the US State Department sourly responded: “Regardless of Honduras’ decision, the US will continue to deepen and expand our engagement with Taiwan.” The (governmental) American Institute in Taiwan added that it “strongly encouraged” all countries to do the same. And US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez issued this sinister warning: “Honduras’ decision to align with Beijing will have implications lasting long beyond the current leadership.”

Honduras’ brave decision, in the face of such pressure and bullying, leaves just 12 members of the United Nations (along with the Holy See/Vatican City State) maintaining so-called diplomatic relations with the province of Taiwan. Going beyond the scope of bilateral relations, this move will also considerably strengthen the already thriving relations between socialist China and progressive Latin America as a whole. Honduras is also set to reap considerable economic benefits. China’s investment in the development of Honduras’ hydroelectric power, ports and a possible interoceanic railway have already been under active consideration and discussion for some time.

The following articles were originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Honduras Establish Diplomatic Relations

26 March 2023

On 26 March 2023, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang held talks with Foreign Minister of Honduras Eduardo Reina in Beijing, and they signed the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Honduras. The main points of the communiqué are as follows:

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Honduras, in keeping with the interests and desire of the two peoples, have decided to recognize each other and establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, effective from the date of signature of this communiqué.

The two Governments agree to develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

The Government of the Republic of Honduras recognizes that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Government of the Republic of Honduras shall sever “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes that it shall no longer develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan. The Government of the People’s Republic of China appreciates this position of the Government of the Republic of Honduras.

Continue reading China and Honduras formally establish diplomatic relations

Joint statements of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation

Following extensive talks on March 21 between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Chinese leader’s Moscow visit, the two heads of state signed two important joint statements that will guide their bilateral relations for the coming period.

According to the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era:

“The two sides pointed out that China-Russia relations are not a military-political alliance similar to the Cold War era, but go beyond this model of state-to-state relations and have the nature of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third countries. The relationship between China and Russia is mature, stable, independent, and tenacious…The friendship between the two peoples from generation to generation has a solid foundation, and all-round cooperation between the two countries has broad prospects. Russia needs a prosperous and stable China, and China needs a strong and successful Russia. China and Russia regard each other as priority partners, always respect each other and treat each other as equals, becoming a model for today’s relations between major countries.”

It went on to note that, “the two sides pointed out that each country has the right to independently choose its development path due to its own history, culture, and national conditions. There is no superior ‘democracy’, and the two sides oppose the imposition of their own values, the demarcation of ideology, the hypocritical narrative of so-called ‘democracy against authoritarianism’, and the use of democracy and freedom as an excuse and political tool to put pressure on other countries. Russia attaches great importance to China’s Global Civilization Initiative.”

The joint statement then addressed the whole gamut of bilateral relations in detail, in the course of which it noted that:

“The two sides will forge a closer energy partnership, support companies to advance energy cooperation projects in oil and gas, coal, electricity, nuclear energy, etc., and promote initiatives that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of low-emission energy and renewable energy. The two sides will jointly safeguard international energy security, including critical cross-border infrastructure, maintain the stability of the energy product industry chain and supply chain, promote a fair energy transition and low-carbon development based on the principle of technology neutrality, and jointly contribute to the long-term healthy and stable development of the global energy market.

The statement also dealt with principles of international relations and a range of global issues, with the two countries reaffirming, “their commitment to firmly uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order based on international law and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” and opposing,  “all forms of hegemonism, unilateralism and power politics, the Cold War mentality, camp confrontation and small circles targeting specific countries.”

They “stressed the importance of the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on the Prevention of Nuclear War and the Avoidance of an Arms Race and reaffirmed that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought’. The two sides call on all signatories to the Joint Statement to follow the concept of the Statement in order to effectively reduce the risk of nuclear war and avoid any armed conflict between nuclear-weapon States. In the context of the deterioration of relations between nuclear-weapon States, measures to reduce strategic risks should be organically integrated into the overall effort to reduce tensions, build more constructive relations and resolve contradictions in the field of security to the greatest extent.” In a reference clearly directed at the United States, the Chinese and Russian Presidents noted that: “All nuclear-weapon States should refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their territories and should withdraw their nuclear weapons deployed outside their territories.”

They further “expressed serious concern about the consequences and risks to regional strategic stability of the Trilateral Security Partnership (AUKUS) established by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia and related nuclear-powered submarine cooperation plans. The two sides strongly urge AUKUS member states to strictly comply with their obligations on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and to maintain regional peace, stability, and development.

And: “The two sides reaffirmed that the Biological Weapons Convention should be fully adhered to and continuously strengthened, institutionalized and concluded with a legally binding protocol with an effective verification mechanism. The two sides expressed grave concern over the bio-military activities of the United States that seriously threaten other countries and undermine the security of the relevant regions within or outside its territory and requested the United States to clarify in this regard, refrain from carrying out all biological activities that violate the Biological Weapons Convention, and no longer obstruct the establishment of a compliance verification mechanism within the framework of the Convention.”

They also affirmed their commitment, “to the goal of a world free of chemical weapons and express deep concern over the politicization of the OPCW. [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] The two sides urged the United States, as the only State party that has not completed the destruction of chemical weapons, to accelerate the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles, and urged Japan to complete the destruction of abandoned chemical weapons in China as soon as possible.”

On the conflict in Ukraine: “The Russian side spoke positively of China’s objective and fair position on the Ukraine issue. The two sides oppose any country or group of countries seeking military, political, or other superiority that harms the legitimate security interests of other countries. The Russian side reiterated its commitment to resuming peace talks as soon as possible, and China appreciates this. The Russian side welcomes China’s willingness to play an active role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis through political and diplomatic means, and welcomes the constructive propositions set out in the document ‘China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukrainian Crisis’. The two sides pointed out that the solution to the Ukraine crisis must respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and prevent the formation of camp confrontation and add fuel to the fire. The two sides stressed that responsible dialogue is the best way to resolve the issue steadily. To that end, the international community should support relevant constructive efforts. The two sides call on all parties to stop all actions that contribute to the tense situation and the prolongation of the fighting to prevent the crisis from worsening or even getting out of control. The two sides oppose any unilateral sanctions not authorized by the UN Security Council.”

Turning to the tense situation in Northeast Asia, China and Russia, “oppose the undermining of regional peace and stability by extraterritorial military forces and call on relevant countries to abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, exercise restraint and refrain from taking actions that endanger regional security…The US side should respond to the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the DPRK with concrete actions to create conditions for the resumption of dialogue.”

On the Middle East, they, “welcomed the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran through dialogue and supported a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian issue on the basis of the two-state solution. We support Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and promote a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political settlement package.”

In the much shorter Joint Statement by the President of the People’s Republic and the President of the Russian Federation on the development plan for key directions of Sino-Russian economic cooperation until 2030, Xi and Putin laid out eight points, the fourth of which concerned energy and stated that their countries should:

“Consolidate the all-round energy partnership. Strengthen long-term cooperation in key energy areas, promote the implementation of strategic cooperation projects, expand cooperation forms, strengthen cooperation in energy technology, equipment, and other fields, jointly safeguard the energy security of the two countries and the world, and promote global energy transformation.”

The document also specified a number of other areas in which cooperation should be developed.

We reprint below the full texts of both documents, based on machine translation from the Chinese language original as published on the website of China’s Foreign Ministry. This translation has been lightly edited by us.

Joint statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era

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At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China paid a state visit to the Russian Federation from March 20-22, 2023. The two heads of state held talks in Moscow. President Xi Jinping also met with Prime Minister Mishustin of the Government of the Russian Federation.

The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as “the Parties”), declare the following:


With the unremitting efforts of both sides, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era has reached the highest level in history and has continued to develop. The two sides reaffirmed the development of bilateral relations in accordance with the principles and spirit set forth in the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation signed on July 7, 2001, the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on the 16th Anniversary of the Signing of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation issued on June 6, 2021,  and the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on International Relations and Global Sustainable Development in the New Era issued on February 4, 2022.

Continue reading Joint statements of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation

What does the Beijing-brokered Saudi-Iran deal mean for the Middle East and the world?

In this useful article for the Morning Star, Steve Bell provides a detailed analysis of the China-brokered agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic relations.

Steve observes that “the Chinese mediation demonstrates the relative decline of US influence and the features of multipolar politics in the region.” China’s foreign policy – based on non-interference, respect for sovereignty, and mutual benefit – has resulted in positive economic and diplomatic relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Since China consistently pursues peace and cooperation, and grounds itself firmly in the principles of the UN Charter, it is increasingly recognised as a trustworthy and valuable partner in addressing complex geopolitical problems. Steve writes that “China’s diplomacy has secured an agreement which foreshadows a new period of world history. One where the multipolar world is an undeniable fact, to the great benefit of the planet’s population.”

The article also discusses the impact of the agreement on the wider West Asian region. Improved relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia can be expected to improve prospects for the rebuilding of Iraq and Syria, and for ending the horrific suffering being faced by the people of Yemen. The agreement could also positively impact the pursuit of Palestinian national rights.

THE agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic relations is to be greatly welcomed.

Diplomatic relations broke down in January 2016, when Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran. This followed the Saudi regime’s execution of prominent Shi’ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr Bagir al-Nimr.

There have been serious attempts to resolve the breakdown. The Iraqi government has facilitated five rounds of talks since April 2021, and the Omani regime has also been helping.

The breakthrough came in Beijing, where five days of negotiation, hosted and assisted by the Chinese government, resulted in success.

The agreement resumes diplomatic relations, with embassies and missions to reopen within two months. It respects the sovereignty of states and pledges non-interference in national affairs of state.

The ministers of foreign affairs will meet to arrange the return of ambassadors and discuss means of enhancing bilateral ties.

Both sides agreed to implement a previously signed co-operation agreement of 1998 and a security co-operation agreement signed in 2001. These had been signed during the tenure of president Mohammad Khatami, but not effectively acted upon.

Continue reading What does the Beijing-brokered Saudi-Iran deal mean for the Middle East and the world?

Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow contributes to deepening China-Russia friendship

President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia, from March 20-22, his first international visit since his re-election to serve as China’s head of state for a third term, was not only a milestone in bilateral relations, but also a major event in international relations, which strongly advanced the development of a multipolar world. 

In the first of his talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, held shortly after his arrival in Moscow, President Xi said that there is a profound historical logic for the China-Russia relationship to reach where it is today. To consolidate and develop well China-Russia relations is a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world. Both China and Russia are committed to realizing national development and rejuvenation, support world multi-polarity and work for greater democracy in international relations.

During their in-depth exchange of views on the Ukraine issue, President Xi said that voices for peace and rationality are building. Most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks, and are against adding fuel to the fire. A review of history shows that conflicts in the end have to be settled through dialogue and negotiation. China’s recent policy document on the Ukraine crisis, Xi said, advocated the political settlement of the crisis and rejecting the Cold War mentality and unilateral sanctions. China believes that the more difficulties there are, the greater the need to keep space for peace. The more acute the problem is, the more important it is not to give up efforts for dialogue. 

In further talks with President Putin the next afternoon, Xi reiterated that consolidating and developing long-term good-neighborly relations with Russia is a strategic choice of China and it will not be changed by any turn of events. He added that the two sides should support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and jointly resist the interference in internal affairs by external forces. The two sides should enhance communication and coordination on international affairs, especially in the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other multilateral frameworks, practice true multilateralism, oppose hegemonism and power politics, contribute to global post-COVID economic recovery, advance the trend toward a multi-polar world, and promote the reform and improvement of the global governance system.

For his part, the Russian leader called for new progress in practical cooperation in various fields, including the economy and trade, investment, energy, space and cross-border transportation and logistics, and in bringing people-to-people and cultural exchanges in sports and tourism and at subnational levels to new heights. Russia firmly supports China in upholding its legitimate interests on questions related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Russia congratulates China on helping to successfully bring about historic outcomes from the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing.

Following their talks, the two heads of state jointly signed a ‘Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era’ and a ‘Joint Statement of the President of the People’s Republic of China and the President of the Russian Federation on Pre-2030 Development Plan on Priorities in China-Russia Economic Cooperation’.

During the visit, the two sides also signed bilateral cooperation documents in such areas as agriculture, forestry, basic scientific and technological research, market regulation, and the media.

The following articles originally appeared on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

President Xi Jinping Meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

On the afternoon of 20 March local time, President Xi Jinping, upon invitation, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on his arrival in Moscow. 

When President Xi reached the Kremlin, he was greeted by the Kremlin Commandant at the alighting point. President Putin warmly shook hands and took photos with President Xi. The two Presidents had an in-depth and candid exchange on China-Russia relations and issues of mutual interest. 

President Xi noted that he was pleased to pay another state visit to Russia at the invitation of President Putin. Russia was the first country he visited after he was elected President ten years ago. Memories from that visit remain fresh today. Over the past ten years, he and President Putin stayed in close touch. President Xi expressed his appreciation to President Putin for immediately sending him congratulatory messages on his reelection as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee by the 20th CPC National Congress and on his reelection not long ago as Chinese President. He noted that Russia will hold the presidential election next year, and under President Putin’s strong leadership, Russia has made good progress in development and rejuvenation. President Xi said he is confident that the Russian people will continue to give firm support to President Putin.

President Xi stressed that there is a profound historical logic for China-Russia relationship to reach where it is today. China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. Both countries see their relationship as a high priority in their overall diplomacy and policy on external affairs. China always upholds an independent foreign policy. To consolidate and develop well China-Russia relations is a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world. China is firm in keeping to the general direction of strengthening strategic coordination with Russia. Both China and Russia are committed to realizing national development and rejuvenation, support world multi-polarity and work for greater democracy in international relations. The two countries should further deepen practical cooperation in various fields and strengthen coordination and collaboration on multilateral platforms such as the UN to boost their respective national development and rejuvenation, and be a bulwark for world peace and stability. 

Continue reading Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow contributes to deepening China-Russia friendship

Is Taiwan the next Ukraine?

Interviewed on BreakThrough News by Eugene Puryear and Rania Khalek, Professor Ken Hammond gives an extremely clear explanation of US policy in relation to Taiwan. Ken points out that the corporate media has reached fever pitch, encouraging the Western public to think that China is on the cusp of launching a military invasion of Taiwan Island; that this is a prima facie example of China’s disruption of the peaceful “rules-based order” that the US so benevolently presides over. This narrative functions to raise public support for a New Cold War, and to silence those voices making the rather obvious point that US-China cooperation over climate change and other global problems is both urgent and necessary.

Ken points out that China’s position in relation to Taiwan has not changed. China has always reiterated its commitment to a peaceful resolution of the issue, whilst maintaining its right to use force in the face of interference or any unilateral attempt by separatists to declare Taiwan’s independence. The issue is a fundamental concern of China: for hundreds of years, Taiwan has been part of China, and the only reason Taiwan is administered separately today is that the US Navy positioned itself in the Taiwan Strait following the victory of the Chinese Revolution in order to protect the remnants of the Nationalist regime and prevent national reunification under the CPC-led government in Beijing.

The US continues to provoke China over the Taiwan issue – and other issues – in the hope of triggering an incident that can be parlayed into a conflict which the US can somehow leverage to stall China’s development and its emergence as a major player in global affairs. Ultimately, Ken points out, this is done in order to protect US hegemony, and would certainly not benefit the ordinary people of the US. It’s a profoundly dangerous strategy which must be exposed and opposed.

The interview is embedded below.

Securing US global primacy: how the US prepares for war on China

In this detailed essay, British author and peace campaigner Jenny Clegg provides a comprehensive overview of the US drive to war against China.

Jenny describes the attempts being made to construct a Global NATO, leveraging AUKUS, the remilitarisation of Japan, the undermining of the One China Principle and the prolonging of the Ukraine crisis in order to link the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific theatres of war. Britain and Japan are emerging as the most important partners in this phenomenally dangerous strategy which, taken as a whole, constitutes “a historic restructuring of the international security order: strengthening of the NATO transatlantic military axis against Russia whilst elevating the US-Japan trans-pacific military axis at the core of newly created regional NATO-like multilateral security frame.”

The aim of this strategy is, of course, “to contain the growing multipolar trend”.

We must build a formidable global opposition to this warmongering. Thanks to an already-developing multipolarity, countries of the Global South are “starting to wake up to the real nature of US intentions”, and as such “a non-aligned resistance is taking shape”, with these countries asserting their sovereignty and interests. For anti-war activists in the West meanwhile, as we recall the historic protests against the Iraq War 20 years ago, Jenny writes that the task of playing our part in a worldwide mass movement for peace will require us to “resist the insidious influence of imperialism permeating through social democracy”.

The trajectory of war: Iraq then, China now?

Back in September 2002, Dan Plesch wrote an article in the Guardian entitled ‘Iraq first, Iran and China next’.  Less than a year earlier, George W. Bush had put China on a nuclear ‘hit list’ along with Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea. Twenty years on, it seems China’s turn has arrived, now identified as ‘America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge’.

Iraq was a turning point for the world as Bush ‘seized the unipolar moment’: ‘shock and awe’ and ‘full spectrum dominance’ in air, land, sea and space presaged a new militarism to secure US global primacy; and, blatantly displacing the UN on the pretext of ‘humanitarian intervention’, the US found a new means of rallying allies in a ‘coalition of the willing’, embedding key NATO partners into ‘out of area’ operations.

All this was in line with the neocons’ Project for a New American Century which had advocated for the US pursuit of hegemony through the preeminence of its military forces.

As Plesch foresaw, the 2003 war set precedents to be used against other states that stood up against US global control.  US militarism has advanced into ‘air sea battle’ plans to wipe out multiple cities across China at a single strike, with trillions of dollars sunk into upgrading ‘full spectrum dominance’ capabilities; ‘humanitarian intervention’ has evolved into a New Cold War of ‘democracies against autocracies’ edging the UN further aside.  And now, using the Ukraine war to subjugate Europe and weaken Russia, the US is starting to assemble a new ‘coalition of the willing’ in the ‘defence of Taiwan’, ordering the global security architecture anew as it sets the stage for a new war on China.

But much has also changed over twenty years with the rise of China and the emergence of a multipolar world: as the economic balance shifts from West to East, countries in the Global South are not so easily influenced to follow US leadership.

What does China want?

US political elites have convinced themselves that China is bent on global hegemony.  Despite Xi Jinping’s assurances to Biden that China ‘has no intention to challenge or displace the United States’, they revert to racialised stereotypes of the Chinese as inveterate liars – recall the words of the popular 1880s music hall song: ‘for ways that are dark and tricks that are vain, the Heathen China is peculiar’ – rather than face history.[1]

That China was its ally in WW2 is something the West conveniently forgets. KMT Nationalist and Communist armies successfully blocked the bulk of the Japanese forces from advancing west, a vital contribution recognised by Churchill and Roosevelt when they signed, with Chiang Kaishek, the 1943 Cairo Agreement.  This stipulated that the territories seized by Japan from China, including Taiwan, be restored, and that Japan be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific seized or occupied since 1914.

As one of the allies, China took part in the establishment of the United Nations, assuming a permanent seat on the Security Council.  But the UN order as based on the Cairo Agreement, confirmed in the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, was not to be.  Instead, the Japan peace settlement was determined at the behest of the US by the 1951 San Francisco Conference from which both the PRC and RoC (Republic of China) and the two sides of the Korean war were excluded, with the USSR refusing to attend.  US power came to prevail over the Pacific through a series of bilateral alliances and an extensive array of US military bases.[2] 

Despite political improvements over time – the PRC regained the UN seat,the US and China established official ‘One China’ ties, the USSR and China reached their own peace deals with Japan – the US-dominated military pattern remained and a number of territorial issues covered by the WW2 agreements affecting the USSR/Russia as well as China were left to fester.

What China wants is to see the promise of the Yalta of the East system realised through reunification with Taiwan and from this the construction of a cooperative security arrangement for the Pacific together with the US.

Militarising the Indo-Pacific

US control over the Pacific was never complete in the face of the armed resistance of the peoples of China, Korean and Indo-China and the non-aligned leanings of South East Asia states.  The US was never satisfied.

Today, claiming the Russian invasion of Ukraine ‘raises the spectre of a Chinese takeover of Taiwan’, the US is creating a new militarised order for the Indo-Pacific.  Increasing its own military capabilities to hem in China’s coastline and reinforce control across the wider oceans, the US is at the same time upgrading the key regional axis of power, its alliance with Japan, now elevated into a major military player.  Taking the Japan alliance and AUKUS as the core, the US is attempting to pull together a group of militarily committed powers covering the whole Pacific to oppose China.

Where previously the US pursuit of a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific has focused on the South China Sea, the prospect of a war over Taiwan has become the new focus.

The US is now reinforcing its force structure across the region, increasing manoeuvrability along the first island chain and plugging the gaps in this arc of alliances and bases from Japan in the North stretching down to the Philippines in the South.  The US has now secured agreement with the Philippines for four new bases, three in the Northern island of Luzon, within striking distance of Taiwan. Meanwhile under the terms of the new Japan alliance, the US Okinawa base north of Taiwan is being strengthened whilst the Japanese island of Mage is being rebuilt to serve US forces.  A new base is opening in Guam, the first in decades and a US nuclear submarine base is under construction in Australia.[3]

However it is the rehabilitation of Japan as a military power that is the biggest change in the region’s security pattern just as the US shifts its primary focus to the China challenge.

Japan also now identifies China as the main strategic challenge under a new National Security Strategy, the only US ally to do so. With the endorsement of its new US alliance, the country is undergoing the most radical overhaul in its regional positioning since WW2, vastly increasing its war-fighting capacity as it embarks on its largest military buildup in decades. Military spending is set to double from 1% to 2% of GDP over 5 years – from some $50 bn a year to an accumulated $318 bn – to see Japan leap to the third or fourth largest military power in the world.

Matching Japan in the North, Australia too is reconfiguring itself as a military power in the South Pacific, its military spend set to rise from around $49 bn to $57 bn per year by 2025-6.  Meanwhile Taiwan’s increased budget of $19bn is being backed by the US-pledged $10bn in military aid. 

For the US neocon Right, their long-held aspirations for a remilitarised Japan and an armed Taiwan serving as an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ – passed from MacArthur and the McCarthyites to John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz and now to Kagan and Blinken – are materialising.

As the US advances plans to catch Taiwan between the pincer of its forces in Okinawa and the Philippines, Biden’s constant vacillations between the One China policy and the defence of Taiwan are highly destabilising.  China is committed to a peaceful reunification, yet states it will never renounce the use of force directed against interference by outside forces.  The military display by the PLA following Pelosi’s August 2022 visit to the island demonstrates it is serious about this.  It has the capacity: in its vast naval fleet capable of imposing a blockade on the island, and with missiles capable of sinking US aircraft carriers and destroying US warships on the far side of the island, as its recent missile overflights demonstrated.

Lying 100 miles to the north of Taiwan and less than 300 miles from the massive US airbase in Okinawa, are the disputed islands known as the Diaoyutai in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese which may become the locus of battle given their critical importance in the event of a Chinese blockade of Taiwan.

These uninhabited islands are claimed not only by China and Japan but also by Taiwan (the Republic of China); they were taken under control by the Japanese government in 2012 and now are increasingly patrolled not only by Japanese and Chinese but also by US forces.

To defeat any move by China, the US would need a coalition of forces – and this is what the Pentagon is seeking to construct.

Towards a Global NATO

With the transatlantic NATO alliance strengthened against Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, and a new Indo-Pacific regional security architecture  emerging, the US is also working to construct a third axis under its control between the European and Asian theatres to serve as a counter to China’s Eurasian Belt and Road initiative.

AUKUS and the US-Japan alliance both offer access points for linking the security of the Euro-Atlantic to the security of the Indo-Pacific in accordance with NATO’s New Security Concept adopted at its 2022 summit.

NATO allies are getting drawn into the Indo-Pacific security pattern step by step.  Military exercises have multiplied in the last year or two as a way of involving outside powers, not only the UK, but also France, which is boosting its military presence in the region. Germany has also sent in warships.  NATO forces made up at least half of last year’s US-led RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) exercises.[4]  Australia, South Korea and Japan are again to attend the 2023 NATO summit, and Japan has become a regular participant in NATO Chief of Staff meetings.[5]

So far, NATO is committed to addressing the ‘systemic competition’ from China, but Stoltenburg’s recent visits to South Korea and Japan were looking for a more strategic undertaking.  Japanese PM Kishida, mirrored by Zelensky’s visits around Europe, had embarked earlier in January on a diplomatic tour to rally support, visiting the UK, France, Italy and Canada as well as the US to gain approval for Japan’s new militarist orientation.

Eliciting statements of stronger support from Macron and Trudeau, Kishida was to agree a form of strategic partnership with Meloni of Italy.

But it was Sunak that took things furthest, signing a Reciprocal Access Agreement to allow the two nations to deploy military forces on each other’s soil. This represents Japan’s first military agreement with a European power.

The UK leads the way

The UK and Japan began to deepen military cooperation with the visit of the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group in 2021.

This was followed in November 2022 with an agreement on new UK-Japan-Italy partnership – the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) – a hi-tech programme for unmanned aircraft and cutting-edge weapons heralded as an ‘unprecedented international aerospace coalition’.  BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and MBDA are to work together with Leopard in Italy and Mitsubishi in Japan to deliver next generation combat fighter jets.  The Tempest is to replace the Typhoon aircraft by the mid 2030s; its capacity to carry hypersonic missiles will significantly increase Japan’s capabilities in joining a US war with China.[6]

Also in November 2022, a ‘Vigilant Isles 22’ joint exercise simulated the retaking of an island under enemy control.  The new RAA aims to regularise such exercises in ‘island defence’.[7]  This should set alarm bells ringing.

Similar to ones agreed by the US and Australia with Japan, these arrangements gain significance together as providing the US with the means to break a blockade of Taiwan: the RAA could bring British forces into direct conflict with China given the deepening Sino-Japanese island dispute.[8]

The RAA and GCAP are designed to sit alongside AUKUS and with the US and Australia also having access agreements, few barriers remain for Japan to join the ‘Asian NATO’.

For the UK, the deals cement Global Britain’s Indo-Pacific tilt, breaking new ground in military relations with Japan as an example for other NATO members to follow.  As it opens the door for a wider international recognition of Japan’s rehabilitation as a military power countering any residual reluctance to do so given its past history, the UK is playing a significant role in the shift to a new Indo-Pacific security architecture.

At the same time, as the US’s key ally in the West, its links with Japan the US’ key ally in the East create a new global axis linking the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific theatres of war.

As it looks to build a future beyond Brexit, Global Britain follows the US in tying future prosperity to military development – arms manufacture and arms exports.  Here it aims to serve as a new model of Western 21st century power ‘creating jobs, saving lives’ as through GCAP it boosts its ‘world beating defence industry’ to promote high-high-skilled employment, drive innovation, and open up markets in both Europe and Asia.

Aiding and abetting the US, the UK similarly indulges the military aspirations of Japan’s right wingers, long held in restraint by its constitutional pacifism.  Now GCAP subverts Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, the ‘peace clause’, by developing Japan’s counterstrike – that is – offensive capabilities.

Shockingly, the UK Prime Minister’s office was to draw parallels between the RAA and the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902.[9]  Forged to counter Russia’s expansion to the East at the time, the alliance oversaw a twenty year period of Japan’s rapid military industrialisation which then drove its bloody expansion across Asia.

US progress after WW2 on democratising and demilitarising Japan ground to a halt after the CPC victory in China in 1949. Suspected Class A war criminals, such as the grandfather of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, were released from jail to help form the Liberal Democratic Party which has now held power almost continuously over the last 70 years.  Senior political figures in Kishida’s government continue to visit the Yasukuni shrine to the war dead which still memorialises those convicted of war crimes. 

It did not seem to bother either Biden or Sunak in promoting collaboration between Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems respectively with Mitsubishi to restore its role in arms manufacturer, that the company’s owners are yet to meet South Korean demands for compensation for the use of forced labour in WW2.  South Korea and Japan have recently announced some measures to ease these particular tensions.[10]

Constructing a new coalition

The US perceives the ‘security threats of the future’ – China – to be of such an order as to demand an entirely new response.  Learning the lesson from the Iraq war not to alienate allies, the US seeks to secure military pacts and alliances through a fusing of economic and technological resources into their structure.

US Secretary of State Blinken states: ‘whether techno-democracies or techno-autocracies are the ones who get to define how technology is used … will go a long way toward shaping the next decades.’

AUKUS and the UK-Italy-Japan GCAP have both been designed to set the pace in the military use of new technologies, integrating security- and defence-related science and technology as well as arms production bases and supply chains centred on US core technologies.  France, Italy, Germany as well as the UK are mentioned in Japan’s National Defense Strategy as partners with whom the government will work for training and exercises, defence equipment and technology cooperation.[11]

Meanwhile the Quad, falling short of a fully-fledged military alliance, uses Australia and Japan as a means to draw India closer to the US.

Rather, then, than relying simply on formal alliance structures, the US is making good use of unconventional arrangements and linkages to draw others along in the slipstream of its agenda, knitting an array of supporters together around the militarised core – all singing from the same hymn sheet of ‘freedom and democracy’.

Revolutions in technology and communications are opening new opportunities to broaden the more flexible ‘coalition of the willing’ format to a wider range of partners involved in a hybridised warfare.

Short of actual military engagement, support can come in various ways – through the provision of material, arms, logistics, economic and technological assistance, and through participation in economic warfare with sanctions along the lines of the informal groups now aiding Ukraine.  Arrangements involving data- and technology-sharing, and exclusive supply chains can serve as a dragnet to draw ‘democratic’ states away from economic and diplomatic links with ‘authoritarian regimes’.

In this way the emerging pattern of US military hegemony is being underpinned by the globalisation of what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has called a new Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank (MICIMATT).[12]

Towards a new World War

With the Iraq war underway by March 2003, the US effectively stepped back from a fight on two fronts, agreeing within months to join the six-party talks on Korean denuclearisation. Today, in contrast, it is shifting from the strategy of containment, prolonging the conflict with Russia in Ukraine in order to gear up for war with China.

What is taking place is a historic restructuring of the international security order: strengthening of the NATO transatlantic military axis against Russia whilst elevating the US-Japan trans-pacific military axis at the core of newly created regional NATO-like multilateral security frame.  Meanwhile the UK-Japan military pact together with the increasing presence of NATO in Asia are laying the preliminary groundwork to complete the third axis of its triangle of global power, between the Euro-Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.

Not since WW2 with the Axis powers of Japan, Italy and Nazi Germany coordinating the worldwide fascist offensive, have these two theatres of war been bridged in this way, and not for want of the US trying.

Through these three axes of a Global NATO, the US aims to contain the growing multipolar trend.  A key here is to block the Eurasian link: the prolongation of the Ukraine war is helping to drive China and Europe apart, as China maintains neutrality whilst Europe demands it take a position on what it sees as its existential priority.

The US is applying immense pressure to achieve this, endeavouring to break the remaining post WW2 pacifist restraints in the Indo-Pacific as it has been doing in Europe so as to achieve these goals. 

Actually it is NATO that is being positioned to cover and play the coordinating role between the two theatres, with the US pushing plans at the next summit to prepare for fighting on the home front and beyond NATO borders simultaneously.  Europe will be under great pressure to increase spending on weapons procurement to free the US to move more of its assets closer to China.[13]

The major world powers are close to a stand-off – the last time this happened it ended indeed in world war.  The UN has become a battleground for the New Cold War as US-influenced motions are designed to divide the ‘democracies’ from the ‘autocracies’. The UN Charter represents the deep learning from the horrors of the two world wars, lessons which are embodied in its institutional design built to maintain world peace.  The UN is now under existential threat. Should war break out directly between the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US and UK versus Russia and China – this would finally finish off the organisation. What then is left to prevent another word war?

One cannot help but wonder at the key players following the US into this deadly situation: the Anglosphere AUKUS pact intervening in an Asia becoming accustomed to managing its own affairs and a remilitarised Japan with its dark past to lead the region, partnering up in Europe with Italy, its former fascist ally and a Britain deluded by fantasies of past imperial glory.

But countries in the Global South are starting to wake up to the real nature of US intentions – to perpetuate its own and the West’s supremacy – and a non-aligned resistance is taking shape as they refuse to take sides over Ukraine. 

More and more developing countries will be looking to China and others in the BRICS for economic stabilisation with the prolongation of the war further damaging further the prospects of world economic recovery after COVID.

The Iraq war unleashed over a decade of disruption for the Middle East, leaving the region even further divided: the countries of East Asia hardly want to see this happen to them.  US plans to remilitarise and divide East Asia threaten to derail their promising prospects of further economic development, destabilising a region vital to the world’s future prosperity and the battle against climate catastrophe and not least at risk of nuclear proliferation.

Nor is Japan’s rearmament welcome in the region: not only China and the Koreas remain sceptical as to the sincerity of Japan’s apologies for its past, but other Asian nations, whose memories of Japan’s WW2 brutality and military-colonial occupations live on, may also be wary.  Indications are that the Japanese public themselves will not support increased taxes to cover the proposed rise in military spending.

Meanwhile, new US proposals that allies host more intermediate range missiles in the region are being met with reluctance not only Thailand and the Philippines but also Australia, South Korea and Japan.[14]

Ahead of the G7 summit, planned to take place in Hiroshima and built up by Kishida’s January tour of the Western powers, is intended to send a strong signal of their unity both to Russia and China.  A visit by Kishida to Kiev is also on the cards.

With the Ukraine crisis threatening to escalate into a direct clash between major powers, China has stepped forward with guidelines for a political settlement backed by a concept paper for a new global security. It may be that the Global South, still rather disorganised, will find direction under China’s proposals and start to set a limit to the US-led wider war preparations.[15]

The world is changing very fast indeed.

Peace and anti-war activists in the West seek to draw inspiration from the massive protests against the Iraq war, but to resist the insidious influence of imperialism permeating through social democracy requires a deeper historical and international understanding to unite a new worldwide mass movement for peace and common security.

[1]  E.Ayketin “China has no intention of challenging the US: Xi Jinping” Nov 15, 2022 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/china-has-no-intention-of-challenging-us-xi-jinping/2738050

[2] John W. Dower, The San Francisco System: past, Present and Future in US-Japan-China Relations, Asia Pacific Journal February 23, 2014, Vol. 12, Issue 8, No. 2 https://apjjf.org/2014/12/8/John-W-Dower/4079/artcile.html

[3] For details on the US military build up in the Pacific see Michael Klare, The Pentagon prepares for island combat in the Pacific as US-China tensions rise https://truthout.org/articles/pentagon-prepares-for-island-combat-in-the-pacific-as-us-china-tensions-rise/

[4] A. Wright “Largest ever US-Nato naval war drills in Pacific a Threat to Peace and Marine Life”, June 22, 2002 https://www.codepink.org/us-nato-naval-war-drills

[5] R. Nemoto, “Japan’s top uniformed officer to attend 1st NATO military chiefs meeting” May 17, 2022 https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/Japan-s-top-uniformed-officer-to-attend-1st-NATO-military-chiefs-meeting

[6] K. Inagaki, L. Lewis and S. Pfeifer, “The fighter jet that could create a new alliance between the UK and Japan” Financial Times Nov. 27, 2022 https://www.ft.com/content/a013530d-82f9-4a89-b5cf-5d76032d8c47

[7] A. Chuter, UK, Japan ink agreement to enable bilateral troop deployments, Defence News, Jan 11, 2023 https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2023/01/11/uk-japan-ink-agreement-to-enable-bilateral-troop-deployments/

[8] The US is also now pushing the Philippines into a similar arrangement so that not only could Philippines’ forces be deployed in Japan but Japanese forces be deployed say in Luzon.

[9] Downing Street Press release, Jan 11 2023 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-hosts-japanese-pm-and-agrees-historic-defence-agreement

[10] A. Jung-a and K. Inagaki “US hails thaw between Seoul and Tokyo” Financial Times March 7 2023

[11] National Defense Strategy Dec 16, 2022 https://www.mod.go.jp/j/approach/agenda/guideline/strategy/pdf/strategy_en.pdf

[12] R. McGovern US-Russia Talk About Where Not To Place Missiles, Jan 11, 2022

[13] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2023-02-14/nato-looks-at-raising-defense-spending-target

[14] Rand Corporation, Ground-Based Intermediate-Range Missiles in the IndoPacific: assessing the positions of US Allies  https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA393-3.html

[15] China’s Foreign Ministry Proposals for a Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis  https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjdt_665385/2649_665393/202302/t20230224_11030713.html

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin articles in leading Russian and Chinese media

Chinese President Xi Jinping began a state visit to Russia on March 20. This is his first overseas trip of 2023 and comes just after his re-election to serve as head of state for a third term. Xi also made his first international visit as China’s president to Russia back in 2013.

Just prior to the visit, Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin published special articles in the leading media of their friendly neighbor. Writing for Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Russian Gazette) and the RIA Novosti News Agency, President Xi noted that over the last decade, he has made eight visits to Russia and that he and President Putin have met 40 times:

“Our two sides have cemented political mutual trust and fostered a new model of major-country relations. Guided by a vision of lasting friendship and win-win cooperation, China and Russia are committed to no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party in developing our ties.”

Xi Jinping further noted that: “China and Russia are firmly committed to safeguarding the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.”

Alluding to the complex history of relations between China and Russia and the former Soviet Union, the Chinese leader wrote: “Looking back on the extraordinary journey of China-Russia relations over the past 70 years and more, we feel strongly that our relationship has not reached easily where it is today, and that our friendship is growing steadily and must be cherished by us all.” His visit to Russia, Xi stressed, would be a, “journey of friendship, cooperation and peace,” adding:

“The historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multipolarity, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible. On the other hand, our world is confronted with complex and intertwined traditional and non-traditional security challenges, damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying, and long and tortuous global economic recovery.”

“The international community,” Xi emphasized, “has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order.”

Regarding the Ukraine crisis, he stressed that, “China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks. I have put forth several proposals, i.e., observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect of the legitimate security concerns of all countries, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, and ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains. They have become China’s fundamental principles for addressing the Ukraine crisis… There is no simple solution to a complex issue. We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis.”

Simultaneously, President Putin wrote in China’s People’s Daily that, over the last ten years, “the world has seen many changes, often not for the better. Yet the main thing has remained unchanged: I am talking of the firm friendship between Russia and China, which is consistently growing stronger for the benefit and in the interest of our countries and peoples.”

The Russian leader also alluded to complex histories, writing: “The Russia-China relations have reached the highest level in their history and are gaining even more strength; they surpass Cold War-time military-political alliances in their quality, with no one to constantly order and no one to constantly obey.” Surveying the development of mutually beneficial economic relations, he laid stress on the fact that “the share of settlements in national currencies in our mutual trade is growing, further strengthening the sovereignty of our relations.”

Drawing a demarcation with “some countries claiming hegemony and bringing discord to the global harmony,” Putin observed that: “Amidst the ‘waves and winds’ that sweep the planet, we closely cooperate in international affairs and effectively coordinate our foreign policy positions, counter common threats, and respond to current challenges, standing shoulder to shoulder as a ‘rock amid a fast flowing stream’. We actively promote democratic multilateral structures such as the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] and BRICS, which become more and more authoritative and influential and attract new partners and friends.”

“Our two countries,” the Russian leader wrote, “together with like-minded actors, have consistently advocated the shaping of a more just multipolar world order based on international law rather than certain ‘rules’ serving the needs of the ‘golden billion’ [the small minority of imperialist powers]…The US’s policy of simultaneously deterring Russia and China, as well as all those who do not bend to the American dictation, is getting ever more fierce and aggressive. The international security and cooperation architecture is being dismantled. Russia has been labelled an ‘immediate threat’ and China a ‘strategic competitor’.”

Turning directly to the Ukraine crisis, President Putin wrote: “We appreciate the well-balanced stance on the events in Ukraine adopted by the PRC, as well as its understanding of their historical background and root causes. We welcome China’s readiness to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis. Like our friends in China, we advocate for the strict compliance with the UN Charter, respect for the norms of international law, including humanitarian law. We are committed to the principle of the indivisibility of security, which is being grossly violated by the NATO bloc. We are deeply concerned over the irresponsible and outright dangerous actions that jeopardize nuclear security. We reject illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted. Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis. It was not Russia who broke off the peace talks back in April 2022.”

We republish below the full texts of the articles by the two heads of state. They were originally published in English on the websites of the Xinhua News Agency and the Russian Presidency.

Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China

At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, I will soon pay a state visit to the Russian Federation. Russia was the first country I visited after I was elected President 10 years ago. Over the past decade, I have made eight visits to Russia. I came each time with high expectations and returned with fruitful results, opening a new chapter for China-Russia relations together with President Putin.

Continue reading Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin articles in leading Russian and Chinese media

Britain’s secret betrayal and repatriation of Chinese sailors after WWII

In this documentary, The Secret Betrayal, presented by Jamie Owen, CGTN exposes the racist deportation of thousands of Chinese seamen from Liverpool by the post-war British Labour government and movingly highlights the continuing and tenacious campaign for truth and justice being waged by their children and grandchildren.

One in seven of Britain’s merchant seamen, who manned the deadly Atlantic Convoys during World War II, were Chinese. Lauded as heroes in a 1944 government film, it was a different story post-war. Documents in the National Archives refer to the “compulsory repatriation of undesirable Chinese seamen”. They were “surplus to requirements” and to be subject to “bulk clearances”. Their wives and girlfriends, with whom many of them had young children, were dismissed as being “many of the prostitute class.” This racist and anti-working class disdain was doubtless compounded by many of the women in question being from Liverpool’s substantial Irish community. 

In order to expel the Chinese seamen, the racist British state resorted to both subterfuge (such as changing the dates of ships’ sailings to allow deportation) and brute force, with Special Branch, Britain’s political police, brought in to round up people from shipping offices and cafés. Families were left with no idea what had happened to their husbands and fathers. And, according to legislation in force at the time, women who had married foreign nationals were deemed to have acquired “alien status”, with no rights to benefits or state support. As a result, many were left completely destitute. Families were further destroyed, with children given up for adoption and babies buried in unmarked, mass graves. 

Left Labour MP Kim Johnson, a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, whose constituency includes Liverpool’s Chinatown, the oldest of its kind in Europe, has campaigned tirelessly for justice for the victims of this racist injustice. She tells the programme that it is not just a matter of securing an apology from the present Conservative government. This happened under a Labour government, and “to have a level of acknowledgment from our own party would be a step in the right direction.”

Looking at reasons for the deportations, the presenter notes, showing contemporary footage of Unite leader Sharon Graham addressing a workers’ meeting, that the Liverpool dockers have a long history of industrial militancy. The Chinese sailors were paid less than their white counterparts and denied bonuses until a strike led by the Liverpool Chinese Seamen’s Union in 1942. An excellent article by Dan Hancox, published in the Guardian in May 2021, describes the union as “Communist-affiliated”, adding that “the Shangainese Blue Funnel [a major shipping company that employed only Chinese seamen] crew were mostly active Communists and trade unionists.”

The Labour government responsible for these actions is lionised by much of the left for its creation of the NHS and a welfare state. But this racist crime was not the only one of which it was guilty. The ‘Windrush scandal’, for example, did not begin with Conservative governments of the last decade. Coinciding with the ship docking from Jamaica at Tilbury on June 22, 1948, 11 Labour MPs wrote to Prime Minister Clement Attlee, stating that: “This country may become an open reception centre for immigrants not selected in respect to health, education, training, character, customs and above all, whether assimilation is possible or not. The British people fortunately enjoy a profound unity without uniformity in their way of life, and are blest with the absence of a colour racial problem. An influx of coloured people domiciled here is likely to impair the harmony, strength and cohesion of our public and social life and to cause discord and unhappiness among all concerned.”

Attlee could only reply: “It is too early yet to assess the impression made upon these immigrants as to their prospects in Great Britain and consequently the degree to which their experience may attract others to follow their example. Although it has been possible to find employment for quite a number of them, they may well find it very difficult to make adequate remittance to their dependants in Jamaica as well as maintaining themselves over here. On the whole, therefore, I doubt whether there is likely to be a similar large influx.”

This same Labour government, as Keir Starmer never fails to remind us, was also central to the creation of NATO, and enthusiastically waged anti-communist and colonial wars in Greece, Malaya, Korea and elsewhere.

The CGTN documentary is embedded below.

Taiwan separatists to lose key ally as Honduras announces intention to recognize China

This article by Ben Norton, which first appeared on Geopolitical Economy Report, reports on the recent announcement by Honduran President Xiomara Castro that her government intends to recognize the People’s Republic of China – one of the planks of her election campaign in 2021.

Ben provides a useful overview of US imperialism’s engagement with Honduras in recent times, including its sponsorship of a military coup in 2009, which overthrew the leftist government of Manuel Zelaya and installed a reactionary, repressive regime that was all too willing to submit to US pressure. Ben further notes that Taiwan has meddled in Honduran elections in support of the right-wing National Party.

Meanwhile, Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, with roughly three-quarters of its population living in poverty. Its population will no doubt benefit greatly from deeper ties with China. Such ties have certainly been beneficial to neighboring Nicaragua: “China is helping Nicaragua expand its public housing program, building thousands of homes for poor and working families. Beijing has also signed agreements to develop infrastructure, hospitals, and renewable energy.”

We hope that Honduras is able to make rapid progress on recognizing the PRC and developing broad economic, diplomatic and cultural ties.

The government of Honduras has announced that it is breaking formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognizing the People’s Republic of China.

Honduras’ leftist President Xiomara Castro had pledged during her 2021 campaign that, if she won the election, she would recognize China. This March, she fulfilled that promise.

This means that just 12 United Nations member states have formal diplomatic relations with the so-called “Republic of China” on the island of Taiwan.

The other 99.51% of the global population live in countries that formally recognize that there is only one China, and that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.

These 12 UN member states that recognize Taiwan have a combined population of only 38.9 million – representing just 0.49% of the global population of 8 billion.

Continue reading Taiwan separatists to lose key ally as Honduras announces intention to recognize China

Xi: The people are the decisive force for building China into a great modern socialist country

Following his unanimous re-election to serve as President of the People’s Republic of China for a third term, Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the first session of the 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 13.

President Xi told the delegates: “The people’s trust has been my greatest source of strength to go forward and also the greatest responsibility on my shoulders.” 

He went on to say that, with a civilization spanning over 5,000 years, the Chinese nation, “has created a myriad of glories and also been through a lot of hardships and adversity.”

With the advent of modern times, China was reduced to a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, when bullying by foreign powers and frequent wars tore the country apart and plunged the Chinese people into an abyss of great suffering. Since its founding, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has closely united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in working hard for a century to put an end to China’s national humiliation. The Chinese people have become the masters of their future, the Chinese nation has achieved the great transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability. From now until the middle of the century, the central task of the Party and all Chinese people is to complete building China into a great modern socialist country.

Xi went on to say that, “we must remain committed to putting the people first. The people are the decisive force for building China into a great modern socialist country,” and called for fully inspiring their enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity. To this end, it was necessary to, “improve the system of income distribution, perfect the social security system, and enhance basic public services. We must ensure that the basic living needs of all our people are met and work hard to resolve the pressing difficulties and problems that concern them most. We must do a better job of seeing to it that the gains of modernization benefit all our people fairly and make more notable and substantive progress in promoting common prosperity for all.”

Having touched on a number of other issues, including ethnic unity, national security, the questions of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and the broad contours of foreign policy, Xi turned his focus to the work of the Party and said: “We must unceasingly exercise full and rigorous Party self-governance, unswervingly fight against corruption, and always maintain the unity and solidarity of the Party. By doing so, we will be able to ensure that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character.”

We reprint the full text of his speech below. It was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Speech at the first session of the 14th NPC
March 13, 2023
By Xi Jinping

Fellow deputies,

I was elected at this session to continue to serve as the president of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the trust placed in me by all the deputies and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups.

It is my third time to take on this noble position of the president of the PRC. The people’s trust has been my greatest source of strength to go forward and also the greatest responsibility on my shoulders. I will faithfully fulfill the duties prescribed in the Constitution, take the needs of the country as my mission and the people’s interests as the yardstick to follow, be committed and honest in my duties, devote myself to my work without reserve, and never fail to live up to the great trust of the deputies and the people.

Fellow deputies,

The Chinese nation, with a civilization spanning over 5,000 years, has created a myriad of glories and also been through a lot of hardships and adversity. With the advent of modern times, China was reduced to a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, when bullying by foreign powers and frequent wars tore the country apart and plunged the Chinese people into an abyss of great suffering. Since its founding, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has closely united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in working hard for a century to put an end to China’s national humiliation. The Chinese people have become the masters of their future, the Chinese nation has achieved the great transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.

Continue reading Xi: The people are the decisive force for building China into a great modern socialist country

Xi Jinping’s keynote address at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting

On March 15, the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) held a High-Level Meeting under the title The CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties and with the theme Path towards modernization: The Responsibility of Political Parties, via video link. It was attended by leaders and representatives from hundreds of political parties and organizations from around the world, including a delegation of Friends of Socialist China.

The meeting was opened with a keynote address from Comrade Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and President of the People’s Republic of China.

Noting that the history of human development is full of twists and turns and that the path to modernization is also arduous, Xi said that “in today’s world, multiple challenges and crises are intertwined. The global economic recovery remains sluggish, the development gap is widening, ecological environment is deteriorating, and the Cold War mentality is lingering,” meaning that we are once again at a crossroads of history.

Sharing some of his observations, Xi noted:

  • We must put the people first and ensure modernization is people-centered. The ultimate goal of modernization is people’s free and well-rounded development. “Modernization is not only about indicators and statistics on the paper but more about the delivery of a happy and stable life for the people.”
  • We must uphold the principle of independence and explore diversified paths towards modernization. Each country must consider its own national conditions and unique features. “It is the people of a country that are in the best position to tell what kind of modernization best suits them. Developing countries have the right and ability to independently explore the modernization path with their distinctive features based on their national realities.”
  • We must uphold fundamental principles and break new ground. “We should work together to reform and develop the global governance system and make the international order more just and equitable as we advance humanity’s modernization in an environment of equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all.” Xi added that we must help others to succeed while seeking our own success. “We stand firmly opposed to the practice of preserving one’s own development privilege by suppressing and containing other countries’ endeavor to achieve modernization.”

Turning to China’s experience, Xi noted that, “The journey of over 100 years that the Party has traversed to unite and lead the Chinese people in pursuing national rejuvenation is also an exploration of a path towards modernization.” And he reiterated that, “Chinese modernization is one of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development,” adding: “We will stay committed to the right direction, right theories and the right path. We will not veer off course by changing our nature or abandoning our system.”

Addressing the international context for his country’s modernization, the Chinese leader reaffirmed that: “In advancing modernization, China will neither tread the old path of colonization and plunder, nor the crooked path taken by some countries to seek hegemony once they grow strong… We firmly oppose hegemony and power politics in all their forms… The world does not need a new Cold War. The practice of stoking division and confrontation in the name of democracy is in itself a violation of the spirit of democracy… No matter what level of development China achieves, it will never seek hegemony or expansion.”

Moving towards the close of his speech, Xi Jinping proposed for the first time his concept of a Global Civilization Initiative. According to this proposal:

  • We advocate the respect for the diversity of civilizations.
  • We advocate the common values of humanity. Peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are the common aspirations of all peoples.
  • We advocate the importance of inheritance and innovation of civilizations.
  • We advocate robust international people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.

Finally, Xi observed that: “There are bound to be setbacks on humanity’s journey to modernization, but the future is bright.”

Following Xi Jinping’s address, speeches were made by:

  • Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and President of the Republic of South Africa.
  • Nicolás Maduro, President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
  • Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Serbian Progressive Party and President of the Republic of Serbia.
  • Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene, Chairman of the Mongolian People’s Party and Prime Minister of Mongolia.
  • Xie Chuntao, Executive Vice President of the CPC Central Party School.
  • James Marape, Leader of the Pangu Party and Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.
  • Salva Kiir Mayardit, Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and President of South Sudan.
  • Daniel Ortega, President of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) of Nicaragua and President of Nicaragua.
  • Boris Gryzlov, Chairman of the Supreme Council of United Russia.
  • Han Wenxiu from the Financial and Economic Office of the CPC Central Committee.
  • Dickon Mitchell, Leader of the National Democratic Congress and Prime Minister of Grenada.
  • Yawa Djigbodi Tsegan, Treasurer of the National Office of Union for the Republic (UNIR) and President of the National Assembly of Togo.
  • Erlan Qoşanov, Chairman of the Amanat Party and of the Mazhilis (lower house of parliament) of Kazakhstan.
  • Taur Matan Ruak, President of the People’s Liberation Party and Prime Minister of Timor Leste.
  • Cai Qi, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

We reprint below General Secretary Xi Jinping’s speech to the meeting. It was originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency.

Join Hands on the Path Towards Modernization

Keynote Address by H.E. Xi Jinping
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
And President of the People’s Republic of China
At the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties
High-level Meeting
Beijing, 15 March 2023

Leaders of political parties from around the world,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It gives me great pleasure to join all of you for the discussion on “Path Towards Modernization: The Responsibility of Political Parties”.

The history of human development is full of twists and turns. Similarly, the journey of each country to explore the path to modernization is also arduous. In today’s world, multiple challenges and crises are intertwined. The global economic recovery remains sluggish, the development gap is widening, ecological environment is deteriorating, and the Cold War mentality is lingering. Humanity’s modernization process has once again reached a crossroads of history.

Polarization or common prosperity? Pure materialistic pursuit or coordinated material and cultural-ethical advancement? Draining the pond to catch the fish or creating harmony between man and nature? Zero-sum game or win-win cooperation? Copying other countries’ development model or achieving independent development in light of national conditions? What kind of modernization do we need and how can we achieve it? Confronted with these questions, political parties as an important force steering and driving the modernization process are duty bound to provide answers. Here, I wish to share some of my observations.

Continue reading Xi Jinping’s keynote address at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting

The One Child Policy and the Chinese “demographic crisis”

This insightful blog post by Chinese Marxist Leo He Zhao addresses the assorted claims that China is facing a “demographic crisis” as a result of the One Child Policy that was in force from 1980 until 2015.

He Zhao starts by explaining the rationale for the One Child Policy. Generally portrayed in the West as being uniquely authoritarian and inhumane, the policy addressed a very specific and real problem. Largely as a result of economic distortions in the countryside created by the semi-feudal administration (in particular the production of cash crops rather than subsistence agriculture), and with a huge population and relatively little arable land, China was struggling to feed its population. Furthermore, the population was growing extremely fast, thanks to the innovations of the socialist revolution: ending feudalism, giving land to the farmers, and extending basic healthcare and social welfare throughout the country. People were living much longer, and the infant mortality rate dropped massively. “Overpopulation on planetary scale is a myth, but a very real and serious problem within an extremely poor and underdeveloped country. There was simply not enough food to feed 1 billion mouths.” Thus the One Child Policy was introduced to “reduce the previous unsustainable pace of population growth to manageable levels.”

The One Child Policy was ended in 2015, as population levels are stable and China is in a much stronger position to feed its people. However, various Western analysts insist that China will soon find itself in a position where it doesn’t have enough workers and, as a result, its economy will stagnate. He Zhao points out that, increasingly, China’s economic progress is not based on an enormous labour force. “Today, agriculture in the PRC is increasingly high tech, with not only traditional machines doing most of the raking and harvesting, but increasing popularity of drones planting seeds and doing other tasks. Further, the Chinese economy is rapidly transitioning from low level manufacturing (the primary developmental method of any under developed economy) to a high technology service orientation, which also reduces the necessity of large population of workers in urban areas.” As such, it is unlikely that China’s path of socialist modernisation will suffer any major problems as a result of demographic changes.

One Child Policy

First, lets briefly make very clear the historical context and material reasons for the One Child Policy, which, without exception, is always missing from Western narratives.

In the 19th Century, colonial administration switched the focus of agricultural production from rice, vegetables, and other food crops to cash crops like tobacco for export and profit. England forced, at gun point, massive amounts of opium on the country, so that addiction rate was around 20% of adults during the first decades of the 20th Century. Amidst chaos, neglect, and devastation from numerous wars, much infrastructure such as roads and waterways for transport were destroyed. General poverty and extreme under development meant very few hospitals, a severe to total lack of health care and access to medicine.

All of this contributed to average life expectancy being 35 years in China until well after 1949 liberation, a statistic which mostly consisted of infant mortality.

Continue reading The One Child Policy and the Chinese “demographic crisis”

China and progressive Latin America share a project of solidarity

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was invited by the World Anti-imperialist Platform to speak on 4 March 2023 at Bolívar Hall, London, alongside the ambassadors of Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the death of comrade Hugo Chávez.

Carlos addressed the accusations so often levelled at China that it is a new imperialist power in Latin America. He gave a brief history of US imperialism in Latin America in the postwar era, and compared that with China’s engagement with the region. He notes for example that, in stark contrast with the US, “China has precisely zero military bases in Latin America and the Caribbean. It has sponsored no coups, waged no wars, imposed no sanctions, and engaged in no destabilisation, economic coercion or propaganda.”

He further noted that Chinese loans and investment are carried out on the basis of equality, consensus and mutual benefit, and bear no relation to the notoriously predatory behaviour of the IMF and the major Western lending institutions. What’s more, China has excellent relations with the major progressive forces in the region, including Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia.

He concluded by opining that the rationale for these accusations of Chinese imperialism are to “break the inexorable trajectory towards a multipolar world”, and called on the audience to rebuke this slander and join hands with the peoples of the planet in the struggle against imperialism.

We reproduce the text of the speech below.

Since the themes for today are Latin America and the global anti-imperialist struggle, and since I’m here representing Friends of Socialist China, I’d like to talk about the relationship between China and Latin America, and in particular the accusations levelled by certain Western politicians – echoed in the media, and unfortunately also in some parts of the left – that China is a neo-colonial or imperialist force in Latin America.

These accusations have been repeated to such a degree that they’ve acquired the force of accepted truth.

Every US government over the last 20 years and more has sought to sabotage the rising economic and political ties between Beijing and the countries of the region – the US’s “back yard”, or as upgraded by Biden, “front yard”.

And the line they use is, approximately: be careful of those Chinese, they’re imperialist! The US Secretary of State under Trump, Rex Tillerson, directly accused China of being a “new imperial power” in Latin America. Hillary Clinton and Antony Blinken have levelled similar accusations.

Clearly we need a frame of reference. What does modern imperialism look like in Latin America? What examples do we have of a foreign power imposing political and economic domination on the countries of the region?

There are a few well-known examples.

The US-sponsored coup in Guatemala in 1954, which overthrew the popular and democratic government led by Jacobo Arbenz.

The Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, in which the US trained, supplied, and transported Cuban exiles to overthrow the revolutionary government in Havana.

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