The West & China on the brink: will the New Cold War turn hot?

Britain’s Stop the War Coalition organized an online lecture and discussion on the danger of the new cold war with China turning hot on May 25, 2023. Dr. Jenny Clegg, former senior lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies as well as an officer of Stop the War and a member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group, made a presentation and then responded to questions, initially from Chris Nineham, Vice Chair of Stop the War, who chaired the event.

Jenny detailed the extensive militarization of the vast Pacific Ocean by the United States and other imperialist powers, not least with the US Pacific Command based in Hawaii, the US bases located in their colonial territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as in South Korea, Okinawa and the Japanese mainland, and the recent agreements to regain access to bases in the Philippines and to establish a base in Papua New Guinea. Due to its colonial presence in the region, far from the US mainland, the Pacific waters claimed by the US dwarf those claimed by China. Britain claims about the same amount of the Pacific as China by virtue of its continued colonial possession of the Pitcairn Islands (combined land area of 18 square miles; permanent inhabitants as of January 2020, 47), whilst France also claims vast waters from its colonial occupation of New Caledonia.

According to Jenny, at the center of US strategy to maintain its domination of the Pacific today is a move to create an Asian NATO via a number of initiatives, including linking the AUKUS agreement, between Australia, Britain and the United States, to the upgrading of its military alliance with Japan, to forging new military agreements with the Philippines, and so on. Britain is also at the center of such moves, with, for example, its new military alliance with Japan, along with its central role in AUKUS.

The video embedded below, originally uploaded by Stop the War, features Jenny’s introductory talk, along with her response to questions posed by Chris Nineham.

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