Britain’s Stop the War Coalition held its Annual General Meeting in London on September 16.
In a significant development, a resolution proposed by Manchester Stop the War, opposing the preparation for war against China, was passed unanimously. It notes that the US Biden administration, “is overseeing a massive military buildup in the Pacific amidst constant talk of war with China”, and continues:
“Just as Ukraine served as a proxy to aggravate Russia, the US is stoking Taiwan with arms and military trainers, creating uncertainty around the One China policy agreed with China and supported internationally.”
The resolution further notes the attempts being made to extend NATO’s reach into Asia and criticises Britain’s participation in the AUKUS pact alongside the Australia and the United States, as well as its increased military collaboration with Japan.
Key speakers at the meeting included Stop the War leaders Lindsey German and Andrew Murray, Irish Member of the European Parliament Clare Daly, independent Member of Parliament for Leicester East Claudia Webbe, and President of the RMT rail and transport union Alex Gordon. Videos of their speeches can be viewed here. A message of solidarity was also read from former Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.
Opposing the preparation for war against China
- This Conference notes that:
- Biden’s administration is overseeing a massive military buildup in the Pacific amidst constant talk of war with China – now the main ‘strategic competitor’ – predictions ranging from 2 to 10 years;
- Just as Ukraine served as a proxy to aggravate Russia, the US is stoking Taiwan with arms and military trainers, creating uncertainty around the One China policy agreed with China and supported internationally, in order to provoke aggression;
- Increasing military activity in disputed waters in the South and East China Seas and around Taiwan runs a high risk of accidental collision escalating rapidly into a catastrophic war;
- Increasing tensions jeopardise international cooperation essential to address the mounting climate catastrophe;
- We also note that:
- With the claim ’Euro-Atlantic and IndoPacific security are linked’, the US is building an Atlantic-Pacific Global NATO-style partnership, drawing NATO into Asia, with Britain the most active accomplice;
- Through AUKUS and a military forces exchange with Japan, Britain is not only stoking a Pacific arms race but also runs the risk of a direct clash with China;
- Rishi Sunak has identified China as ‘the biggest challenge to the world’;
- Spending on preparations for war with China is pushing up Britain’s military budget significantly.
- This Conference believes that a war between the US and China must be stopped before it starts.
- We say no to war preparations and provocations;
- We support the peaceful dialogue across the Taiwan Strait as well as between the countries bordering the South China Sea to resolve differences;
- We oppose outside interference since this can only complicate dialogue, with failure likely leading into conflict;
- We call for British withdrawal from AUKUS and from military commitments in the IndoPacific; the government should refrain from any moves that may contribute to destabilising the situation regarding Taiwan;
- We support activists in the Pacific region opposing militarisation and the arms race, and calling for de-escalation of tensions.
- This Conference resolves to step up campaigning to oppose Britain’s part in the war preparations by
(i) developing understanding of the issues and dangers through discussion among our membership supported by educational materials;
(ii) raising public awareness of the dangers of Pacific militarisation and Britain’s part in this;
(iii) including in our campaigning to reverse the TUC’s decision on increasing military spending, factual material on the costs of Britain’s ‘IndoPacific tilt’.