Lowkey and Ben Norton on the end of US hegemony and the rise of BRICS

In this episode of The Watchdog (a MintPress News podcast hosted by British-Iraqi political analyst and hip-hop artist Lowkey), Lowkey interviews Ben Norton about the significance of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in relation to the decline of US-led imperialism and the emergence of a multipolar world.

The two explain the dimensions and purpose of BRICS and the significance of its proposed expansion to include Iran and Argentina, among others. Ben mentions Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1997 book The Grand Chessboard, in which Brzezinski urges US policymakers to do everything possible to prevent the possibility of a China-Russia-Iran alliance in opposition to US hegemony. With the growing influence of multilateral organizations of the Global South such as BRICS, the SCO, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and others, Brzezinski’s nightmares are being turned into reality.

Lowkey and Ben discuss the escalating New Cold War, in which the US is forcing countries around the world to pick between “the West or the rest”. The US is surprised to find that many countries are unwilling to align themselves exclusively with the West – they want to continue having mutually-advantageous relations with China and they are refusing to join the unilateral sanctions on Russia. Indeed, for developing countries, China and Russia are better and more reliable partners than the West: they don’t mandate a neoliberal economic model, they don’t force privatisation, they don’t impose crippling debt conditions, and they don’t compromise other countries’ sovereignty.

Ben highlights China’s economic successes under its model of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, noting that with over 40 percent of GDP controlled by state-owned enterprises, the major banks owned by the state, all land owned by the state, and the state closely regulating the overall economy, China is showing the world that neoliberalism is by no means inevitable or indeed desirable.

The two conclude that the New Cold War is very unlikely to work in the US’s favor; that BRICS and others are opening up an important space for sovereign development around the world; that dollar hegemony is under significant threat; and that developing countries in particular stand to benefit a great deal from an emerging multipolarity.

The video is embedded below.

China and Cuba: “faithful friends with unbreakable ties”

The special friendship between socialist China and socialist Cuba was underlined in an August 23 video call between Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and Deputy Foreign Minister Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo. 

Comrade Xie pointed out that China and Cuba are “faithful friends with unbreakable ties, and tested friends devoted to each other and as close as brothers.” He observed that they “have forged ahead hand in hand on the path of building socialism with their own characteristics, supported each other on issues concerning respective core interests, and collaborated closely on international and regional issues, setting a good example of sincerity and mutual support between developing countries and solidarity and cooperation between socialist countries.”

China, he continued, “always views and develops the special friendly relations between the two parties and the two countries from a strategic and overall perspective, and always places China-Cuba relations as special in its overall diplomacy.”

For his part, Comrade Rodriguez thanked the Chinese side for extending condolences and providing emergency humanitarian assistance to Cuba right after the explosions at an oil storage facility in Cuba recently. He stressed that Cuba and China are good friends, good comrades and good brothers, with the two parties and two countries enjoying special friendly relations.

The below report was originally carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On August 23, 2022, Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo held political consultation between Chinese and Cuban Foreign Ministries via video link. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on China-Cuba relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

Xie Feng said that Cuba is the first country in the western hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with New China and has been taking the lead in developing relations with China in the Latin American region. China and Cuba are faithful friends with unbreakable ties, and tested friends devoted to each other and as close as brothers. Over the past 60 plus years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, in the face of the evolving international landscape, China and Cuba have forged ahead hand in hand on the path of building socialism with their own characteristics, supported each other on issues concerning respective core interests, and collaborated closely on international and regional issues, setting a good example of sincerity and mutual support between developing countries and solidarity and cooperation between socialist countries.

Xie Feng said that President Xi Jinping had twice conversations with President Miguel Diaz-Canel last year, charting the course for the relations between the two parties and between the two countries. China always views and develops the special friendly relations between the two parties and the two countries from a strategic and overall perspective, and always places China-Cuba relations as special in its overall diplomacy. China is unswervingly committed to deepening the friendship that devotes to each other, to carrying out mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, and to being a partner for reform and development. The Chinese side highly appreciates Cuba’s firm support for China on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang and human rights, among others, and will, as always, support Cuba in its just struggle to safeguard sovereignty and against interference. For the next stage, the two sides should follow the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, deepen political mutual trust, advance practical cooperation, strengthen multilateral coordination, and constantly consolidate and develop the special friendly relations between China and Cuba.

Xie Feng briefed the Cuban side on the great significance of the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and elaborated on the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI). He said that China is ready to work with Cuba to step up exchanges of experience in party governance and state administration, jointly promote global development, safeguard world peace and tranquility, advance the socialist cause together, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Rodríguez thanked the Chinese side for extending condolences and providing emergency humanitarian assistance to Cuba right after the explosions at an oil storage facility in Cuba recently. He stressed that Cuba and China are good friends, good comrades and good brothers, with the two parties and two countries enjoying special friendly relations. He sincerely wishes othe 20th National Congress of the CPC a successful convening. Rodríguez said that under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, Cuba and China have continuously deepened political mutual trust and maintained close collaboration on international and multilateral occasions over the past years. Cuba always prioritizes Cuba-China relations in its foreign relations, and stands ready to work with China to follow the course charted by the top leaders of the two parties and two countries, further strengthen high-level exchanges, join hands to advance the Belt and Road cooperation, jointly promote the implementation of the GDI and the GSI, unswervingly deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and constantly push for new progress in Cuba-China relations.

Rodríguez reiterated that Cuba firmly supports the one-China principle, unconditionally supports China on the Taiwan question, strongly condemns any acts that attempt to undermine China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and firmly opposes interference by external forces.

Xie Feng stressed that non-interference in internal affairs is a “golden rule” that must be abided by in state-to-state exchanges and the essential safeguards for the very survival of developing countries. China’s firm countermeasures are a legitimate, necessary, and legal response to Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. They are aimed at stopping the United States’ attempt to use Taiwan to contain China, shattering the Taiwan authorities’ illusion to pursue Taiwan independence by soliciting the support of the United States, and safeguarding China’s core interests. By so doing, China is also upholding the principles of international law, the basic norms governing international relations and the international order, maintaining regional peace and stability, and safeguarding the common interests of developing countries.

Will the US push on Taiwan determine Canada’s Indo-Pacific policy?

In the following article, originally carried by The Canada Files, William Ging Wee Dere analyses the fallout from Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, and the continued provocations by the United States, joined by a number of its junior imperialist partners, with particular reference to the impact on different political and economic circles in Canada.

William notes that just days before the Pelosi visit, a Taiwanese delegation was in the Canadian capital Ottawa, lobbying for support for its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade deal.

However, he notes that divisions are opening up within the Canadian ruling circles – for example, some corporations were not happy with having to dismantle Huawei equipment for ideological reasons, disguised as security concerns, whereas the military industrial complex sees confronting China as a way to make billions of dollars.

“Within the ruling class,” he argues, “there are some with a bit of backbone to stand up to the US Cold War mentality against China.” Unfortunately, this does not include the spineless Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

For their part, the writer concludes: “Anti-imperialists are pushing for an independent Canadian policy free from the US domination and in the interest of the Canadian people. It is in our interest to engage with China in a normal and respectful manner without name-calling and prejudice.”

William Ging Wee Dere is the author of ‘Being Chinese in Canada, The Struggle for Identity, Redress and Belonging.’ He was a leading activist in the two-decade movement for redress of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia:

“The Chinese head tax was enacted to restrict immigration after Chinese labour was no longer needed to build the Canadian Pacific Railway. Between 1885 and 1923, Chinese immigrants had to pay a head tax to enter Canada. The tax was levied under the Chinese Immigration Act (1885). It was the first legislation in Canadian history to exclude immigration on the basis of ethnic background. With few exceptions, Chinese people had to pay at least $50 to come to Canada. The tax was later raised to $100, then to $500. During the 38 years the tax was in effect, around 82,000 Chinese immigrants paid nearly $23 million in tax. The head tax was removed with the passing of the Chinese Immigration Act in 1923. Also known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, it banned all Chinese immigrants until its repeal in 1947. In 2006, the federal government apologized for the head tax and its other racist immigration policies targeting Chinese people.”

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s provocative and reckless middle of the night visit (Aug 2) to Taiwan has shifted the status quo of the island province to Beijing’s advantage. Turning a bad thing into a good thing: the dialectical method often used by Mao Zedong during the Chinese revolution, is how the Chinese reacted to Pelosi’s 17-hour trip to Taiwan. The People’s Liberation Army used this opportunity to test out their equipment and resources in a war game situation, since, unlike the US, Canada and other Western powers, China has not had any actual experience in warlike combat in over 40 years.

The Chinese people now fully understand that the US and its Western allies cannot be trusted to maintain the One-China policy, internationally recognized since 1971 by the United Nations and the global community including Canada and the US. The US is back-sliding on the issue of Taiwan independence, with its economic and military deals and the many political delegations to the island since the Trump administration. Activities by both US political parties are egging on Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party towards independence under the American sphere of influence.

Only 12 days after Pelosi’s visit, another delegation of US lawmakers visited Taiwan on Aug 14. The 5-member delegation, led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, will meet President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials to discuss U.S.-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade, investment among other issues. Other Western countries from the European Union are lining up for their pilgrimage to Taiwan. Canada has a trade office in Taipei. Will Canada follow suit with a delegation to the island and will Canada continue to provoke China by sending its frigates through the Taiwan Strait?

China wants peaceful reunification with Taiwan

China has accelerated its pace for a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland. The Chinese White Paper on Taiwan was released on August 10, 2022. Observers noted the conciliatory tone of the Paper which says in part,

“We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification. But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures. This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities. In no way does it target our fellow Chinese in Taiwan. Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances.”

Canada responded in its usual wish-washy approach to international affairs by tailing behind the US. With the other countries in the G-7, it issued a statement condemning China’s military exercises around Taiwan following the Pelosi visit. At the same time, without embarrassment, Canada sent two naval frigates and an undisclosed number of military personnel to the Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) war games under the US command.

Taiwan separatists on the Offensive

Days before Pelosi’s visit to Taipei, a legislative delegation from Taiwan’s ruling DPP visited Ottawa to gain support for its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Taiwan applied to join the trade pact September 2021, less than a week after China’s application. Taiwan is campaigning to break out of its diplomatic isolation in trying to join various international organizations. China and Taiwan previously worked out an agreement for the island province to join the World Trade Organization under the name of Chinese Taipei. It is not certain that such a compromise can be reached again now that Western countries are more aggressive in pushing for Taiwan separation. 

This July, Chiu Chih-wei headed the Taiwanese delegation which met with Liberal MP Judy Sgro, chair of the Canada Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group and Conservative MP Michael Cooper who promised to revive his private member’s bill to support Taiwanese membership in international organizations. Chiu is taking this occasion to promote Canada-Taiwan relations: “Given the anti-Chinese sentiments [in the West], we have to use that macro environment for momentum.”

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

Meanwhile, there appears to be division within the Canadian economic, political, military and security establishment on how to deal with China and the developing multi-polar international world order. The government has enlisted a coterie of academics, economic and business experts as an Advisory Committee to work out a made-in-Canada policy on the Indo-Pacific region. Apparently, from a leaked draft,  the division or the hang-up is whether China should be considered as a strategic threat in the new policy statement.

Countries in the G7 and Canada’s western allies have developed Indo-Pacific strategies much in line with the American policy that came out in February 2022. The American strategy uses loaded words such as, “economic coercion,” “bullying,” and “harmful behaviour” to describe China’s involvement in the Indo-Pacific region and clearly identified China as an existential threat.

A Globe & Mail article gave prominent space to Peter Jennings, former head of the weapons manufacturers financed Australian Strategic Policy Institute as he lambasted Canada for not taking an aggressive enough position on China. He said that Canada is not being taken as a serious player by the “big boys” since it was not invited to join the QUAD (a security alliance of the US, India, Japan, and Australia), or the military AUKUS alliance (containing the UK, and again the US, and Australia).

Countering Jennings, the G&M article attributed to Stephen Nagy, a senior associate professor of politics and international studies at Japan’s International Christian University as saying that countries in the Indo-Pacific region would want Canada to distinguish itself from the U.S. in its approach. “I think the last thing they want is something that seems like it’s just a carbon copy of a U.S. strategy, because they would like to see Canada as an independent actor that can bring value to the region,” Nagy said. “It has to be built on an engagement process that recognizes the needs of the region, and how they reflect Canadian interests,” including mitigating climate change, he added.

Nagy is also a Senior Fellow of the McDonald-Laurier Institute. Although Nagy seems to sound sensible here, the MLI has supported the independence of Taiwan. The Canada Files Editor-in-Chief, Aidan Jonah, exposed that the MLI receives financing from the Taiwan area government and it essentially acts as the lobby for the DPP in Canada.

Divisions on Canada’s approach to China

This division in the draft of the Indo-Pacific Strategy reflects the divisions within Canada’s ruling class. There are those that wish to continue engaging in business with China. Witness the years-long delay on Canada’s decision on banning Huawei. Corporations like Bell and Telus, likely to lose millions in hardware replacement, were not happy to dismantle Huawei equipment for ideological reasons under the guise of security. They will likely ask Ottawa for compensation.

Lurking behind the scenes are the security and military establishment who are pushing the government to take a hardline towards China. Then, there is the military-industrial complex that stands to make billions by producing weapons, such as the F-35 jet fighters and the new frigate program, to confront China.  

Within the ruling class there are some with a bit of backbone to stand up to the US Cold War mentality against China. This includes politicians like former PM Jean Chrétien and ex-cabinet minister and former Royal Bank chief economist, John McCallum, among others, who campaigned for the release of Meng Wanzhou, Hauwei’s CFO. This push was against  having Canada just follow the bidding of the US in its war to cripple Huawei, the world leader in 5G and 6G technology. Another former cabinet minister who advocates engagement with China is Pierre Pettigrew, a member of the Advisory Committee and who is also chair of the board of the Asia-Pacific Foundation, which promotes closer trade ties with China.

However, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed the hawkish Jody Thomas, formerly deputy minister of defence, as his new National Security Advisor in January 2022. She replaced another anti-China hawk, Vincent Rigby, who was in the job for less than two years. Rigby still argues that “the China threat has to be acknowledged” and that an Indo-Pacific Strategy that “doesn’t deal with China will undermine our credibility.” Thomas, also, does not appear to be a fan of engagement with China. In true aggressive cold war mindset, she pushes for the deployment of the Canadian navy to contain China, “The deployment of the Navy in particular to the South China Sea is one of the messages that can be sent.” As deputy defence minister, Thomas pushed alongside Five Eyes “allies” such as the US, for the cancellation of the joint winter survival training of the Canadian Armed Forces with China’s People’s Liberation Army in 2019. The training was supported by Global Affairs Canada but the Canadian military was not able to withstand the weight of the US which “urged” the cancellation. 

An indication of the belligerent nature of Canada’s Department of National Defence is the latest pronouncement by Minister Anita Anand to continue to deploy two navy frigates under Operation Projection and Operation Neon in the Indo-Pacific waters to menace the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea over US instigated sanctions. 

Mélanie Joly, minister of foreign affairs, outlined what she would like to see in an Indo-Pacific Strategy, “Canada is actively investing in the Indo-Pacific region to support a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific that contributes to a rules-based international order.” This much bandied about phrase, “rules-based international order,” has replaced the American “liberal international order.” It gives whoever says it a tone of moral superiority, but therules are never spelled out. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan province violated the international rules of sovereignty and territorial integrity, yet according to the West, the rules are what the Americans define them to be. Canada routinely sends its frigates through the Taiwan Strait which China claims to be its territorial waters, but Joly says they are “international waters.” Joly’s assertion is not based on any international rules *or decisions?*.

On the far right of the Canadian spectrum are other hawkish anti-China forces. They are pushing the Taiwan independence pressure point to try and destabilize China. These forces are members of the Conservative party; academics in the Munk School of Global Affairs, whose director Janice Gross Stein, is co-chair of the Advisory Committee; polemicists in right wing organizations like the McDonald-Laurier Institute; and agit/prop specialists of the various anti-China journalists in prominent national mainstream media.

Using their platform in the House of Commons: former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, aspiring leader Pierre Poilievre, and MP’s like Michael Cooper are pushing for a de-facto recognition of Taiwan independence.  Cooper spoke about his proposed private member’s bill in a tweet, where he claimed that “Canada cannot fully support #Taiwan on the world stage until we recognize it at home. It’s time for Canadian institutions & corporations to stop calling Taiwan a province of China.”

These various forces in the Canadian political establishment are competing to set Canada’s policies in the Indo-Pacific, and its relationship with the People’s Republic of China for decades to come. Anti-imperialists are pushing for an independent Canadian policy free from the US domination and in the interest of the Canadian people. It is in our interest to engage with China in a normal and respectful manner without name-calling and prejudice. 

Expanding China-Africa friendship and cooperation

On August 18, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired, by video link from Beijing, the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-Up Actions of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

At this meeting, Wang announced that China is forgiving 23 interest-free loans for 17 African nations. Writing on Multipolarista, the website he edits, Benjamin Norton notes:

“This is in addition to China’s cancellation of more than $3.4 billion in debt and restructuring of around $15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. While Beijing has a repeated history of forgiving loans like this, Western governments have made baseless, politically motivated accusations that China uses ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ in the Global South.”

Wang Yi’s speech contained a wealth of detail on the progress in China-Africa cooperation since the ministerial meeting was held last November, including that:

  • China has completed major projects in Senegal, Kenya, Cameroon and Egypt.
  • Provided emergency food assistance to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.
  • Provided 189 million doses of anti-Covid vaccines to 27 African countries, with joint production capacity in Africa having now reached around 400 million doses.
  • Undertaken resilient and sustainable development initiatives in Zambia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mozambique.

Presenting a number of proposals to develop the cooperation still further, Wang welcomed the initiative by Tanzania and Zambia to restart the Tazara railway, a huge project built by China in the 1970s to help those countries get out from the vice-like economic grip exercised by the countries to their south that were still under white racist and colonial rule.

On August 22, the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported that, “the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation has been appointed to carry out a feasibility study on the project, the Chinese embassy in Zambia announced.

“‘China is making every effort to prepare for the reactivation of the railway upon Zambian and Tanzanian request again,’ Chinese ambassador to Lusaka Du Xiaohui said, adding that Beijing will engage the Zambian and Tanzanian governments to explore ways to make Tazara profitable.”

Noting that some 70 Chinese workers and engineers sacrificed their lives in the course of building the railway, the newspaper further reported that, on August 10, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema commissioned a memorial park in their honour in Chongwe, near to the national capital, Lusaka.

We reprint below the article by Benjamin Norton and the full text of Minister Wang Yi’s speech. They were originally carried respectively by Multipolarista and the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China forgives 23 loans for 17 African countries, expands ‘win-win’ trade and infrastructure projects

The Chinese government has announced that it is forgiving 23 interest-free loans for 17 African nations, while pledging to deepen its collaboration with the continent.

This is in addition to China’s cancellation of more than $3.4 billion in debt and restructuring of around $15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019.

While Beijing has a repeated history of forgiving loans like this, Western governments have made baseless, politically motivated accusations that China uses “debt-trap diplomacy” in the Global South.

Continue reading Expanding China-Africa friendship and cooperation

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

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China’s agenda: a multipolar world order with shared security and prosperity

This insightful article by CGTN reporter Zhou Jiaxin, first published in the Morning Star, analyses the increasingly hostile rhetoric employed by US politicians in relation to China – in particular that China is undermining the “rules-based international order”. Such rhetoric provides a cloak for expanding NATO’s scope to the Pacific and for developing anti-China military alliances such as AUKUS and the Quad. Zhou Jiaxin contrasts the aggressive actions of the US and its allies with China’s consistent multilateralism, its support for organisations such as BRICS, its emphasis on cooperation, and its role in “counterbalancing and reshaping the world into one that is no longer dominated by only Western powers”.

When USAF C-17 took off from Kabul International Airport last year, shocking videos showed people plunging to their deaths as hundreds of Afghans tried to cling onto the final departing flight. It marked the bloody and chaotic end to the US’s longest war overseas.

Almost a year later, the world order remains threatened by what Beijing calls the politics of “small circles” — and this is creating confrontation and insecurity.

“Some countries are now seeking absolute security via expansion of military alliances to force other countries to take sides and create bloc confrontation, to overlook other countries’ interests and rights and seek supremacy,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the latest Brics summit, attended by major developing countries Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.

The message from Beijing closely follows rhetoric from Moscow that has described six rounds of Nato eastward expansion as a threat amid Ukraine’s anticipated accession to the military bloc.

Continue reading China’s agenda: a multipolar world order with shared security and prosperity

Paul Keating: A reckless and provocative visit by Pelosi to Taiwan

With US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reported plan to visit Taiwan in August rapidly spiraling into potentially the most serious crisis in China/US relations in decades, former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating has aptly commented: “It is hard to imagine a more reckless and provocative act.”

His short and succinct statement, which we reproduce below from the Australian website Pearls and Irritations, also notes that: “A visit by Pelosi would be unprecedented – foolish, dangerous and unnecessary to any cause other than her own.”

Paul Keating served as Prime Minister of Australia from 1991-96. Although not considered to be in any sense on the left of the Australian Labor Party (itself by all accounts a somewhat endangered species these days), as an Australian conscious of his Irish heritage, he was in favour of his country severing ties with the British monarchy and becoming a republic. He was equally conscious that Australia was part of the vast and dynamic Asia Pacific region, not an offshore island of Western Europe, and he strongly pushed for the development of relations with such regional powers as China and Indonesia. Certainly he puts the current Australian Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to shame.

Keating has the admirable quality of not mincing his words. In January he described remarks by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, that China might engage in military aggression in the Pacific as, “nothing short of demented. Not simply irrational, demented.” He continued: “The reality is Britain does not add up to a row of beans when it comes to East Asia… Britain suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation… Truss would do us all a favour by hightailing it back to her collapsing, disreputable government, leaving Australia to find its own way in Asia.”

With, on present polling, Ms Truss likely to be installed as the next British Prime Minister before the end of summer, republication of Keating’s January 23 statement in Pearls and Irritations is timely.

When the United States has a divided foreign policy on an issue of such grave importance, the world begins a slide onto very thin ice.

US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi – the third-ranked figure in the American hierarchy – is reported to be planning a visit to Taiwan, despite the urging of Administration officials from her own party. It is hard to imagine a more reckless and provocative act.

Across the political spectrum, no observer of the cross-straits relationship between China and Taiwan doubts that such a visit by the Speaker of the American Congress may degenerate into military hostilities.

If the situation is misjudged or mishandled, the outcome for the security, prosperity and order of the region and the world (and above all for Taiwan) would be catastrophic.

A visit by Pelosi would be unprecedented – foolish, dangerous and unnecessary to any cause other than her own.

Over decades, countries like the United States and Australia have taken the only realistic option available on cross-straits relations. We encourage both sides to manage the situation in a way that ensures that the outcome for a peaceful resolution is always available.

But that requires a contribution from us – calm, clear and sensitive to the messages being sent. A visit by Pelosi would threaten to trash everything that has gone before.

When the United States has a divided foreign policy on an issue of such grave importance, the world begins a slide onto very thin ice.


Herald indulges UK Foreign Secretary’s demented remarks on China

Australia’s foreign and defence ministers are giving respectability to Britain’s lunge for old-time glory.

Remarks by the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that China could engage in military aggression in the Pacific, encouraged by Russia’s contingent moves against Ukraine, are nothing short of demented.

Not simply irrational, demented.

And this piece of nonsense by Truss commanded the front pages of The Sydney Morning Herald in a piece written by the press gallery’s most  celebrated beat-up merchant, Peter Hartcher.

Truss said such a move by China  ‘could not be ruled out’.

And on those fleeting words, Hartcher pounced, carrying the notion to the readership of the Herald — and the Melbourne Age — that China and Russia are working in concert, justifying the headline, that ‘China could follow Russia into war’.

The irresponsibility of the story and Hartcher’s writing of it is breathtaking.

But it is a measure of how far the Herald has sunk in accommodating Hartcher’s extreme and unworldly positions — especially as they relate to China.

The underlying story is the government’s desperate promotion of Britain as a strategic partner of Australia in a policy of containment of China.

The reality is Britain does not add up to a row of beans when it comes to East Asia. Britain took its main battle fleet out of East Asia in 1904 and finally packed it in with its ‘East of Suez’ policy in the 1970s. And it has never been back.

Britain suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation. But there they were at Admiralty House kidding the rest of us that their ‘co-operation’ added up to some viable policy.

Australia’s great Foreign ‘non minister’, Marise Payne, supported by the increasingly strident Defence Minister Peter Dutton, standing beside the British Foreign Secretary looking wistfully for Britain’s lost worlds of the 19th and 20th centuries. Really.

Truss would do us all a favour by hightailing it back to her collapsing, disreputable government, leaving Australia to find its own way in Asia.

Xi Jinping told the audience at Davos this week that ‘major economies should see the world as one community’.

Hardly the sort of sentiment that sits contemporaneously with someone about to spring an aggressive military action. A point perhaps way too subtle for the Herald.

Reports from Liu Jianchao’s visit to Nepal

Comrade Liu Jianchao, the newly-appointed Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, recently visited Nepal, his first overseas visit since assuming office. His visit followed closely on from a series of video meetings held with leading Nepalese politicians.

His first reported meetings on arrival in Kathmandu were with the Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is also President of the Nepali Congress Party, and Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka, Leader of the Nepali Congress. (The Nepali Congress is a social democratic party with a broadly similar historical trajectory to that of the Indian National Congress.)

Deuba said that Nepal-China friendship has a long history, and the Nepali Congress Party and the Nepali government have always adhered to a friendly policy toward China. He thanked China for providing important assistance for Nepal in fighting the epidemic, developing economy and improving people’s livelihood, and looked forward to strengthening friendly cooperation with China in various fields and building the Belt and Road initiative together for mutual benefits and win-win results. Nepal sees China as a trustworthy friend and firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and will not allow any force to use its territory for anti-China activities. For his part, Liu said that China has always viewed and developed China-Nepal relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and has maintained a consistent policy of friendship toward Nepal, maintaining and developing friendly and cooperative relations with all political parties in Nepal. China believes that developing friendly relations with China is also the consensus of all political parties in Nepal and the aspiration of the Nepali people.

Later in the visit, Liu met with Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Prior to becoming head of state, Bhandari was a long-term militant and then central leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist). She is also the widow of Madan Bhandari, the General Secretary of the CPN(UML), who died in a suspicious car accident in 1993.

In their meeting, Bhandari said, Nepal and China are good friends and brothers. The most important experience of maintaining the healthy and stable development of Nepal-China relations is that both sides have always respected each other and safeguarded our common interests. The Chinese side has never interfered in the internal affairs of Nepal, and has always opposed the practice of the strong bullying the weak. The Nepali side trusts China completely. She continued, China is an important development partner of Nepal, and has played a significant role in boosting Nepal’s development. When Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake in 2015, the Chinese side immediately lent a helping hand to help Nepal with disaster relief and reconstruction. Now Nepal has survived the huge losses of the earthquake. China’s selfless help for Nepal at the critical moment played a vital role. When the COVID-19 broke out, China once again offered precious help to Nepal. The Nepali people are deeply moved. In his response, Liu said, please rest assured that whenever Nepal is in difficulty, your Chinese brother over the Himalayas is always there for you.

Meetings with the leaders of Nepal’s communist movement also formed an important part of Liu’s visit. They included with KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), Prachanda, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center), Madhav Kumar Nepal, Chairman, and Jhala Nath Khanal, Senior Leader, of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist) – all four of whom are also former Prime Ministers – and Narayan Man Bijukchhe, President of the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party.

Welcoming Liu, Chairman Oli of the CPN(UML) said that Nepal and China are connected by mountains and rivers, and share the same destiny. The Nepali side appreciates the firm support of the Chinese side in Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and the selfless support for Nepal’s development and stability over a long time. Liu said that China resolutely supports Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, supports the Nepali people in choosing a social system and development path independently, and is willing to continue its support and help for Nepal’s economic and social development.

Comrade Prachanda said that Nepal sees China as a trustworthy friend and thanks China for giving a helping hand when needed by Nepal. Though the political parties in Nepal have different political views, they share a high degree of consensus on developing friendly relations with China, are all firmly committed to developing friendly relations with China, and will not allow any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities.

What was also significant was that the Chinese leader also visited and participated in poverty alleviation programmes supported by China as well as the grassroots units and activities of the communist parties.

On his way home, Liu also made a stop over in Singapore where he held meetings with leading members of the ruling People’s Action Party and government and participated in a dialogue with leading local scholars, including Kishore Mahbubani, author of the influential book, ‘Has China won? The Chinese challenge to American Primacy’.

The following reports first appeared on the website of the CPC International Department.

Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal and President of Nepali Congress Party Meets with Liu Jianchao

Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal and President of Nepali Congress Party met here today on the afternoon with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, who was on his visit to Nepal.

Deuba said, Nepal-China friendship has a long history, and the Nepali Congress Party and the Nepali government have always adhered to a friendly policy toward China. He thanked China for providing important assistance for Nepal in fighting the epidemic, developing economy and improving people’s livelihood, and looked forward to strengthening friendly cooperation with China in various fields and building the Belt and Road initiative together for mutual benefits and win-win results. Nepal sees China as a trustworthy friend and firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and will not allow any force to use its territory for anti-China activities. The Nepali Congress Party attaches great importance to developing friendly exchanges with the CPC, and looks forward to deepening exchanges and cooperation between the two Parties to push Nepal-China relations for in-depth development. Deuba wished the 20th CPC National Congress to be held in the second half of 2022 a complete success.

Liu said, China has always viewed and developed China-Nepal relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and has maintained a consistent policy of friendship toward Nepal, maintaining and developing friendly and cooperative relations with all political parties in Nepal. China believes that developing friendly relations with China is also the consensus of all political parties in Nepal and the aspiration of the Nepali people. The high-level political mutual trust between China and Nepal not only stems from the traditional friendship and extensive common interests between the two countries, but also cannot be separated from the important role played by political parties of both countries in bilateral relations. At a historical moment when the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century and the world is entering a period of turbulence and transformation, the CPC is willing to, together with the Nepali Congress Party, strengthen strategic communication, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, deepen exchanges and mutual learning, support each other on issues related to each other’s core interests and major concerns, implement the important consensus reached during General Secretary Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal in October 2019, and push China-Nepal strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity for constant development, so as to benefit the two countries and peoples.

Liu Jianchao presented Deuba with the English version of the fourth volume of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China”.


Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari Meets with Liu Jianchao

Bidya Devi Bhandari, Nepali President, met here today on the morning with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Bhandari welcomed Liu and his delegation, who were on a visit to Nepal, and asked Liu to convey her warm greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping. She said, Nepal and China enjoy an ever-lasting and long-standing friendship. President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Nepal in October 2019, bringing Nepal-China relations to new highs with constant new progress. Implementing the important consensus reached between both sides during the visit of President Xi Jinping is a goal that requires the joint efforts of both countries. Nepal hopes to push the construction of Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network for more fruitful results.

Bhandari said, Nepal and China are good friends and brothers. The most important experience of maintaining the healthy and stable development of Nepal-China relations is that both sides have always respected each other and safeguarded our common interests. The Chinese side has never interfered in the internal affairs of Nepal, and has always opposed the practice of the strong bullying the weak. The Nepali side trusts China completely. Nepal adheres to the one-China principle, and supports the Chinese side’s position on Taiwan and issues regarding Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. The Nepali side opposes interference and expansion in Nepal of any force, and by no means allows any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities.

Bhandari said, China is an important development partner of Nepal, and has played a significant role in boosting Nepal’s development. When Nepal was struck by a massive earthquake in 2015, the Chinese side immediately lent a helping hand to help Nepal with disaster relief and reconstruction. Now Nepal has survived the huge losses of the earthquake. China’s selfless help for Nepal at the critical moment played a vital role. When the COVID-19 broke out, China once again offered precious help to Nepal. The Nepali people are deeply moved.

Bhandari said, our world has yet to achieve full peace. China has made huge contributions to safeguarding world peace and development. China develops peaceful and friendly relations with all countries in the world on the basis of mutual respect, winning extensive support from the international community. The Nepali side again congratulates the CPC on its centenary, wishes greater development achievements of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC, and wishes the 20th CPC National Congress a complete success.

Liu conveyed President Xi Jinping’s warm greetings and best wishes to President Bhandari. Liu said, the main purpose for my visit is to implement the important consensus reached between President Xi Jinping and President Bhandari in an in-depth way, carry out friendly exchanges with all political parties of Nepal, and push bilateral relations for healthy and stable development. During the visit, I met leaders of the government and political parties of Nepal. I have gained three major impressions. The first is, though the political parties of Nepal have different political views, they all share a high degree of consensus of deepening China-Nepal friendship. The second is that China and Nepal are true friends with mutual support. Nepal firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and does not allow any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities. The Chinese side resolutely supports Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and in choosing a social system and development path suited to its national conditions. The third is that the two peoples share an ever-lasting friendship. Both sides have huge potential in mutually beneficial cooperation. The Chinese side will work with the Nepali side to resolutely promote the implementation of the consensus reached by the two heads of state.

Liu said, developing friendly relations with Nepal is China’s long-term policy that is open to all the political parties and people of Nepal. The Chinese side’s support and assistance for Nepal is truly for the good of Nepal and the Nepali people. The Chinese side is willing to continue to offer support and assistance to Nepal within its capacity in developing economy and improving people’s livelihood. Please rest assured that whenever Nepal is in difficulty, your Chinese brother over the Himalayas is always there for you.


KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and Former Prime Minister of Nepal, Meets with Liu Jianchao

KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and former Prime Minister of Nepal, met here today on the morning with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Oli welcomed Liu and his delegation, who were on a visit to Nepal, saying that Nepal and China are connected by mountains and rivers, and share the same destiny. Recent years have witnessed rapid development of Nepal-China relations. The Nepali side appreciates the firm support of the Chinese side in Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and the selfless support for Nepal’s development and stability over a long time. The Nepali side has always adopted a consistent policy towards issues concerning the core interests and major concerns of the Chinese side, has always upheld the one-China principle, and has never allowed any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities. The achievements and experience of the CPC over the past centenary is an important inspiration to Nepal and Nepal’s political parties. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) looks forward to strengthening exchange and cooperation with the CPC, and learning the successful experience in party building and state governance from the CPC. Oli wished the 20th CPC National Congress a complete success.

Liu thanked Oli for his contributions to the development of China-Nepal relations, saying that China and Nepal are close neighbors sharing an ever-lasting friendship. The Chinese side appreciates Nepal’s adherence to the one-China principle, and its firm support for China’s position on Taiwan, and issues related to China’s Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. China firmly adopts a long-term, strategic and solid policy towards Nepal. China resolutely supports Nepal’s efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, supports the Nepali people in choosing a social system and development path independently, and is willing to continue its support and help for Nepal’s economic and social development. At a historic moment when the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, and the world is entering a period of turbulence and transformation, China-Nepal relations assume more strategic significance. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Nepali side to implement the important consensus reached during General Secretary Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal in October 2019, and constantly push China-Nepal strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity to new highs. The CPC is willing to reinforce high-level exchanges and strategic communication with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and promote practical cooperation.


Prachanda, Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and Former Prime Minister of Nepal Meets with Liu Jianchao

Prachanda, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and former Prime Minister of Nepal met here today on the afternoon with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Prachanda welcomed Liu and the CPC delegation to visit Nepal, and said that Nepal and China are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. Nepal sees China as a trustworthy friend and thanks China for giving a helping hand when needed by Nepal. Though the political parties in Nepal have different political views, they share a high degree of consensus on developing friendly relations with China, are all firmly committed to developing friendly relations with China, and will not allow any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities. The Nepalese side supports strengthening Nepal-China friendship and cooperation, and accelerating the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, especially the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) admires the development achievements of the CPC in the past century and looks forward to deepening experience exchange and mutual learning between the two sides in party building and state governance, so as to contribute to in-depth development of Nepal-China relations. Prachanda wished the 20th CPC National Congress a complete success.

Liu appreciated Prachanda’s long-standing contributions to the development of China-Nepal relations, saying that the key to the long-term friendly relations between China and Nepal lies in mutual respect for each other’s core interests and major concerns. China’s friendly policy toward Nepal is a long-term policy, not a matter of expediency. China appreciates the Nepalese side for its firm support on issues related to China’s core interests, and will continue to support Nepal in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and in exploring a social system and development path suited to its national conditions. The friendly exchanges between the CPC and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) are an important bond in the relations between the two countries. In the new situation of accelerating changes unseen in a century and emerging international and regional challenges, the CPC is willing to strengthen high-level contacts and strategic communication with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center), deepen experience exchange and mutual learning in state governance and administration, jointly implement the important consensus reached between the two sides during General Secretary Xi Jinping’s visit to Nepal, and push China-Nepal strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity for constant development, so as to benefit the two countries and peoples.


Leaders of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist) Meet with Liu Jianchao

Madhav Kumar Nepal, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist) and former Prime Minister and Jhala Nath Khanal, the senior leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist) and former Prime Minister of Nepal met here today on the afternoon with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

The Nepali side said, the two countries and peoples have a history of friendly exchanges spanning thousands of years. Nepal thanks the Chinese side for helping Nepal fight the epidemic, develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood. Nepal’s friendly policy towards China is consistent and Nepal will not allow any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities. The Nepali side is willing to further strengthen the Belt and Road cooperation with China and support the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by the Chinese side. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist) hopes to learn more about the successful experience of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and looks forward to strengthening experience exchanges and mutual learning with the CPC in party building and state governance, so as to contribute to the further development of Nepal-China relations. The Nepali side wished the 20th CPC National Congress a complete success.

Liu appreciated the long-standing contributions of Nepal and Khanal to the development of China-Nepal relations and said that his visit aims at deepening the traditional friendship between China and Nepal and promoting friendly exchanges with the political parties in Nepal. The Chinese side appreciates Nepal’s long-term friendly policy toward China. The Chinese side’s friendly policy toward Nepal is long-term and consistent, and the Chinese side firmly supports Nepal in safeguarding its sovereign, independence and territorial integrity. Under the new situation, the CPC is willing to strengthen contacts with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist), deepen experience exchange and mutual learning in state governance and administration, and push China-Nepal friendship and practical cooperation for constant development.

Kawsachun News reports on Nicaragua’s renewed relationship with China

In this second episode of their Latin America Review, Camila Escalante and Ollie Vargas from Kawsachun News interview Michael Campbell, Vice Minister and Presidential Adviser for International Relations and the Greater Caribbean in the Nicaraguan government.

With a focus on Nicaragua’s renewed relationship with China since last December, Campbell makes the important point that, although the diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed by the neoliberal government that emerged when the Sandinista revolution experienced a severe setback in 1990, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) maintained their close ties throughout the ensuing period. He identifies the reasons for this in the numerous commonalities between the Chinese and Nicaraguan revolutions, for example the elimination of poverty and hunger domestically and the promotion of multipolarity against hegemonism and imperialism on the international level.

Noting that exchanges between the two parties and governments are now taking place on a daily basis, Campbell stresses that they are completely different to Nicaragua and Latin America’s history of relations with the United States and Europe. The former embraces the widest range of people-to-people exchanges whilst the latter is with the oligarchy and at the expense of the people.

The interview also touches on a wide range of other issues, including Nicaragua’s process of joining fellow revolutionary states Cuba and Venezuela in exiting the Organisation of American States (OAS), which Campbell describes as a “ministry of colonies”, the contrast with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Sandinista revival of diversified international relations – for example with Africa, and his government’s pro-people, pro-poor approach to development, a notable achievement of which is that 90% of food consumed in Nicaragua is now produced domestically, with the aim to reach 100% by 2030.

There is also a cultural component, where, after Minister Campbell has explained the unique history of his country’s Caribbean coast, and the extensive autonomy that the revolution has brought to its indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, he and Ollie prepare a great Nicaraguan dinner party.

This video is reproduced from Tortilla con Sal.

Pham Binh Minh: China and Vietnam are brotherly and friendly neighbors with the same socialist cause

Immediately following an extensive tour of South East Asian nations, which included both bilateral visits and meetings as well as participation in regional and international fora, on July 13, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the 14th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, together with Pham Binh Minh, Vietnam’s Standing Deputy Prime Minister.

Citing the two countries special friendship, Wang Yi said that their two parties should “provide strong theoretical support for the development of the socialist cause of the two countries.”

Pham Binh Minh said, “China and Vietnam are brotherly and friendly neighbors with the same socialist cause, and also comprehensive strategic cooperative partners. Vietnam sticks to the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the path of socialism, and pursues an independent, all-round and diversified foreign policy. Relations with China are the top priority of Vietnam’s foreign policy, and it’s Vietnam’s strategic choice to develop friendly relations with China.”

The next day, Wang Yi held the Sixth Meeting of the China-Cambodia Intergovernmental Coordination Committee via video link, together with Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong. Wang noted that next year will see the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia, and added:

“China and Cambodia have built a community with a shared future under the guidance of high-level exchanges, strengthened solidarity and mutual assistance with the goal of safeguarding common interests, deepened mutually beneficial cooperation in a people-centered approach, and strengthened multilateral coordination and collaboration with the purpose of championing international fairness and justice, thus consolidating political mutual trust and cementing the foundation for strategic cooperation. Facts have proved that the building of a China-Cambodia community with a shared future serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two peoples, meets the trend of the times, and conforms to the big picture of peace and stability in the region, thus representing a completely right direction.”

The following reports were first carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The 14th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation Is Held

On July 13, 2022, the 14th Meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation was held in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The meeting was co-chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vietnamese Standing Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, and attended by officials in charge of relevant ministries, commissions, and local governments from both sides in an online and offline format.

Wang Yi said, General Secretary Xi Jinping and General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong have maintained strategic communication to steer bilateral relations. All departments of both sides have made joint efforts to continuously push for new progress in practical cooperation. This year, both China and Vietnam have important domestic political agendas. It’s important to strengthen coordination in a holistic approach, and make joint efforts in the direction of building a strategic community with a shared future. Facing the risks and challenges on the way forward and the arduous tasks of reform and development, we should inherit and carry forward the special friendship, consolidate solidarity and mutual trust, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to serve respective national construction and development, and make greater contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Continue reading Pham Binh Minh: China and Vietnam are brotherly and friendly neighbors with the same socialist cause

Steady development of relations between socialist neighbors, China and DPRK

July 11 marked the 61st anniversary of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. Signed in Beijing by Premier Zhou Enlai and President Kim Il Sung, the treaty is still in force. It is China’s only formal alliance with any country.

Marking the occasion the leading newspapers of the Communist Party of China and the Workers’ Party of Korea, Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Rodong Sinmum (Workers’ Daily) both carried authoritative articles.

According to People’s Daily: “The China-DPRK friendship, personally provided by the leaders of elder generation of the two countries in the struggle against the imperialists’ aggression, is a precious wealth common to both sides.

“China, as a good comrade and neighbor, will as ever continue to support the DPRK developing the economy, improving the people’s living standard and accelerating socialist construction. And it heartily wishes the fraternal Korean people greater successes on the road of achieving the prosperity of the country and creating happiness.

“No matter how the international and regional situation may change, invariable are the firm stand of the Chinese party and government to reliably defend the China-DPRK relations and consolidate and develop them on good terms, the Chinese people’s feelings of friendship toward the Korean people and the support of China to socialist Korea.”

Roding Sinmun noted that the treaty had served as “a motive force accelerating the struggle of the Korean and Chinese peoples for socialism” and continued:

“Our people sincerely hope that everything will go well in China and successes will be registered in socialist construction of China.

“We will as ever extend full support and solidarity to all the measures taken by the Chinese party and government to defend the core interests of the country, preserve the development of the state and defend the life and security of the people, and will always be with the Chinese people on the road of further developing the bilateral relations of friendship with socialism as the core.”

The following reports were originally carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Chinese Paper on China-DPRK Friendship

The Chinese People’s Daily carried its commentator’s article on July 11, the 61st anniversary of the conclusion of the DPRK-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.

Continue reading Steady development of relations between socialist neighbors, China and DPRK

China reaffirms close friendship with Zimbabwe and Mozambique

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi visited Zimbabwe and Mozambique at the beginning of July as the final part of a foreign tour that had previously taken him to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). China and the two southern African nations enjoy particularly close and friendly relations since Beijing extended all-out support to their armed struggles for national liberation against imperialism, colonialism and racism in the 1960s and 70s.

In a July 10 article entitled ‘Visit by China’s top diplomat underscores importance of Zimbabwe ties’, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) observed that: “A trip to Harare this month by China’s top diplomat has underscored the importance of Beijing’s relationship with Zimbabwe, its firmest economic and diplomatic ally in Africa. Zimbabwe has been cut off from global capital markets in the two decades since the United States and some other Western nations imposed sanctions on Harare…leaving Beijing as the main financier of infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric dams, airports and roads.”

The paper quoted Yang as saying that China “stands ready to further strengthen all-dimensional exchanges with Zimbabwe, be it party to party, government to government, military to military or people to people”. It further noted that: “China provided arms and training to the guerrillas of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army during the armed struggle that toppled the country’s white minority government in 1980. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa…was among those trained by Beijing” and continued:

“At a meeting in Harare on July 3, Mnangagwa told Yang that if China had not vetoed a push by Western powers for the United Nations to punish Zimbabwe over the land reforms that evicted white farmers, the country could have been destroyed. ‘This speaks volumes of the solid relations between Zimbabwe and China,’ Mnangagwa said after the meeting. ‘In 2008, when the Western countries, the Americans and the British and their allies, wanted to invoke the United Nations Charter which [would have] allowed them to invade Zimbabwe, the Chinese exercised their veto. This is why we are still here and remain independent, so these are solid friends of Zimbabwe.’

“He said China also funded the upgrading of the Hwange 7 and 8 thermal power plants at an estimated cost of US$1.2 billion. The Chinese embassy in Harare said the Hwange expansion project is 88 per cent complete and is expected to add 600 megawatts to Zimbabwe’s national grid.

“China has also financed the building of major airports such as Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare and Victoria Falls International Airport… Tsingshan Group, through subsidiary Dinson Iron and Steel, is spending an estimated US$1 billion to build an iron ore mine and carbon steel plant capable of producing 2 million tonnes a year in Manhize, Mvuma – south of Harare – that will be the biggest steel plant in southern Africa.”


Earlier, on July 4, the SCMP reported that: “China is preparing to hand over a new US$140 million parliament building as a gift to Zimbabwe…The site at Mount Hampden, about 18km (11 miles) northwest of the capital Harare, heralds the start of a new city.” Noting that the complex, built by the Shanghai Construction Group, had been fully paid for by China as a gift to Zimbabwe, the paper wrote: “The contractors said the facility was now ready to be handed over, 3½ years after construction started on a project that employed more than 500 Chinese technicians and 1,200 local workers. ‘There is no doubt that the new parliament will become a landmark building in Zimbabwe and even in the whole of Southern Africa,’ Shanghai Construction Group manager Libo Cai said… ‘It will be yet another milestone for the China-Zimbabwe friendship which keeps getting stronger year after year.’”

In their meetings with Yang, both Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi extended congratulations on the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and wished complete success to the party’s forthcoming 20th National Congress. Yang told Nyusi that China and Mozambique had “forged a profound traditional friendship in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism.” They were both, he continued, “developing countries that adhere to independence.”

The following reports of Yang’s meetings with the Zimbabwean and Mozambican Presidents first appeared on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Continue reading China reaffirms close friendship with Zimbabwe and Mozambique

Real debt trap: Sri Lanka owes vast majority to West, not China

With world attention still focused on the multiple crises – political, economic, humanitarian – gripping the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka, we are very pleased to republish this admirable and thorough article by our Advisory Group member Benjamin Norton, originally carried on Multipolarista. With the Sri Lankan situation being cynically distorted into a supposed example of alleged Chinese ‘debt trap diplomacy’, Benjamin makes clear that 81% of Sri Lanka’s external debt is owed to US and European financial institutions, along with those of Japan and India. China accounts for just 10%. Sri Lanka has already suffered the imposition of no less than 16 IMF structural adjustment programs – a key factor in the country’s economically parlous state.

Benjamin notes that the Sri Lankan protests have been “driven by skyrocketing rates of inflation, as well as rampant corruption and widespread shortages of fuel, food and medicine – a product of the country’s inability to pay for imports.” He considers claims that the popular protests constituted some kind of “anti-China uprising” in the former British colony to be “even more detached from reality” than those suggesting ‘debt trap diplomacy’ on the part of Beijing. With regard to that issue, he shows in detail how both the BBC and mainstream academics have debunked such notions.

Facing a deep economic crisis and bankruptcy, Sri Lanka was rocked by large protests this July, which led to the resignation of the government.

Numerous Western political leaders and media outlets blamed this uprising on a supposed Chinese “debt trap,” echoing a deceptive narrative that has been thoroughly debunked by mainstream academics.

In reality, the vast majority of the South Asian nation’s foreign debt is owed to the West.

Sri Lanka has a history of struggling with Western debt burdens, having gone through 16 “economic stabilization programs” with the Washington-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF).

These structural adjustment programs clearly have not worked, given Sri Lanka’s economy has been managed by the IMF for many of the decades since it achieved independence from British colonialism in 1948.

As of 2021, a staggering 81% of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt was owned by US and European financial institutions, as well as Western allies Japan and India.

This pales in comparison to the mere 10% owed to Beijing.

According to official statistics from Sri Lanka’s Department of External Resources, as of the end of April 2021, the plurality of its foreign debt is owned by Western vulture funds and banks, which have nearly half, at 47%.

The top holders of the Sri Lankan government’s debt, in the form of international sovereign bonds (ISBs), are the following firms:

  • BlackRock (US)
  • Ashmore Group (Britain)
  • Allianz (Germany)
  • UBS (Switzerland)
  • HSBC (Britain)
  • JPMorgan Chase (US)
  • Prudential (US)

The Asian Development Bank and World Bank, which are thoroughly dominated by the United States, own 13% and 9% of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, respectively.

Continue reading Real debt trap: Sri Lanka owes vast majority to West, not China

China’s leadership celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Algerian people’s victory in their war of independence

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Algerian people’s victory in their war of independence and the foundation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. It is estimated that more than a million Algerians sacrificed their lives as the French colonialists fought a brutal war to hold on to their North African colony.

Greeting his Algerian counterpart Abdelmajid Tebboune on this significant occasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote that “the Algerian people realised national independence and liberation after going through an arduous struggle, writing a glorious chapter of the liberation movements of the Arabian and African peoples. The Chinese government and the Chinese people provided support and assistance to Algeria’s independence revolution, and the two countries and two peoples forged a profound friendship during the struggles.”

Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also addressed messages to their Algerian counterparts.

China was the first non-Arab country to recognise the Algerian provisional government declared by the National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1958 and provided extensive assistance to the Algerian people in the form of weapons, funds and training. Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel, referred in a 2018 speech to “the vital contribution that China has brought to the Algerian revolution to help it regain its independence. The unwavering support of China continued as it was the first country to recognise the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (GPRA) a few weeks after its proclamation.”

Shortly after independence, Algeria welcomed the first ever medical aid team that China sent to Africa.

The following report was first carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi Jinping Sends Message of Congratulation to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on the 60th Anniversary of the Victory of the Algerian War of Independence / Li Keqiang Sends Message of Congratulation to Algerian Prime Minister Aymene Benabderrahmane

On July 5, 2022, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune on the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Algerian War of Independence.

Xi Jinping pointed out, sixty years ago, the Algerian people realized national independence and liberation after going through an arduous struggle, writing a glorious chapter of the liberation movements of the Arabian and African peoples. The Chinese government and the Chinese people provided support and assistance to Algeria’s independence revolution, and the two countries and two peoples forged a profound friendship during the struggles. In recent years, political mutual trust between the two countries has been strengthened continuously and bilateral practical cooperation has been fruitful, taking the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership to ever new levels. I attach great importance to the development of China-Algeria relations and stand ready to work with President Tebboune to push forward exchanges and cooperation in all fields within the framework of the Belt and Road cooperation for the benefit of the two countries and two peoples.

On the same day, Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory message to Algerian Prime Minister Aymene Benabderrahmane. Li Keqiang said, since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 64 years ago, bilateral relations have been developing in a sound and stable manner. I would like to join hands with Prime Minister Aymene Benabderrahmane to expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, enrich the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership and continuously improve the well-being of the two peoples.

The decline of the US and the rise of the East

In this article written for the Global Times, lawyer and peace activist Dan Kovalik provides a big-picture analysis of the major trends in geopolitics. Dan points out that for the last several decades, while the US and its key allies have oriented their economies largely to finance capital and the military-industrial complex, the socialist countries of Asia “are lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty and building sustainable infrastructure in their own countries and around the world.” It would benefit the people of the US to work with, and learn from, China and other developing countries rather than treating them as enemies.

We are now witnessing a great realignment and transformation. The so-called “American Century” has given way to a new century in which other countries are asserting themselves and taking the lead in the world. This new world order seemed quite unlikely several decades ago when the USSR collapsed and it appeared, and the US certainly declared, that the United States would be the one, dominant power for many decades to come. Ironically, it was the US’ very attempt to maintain this status which has inexorably led to its losing it, and to its decline as a nation.

While ironic, this was all quite predictable. Indeed, the Democratic Party, in its 1900 party platform, warned of this very outcome when it stated, “[w]e assert that no nation can long endure half republic and half empire, and we warn the American people that imperialism abroad will lead quickly and inevitably to despotism at home.” But no sooner were these words uttered than that the US embarked upon unprecedented empire-building beyond its already-giant mainland which itself was the product of a brutal settler-colonial project which displaced, subdued and killed millions of people already living from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The US, of course, settled upon the instruments of war and violence to achieve its imperial aims. After all, the reasoning went, these had worked so well for it in building the nation to begin with. This addiction to unending expansion through costly wars, however, was not and is not sustainable. Indeed, in his farewell address in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a former General, warned that the US republic was under threat, not from abroad, but from a growing “military-industrial complex” which was threatening to usurp democratic and civilian rule of the country.

More recently, in what sounded like a postmortem of the United States, Jimmy Carter told President Trump when discussing China in 2019 that the US is “the most warlike nation in the history of the world,” and that this has cost the US dearly.

As Carter explained, “We have wasted, I think, $3 trillion [on military spending since 1979]. … China has not wasted a single penny on war, and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.

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The US’s cynical misuse of human rights

This article by Carlos Martinez discusses the themes emerging from the recently-concluded 50th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, in particular the stark disparity in the conduct of the imperialist powers (plus a few hangers-on) and the majority of the world’s countries. While the US and its allies continue their campaign to cynically use human rights issues to slander certain countries and promote their New Cold War, the rest of the world increasingly demands the depoliticisation of human rights. This article was originally published on CGTN.

Global politics seems to be moving in two opposite directions. On the one hand, the US and its closest allies are stepping up their efforts to consolidate and expand US hegemony. On the other hand, the countries of the developing world, the socialist countries and the formerly-colonised countries are increasingly united in their efforts to promote multipolarity, multilateralism, sovereign development, and democracy in international relations.

These two contrasting approaches have been evident during the 50th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, which concluded recently on 8 July.

A group of 47 countries issued a joint statement to the session, making all sorts of lurid accusations against China regarding its treatment of the people of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The countries signing up to this slanderous statement were the “usual suspects” of the US, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and a handful of others.

Out of 30 NATO members, the only countries not to sign were Turkey, Greece and Hungary. All the ‘Five Eyes’ signed. Meanwhile, not a single one of the approximately 50 Muslim-majority countries put their names to this statement, although it purportedly represents the interests of Uyghur Muslims.

Continue reading The US’s cynical misuse of human rights

Danny Haiphong and Carlos Martinez discuss NATO, BRICS and the New Cold War

On 1 July, our co-editors Danny Haiphong and Carlos Martinez had a detailed discussion on Danny’s Left Lens YouTube show about the crisis in Ukraine, NATO’s escalation against both Russia and China, the comparison between the recent BRICS and NATO Summits, and the foreign policy continuity from Trump to Biden. Watch below.

China stands with progressive Latin America

Two recent events served to underline the close and developing relations between China and progressive Latin America.

As part of a regional tour, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Latin American Affairs, Qiu Xiaoqi, visited Nicaragua from June 25-27.

Meeting Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada on June 25, Qiu said that since the resumption of diplomatic ties more than six months ago, bilateral relations have been developing rapidly and flourishing with all-round progress. China, Qiu noted, “firmly supports Nicaragua in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and national dignity and independently choosing its development path and governance model.”

For his part, Moncada said that Nicaragua “is willing to be a trustworthy brother and partner of China. The Nicaraguan side thanked China for its selfless help and is ready to seize the huge opportunities brought by China’s development and create more benefits for the Nicaraguan people. The Nicaraguan side thanked China for speaking up for Nicaragua in the international arena and will work with China to safeguard international fairness and justice as well as the rights and interests of developing countries.”

Meanwhile, on June 28, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with his Venezuelan counterpart Carlos Faria, coinciding with the 48th anniversary of the two countries’ establishing diplomatic relations.

Wang Yi said that the Chinese side thanks Venezuela for standing firmly with China and speaking out for justice. China will, as always, firmly oppose external forces’ interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs under any pretext, firmly support Venezuela in safeguarding national sovereignty and social stability and support the Venezuelan people in choosing a development path suited to their national conditions.  He added that the trend toward a multi-polar world, economic globalisation and greater democracy in international relations is irresistible. China is ready to work with Venezuela to stand on the right side of history, uphold international fairness and justice, safeguard the common interests of developing countries and jointly build a community with a shared future for humanity.

For his part, Faria extended warm congratulations on the forthcoming 101st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, hailing the CPC as a great political party that holds high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and has always been committed to serving the Chinese people.

The following reports were originally carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Meets with Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Latin American Affairs Qiu Xiaoqi

From June 25 to 27, 2022, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Latin American Affairs Qiu Xiaoqi visited Nicaragua. On June 25, Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada met with visiting Special Representative Qiu Xiaoqi in Managua. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern. Chinese Ambassador to Nicaragua Chen Xi attended the meeting.

Qiu Xiaoqi said that since the resumption of China-Nicaragua diplomatic ties more than six months ago, bilateral relations have been developing rapidly and flourishing with all-round progress in political, economic and trade, and cultural cooperation. China firmly supports Nicaragua in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and national dignity and independently choosing its development path and governance model. China is ready to strengthen synergy with Nicaragua and promote fruitful practical cooperation across the board. In the face of global challenges, the two countries should take the implementation of the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative as an opportunity to strengthen coordination and cooperation in international affairs and jointly build a more peaceful, secure and prosperous world.

Moncada said, the rapid development of bilateral relations since the resumption of diplomatic ties more than six months ago fully proves that the resumption of diplomatic ties between Nicaragua and China is a correct decision that accords with the historical trend and serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples. Nicaragua will unswervingly abide by the one-China principle and is willing to be a trustworthy brother and partner of China. The Nicaraguan side thanked China for its selfless help, and is ready to seize the huge opportunities brought by China’s development and create more benefits for the Nicaraguan people. The Nicaraguan side thanked China for speaking up for Nicaragua in the international arena, and will work with China to safeguard international fairness and justice as well as the rights and interests of developing countries.


Wang Yi Speaks with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faria on the Phone

On June 28, 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Carlos Faria at the latter’s request.

Wang Yi said that today coincides with the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Venezuela, and our phone conversation is just at the right time. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China-Venezuela relations have remained rock-solid regardless of changes in the international landscape. The leaders of the two countries have established solid mutual trust and friendship, providing important political guarantee and strategic guidance for the development of the China-Venezuela comprehensive strategic partnership. China is ready to continue to deepen political mutual trust, pass on the traditional friendship and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with Venezuela.

Wang Yi said that the Chinese side thanks Venezuela for standing firmly with China and speaking out for justice on Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and human rights issues. China will, as always, firmly oppose external forces’ interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs under any pretext, firmly support Venezuela in safeguarding national sovereignty and social stability, and support the Venezuelan people in choosing a development path suited to their national conditions. The Chinese side will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to the Venezuelan side in fighting the pandemic.

Wang Yi pointed out that China and Venezuela should continue to strengthen solidarity and coordination in multilateral affairs, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries, practice true multilateralism, and safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. China appreciates Venezuela’s active support for President Xi Jinping’s Global Development Initiative (GDI) and stands ready to strengthen cooperation with Venezuela to jointly forge a global development partnership and well implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The trend toward a multi-polar world, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations is irresistible. China is ready to work with Venezuela to stand on the right side of history, uphold international fairness and justice, safeguard the common interests of developing countries and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Faria said that under the guidance of the two heads of state, the Venezuela-China comprehensive strategic partnership has made great progress and is full of vitality. He thanked China for providing strong support to Venezuela in its fight against the pandemic. Venezuela firmly supports the one-China principle and the principle of “one country, two systems”, firmly supports China in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and stands ready to work with China to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in innovative ways. China is playing an increasingly important role in the international arena. The Venezuelan side speaks highly of President Xi Jinping’s GDI and other initiatives and is ready to deepen communication and coordination with China within the frameworks of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative and the Group of Friends in the Defense of the Charter of the United Nations to jointly uphold multilateralism. In particular, Faria extended warm congratulations on the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in advance, hailing the CPC as a great political party that holds high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and has always been committed to serving the Chinese people.

CPC deepens relations with Nepal’s communist parties

Liu Jianchao was recently appointed as the Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, succeeding Song Tao, who completed his term of office. On being informed of his appointment, in a message to a relevant official of the International Department, Friends of Socialist China wrote:
“We wish him every success in his responsible work, and good health, and stand ready, as ever, to maintain and develop our greatly valued friendship and our close cooperation.”

Comrade Liu’s first announced engagement in his new role was to meet separately with the Ambassadors of the four other socialist countries to China, namely the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Vietnam, Laos and Cuba. In a brief report, the International Department noted that the meetings, “focused on exchanging views on consolidating and deepening the traditional friendship between China and the four countries, and relations between the ruling parties of China and the four countries, continuously promoting cooperation in various areas, and jointly boosting the development of socialist causes in the new era.”

A longer report was issued on his next reported engagements, which took place on June 23 and 24, when he held video calls with the leaders of Nepal’s two main communist parties – Prachanda, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), both of whom are also former Prime Ministers.

According to Liu, the CPC and the two Nepalese parties share similar philosophies and close ties. In turn, both Nepalese parties said that they give top priority to relations with China and the CPC.

Following the calls, the CPC signed memoranda of exchange and cooperation with both parties.

Some days later, Liu also held a video call with Nepalese Foreign Minister Narayan Khadka, who is also the leader of the Nepali Congress party.

The following report on the online meeting with the Nepali communist leaders was originally carried on the website of the CPC International Department.

On June 23 and 24, Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, held video calls with Prachanda, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and former Prime Minister of Nepal, and KP Sharma Oli, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and former Prime Minister of Nepal respectively.

Liu said that China and Nepal are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, and development partners sharing the same destiny. In October 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Nepal. China-Nepal relations were upgraded to the China-Nepal strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity, and entered a new era of rapid development. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Nepali side to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, deepen mutual political trust, actively promote practical cooperation in major projects and various fields under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and push the friendship across the Himalayas to new heights.

Liu said, the CPC and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) share similar philosophies and close ties. The CPC is willing to strengthen inter-party exchanges, promote “political parties plus” cooperation, enhance people-to-people bond, and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, so as to play a role in facilitating the healthy and stable development of China-Nepal relations. The 20th CPC National Congress will be held in the second half of this year, which will draw a blueprint for China’s development in the next phase and will certainly provide new impetus for the development of China-Nepal relations. The CPC is willing to strengthen exchanges with political parties in Nepal on state governance and administration.

Prachanda and Oli said, the friendship between Nepal and China has grown ever stronger as time goes by and the Nepali side appreciates the Chinese side’s support for Nepal in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity and opposing foreign interference and China’s valuable help for Nepal to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) give top priority to the relations with China and the CPC. The two Parties will continue to firmly uphold the one-China principle, support the issues related to each other’s core interests and major concerns, adhere to the path of independent development, and will never allow any forces to use the Nepali territory to engage in any anti-China activities. The major achievements and historical experience of the CPC’s century-long struggle have provided important inspiration and lessons for the Nepali political parties. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) are willing to strengthen cooperation with the CPC in such areas as the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to promote the long-term and stable development of Nepal-China relations. We look forward to the 20th CPC National Congress and wish it a complete success.

After the video calls, the Chinese representatives also signed memorandums of exchange and cooperation with the representatives of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) respectively.

Guyana and China: 50 years of diplomatic ties and future prospects

On June 27th, China and Guyana celebrated the 50th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic relations. Guyana’s bold move, becoming the first country in the English-speaking Caribbean to establish official relations with the People’s Republic, was followed by Jamaica on November 27th that year. Together this marked a milestone in the development of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of China and the Caribbean and in the developing countries’ common struggle against imperialism.

Marking this anniversary, Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged messages with his Guyanese counterpart Irfaan Ali. Writing in the local media, China’s Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan noted that trade between the two countries grew by 123% in 2021.

Friendship with China constitutes a bipartisan policy in Guyanese politics. A statement from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition noted that:

“We in Guyana will and must always appreciate that during the 1980s, when the country faced steep economic challenges, China without hesitation provided much needed assistance to Guyana. With modest beginnings in the seventies, the economic exchanges have grown to impressive dimensions. Guyana and China now cooperate over a wide range of economic areas and are involved in major projects which can transform Guyana and benefit China as well. The emergence of Guyana as a petro-state will further catalyse and intensify this trend.”

An example of this was the conclusion last month of a US$260 million agreement with a Chinese joint venture company for the construction of a new bridge across the Demerara River. Speaking at the ceremony, Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh said: “Make no mistake that you are witnessing history today. The making of modern Guyana is well underway, and today’s generation of Guyanese are incredibly privileged not only to witness it, but to be part of it.”

Writing in China Daily on June 15th, Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar, who was President of Guyana from 2011-2015, and General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) from 1997-2013, said that:

“When China established diplomatic relations with Guyana in 1972, it was still very underdeveloped. Guyana’s per capita GDP was higher than that of China. Yet China helped the country try to lessen its dependence on a few big capitalist countries and the unequal trade relations inherent in capitalist relations.”

Ramotar goes on to explain how this relationship has only deepened as China has grown from a poor developing country to become the world’s second-largest economy. China, he notes, “has become a great example. It is one of the most studied countries as mankind looks to build a better future.”

We are pleased to reprint his article below.

On June 27, Guyana and the People’s Republic of China will celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. These have been 50 very fruitful years, and our relations have been mutually enriching for both countries.

When China established diplomatic relations with Guyana in 1972, it was still very underdeveloped. Guyana’s per capita GDP was higher than that of China. Yet China helped the country try to lessen its dependence on a few big capitalist countries and the unequal trade relations inherent in capitalist relations.

We recall the assistance China provided for the establishment of the Sanata Textile Mill in Georgetown and the clay brick factory in Canal’s Polder. At that time, these were significant investments in the country. Many houses, built with materials produced by the clay brick factory, are still standing and are testament to the friendship between China and Guyana.

China has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. From being a poor developing country, it has developed into the world’s second-largest economy, and its prestige has soared, with its achievements known around the globe. It leads the world in many spheres of the scientific and technological revolution and has had an impact on almost every country. It is widely recognized for its innovation and progress.

China has become the greatest builder in the world, in terms of both physical structures that it has constructed at home and abroad and in its advocating of fair international relations. It promotes true equality and the independence of countries. China correctly describes its partnerships as “win-win”. This gives dignity to every country. For the first time, many small and middle-income developing countries have the belief that they are on an equal footing with other higher-income countries.

We in Guyana, like so many other countries, have benefited greatly from cooperation with China over the years. Some of our most important structures have been built by Chinese contractors. The convention center and the Marriott Hotel stand out in Georgetown and evoke pride among our people.

Our airport is being modernized by another contractor from China. Moreover, we have agreements with Chinese companies to build a modern bridge across the Demerara River.

In 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative. This has the great potential to really unite the world and create new wealth and prosperity for all participants.

Guyana has signed up with China to be part of this historic project, which is uniting millions of people around the world.

This initiative has also prompted the West to react. Not so long ago, the United States and the European Union, still unable to shed their old habits in pursuit of self-interest, announced their own initiative to help build up world infrastructure. They have talked of millions of dollars to begin this work. At this time, its performance cannot be evaluated, since it is only at the embryo stage.

What is very significant about this Western project, though, is that it has come about primarily not as a means to assist the less wealthy Third World countries but to counter the constructive move of China and to try to limit China’s great influence in the world. That, of course, is not a good premise to start from.

China is now the largest trading partner for the majority of countries. Its contribution to global economic growth is now the largest in the world.

These are remarkable feats.

China has become a great example. It is one of the most studied countries as mankind looks to build a better future.

Fifty years of diplomatic relations between China and Guyana have seen very beneficial cooperation and a demonstration of support without strings attached. This is not unique, because this is how China relates with all countries it has ties with, and the win-win approach promotes friendship, solidarity and peace.

In evaluating this period, we must give it the highest marks and further deepen our ties with the People’s Republic of China. Most important, the past 50 years of good diplomatic relations between the two countries have strengthened the close friendship between our peoples.

The author is former president of Guyana.