South African president: cooperating toward a peaceful, prosperous and equitable world order

We are pleased to republish the speech given by Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, as well as of the Republic of South Africa, at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting, which was organized by the Communist Party of China on 15 March. It was originally carried on the website of the CPC’s International Department.

Speaking directly after the keynote address by President Xi Jinping, President Ramaphosa congratulated his Chinese counterpart on his re-election and looked forward, “as the ANC , to deepening the bonds of cooperation that you yourself have always championed.”

Echoing Xi’s call for a Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), first made on this occasion, Ramaphosa said that, as a “liberation movement steeped in the traditions of revolutionary progress”, the ANC seeks to advance the best in human civilization and believes that dialogue is always to be preferred to violence.

Supporting Xi’s call for dialogue and cooperation, Ramaphosa drew attention to such global problems as climate change, pandemics, terrorism, conflict, rising geopolitical tension, poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, and inequality within and between nations. He expressed gratitude for China’s support to the countries of Africa in dealing with Covid-19.

Stressing his opposition to a unipolar world, and his support for a multipolar global order, the South African leader called for the, “forging of a progressive global movement”, underlining that, “progressive internationalism requires building alliances and solidarity amongst like-minded parties in both the South and North.”

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping, Members of the Central Committee of the CPC,
Leaders from political parties,
Comrades and friends,

It is indeed an honour and privilege to represent the African National Congress of South Africa in this dialogue with world political parties.

President Xi, allow me to extend congratulations and best wishes to you on your unanimous election as President by the National People’s Congress. We look forward, as the ANC, to deepening the bonds of cooperation that you yourself have always championed.

The African National Congress is a liberation movement that is steeped in the traditions of revolutionary progress. Central to our mission is to defend humanity against all social and economic ills.

We therefore seek to advance the best in human civilisation.

We negotiated an end to apartheid as South Africans and forged a democratic consensus through dialogue with our enemies. From this experience, we learned the profound lesson that continues to inform our principled position on many global issues: that dialogue is always to be preferred to violence.

Our history of conflict has instilled in our people a great appreciation of the value of social cohesion, of unity in diversity, and of tolerance and respect.

We therefore readily align ourselves with the Four Calling-ons articulated by President Xi, which call on all countries to respect the diversity of human civilisations and perspectives while advancing the common values of humanity.

We support the call by President Xi for dialogue and cooperation; that all peoples should join hands in advancing the development and progress of human civilisation.

This approach is becoming ever more important as the world confronts challenges that have the potential for great devastation. Today we are faced with the effects of climate change, global pandemics, terrorism, conflict and rising geopolitical tension.

At the same time, we are called upon to end poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy and the inequality that exists within and between nations.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated both the extent of global inequality and the power of solidarity and cooperation. As countries of Africa, we are grateful for China’s support for our continental response to COVID-19 and for those within the international community that stood by the countries of the Global South as they confronted this devastating disease and its consequences.

Our commitment to the best values and practices in human civilisation necessarily places us on the side of the oppressed and poor of the world.

South Africa applauds China’s principled foreign policy posture as it is based on the principles of non-interference and mutual benefit. We are keen that these principles are strengthened and directed at developmental initiatives that are critical for our collective success as nations of the South.

The ANC continues to respect the United Nations and its Charter as the basis for international law. We continue to call for the reform of international institutions, including the UN Security Council and global financial institutions, to foster peace, stability, inclusive economic growth and a development path that leaves no one behind.

We are opposed to a unipolar world order driven by unilateralism and continue to strive for a multipolar global order based on mutual respect and the creation of win- win partnerships.

The idea that there should be harmony between humanity and nature is an ancient value that we need as we reverse the effects of climate change threats while building a human community with a shared future.

Comrades and friends, we live in difficult times.

The global economy is under pressure, multilateralism is severely challenged, and there are great threats to the peaceful world order. As nations of the South, we cannot accept the increasing burden of global inequality and poverty.

Yet, we are not powerless in the face of such difficulties.

Progressive internationalism requires building alliances and solidarity amongst like- minded parties in both the South and North. It requires bold advocacy for the fundamental transformation of the global balance of forces, a radical restructuring of global governance and the forging of a progressive global movement

Through engagements of this nature, I believe that we can continue our cooperation toward a peaceful, prosperous and equitable world order.

I thank you for this opportunity. The ANC of South Africa is pleased to participate in this Dialogue.

Daniel Ortega: Nicaragua stands in full solidarity with China against imperialism

We are pleased to publish our English translation of the speech by Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua, at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting held on 15 March.

Ortega passionately denounces the prevailing Western model of neoliberal, imperialist capitalism, which never ceases attempting to impose subjugation, oppression, injustice and insecurity on the peoples of the Global South. What the world needs, he says, is an international order based on “peace, understanding, solidarity, cooperation and coexistence as a human community.”

He warmly commends China for its initiatives towards developing such an international order, and states Nicaragua’s whole-hearted commitment to the multipolar project.

Brother President of the People’s Republic of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Comrade and companion Xi Jinping
Presidents and General Secretaries and delegates of the political parties of Our America-Caribbean
Brothers, sisters and comrades all:

The neoliberal model of attempted domination and submission of the peoples of the world has run its course.

So say our people, and so says the intelligence that mobilises our political parties and social movements: that we struggle, everywhere, demanding a world free of absurd attempts of subjugation, oppression, injustice and discord, with which they sow terror, insecurity and chaos, to prolong division and the consequent fragility in the face of their obsessions of power and its terrible and inhuman consequences.

In the face of the abominable panorama of insecurity that generates wars, and of imperialist, colonialist and neocolonial stubbornness, the unstoppable rebellion and heroism of our peoples – who struggle to assert our rights, freedoms, sovereignties, cultures, and social and political models – continues to emerge.

The world we want to create must be for peace, understanding, solidarity, cooperation and coexistence as a human community, which shares the advances of science and technology and is on the road to delivering justice and equitable development, that is to say, the good of all.

The commitment and responsibility of the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party of China, of you, Comrade Xi Jinping – who approaches our countries and peoples with respect, seeking the indispensable communication and constructive coordination to continue building cooperation for the work, wellbing, prosperity and security of all – has been admirable.

The Sandinista National Liberation Front, after decades of guerrilla struggle with implacable struggles against the imperialist enemy that intervened, occupied and assassinated thousands in Nicaragua, we achieved the triumph of the Popular Sandinista Revolution on July 19, 1979.

Our Revolution represents the courage and dignity of so many brothers and sisters who, with heroism and determination, have learnt how to expel imperialist and colonialist invaders, and today, confronted with the same interventionist policies, with forms both different and similar, we continue to fight all the necessary battles to defend peace and the right to live as we deserve, with respectful, fraternal, sincere and solidary relations, with all the peoples of the world and in particular with the countries and governments with whom we share ideals and values in relation to our independences, sovereignties and the right to security and peace.

In that sense, our Nicaragua, which continues to fight against imperial domination, is in full solidarity with all the efforts of the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China, the heroic Chinese people, in every initiative that promotes civilisational growth and joint learning to continue to assume our rights and full freedoms, participating in all just causes and in everything that defines us as what we are: hardworking, courageous, noble peoples, and firm and consistent defenders of peace, justice and development, in a multipolar, respectful world of recognised and considered cultures, in the advances towards an ever greater integration of thoughts and ways of life that strengthen our commitment to unity, civilisation and prosperity.

The Sandinista National Liberation Front proudly participates in this important event and is grateful for the initiative and the announcement by Brother President and Secretary General Xi Jinping, of a permanent project to promote forms of communication and efforts like this, to oppose domination, unipolarity, injustice, and to continue sharing languages and actions that affirm these paths of encounter, fraternity and unity for the common good.

We support and endorse the proposals that you’ve presented, and with full conviction of continuing to work together for life, justice and peace, we congratulate ourselves on our relations, on the harmony and identification of our parties and peoples in all the international forums and meetings where we prioritise light, life and truth.

To conclude, comrade and friend Xi Jinping, allow us to congratulate you – with admiration and affection – on your re-election as President of the People’s Republic of China.

Donald Ramotar: the US is waging a massive propaganda campaign against China

We are pleased to republish this article by the veteran Guyanese politician Donald Ramotar, which was originally carried by China Daily

Noting that Washington is leading a propaganda campaign aimed at undermining China’s bonds with other developing countries, Ramotar states that the expressed fear of China is not because it is threatening any country militarily, but because of its success in developing its economy and the goodwill it has generated by assisting poorer countries.

Outlining China’s external economic relations, Ramotar points out that, on the one hand, the country became one of the main destinations for investment from the developed countries as well as the largest holder of US government bonds. On the other hand, China’s assistance to developing countries started with an emphasis on the least developed ones, who were generally unable to secure loans from the international financial institutions. 

“It was the selfless assistance it provided that raised China’s reputation as a true friend to peoples in the developing world, Africa in particular,” Ramotar notes. 

US hostility increased after the 2008 global financial crisis, he explains, when, “China’s economic importance to the world economy became manifest.”

Turning his attention to the myth of ‘Chinese debt trap diplomacy’, the author writes: “When countries got into difficulties repaying loans, they were supported by China, which renegotiated the loans and gave the borrowing countries more time to repay. That allowed the repayments to be made on much easier terms. It also allowed countries to pay their debts with produce that they have in abundance, thereby reducing the pressure to repay in hard currency.”

He outlines how the imperialist countries have announced various initiatives in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), observing that, “on the face of it this seems laudable.” But as their main purpose is simply to counter the BRI, “it is clear that development of poor countries is not a priority for G7 countries.”

China’s reputation as a reliable partner and a real friend to the developing countries continues to grow, but as it does, US hostility, including the imposition of sanctions aimed at slowing the country’s progress, is also increasing.

Concluding, Ramotar states: “Clearly the US is very scared of China. Not because it believes that China wants to dominate the world militarily. The main reason is the example that China has become for many countries in the world. It shows that another road to freedom is possible and very viable.”

Donald Ramotar was President of Guyana, 2011-2015, as well as General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), 1997-2013, to which post he succeeded the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

The United States’ attitude toward China has always been complex.

It is apposite to note that the expressed fear of China by the US is not because China is threatening any country militarily, nor because it has attacked any state. It is because of China’s success in developing its economy and the goodwill China has garnered by helping poor countries to improve their productive capacity, that the US has been leading the West in waging a massive propaganda campaign against China. The aim of which is to create a false image of China as an exploitative state.

The reality is vastly different to their smears.

After China’s economy began to grow rapidly, it very soon surpassed that of Europe and Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world. At the same time, in keeping with its internationalist philosophy and its commitment to opening up to the world, China began to create links with the rest of the world, both developed and developing countries.

For the developed countries, China became one of the main destinations for investment. Meanwhile, the economy of China and those of Western countries became very much linked. Indeed China has become the largest holder of the US government’s bonds. It was an example of real mutual economic benefits for all concerned.

China’s assistance to developing countries started with the least developed ones, which were unable to get any loans from international financial organizations. They were considered high risk countries and practically ignored by Western governments.

It was the selfless assistance it provided that raised China’s reputation as a true friend to peoples in the developing world, Africa in particular, which had the greatest need.

During those times the US, from time to time made some criticism of China. But those criticisms grew in hostility particularly after the 2008 global financial crisis.

In this period China’s economic importance to the world economy became manifest. China became the greatest driver of the international economy and a key trading partner for most countries in the world.

From this time, relations with the US and China began to encounter choppy waters.

The main reason for this was an unreasonable fear by the US of China’s growing economic strength and the friendships China was forging by providing assistance to many developing countries.

Continue reading Donald Ramotar: the US is waging a massive propaganda campaign against China

British Foreign Secretary indicates willingness to improve relations with China

In this brief article, based on comments given to the Morning Star, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez analyses the speech about UK-China relations given by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on 25 April 2023. Carlos states that the speech indicates “a partial – limited but nonetheless important – move by the British government to return to a more sane policy with regard to China.”

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s speech on UK-China relations represents a partial – limited but nonetheless important – move by the British government to return to a more sane policy with regard to China.

Cleverly issues a reasonably stern rebuke to the China hawks in his own party (and indeed the opposition) by stating clearly that he doesn’t want a New Cold War; that the West and China are not compelled to fall into a Thucydides Trap; that Britain’s membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has been beneficial; and that cooperation with China on the issues of climate change, pandemics and nuclear proliferation is indispensable. He makes a point of congratulating China on its extraordinary achievement of lifting 800 million people out of poverty.

Needless to say, these useful comments are couched in the usual red-scare tropes about China’s “ruthless authoritarianism”, human rights in Xinjiang, and so on. On the one hand, Cleverly claims not to want a Cold War; on the other hand, he stupidly parrots all the propaganda that supports and justifies that Cold War. This should be seen as a loyalty pledge to Washington, and as a concession to the deluded hard-right China hawks in the British government.

The geopolitical context for Cleverly’s speech is obviously the developing trend of European countries seeking to distance themselves from the US’s anti-China strategy. The highest point of this trend so far has been Macron’s trip to Beijing earlier this month and the remarks he made about the need to develop a sovereign French foreign policy. Certainly Macron went much further than Cleverly – saying (consistent with international law) that the Taiwan question is an issue for Chinese people on both sides of the Strait. Nevertheless, it’s noteworthy and welcome that Britain sees the need to shift in the direction of a more independent and sensible policy.

A Global Times editorial fairly characterised Cleverly’s speech as “a correction of the UK’s aggressive line involving China in the past, and an attempt to return to British balanced diplomatic tradition.” However, the editorial sensibly calls for realistic assessment: “We welcome Cleverly’s positive remarks, at least it can be seen a little possibility of a turnaround in China-UK relations, but we remain cautious about how much it will be implemented in the UK’s China policy.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning echoed this sentiment, calling on Britain to “be prudent in its words and actions” and to “do more things that are conducive to the development of China-UK relations and world peace and stability.” She further warned that “bloc politics and the Cold War mentality are against the trend of history and do not serve the interests of the UK or any other party in the world.”

The Post-Brexit political consensus has for several years been that Britain’s fundamental interests lie in appeasing the US on foreign policy matters, in the hope that this will help bring forth a comprehensive US-UK trade deal. Cleverly’s speech – and Sunak’s refusal to define China as a ‘strategic threat’ – indicate a growing understanding that Britain needs investment from, and trade with, China, and that ‘decoupling’ is a dead end. The British people will benefit greatly if this understanding can blossom into a strategy of cooperation and mutually-beneficial relations.

Tongue incident a reminder the Dalai Lama is a pawn of US imperialism

The recent disturbing incident in which the Dalai Lama, the self-exiled leader of the former feudal ruling elite in China’s Tibet region, invited a young boy to suck his tongue, has understandably been greatly downplayed by the imperialist media – understandable in that they have been party to a decades-long campaign of deception and psychological warfare aimed at presenting this feudal relic as some kind of saint-like figure. This, in turn, is aimed at dismembering China by fostering secessionism in a strategic region facing India across the Himalayas. 

In the following article, which originally appeared on her website, Caitlin Johnstone – Daily Writings About The End Of Illusions, the independent, anti-imperialist Australian journalist Caitlin Johnstone, not only describes the recent incident, which took place at the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamshala, India, but also provides some crucial background, including her own voyage of discovery regarding this supposed spiritual leader’s true nature.

Noting his approval of the US-led wars of aggression in Afghanistan and previously in Korea, along with his studied equivocation regarding that in Iraq, Caitlin observes:

“But I guess that’s about the best anyone could expect from a literal CIA asset. His administration received $1.7 million a year from the Central Intelligence Agency through the 1960s, and it’s reported that he himself personally received $180,000 a year from the CIA for decades.”

We should just note that this article refers (albeit approvingly) to Tibet having been “forcibly annexed” by China in the 1950s. In fact, Tibet, which has been an integral part of China for centuries, was peacefully liberated by the People’s Liberation Army in 1951. The Dalai Lama, together with a number of his followers, fled Tibet in March 1959, after their attempt to stage an armed uprising aimed at preventing the introduction of democratic reforms to abolish serfdom was foiled. This doubtless inadvertent error in no way detracts from the central thrust of the article.

There’s a really gross video going around of the Dalai Lama kissing a young boy on the lips and telling him to suck his tongue while an adult audience looks on approvingly. A tweet from last month shows a video clip of the Tibetan spiritual leader with the child and says the encounter took place during his “meeting with students and members of M3M Foundation,” though’s clip cuts out the sexually inappropriate part of the encounter.

Continue reading Tongue incident a reminder the Dalai Lama is a pawn of US imperialism

Nicolás Maduro: Work together to build an alternative to savage capitalism

We are pleased to publish our English translation of the speech by Nicolás Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting held on 15 March, at which Xi Jinping announced the Global Civilisation Initiative.

President Maduro explained that Venezuela is emerging from a period of intense and difficult struggle against the machinations of US-led imperialism, which has never let up in its attempt to impose domination on Venezuela, by means of sanctions, economic coercion and destabilisation. Venezuela is now in a period of recovery and growth, and Maduro reiterated the commitment of his government, his party and the Venezuelan people to the project of multipolarity, of building a global alternative to neoliberalism and imperialism.

Further, President Maduro expressed his full support for the Global Civilisation Initiative as a framework “that allows the beautiful diversity of culture and the strength of the peoples of the planet to shine.”

This inspiring speech constitutes a strong statement of militant unity of the socialist, progressive and anti-imperialist forces of the world.

I would like to reiterate our greetings to President Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China. I greet the leadership of the CPC, all the people of China, our fraternal Chinese people, and at the same time greet all the presidents taking part in this world political dialogue, and all the parties and organisations and political forces of the world.

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is a young party which emerged in the heat of the Bolivarian Revolution, founded by our comandante Hugo Chávez Frías; a party that was born under the banners of the construction of socialism from our liberatory roots, from our deep Latin American and Caribbean roots; a party that was born with a social and political force in the heat of the struggle against North American imperialism and its obsession with hegemonising and dominating our America; that was born in the heat of the struggle to build, dear brother President Xi Jinping, to build in our homeland our own economic, social and political model of socialism in the 21st century, of Bolivarian socialism in the 21st century.

On behalf of the rank and file, the grassroots leaders of the PSUV, I offer you our commitment to the work, to the daily struggle to build, as we are building, an alternative to savage capitalism, to neoliberal capitalism, to imperialist hegemonism; an independent, sovereign alternative.

As you know, Venezuela has been the victim in recent years of bullying, of a permanent aggression; more than 900 unilateral coercive measures and criminal sanctions have been imposed on our country, and our people have resisted these aggressions with a great conscience, and we have passed from an intense stage of resistance, sometimes a painful resistance, to a stage of recovery, to a stage of growth that must lead us towards higher stages of development and social and economic prosperity for our people.

We observe the world, how they try to put to the test the marvellous energy of those peoples who seek independence, peace, equality, development; how they try to impose a hegemonic unipolar model, ignoring the diversity of human civilisation, ignoring the diversity of the cultural, spiritual and political power of the peoples. But this is impossible in the 21st century. The age of empires is over, the age of the peoples has arrived for now and forever, let no one doubt that, comrades of the world, presidents, political leaders of the world, let no one doubt that the time has come for the articulation of a new world, which we call a multipolar world, a polycentric world, a world of independence and the articulation and integration of the peoples.

Such a world merits a great deal of awareness, of unity, of political capacity and leadership, and it also merits a great deal of dialogue, of coordination; it merits a lot of effort, a lot of perseverance on the correct path of building a civilisation – as comrade Xi Jinping has said – a civilisation that allows the beautiful diversity of culture and the strength of the peoples of the planet to shine. A community of shared destiny; we fully share this concept, the community of shared destiny, and we believe that the historic moment has arrived, the moment of the peoples. Now the hour of the peoples has arrived, to build alternative models to savage capitalism, to neoliberal capitalism; an alternative model to hegemonism, to economic blackmail, to the attempt to impose domination on our peoples through coercion, blackmail and aggression.

Venezuela has resisted. I can say to you, comrades of the world, Venezuela is here, our country is moving, victorious and advancing on the paths of independence, of peace. Our time has come, President Xi Jinping, you can count on the full support of Venezuela, of our people and of the PSUV in the project of building a civilisation where we all belong, where we take the path of development, of equality, of ‘living by living’, as our indigenous people say; a new civilisation of peace, of harmony, of union, of shared development. We give our full support to this global initiative and I am sure that the years to come, with the efforts of all the peoples of the world, will be splendid years of achievements and progress. Of this we in Venezuela are sure.

Many thanks President Xi Jinping, many thanks presidents and companions of the world.

Chinese ‘police stations’ and war propaganda

This article by Margaret Kimberley in Black Agenda Report discusses how the ‘Chinese police stations’ story currently doing the rounds in the West is nothing more than “laughable war propaganda”, designed to “incite fear and hatred of China and to normalize the idea of armed conflict”. It is yet another Cold War scare story to occupy people’s minds now that the ‘Chinese spy balloons’ hype has well and truly deflated.

Margaret points out that the putative ‘Chinese police stations’ are in fact “offices where Chinese citizens can get licenses renewed”. They “don’t have lock-ups or armed officers and are definitely not police stations.” Thanks to centuries of white supremacy and systematic repression of African-origin people, the Black community in the US is only too capable of distinguishing police stations from administrative offices.

The article highlights the fact that China’s stature is rising globally, especially in the light of its recent diplomatic activity, which has helped to bring about a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia (which is creating conditions for a prospective end to the horrific war in Yemen). Meanwhile the US’s insistence on desperately protecting its hegemony is only deepening its own isolation. “The US should be engaging in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. But that isn’t what the oligarchs and plutocrats here want.” Ultimately, it’s the working class and oppressed communities of the US and its allies that suffer from this New Cold War.

President Lula da Silva of Brazil recently visited China’s President Xi Jinping. French President Emmanuel Macron, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez have all made the journey in recent months. Even Germany’s amateurish Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock went, but her goal was to make sure that double talking Macron didn’t stray far from the EU’s pro-U.S. orthodoxy.

The frequency of high level meetings is interesting when one considers Joe Biden’s bizarre rant in his State of the Union Speech. He blurted out, “Name me a world leader who would trade places with Xi Jinping! Name me one!” Apparently the answer is all of them because they are making a collective beeline to Beijing. Because of his odd screed and shooting down a weather balloon, Biden can’t get Xi to take his phone call. Nor can Secretary of State Blinken schedule a meeting with his Chinese counterparts that was planned before the balloon fiasco. China is “ghosting” the U.S., which responds in typical fashion.

Like every small child does when frustrated about not getting their way, the U.S. ups the ante with a brand new tantrum.  Balloons are so two months ago, as are demented questions about Tik Tok. Now the courts are tools of the futile effort to subjugate China. In New York City prosecutors charged two Chinese-Americans with failing to register as agents of a foreign government by setting up a “police station” under the control of China’s government.

The trope of the Chinese police station has gone from a laughable war propaganda theory to war by other means. Federal prosecutors are charging the two men with obstruction, not espionage, and it appears they may not have been charged at all had they exercised their right not to talk to the FBI.

The charges are a prosecutor’s dream complete with press conferences where they can make outrageous claims against defendants. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace waxed particularly eloquently, “Today’s charges are a crystal clear response to the P.R.C. that we are onto you, we know what you’re doing and we will stop it from happening in the United States of America. We don’t need or want a secret police station in our great city.”

Of course the office was not a secret as it had been opened publicly. Nor is it anything resembling a police station. The term is a fiction, a creation of the state and their friends in the media meant to incite fear and hatred of China and to normalize the idea of armed conflict. These offices where Chinese citizens can get licenses renewed don’t have lock-ups or armed officers and are definitely not police stations.

The charges filed against the two men are purely political and will not lead to any advantage for the United States. While camera-loving prosecutors make nonsensical statements, China’s Defense Minister was in Moscow meeting with Vladimir Putin. China and Russia are now inextricably linked and are preparing to face the U.S. in whatever way it may choose to confront them.

In addition to the two New York men, the Justice Department indicted 34 people in China and charged them with conspiracy to transmit foreign threats but the complaint is a rehash of the old Russian troll farm stories. What was their crime? Among other things, “…an account controlled by the Group made numerous posts about George Floyd’s death and accusing U.S. law enforcement institutions of racism.” Any accusation of racism in law enforcement is a fact and not a reason for an indictment of any kind, but facts are never the issue when the U.S. declares another nation an enemy.

In attempting to diminish China’s economic prowess the U.S. has elevated its stature around the world. The ceasefire between Yemen and Saudi Arabia is the result of Chinese diplomacy as is the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Ukraine obsession and failure to harm Russia with sanctions has instead demonstrated the need to minimize relations with the U.S. and move away from the use of the dollar as the world reserve currency. China is leading in this regard and the more the U.S. amateurishly tries to isolate Beijing, the more it isolates itself.

China’s diplomatic success proves that the U.S. cannot be a peacemaker in the world. Its system depends upon domination and making what passes for friends through threats of force and interference. When another nation was able to bring persuasion to bear, the U.S. role as a hegemon and international aggressor was exposed for all to see.

The U.S. can call names, create hysteria about Tik Tok, claim that China uses “spy balloons” and “police stations” or make up anything else it wants. One quote in the Department of Justice press release is particularly revealing. “This case serves as a powerful reminder that the People’s Republic of China will stop at nothing to bend people to their will and silence messages they don’t want anyone to hear.” That statement is more accurately directed at the U.S.

The people of this country are the ultimate losers. Thanks to the corporate media repeating state talking points, they have no idea that China is moving up in the world and the U.S. is more and more isolated. They don’t know that the long predicted process of dedollarization is beginning to take shape.

The U.S. should be engaging in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. But that isn’t what the oligarchs and plutocrats here want. There would be no need for a military industrial complex if the U.S. wasn’t constantly creating new enemies and undermining other countries. All it has is aggression and the spectacle of name calling and incompetent diplomacy. The descent is obvious to anyone paying attention.

Qin Gang: Chinese Modernization and the World

Several hundred people from some 80 countries attended the Lanting Forum on China’s Modernization and the World, which opened in Shanghai on April 21, and was jointly organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association and the Chinese People’s Institute for Foreign Affairs, with support from the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and others. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the conference in which he pointed out that China, “will provide new opportunities for global development with new accomplishments in Chinese modernization, lend new impetus to humanity’s search for paths toward modernization and better social systems, and work with all countries to advance the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.”

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang delivered a keynote address at the opening session.

Stating that Shanghai was the right place to hold this meeting, he observed that: “A little over a century ago, the Communist Party of China (CPC) started its journey from here. Since then, Shanghai has witnessed not only the vicissitudes of the Chinese nation, but also the profound transformation across the country. The old Shanghai, dominated by foreign powers, is a forerunner today in China’s reform and opening-up. A bustling and prosperous metropolis has risen from devastation since 1949.” 

He went on to note that, “our success in Chinese modernization was not handed down from heaven or just emerged by itself. It has been attained step by step through determined, painstaking efforts of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC always staying true to its founding mission… It was not until the birth of the CPC in 1921 that China found the pillar and guidance for its modernization. It is under the CPC’s strong leadership that we have embarked on the great journey of independently building a modern country. We have turned China from an impoverished and backward land into the world’s second largest economy, top trader in goods, biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and biggest manufacturer. We have put in place the world’s largest compulsory education system, social security system, and medical and health system. China has realized, in a short span of several decades, industrialization that had taken developed countries several centuries.”

Pointing out that, when Comrade Xi Jinping assumed the leadership of the CPC a little over 10 years ago, at the 18th Party Congress, the “acceleration button” was pressed on China’s modernization drive, Qin Gang continued: “Absolute poverty was eradicated. A moderately prosperous society in all respects became a reality. With this, the First Centenary Goal was realized. The Chinese nation has achieved a great transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong. National rejuvenation is now on an irreversible course…With the conviction and responsibility of ‘serving the people selflessly’, President Xi Jinping is steering Chinese modernization forward and leading us in marching on the right path toward a better future.”

Explaining that Chinese modernization is a natural outcome of the laws governing human development, Qin Gang said: “Modernization is a common cause of all humanity. Although the West enjoyed the fruits of modernization ahead of others, history will not end there. As early as 140 years ago, Karl Marx envisioned crossing the Caudine Forks of capitalism, providing a solid theoretical basis for a path of modernization different from that of the West.”

(This refers in particular to some of Marx’s later works, notably studying the Russian commune system, and exploring the potential it held for societies to transition to socialism without passing through all the horrors of the capitalist system. For a detailed consideration of Marx’s views on this matter by a prominent Chinese Marxist scholar, see ‘Leaping Over the Caudine Forks of Capitalism’ by Zhao Jiaxiang, published by Routledge.) 

Qin further noted: “Ample facts have proved that there is no fixed model of, or single solution to, modernization. Any country can achieve modernization, as long as the path suits its conditions and answers the need of its people for development. On the contrary, mechanically copying ill-fitted foreign models is counter-productive, and may even lead to catastrophic consequences.”

Turning to the international ramifications of China’s modernization drive, the Foreign Minister said that, “as a Chinese saying goes, ‘A just cause should be pursued for the common good.’ As the biggest developing country, China always keeps in mind the greater good of the whole world.”

He illustrated this with seven points, arguing that:

  • The modernization of China with such a huge population will be a stronger boost for global economic recovery. 
  • The modernization of China with common prosperity for all will open up a broader path to the common development of all countries.
  • The Global Development Initiative (GDI) is widely welcomed by the international community: “As an African leader put it, the Chinese path inspires all developing countries to believe that every country is able to achieve development even from scratch.”
  • The modernization of China with material and cultural-ethical advancement will open up bright prospects for human progress.
  • The modernization of China with harmony between humanity and nature will provide a more viable pathway to a clean and beautiful world.
  • The modernization of China on the path of peaceful development will bring more certainty to world peace and stability.
  • The Global Security Initiative (GSI) has pointed out the right direction of pursuing common and universal security. 

Qin Gang then outlined five key tasks for Chinese diplomacy following last October’s 20th Party Congress, namely:

  • China will defend the right to development of all countries with greater determination.
  • China will advance high-standard opening-up with more proactive efforts.
  • China will promote exchanges among civilizations more actively.
  • China will work more vigorously for a community of all life on earth.
  • China will safeguard the international order with greater resolve.

Finally, Qin Gang used his speech to clearly reiterate China’s firm and principled position on the question of Taiwan, noting:

“It is right and proper for China to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We would like to make it clear to those who seek to sabotage international justice in the name of international order: The Taiwan question is the core of the core interests of China, and there will be no vagueness at all in our response to any one who attempts to distort the one-China principle; we will never back down in face of any act that undermines China’s sovereignty and security. Those who play with fire on Taiwan will eventually get themselves burned.”

On the margins of the forum, Qin Gang also met with the Foreign Minister of Gambia, Mamadou Tangara, who had just visited Xinjiang, and with Dilma Rousseff, former President of Brazil and newly appointed President of the New Development Bank, which is headquartered in Shanghai.

We reprint below a report on the message from President Xi Jinping and the full text of Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s keynote address. Both were originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

President Xi Jinping Sends Congratulatory Message to Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization and the World

On 21 April, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization and the World held at the Meet-the-World Lounge in Shanghai.

President Xi pointed out that realizing modernization is a relentless pursuit of the Chinese people since modern times began. It is also the common aspiration of people of all countries. In pursuing modernization, a country needs to follow certain general patterns. More importantly, it should proceed from its own realities and develop its own features. After a long and arduous quest, the Communist Party of China has led the entire Chinese nation in finding a development path that suits China’s conditions. We are now building a strong country and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. China will provide new opportunities for global development with new accomplishments in Chinese modernization, lend new impetus to humanity’s search for paths toward modernization and better social systems, and work with all countries to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Continue reading Qin Gang: Chinese Modernization and the World

Bilateral meeting strengthens comradeship between CPC and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB)

The recent visit to China by Brazilian President Lula was also an occasion to reaffirm and further strengthen the close friendship and comradeship between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB). Brazil’s main communist party has been a consistent ally of Lula and his Workers’ Party (PT) as well as a long-term friend of China.

On April 14, Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), met with Luciana Santos, President of the PCdoB. Santos, who is also Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, was accompanying President Lula on his state visit.

Welcoming the Brazilian comrades, Comrade Liu said that both the CPC and the PCdoB are Marxist political parties with a century-long struggle and this year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their relations. The CPC is willing to deepen traditional friendship with the PCdoB, strengthen experience exchanges in party building and state governance and join hands to deal with common challenges.

Comrade Santos said that the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC over the past century are a precious wealth for promoting the development and progress of humanity. The PCdoB cherishes its traditional friendship with the CPC and hopes to further strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between the two parties. She added that President Lula also attaches great importance to Brazil-China relations. 

The following report was originally carried on the IDCPC website.

Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, met here today with Luciana Santos, President of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCB) and Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil.

Liu welcomed Santos, who accompanied President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil on his visit to China, saying that both the CPC and the PCB are Marxist political parties with a century-long struggle, and this year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of relations between the two Parties. The CPC is willing to deepen traditional friendship with the PCB, strengthen experience exchanges in party building and state governance, join hands to deal with common challenges, promote the development and progress of each country, and jointly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state during their meeting this time, so as to continuously push the relationship between the two countries to a new level.

Liu said, China and Brazil are major developing countries and important emerging economies, and play an important role in international and regional affairs. Today’s world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation with various global challenges on the rise. China is willing to, together with Brazil, strengthen the integration of development strategies with Brazil, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, looks forward to Brazil’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and Brazil’s active role in cooperation under the BRICS mechanism and in other fields, and is ready to closely coordinate and cooperate in international and regional affairs. It is believed that under the strategic guidance and personal promotion of the two heads of state, China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership will usher in a brighter prospect.

Santos said, the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC over the past century are the precious wealth for promoting the development and progress of mankind. The PCB cherishes the traditional friendship with the CPC and hopes to further strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between the two Parties. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva attaches great importance to Brazil-China relations. This visit to China with many political and business leaders shows his strong willingness to deepen cooperation with China, and will also send a positive signal to the international community that Brazil and China are jointly committed to promoting world peace and development. Brazilian Ministry of Science and, Technology and Innovation will take this visit as an opportunity to actively promote scientific and technological cooperation between Brazil and China in the field of earth resources satellites, and continue to forge new highlights in practical cooperation between the two countries.

Comrade Chris Matlhako, rest in power

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of comrade Chris Matlhako – Secretary for International Relations of the South African Communist Party, freedom fighter and internationalist. In addition to his leadership role in the SACP, Chris was a member of the ANC, General Secretary of the Friends of Cuba Society – South Africa (FOCUS-SA) and a leader of the South African Peace Initiative (SAPI).

Chris was a longstanding friend of China and an advocate of close China-Africa relations, which topic he discussed in his contribution to the China and the Left conference organised by Qiao Collective in September 2021. Remarking on the joint centenary of the SACP and CPC in 2021, he stated that the two parties “have in their own separate ways contributed enormously toward theorization and further elaboration of socialist theory” and that the Belt and Road Initiative, “which enables the post-apartheid South African state and progressive political forces including the SACP to play an important part, is paving the road for further achievement.”

When we formed Friends of Socialist China in May 2021, he immediately agreed to be part of our advisory group. He was consistently supportive of our work, including speaking at our June 2022 event The Empire Strikes Back: Imperialism’s global war on multipolarity. He was a founding signatory of the International Manifesto Group’s manifesto, Through Pluripolarity to Socialism: A Manifesto, and spoke at its launch in September 2021.

We remember his insight, commitment, passion and humility, and we will always be grateful for his support and encouragement. As Enrique Orta González, Cuban ambassador to South Africa, remarked on Twitter, the world has lost one of its most exceptional sons.

Hamba Kahle Comrade Chris!

Published below are the tributes issued by the SACP and ANC.

SACP dips its red flag and mourns the passing of Central Committee member Comrade Chris Matlhako (21 October 1964 – 20 April 2023)

The South African Communist Party (SACP) conveys its message of deepest condolences to the family of Comrade Chris Matlhako, SACP 15th National Congress Central Committee member who served our Party and movement diligently.

Comrade Chris Matlhako passed away on Thursday morning, 20 April 2023.

The SACP also sends its message of condolences to the entire liberation movement which he served till he breathed his last, as well as the working-class across the world.

At the time of his passing, Comrade Chris Matlhako served the SACP as a full-time Central Committee Member as elected by the SACP 15th National Congress held 13 – 16 July 2022. In this capacity, he served as Secretary for International Relations at the Party’s Headquarters in Johannesburg. Previously, he was the SACP 2nd Deputy General Secretary as elected by the 14th National Congress in 2017, and served as a Central Committee member before that tenure. He was also a member of the African National Congress and participated in the mass democratic movement as an activist and leader.

Comrade Chris Matlhako joined the South Africa liberation struggle as a student, actively participating in the student movement to fight against the apartheid system. He later joined the SACP and never shifted from the socialist course.

An astute intellectual fully committed to the socialist cause, Comrade Chris penned many articles for various publications, local and international, on numerous subjects concerning the revolution. A collection of his articles published in various publications over the years was made available and serialised in the magazine Thinking Che, with the first volume appearing in 2019.

Comrade Chris Matlhako did not limit himself to serving the South African working-class, however. He also spread himself across the world, helping to raise the international struggle against imperialism and assiduously delivering the SACP’s message to various parts of the world. As part of his internationalist work, Comrade Chris served as the General-Secretary of the Friends of Cuba Society – South Africa (FOCUS-SA) and was also a member of the South African Peace Initiative, among other responsibilities. He also represented the Party in the Working Group of the International Communist and Workers Parties, directly contributing to shaping and sharpening the socialist voices across all lands.

In paying tribute to Comrade Chris Matlhako, the SACP will continue to tirelessly organise the working-class, galvanise the left forces in order to deepen the building of a socialist movement of the workers and the poor, as mandated by our 15th National Congress. In taking forward his work, the SACP calls for more revolutionaries to actively involve themselves in Marxist-Leninist intellectual work as well as working-class internationalism. The SACP calls upon young communists, as led by the Young Communist League of South Africa, whom Comrade Chris worked very hard to nurture, to preserve his legacy by organising the youth of our country to fight against imperialism, towards socialism.

ANC pays tribute to Comrade Chris Matlhako

The African National Congress (ANC) mourns the passing of a revolutionary, a freedom fighter, internationalist and one of the finest intellectuals produced by our liberation movement. We add our collective voice by exclaiming that the death of Comrade Chris Matlhaku has dealt a devastating blow to the liberation movement by robbing us of one its best and selfless cadres.

Comrade Chris was elected as Central Committee Member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) at its 15th National Congress held 13 to 16 July 2022. He served in a full-time capacity as SACP Secretary for International Relations. Comrade Chris was a committed revolutionary who served both the ANC and SACP until his last breath. The whole country and the entire democratic movement has lost a dedicated and loyal servant.

Comrade Chris joined the struggle at a very tender age when it was extremely dangerous to do so. He consciously chose to risk his life and sacrifice his youth in pursuit of the liberation struggle. As a student and youth activist, he personified the spirit of “no compromise and no surrender”. He was a humble, yet fierce fighter against the injustices of the apartheid regime.

Comrade Chris is an unsung hero of our struggle whose real contribution to our freedom is still to be fully acknowledged and documented. His name will be mentioned alongside those of the best sons and daughters of our country who passed on with dignity and honor after making an outstanding contribution to our liberation.

As a true revolutionary and a patriot, Comrade Chris’ contribution to the struggle for liberation was not aimed at seeking personal glory and fame. It was not motivated by the pursuit of personal ambition, self-interest and or lust for power and self-privilege. His was a genuine commitment to build for our people a future that is qualitatively better than our ugly past.

All freedom-loving people of our country will sorely miss his intellectual sharpness, political maturity and passionate commitment to the plight and aspirations of the working class.

As the Alliance, we must make a solemn commitment never to betray the cause for which he fought all his life. In his honour and in taking forward his legacy, we must continue to work tirelessly towards the unity and renewal of our movement. We must uproot corruption and factionalism wherever they may rear their ugly heads. Consistent with the revolutionary spirit of Comrade Chris, we must do all of these things not to seek personal glory or popularity, but as part of our revolutionary duty to defend the gains of the 1994 democratic breakthrough.

The ANC urges all its cadres, especially young people, to emulate the revolutionary example of selfless service, discipline and loyalty that was displayed by this distinguished son of the soil.

The ANC conveys its heartfelt condolences to his family, comrades, and the entire mass democratic movement. We wish them strength and fortitude during this difficult time. We hope that the family will find comfort in the knowledge that they are not the only ones who have lost a loved one. To the family, we wish to say that we are with you in your difficult hour. Your pain is the ANC’s pain. The whole nation shares in your grief.

May his revolutionary soul find eternal peace.

The France-China strategic partnership: towards a different type of international relations?

The recent state visit of French President Macron to China, and his subsequent comments regarding Taiwan and the overlapping relationships between China, Europe and the United States, have led to considerable furore on the part of other imperialist powers and politicians and certainly appear to indicate a significant breach in the coalition that US President Biden has been seeking to construct against China. 

In this thoughtful and incisive analysis, written specially for Friends of Socialist China, Dr Jenny Clegg, author and campaigner, who is a member of our advisory group, takes a deep dive into the issues surrounding the visit and its aftermath, including:

  • To what extent does it indicate a return to a more independent Gaullist tradition in French foreign policy?
  • Does the Sino-French 51-point Joint Statement offer a fresh template for relations between major developed and developing countries?
  • How can all this contribute to the search for peace in Ukraine and to averting the danger of war in the Asia Pacific Region?
  • How does it relate to President Xi Jinping’s recently announced Global Civilisation Initiative?

Jenny concludes with the observation that, “even if the path is twisted, multipolarity is the objective trend – and a work in progress.”


The French President Emmanuel Macron departed for China in early April, apparently on a mission on behalf of the ‘collective West’ to get President Xi Jinping to “bring Russia to its senses”; he came away, however, with quite a different message, calling on the EU to not be too dependent on the US.  It seems it was Xi’s mission to encourage Macron’s Gaullist instinct for ‘strategic autonomy’ that prevailed over the course of the three day state visit.

The fact that Macron was accompanied by a large group of businesspeople suggested that other, more commercial, motives were also at play. Indeed, China’s offer to bulk purchase 140 Airbus aircraft for $17bn was very generous. But this visit was by no means simply just another delegation along the vaunted ‘commerce over human rights’ pattern.

The meeting between leaders of the second and the seventh largest world economies – the largest developing and fourth largest developed respectively –  between two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and officially recognised nuclear powers, was made all the more significant by the exceptional times. 

The summit took place following a few short weeks of intense diplomatic manoeuvres – from China’s Ukraine and Middle East peace initiatives and summitry with Putin to the bizarre Sinophobic ‘balloon incident’ in the US, which saw Secretary of State Antony Blinken call off his visit to China, and, in the Pacific, the AUKUS expansion of nuclear-powered submarine capacity. All this reflected the extremely precarious situation internationally, with the Ukraine conflict on the verge of escalation, and now US provocations over Taiwan, potentially bringing major powers to the point of a Third World War.

The prospect of working towards a lasting Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership held the promise of injecting some rationality into a chaotic situation in danger of veering out of control.

For China, the summit was a key part of its major power diplomacy aimed at promoting a sound interaction between the world’s main players as set out in its recently released Global Security Initiative Concept Paper.  As major powers, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, as China sees it, China and France have a particular responsibility to address the current situation of growing global deficits in peace, development, security and governance, even as the international community confronts multiple risks and challenges.

The Sino-French 51 point joint statement

US President Biden’s New Cold War China policy formula to ‘compete, confront and cooperate’ carries great risks of muddle and incoherence in practice whilst narrowly and unrealistically restricting cooperation to the window of climate change.

The 51-point France-China Joint Statement in contrast opens up a wide range of areas for cooperation – political and strategic; economic and business; cultural and educational – and not only on a bilateral but also a multilateral basis, setting the frame, as major powers on the world stage, of “a shared view of a multipolar world” with “the United Nations at its core”.

On the vital question of the Ukraine crisis, there was support for “efforts to restore peace…on the basis of international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter” and, although there was no explicit call for a ceasefire, acknowledgement of Russia’s legitimate security concerns or opposition to unilateral sanctions – all covered in China’s 12 point proposal on the Ukraine crisis – what was of significance was the call for “no action that could heighten the risk of tension”,  given recognition of the dangers of escalation and even nuclear war.

On bilateral cooperation, from artificial intelligence and the digital economy, including 5G, from the general improvement of market access on both sides, to science and technology cooperation, language teaching, inter-university and cultural exchanges, there is little evidence of the paranoia that now permeates the US, UK and the rest of the Anglosphere over alleged Chinese ‘spying’ and the supposed hidden threat in all these to national security.

Continue reading The France-China strategic partnership: towards a different type of international relations?

The TikTok conspiracy – the Montana connection

In the following article, written for Friends of Socialist China, Keith Lamb uncovers the real reasons behind the move by lawmakers in the US state of Montana to ban the hugely popular TikTok app. 

Keith refutes the suggestion that the app presents any national security threat to the US, highlighting instead the degeneration of much of US popular culture as well as the contrast between a bourgeois government in the US – in hock to capital, including the big tech companies – and a socialist government in China, that prioritizes people’s welfare, including the balanced development of the younger generation. 

He also looks at why Montana is the first US state to take this drastic step.

Montana lawmakers have decided to ban TikTok, the popular app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Now their decision will go to Montana’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, for consideration. The argument for banning TikTok is based on several conspiracy theories. But the real conspiracy theory, which Montana has a role in, isn’t being reported.

The popular conspiracy theory narrative is that China will be able to spy on US citizens, propagandize them, and that China is even using TikTok to dumb down Americans while the Chinese version of the app is used to edify China’s citizens.

First, even the CIA has stated there is no evidence that the Chinese government has access to US TikTok data. Indeed, TikTok stores US data on servers based in Texas. As such, the reasoning for banning TikTok is based on made up and hypothetical situations rather than factual evidence.

Second, it is vacuous to claim that China is using TikTok to propagandize US citizens as US TikTok users overwhelmingly consume homegrown content. Banning TikTok would only mean US content creators would migrate to different apps – this is probably the intention!

In terms of the Chinese version of TikTok, an episode of the 60 Minutes TV show argued that it is more likely to show edifying content to Chinese youth while US children get the dumbed-down version. Thus, the reasoning goes, China is purposely dumbing down Americans!

This dumbed-down argument speaks volumes to the ignorance that masks the real causes for seeking to ban TikTok. Any serious self-reflection on popular US culture would recognize that it has long been dumbed down before TikTok’s advent.

Ignorance and mindless hedonism, combined with the generally illusory prospect of quick wealth added onto a catchy jingle, has long been the background melody that big business has used to propagandize American youth. Without widespread ignorance arguments that combine multiple foreign invasions with notions of “democracy” and “the good guys” would be untenable.

Continue reading The TikTok conspiracy – the Montana connection

43 years on, China remains Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend

On April 18, Zimbabwe celebrated its 43rd independence anniversary. The Southern African country won its liberation primarily through a people’s war, known as Chimurenga, that defeated British colonial and white racist rule. This liberation struggle was strongly supported by China and a number of other countries.

Marking this anniversary, the Xinhua News Agency, in an article we reprint below, quoted Christopher Mutsvangwa, Secretary for Information and Publicity of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which played the main role in the liberation struggle, as saying that, after standing firmly with Zimbabwe in its struggle for national independence and liberation, China has been playing an important role in the country’s economic transformation by investing in its key economic pillars such as mining, agriculture and infrastructure. “This is probably the most exciting time just like in the 1960s and 1970s when China’s arrival gave an option to the liberation movements to fight for their freedom.”

He added that, through Chinese investment in infrastructure, Zimbabwe will be transformed into a regional trade hub, citing the Chinese-funded expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the country’s largest, as an example.

As Zimbabwe is celebrating its Independence Day on Tuesday, experts have praised China for having been the African country’s all-weather friend for more than four decades.

After standing firmly with Zimbabwe in its struggle for national independence and liberation, China has been playing an important role in the country’s economic transformation by investing in its key economic pillars such as mining, agriculture and infrastructure, said Christopher Mutsvangwa, secretary for information and publicity for Zimbabwe’s ruling Zimbabwe African National Union party.

He said Chinese modernization has created opportunities for African countries including Zimbabwe.

“This is probably the most exciting time just like in the 1960s and 1970s when China’s arrival gave an option to the liberation movements to fight for their freedom,” Mutsvangwa told Xinhua, adding that Zimbabwe’s victory against colonial forces would have been unthinkable without Chinese support.

“Now this has moved into the economic era where the world markets have become flat so that if you are not happy with the price in New York you can always try Shanghai,” he said.

Mutsvangwa further said through Chinese investment in infrastructure, Zimbabwe will be transformed into a regional trade hub.

For example, the Chinese-funded expansion of Zimbabwe’s largest airport — the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport — is due for completion in 2023. The upgrade will allow the airport to grow its passenger handling capacity to about 6 million a year from the current 2.5 million.

Hopewell Mupanganyama, chairman for the youth desk in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, praised China for standing with African countries in their quest for national independence and liberation.

“Around the 1970s, though China was classified to be a poor country of Asia in terms of development,” it “made sure” that it assisted “Africa to dismantle colonialism,” Mupanganyama said, adding that China now once again stands at the forefront of transforming African economies through investment and trade.

Over the years, China and Zimbabwe have kept boosting economic and trade ties. Trade between the two countries surged nearly 30 percent year-on-year to a record high of 2.43 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe said.

Brazil-China joint statement on combating climate change

Among the important agreements reached between China and Brazil during President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s recent state visit was one on climate change. Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the “world’s lungs”. Terrible damage was inflicted on the rainforest, and hence on the global environment, during the far-right rule of Jair Bolsanaro, a climate denialist who pursued policies aimed at benefitting wealthy ranchers at the expense, in particular, of indigenous peoples. Lula, in contrast, has always prioritized environmental issues in his political program and governance. Brazil’s Green Party, along with the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), formed part of his political coalition since he first ran for the presidency in 1989. Today, his Minister for the Environment and Climate Change is Marina Silva, a globally known environmental campaigner. Born on a rubber plantation, she has described herself as a, “black woman of poor origin”. She was among the large delegation that accompanied President Lula to China this time.

The Sino-Brazilian Joint Statement on Combating Climate Change begins by stating that, in their conversation, the two presidents, “recognized that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time and that addressing this crisis contributes to building a shared future of equitable and common prosperity for humankind.”

Noting that the international scientific community has “shown unequivocally that human activity is changing the global climate system, and creating new challenges to sustainable development to developing countries”, it affirms that developed countries, “bear the historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, and should take the lead in scaling up climate actions by reaching climate neutrality earlier than 2050, providing climate finance, and respecting the right to development and the policy space of developing countries.”

The statement stresses the need to combine urgent climate response with nature conservation so as to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the eradication of poverty and hunger, while leaving no one behind. It also reaffirms the important concept of common but differentiated responsibilities, “in the context of sustainable development, the inalienable Right to Development and efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger.”

Developing countries, the statement insists, require “predictable and adequate” support from developed countries in the fight against climate change and for sustainable development. This is important as many grand promises have been made at international gatherings by the imperialist countries, but they have rarely if ever been honored. As the statement goes on to note: “Considering that the implementation of a just transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy in developing countries will cost trillions, as presented in the first Report on the determination of the needs of developing countries related to implementing the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] and its Paris Agreement, we continue to be very concerned that climate finance provided by developed countries continues to fall short of the USD 100 billion per year commitment, as it has every year since the goal was set in 2009, even as the actual amount needed far surpasses that commitment. We urge developed countries to honor their unfulfilled climate finance obligations, and to commit to their new collective quantified goal that goes well beyond the floor of USD 100 billion per year and provide a clear roadmap of doubling adaptation finance.”

The statement also outlines the numerous areas where Brazil and China are committed to continuing and enhancing their bilateral cooperation on climate issues.

We reprint the full text of the joint statement below. It was originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency.

1. Presidents Xi Jinping and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met in Beijing on 14 April 2023. During their conversation, President Xi and President Lula recognized that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time and that addressing this crisis contributes to building a shared future of equitable and common prosperity for humankind.

2. The international scientific community has shown unequivocally that human activity is changing the global climate system, and creating new challenges to sustainable development to developing countries. Developed countries bear the historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, and should take the lead in scaling up climate actions by reaching climate neutrality earlier than 2050, providing climate finance, and respecting the right to development and the policy space of developing countries.

3. Brazil and China stress the need to combine urgent climate response with nature conservation to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the eradication of poverty and hunger, while leaving no one behind.

4. Brazil and China commit to broadening, deepening and diversifying our bilateral cooperation in climate, as well as our joint efforts towards an enhanced global governance under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in accordance with equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, in the context of sustainable development, the inalienable Right to Development and efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger.

Continue reading Brazil-China joint statement on combating climate change

Chinatowns squeezed between capitalist development, New Cold War

This article by Tina Ngo, Ningshun Chen and Wai Lee Chin Feman, first published in Liberation News shines a light on the pressures faced by Chinatowns in the US. The authors point to a longstanding trajectory of gentrification that is making Chinatowns increasingly unviable, with rising rents and major construction projects that prioritize capitalist profit over the needs of communities. “For the few Chinatowns in which working-class immigrants and families still reside, rabid gentrifying forces are pushing the local residents to fight for their lives.”

Additionally, the article discusses how the New Cold War between the US and China is affecting Chinatown communities, fomenting anti-Asian racism and McCarthyite witch-hunting. The authors draw a parallel with the Red Scare of the 1950s, when state agents “rampaged through Chinatowns in search of Chinese communists and sympathizers”, and the FBI “raided universities and student clubs in search of Asian-American radicals.” The New Cold War and the propaganda that surrounds it are creating the conditions for a new wave of repression and intimidation.

The article concludes with a call for a joined-up struggle against US militarism, racism, McCarthyism and gentrification.

For decades, Chinatowns across the United States have been under attack by racist capitalist developments. Developers, banks and politicians are competing to construct the newest arenas, the tallest mega-jails and the grayest luxury apartment condos. These seemingly upscale yet unsafe and unsound projects have effectively priced out long-time residents and small businesses. Capitalist developments have destroyed entire communities — places where people used to live, gather, and thrive — now sit as empty vessels and lifeless tourist destinations. For the few Chinatowns in which working-class immigrants and families still reside, rabid gentrifying forces are pushing the local residents to fight for their lives.

Profiteering developments are just one instance of the extensive social phenomena threatening our Chinatowns. Notably, the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with a right-wing propaganda campaign, ignited anti-Asian sentiments and hate crimes. Countless acts of violence, most of which targeted women and the elderly, took place within and around Chinatowns across the country. Victims of these hate crimes were shoved off subway platforms and sidewalks, beaten with objects, and dehumanized with racial slurs. 

Mainstream media portray these assaults as supposedly senseless incidents and reduce them to individualized racial “hate.” They exalt that the solution to these problems is to increase crime reporting, expand police budgets, and to strengthen the system of mass incarceration. The news media is cynically manipulating the plight of Asian Americans to promote reactionary “tough on crime” policies. 

Capitalists are opportunistically banking on the latest rise of anti-Asian violence to drive a wedge between oppressed communities, as a means to keep them divided and powerless. This strategy of racial division is part of the larger profit scheme to encroach on Chinatowns by dividing communities fighting for the same right to housing. 

Continue reading Chinatowns squeezed between capitalist development, New Cold War

Lula: China has become a great power by seeking common development

We are very pleased to reproduce the latest episode of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, featuring Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

President Lula spoke to CGTN’s Wang Guan on April 13 in Shanghai, at the start of his state visit to China, his fifth such visit and his first visit outside of the Americas since the start of his third presidential term on January 1. Whilst in Shanghai, Lula attended the inauguration of his successor as Brazilian President following his first two terms of office, and Workers’ Party (PT) comrade, Dilma Rousseff to head the New Development Bank (NDB), initiated by the BRICS grouping, becoming the first head of state to visit the bank, and also visited a research institute of the Chinese telecom company Huawei.

“The decision to create the NDB was a milestone in the joint action of emerging countries…The creation of this bank showed that the union of emerging countries is capable of generating relevant social and economic changes for the world,” Lula tweeted.

He went on to note that: “For the first time, a development bank with global reach was established without the participation of developed countries in its initial phase. It was free, therefore, from the shackles of conditionality imposed by traditional institutions on emerging economies.” 

In his interview with Wang Guan, throughout which he spoke with the candour and passion that befits a lifelong militant and fighter for the working class, Lula said that the aim of his then upcoming talks with his friend President Xi Jinping was to establish a strategic partnership between their two countries that could last for decades and which could cover many areas, besides the economy and trade, including science, technology, education and cooperation in space. 

He intended to build on the “extraordinary relationship” he had enjoyed with China during his first two terms. Referring to the significance of Dilma’s leadership of the NDB, he said that countries like Brazil and China did not need to trade in US dollars. They could use their own currencies or a unified one.

Explaining that the world had changed since 1945, Lula said that a new model of global governance was needed. To solve the Russia/Ukraine conflict, it was necessary to bring the countries that wanted peace together (what has elsewhere been described as a ‘peace club’), so that they could together come up with a proposal.

Fifty years ago, Lula continued, no one believed that China could become a great power. It had done so, not by inciting war, but by seeking common development. He was glad to see that China was investing in Africa and Latin America. In the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, everyone agreed that the developing countries were in need of investment, but no country had actually delivered on this except for China.

Lula said he finds it admirable that China has achieved high-speed, leapfrog development whilst maintaining its ideology and party building. Lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty is not an easy task. Brazil had eliminated hunger by 2012, but now it had returned (thanks to the disastrous far-right presidency of Jair Bolsonaro). Brazil therefore needed to learn from China in a serious, friendly and humble way. There is no need to copy everything, but neither should one deny everything. 

Responding to his interviewer’s observation that Lula has a considerable following in China, the Brazilian leader spoke movingly about what motivated him. One of 12 children, eight of whom survived, he quit school to work as a street vendor at age 8 to help feed his family. “I will always remember where I come from. Being the president is not a profession. It is to represent the Brazilian people in exercising power. The reason I wanted to become the President of Brazil was to improve the lives of the poorest people. We must ensure that they have breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and jobs to support their families.”

The full interview is embedded below.

China commits to assisting Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development

On April 12-13, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang paid an official visit to Uzbekistan and then attended two important meetings, namely the fourth foreign ministers meeting among neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, followed by the second informal meeting of foreign ministers of China, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran on the Afghan issue.

Coinciding with these events, on April 12, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released an 11-point position paper on the Afghan issue. It noted that: “China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, respects the independent choices made by the Afghan people, and respects the religious beliefs and national customs of Afghanistan. China never interferes in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, never seeks selfish interests in Afghanistan, and never pursues so-called sphere of influence.”

China, it said, sincerely hopes that Afghanistan could build an open and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and engage in friendly exchanges with all countries especially neighbouring countries. “We hope the Afghan Interim Government will protect the basic rights and interests of all Afghan people, including women, children and all ethnic groups.”

China will continue to do its best to help Afghanistan with reconstruction and development, make plans with Afghanistan and fulfil its assistance pledges, promote steady progress in economic, trade and investment cooperation, and actively carry out cooperation in such fields as medical care, poverty alleviation, agriculture, and disaster prevention and mitigation, so as to help Afghanistan realise independent and sustainable development at an early date. China welcomes Afghanistan’s participation in Belt and Road cooperation.

Stressing the need to support Afghanistan in countering terrorism, China hopes that Afghanistan will fulfil its commitment in earnest and take more effective measures to crack down on all terrorist forces including the ETIM [East Turkestan Islamic Movement] with greater determination.

The paper added: “It is a widely held view in the international community that, by seizing Afghanistan’s overseas assets and imposing unilateral sanctions, the US, which created the Afghan issue in the first place, is the biggest external factor that hinders substantive improvement in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The US should draw lessons from what happened in Afghanistan, face squarely the grave humanitarian, economic and security risks and challenges in Afghanistan, immediately lift its sanctions, return the Afghan overseas assets, and deliver its pledged humanitarian aid to meet the emergency needs of the Afghan people.”

It also stressed: “It is a shared view of regional countries that the military interference and ‘democratic transformation’ by external forces in Afghanistan over the past 20-odd years have inflicted enormous losses and pain on Afghanistan. It will be difficult to eliminate the negative impacts for many years to come. To help Afghanistan achieve sustained peace and stability, relevant countries should not attempt to re-deploy military facilities in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood, practice double standards on counter-terrorism, or advance their geopolitical agenda by supporting or conniving at terrorism.”

Continue reading China commits to assisting Afghanistan’s reconstruction and development

Lula’s successful visit serves to deepen Brazil-China partnership

The state visit to China, April 12-15, by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, his fifth such visit and his first visit outside the Americas since the start of his third presidential term, was a complete success, characterised by the great warmth shared by the two countries and peoples as well as by their respective leaders. 

The high point of the visit was the formal talks between the two heads of state, which followed a grand welcoming ceremony, where the playing of a popular Brazilian song from the period of struggle against the pro-American military dictatorship, but which also refers to a new era, a concept intrinsic to Xi Jinping Thought, visibly moved at least one Brazilian minister to tears.

Welcoming President Lula, Xi Jinping acclaimed him as an old friend of China, who he was really happy to meet again. He once again expressed his sympathy for Lula’s recent illness, which had caused him to postpone his visit, as well as his appreciation that he had rescheduled so soon after his recovery. 

President Xi pointed out that China and Brazil are the two biggest developing countries and emerging markets in the Eastern and Western hemispheres. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Brazil share extensive common interests. The overarching, strategic and global influence of China-Brazil relations continues to grow.

The two sides, Xi continued, need to deepen cooperation, steadily advance their major cooperation projects, and further unleash cooperation potential in agriculture, energy, infrastructure, space, aviation, innovation, and so on.

On regional and international issues, President Xi pledged China’s firm support for Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries to cement the sound momentum of peace, stability, independence, solidarity and development, advance regional integration and play a greater role in international affairs. China will work with Brazil to ensure the continued success of the China-CELAC [Community of Latin American and Caribbean States] Forum, take cooperation between China and LAC countries to a new level, and achieve common development. China will also work with Brazil to strengthen cooperation with MERCOSUR [Southern Common Market] and UNASUR [Union of South American Nations]. Facing global changes of a magnitude unseen in a century, China and Brazil are resolved to stand on the right side of history, practice true multilateralism, advocate the common values of humanity, work for a more just and equitable international governance system, truly safeguard the common interests of developing countries and international justice and equity, and build a community with a shared future for humanity.

Responding, President Lula said that his choice for his first visit outside the Americas since his return to the presidency reflects Brazil’s affection for China and commitment to Brazil-China relations. Brazil is committed to building closer relations with China from the strategic perspective of shaping a just and equitable international order. Noting his excellent visit to the Huawei research institute in Shanghai, where he met Chinese business representatives, President Lula expressed deep admiration for China’s 5G progress and his hope to expand Brazil-China cooperation in relevant fields. He believed deeper and greater cooperation with China would contribute to Brazil’s reindustrialisation, help address poverty and other issues and deliver benefits to the people.

On the crisis in Ukraine, both sides agreed that dialogue and negotiation is the only feasible way for settling it and that all efforts that are conducive to its peaceful resolution should be encouraged and supported. They appealed to more countries to play a constructive role for a political settlement.

Following their talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of 15 bilateral agreements on trade and investment, digital economy, scientific and technological innovation, information and communications, poverty reduction, quarantine, space and other areas. They also issued a Joint Statement Between the People’s Republic of China and the Federative Republic of Brazil on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The joint statement consists of 49 clauses covering the whole spectrum of bilateral relations as well as a number of other issues. In it, the two leaders called for deepening cooperation in such areas as poverty reduction, social development, and scientific and technological innovation, as well as expanding into new areas of cooperation such as environmental protection, tackling climate change, the low-carbon economy and the digital economy.

They affirmed the central role of the United Nations in the international system and supported the promotion of active discussions amongst BRICS members on the group’s expansion process.  China expressed its support to the Brazilian G20 Presidency, to begin on December 1 2023, seen as an opportunity to strengthen the priorities of developing countries within the group. Attention was also paid to the need to  strengthen bilateral cooperation in the area of environmental protection, combating climate change and the loss of biodiversity, promoting sustainable development and ways to speed up the transition to a low-carbon economy. And they agreed to deepen dialogue in the economic-financial area and to strengthen trade in local currencies.

The agreement noted that: “Faced with the return of the upward trajectory of people in a state of food insecurity in the world, the two parties recalled the successful experience of both countries in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty, and in the adoption of measures to facilitate low-income populations’ access to healthy eating. Given the commitment of both countries in eradicating hunger and extreme poverty at a global level and in line with the United Nations Decade for Family Farming (2019-2028), they recognised the central role of social policies and family farming for the combating of poverty and malnutrition. In this regard, they agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation. This will establish a joint work plan to address issues related to the fight against hunger and poverty and for rural development, including cooperation in policies and exchange of experiences aimed at improving income transfers, socio-economic inclusion and the sustainability of food production, whether through technical cooperation, adequate machinery, or renewable energy solutions adapted to small rural properties.”

Reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic, the statement affirmed that Chinese vaccines were instrumental in combating the pandemic in Brazil and contributed to saving millions of Brazilian lives.

The final clause of the agreement states that: “The parties recognised the full success of President Lula’s visit and the outstanding significance of this visit in the history of Brazil-China relations. President Lula thanked President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government and people for the warm welcome and great hospitality received during his visit to China and invited President Xi Jinping to make a State Visit to Brazil on an opportune date in 2024 to celebrate the 50 years of diplomatic relations between Brazil and China. President Xi Jinping expressed, with satisfaction, his gratitude for the invitation, and the parties will follow-up on it through diplomatic channels.” 

We reprint below a report on the talks between the two presidents and the full text of the joint statement. They originally appeared on the websites of the Chinese and Brazilian foreign ministries respectively.

President Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Brazilian President Lula da Silva

On the afternoon of 14 April, President Xi Jinping held talks with Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who is on a state visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People.

President Xi extended a warm welcome to President Lula. He pointed out that China and Brazil are the two biggest developing countries and emerging markets in the Eastern and Western hemispheres. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Brazil share extensive common interests. The overarching, strategic and global influence of the China-Brazil relations continues to grow. China always views and develops relations with Brazil from a strategic and long-term perspective, and sees the relationship as a high priority on its diplomatic agenda. China will work with Brazil to create a new future for their relations in the new era, deliver greater benefits to the two peoples, and play an important and positive role for peace, stability and prosperity in their regions and around the world.

Continue reading Lula’s successful visit serves to deepen Brazil-China partnership

Biden’s ‘Democracy Summit’ offers no anchor to a sinking US hegemony

In this article for Beijing Review, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong assesses the recent ‘Summit for Democracy’. From the attendees and content of the event, which was dominated by the US and a few of its close allies in the West, Danny concludes that when the organizers use the term democracy, what they mean is “whatever policies and governance decisions serve US interests.”

Increasingly, the countries of the Global South cannot be duped by the West’s claims to democratic greatness. After all, “no one in the US, or the world, votes for or participates in the American policy of invading, sanctioning and destabilizing nations across the globe.” People are coming to understand the truth that US democracy is “a democracy for the few, a democracy of a tiny number of corporations and their political representatives; a democracy that serves the most destructive force on the planet: US hegemony.”

What the US has is “a system that weaponizes democracy for the sake of hegemony and economic domination.” This is not the democracy the world needs. It is China and the other socialist, progressive and anti-imperialist countries that are moving towards a genuinely democratic world order, based on peace, equality, sovereignty, non-interference, mutual learning and mutual benefit. The West needs to stop lecturing others on the topic of democracy, and instead learn some lessons.

U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the second “Summit for Democracy” from March 28 to 30. In the lead-up to the event, which first took place virtually in December 2021, the U.S. Department of State had promoted the three-day meeting as “a multilateral collaboration” between the U.S. and cohosts spanning four continents—Zambia, the Republic of Korea, Costa Rica and the Netherlands. But nothing could be further from the truth. The gathering proved an exercise in unilateralism that sought to reestablish the American monopoly on democracy, and a failed one at that.

The troubles for the meeting had already begun well before it got underway. Mainstream U.S. media as well as many in the U.S. foreign policy establishment questioned Biden’s decision to host the event during such a delicate period for his country’s global reputation. Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Department of State official Richard Hass referred to it as “a bad idea that won’t go away.” The Washington Post called it “inconsequential” while outlets such as The New Yorker retorted that U.S. democracy is currently in “a worse state than ever before.”

British daily business newspaper Financial Times alternatively labeled the gathering “awkward” in its approach and lamented how the U.S. lacked an effective strategy toward developing stable relations with the Global South.

Continue reading Biden’s ‘Democracy Summit’ offers no anchor to a sinking US hegemony

France is correct to pursue strategic autonomy

French president Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments in Beijing that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours” have attracted condemnation from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (an international alliance of China hawks including Marco Rubio and Iain Duncan Smith), which accuses Macron of “appeasing” Beijing and failing to stand up for democracy.

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez responded to IPAC’s vitriol in a brief interview with the Morning Star, pointing out that Macron’s comments are essentially a reiteration of the Gaullism that has oriented French foreign policy since the late 1950s. That France should pursue an independent foreign policy based on its own interests, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable. Instead of issuing hysterical condemnation of Macron, British politicians would be well advised to follow the example of seeking strategic autonomy and establishing a sensible distance from the US’s reckless New Cold War.

BRITAIN would be well advised to follow [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s example in staying out of a US confrontation with Beijing, a China expert says.

Mr Macron told reporters following a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours.”

He singled out rising tensions over Taiwan, asking: “Is it in our interests to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worst thing would be to … take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.”

Thirteen British MPs signed an attack on Mr Macron drafted by the Inter-parliamentary Alliance on China, an international assemblage of legislators. It condemns “Beijing’s aggressive stance towards Taiwan” and voices dismay at the French president for “appeasing” China.

But author Carlos Martinez told the Morning Star: “That France should pursue an independent foreign policy, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable.

“On this question, Britain would be well advised to follow Macron’s example, although the current political configuration makes that difficult. The hard right in the Conservative Party is pushing for deeper alignment with (or subservience to) the US ruling class, and it’s found an unlikely bedfellow in the Labour leadership.

“It is crucial that Britain stop outsourcing its foreign policy to Washington. British people have much to gain from friendly relations, trade, co-operation and people-to-people exchanges with China.

“Such relations must of course be based on mutual respect, which means we should respect China’s sovereignty and accept that the Taiwan issue can only be solved by the Chinese people on both sides of the strait.”