CPC Central Committee: Eternal glory to Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong

The day after announcing that Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), required intensive medical treatment, on July 19, it was announced that the revolutionary leader had passed away at 1:38pm local time at the age of 80. 

Shortly after, the Xinhua News Agency released the text of the condolences sent by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to their Vietnamese counterpart, deeply mourning Trong’s death. The message said that the CPC and the Chinese people had lost a good comrade, a good brother and a good friend. It described Trong as a staunch Marxist and a great leader of the CPV and the Vietnamese people. Besides his work for the country, he had also made outstanding contributions to the development of the world socialist movement.  The message added that Trong was a close comrade and a sincere friend of the CPC and the Chinese people. He inherited and developed the traditional friendship of “comrades plus brothers” between the two parties and two countries and forged a profound friendship with the CPC and Chinese leaders. The CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people would always miss him. 

“We believe that the CPV and the Vietnamese people will turn grief into strength, carry on the legacy of Trong, unite and strive to make new and greater achievements in the cause of Doi Moi [reform] and socialist construction,” the message added.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Friday sent condolences to the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and deeply mourned the death of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The following is the full text of the condolence message:

General Secretary of the CPV Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong passed away. The CPC and the Chinese people lost a good comrade, a good brother and a good friend. With immense grief, we extend our deepest condolences and sincerest sympathies to the Central Committee of the CPV, the Vietnamese government and the Vietnamese people.

Trong was a staunch Marxist and a great leader of the CPV and the Vietnamese people. He dedicated his entire life to the causes of his party and nation, making outstanding contributions to Vietnam’s Doi Moi (reform), socialist construction, and the development of the world socialist movement.

Trong was a close comrade and a sincere friend of the CPC and the Chinese people. He inherited and developed the traditional friendship of “comrades plus brothers” between the two parties and two countries, and forged a profound friendship with the CPC and Chinese leaders.

Trong and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping have jointly elevated China-Vietnam relations to a community with a shared future that carries strategic significance and vigorously promoted the continuous development of China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. The CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people will always miss Trong.

We believe that the CPV and the Vietnamese people will turn grief into strength, carry on the legacy of Trong, unite and strive to make new and greater achievements in the cause of Doi Moi and socialist construction.

China and Vietnam are socialist neighbors connected by mountains and rivers and a community with a shared future that carries strategic significance. China has always regarded Vietnam as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and stands ready to work with Vietnam to continuously consolidate political mutual trust, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and push forward the building of a China-Vietnam community with a shared future to benefit the two peoples and contribute to regional and world peace and development.

Eternal glory to Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong.

China boosts ties with Solomon Islands and Vanuatu

Chinese President Xi Jinping met separately in Beijing with the Prime Ministers of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu on July 12. The premiers of the two South Pacific island nations were on official visits that underscored China’s policy of treating all countries, big or small, as equal.

Meeting Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele of Solomon Islands, Xi noted that China regards the Solomon Islands as a good friend, good partner and good brother. China supports the Solomon Islands in pursuing a development path that suits its national conditions and in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

China, he added, is ready to enhance strategic communication with the Solomon Islands to firmly support each other in safeguarding core interests and addressing major concerns, enhance the synergy between the Belt and Road cooperation and the development strategy of the Solomon Islands, deepen cooperation in areas such as rural development, medical services, infrastructure, sustainable development and climate change response, and work together to build a community with a shared future between the two countries in the new era, thereby bringing greater benefits to the two peoples.

China has always been committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and advocates that all countries, regardless of size, strength or wealth, are equals. China’s friendly cooperation with the Solomon Islands and other Pacific Island countries is a sincere effort to assist these island nations in achieving development, falls within the framework of South-South cooperation, and is part of the common development of the Global South, without targeting any third party or seeking any selfish gain, he added.

Manele said his visit to China began in Fujian province, where he witnessed China’s remarkable development achievements and felt the immense potential and broad prospects of cooperation between the Solomon Islands and China. Noting that China has set an example for developing countries, he added that China advocates the common values of humanity, upholds multilateralism, avoids forming exclusive cliques or playing geopolitical games, does not require other countries to take sides, and calls on the international community to strengthen unity and cooperation.

The previous day, Manele had met with his Chinese counterpart, Premier Li Qiang, who called for further development of their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era.

Li said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties five years ago, bilateral relations have maintained strong development, setting an example of South-South cooperation among developing countries. China is ready to share more development experience with the Solomon Islands, and strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, rural development, information and communications and low-carbon transition. And it  hopes to import more quality agricultural and food products from the Solomon Islands and encourages Chinese enterprises to invest there. The two sides should strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, health, sports, culture and youth to further facilitate personnel exchanges and cement the social foundation of bilateral cooperation.

Manele expressed appreciation for China’s strong support for the economic and social development of the Solomon Islands. He said that the Solomon Islands firmly abides by the one-China principle, supports the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the three major global initiatives, supports the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and highly appreciates China’s important contribution to world peace and development.

The Solomon Islands is willing to deepen exchanges and cooperation with China in fields such as economy and trade, infrastructure construction, medical and health care, people-to-people exchanges and poverty alleviation, jointly cope with global challenges such as climate change and push forward the comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era.

In a joint statement, the two sides reaffirmed that they will continue to follow the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, firmly support each other in independently exploring a development path suited to national conditions, and further enhance sharing and mutual learning of governance experience.

The Chinese side will continue to provide help to the best of its capacity for Solomon Islands’ pursuit of independent and sustainable development, to help Solomon Islands graduate from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) category by 2027 as scheduled.

They agreed to expand exchanges and cooperation in such areas as culture, education, health including malaria eradication, sports, law enforcement, youth and media. The Chinese side will continue to provide government scholarships and various training opportunities for Solomon Islands, continue to send medical teams and police liaison teams to Solomon Islands, and continue to provide Solomon Islands with support in Chinese language teaching.

The two sides share the view that climate change is a global challenge that requires all countries to respond with joint efforts under the framework of multilateralism and in accordance with the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The two sides will jointly promote the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement.

They also reiterated their commitment to firmly upholding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, and call on relevant countries to fulfill international obligations and prudently handle issues such as the ocean discharge of nuclear-contaminated water and cooperation on nuclear submarines.

Continue reading China boosts ties with Solomon Islands and Vanuatu

China and Venezuela: building a Great Wall against imperialism and hegemonism

The following text is based on a presentation given by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez at a discussion forum titled The Emancipatory Struggle for Independence in Latin America, held on 18 July 2024 at the historic Casa Miranda in London, where the celebrated Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda lived from 1802 to 1810. The event was organised by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and was hosted by His Excellency Ambassador Félix Plasencia González.

Carlos’s presentation focuses on the relationship between sovereignty and internationalism, and the importance of that dynamic to the ideology of the Bolivarian Revolution. He details the ways in which Venezuela has been a key protagonist of revolutionary internationalism, as well as some of the ways it has been a beneficiary of such internationalism. He explains that Venezuela’s geopolitical positioning “is based on a coherent worldview in which the primary contradiction in global politics is defined as that between US-led imperialism – determined to hold onto its hegemony and to pursue a Project for a New American Century – and the freedom-loving peoples of the world.”

Carlos concludes by discussing the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, first put forward by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1954, and which have since become a basic principle in international relations and a longstanding consensus of the peoples of the Global South. He opines that the five principles recognise a fundamental reality of the current stage of history: that “all the socialist countries, the developing countries, the countries of the Global South, the non-imperialist countries, have a common interest in opposing imperialism; in having the freedom to develop according to their own chosen path and to work towards meeting the needs of their people.” As such, “the five principles establish the norms for a multipolar world”.

The event was also addressed by Francisco Domínguez, secretary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group. A summary of the event appeared in the popular Venezuelan newspaper Últimas Noticias.

Comrade-ambassador Félix Plasencia, friends and comrades, it’s an honour to be here with you this evening.

I would like to speak about a specific aspect of independence, which is: the relationship between sovereignty and internationalism.

To my mind this is a very important part of Venezuela’s political project since the election of Hugo Chávez in 1998. Venezuela has been fierce in defending its sovereignty, and it also has an exemplary record of internationalism and solidarity.

The two things are inextricably linked. And Chávez understood this in a very deep way, that sovereignty and independence are not the same as isolationism. And that to embrace internationalism does not mean to give up your sovereignty.

Indeed the opposite is the case: sovereignty cannot be won, and cannot be defended, outside of the context of the broadest possible unity against imperialism; against those countries that seek to deny others’ sovereignty.

The history of the last century provides ample evidence of this.

In his famous pamphlet on imperialism, Lenin observed that by the beginning of the 20th century, “the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers was completed”. Which is to say, the entire planet had been divided into two: a small number of imperialist countries on the one hand, and a vast number of oppressed countries on the other.

Lenin’s pamphlet was written in 1916. A year later, as you all know, a new factor emerged in global politics: the existence of a socialist country, leading in the following decades to the establishment of a socialist group of countries.

The existence of this socialist group of countries was in turn a powerful boost for the national liberation struggles in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and elsewhere. These movements were able to win and defend their sovereignty – to struggle against imperialism – through the heroic efforts of their people of course, but combined with the solidarity of other countries, other movements. In the process they created a new group of liberated countries, such that the division of the world back that of a small number of imperialist countries on the one hand, and a vast number of non-imperialist countries on the other.

The brilliant Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh famously stated that “nothing is more precious than independence and freedom.” And the Vietnamese people won their independence and freedom, with the support of the Soviet Union, with the support of China, and with the solidarity of progressive movements and people the world over.

Studying the liberation wars in Vietnam, in Mozambique, in Angola, in Algeria, in Zimbabwe, in Guinea-Bissau, the movements leading these struggles were all profoundly internationalist, all looked for inspiration and support to the socialist countries, and all were grounded in the revolutionary internationalism that forms such a key component of Venezuela’s political ideology, of Chavismo.

Today the example that stands out is that of Palestine. The Palestinians are fighting for their sovereignty, for their independence, for their basic national rights; against colonialism, against racism, against apartheid, against ethnic cleansing. They are taking on a genocidal aggressor in Tel Aviv, backed by genocidal aggressors in Washington and London. But the people of the world stand with them. The entire Global South stands with them and demands their legitimate national rights be restored.

Continue reading China and Venezuela: building a Great Wall against imperialism and hegemonism

Xinjiang genocide “a total fabrication manufactured by the West”

In the second of three eyewitness articles from Xinjiang, Roger McKenzie addresses the widespread allegations that China is engaged in authoritarian repression (up to and including genocide) of the Uyghur people. He notes that the accusers “appear to have created their own definition of genocide while singularly failing to apply such a label to Israel and its onslaught against the Palestinians in Gaza”.

Meanwhile the facts of the case in Xinjiang are perfectly clear: “There is no genocide taking place in Xinjiang. I saw zero evidence of any kind of oppression of the Uighurs. All the evidence was in fact to the contrary.” The very idea of there being such a genocide is a “total fabrication manufactured by the West” with the purpose of manufacturing consent for the New Cold War on China.

What is true is that China is engaged in long-term counter-terrorism efforts in Xinjiang, in response to a series of deadly terrorist incidents carried out by extremist and separatist forces. As Roger points out, “in most countries where deadly terrorist attacks take place, one would expect the authorities to take steps to protect its citizens”. But as far as Western media and politicians are concerned, terrorist attacks aren’t the problem in China but rather the government’s understandable response – which it should be noted has been far more humane and measured than that of the US, which to this day maintains a torture camp in occupied Guantanamo Bay.

Roger observes that, while the Western imperialist countries are hurling these lurid accusations against China, the countries of the Global South – including the vast majority of Muslim-majority countries – are defending China’s record. Indeed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that it was a “hard fact … that residents of various ethnicities are living happily in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region thanks to China’s prosperity”.

It’s essential that progressive and anti-war forces in the West reject the propaganda war on China. That some elements buy into these lies is based on “an opportunistic anti-communism laced, in some quarters, with a nasty dose of Sinophobia”.

This article originally appeared in the Morning Star.

There are 56 ethnic groups in the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang in the north-west of the country.

These groups help to form a Chinese population of 25 million.

The Uighurs were one of these groups and I was fortunate enough to spend some time with them as I travelled across five cities in nine days in the region.

They represent around 51 per cent of the region’s population.

In the past, the West has accused the Chinese government of committing genocide against the Uighurs. They appear to have created their own definition of genocide while singularly failing to apply such a label to the Israelis and its onslaught against the Palestinians in Gaza.

I am the first to admit that I am no international legal expert but the word genocide conjures up images in my mind of what is taking place in Gaza and what we have seen in Rwanda and in Sudan’s Darfur in the past.

There is no genocide taking place in Xinjiang. I saw zero evidence of any kind of oppression of the Uighurs.

All the evidence was in fact to the contrary.

Continue reading Xinjiang genocide “a total fabrication manufactured by the West”

Wang Yi: The Global South is rising and great changes are taking place

We previously reported on the meeting of Foreign Ministers from the BRICS cooperation mechanism, which was held on June 10 in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod prior to the BRCS Summit, which will be held in Kazan later this year.

The following day, Nizhny Novgorod was also the venue for the first Foreign Ministers meeting of the BRICS Plus platform, which provides a forum for dialogue between the BRICS countries and other emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs), many of whom have applied to join BRICS or have expressed an interest in doing so in due course.

In his speech to this meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that “we are gathered here to enhance solidarity and cooperation of the Global South, and also to provide answers of the South to a world experiencing changes unseen in a century.”

Noting that the world is now in a volatile and unstable era where changes and turbulence are intertwined, he continued:

“The Ukraine crisis and the conflicts in Gaza are dragging on. Challenges keep coming at us in areas such as cybersecurity and climate change. The United States tries to maintain its unipolar hegemony, by roping in allies to impose unilateral sanctions, erect protectionist barriers and turn economic and financial measures into tools and weapons… The North-South gap is widening. More than 100 million people are displaced and nearly 800 million suffer from hunger. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains a distant goal.”

However, “this is also an era where the South is rising and great changes are taking place. The collective rise of EMDCs has greatly advanced multipolarity in the world… The Global South now accounts for over 40 percent of the world economy.” In the face of this situation, Wang Yi advised his counterparts, “Solidarity is the only right way forward, while disunity leads nowhere.”

On the Ukraine issue, he noted, “China stands on the side of justice and objectivity and works consistently to facilitate peace talks.” While on Palestine, “China firmly stands with Arab states. China is making every effort for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza… and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, so as to redress once and for all the historical injustice that has dragged on for over half a century.”

Seventy-five years ago, he said, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence were proposed amid the historic rise of emerging forces. The principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence have become norms governing international relations observed by the international community, especially by developing countries. He also alluded to a criticism of multipolarity advanced in some quarters, stating: “We must debunk the myth that multipolarity is about a few big countries.”

Finally, Wang Yi noted that Nizhny Novgorod is the hometown of the great Russian writer Maxim Gorky. Evoking Gorky’s famous 1901 poem, ‘Song of the Stormy Petrel’, the Chinese Foreign Minister said: “Amidst the ever-changing international landscape, we should act like Gorky’s stormy petrel who’s certain that the clouds will not hide the sun, and fly together toward a brighter future of peace, development and win-win cooperation.”

We reprint below the full text of Wang Yi’s speech. It was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. We also reproduce Gorky’s poem from the Marxists Internet Archive.

Remarks by H.E. Wang Yi at the BRICS Dialogue with Developing Countries

Nizhny Novgorod, June 11, 2024

Fellow Foreign Ministers,
Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to join old and new friends for the first BRICS Plus foreign ministers’ meeting after the expansion of BRICS. BRICS Plus is an important platform for BRICS countries to hold dialogue with emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs). It has long been a source of vitality and impetus for BRICS development, and has grown to be a banner in South-South cooperation. Today, we are gathered here to enhance solidarity and cooperation of the Global South, and also to provide answers of the South to a world experiencing changes unseen in a century.

We are now in a volatile and unstable era where changes and turbulence are intertwined. The Ukraine crisis and the conflicts in Gaza are dragging on. Challenges keep coming at us in areas such as cybersecurity and climate change. The United States tries to maintain its unipolar hegemony, by roping in allies to impose unilateral sanctions, erect protectionist barriers and turn economic and financial measures into tools and weapons. Global economic recovery faces setback. The North-South gap is widening. More than 100 million people are displaced and nearly 800 million suffer from hunger. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains a distant goal.

But this is also an era where the South is rising and great changes are taking place. The collective rise of EMDCs has greatly advanced multipolarity in the world. Many countries have entered a fast track of development, and the Global South now accounts for over 40 percent of the world economy. The latest round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is demonstrating a strong momentum, and EMDCs are embracing unprecedented opportunities for achieving leapfrog development. The Global South is no longer the “silent majority,” but an awakening new force.

Continue reading Wang Yi: The Global South is rising and great changes are taking place

Algerian foreign minister: China-Algeria friendship has deep roots

As part of a regional tour, Zhai Jun, the Chinese government’s Special Envoy for Middle East issues, visited Algeria on July 3, which afforded both governments the opportunity to reiterate their long-standing solidarity forged during the Algerian people’s war of independence against French colonialism. 

Meeting Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf, Zhai Jun warmly congratulated Algeria on the upcoming 62nd anniversary of the victory of the independence revolution, and thanked Algeria for its consistent and firm support for the Chinese side on issues related to China’s core interests. He said that China will continue to firmly support Algeria in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and following a development path that suits its national conditions to achieve national development and revitalisation. 

Ahmed Attaf said that the traditional friendship between Algeria and China has deep roots and a time-honoured history, and the Chinese side has provided valuable support for Algeria’s independence revolution, which has been remembered by the Algerian people for generations. Algeria is willing to actively participate in the preparations for this autumn’s summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and to contribute to its success.

The following report was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On July 3, 2024, Special Envoy Zhai Jun of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue visited Algeria, during which he met with Foreign Minister of Algeria Ahmed Attaf and had an exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as the development of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Zhai Jun warmly congratulated Algeria on the upcoming 62nd anniversary of the victory of the independence revolution, and thanked Algeria for its consistent and firm support for the Chinese side on issues related to China’s core interests. He said that China will continue to firmly support Algeria in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and following a development path that suits its national conditions to achieve national development and revitalization. China is ready to take the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries as an opportunity to deepen practical cooperation between the two countries in infrastructure construction, energy and mining, finance, information and communications, digital economy and other fields, so as to continuously enrich the connotation of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. China is ready to work with Algeria to make good preparations for the summit of the FOCAC and to promote the sustained and in-depth development of China-Africa relations.

Ahmed Attaf said that the traditional friendship between Algeria and China has deep roots and a time-honored history, and the Chinese side has provided valuable support for Algeria’s independence revolution, which has been remembered by the Algerian people for generations. In recent years, Algeria-China relations have maintained high-level development, and the Algerian side is greatly proud of this. Algeria is ready to work with China to further deepen the friendly cooperation in investment, artificial intelligence, mining and other areas to take the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to a new level. Algeria is willing to actively participate in the preparations for the summit of the FOCAC and contribute to the success of the summit.

On the same day, Special Envoy Zhai Jun held talks with Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria Lounes Magramane, and they had an exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest and concern.

China and Guinea-Bissau elevate bilateral relations to a strategic partnership

The President of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo paid a state visit to China from July 9-13 at the invitation of his counterpart, Xi Jinping. 

At their meeting on July 10, the two leaders elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.

President Xi noted that in recent years, China and Guinea-Bissau have deepened bilateral relations, strengthened political mutual trust, expanded pragmatic cooperation and enhanced international coordination. China supports Guinea-Bissau in independently exploring a development path that suits its national conditions. He stressed that China stands ready to strengthen friendly exchanges with Guinea-Bissau at all levels, enhance experience-sharing on governance, and expand cooperation in areas such as agriculture, mining, infrastructure construction and the blue economy under the guidance of the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China is willing to continue to provide support within its capacity for Guinea-Bissau’s domestic construction and will continue to send its rice experts and medical teams to assist Guinea-Bissau in ensuring food security and developing public health, he added, calling on the two sides to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in education, youth and other fields to bring the two peoples’ hearts closer.

Both China and Africa have splendid civilisations, both have suffered from the painful history of colonisation and aggression, and both cherish and pursue national independence and liberation, Xi said, adding that mutual support and assistance between China and African countries are sincere and genuine. China and African countries are good brothers with sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and offer an exemplary model for unity and cooperation between developing nations.

Noting that two weeks ago, the commemorative events marking the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence were held in Beijing, and this autumn, a new Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit will be held in Beijing, Xi said China is willing to work with Guinea-Bissau and other African countries to champion the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, discuss major plans for China-Africa cooperation in the new era, safeguard the common interests of developing countries and international fairness and justice, and jointly build a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.

Embalo said Guinea-Bissau and China enjoy a solid and cordial relationship marked by unwavering mutual support, adding that whenever Guinea-Bissau faces difficulties, China has always provided invaluable assistance without hesitation, a gesture that the people of Guinea-Bissau will never forget.

Guinea-Bissau admires China’s remarkable development achievements and regards China as its top priority in foreign relations and most important partner. China, he added, has never engaged in colonialism, interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, or pointed fingers at other countries, and China has always treated small countries with equality and respect, consistently matching its words with actions.

Noting that China has brought cooperation projects to Africa, including schools, hospitals and roads, delivering benefits to the African people, Embalo said Guinea-Bissau greatly appreciates China’s important role and positive contributions in helping the development of the African continent, and actively supports China in hosting the new FOCAC Summit. Guinea-Bissau supports the BRI, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilisation Initiative proposed by President Xi and is willing to closely communicate and cooperate with China on multilateral affairs, to jointly build a community with a shared future for humanity.

Meeting Li Qiang on the same day, the Chinese Premier noted that China and Guinea-Bissau are reliable good brothers and good partners. China always attaches importance to developing friendly cooperative relations with Guinea-Bissau. He added that China supports the people of Guinea-Bissau in independently exploring a development path suited to its national conditions and supports Guinea-Bissau in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests.

Noting that Guinea-Bissau sincerely appreciates China’s long-term valuable support for its economic and social development, Embalo said Guinea-Bissau is willing to further strengthen practical cooperation with China in various fields such as economy, trade and infrastructure construction, and continue to move forward for common development.

Announcing  Embalo’s visit at a Foreign Ministry press conference, spokesperson Lin Jian  noted that the Chinese people firmly supported the people of Guinea-Bissau in their struggle for national independence and liberation in the 1970s. And giving a press conference at Bissau airport prior to his departure for China, Embalo said the two countries “have been traditional partners since the beginning of the national liberation struggle of Guinea-Bissau.” 

In a generally hostile article, Germany’s Deutsche Welle nevertheless noted, “Bissau and Beijing are already collaborating in the areas of education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, fisheries and defence. Ahead of the state visit, the next joint projects were announced: China will finance a large conference centre for the upcoming rotating presidency of Guinea-Bissau in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). Additionally, 300 kilometres of roads will be renovated. Furthermore, a new university campus for 12,000 students will be constructed, among other investments, the Bissau-Guinean president announced.

“‘Before we set off for Beijing, China had already announced a donation of $27.5 million for Guinea-Bissau,’ said  Embalo.” 

It quotes local journalist Bacar Camara as saying that “the relationships date back to the 1970s when Mao Zedong’s China supported our freedom fighter Amilcar Cabral in his fight against the Portuguese colonial rulers. The first soldiers of the liberation organisation PAIGC [the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde] were trained militarily in China.”

(Besides leading the liberation struggle in Guinea-Bissau, Amilcar Cabral was also a significant and creative Marxist-Leninist thinker and theoretician.)

A scholarly article in the journal International History Review dates the relationship between China and the PAIGC to May 1960. A touching feature article carried by the Xinhua News Agency to coincide with the state visit underlined the longevity of this fraternal relationship of solidarity. 

According to Xinhua: “In the square outside the east entrance of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping held an official welcome ceremony for President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday, featuring a unique touch: the playing of Guinea-Bissau’s national anthem, ‘This Is Our Well Beloved Motherland.’

“The anthem, written by Guinea-Bissau’s founding father Amilcar Lopes Cabral, has a surprising composer – Chinese musician Xiao He. In the later official meeting between the two presidents, Xi talked with a smile about this intriguing detail. ‘China and Guinea-Bissau have a special history of friendship,’ he said. ‘The national anthem of Guinea-Bissau, ‘This Is Our Well Beloved Motherland,’ which was played at the welcome ceremony just now, was written by Amilcar Lopes Cabral, the founding father of Guinea-Bissau, and composed by Chinese musician Xiao He.”

In response, Embalo said: “President Xi mentioned our national anthem just now, which we sing every day. It was written by our founding father and composed by a Chinese friend. This is something we will never forget.”

He also highlighted China’s support before and after the founding of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, saying the two peoples have always stood together.

The history of the national anthem traces back to 1963, when a delegation from then Portuguese Guinea visited China and heard a piece of music by Xiao He. Cabral, a member of the delegation, then asked Xiao to compose a piece that would inspire his people in their fight for independence. Xiao gladly agreed. Drawing inspiration from African music and set to a 1963 poem by Cabral, Xiao composed a song which later became the national anthem of the western African country.

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

Continue reading China and Guinea-Bissau elevate bilateral relations to a strategic partnership

Xi meets Bangladeshi PM, bilateral ties elevated

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina visited China from July 8-10 at the invitation of her Chinese counterpart Li Qiang.

Meeting with President Xi Jinping on July 10, the two leaders announced that they had elevated their relations to those of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Xi said that China and Bangladesh have always respected and supported each other, treated each other as equals and cooperated for win-win results since the establishment of diplomatic ties, setting an example of friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries, especially among Global South countries.

China cherishes the profound friendship forged by the older generation of leaders of the two countries and is willing to take the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties next year as an opportunity to deepen high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, expand cooperation in various fields, and promote the steady and long-term development of China-Bangladesh comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Xi’s reference to the profound friendship forged by the older generation of leaders of the two countries is particularly significant. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Founding Father of Bangladesh, who is also the father of Sheikh Hasina, visited China in 1952 and 1956, where he formed friendships with the first generation of Chinese leaders, including Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai. On his 1952 visit, he participated in the Asia and Pacific Rim Peace Conference, where he delivered a rousing speech in Bangla, putting the language movement in the then East Pakistan on the international map.

China, Xi continued, is ready to work with Bangladesh to enhance coordination on international and regional affairs, strengthen cooperation within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations, uphold the common values of humanity, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Hasina said the Bangladeshi side admires China’s great achievements in overcoming various difficulties and challenges and continuously improving people’s living standards under the brilliant leadership of President Xi. Bangladesh is firmly committed to advancing the cause of national liberation, poverty reduction and development, and thanks China for its valuable support in this process.

Meeting with Li Qiang the same day, the Chinese Premier said that his country will always give priority to developing relations with Bangladesh in its neighbourhood diplomacy, deepen mutual understanding and give firm support to Bangladesh on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.

Hasina expressed appreciation for China’s valuable support over the years, saying that China has made remarkable development achievements and become an example for other developing countries. She said Bangladesh will continue to actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), strengthen cooperation with China on international multilateral affairs, push for further all-round development of bilateral relations and safeguard world peace and stability.

In their joint statement on the establishment of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, the Bangladesh side “congratulated the Chinese side on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and applauded China’s historic achievements and transformation in economic and social development in the new era. Bangladesh lauded China’s efforts to build itself into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernisation and expressed the sincere wish for China to realise the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation as scheduled.

 “The Chinese side congratulated the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on holding the election of the 12th National Parliament, and congratulated the Bangladesh Awami League led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on winning the general election.”

Leaders of the two countries agreed to stay committed to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, carry forward the long-standing friendship, foster greater synergy between development strategies of the two countries, advance the Belt and Road cooperation, and elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The two sides decided to take the opportunity of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Bangladesh diplomatic relations in 2025 to plan together for the future development of bilateral ties and take the China-Bangladesh relationship to another new height.

China commended Bangladesh for being the first country in South Asia to join and take part in the BRI and, having reviewed significant Chinese contributions to Bangladesh’s national development, the statement continued:

“The Chinese side expressed readiness to continue providing assistance to Bangladesh to the best of its capacity and positively consider the possibility of building hospitals and bridges and renovating convention centres to support economic and social development of Bangladesh.”

Reflecting the international trend to dedollarisation, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in financial regulation and encouraged increased use of local currency settlement in bilateral trade.

The statement said that bearing in mind that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the two sides agreed on the need to carry forward the Five Principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, with a view to jointly building a community with a shared future for Asia and for humanity. The two sides agreed to firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold true multilateralism together, promote greater democracy in international relations, and work to foster an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation.

China also welcomed Bangladesh’s bid for BRICS membership and its interest in associating with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The two sides reiterated that the fundamental way out of the ongoing grave crisis in Gaza lies in the implementation of the two-State solution and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. Relevant resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council are binding and should be enforced effectively to achieve an immediate, unconditional and lasting ceasefire. The two sides called on the international community to address the question of Palestine with a greater sense of urgency and step-up efforts to facilitate the resumption of peace talks and to achieve enduring peace.

Regarding the situation of the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, who have taken refuge in Bangladesh, the two sides share the view that early repatriation is the only way to resolve the issue. They call on all parties in Myanmar to bridge their differences through dialogue and consultation and underscored the cessation of hostilities in Rakhine State as soon as possible. The Bangladesh side expressed its appreciation to and requested China to continue playing a constructive role to facilitate dialogue for the peaceful settlement of the issue concerning the displaced people from Rakhine State. The Chinese side commended efforts made over the years by Bangladesh to provide humanitarian assistance for the displaced people and expressed support for Bangladesh and Myanmar to find a mutually acceptable solution through friendly consultations and following the arrangements on repatriation existing between the countries. China will continue to provide support for this purpose to the best of its abilities, including providing a platform for dialogue to help achieve early repatriation of the displaced people.

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

Continue reading Xi meets Bangladeshi PM, bilateral ties elevated

China rebuts NATO declaration as ‘defamatory, provocative, belligerent’

The article below, originally published in Global Times, reports on China’s response to the NATO Summit declaration of 9 July 2024, which accused China of being “a decisive enabler of Russia’s war against Ukraine” through the supply of so-called dual-use technology, which the US and its allies claim is critical to Russia’s military efforts.

The accusation marks a significant escalation in the US-led New Cold War – a “major departure for NATO” according to the New York Times. NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg stated: “I think the message sent from NATO from this summit is very strong and very clear, and we are clearly defining China’s responsibility when it comes to enabling Russia’s war”.

The charges against China are of course utterly ridiculous and unfounded. Of all the major countries, China has been most active in pursuit of a peaceful negotiated settlement to the Ukraine crisis. Indeed last year it put forward a comprehensive document outlining the essential steps towards peace. Meanwhile the role of the US and its allies has been to escalate the conflict by arming Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russia, and preventing Kiev from entering into negotiations.

China has not been supplying war materiel to Russia, but has simply maintained normal economic relations – as opposed to joining in with the West’s illegal and unilateral sanctions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian pointed out: “Most countries have not participated in sanctions against Russia or cut off trade with it, so the US cannot blame China for its own actions. The US has passed large-scale aid bills for Ukraine while baselessly accusing China and Russia of normal economic and trade exchanges. This is blatant hypocrisy and double standards.”

The reasons for NATO’s accusations are two-fold. First, Ukraine and its backers are losing on the battlefield, and the well-advertised “counteroffensives” have not had the desired effect. As such, the imperialist powers “need to find an excuse, and the ready-made excuse now is that China is supporting Russia”.

Second, there are ongoing efforts to create a global NATO and expand its area of operations to the Pacific so that it can participate more directly in the campaign of China encirclement. According to Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, “they are attempting to achieve NATO’s globalisation by hyping the so-called ‘China threat’ and inciting challenges against China… The hype and intensification of the China issue serve as a catalyst for NATO to accelerate and strengthen its presence, influence, and actions globally, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The US is the leading protagonist of the New Cold War, and it is using NATO to bring Europe onboard with its anti-China strategy. However, European states have their own interests and only stand to lose by blindly following the US.

China voiced strong opposition and lodged stern representations on Thursday with NATO after the Cold War mentality-driven bloc issued a direct warning to China for the first time regarding the so-called support to Russia in the Ukraine crisis, which, some experts said, is essentially another attempt to shift the blame and smear China. 

The NATO Washington Summit Declaration exaggerates tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, which is filled with Cold War mentality and belligerent rhetoric, containing prejudiced, defamatory, and provocative content regarding China, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said during a press conference on Thursday. 

NATO’s so-called security comes at the expense of others’ security, and much of the security anxiety NATO peddles is of its own making. The so-called success and strength NATO boasts of pose a significant threat to the world, the spokesperson said. 

Establishing imaginary enemies to maintain existence and expand power is NATO’s usual tactic. Its persistence in the erroneous positioning of China as a systemic challenge and smearing of China’s domestic and foreign policies are exactly that, the spokesperson added. 

The Chinese Mission to the EU also refuted NATO’s claims on Thursday, emphasizing that China’s position on Ukraine is open and above board, and it is known to all that China is not the architect of the Ukraine crisis. China aims to promote peace talks and seek political settlement, and this position is endorsed and commended by the broader global community.

Continue reading China rebuts NATO declaration as ‘defamatory, provocative, belligerent’

Xi meets Hungarian prime minister, exchanging views on ties, Ukraine crisis

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban paid a surprise visit to Beijing on July 8 as part of a whirlwind of diplomatic activity aimed at promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine. Hungary assumed the six-monthly rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) on July 1. Orban then visited Ukraine the very next day, his first visit to the country since Russia launched its Special Military Operation. This was followed by a July 5 visit to Russia, as well as to Azerbaijan, where he attended the Informal Summit of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS). 

Meeting President Xi Jinping, just two months after they had met in the Hungarian capital Budapest and elevated their bilateral relationship to that of an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era, the two leaders exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis.

Orban briefed Xi on his recent visits to Ukraine and Russia. Xi expressed appreciation for Orban’s efforts in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis and elaborated on China’s relevant views and propositions.

Xi called on the international community to create conditions and provide support for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiation between the two sides, saying that only if all major countries inject positive rather than negative energy, can a ceasefire in this conflict emerge as soon as possible, adding that the basic propositions of China and Hungary and the direction of their efforts are the same and that China is willing to stay in communication with Hungary and all relevant parties.

Orban said that over the past two months, the two sides have earnestly implemented the important outcomes of President Xi’s visit to Hungary, strengthened friendship and mutual trust, and laid a solid foundation for the future development of bilateral relations.

In the face of the current turbulent international situation, China not only loves peace but has also put forward a series of constructive and important initiatives, proving with its own concrete actions that it is an important stabilising force for world peace.

He added that Hungary highly appreciates and values China’s role and influence and is willing to maintain close strategic communication and coordination with China.

Far from welcoming Hungary’s efforts for peace, the country has come under intensified imperialist pressure in response. 

The South China Morning Post headline said that Orban’s visits to Moscow and Beijing had “prompt(ed) EU members to seek ways to punish Hungary.” The paper reported:

“At every stop on Orban’s tour, fury has spread like wildfire through the Belgian capital [where the EU is headquartered]. Ambassadors plan to grill Hungary’s representatives in Brussels on Wednesday, a diplomatic source said.

“On Monday, some member states were ‘seriously considering gathering a majority’ to come up with a way to punish Budapest for abusing the terms of the rotating role, a senior EU official said, with the European Commission’s legal service also preparing to give its opinion.”

Two days later, the Financial Times duly reported that the commission’s legal service had concluded that Orban’s  “solo trip to Moscow last week contravened the EU’s treaties.” The Hungarian Prime Minister had, “violated the bloc’s treaties that forbid any ‘measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives’, according to three people familiar with the matter. He also violated a legal provision that calls on all members to perform foreign policy activities ‘unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity’, they added.

“Many EU member states have discussed boycotting the traditional informal ministerial meetings to be held in Hungary during the country’s presidency, several diplomats told the FT. A smaller group of capitals has also begun informal discussions on how to use the EU treaty to restrict Orban’s room for manoeuvre during the presidency. Some EU officials have privately floated stripping Hungary of the rotating presidency, officials said.”

Getting in on the act, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “any leader visiting Russia or China must make NATO’s positions clear that the military alliance is ‘not going anywhere, Ukraine’s not going anywhere, the European Union is not going anywhere’.”

This grotesque display of hegemonic arrogance could scarcely better illustrate the undemocratic nature of the EU, its subservience to Washington, its shameless bullying of its smaller member states, especially those in central, eastern and southern Europe, its use of ‘lawfare’ to suppress dissenting standpoints, its opposition to peace and its increasingly dangerous warmongering against Russia, China and other countries.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban here on Monday, and the two sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis.

Orban briefed Xi on his recent visits to Ukraine and Russia. Xi expressed appreciation for Orban’s efforts in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis and elaborated on China’s relevant views and propositions.

Xi stressed that an early ceasefire and a political settlement are in the interests of all sides, adding that the priority is to cool down the situation by observing the three principles of no expansion of the battlefield, no escalation of fighting, and no fanning by any party over the flames.

Xi called on the international community to create conditions and provide support for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiation between the two sides, saying that only if all major countries inject positive rather than negative energy, can a ceasefire in this conflict emerge as soon as possible.

“China has been actively promoting peace talks in its own way and encouraging and supporting all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis,” he said, adding that the basic propositions of China and Hungary and the direction of their efforts are the same and that China is willing to stay in communication with Hungary and all relevant parties.

Xi noted that during his successful state visit to Hungary two months ago, the bilateral relations were elevated to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era, which gave new historical significance to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year and injected strong impetus into the high-level development of China-Hungary relations.

Noting that the third plenary session of the 20th Communist Party of China Central Committee will be held next week, Xi said China will further deepen overall reform and promote high-quality development and high-level opening up, which will provide new opportunities and create new momentum for China-Hungary cooperation.

Xi said that the two countries should maintain high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, strengthen strategic communication and coordination, continue to firmly support each other, strengthen practical cooperation in various fields, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and continue to enrich the bilateral all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era to better benefit the people.

He congratulated Hungary on assuming the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) and said there is no geopolitical contradiction or fundamental conflict of interests between China and the EU.

China-EU relations are of strategic significance and global influence and should maintain steady and sound development, Xi said, calling on the two sides to jointly respond to global challenges.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU, Xi said, adding that the two sides should stay committed to the correct path of bilateral partnership with cooperation as the defining trend, continue to promote two-way opening up, strengthen international coordination, and contribute to world peace, stability, development and prosperity.

It is hoped that Hungary, as the holder of the rotating EU presidency, will play a positive role in promoting the sound and stable development of China-EU relations and facilitating constructive interactions, Xi added.

Orban said that over the past two months, the two sides have earnestly implemented the important outcomes of President Xi’s visit to Hungary, strengthened friendship and mutual trust, and laid a solid foundation for the future development of bilateral relations.

In the face of the current turbulent international situation, China not only loves peace but has also put forward a series of constructive and important initiatives, proving with its own concrete actions that China is an important stabilizing force for world peace, Orban said.

He added that Hungary highly appreciates and values China’s role and influence and is willing to maintain close strategic communication and coordination with China.

Hungary advocates strengthening cooperation with China and opposes forming exclusionary cliques and bloc confrontation, Orban said.

Hungary is willing to take the rotating EU presidency as an opportunity to actively promote the sound development of EU-China relations, he said.

Important bilateral meetings on sidelines of SCO summit promote multipolarity and regional cooperation

Chinese President Xi Jinping held bilateral meetings with a number of his counterparts during their visits to Kazakhstan for the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

On July 3, he met with the Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Russia.

Meeting Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Xi said that the two leaders held fruitful talks in Xi’an last May and reached a high degree of consensus on China-Kyrgyzstan relations and bilateral cooperation in various fields. Good neighbours wish each other well, Xi said, adding that China is happy to see a stable and developing Kyrgyzstan and will, as always, firmly support Kyrgyzstan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and in finding a development path suited to its national conditions.

China is willing to import more high-quality green agricultural products from Kyrgyzstan, support Chinese enterprises in investing and doing business in the Central Asian country, strengthen cooperation in areas such as new energy vehicles and cross-border e-commerce, and accelerate the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project.

Japarov said he still vividly remembers his visit to China in May last year, which opened up a new era in bilateral relations. At present, the political relations between Kyrgyzstan and China are developing at a high level, various departments of the two countries maintain close communication, sub-national exchanges and cooperation are booming, and bilateral trade and investment are growing steadily. 

He said that in the face of global changes unseen in a century, Kyrgyzstan-China relations have always been rock-solid, and there are no political differences or cooperation obstacles between the two countries.

Meeting with Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, Xi said that China and Azerbaijan have upgraded bilateral relations to strategic partnership, which is a new positioning and a new starting point. China and Azerbaijan are good friends with sincerity and mutual trust, as well as good partners with equality and mutual benefit, and bilateral relations have been developing healthily and steadily, with fruitful cooperation and richer strategic connotations. The two sides should promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, deepen cooperation in such fields as trade, investment, oil and gas, and photovoltaics, strengthen connectivity, advance the construction of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, and ensure the healthy and stable operation of China-Europe freight trains. China supports Azerbaijan in hosting the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

President Aliyev said that Azerbaijan firmly abides by the one-China principle and firmly supports China’s great cause of national reunification, which is the trend of history, and no force can stop it. Azerbaijan is willing to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with China, tap the potential, enhance cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, investment, new energy and culture within the framework of Belt and Road cooperation, closely collaborate within the SCO and other frameworks, oppose external interference and safeguard regional security and stability.

Meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Xi said that during his counterpart’s successful state visit to China in January, China and Uzbekistan agreed to elevate their ties to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era and promote the construction of a China-Uzbekistan community with a shared future from a higher starting point.

Noting that China firmly supports Uzbekistan in safeguarding its national independence, sovereignty and security, Xi said China is always a trustworthy friend and partner of Uzbekistan.

He urged the two sides to further advance the Belt and Road cooperation, well implement the medium- and long-term cooperation plan on economy, trade and investment, speed up the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway, as well as cooperation in fields of photovoltaic, wind power and new energy vehicles, and continue to strengthen cooperation in poverty reduction and social governance.

China supports the expansion of exchanges between the two countries at the sub-national level, as well as exchanges in tourism, education and other fields, he said, noting China welcomes Uzbekistan’s participation in the seventh China International Import Expo as the guest country of honour.

This meeting was followed up by a July 6-9 visit to Uzbekistan by Zhao Leji, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC). 

Meeting with President Mirziyoyev, Zhao noted that the Uzbek leader had met with President Xi in Astana just a few days ago and reached a broad consensus, charting the course for the high-level development of China-Uzbekistan relations.

Mirziyoyev asked Zhao to convey his best wishes to President Xi and extended congratulations on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Uzbekistan fully supports the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilisation Initiative, firmly abides by the one-China principle, and is willing to deepen bilateral cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, local governments, education and energy resources.

Continue reading Important bilateral meetings on sidelines of SCO summit promote multipolarity and regional cooperation

Xi says ready to join Tokayev for more substantive, dynamic China-Kazakhstan community with shared future

Prior to attending the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which was held in the capital Astana, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Kazakhstan.

Meeting his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on July 3, Xi noted, in their small-group talks, that last year Tokayev and he met twice in Xi’an and Beijing respectively, and made new arrangements and plans for the development of China-Kazakhstan relations, leading the “golden 30 years” of rapid development of China-Kazakhstan relations. The Chinese side has always viewed its relations with Kazakhstan from a strategic and long-term perspective, and regards Kazakhstan as a priority in China’s neighbourhood diplomacy and an important partner for cooperation in Central Asia.

The Chinese side, Xi added, will continue to strengthen cooperation with Kazakhstan in traditional energy such as natural gas, expand new energy cooperation including photovoltaic and wind power, encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Kazakhstan, and help Kazakhstan to convert its resource advantages into development capabilities to achieve green, low-carbon and sustainable development.

Tokayev said Xi’s state visit to Kazakhstan is of historic significance to the development of Kazakhstan-China relations, hailing China as a friendly neighbour, close friend and important strategic partner of his country.

He added that the Kazakh side appreciates China’s firm support for his coutry’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and will firmly abide by the one-China principle, resolutely fight against the “three forces” [of terrorism, separatism and extremism], and safeguard the common security of the two countries.

In their big-group talks, Xi said the friendly relations between China and Kazakhstan are rooted in the millennia-old ancient Silk Road, reinforced by 32 years of cooperation after the establishment of diplomatic relations, and have reached the high level of a permanent comprehensive strategic partnership.

He pledged that China will further expand imports of high-quality Kazakh goods and create new growth drivers for cooperation in e-commerce and digital economy, calling on the two sides to increase the scale of cooperation in production capacity investment, tap the potential of cooperation in scientific and technological innovation, and expand cooperation in electric vehicles, new energy, cross-border e-commerce and satellite communications.

Xi noted that China supports Kazakhstan in hosting the second China-Central Asia Summit next year and is ready to work with relevant parties including Kazakhstan to make the China-Central Asia mechanism better and stronger, and to promote the China-Central Asia cooperation to achieve more new results.

China is willing to work closely with Kazakhstan within the framework of the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks, practice genuine multilateralism and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and other developing countries.

Tokayev said that Kazakhstan and China enjoy a solid friendship spanning thousands of years along with fruitful cooperation in various fields, adding that in recent years in particular, bilateral ties have entered a new “golden era,” with smooth progress in major cooperation projects and positive results in agriculture, green energy, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, contributing to the well-being of the two peoples.

Speaking highly of China’s diplomatic concept of peace, a series of global initiatives put forward by Xi, and China’s important contribution to promoting world peace and development, Tokayev added that the Kazakh side is willing to work with China to promote the building of a Kazakhstan-China community with a shared future as well as a community with a shared future for humanity.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

ASTANA, July 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Wednesday that he is ready to work with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to jointly build a more substantive and dynamic China-Kazakhstan community with a shared future, and inject more positive energy to the development and stability of the region and beyond.

Xi made the remarks in his meeting with Tokayev at the presidential palace in Astana.

In their small-group talks, he noted that last year Tokayev and him met twice in Xi’an and Beijing respectively, and made new arrangements and plans for the development of China-Kazakhstan relations, leading the “golden 30 years” of rapid development of China-Kazakhstan relations.

The Chinese side has always viewed its relations with Kazakhstan from a strategic and long-term perspective, and regards Kazakhstan as a priority in China’s neighborhood diplomacy and an important partner for cooperation in Central Asia.

Xi said China’s will and determination to maintain and grow bilateral relations stand firm, and will not be changed due to any single incident or transformations in the international situation.

Continue reading Xi says ready to join Tokayev for more substantive, dynamic China-Kazakhstan community with shared future

Chinese scientists design new cooling material for buildings to reduce carbon emissions

The following article from Xinhua reports on an exciting scientific development: Chinese researchers have created a sustainable radiative cooling material with the potential to cool buildings by up to 16 degrees Celcius without consuming any energy in the process.

The article notes that “in a world experiencing rapid warming, effectively cooling our homes during sweltering summer months with reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions is crucial for meeting carbon reduction targets”. As such, “the novel aerogel holds promise for significantly reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption and paves the way for innovative and sustainable radiative cooling materials in the future”.

According to Victoria Bela in SCMP, “the biodegradable material can be welded together on a large scale using only water, creating planks that can act as a passive cooling material that will reduce the need for energy-hungry cooling methods such as air conditioning and refrigeration that risk undermining the fight against global warming”.

In this area as in many others, China is leading the way in scientific research towards a sustainable future for humanity.

The study is written up in Science.

In a world experiencing rapid warming, effectively cooling our homes during sweltering summer months with reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions is crucial for meeting carbon reduction targets.

A team of Chinese researchers has crafted an innovative biomass-derived material using DNA, the genetic blueprint of life. This aerogel demonstrates a remarkable ability to reduce ambient temperatures by 16 degrees Celsius on sunny days, even under intense solar radiation.

The researchers combined DNA and gelatin into an ordered layered aerogel structure that converts absorbed ultraviolet light into visible light to surpass 100 percent solar reflectance, yielding exceptional radiative cooling.

The adoption of biopolymer-based radiative cooling material helps mitigate environmental pollution, according to the study published on Friday in the journal Science.

Moreover, these aerogels, efficiently fabricated on a large scale through water welding, demonstrate remarkable reparability, recyclability and biodegradability.

This aerogel material is poised to revolutionize the energy efficiency of urban architecture as an outer protective layer, said the paper’s corresponding author Zhao Haibo from Sichuan University.

The simulation outcomes of the study have demonstrated a substantial reduction in annual energy expenditure in cooling for buildings across all modeled cities.

The novel aerogel holds promise for significantly reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption and paves the way for innovative and sustainable radiative cooling materials in the future, Zhao said.

China has committed to the dual carbon goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Xi Jinping: We must consolidate our unity and safeguard the right to development

Between July 2-6, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid state visits to the neighbouring Central Asian states of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Whilst in Kazakhstan, he also took part in the 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which, along with the first Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Plus Meeting, was held in the capital Astana on July 4, as well as holding a number of bilateral meetings with other heads of state who participated in the meetings.

The SCO Summit admitted Belarus as the organisation’s tenth full member and at its conclusion China assumed the rotating chair for 2024-25.

In his speech to the Heads of State Meeting, Xi Jinping welcomed Belarus to attend the SCO Summit for the first time as a member state. He pointed out that the SCO was established at the turn of the century, when the antagonism and division left over from the Cold War had yet to be bridged. The founding members of the SCO have made a historical choice to pursue peaceful development, committed to good-neighbourliness and friendship, and built a new type of international relations, and the “Shanghai Spirit” has become a common value and action guide for the member states. Twenty-three years after its founding, the number of SCO member states has increased to 10, and the “SCO family” embraces 26 countries on three continents. The SCO stands on the right side of history, on the side of fairness and justice, and is of vital importance to the world.

Xi went on to make a number of calls to the gathering, including:

  • In the face of the real threat of the Cold War mentality, we must guard the bottom line of security.
  • In the face of the real risk of “small courtyards and high walls”, we must safeguard the right to development.
  • In the face of the real challenge of interference and division, we need to consolidate our unity.

He stressed that the reason why the SCO has been able to withstand the test of the changing international situation is that we have always adhered to the fine tradition of solidarity and cooperation, the way of cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, the pursuit of the values of fairness and justice, and the broad-mindedness of inclusiveness and mutual learning.

The leaders of the SCO member states signed and issued the Astana Declaration of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States; approved the SCO initiative on solidarity and joint efforts to promote justice, harmony and development in the world; proposals on improving the operational mechanisms of the SCO; a statement on the principles of good-neighbourliness, mutual trust and partnership; and a series of resolutions on cooperation in the fields of energy, investment and information security.

The Astana Declaration begins by stating that:

“The political and economic situation in the world is undergoing major changes. The international system is developing in a more just and multipolar direction, providing more opportunities for countries to develop and carry out international cooperation on an equal and mutually beneficial basis. At the same time, the rise of power politics, the intensification of trampling on the norms of international law, and the intensification of geopolitical confrontation and conflicts pose more risks to global and regional stability.”

Among the many issues covered in the declaration, member states advocate respect for the right of the peoples of all countries to independently choose their path of political, economic and social development, and emphasise that the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, equality and mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs, and non-use or threat of use of force are the basis for the sustainable development of international relations.

They reaffirmed their commitment to building a more representative, democratic and just multipolar world system based on the universally recognised principles of international law, diversity of cultures and civilisations, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation, and the central coordinating role of the United Nations.

They expressed deep concern at the intensification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and strongly condemned the acts that caused numerous civilian casualties and a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip; Emphasising the importance of ensuring a comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire as soon as possible and facilitating humanitarian access and intensifying efforts to bring peace, stability and security to the population of the region, it was noted that the only possible way to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East was a comprehensive and just settlement of the question of Palestine.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to helping Afghanistan become an independent, neutral and peaceful country, free from terrorism, war and drugs, and supported the efforts of the international community to achieve peace and development in Afghanistan and reaffirmed that the formation of a government that is truly inclusive of representatives of all ethnic and political sectors of Afghan society is the only way to achieve lasting peace and stability in the country.

Member States support the prevention of the weaponisation of outer space, believe that strict adherence to the existing legal system for the peaceful uses of outer space is of paramount importance, and stress the need to sign international instruments with mandatory legal force to enhance transparency and provide strong guarantees for the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: We must consolidate our unity and safeguard the right to development

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have only become more relevant and necessary

China marked the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence on June 28, with an international conference that featured a major speech by President Xi Jinping and the adoption of a Joint Declaration. The five principles were first advanced by Premier Zhou Enlai and endorsed jointly with the leaders of India and Myanmar (Burma). They went on to become a widely accepted norm of international relations.

The following is a brief commentary regarding the background and significance of the Five Principles, written by our co-editor Keith Bennett in advance of the conference. Keith notes that the question of relations between socialist and non-socialist countries arose with the victory of the October Revolution and was first addressed by Lenin. Zhou Enlai’s development of Lenin’s concept was made against the background of such great world events as the emergence of a socialist camp, the defeat of fascism and the founding of the United Nations, and the upsurge in the struggles for national liberation that would lead to the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement and the rise of the Global South. The five principles are needed more than ever today, with humanity facing a number of existential threats.

Part of the commentary featured in an article on China Daily.

The 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence being advanced by Premier Zhou Enlai represents a very significant milestone in the long march towards a post-colonialist, post-imperialist new world order that is genuinely peaceful and equitable.

The five principles were formulated by Premier Zhou, in my view the greatest diplomat of the twentieth century, in the midst of profound global changes and in particular three separate but closely inter-related phenomena, namely:

  • The emergence of socialism not simply as an idea but as a reality holding state power, initially in one country but then in a socialist camp embracing much of Europe and Asia.
  • The defeat of fascism in 1945 and the formation of the United Nations aimed at preventing war and promoting democratic global governance.
  • The upsurge of the national liberation movements and the beginning of the great waves of decolonisation that would lead to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement and the later emergence and rise of the Global South.

The Chinese revolution itself, and the founding of the People’s Republic, reflected and impacted all these three historical currents.

The October Revolution, and the founding of the Soviet state, had inevitably raised the question of what relationship a socialist country should have with the capitalist powers, and it was on this basis that Lenin advanced a policy of peaceful coexistence.

Zhou Enlai applied and developed this concept with an appreciation that the existence of states with fundamentally different social systems, and hence the need for their coexistence, was not a mere transient phenomenon but rather a reality that would exist for an entire historical period and therefore could not be simply treated as a temporary expedient or tactic but needed to be raised to the level of theory.

His thinking also embodied Chairman Mao Zedong’s concept of there being both antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions, as well as the possibility for even actually or potentially antagonistic contradictions to be handled in a non-antagonistic fashion and, in such a way, for their nature to be ameliorated, modified or transformed.

Specifically, the collapse of the colonial empires, and the rise of new emerging forces throughout Asia, Africa and elsewhere, meant that a new world was coming into being, comprised of countries with different social systems, cultures, religious beliefs, and so on, but who shared important common interests of being for independence against imperialism and with them all facing the common needs of development, modernization and poverty alleviation. This provided the basis for Premier Zhou to agree the five principles with India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and for them to form the bedrock of the 10 principles adopted by the Afro-Asian Conference held in the Indonesian city of Bandung the following year.

A key test of the correctness or otherwise of a set of principles is whether or not they stand the test of time. Over the last 70 years, the Five Principles have only become more relevant and necessary. Embodying the principles of the United Nations Charter, and representing the interests of the great majority of the people in every country, they are welcomed and supported by the overwhelming majority of states. Moreover, their virtue and necessity can be seen in the appalling tragedies that result from a failure to uphold them but rather to pursue an alternative course, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan and, of course, above all today in Palestine.

The Five Principles are in turn embodied and being further developed and applied in the important global initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping with regards to security, development and civilization, along with the Belt and Road Initiative. As with Premier Zhou’s initiative seven decades ago, these initiatives are increasingly widely welcomed by countries and peoples around the world, addressing as they do the key questions and imperatives of peace and development, along with the correct and realistic ways to tackle the existential threats currently facing humanity, such as those of nuclear war, climate catastrophe, zoonotic pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, or a collapse in biodiversity, and to promote the building of a community of shared future for humanity.

Erik Solheim: China is the indispensable nation for the green transition

Elaborating on comments he recently made in an interview with Global Times about China’s supposed ‘overcapacity’ in green products, Erik Solheim has written a concise and powerful opinion piece on the topic for China Daily. In the article, Solheim notes:

China is now dominant in nearly all green sectors. The nation accounts for 60 percent or more of the solar, wind and hydro technologies produced today, as well as electric cars and batteries. China is the indispensible nation for the green shift.

He further points out that the level of commitment and investment that led to China’s dominance in green technology is exactly what is needed to address the climate crisis. “I may be naive, but I thought this was exactly what the world desires. Massive investments in renewable energies, bringing down the price, and scaling green energies to new heights to enable China to achieve its carbon peak target well ahead of the 2030 deadline.”

China’s investment and innovation has resulted in a dramatic fall in the price of solar and wind energy – of at least 80 percent in the last decade. “This is largely, but, for sure, not solely, thanks to China. I thought this was what we all dreamed of.”

The author calls on the countries of the West to stop complaining about China’s supposed ‘overcapacity’ and instead learn from China’s example – “Chinese ‘overcapacity’ in green sectors should be admired, not criticised”. The US and its allies should be ramping up their own efforts in green technology, competing fairly and working together with China and other countries towards a sustainable future for humanity.

Erik Solheim is vice-president of the Green Belt and Road Coalition and former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme. He spoke at our event Building a multipolar world – Ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative in November 2023.

In March, I visited Wuwei in Gansu province. I had to keep pinching myself. There were solar panels covering the desert with only the horizon interrupting my view. China Three Gorges Corporation and the Elion Resources Group of Inner Mongolia, the companies that have established the solar farm, have also developed a lot of wind energy.

I may be naive, but I thought this was exactly what the world desires. Massive investments in renewable energies, bringing down the price, and scaling green energies to new heights to enable China to achieve its carbon peak target well ahead of the 2030 deadline.

The visit of United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to Beijing around the same time, prompted me to think differently. From the US’ perspective, the massive Chinese roll out of green technologies is not an enormous service to the world, but instead a problem. In Yellen’s view, China has overcapacity in the green sector.

But how can that be a problem?

I recall vividly when we left the climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, some environmentalists were desperate, they saw almost no solution. Yes, former US president Barack Obama was there with then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, along with German chancellor Angela Merkel, prime minister Manmohan Singh of India and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But the outcomes were meager.

What no one contemplated departing from Copenhagen was that the price of solar energy would fall almost 80 percent and that of offshore wind energy by almost 70 percent in the next decade. This is largely, but, for sure, not solely, thanks to China. I thought this was what we all dreamed of. Some governments, including the Joe Biden administration, have argued that we need a green shift in production and that it has to be innovative, at scale and cheap.

The argument about “overcapacity” is against common sense. Interestingly it is also contrary to all economic theories, starting from Adam Smith. My nation, Norway, has huge “overcapacity” in oil and in fish. We sell a lot more oil than we can consume at home and we catch a lot more cod and salmon than we can eat ourselves. That “overcapacity” makes it possible for us to buy cellular phones from the US, wine from France and electric cars from China.

No nation in modern history has benefited more from overcapacity than the US. In the middle of the 20th century, the US accounted for nearly half the global economy. The nation had overcapacity in nearly all sectors and it made the US very strong. Today Silicon Valley has an enormous overcapacity in digital products. If Silicon Valley only produced for California or for the US, no one would ever have heard of that little valley.

China is now dominant in nearly all green sectors. The nation accounts for 60 percent or more of the solar, wind and hydro technologies produced today, as well as electric cars and batteries. China is the indispensable nation for the green shift. It is possible to go green without China, but it will be a lot more expensive and thus much slower.

The West should get up early in the morning and respond to China’s lead by pursuing innovation and green competition. Protectionism is a race to the bottom. Green competition is a race to the top.

China invited Tesla to make its gigafactory in Shanghai, to bring a “catfish” into the Chinese electric vehicle market. It forced many smaller Chinese competitors to swim faster. It worked, and BYD, Geely, Xpeng, Nio and many others are now strong contenders. Tech companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi are also joining the contest.

The West should similarly invite BYD and CATL, LONGi and Tongwei, Goldwind and Envision to invest in Europe and America. That may tempt Western companies to run faster.

Last year I visited CATL. It is located in the small town of Ningde in Fujian province. It is the world’s leading electric battery maker, providing batteries to Tesla and many others. CATL was full of praise for Germany’s BMW who they repeatedly said had helped them off the ground, by being a demanding customer and sharing technology and expertise.

Such partnerships can be replicated, only with Chinese companies in the lead.

It takes two to tango. The West needs to respond constructively to the competition from China. China can also help this process, through dialogue and partnerships.

Of course all nations want jobs in their own country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched his “Make in India” strategy. French President Emmanuel Mac ron is concerned about jobs in France, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz with the future of the German car industry. It is highly unlikely that China will be able just to export green products from home. Chinese companies will be called upon to create jobs in Europe and America, in Africa and Asia. It’s great to see BYD investing in Brazil, CATL in Hungary and LONGi in Vietnam. We need a lot more of this.

China should also look favorably into companies complaining about a level playing field in the Chinese market. There is for instance hardly any outside wind power equipment makers left in China. Maybe they are not able to compete? But a dialogue to assure there is fair mutual access to markets, will calm the skeptics.

China was also responsible for 38 percent of the total global clean tech spending in 2023, investing an impressive $676 billion. Last year, China invested $890 billion in clean energy sectors and it added 300 gigawatt of solar and wind energy to the grid, that is 10 times the total hydro production in Norway which keeps all its inhabitants warm in winter, with plenty of electricity available for any demand.

Chinese “overcapacity” in green sectors should be admired, not criticized. But there should be a profound dialogue to make sure all nations benefit.

Biden’s tariffs on China: a trade unionist response

What follows below is a two part article by Chris Fry – a Chrysler retiree and former United Auto Workers organiser in Detroit – about Biden’s recently-announced tariffs on China, and how the labour movement in the US should respond to them.

Chris observes that these tariffs are fundamentally detrimental to the interests of working people in the US. Tariffs on medical supplies in particular “must be considered particularly bizarre” given that Covid is resurgent and that there are concerns about a new outbreak of avian flu.

Increasing tariffs on EVs from 25 to 100 percent will double the price of these cars, “placing them out of reach for most of our class”. The author cites an article from Foreign Policy magazine pointing out that “the winner of the escalating, zero-sum green technology trade war between the United States and China may well be climate change”.

Biden has made all sorts of promises in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but, as part of an electoral strategy of out-Trumping Trump, “Biden’s climate promises go right out the window”.

In terms of an appropriate trade union response to the tariffs, Chris writes that “to continue to fight for high paying jobs for workers to produce low-price EVs essential to reduce carbon emissions, the union movement should consider a different view of socialist China and its vast green energy capabilities”.

Unions of course are eager to create and protect jobs; Chris notes that Chinese company BYD already has a factory in Los Angeles producing electric buses and, “unlike their European counterparts in anti-union southern states, the BYD plant’s 700 workers are members of the Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union (SMART), Local 105”.

Inviting Chinese companies to manufacture essential environmentally-friendly products in the US “could be a huge gain for both the union and environmental movement and link the two movements together. Finally, it could convert the dangerous ruling-class spawned hostility towards China into genuine working-class solidarity.”

The two part article was originally published in Fighting Words, the journal of the Communist Workers League.

Part 1

When Biden was running for office in 2020, he said that Trump’s tariffs on Chinese products increased inflation on the public and promised to reduce or eliminate them.

He did not.

Instead, on May 4, the Biden Administration announced a massive tariff increase on imported goods from the People’s Republic of China (PRC):

Tariffs on medical supplies must be considered particularly bizarre, as the population is still subject to outbreaks of the deadly Covid virus. And public health officials are increasingly alarmed by a new outbreak from the avian H5N1 flu virus which has infected dairy cows and their milk across the country. Many farmworkers who milk cows have become ill from this virus.

A June 3 Scientific American article reports:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that workers on farms where H5N1 has been detected have access to personal protective equipment, or PPE, such as N95 respirators, face masks, goggles and face shields. But it’s only a recommendation, Lakdawala says.

In order to prevent bird flu from causing more infections in humans, Lakdawala thinks dairy workers on all farms should have access to and use proper PPE—especially face shields to protect their eyes. Getting workers to wear N95 masks while working all day in hot barns is unlikely, she notes, but a face shield would provide at least some protection.

But in terms of the economic effects on workers and the oppressed communities, the most dramatic was the tariff increase was on electric vehicles (EVs), going from Trump’s 25 percent to a whopping 100 percent, doubling the price of the cars, placing them out of reach for most of our class.

And Biden tripled tariffs on Chinese-manufactured lithium batteries, going from Trump’s 8% to 25%.

The big winner from Biden’s tariffs: Global warming

A May 28th article from the Foreign Policy website describes these new tariffs from an environmental perspective:

The winner of the escalating, zero-sum green technology trade war between the United States and China may well be climate change. In the latest surge of election-year techno-nationalism, to protect and advance his green transition—and to out-Trump former U.S. President Donald Trump—President Joe Biden last week imposed a wave of new tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, and solar cells as well as other Chinese goods, in addition to retaining all of Trump’s tariffs on China.

Scientists are already predicting that 2024 will surpass 2023 as the warmest year globally:

A May 7 CNN article describes some of the catastrophic effects of this on people around the world:

The impacts have been stark. Swaths of Asia have been grappling with deadly heat: schools were closed for millions of children in Bangladesh, rice fields have shriveled in Vietnam, and people in India battled 110 degree Fahrenheit temperatures to vote in recent elections.

Global ocean heat in April was also record-breaking for the 13th consecutive month. Ocean surface temperatures reached 21.04 degrees, the highest on record for any April, and just a fraction below the overall record set in March, according to Copernicus data.

The impact on marine systems is devastating. A mass coral bleaching event occurred this spring, which scientists said at the time could be the worst on record.

As for the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has presented a grim hurricane forecast for 2024:

NOAA National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center predict above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. NOAA’s outlook for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to November 30, predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges.

In 2021, to pass his corporate-friendly Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Biden promised a 50 percent to 52 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 2005 levels) by 2030, zero net emissions by 2050, and 50 percent of all new vehicles being zero-emission by 2030.

Continue reading Biden’s tariffs on China: a trade unionist response

The Xinjiang I saw was a hub of diversity, not oppression

In this report back for the Morning Star, Roger McKenzie shares his reflections on a recent visit to Xinjiang, China, which took in five cities and towns in ten days.

What the delegation witnessed belies the Western media narrative about religious and cultural oppression in Xinjiang. Roger writes: “I lost count of the number of mosques that I saw during my recent trip. I visited a thriving Islamic Centre in the city of Urumqi — which has received millions in funding from the Chinese government for its development to teach its around 1,000 students… Celebrations of the Islamic culture were everywhere for anyone to see.”

Having visited multiple religious sites and spoken with religious figures and political leaders, as well as ordinary people, Roger comments drily: “I can honestly say that for a country that supposedly routinely oppresses ethnic minorities, China seems to spend an inordinate amount of time celebrating them”.

Given the yawning disparity between Western media portrayal of Xinjiang and the reality on the ground, Roger asks the key question: why is this propaganda war being waged? “The geographical position of the region provides the answer. As the centre of the Silk Road renaissance, the region will be the focal point of Chinese trade and its economic heartbeat.” The US, hell-bent on maintaining full-spectrum dominance, “will use any means necessary to maintain the pre-eminence of US capital”.

Thus slanders against China aim at damaging its economy, isolating it internationally, preventing the emergence of solidarity between China and the Western progressive movement, and fomenting discontent within China itself.

This article is the first in a series of three.

The Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang is at the geographical centre of Eurasia.

The region borders eight other countries which makes it a vital part of Chinese plans for the greater integration of Eurasia and the westward opening up of this nation of 1.4 billion people.

The Comprehensive Bonded Zone in the city of Kashi is central to co-ordinating the booming trade links that China has established with its immediate neighbours.

Xinjiang, one of the largest regions in China, is a gateway to Russia, India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan.

It occupies around 643,000 square miles of China — a space larger than six Britains.

Its sparse population of approximately 25 million is mainly Muslim and made up of around 65 different ethnic groups including Chinese Han, Uighurs, Kazakhs and Hui, among others.

I lost count of the number of mosques that I saw during my recent trip.

I visited a thriving Islamic Centre in the city of Urumqi — which has received millions in funding from the Chinese government for its development to teach its around 1,000 students.

I had the honour of sitting in the mosque’s main hall attached to the centre alongside the imam and hearing him talk about the support the centre had received from the government.

I also visited the magnificent and extremely busy Id Kah Mosque in the city of Kashi.

Both times the imams took the time from their busy schedules to speak about how grateful they and worshippers at the mosque are for the support provided by the government.

They told me about how the right to worship any religion is considered a private matter in China and protected in law.

That’s why it provides funds to a wide range of religious bodies representing Muslims, Buddhists and Christians among others.

None of this is recognised in the West. Instead tall tales are told about supposed widespread religious persecution.

In particular Western politicians and their stenographers in the corporate media continue to spin untruths about the treatment of religious minorities.

To be crystal clear: at no time did I witness any attempt to block anyone from being able to worship according to the Islamic faith or, for that matter, any other religion.

I heard no criticism of the government over religious persecution from senior religious figures or anyone else I met during my visit.

I was never stopped from speaking with anyone in any of the large crowds of people that I found myself in across the region.

Having made the effort to actually visit five cities in 10 days in the region rather than pontificate from thousands of miles away, I can honestly say that for a country that supposedly routinely oppresses ethnic minorities China seems to spend an inordinate amount of time celebrating them.

By that, I don’t mean the half-arsed patronising so-called celebration of diversity that now appears customary across Britain.

Leading figures in Britain trip over themselves to take a knee and say how much black lives matter to them but continue to do nothing about racism in their organisations.

It doesn’t look to me like a Black History Month-type gig where a big show is made for a short tokenistic period and then ignored for the rest of the time.

Talking up the richness of the region’s cultural diversity wasn’t just an isolated thing in Xinjiang — it was everywhere. Celebrations of the Islamic culture were everywhere for anyone to see.

I can already hear some saying that either I wasn’t looking hard enough or I was having the wool pulled over my eyes. I did look hard and I don’t believe an elaborate hoax was being played on me.

I spoke with lots of people in private with no restrictions placed on me whatsoever. In fact, my dreadlocks, and I dare say, the colour of my skin, meant I was a target of curiosity, especially among the young, many of who wanted to come and chat and have a photo taken with me.

That was frankly the most uncomfortable thing about the trip!

What I saw was lots of people going about their business in much the same way as I have seen people trying to do in many parts of the world.

I met many Communist Party officials who were questioned over the allegations made against them and their country. All of them said the only way to counter the propaganda war being waged against them was for people to come and see for themselves.

They told me how hard they were working to open up the region to more tourism so that people could experience this beautiful area but also so more people could bear witness to the truth about them.

So why is this propaganda war being waged against China in general and in particular against Xinjiang?

The geographical position of the region provides the answer. As the centre of the Silk Road renaissance, the region will be the focal point of Chinese trade and its economic heartbeat.

It means the continuing economic growth of China is disproportionately linked to Xinjiang.

Its trade routes through its eight neighbours to its wider partners will be critical to sell Chinese-made goods as well as to buy the resources needed to continue to power the country’s economy.

The US is the world’s leading economy and wants to keep it that way. Its doctrine of Full Spectrum Dominance asserts that it will use any means necessary to maintain the pre-eminence of US capital.

I think we can take this to mean that the US will not hesitate to spread misinformation about China. After all, it’s not as if the US does not have form for this type of behaviour.

They have been doing it for years, particularly across Africa and Central America where they buy organisations to ferment internal dissent against governments deemed not to be compliant.

Sprinkled with an always unhealthy dose of sinophobia the move by the US to undermine the reputation of China has largely economic foundations and false allegations of mistreatment against ethnic minorities — particularly the Uighurs — are completely without foundation.

On the contrary, there seems to me to be far more evidence of the Chinese at a national and regional level actively celebrating cultural diversity as well as striving to put in place the economic prosperity that looks as though it is undermining attempts by terrorist groups — likely funded by the West — to sow discontent in Xinjiang.

I will talk about this and the allegations of forced labour in some detail in the second part of this three series about my visit to China. In the meantime, to anyone reading this article in disbelief and who believes that either I am lying or have been the victim of what would be a truly elaborate hoax my suggestion is: go and see for yourself.

It’s a long way away but I honestly believe you will be surprised by the wonderful vibrant people and cities that will greet you.

Threat of war looms over NATO summit in Washington

The following article by Gary Wilson, first published in Struggle La Lucha, gives an overview of alarming developments in the Pacific, with the US and its allies gearing up towards the formation of an “Asian version of NATO”.

Gary notes that in late June, the US, Japan and South Korea conducted joint military exercises in the region. These exercises, labelled ‘Freedom Edge’, “targeted not only North Korea but also China” and “aim to demonstrate military capabilities near China’s borders”. As such they form “part of a broader network of Indo-Pacific alliances led by the US to encircle and confront China”.

The article cites a pertinent and accurate observation by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Lurking behind the recent drill is the strategic design of the US to escalate regional military tensions, exert pressure upon the Far East of Russia, and lay siege to China”.

What’s more, US President Joe Biden has invited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to Washinton to participate in the NATO summit in July. No doubt the US regime will be looking to use the summit to consolidate its New Cold War alliance in the Pacific, directed against China, Russia and the DPRK.

As Gary concludes, “the specter of war will loom large over the NATO summit in Washington.”

On June 30, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) blasted the joint military exercises conducted by the U.S., Japan, and South Korea in the region, labeling them as “reckless and provocative.” The DPRK pointed out that the military “war games” disrupt peace on the Korean peninsula and the broader region.

The hostile military drills expose the formation of an “Asian version of NATO” led by the U.S., declared a statement by the DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 30.

The three-day military operation known as “Freedom Edge” took place from June 26 to 29, involving South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. The “Edge” featured all three militaries, including the U.S.’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, headed by a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier, Japanese Defense Force naval carriers and destroyers, and Republic of Korea F-16 Falcon fighter jets.

Freedom Edge targeted not only North Korea but also China.

The exercise draws its name from other U.S. military operations with Japan (Keen Edge) and South Korea (Freedom Shield). The annual Freedom Shield and Keen Edge exercises aim to demonstrate military capabilities near China’s borders. 

South Korea submits to imperialist Japan

These maneuvers are part of a broader network of Indo-Pacific alliances led by the U.S. to encircle and confront China. The Freedom Edge war maneuvers came out of an agreement between the U.S., Japan, and the Republic of Korea at Camp David last August. That agreement was historic because never before had the Republic of Korea submitted to such an agreement with imperialist Japan, which had occupied and colonized Korea from 1910 to 1945 (when the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army ousted them and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was formed).  

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s Camp David agreement with Japan has been denounced throughout the Republic of Korea. Some have called it the country’s “biggest humiliation.” Yonhap News Agency reported on May 31 that President Yoon’s approval rating has fallen to 21%. 

The DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the U.S., Japan, and South Korea for their continuous provocative military actions against the DPRK and other independent states in the region. 

“Lurking behind the recent drill is the strategic design of the U.S. to escalate regional military tensions, exert pressure upon the Far East of Russia, and lay siege to China,” the Ministry statement said.

In recent years, the U.S. has intensified military exercises surrounding China and Korea, forming new military partnerships like the AUKUS and QUAD. 

U.S. President “Genocide Joe” Biden has invited Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to Washinton in July for more “trilateral talks” as well as participation in the NATO war summit taking place on July 9-11. 

NATO targets China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria, on May 27 that one of the “main topics at the Washington Summit will be global partnerships, and in particular, our Asia Pacific partners – Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.”

The U.S.-commanded military alliance called NATO includes the armed forces of the U.S. and all other countries in the alliance, including Britain, Germany, and France.  

NATO has undertaken eight military actions, all since 1990. The alliance did not undertake any military operations during the Cold War. Since 1990, NATO has engaged in two actions related to the first Gulf War, two in the former Yugoslavia, and military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Libya.

Stoltenberg then said that NATO’s primary focus now is targeting China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. He called them threats to NATO’s dominance. He didn’t talk about the war threats that have come from NATO and the “Asian version of NATO.”

With his stilted bureaucratese, Stoltenberg did add, “NATO will remain Europe and North America, but to work with our partners in the Asia Pacific and therefore welcome that the leaders of the Asia Pacific will be at, we have invited them to attend, the summit in Washington.” 

[ChatGPT translation: While NATO’s focus remains on Europe and North America, we recognize the importance of collaboration with our Asia-Pacific partners. Therefore, we’re pleased to welcome leaders from the Asia-Pacific region to the upcoming summit in Washington — the Asian NATO.]

The specter of war will loom large over the NATO summit in Washington.

China ready to consolidate friendship and deepen cooperation with Albania

As part of a regional tour, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs Wu Hongbo recently visited Albania, where he met with Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Igli Hasani on July 1st.

Wu spoke highly of China-Albania traditional friendship, saying that China will not forget its old friends and is ready to continue to carry forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, consolidate friendship and deepen cooperation with Albania, and take the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year as an opportunity to push for new progress in China-Albania relations in the new era.

Although the relations between the two countries soured in the second half of the 1970s, for a considerable period the erstwhile People’s Socialist Republic of Albania (PSRA) was China’s closest political and ideological ally.

Prime Minister Edi Rama also leads the Socialist Party of Albania, the principal descendant of the former Party of Labour of Albania, which led the building of socialism in that country, although the party has long since abandoned Marxism. 

The following article was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On July 1, 2024, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on European Affairs Wu Hongbo met respectively with Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Igli Hasani in Albania. The two sides had in-depth exchanges on bilateral relations.

Wu spoke highly of China-Albania traditional friendship, saying that China will not forget its old friends and is ready to continue to carry forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, consolidate friendship and deepen cooperation with Albania, and take the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries this year as an opportunity to push for new progress in China-Albania relations in the new era. The Albanian side said that it adheres to the one-China principle and is willing to strengthen practical cooperation with China in various fields to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. More Chinese tourists are welcome to Albania and Chinese companies are also welcome to invest and do business in Albania.

The two sides also had an exchange of views on regional hotspot issues of mutual interest.