Online event: The Counter-Summit for Democracy

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

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

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

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

Confirmed speakers

  • Vijay Prashad (Executive Director, Tricontinental Institute)
  • Seyed Mohammad Marandi (Professor, University of Tehran)
  • Victor Gao (Chair Professor, Soochow University)
  • Margaret Kimberley (Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report)
  • Lowkey (Musician and activist / Journalist with MintPress News)
  • Ben Norton (Editor, Geopolitical Economy Report)
  • Pawel Wargan (Coordinator of the International Secretariat, Progressive International)
  • Calla Walsh (Co-Chair of the National Network on Cuba)
  • Radhika Desai (Convenor, International Manifesto Group)

Organizers

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

Please register and spread the word!

Event in London explores socialist solutions to the climate crisis

On Thursday 2 February 2023, Friends of Socialist China organised – along with the Marx Memorial Library, Morning Star, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group and Cuba Solidarity Campaign – a hybrid in-person/online event at Marx Memorial Library on socialist solutions to the climate crisis, with a particular focus on the strategies being pursued in China, Nicaragua and Cuba in relation to preventing climate breakdown, the collapse of biodiversity, and other key ecological challenges.

Guisell Morales Echaverry, Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland, noted that the major capitalist countries – historically the biggest polluters – have utterly failed to meaningfully address the environmental crisis. Instead, it’s the socialist and progressive governments that are taking resolute action and that have been powerful voices for climate justice. Guisell described Nicaragua’s remarkable progress on ecological issues, including sourcing 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources; its successes in pursuing food sovereignty; and its commitment to agroecology and agroforestry. She concluded by stating that the capitalist system is killing the planet with its market anarchy and relentless pursuit of profit. It’s driving us to extinction. Socialism is the future and the key to human survival.

Ben Chacko, editor of the Morning Star, observed that Britain, the US and the other Western powers are failing to meet their ecological commitments. They claim to understand there’s a problem that needs solving, but they’ve left the green transition in the hands of companies that profit the most from fossil fuels. What we end up with is greenwashing, such as rebranding BP as ‘Beyond Petroleum’. Ben made a connection between the questions of climate breakdown and war, pointing to the extraordinary environmental damage caused by the military-industrial complex, most of all the US military. Meanwhile the sanctions regime against Russia is causing significant reverses, with Germany for example reopening coal mines. Ben contrasted this with the action being taken in the socialist world – “there’s a clear attitude in Beijing, Havana and Managua that we have to urgently face up to this crisis.”

Dan Kovalik, US-based activist and lawyer, and author of the new book Nicaragua: A History of Us Intervention & Resistance, said that climate change is a problem created by rich people and rich countries, but it’s a problem that’s having its most devastating effect on poor people and poor countries; he cited the startling fact that the Dallas Cowboys stadium uses more electricity on a game night than Liberia does in an entire day. Dan talked in detail about the relationship between war and the environment – for example the disastrous environmental degradation suffered by Iraq – and noted that China, Cuba and Nicaragua are all countries that prioritise humanity and the planet rather than engaging in military aggression. He pointed to the importance of Lula’s victory in the Brazilian elections, observing that, when asked if Brazil would send weapons to Ukraine, Lula said that our war is with poverty, not Russia. Dan described the important work being done in Nicaragua on alternative fuels, rainforest protection, protection of indigenous lands, and integration into a rising multipolar system of international relations.

Lauren Collins, an honorary research fellow at the University of Nottingham and member of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign executive committee, talked about Cuba’s approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation and highlighted Cuba’s vulnerability to the environmental crisis: while Cuba is responsible for just 0.06 percent of global emissions, it’s experiencing a significant increase in severe weather events, hurricanes, rising sea levels, degradation of arable land, drought and higher temperatures, all of which are having a serious impact on health and agriculture. Lauren described Tarea Vida, Cuba’s wide-ranging state program to confront climate change, which places a strong emphasis on community self-organisation and the participation of trade unions, Committees for the Defence of the Revolution, the Federation of Cuban Women and other mass organisations in adapting to the changing ecosystem. Lauren also spoke of the devastating impact of the US’s illegal blockade, one of the effects of which is to shut Cuba out of various funding sources for climate change adaptation.

Paul Atkin, a retired teacher, National Education Union activist and climate campaigner, focused on China’s impressive efforts towards preventing climate breakdown and protecting biodiversity. For example, while China is still quite dependent on coal, the proportion of coal in China’s energy mix has dropped from over 80 percent to more like 50 percent in the space of just over a decade. China accounts for half the world’s off-shore wind investment and approximately 99 percent of the world’s electric buses. China’s unprecedented investment in high-speed rail has resulted in a decrease in domestic air traffic – in contrast with the US, where there is almost no high-speed rail and domestic air traffic is increasing. While the US spends 14 times as much on its military than on green transition, China spends more than double on its green transition than on its military. Unfortunately, Paul observed, the anti-China propaganda in the West is so powerful that very few are paying attention to its progress on these issues, even within the left and the climate movement. Paul called on the audience to tell the truth about China and expose lies; to oppose the war drive; and to oppose the notion of decoupling, noting that the US’s sanctions on solar panels from China have led to a 23 percent reduction in solar installations in the US.

A lively and useful Q&A session followed the presentations. The stream of the event is embedded below.

Event: Socialist solutions to the climate crisis

DateThursday 2 February
Time7pm Britain / 2pm US Eastern / 11am US Pacific
VenueMarx Memorial Library
London EC1R 0DU
And Zoom
OrganisersFriends of Socialist China
Morning Star
Marx Memorial Library
Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group
Cuba Solidarity Campaign

At this event, we will describe the evolving and diverse strategies being pursued in socialist and progressive countries (with a specific focus on Nicaragua, Cuba and China) in relation to preventing climate breakdown, the collapse of biodiversity, and other key ecological challenges. The speakers will compare these efforts with the alarmingly slow progress being made in the neoliberal West, which has been touting its ‘market-based solutions’ to humanity’s environmental crisis for the last three decades.

This will be a hybrid event, in-person at the Marx Memorial Library in London and online. If you register on Eventbrite, you will have the option to attend via Zoom and participate in the discussion. We will also be streaming on YouTube.

Participants

Dan Kovalik is a US-based lawyer, activist and teacher. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is Nicaragua: A History of US Intervention and Resistance.

Guisell Morales Echaverry is Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Iceland.

Lauren Collins is an honorary research fellow at the University of Nottingham and a member of the executive committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

Paul Atkin is a retired teacher and NEU activist, involved in setting up the NEU Climate Change Network. He is part of the Greener Jobs Alliance Steering Group and is active with No Cold War Britain.

Ben Chacko (chair) is editor of the Morning Star.

Please register and spread the word!

Webinar: Give peace a chance – China and the world today (22 January)

On Sunday 22 January (at 11am EST, 8am PST, 4pm GMT), the CPUSA Education Commission is organizing a webinar on the theme Give peace a chance – China and the world today. There will be a presentation by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, followed by discussion and Q&A.

Book launch: Sanctions – A Wrecking Ball in a Global Economy (10 December)

Sanctions, the illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed on a third of humanity by the US and its allies, are a form of warfare and an ever more contested means of enforcing the dominance of the west on the majority of the world’s peoples. In fact, sanctions are boomeranging on the US bloc with inflation causing hardship at home and US dollar dominance being challenged. However, by far the greatest burden so is borne by some 40 countries targeted by the lethal sanctions, with the impacts ever more punishing.

We are proud to co-sponsor this webinar launching the new SanctionsKill book Sanctions: A Wrecking Ball in a Global Economy (to which we have contributed a chapter: Sanctions in the New Cold War on China).

  • DATE: Saturday 10 December 2022
  • TIME: 1pm US Eastern / 10am US Pacific / 6pm Britain

Speakers include:

  • Sara Flounders, International Action Center
  • Ajamu Baraka, Black Alliance for Peace
  • Carlos Martinez, International Manifesto Group
  • Lee Siu Hin, China-US Solidarity Network
  • Judy Bello, United National Antiwar Coalition, Syria Solidarity Movement
  • Erica Jung, Nodutdol Korean Community Development
  • Ann Garrison, Pacifica Radio Reporter and Black Agenda Report
  • Rick Sterling, Task Force on the Americas

Covid, cold war and Chinese socialism debated at Marx Memorial Library

We republish below a report by Roger McKenzie for the Morning Star of the dialogue we recently co-organised on the evolving significance of the Chinese Revolution. Roger also moderated the event.

The video stream is embedded below the article.

Activists held a packed meeting at the Marx Memorial Library on Monday night to consider the “evolving significance of the Chinese revolution.”

The meeting, jointly organised by the historic library, the Friends of Socialist China and the Morning Star, heard from Ken Hammond, an activist and professor of east Asian history at New Mexico State University.

Prof Hammond said: “The Chinese revolution didn’t just flip over into some utopia of the working class. It’s a struggle. It’s going to take a long time.

“Only 6,000 people in China have died from Covid, as compared to more than a million in the US, because they have prioritised saving lives.

“The US put economic interests first and decided to let more than a million people die — because that was more profitable.”

“In China, they prioritised saving lives,” he added.

“There is no doubt that living with the lockdowns is certainly going to be frustrating for people.

“Some people will undoubtedly reach a point of frustration that they are going to take that outside in protest just at a time when the government has taken steps to ease the restrictions.”

The second speaker was writer and former Stop the War Coalition chairman Andrew Murray, who is also a Morning Star columnist.

He said: “Since the fall of the Soviet Union, we have seen China’s rise in the world.

“That rise is ending two centuries of hegemony of European and North American powers.

“China is being attacked because it threatens the unipolar world order.

“Its strength and power gives other countries choices they might not otherwise have.

“It creates the possibility of a more equal world between countries.”

A key theme of the meeting was the question of whether China is socialist or capitalist.

Mr Murray said: “These are concepts that are universal and emerged in the 19th-century industrial revolution.

“It cannot be expected that these concepts would remain the same once they were globalised and once they encountered other civilisations and cultures.

“They can only be modified to some degree or another through that process.

“If China is a capitalist country, it is not like any we have seen in the past. If it is a socialist country, neither does it correspond to what we saw during the 20th century.”

He concluded: “China is not necessarily a model for the rest of the world, but it is a new perspective on socialism.”

Video: On the evolving significance of the Chinese Revolution, with Andrew Murray and Ken Hammond

On 28 November 2022, Friends of Socialist China organised, jointly with the Morning Star and Marx Memorial Library, a dialogue between Andrew Murray and Ken Hammond on the evolving significance of the Chinese Revolution. The event, conducted both in-person at the Marx Library and online via Zoom and YouTube, was very interesting and useful, with both panelists making highly insightful remarks, and a lively discussion following the panelist introductions.

About the participants

Andrew Murray is vice-president and founding chair of Stop the War Coalition, a longstanding trade unionist, peace campaigner, and one of the leading thinkers of the British left. He has written a number of books, including most recently ‘Is Socialism Possible in Britain?’, reflecting on his time serving as a political advisor to Jeremy Corbyn. Andrew has maintained an active interest in China for several decades, and has been vocal in his opposition to the New Cold War.

Ken Hammond is a professor of East Asian and Global History at New Mexico State University. He was a student organiser at Kent State University at the time of the shocking incident of 4 May 1970, when the Ohio Army National Guard shot and killed four students peacefully protesting the invasion of Cambodia when Nixon escalated the Vietnam War, and was indicted as one of the ‘Kent 25’. Ken lived and worked in Beijing between 1982 and 1987 managing activities for American educational delegations.

Ken earned his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University in 1994, and has worked in support of friendly US-China relations for many decades. He is a founder of the US-based movement Pivot to Peace, set up in 2020 in response to the escalating anti-China rhetoric emanating from US politicians and media. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Chinese History, published by Cambridge University Press, and the author of several books, including From Yao to Mao: 5,000 Years of Chinese History. Over the years he has taught at universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Shijiazhuang.

The dialogue was moderated by Roger McKenzie, International Editor of the Morning Star, and introduced by Iris Yau.

Dialogue: On the evolving significance of the Chinese Revolution, with Andrew Murray and Ken Hammond (28 November)

DateMonday 28 November
Time7pm Britain / 2pm US Eastern / 11am US Pacific
VenueMarx Memorial Library
London EC1R 0DU
And Zoom
OrganisersFriends of Socialist China
Morning Star
Marx Memorial Library

The Communist Party of China has established a goal of “building a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful” by 2049 – the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic. This sounds like an exciting project, and yet Chinese socialism is a poorly understood subject in the West, including among much of the left. Meanwhile, China is being subjected to an intense propaganda war, which in many ways resembles the treatment of the Soviet Union and the East European socialist countries during the Cold War.

This dialogue will explore the history and contemporary reality of the Chinese socialist project, including an analysis of trends in Chinese Marxism, the Reform and Opening Up process, China’s trajectory under the Xi Jinping leadership, the escalating US-led New Cold War, and more.

Participants

Andrew Murray is vice-president and founding chair of Stop the War Coalition, a longstanding trade unionist, peace campaigner, and one of the leading thinkers of the British left. He has written a number of books, including most recently ‘Is Socialism Possible in Britain?’, reflecting on his time serving as a political advisor to Jeremy Corbyn. Andrew has maintained an active interest in China for several decades, and has been vocal in his opposition to the New Cold War.

Ken Hammond is a professor of East Asian and Global History at New Mexico State University. He was a student organiser at Kent State University at the time of the shocking incident of 4 May 1970, when the Ohio Army National Guard shot and killed four students peacefully protesting the invasion of Cambodia when Nixon escalated the Vietnam War, and was indicted as one of the ‘Kent 25’. Ken lived and worked in Beijing between 1982 and 1987 managing activities for American educational delegations.

Ken earned his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University in 1994, and has worked in support of friendly US-China relations for many decades. He is a founder of the US-based movement Pivot to Peace, set up in 2020 in response to the escalating anti-China rhetoric emanating from US politicians and media. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Chinese History, published by Cambridge University Press, and the author of several books, including From Yao to Mao: 5,000 Years of Chinese History. Over the years he has taught at universities in Beijing, Shanghai and Shijiazhuang.

The dialogue will be moderated by Roger McKenzie, International Editor of the Morning Star, and introduced by Iris Yau.

Please register and spread the word!

Videos: China encirclement and the imperialist build-up in the Pacific

On Saturday 24 September 2022, we hosted a webinar on the rising aggression of the US and its allies in the Pacific region. There were a number of excellent contributions dealing with issues including the Biden administration’s increased support for Taiwanese separatism; Western power projection in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits; the hysteria surrounding China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands; the AUKUS nuclear pact; and developments in Korea and Japan. The event stream and the individual speeches are embedded below, and can be viewed directly on our YouTube channel.

Event stream: China encirclement and the imperialist build-up in the Pacific
Ken Hammond: Fearing the loss of their global hegemony, US elites are responding with desperation
Ju-Hyun Park: China encirclement not possible without imperialist national oppression of China’s neighbors
Lilian Sing: US geopolitical hostility to China is trickling down and fomenting anti-Asian hate
Sara Flounders: There’s US ruling class consensus around derailing China’s socialist development
Li Peng: The US plays the Taiwan card to undermine China’s development and obstruct reunification
Charles Xu: A “free and open Indo-Pacific” is exactly what imperialist forces have always subverted
Ben Norton: The US is developing plans to overthrow the Chinese government by military means
KJ Noh: The US is already engaged in a multi-faceted hybrid war on China
Zhong Xiangyu: Taiwanese separatism is being leveraged towards the West’s China containment strategy
Keith Bennett: A major conflict between China and the US would be a catastrophe for humanity

Webinar: China encirclement and the imperialist build-up in the Pacific

Our next webinar takes place on Saturday 24 September 2022, 11am (US Eastern) / 8am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain) / 11pm (China).

This event will address the rising aggression of the US and its allies in the Pacific region. We will discuss the Biden administration’s increased support for Taiwanese separatism; Western power projection in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits; the hysteria surrounding China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands; the AUKUS nuclear pact; developments in Korea and Japan; and more.

Confirmed speakers

  • Liu Xin (Host of the opinion show The Point with Liu Xin, CGTN)
  • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States)
  • Judge Lillian Sing (the first Asian American female Judge in Northern California, retired to start the “Comfort women” Justice Coalition)
  • Ken Hammond (Organizer with Pivot to Peace; author of From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History)
  • Li Peng (Dean of the Graduate Institute for Taiwan Studies, Xiamen University)
  • Qiao Collective (Grassroots media collective of diaspora Chinese writers, artists, and researchers)
  • Ju-Hyun Park (Organizer and writer with the Nodutdol collective)
  • KJ Noh (Peace activist and expert on the geopolitics of Asia)
  • Zhong Xiangyu (Political commentator and Chinese hip-hop artist)
  • Keith Bennett (Co-editor of Friends of Socialist China)
  • Moderator: Radhika Desai (University of Manitoba / International Manifesto Group)

Topics include

  • AUKUS and the attempts to construct an Asian NATO
  • The rightward shift in Japan and South Korea
  • The West’s incitement of Taiwanese secessionism
  • The role of modern colonialism in the project of containing China (Okinawa, Hawai’i, Guam)
  • Attempts at a new Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific
  • Western power projection in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits
  • China encirclement – from 1949 to the present day
  • Building unity between the peoples of the Pacific and the oppressed peoples of the United States

Co-sponsors

Please register and spread the word!

Videos: The Empire Strikes Back – Imperialism’s global war on multipolarity

Our webinar The Empire Strikes Back – Imperialism’s global war on multipolarity took place on Saturday 11 June 2022, addressing the latest developments in international politics, particularly around NATO, AUKUS, the war in Ukraine, and the increasing militarization of the US-led New Cold War. The full set of videos is embedded below.

Full event stream

Radhika Desai: Pluripolarity is indispensable to the project of undermining imperialism

Victor Gao: China’s successes are based on its socialist system; its focus on peace and development

Li Jingjing: The West deliberately spreads disinformation about Xinjiang in order to discredit China

Ding Yifan: We must mobilize social forces to unmask and oppose the US’s wars and proxy wars

Ben Norton: Socialist countries play a vital role orienting multipolarity towards anti-imperialism

Rob Kajiwara: China doesn’t seek domination of Okinawa or Guam or Hawai’i or other Pacific islands

Jenny Clegg: The US-led empire is seeking to simultaneously crush Russia and isolate China

Mustafa Hyder Sayed: The US needs to understand that the world rejects a New Cold War

Chris Matlhako: In a time of crisis, unite against the forces of colonialism, neoliberalism, fascism

Ju-Hyun Park: The US opposes Korean reunification because it would undermine US regional domination

Sara Flounders: The socialist countries are leading the way in terms of meeting humanity’s needs

Danny Haiphong: US imperialism’s war on multipolarity is a war on self-determination and sovereignty

Webinar: The Empire Strikes Back – Imperialism’s global war on multipolarity

Our next webinar takes place on Saturday 11 June 2022, 11am (US Eastern) / 8am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain) / 11pm (China).

This webinar will address the latest developments in international politics, particularly around NATO, AUKUS, the war in Ukraine, and the increasing militarization of the US-led New Cold War.

Topics include:

  • NATO, AUKUS and the military infrastructure of the New Cold War
  • The evolving China-Russia relationship and the West’s response
  • The Biden administration’s undermining of the One China Principle
  • Solomon Islands and the West’s plan for hegemony in the Pacific
  • NATO’s plan for Ukraine and how this impacts China
  • Prospects for sovereign development in the Global South

Confirmed speakers:

  • Victor Gao (Vice President, Center for China and Globalization)
  • Ben Norton (Editor, Multipolarista)
  • Li Jingjing (Reporter, CGTN)
  • Jenny Clegg (Author, ‘China’s Global Strategy: Toward a Multipolar World’)
  • Danny Haiphong (Author, ‘American Exceptionalism and American Innocence’)
  • Chris Matlhako (SACP Second Deputy General Secretary)
  • Mustafa Hyder Sayed (Executive Director, Pakistan-China Institute)
  • Professor Ding Yifan (Senior Fellow, Taihe Institute, China)
  • Ju-Hyun Park (Writer and organizer, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development)
  • Rob Kajiwara (President, Peace For Okinawa Coalition)
  • Sara Flounders (United National Antiwar Coalition, International Action Center)
  • Yury Tavrovsky (Chairman, Russian-Chinese Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development)
  • Radhika Desai (Convener, International Manifesto Group)

Book launch: Socialist Economic Development in the 21st Century

We are excited to be co-hosting, with the International Manifesto Group, this online book launch for the English version of Socialist Economic Development in the 21st Century, by Elias Jabbour and Alberto Gabriele.

Date: Saturday 28 May 2022
Time: 9am US Eastern, 9pm China, 2pm Britain
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Registration: Eventbrite

In this launch event for the English-language edition of ‘Socialist Economic Development in the 21st Century’, authors Elias Jabbour and Alberto Gabriele are joined by several experts in Marxist political economy from China, Britain and Canada to discuss the book’s central thesis: that, a century since the first socialist revolution broke the global monopoly of capitalism, socialist economic construction continues to offer the most viable alternative to the globalized capitalist crisis. We will pay particular attention to the achievements, complexities and contradictions of the evolving model of socialist economic development in China, Vietnam and Laos. This panel is jointly organised by the International Manifesto Group and Friends of Socialist China.

Speakers

Elias Jabbour is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, Postgraduate Programs in Economic Sciences, and International Relations at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He is co-author of Socialist Economic Development in the 21st Century.

Alberto Gabriele is a Senior Researcher at Sbilanciamoci, Rome, Italy. He is co-author of Socialist Economic Development in the 21st Century.

John Ross, Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. Since 1992, and the publication in Russia of his ‘Why the Economic Reform Succeeded in China and Will Fail in Russia and Eastern Europe, ’he is the author of over 500 published articles on China’s economy and geopolitical relations. He has more than one million followers on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. His articles on China’s economy have won several prizes in China. He is author of two best-selling books published in Chinese ‘ –The Great Chess Game ’and ‘Don’t Misunderstand China’s Economy’. His new book in English ‘China’s Great Road ’is published this month.

Radhika Desai is a Professor at the Department of Political Studies, and Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire (2013)Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (2nd rev ed, 2004) and Intellectuals and Socialism: ‘Social Democrats’ and the Labour Party (1994), a New Statesman and Society Book of the Month, and editor or co-editor of Russia, Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism, a special issue of International Critical Thought (2016), Theoretical Engagements in Geopolitical Economy (2015), Analytical Gains from Geopolitical Economy (2015), Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today’s Capitalism (2010) and Developmental and Cultural Nationalisms (2009).

Mick Dunford is an Emeritus Professor, University of Sussex, Visiting Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Managing Editor, Area Development and Policy.

Cheng Enfu (video recording and with Liu Zixu’s assistance) is an academician at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Director of the Research Center for Economic and Social Development (CASS), principal professor at the University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, President of the World Association for Political Economy, president of Chinese Society of Foreign Economic Theories, and member of the People’s Congress of China.Cheng Enfu spoke through his translator, Zixu Liu.

Prof. Peng Zhaochang taught at Rollins College in the US before going back to China and now working at Fudan University in Shanghai. He received his Ph.D. from UMass Amherst where Prof. David Kotz was his chief adviser.

Michael Roberts worked as an economist in the City of London for various financial institutions for over 40 years – in the heart of the beast! He has written several books including: The Great Recession – a Marxist view (2009); The Long Depression (2016); Joint ed: World in Crisis (2018); Marx 200 (2018); and Engels 200 (2020). He is joint author with G Carchedi of a forthcoming book published this summer by Pluto Press: Capitalism in the 21st century – through the prism of value.

Moderator – Jenny Clegg an independent writer and researcher, a long time China specialist, and a lifelong member and now a vice-President of SACU. A former Senior Lecturer in International and Asia Pacific Studies, her published work includes China’s Global Strategy: towards a multipolar world, Pluto Press, 2009). She is active in the peace and anti-war movement in Britain

Webinar: Anti-Imperialism and the Western left (24 April)

At this International Manifesto Group webinar on Sunday 24 April 2022, our co-editor Carlos Martinez will be speaking about the failure of much of the Western left to seriously engage with Chinese socialism.

Date: Sunday 24 April 2022
Time: 12pm US Eastern, 9am US Pacific, 5pm Britain
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Registration: Eventbrite

About this event

An anti-imperialist left is emerging in the West. However, they are derided by both liberals and leftists alike. The left’s failure to grasp the central importance of imperialism in today’s divisive geopolitical landscape leads to support for wars of aggression, uncritical regurgitation of unfounded or spurious propaganda claims, and support for far right currents in other countries that claim to stand for ‘democracy’.

The conditions are ripe for socialist organizing and agitation, but class struggle rages within the left when it should be waged by the left. The left is thus now at a crossroads. That section of the Western left which is proving unable to understand the role of imperialism in shaping today’s conflicts not only places itself on the verge of historical irrelevance but becomes a real threat to the advance of socialist and workers’ struggles.

The cause of the most urgent problems facing humanity – war, colonialism, mass poverty, racial and gender oppression, ecological destruction, and pandemics, have to be debated out in the framework of a clear understanding that they are products of imperialism: their solution has to be debated out in the framework of an equally clear understanding that they cannot be solved without a thorough-going defeat of imperialist aspirations and actions.

This event will provide a space for the emerging anti-imperialist left to set out its case openly, compare experiences in different countries, and develop its proposals for dealing with the issues confronting today’s world within the atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance which today’s anti-imperialist framework is fostering.

Speakers

Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. Baraka serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council and leadership body of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch. He was recently awarded the US Peace Memorial 2019 Peace Prize and the Serena Shim award for uncompromised integrity in journalism.

Carlos Martinez is an independent researcher and political activist from London, Britain. His first book, ‘The End of the Beginning: Lessons of the Soviet Collapse’, was published in 2019 by LeftWord Books. His main area of research is the construction of socialist societies, past and present. He is a co-editor of Friends of Socialist China and co-founder of No Cold War.

Mariá Páez Victor, PhD is a sociologist, born in Venezuela, now retired from university teaching who is dedicated to writing. As well, she is a frequent commentator on issues related to Latin American history and politics and she has participated in numerous events on TV, radio and in public meetings. In addition she has her own weekly radio program about Venezuela in the Spanish language community radio of Toronto.

Q. Anthony Omene is an award-nominated writer, whose columns appear in Maclean’s and The Globe and Mail, and host of the Unredacted podcast with Glenn Greenwald. In addition, he is a board member of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists. He is on Twitter @qaomene.

Alan Freeman is the co-director, with Radhika Desai, of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group (GERG) at the University of Manitoba. He was an economist at the Greater London Authority between 2000 and 2011, where he held the brief for the Creative Industries and the Living Wage. He wrote The Benn Heresy, a biography of British politician Tony Benn, and co-edited three books on value theory. He is honorary life vice-president of the UK-based Association for Heterodox Economics and a Vice-Chair of the World Association for Political Economy.

Benjamin Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker, he is the founder and editor of the independent media outlet, Multipolarista, where he reports in both English and Spanish. His journalism focuses primarily on US foreign policy and geopolitics. He has reported from many countries around the world and is currently based in Latin America.

Moderator – Brandon Love is an activist from Ottawa, Canada. Wherever he lives, he has always participated in class struggle, including labour organizing, tenants rights and international solidarity initiatives, including the Foodsters United union drive in Toronto and the unsuccessful University of Waterloo BDS referendum to sever ties with Israeli academic institutions.

Reminder: 21st Century Socialism – China and Latin America on the Frontline (19 March)

Our next webinar takes place on Saturday 19 March 2022, midday (US Eastern) / 9am (US Pacific) / 4pm (Britain)

China is the world’s largest socialist country and a leading proponent of multipolarity. As such it has an indispensable role in inspiring and creating a favourable environment for the global transition to socialism. Meanwhile, in the last two decades, progressive governments and movements in Latin America have been blazing a trail in exploring new paths towards socialism in the 21st century. Friendship and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Latin American left is therefore an indispensable component of the global struggle for socialism and against imperialism.

This event will explore a number of themes, including the history of friendship and solidarity between China and Latin America; the legacy of Hugo Chávez in encouraging a new era of socialist internationalism; the US’s aggression against popular movements – regime change coups, economic warfare, lawfare and destabilisation; China’s emerging role as a key partner for Latin America and the Caribbean; the growing attraction of the Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America; the place of Latin America in the US-led New Cold War; China and Latin America on the global frontlines of resisting imperialism; the renewal of diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua; and the role of international law and the UN in pushing back against hegemony.

Confirmed speakers

  • Dilma Rousseff (keynote) – Former President of Brazil
  • Ma Hui – China’s ambassador to Cuba
  • Carlos Miguel Pereira – Cuban ambassador to China
  • Carlos Ron – President, Simón Bolívar Institute (Venezuela)
  • Jiang Shixue – Director, Center for Latin American Studies, Shanghai University (China)
  • Margaret Kimberley – Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report (US)
  • Ben Norton – Journalist, Multipolarista (Nicaragua)
  • Camila Escalante – Reporter, Kawsachun News (Bolivia)
  • Elias Jabbour – Adjunct Professor of Economics, Rio de Janeiro State University (Brazil)
  • Francisco Domínguez – Secretary, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (Britain)
  • Carlos Martinez – Co-editor, Friends of Socialist China (Britain)
  • Moderator: Radhika Desai – Convenor, International Manifesto Group (Canada)

Supported by

Reminder: The Summit for Socialist Democracy (11 December)

A reminder that our Summit for Socialist Democracy webinar takes place on Saturday 11 December, 9am US Eastern / 2pm Britain / 10pm China.

Details

On December 9-10, Biden is hosting a ‘Summit  for Democracy’, “bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal” and to “defend against authoritarianism”. The geopolitical theme of this is, of course, to close ranks in the capitalist world against China, Russia, Cuba, DPRK, Venezuela and other countries. The ideological theme is to reaffirm the superiority of capitalism and so-called liberal democracy.

Our event will challenge the dominant narratives around democracy, will highlight the democratic systems prevailing in socialist societies, will discuss the plutocratic nature of neoliberal capitalism, and will expose how the concept of democracy is leveraged in support of a deeply undemocratic and violent imperialism.

The event is organised jointly by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group, and is co-sponsored by the Morning Star, the International Action CenterNodutdol and Qiao Collective.

Speakers

  • Cheng Enfu (Principal Professor, University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
  • Carlos Ron (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America, Venezuela)
  • Isabel Monal Rodríguez (Director of the Department of Marxist Studies, Academy of Sciences of Cuba)
  • Luna Oi (Vietnamese blogger and broadcaster)
  • Kiyul Chung (Professor, Tsinghua University, China; Korea University, Tokyo, Japan)
  • Layla Brown (Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, US)
  • Zhai Guoqiang (Deputy Director of the Institute of International Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
  • Elias Jabbour (Professor, Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil)
  • Roland Boer (Professor, Dalian University of Technology, China)
  • Danny Haiphong (Co-editor, Friends of Socialist China; Contributing editor, Black Agenda Report)
  • Ju-Hyun Park (Writer and organizer, Nodutdol)
  • Moderator: Radhika Desai (Professor, University of Manitoba, Canada)

Rally in London’s Chinatown against anti-Asian racism (Saturday 27 November)

On Saturday 27 November 2021, there will be a rally in London’s Chinatown (Gerrard Street, W1D 5PT) against anti-Asian racism. We encourage those readers that live locally to attend if they can. Below is an article from the Morning Star by Dr Ping Hua providing background and details for the rally.

Racism against the Chinese community is not a new phenomenon in British society.

There were reports of race riots targeting Chinese businesses and laundries as early as 1919. At times of national disaster in the country, the Chinese community has become the scapegoat on many occasions.

For example, we witnessed a spike in racist incidents against the Chinese community during the Foot & Mouth crisis in 2001, due to the unfounded accusations that the disease was caused by a Chinese restaurant using illegally imported meat.

Continue reading Rally in London’s Chinatown against anti-Asian racism (Saturday 27 November)

Webinar: Korea’s Struggle for Independence, Peace and Reunification

We are pleased to be co-sponsoring this International Manifesto Group webinar about Korea.

Date: Sunday 21 November 2021
Time: 11am EST, 8am PST, 4pm GMT, 5pm CET
Location: Zoom and YouTube
Registration: Eventbrite

We take a look beneath and behind western stereotypes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – as totalitarian, autarkic, economically bankrupt, led by a dynasty and a cult, and a nuclear bad-boy – to probe the realities, old and new, by addressing key questions including the ongoing Korean War; the nature and motivations of the Workers’ Party of Korea governments; the reasons for its nuclear arsenal; the need to end sanctions; the history and present of the US nuclear threat in East Asia; and the path to national reunification, to which the Korean people, whether in the north, south or diaspora, remain committed.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Kiyul Chung (Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University)
  • KJ Noh (Peace activist and expert on the geopolitics of Asia)
  • Xiangyu (Political commentator and Chinese hip-hop artist)
  • Sara Flounders (United National Antiwar Coalition, peace activist and author)
  • Derek R Ford (Assistant professor, DePauw University)
  • Dr Hugh Goodacre (Teaching Fellow, University College London)
  • Keith Bennett (Co-editor, Friends of Socialist China)
  • Chair: Radhika Desai (Professor, University of Manitoba; Convenor of the International Manifesto Group)

Educational Forum: No New Cold War Against China (Saturday 23 October)

Saturday, 23 October 2021
2pm US Eastern / 11am US Pacific / 7pm Britain
University of Minnesota
Nicholson Hall Room 155 / 216 Pillsbury Dr SE / Minneapolis, MN 55455

LIVE STREAM: Facebook

On Saturday 23 October, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization is holding a hybrid-mode forum opposing the New Cold War on China.

Speakers

  • Danny Haiphong, Contributing Editor of Black Agenda Report, Co-Host of The Left Lens, co-editor of Friends of Socialist China
  • Mick Kelly, Freedom Road Socialist Organization
  • Autumn Lake, Anti-War Committee

Details

The U.S. government is increasingly aggressive in statements and actions against China. Many are calling this a developing New Cold War on China. A New Cold War is not in the interest of working class and oppressed people in the U.S. We must oppose it.

Come learn more about the New Cold War targeting China and the anti-Asian racism that it generates in the U.S., what we can do about it, why both political parties are part of it, and the incredible accomplishments of socialist China that the imperialists don’t want you to know about in ending poverty, fighting climate change, defeating the coronavirus, and helping developing countries that Western imperialism has devastated or abandoned.


This is an in-person event. Danny Haiphong will join us virtually, while the other speakers will be in person. We will have a space that allows appropriate distancing. Masks required. Vaccination and/or current negative COVID test required.

Event report: Oppose the propaganda war against China

On Saturday 9 October, Friends of Socialist China held a webinar focused on opposing the propaganda warfare being waged by the US and its allies against the People’s Republic of China. The event was co-sponsored by the Morning Star, the Grayzone, Pivot to Peace, the Geopolitical Economy Research Group, the International Manifesto Group, and Qiao Collective. The full webinar (along with individual speech videos) can be watched on our YouTube channel. Below we provide a summary of the proceedings, written by Carlos Martinez.


Introducing the event, Radhika Desai (Professor of Political Studies, University of Manitoba, Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group) pointed out that, on the left, the most fundamental lie about China is that it is not building socialism but rather that it is just another capitalist country, indeed a particularly brutal capitalist country. Once this untruth is accepted, China can be treated as an enemy of progressive humanity – successes can be ignored, weaknesses exaggerated and accusations hurled.

For decades, the West constructively engaged with China at an economic and diplomatic level. But the capitalist powers were suffering under two illusions: first, that the Communist Party of China would transform itself into a social democratic or even a neoliberal party that would lead China towards the type of financialised, neoliberal, unproductive capitalism that prevails in the West; second, that China would remain on the bottom rung of the global economic ladder, providing low-cost manufacturing for goods consumed in the West.

Continue reading Event report: Oppose the propaganda war against China