Videos: China proves that a new world is possible! Delegates report back from China

On 16 June 2024, we held a webinar reporting back on the first exclusive Friends of Socialist China delegation to the People’s Republic of China, which took place from 14 to 24 April 2024. At the webinar we heard back from the delegates about their experiences and observations of Chinese socialism. The speakers were:

  • Danny Haiphong (Broadcaster; Author, ‘American Exceptionalism and American Innocence’)
  • Fiona Sim (Black Liberation Alliance)
  • Roger McKenzie (International editor, Morning Star)
  • Margaret Kimberley (Editor-in-chief, Black Agenda Report)
  • Russel Harland (trade unionist and Friends of Socialist China Britain Committee member)
  • Sage Stanescu (researcher and Friends of Socialist China Britain Committee member)

Embedded below is the full livestream (unfortunately including, in the first few minutes, various interruptions by racist trolls attempting to sabotage the event) and the individual panel contributions (thankfully without interruptions!).

Webinar: China proves that a new world is possible! Delegates report back from China

Date Sunday 16 June
Time4pm Britain / 11am US Eastern / 8am US Pacific

The first exclusive Friends of Socialist China delegation to the People’s Republic of China took place from 14 to 24 April 2024. Fourteen comrades (11 from Britain, two from the US and one from Ireland) visited Beijing, Hangzhou and Jiaxing (Zhejiang province), and Changchun and Siping (Jilin province). The packed program featured visits to public service and community facilities, historic revolutionary sites and museums, political, scientific, cultural, industrial, and agricultural organisations, exhibition centres and cooperatives; as well as meetings with academics, publishers and officials.

At this webinar, we’ll hear back from the delegates about their experiences and observations of Chinese socialism.

Speakers

  • Margaret Kimberley (Editor-in-chief, Black Agenda Report)
  • Danny Haiphong (Youtuber; Author, ‘American Exceptionalism and American Innocence’)
  • Roger McKenzie (International editor, Morning Star)
  • Fiona Sim (Black Liberation Alliance)
  • Sage Stanescu (researcher and Friends of Socialist China Britain Committee member)
  • Russel Harland (trade unionist and Friends of Socialist China Britain Committee member)

Organisers

This webinar is jointly organised by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group.

Video: Black Liberation and People’s China – Rediscovering a History of Transcontinental Solidarity

Friends of Socialist China, in conjunction with the International Manifesto Group, organised a well-attended webinar on Saturday May 11 on the theme of Black Liberation and People’s China – Rediscovering a History of Transcontinental Solidarity.

The webinar marked the 65th anniversary of the historic visit to China by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, where, together with his wife Shirley Graham Du Bois, the great scholar and revolutionary celebrated his 91st birthday on February 23rd, 1959.

Focusing specifically on transcontinental solidarity between the Chinese revolution and the African-American freedom struggle, the webinar noted that this revolutionary history neither begins nor ends with Dr. Du Bois. It embraces Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson from the 1930s; Robert F. and Mabel Williams and Malcolm X in the 1960s; the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and 1970s; and many others, joined by Chinese leaders, including Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, as well as Chinese American communists and progressives and returned overseas Chinese.

The event was moderated by our co-editor Keith Bennett and featured a distinguished panel of speakers as follows:

  • Professor Gerald Horne, John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies, University of Houston, USA; 
  • Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Wayne State University, USA; 
  • Dr. Gao Yunxiang, Professor of History, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada; 
  • Dr. Zifeng Liu, Post Doctoral Scholar, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, USA; 
  • Margaret Kimberley, Executive Editor and Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report; and
  • Qiao Collective, a diaspora Chinese media collective challenging US aggression against China

The video of this interesting and important webinar is embedded below, followed by the individual contributions.

Black Liberation and People’s China: Rediscovering a History of Transcontinental Solidarity
Keith Bennett
Gerald Horne
Gao Yunxiang
Charisse Burden-Stelly
Zifeng Liu
Charles Xu
Margaret Kimberley

Webinar: Black Liberation and People’s China – Rediscovering a history of transcontinental solidarity

Date Saturday 11 May
Time4pm Britain / 11am US Eastern / 8am US Pacific

This year marks the 65th anniversary of the historic visit to China by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, where, together with his wife Shirley Graham Du Bois, the great scholar and revolutionary celebrated his 91st birthday on February 23rd, 1959.

This anniversary provides a fitting opportunity to reflect on a remarkable and enduring link between two peoples fighting for their liberation on opposite sides of the Pacific and under very different circumstances. This transcontinental solidarity between the Chinese revolution and the African-American freedom struggle neither begins nor ends with Dr. Du Bois. It embraces Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson; Robert F. and Mabel Williams; the Black Panther Party; Amiri Baraka; and many others, joined by Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Chinese American progressives and returned overseas Chinese like Tang Mingzhao.

Speakers

  • Professor Gerald Horne, John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies, University of Houston; Author of numerous books, including W.E.B Du Bois: A Biography and Black and Red: W.E.B Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War
  • Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly, Associate Professor of African American Studies, Wayne State University; Author, including of Black Scare/Red Scare: Theorizing Capitalist Racism in the United States and W.E.B Du Bois: A Life in American History (co-authored with Gerald Horne)
  • Dr. Gao Yunxiang, Professor of History, Toronto Metropolitan University and author of Arise Africa! Roar China!: Black and Chinese Citizens of the World in the Twentieth Century
  • Dr. Zifeng Liu, Post Doctoral Scholar, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, Author of Redrawing the Balance of Power: Black Left Feminists, China, and the Making of an Afro-Asian Political Imaginary, 1949-1976 (Ph.D thesis; book forthcoming)
  • Margaret Kimberley, Executive Editor and Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report; Author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents
  • Qiao Collective, a diaspora Chinese media collective challenging US aggression against China.

To explore these historic connections and their contemporary significance for the global anti-imperialist struggle and the fight against the new cold war, this webinar is being organised by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group.

Booker Ngesa Omole: Amidst the rise of the Global South, we welcome China’s engagement with Africa

On Saturday 16 March, Friends of Socialist China hosted an event on Africa, China and the Rise of the Global South at the Marx Memorial Library in London (and online). The library was packed to capacity, and heard powerful contributions from Booker Ngesa Omole (National Vice-Chairperson and National Organising Secretary of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK)), Roger McKenzie (Foreign Editor, Morning Star), Fiona Sim (The Black Liberation Alliance), Cecil Gutzmore (veteran Pan-African community activist and historian), Alex Gordon (RMT President), and Radhika Desai (Convenor, International Manifesto Group). Unfortunately Frank Murray of Caribbean Labour Solidarity was unable to attend due to personal reasons. Roger McKenzie’s event report can be read in the Morning Star.

Booker’s wide-ranging and passionate keynote speech focused on China-Africa relations and China’s role in the world. Booker noted that his two visits to China in 2023 “filled me with a renewed sense of hope and convinced me of the superiority of the Chinese socio-economic and political system over the liberal Western model often imposed on African nations wholesale.”

On the economic relationship between China and Kenya – and Africa more generally – Booker observed that the character of this partnership is profoundly different to the exploitative relationships that African nations have historically had with Western powers. “This relationship has highlighted an alternative approach to engaging with development partners and international capital. Unlike the United States and Western nations, which have historically imposed detrimental policies on African nations through institutions like the IMF and World Bank—such as the infamous Structural Adjustment Plan—China has adopted a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. This shift has spared African nations from the suffering and hardships inflicted by such destructive policies.”

Booker went on to state that “the United States and the rest of the West have used exploitation and force to impose their will for far too long.” However, in an era of emerging multipolarity and a rising Global South, “the geopolitical environment has fundamentally changed, with the Global South emerging as a major actor in world affairs. And it is amidst this shift that China has emerged as a beacon of hope for the oppressed and exploited.” In relation to imperialism, “China stands as a counterforce, presenting an alternative path founded on mutual respect and cooperation… China’s policy of non-interference starkly opposes Western interventionism, whose legacies of looting and colonialism still haunt and define regions like Africa.”

Turning his attention to the propaganda war on China, Booker asserted: “The racist and cynical attacks on China are intolerable”, and that “labelling China as an imperial power is both ridiculous and reactionary.” He reminded the audience that Africans know only too well what imperialism looks like: “Having experienced direct and indirect imperialist interventions in Africa, we have witnessed the devastating consequences of imperialist wars and interventions.” This contrasts starkly with China’s engagement with the continent, which is based on mutual benefit, respect for sovereignty, and assisting African countries to develop their own economies and infrastructure. “Leveraging China’s resources and expertise, Africa can accelerate its development and address important issues such as infrastructural deficiencies, industrialization, and poverty.”

Booker concluded:

The voices of the Global South demand respect and sovereignty, challenging the hegemony of the West. Amidst the rise of the Global South, we welcome China’s engagement with Africa in this new era of collaboration.

This speech was first published on the website of the Communist Party of Kenya.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Comrades, it is an honour to stand before you today, representing the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) and the Pan African Socialist Alliance (PASA). I extend my deepest gratitude to the Friends of Socialist China (FSC), particularly Comrade Keith Bennett, for their steadfast support and for granting me this forum to address such a significant topic.

Gathered here in the Karl Marx Memorial Library, we are reminded of the enduring influence of Marx’s ideas, which continue to guide us in our struggle for a just and egalitarian society. It is the ideal place as we embark on a discussion that not only holds relevance but also holds the key to shaping the future of the Global South: “China and the Rise of the Global South.”

Comrades, today I represent the Communist Party of Kenya, a party that has undergone a split resulting in the formation of two factions: the majority faction, which I am part of, and a minority faction that has entered into a strategic alliance with the current kleptocratic regime and serves as a puppet of US interests in Nairobi. While this split can be seen as both fortunate and unfortunate, it underscores the complex dynamics within our party.

It is fortunate in the sense that a united Communist Party of Kenya based on opportunism would serve no purpose for the Kenyan working class. However, it is unfortunate because a united party would undoubtedly be stronger and more effective in advancing the interests of the working class. Yet, such is the nature of development—just as in the human body, where cells divide and multiply to maintain health, our party undergoes transformations to adapt to changing circumstances. I proudly represent the majority faction of the Communist Party of Kenya, which stands in staunch opposition to the comprador ruling class in Nairobi.

As for the Pan-African Socialist Alliance (PASA), it is a revolutionary movement that unites Pan-Africanist organizations in Kenya and beyond. Dedicated to achieving African liberation and unity on a global scale, PASA vehemently opposes imperialism in all its manifestations, including colonialism, settler-colonialism, Zionism, and neo-colonialism. Moreover, PASA advocates against social oppressions rooted in gender, class, or nationality.

Aligned with genuine Pan-African forces worldwide, PASA advocates for a unified socialist and non-capitalist path to development in Africa and the African diaspora. It stands in solidarity with oppressed peoples fighting against labour exploitation and land exploitation, striving for a future where all Africans can thrive free from oppression and exploitation.

In 2023, I had the privilege of visiting China twice, where I witnessed first-hand the remarkable achievements of Chinese Socialist Construction. These visits filled me with a renewed sense of hope and convinced me of the superiority of the Chinese socio-economic and political system over the liberal Western model often imposed on African nations wholesale. Contrary to Western rhetoric, I found a nation and its people in harmony with nature, dispelling the myth that Chinese socialist development wreaks ecological havoc.

Despite potential language barriers, I was pleasantly surprised to find that many young Chinese individuals in the streets of Beijing were proficient in English and engaged in lively debates. Unlike the institutionalized racism prevalent in the United States, China actively discourages and punishes racist behaviour—a stark contrast to the US, where racial privilege persists. It became evident to me that Western media propagates falsehoods far too often, obscuring the realities of Chinese society and governance.

Allow me to revisit my 2017 commentary on the Africa-China relationship. The partnership between China and Kenya, as well as Africa at large, has not only spurred remarkable infrastructural development but has also fostered a genuine cultural exchange between Chinese and African communities. It has provided Africans with first-hand insights into Chinese culture, dispelling the half-truths and misinformation perpetuated against China and its people, often propagated globally by western media outlets like CNN, BBC, Fox News et al.

Moreover, this relationship has highlighted an alternative approach to engaging with development partners and international capital. Unlike the United States and Western nations, which have historically imposed detrimental policies on African nations through institutions like the IMF and World Bank—such as the infamous Structural Adjustment Plan—China has adopted a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. This shift has spared African nations from the suffering and hardships inflicted by such destructive policies.

Another notable aspect is the efficiency with which projects are executed. Previously, bureaucratic red tape and exorbitant costs often prolonged project timelines, sometimes spanning several years before ground activities commenced. However, with the influx of Chinese investment, we have witnessed a swift turnaround. Projects are now executed promptly, delivering high-quality results. This stands in stark contrast to the portrayal by Western media, which often dismisses products and projects from China and Russia as inferior before their arrival. These words remain true today even though the attitude of the ruling class in the global north towards the Chinese socialist experiment remains unchanged, more than five years later.

The challenges facing the Global South are vast, encompassing a myriad of socio-economic and political issues rooted in colonial and neo-colonial histories. From underdevelopment to disease, violence, and exploitation, these afflictions persist. Yet, amidst these struggles, it is essential to recognize the shared responsibility between the global North and South.

While geopolitical unrest and interventions ravage countless lives worldwide, there is a glimmer of hope. The vulnerability of imperialism is laid bare in places like Gaza, where Western hegemony faces daily erosion, and in conflicts like the NATO-led proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which exposes fractures in imperialist stability. Recent events in the Congo underscore the diminishing influence of Western imperialism.

In the Sahel region, including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, French imperialism falters on a daily basis. In the North, Libya stands in history and in the present as the perfect example of imperialist violence and failure. Southwards, Somalia’s position since the Black Hawk Down incident highlights the pitfalls of US interventions. The Sudanese people have remained strong in their continued resistance against imperialism since the war broke out in Sudan.

Eritrea, often likened to the “Cuba of Africa,” bears the brunt of punitive unilateral actions and economic sanctions imposed by the United States. Its perceived transgression? Embracing self-reliant economic strategies. This exemplifies the treatment meted out by the US towards African nations daring to diverge from the neoliberal norms dictated by the West. Such brazen arrogance of the US begs the question: How can such dominance prevail on a global scale? The inevitable outcome is not progress but rather a descent into chaos, perpetuating a cycle of disorder and instability similar to what has now become of Libya.

And every day, the escalating Cold War tensions with China further shake the foundations of the fragile imperialist economy. Overall, the emerging picture reveals that the decline of the US empire mirrors historical patterns, signalling the dawn of a new era where empires inevitably fall.

Continue reading Booker Ngesa Omole: Amidst the rise of the Global South, we welcome China’s engagement with Africa

Peace delegates report back from China

Although the Biden administration has made some small gestures towards improving US-China relations, the US continues to escalate its campaign of encirclement and containment. The US has ramped up its military aid to Taiwan; it is attempting to strengthen the AUKUS nuclear alliance; it is doing everything it can to prevent China’s emergence as a major computing power; it is imposing sanctions and tariffs on China; and it is relentlessly spreading lurid anti-China slander.

Recognising the terrible dangers posed by the New Cold War (and its potential degeneration into a hot war), a number of peace activists from the US have recently taken part in delegations to China, in order to build understanding and solidarity, and to see China’s reality with their own eyes.

On Sunday 18 February 2024, we heard back from these peace delegates and discussed ways to continue building people-to-people links between the West and China, and to develop a powerful movement for peace and cooperation.

Embedded below are the videos from the event.

Full event stream

Lee Siu Hin: building US-China relations at the grassroots

Charles Xu (Qiao Collective): reflections on a trip to China

Sara Flounders: Organize collectively to demand hands off China and show solidarity with Palestine

Danny Haiphong: telling the truth about China and being an ambassador for peace

Dee Knight: If we want to make peace, more of us should visit China

Bahman Azad: debunk lies about China in order to advance the cause of peace

CPUSA: By developing people-to-people relations, we can all build a bedrock for peace

Africa, China and the Rise of the Global South

Date Saturday 17 March
Time6pm Britain / 1pm US Eastern / 10am US Pacific
VenueMarx Memorial Library
London EC1R 0DU
And Zoom

Speakers

  • Booker Ngesa Omole – National Vice-Chairperson and National Organising Secretary of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK)
  • Roger McKenzie – Foreign Editor, Morning Star
  • Fiona Sim – Black Liberation Alliance
  • Cecil Guzmore – veteran Pan-African community activist and historian
  • Alex Gordon – RMT President
  • Frank Murray – Caribbean Labour Solidarity
  • Radhika Desai – Convenor, International Manifesto Group

Information

The geopolitical map of the world is changing at a rapid pace and in profound ways, with the dominant characteristic being the rise of the Global South, with the rise of socialist China at its heart.

Two years ago, the imperialist powers, led by the United States, were shocked when, almost in its entirety, the Global South, repulsed by the hypocrisy and double standards, refused to follow in imposing sanctions on Russia following the launch of its Special Military Operation.

Now, that hypocrisy and double standards are on unprecedented and shameless display, with the United States having so far used its veto three times in the United Nations Security Council to block calls for a ceasefire in Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people.

As Chinese President Xi Jinping often says, the world is currently witnessing changes unseen in a century, a timeframe that links to the creation of the world’s first workers’ state in the Soviet Union. Today, President Xi has noted, socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new option for countries that wish to rapidly develop their economies while maintaining their independence. The expansion of the BRICS grouping, whose GDP has surpassed that of the G7, and the admission of the African Union to the G-20, both of which were championed by China, are important reflections of this.

In his February 17th message to the 37th Summit of the African Union, Xi said that the Global South, represented by China and Africa, is booming and this has a profound impact on the course of world history.

Our meeting provides a rare chance to hear a first-hand perspective from the frontline of this anti-imperialist struggle in Africa.

Booker Ngesa Omole is the National Vice-Chairperson and National Organising Secretary of the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK). He also serves as the President of the Marxist-Leninist Institute, responsible for training party cadres, and is the editor of the party’s official quarterly publication, “Itikadi – Socialism Theory and Practice,” which reflects the CPK’s unwavering commitment to the principles of Marxism-Leninism as its guiding ideology.

The CPK is at the heart of an emerging new wave of Marxist-Leninist parties across Africa. Their website explains:

“CPK is conscious of Kenya’s noble history of struggle against foreign domination and imperialism. Our Party is the continuation of the social and national liberation struggle of the Kenyan patriots that ultimately brought about independence from British colonialism in 1963. We remember those elders who died or survived with great suffering in the struggles for national freedom. They sacrificed their lives and blood to give us self-respect in the period and aftermath of colonial domination… However, these noble wishes and aspirations will only be realised when Kenya replaces the capitalist system with the socialist system… CPK is a vanguard Party, as well as a mass organisation guided by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and its application based on the historical and material conditions of Kenya and the world around us. The Party is a people’s organisation, its paramount interests are the interests of the broadest masses of the people.”

The CPK is building unity and solidarity with the socialist countries, with Comrade Booker having visited China twice in 2023, the second time for the World Socialism Forum, which was also attended by Friends of Socialist China.

We hope as many comrades and friends as possible will take the opportunity to hear him during his brief visit to London.

Organisers

This event is organised by Friends of Socialist China and supported by the Morning Star, Caribbean Labour Solidarity, the Black Liberation Alliance and the International Manifesto Group.

Webinar: Building solidarity and opposing the New Cold War – Peace delegates report back from China

Date Sunday 18 February
Time4pm Britain / 11am US Eastern / 8am US Pacific

Although the Biden administration has made some small gestures towards improving US-China relations, the US continues to escalate its campaign of encirclement and containment. The US has ramped up its military aid to Taiwan; it is attempting to strengthen the AUKUS nuclear alliance; it is doing everything it can to prevent China’s emergence as a major computing power; it is imposing sanctions and tariffs on China; and it is relentlessly spreading lurid anti-China slander.

Recognising the terrible dangers posed by the New Cold War (and its potential degeneration into a hot war), a number of peace activists from the US have recently taken part in delegations to China, in order to build understanding and solidarity, and to see China’s reality with their own eyes.

We will hear back from these peace delegates and discuss ways to continue building people-to-people links between the West and China, and to develop a powerful movement for peace and cooperation.

Speakers

  • Ajamu Baraka (Coordinating Committee Chairperson, Black Alliance for Peace)
  • Bahman Azad (President, US Peace Council)
  • Sara Flounders (Co-director, the International Action Center)
  • Danny Haiphong (Youtuber; Author, ‘American Exceptionalism and American Innocence’)
  • Dee Knight (DSA International Committee’s Anti-War Subcommittee)
  • Lee Siu Hin (Founder, China-US Activist Solidarity Project)
  • Charles Xu (Writer and researcher, Qiao Collective)
  • Radhika Desai (Convenor, International Manifesto Group)
  • Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament
  • Communist Party USA International Department

Organisers

This webinar is jointly organised by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group.

Inspiring webinar marks ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative

On Saturday 4 November, Friends of Socialist China and International Manifesto Group organised an online event on the theme Building a multipolar world – Ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative, in order to learn more about the implementation, impact and trajectory of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The webinar assessed the role the BRI is playing in a global green transition towards renewal energy systems and biodiversity protection; the situating of the BRI within an overall geopolitical shift towards multipolarity; and the various accusations levelled against the BRI – that it constitutes a “debt trap”, or that it is part of a hegemonic geopolitical strategy being carried out by China.

The webinar was inspiring and hugely informative. The full event and individual speeches can be viewed on our YouTube channel. A brief write-up was published in China Daily.

Professor Zhang Weiwei (Director of the China Institute at Fudan University, and author of several important books about China) was the first speaker. Professor Zhang outlined the founding principles and broad historic significance of the BRI, observing that the foundations for it were laid during the two stages of China’s rise – the first three decades of socialist construction from 1949 to 1978, followed by the accelerated industrialisation and modernisation of the Reform and Opening Up period – and that both these stages were indispensable in allowing China to break from the US-dominated peripheral-central world order and emerge as an economic leader in its own right. The text of Professor Zhang’s speech has been published in full here.

Professor Radhika Desai (convenor of the International Manifesto Group) described the BRI as the flagship program of socialist China’s international engagement, and noted that it is a fundamentally inclusive project that seeks to cooperate on a win-win basis with the countries on the world. Radhika contrasted this with the US’s foreign policy – built on an exclusionary coalition of so-called democracies (in reality the imperialist powers) taking a stance of hostility and aggression towards the so-called authoritarian states (in reality the group of countries that refuse to go along with US hegemony). Radhika spoke powerfully of the horrific war being waged by Israel against the people of Gaza, and pointed out that this fits all too comfortably within the US’s vision of a “rules-based international order”.

Li Jingjing (a reporter for CGTN, and a well-known figure to those that follow Chinese media) discussed her recent trips to Pakistan, Greece and Tanzania – all countries actively pursuing BRI infrastructure projects – where she talked with locals about their attitudes to China and their response to the West’s slanders about the BRI being a “colonialist” project. People replied that they know all too well what colonialism looks like, having experienced it in countries like Pakistan and Tanzania for hundreds of years, and that China’s approach is profoundly different. Speaking about the importance of infrastructure to China’s development model, Li Jingjing made an interesting point connecting China’s role in infrastructure construction in Africa today to its work in the early 1970s building the Tazara railway between Tanzania and Zambia – that project enabled landlocked Zambia to break the isolation and blockade imposed on it by countries to its south then still under white racist and colonial rule. The Tazara railway remains a powerful symbol of China-Africa friendship.

Erik Solheim (former Norwegian Minister for Environment and International Development, and current President of the Green Belt and Road Institute) stated that the BRI has become the most important global project in terms of green development. Indeed China has become “the world leader in everything green” – a fact not widely understood in the West, due to Western arrogance and to obfuscation by the media. Solheim counselled the Western powers to drop their slanders against the BRI, to stop attempting to out-compete China on infrastructure construction and such areas where it has become an undisputed world leader, and instead to focus on complementarity: leveraging its own expertise in various areas to contribute to global development, alongside China’s contributions.

Continue reading Inspiring webinar marks ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative

Webinar: Building a multipolar world – Ten years of the Belt and Road Initiative

Date Saturday 4 November
Time2pm Britain / 10am US Eastern / 7am US Pacific / 10pm China

Since the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative ten years ago, more than 150 countries and international organizations have signed up to the strategy, and upwards of a trillion dollars has been spent on new infrastructure throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The project is actively feeding into global development, modernization and connectedness.

This webinar will analyze the implementation of the BRI so far, seeking to understand its impact and trajectory. In particular we will address accusations that it constitutes a “debt trap”, or that it is part of a hegemonic geopolitical strategy being carried out by China. We will look at how the BRI is improving lives throughout the Global South; the role it has in a global green transition towards renewal energy systems and biodiversity protection; Western global investment projects such as the Build Back Better World; and the role the BRI plays in a changing international order.

Speakers

  • Erik Solheim (President, Green Belt and Road Institute)
  • Professor Zhang Weiwei (Director, China Institute, Fudan University)
  • Li Jingjing (Journalist and political commentator, CGTN)
  • Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi (Political analyst, Iran)
  • Senator Mushahid Hussain (Chair, Pakistan-China Institute)
  • Martin Jacques (Author, When China Rules the World)
  • Fred M’membe (President, Socialist Party Zambia)
  • Camila Escalante (Editor, Kawsachun News)
  • Moderator: Radhika Desai (Convenor, International Manifesto Group)

Organizers

This webinar is jointly organised by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group. It is cosponsored by:

Chinese Embassy symposium: The CPC and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

On 22 August 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a symposium themed The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind, to which a range of political parties, organisations and individuals were invited. Three people attended the symposium on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, at which Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, Minister Zhao Fei, Minister Wang Qi and other senior diplomats introduced Xi Jinping’s concepts in relation to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ambassador Zheng and the ministers from the Chinese Embassy provided valuable reports on China’s major foreign policy initiatives directed at supporting global peace, prosperity and friendship: the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilisation Initiative. The presentations were followed by contributions from Robert Griffiths of the Communist Party of Britain; Ella Rule of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist); Andy Brooks of the New Communist Party; Keith Bennett of Friends of Socialist China; and British scholars Martin Albrow, Frances Wood and Martin Jacques. The event concluded with a wide-ranging discussion, to which Carlos Martinez and Francisco Dominguez both contributed on behalf of Friends of Socialist China.

We publish below the report of the syposium from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK, along with Keith Bennett’s speech and Carlos Martinez’s remarks.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds a Symposium on “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”

On 22 August 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a symposium themed “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”, which was attended by representatives of various political parties and people from different sectors in the UK. At the symposium, H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang, Minister Zhao Fei, Minister Wang Qi and other senior diplomats at the Embassy introduced the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building and the important contributions made by the CPC to building a community with a shared future for mankind. Participants from the British side made remarks respectively, sharing their understanding of the tenets and significance of the relevant philosophies of the CPC.

Ambassador Zheng pointed out that to understand China, one must understand the CPC. The key to China’s great achievements to date lies fundamentally in the strong leadership of the CPC and its Party building. Since the 18th Party Congress, the Chinese communists with General Secretary Xi Jinping as their chief representative, have attached great importance to the innovation of Party building on practical, theoretical, institutional and other aspects, and formed the important thought of General Secretary Xi Jinping on Party building.

This important thought is a scientific summary of the theoretical development and practical experience of Party building in the new era. It represents a major theoretical innovation that answers the call for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It has given sensible answers to what kind of Marxist party exercising long-term governance we should develop in the new era, and how we should go about achieving it. This innovation has enabled the CPC to always remain at the forefront of the times, brimming with vigour and vitality.

Ambassador Zheng said that the CPC has led the Chinese people in a concerted effort to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal, to embark on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advance towards the Second Centenary Goal, and to promote the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation.

Continue reading Chinese Embassy symposium: The CPC and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind

Report: Online launch of The East is Still Red

On Sunday 13 August 2023, Friends of Socialist China, the International Manifesto Group, Midwestern Marx and Critical Theory Workshop jointly held an online book launch for Carlos Martinez’s The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century.

Speakers included Carlos Martinez, Ben Chacko (editor of the Morning Star), Chen Weihua (China Daily EU bureau chief), Amanda Yee (writer and podcaster), Dan Kovalik (author of NICARAGUA: A History of US Intervention and Resistance), Sara Flounders (author of SANCTIONS – A Wrecking Ball in a Global Economy) and Charles Xu of Qiao Collective. The event was chaired by Professor Radhika Desai.

In Carlos’s introduction, he focused on debunking the notion that China has become an imperialist country, describing this as a powerfully demobilising idea at a time when we should be uniting the broadest possible forces against the US-led New Cold War. Carlos posed the following questions about China: Does it seek to dominate foreign markets, land, labour and resources? Does it use its economic strength to dictate policy or assert hegemony over poorer countries? Does it go to war in pursuit of its economic interests? Does it engage in regime change, destabilisation, unilateral sanctions and economic coercion, in pursuit of its economic interests?

Carlos argued that the answer to all these questions is a resounding no. He pointed out that China has not been involved in a war in over four decades, and does not have a global infrastructure of military bases or troop deployments. He also pointed out that China does not engage in regime change, destabilisation or unilateral sanctions, and has never used its economic strength to dictate policy or assert hegemony over poorer countries. He contrasted this with the record of the US and its allies – a record of military, economic and political imperialism.

Ben Chacko pointed out that it is crucial to develop a better understanding of China at the current time, in the context of rising US hostility and an emerging New Cold War. Highlighting the Biden regime’s extreme inconsistency in its China policy – on the one hand saying that it wants a cooperative relationship, and on the other hand undermining the One China Principle and escalating attempts at containment and encirclement – Ben noted that the US isn’t at all sure of its ability to actually win a Cold War against China. As such, it is making preparations for a potential hot war on China, which would clearly be disastrous for humanity.

Continue reading Report: Online launch of The East is Still Red

Online book launch: The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century

Date Sunday 13 August
Time4pm Britain / 11am US Eastern / 8am US Pacific / 11pm China

The new book by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century, has been published by Praxis Press. It is available to buy on the Praxis Press website in paperback and ePub forms.

The book provides a concise, deeply researched and well argued account that China’s remarkable rise can only be understood by acknowledging its socialist past, present and future. Read details and testimonials for the book.

On Sunday 13 August 2023 (11am US Eastern / 4pm Britain / 8am US Pacific / 11pm China), there will be an online book launch, jointly organized by Friends of Socialist China, International Manifesto Group, Critical Theory Workshop and Midwestern Marx.

Speakers

Carlos Martinez is an independent researcher and political activist from London, Britain. He is the author of The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century (2023), No Great Wall: On the Continuities of the Chinese Revolution (2022), and The End of the Beginning: Lessons of the Soviet Collapse (2019). He is a co-editor of Friends of Socialist China and has blogged for many years at Invent the Future.

Dan Kovalik graduated from Columbia Law School in 1993, and currently teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of NICARAGUA: A History of US Intervention and Resistance (2023) and The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil (2019), which includes a Foreward by Oliver Stone. He served as in-house counsel for the United Steelworkers for 26 years. Kovalik has been traveling to Nicaragua since 1987 and has been a friend of Nicaragua and the Sandinista Revolution since that time. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post, Counterpunch and RT News, and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects.

Sara Flounders is a longstanding political activist and author based in New York City. She is a Contributing Editor of Workers World Newspaper and a leader of the United National Antiwar Coalition, the International Action Center and the SanctionsKill Campaign. She is the co-author and editor of numerous books, including Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China and the US (co-authored with Lee SiuHin) and recently released: SANCTIONS – A Wrecking Ball in a Global Economy.

Chen Weihua is the EU bureau chief of China Daily, having previously served as chief Washington correspondent and deputy editor of the US edition of China Daily.

Amanda Yee is the host of Radio Free Amanda, a podcast focused on politics and media criticism from an anti-imperialist perspective.

Ben Chacko is editor of the Morning Star, a post he has held since 2015. The Morning Star is the only English-language socialist daily newspaper in the world.

Qiao Collective is a Chinese diaspora media collective that aims to challenge rising U.S. aggression towards the People’s Republic of China and to equip the U.S. anti-war movement with the tools and analysis to better combat the stoking of a New Cold War conflict with China.

Moderator – Radhika Desai is Professor at the Department of Political Studies. She is the Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the convenor of the International Manifesto Group. Her books include Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy (2023), 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.

Webinar: US anti-China propaganda, a prelude to war

Date Wednesday 28 June
Time8pm US Eastern / 5pm US Pacific
VenueZoom

SPEAKERS

  • Lee Siu Hin – China-US Solidarity Network
  • Carlos Martinez – Author: The East Is Still Red
  • Sara Flounders – International Action Center
  • Arjae Red – Workers World Party

Even as the war in Ukraine rages, the US has increased its aggression towards China including increasing its military presence around China, provocations over Taiwan, heightened propaganda on Xinjiang, and claims of a Chinese spy base in Cuba. Does Blinken’s trip to China mean any change in these war threats?

Recently two US antiwar activists have returned from a trip to China.  Hear from these antiwar activists and from others presently in China about the real situation in the country. Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez will be introducing his new book The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century.

Video: ‘The East is Still Red’ launched in London

On Tuesday 6 June 2023, at Marx Memorial Library in London, we held a launch event for Carlos Martinez’s book The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century. Aside from Carlos, the meeting was addressed by Her Excellency Rocío Maneiro González (Venezuelan ambassador to the UK), Danny Haiphong, Roger McKenzie and Jenny Clegg, and was chaired by Iris Yau.

Carlos opened the session by discussing his purpose in writing the book. He stated that the two key motivations were: to oppose the propaganda war on China such that people’s consent isn’t manufactured for the West’s escalating campaign of containment and encirclement; and to contribute to building understanding of Chinese socialism. Describing China’s extraordinary achievements in the realms of poverty alleviation, green energy development, tackling Covid, and promoting a peaceful, multipolar world order, Carlos questioned why people on the left would want to ascribe such achievements to capitalism. In spite of the introduction of market elements to China’s economy, and its integration into global value chains, the working people led by the Communist Party maintain political power. This is the ‘secret’ of China’s incredible progress and the continuing improvement of people’s living standards.

Roger McKenzie, international editor of the Morning Star, discussed the racist ideology that forms a backdrop to the propaganda war on China and the West’s attempts to disrupt growing economic and political links between the countries of the Global South. Roger further talked about the inspiration the developing world is drawing from China – a country that has directed such massive resources towards improving people’s living standards, which is demonstrating in practice a clear alternative to ‘Washington Consensus’ neoliberalism.

Rocío Maneiro, who was Venezuela’s ambassador to China from 2004 until 2011, and who accompanied Hugo Chávez on his trips to China in that period, described living through a period in which the international balance of power shifted from West to East, principally due to the multipolar strategy promoted by China. Speaking as a representative of Venezuela – a country which continues to suffer due to the sanctions, destabilisation and coercion applied by the Western powers – Rocío stated that China’s international policy is based on equality, on win-win relations, on peaceful cooperation and a collective vision of a prosperous future for humanity. She concluded that, after reading The East is Still Red, “it is almost impossible to describe socialism as a failed political system.”

Danny Haiphong – a popular broadcaster, journalist and co-editor of Friends of Socialist China – focussed on the multipolar project which lies at the heart of China’s foreign policy. The US’s concern with China, Danny pointed out, is not simply about economic factors or the idea that China is becoming economically powerful; more fundamental is that China’s foreign policy – informed by its socialist political system – is offering the global majority a new and far more democratic model of international relations. The Belt and Road Initiative, the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and other bodies are changing the landscape of international cooperation; are bringing rapid development to the Global South and allowing them to assert their sovereignty and pursue their own development model. This shift constitutes an existential threat to the US-led imperialist world system.

Speaking by Zoom, Jenny Clegg – a longstanding China expert, academic and peace activist – discussed the relentless sinophobic propaganda that accompanies the escalating New Cold War. This propaganda cuts people off from understanding not only China’s internal dynamics but the multipolar project that it pursues. Multipolarity is already opening up space for sovereign development and cooperation in the Global South, and indeed is opening up new paths to socialism, but people in the West find themselves unable to understand and engage with these processes. As long as this is the case, the Western left will continue to struggle to develop its own role in the global struggle against imperialism and for socialism.

The speeches were followed by a lively discussion and Q&A session.

The video stream of the event, hosted by Danny Haiphong, is embedded below.

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

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

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

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

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

Book launch: The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century

Date Tuesday 6 June
Time7pm Britain / 2pm US Eastern / 11am US Pacific
VenueMarx Memorial Library
London EC1R 0DU
And Zoom

The new book by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century, has been published by Praxis Press. It is currently available to buy on the Praxis Press website in paperback and ePub forms, and will be available more widely from early June.

The book provides a concise, deeply researched and well argued account that China’s remarkable rise can only be understood by acknowledging its socialist past, present and future. Read details and testimonials for the book.

On Tuesday 6 June 2023, at 7pm (Britain), we will be holding a launch for the book, in-person at London’s Marx Memorial Library and online (Zoom and YouTube).

SPEAKERS

  • Carlos Martinez – author
  • Danny Haiphong – author, journalist and broadcaster
  • Rocio Maneiro González – Venezuelan ambassador to the UK
  • Roger McKenzie – International editor, Morning Star
  • Jenny Clegg – author and peace activist
  • Chair: Iris Yau

Videos: The Counter-Summit for Democracy

On 2 April 2023, Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group co-hosted a powerful and successful Counter-Summit for Democracy, a response to the US-sponsored so-called Summit for Democracy held a few days earlier.

The participants at this counter-summit exposed the hegemonic reality behind the US’s talk of a ‘rules-based world order’; explored alternative models of democracy; denounced US-led attempts at ‘decoupling’ and incitement of division; promoted an emerging multipolar, multilateral model of international relations; and called for for global cooperation to solve the vast problems collectively faced by humanity.

The videos from the event are embedded below.

Full event stream
Carlos Martinez: the ‘democracies vs autocracies’ narrative is part of an imperialist propaganda war
Margaret Kimberley: democracy and imperialism are antithetical
Lowkey: the West’s record of genocidal war speaks to its commitment to human rights
Luna Oi: the US working class and oppressed groups suffer systematic abuse of their human rights
Carlos Ron: Latin Americans understand very well that the US has no respect for our sovereignty
Pawel Wargan: the antidote to this brutal capitalist democracy is popular, socialist democracy
Calla Walsh: the ‘democratic’ US is suffocating Cuba because of its socialist democracy
Ju-Hyun Park: Build solidarity with Korea’s anti-imperialist struggle
Mohammad Marandi: The West is a declining empire
Ben Norton: participant list shows that the Summit for Democracy is really a Summit for Hypocrisy

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)
  • Luna Oi (Vietnamese blogger and broadcaster)
  • Victor Gao (Chair Professor, Soochow University)
  • Margaret Kimberley (Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report)
  • Lowkey (Musician and activist / Journalist with MintPress News)
  • Carlos Ron (Venezuelan vice-minister / President of the Instituto Simón Bolívar)
  • Ben Norton (Editor, Geopolitical Economy Report)
  • Pawel Wargan (Coordinator of the International Secretariat, Progressive International)
  • Ju-Hyun Park (Organizer and writer with the Nodutdol collective)
  • Calla Walsh (Co-Chair of the National Network on Cuba)

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.