Introducing ‘The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century’

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was interviewed by Sean Blackmon on the Sputnik Radio show By Any Means Necessary about his new book, The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century.

Carlos talks about his motivations for writing the book, the crucial importance of opposing the US-led New Cold War, the necessity for Marxists to understand and defend Chinese socialism, and the ever-contentious question of whether contemporary China is indeed socialist.

The full interview can be viewed on Rumble.

Find out more about the book | Buy the book | Join the book launch on 4 June 2023

Chinese Foreign Ministry: the G7 is undermining peace and development

On Saturday May 20, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded promptly to the anti-China remarks emanating from the Hiroshima Summit of the G7 imperialist bloc.

The spokesperson noted that the communique and other documents adopted at the summit contain comments on the situation in the Taiwan Strait and accusations regarding the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and China’s nuclear power, professed G7 opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and claims about “economic coercion” that allude to China.

The spokesperson added that while the G7 claims to be “promoting a peaceful, stable and prosperous world,” it is actually, “hindering international peace, undermining regional stability and curbing other countries’ development.”

The statement stressed that resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese. The one-China principle is the solid anchor for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

On “economic coercion”, the spokesperson said the massive unilateral sanctions and acts of “decoupling” and disrupting industrial and supply chains make the US the real coercer that politicizes and weaponizes economic and trade relations, urging the G7 not to become an accomplice in economic coercion.

Noting that China has always pledged itself to ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons and always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security, it noted that the people’s republic was the only one among the five recognized nuclear powers to have made such pledges.

Pointing out that the international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world, the statement concludes:

“We urge G7 members to catch up with the trend of the times, focus on addressing the various issues they have at home, stop ganging up to form exclusive blocs, stop containing and bludgeoning other countries, stop creating and stoking bloc confrontation and get back to the right path of dialogue and cooperation.”

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

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Saturday made remarks on G7 Hiroshima Summit’s hyping up of China-related issues, urging the countries to stop ganging up to form exclusive blocs.

According to reports, the G7 Hiroshima Leaders’ Communique and other documents adopted at the G7 Hiroshima Summit contain comments on the situation in the Taiwan Strait and accusations regarding the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and China’s nuclear power, professed G7 opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and claims about “economic coercion” that allude to China.

The spokesperson said the G7 makes high-sounding claims about “promoting a peaceful, stable and prosperous world,” but what it does is hindering international peace, undermining regional stability and curbing other countries’ development. That simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7.

Despite China’s serious concerns, the G7 used issues concerning China to smear and attack China and brazenly interfere in China’s internal affairs. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this and has made serious demarches to the summit’s host Japan and other parties concerned, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson stressed that resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese. The one-China principle is the solid anchor for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Noting that the G7 keeps emphasizing cross-Strait peace, and yet says nothing about the need to oppose “Taiwan independence,” the spokesperson said this in effect constitutes connivance and support for “Taiwan independence” forces, and will only result in having a serious impact on cross-Strait peace and stability.

Affairs related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs, the spokesperson said, stressing that China firmly opposes interference by any external force in those affairs under the pretext of human rights.

China is a firm defender and contributor to international maritime rule of law, the spokesperson said, adding that the East China Sea and the South China Sea have remained overall stable. Relevant countries need to respect regional countries’ efforts to uphold peace and stability and stop using maritime issues to drive a wedge between regional countries and incite bloc confrontation.

On “economic coercion”, the spokesperson said the massive unilateral sanctions and acts of “decoupling” and disrupting industrial and supply chains make the U.S. the real coercer that politicizes and weaponizes economic and trade relations, urging the G7 not to become an accomplice in economic coercion.

Noting that China is firmly committed to a defensive nuclear strategy, the spokesperson said China has honored its pledge to “no first use” of nuclear weapons and always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security.

China is the only one among the five nuclear weapon states to have made those pledges. China’s position is above board and should not be distorted or denigrated, the spokesperson added.

The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values, still less will it succumb to the rules of exclusive small blocs designed to serve “America-first” and the vested interests of the few, the spokesperson said, urging G7 to reflect on its behavior and change course.

“We urge G7 members to catch up with the trend of the times, focus on addressing the various issues they have at home, stop ganging up to form exclusive blocs, stop containing and bludgeoning other countries, stop creating and stoking bloc confrontation and get back to the right path of dialogue and cooperation,” said the spokesperson.

G7’s coercion claim against China slammed as ‘absurd’

In the following article, originally carried on China Daily, Chen Weihua deconstructs and ridicules the claim – expected to appear in the statement arising from this weekend’s G7 Summit – that China is engaged in ‘economic coercion’.

Chen Weihua includes observations from a number of commentators, including Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, that it is in fact the US and its allies that are the world leaders in economic coercion. As Carlos states, “the G7 states are all involved in multiple forms of economic coercion, and to accuse China of doing so is hypocritical in the extreme.”

Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs comments: “The report that the G7 may call out China’s economic coercion is hypocritical given that the US is by far the world’s biggest deployer of unilateral coercive measures.”

The United States and its Western allies have been the major perpetrators of economic coercion that have inflicted suffering on millions of people around the world, according to international experts and scholars.

G7 leaders meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, from Friday to Sunday are set to issue a statement that includes their concerns about alleged economic coercion by China, Reuters reported, citing unnamed US officials.

“The report that the G7 may call out China’s economic coercion is hypocritical given that the US is by far the world’s biggest deployer of unilateral coercive measures,” said Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economist who served as a special adviser to the UN secretary-general from 2001 to 2018.

Research by Francisco Rodriguez, a professor at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, has found that economic coercion by the US, the European Union and other Western allies has devastated vulnerable groups in targeted countries and degraded living standards.

He reports that 30 of 32 studies on the effects of economic sanctions by the US and others found that they had negative effects on outcomes including per capita income, poverty, inequality, mortality and human rights.

In the cases of Iran, Afghanistan and Venezuela, sanctions that restricted government access to foreign exchanges affected the ability of those states to provide essential public goods and services, and had substantial negative spillovers on private sector and nongovernmental actors, according to the research published online on May 4 by the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Better approach

“Rather than accusing China of what the G7 itself does, a much better approach by the G7 would be to call for discussions with China so that all countries ensure that economic and trade measures are compatible with the UN Charter and World Trade Organization rules,” Sachs said.

He said the G7 represents a group of wealthy countries allied with the US that accounts for 10 percent of the global population and 31 percent of global GDP at international prices. By comparison, BRICS — a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — represent 40 percent and 32 percent respectively.

“The G20, which brings the two (G7 and BRICS) together and others, is a much more representative grouping,” he said, adding that the G20 should be expanded to include the African Union to increase representation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Jan 11 at the inauguration of the headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that China was the first country to support the AU in joining the G20 and will encourage G20 members to take robust steps to support a greater role for the AU and African countries in the global governance system.

Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, warned on Friday that “hostile” US policy risks splitting the world into two blocs. He urged the West to offer investment not “lectures” to developing countries.

“It would be a good idea … for the other G7 countries to try to put pressure on the United States and say, what you’re doing is forming the world into two blocs, and that will be hard,” he told the Agence France-Presse on the sidelines of the G7 ministerial talks in Japan.

Stiglitz warned that competition between US Democrats and Republicans to look tough on China could undermine international action on climate change and other global crises.

Carlos Martinez, co-editor of Friends of Socialist China, a London-based platform, echoed Sachs by saying that “any accusation of Chinese economic coercion is beyond absurd”.

“The US is by far the global leader in unilateral sanctions,” he said, citing the cases of Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and China.

Martinez added that the US has been using the role of the dollar in the global economy to apply long-arm jurisdiction, forcing third parties to go along with its sanctions regime.

“The G7 states are all involved in multiple forms of economic coercion, and to accuse China of doing so is hypocritical in the extreme,” he said.

Aukus might create jobs – but at what cost?

This article by Jenny Clegg, originally published in the Morning Star, discusses the recent announcement by Britain’s Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) that it welcomes the Aukus trilateral security deal on the grounds that it will ostensibly create thousands of well-paid jobs for British engineers.

Jenny points out that, even on the basis of purely economic calculations, directing Britain’s advanced engineering sector towards a project like Aukus is utterly self-defeating. It will adversely affect ties with China – trade with which is connected to orders of magnitude more jobs than Aukus is. Furthermore, it means divesting from far more promising and worthwhile projects, particularly in relation to preventing climate breakdown.

Aukus is part of an escalating US-led drive to war against China, and what’s more it violates the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is patently foolish for Britain to attach itself to such a project, and particularly so for the British working class. Jenny asks of CSEU members: “Do they want to be building a world of conflict, tension and destabilisation for decades to come? Is that the kind of future they envisage for their children and grandchildren?”

THE Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) has welcomed the benefits of Aukus, creating thousands of well-paid jobs, securing thousands more across the supply chains for years to come.

But what about the costs?

Within Britain’s constrained budgets, creating one job in the defence sector means cutting significantly more jobs — quite possibly those of trade union members — in sectors, for example, that provide for social welfare.

The £3 billion defence spending increase recently announced by PM Rishi Sunak to go on supporting the delivery of Aukus is enough to pay the junior doctors’ claims in full one-and-a-half times over. And it is just the start.

The benefits to the supply chain might not be that great either since over a third of MoD supplies are purchased from overseas.

The reactors to power the Aukus submarines are to be built by Rolls-Royce in Derby using weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.

Thousands of jobs will be created, yes, but these vessels are for war-fighting so this will breach the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) stipulation that the exchange of nuclear technology must be “for peaceful purposes.”

This also violates the spirit of the Nuclear Weapon Free Zones of the south Pacific and south-east Asia. There, the expanding authority of the Anglosphere is not something that is welcomed.

It goes against hopes to make the region a zone of peace, instead increasing the likelihood of regional nuclear proliferation and an escalating arms race.

A recent meeting of former Pacific leaders raised complaints about the “staggering” amount of money committed to Aukus which “flies in the face of Pacific Islands countries … crying out for climate change support,” the “threat … challenging our future existence,” they said, “is not China but climate change.”

The gross overexpansion of Britain’s military industrial base is to prepare for war with China. But China has not fought a war for 40 years; it maintains a defensive military posture with just one overseas base and only a small nuclear arsenal kept under “no first use.” By treating China as the enemy, Aukus will surely turn it into one.

China in fact is Britain’s fourth-largest trading partner; economic links have generated at least 150,000 jobs across the country and there is great potential for this to grow.

Not long ago Chinese companies stepped in to help in the rescue of Jaguar Land Rover and saved 3,000 jobs at British Steel.

Why put all this at risk? China should be seen as an opportunity not a threat.

By the time the submarines become operational in the 2040s, the world will be massively transformed.

The emerging markets of the Brics countries already exceed the G7 in economic size and will easily double this in 20 years.

A paradigm shift is under way as these rising powers reset world agendas — it is their priorities on climate change, health and tackling poverty that are now driving the world economy.

Yet Britain continues on the path of disproportionate military influence even as it drops out of the world’s top 10 economies in the coming years.

The CSEU is working with the Australian engineering unions, yet the Australian Council of Trade Unions (Actu), which brings together 36 trade unions, has not endorsed the pact and maintains its backing of Australia’s nuclear-free defence policy.

To support the huge Aukus military expansion, the Australian taxpayer will pay on average US$6bn per year for the next 30 years — a whacking total of US$245bn.

To secure Britain’s high-skilled base requires long-term contracts but the MoD’s seemingly easy solution stokes more problems for the future: the more that is invested in arms production, the harder it is to reverse — the end of a contract means thousands of jobs are at stake and the chase for investment becomes endless.

The British government has just spent over £6bn on the two aircraft carriers, now one is being mothballed. How many more white elephants are planned?

The CSEU needs to think again. Instead of delivering the labour movement into the pockets of BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce, instead of driving China onto a war-footing, it should inform its members of the implications of the scheme.

It should ask them: do they want to be building a world of conflict, tension and destabilisation for decades to come? Is that the kind of future they envisage for their children and grandchildren?

We are nowhere close to having sufficient green skills to deliver the green transition globally — the CSEU should be encouraging apprentices to hone their skills for a green future; and it should get creative and set up teams of members to come up with alternative ideas not least to serve the new agendas and growing markets of the global South.

People in Britain can only rely now on skilled engineers to ensure the economy remains relevant in the coming decades. Politicians are failing us — it is up to the unions to envisage a different future for the country and to see that Britain’s advanced engineering is put to good use in a vastly changing world.

Interview: China is governed in the interests of working people, the US in the interests of capital

In this interview with Global Times, Sara Flounders – a contributing editor to Workers World and a member of our advisory group – shares her analysis of the escalating New Cold War and the US’s global hegemonic project. Comparing the West’s approach of war, sanctions, coercion and destabilisation with China’s vision of a human community with a shared future, Sara observes:

The very concept of shared future and cooperation has a profound impact. It’s not threatening to other countries, and it has the win-win idea, meaning if your economy is growing and our economy is growing, that’s better for both of us. That’s the basis of building further and deeper trust.

Sara points out that the differing approaches to international and domestic politics taken by the US and China can ultimately be explained by their differing social systems. In socialist China, the government operates in the interests of working people, whereas “the political parties in the US operate in the interests of the top corporations and banks.”

The interview concludes with a note of caution: with US hegemony in decline, the US ruling class is hitting out in all directions in a bid to prevent that decline. “It’s a very dangerous juncture, because this is very threatening to US imperialism and we have to be prepared what they will do to try to preserve their role.” The situation calls for maximum unity of the global working class and oppressed nations, to defend our collective interests and press ahead to a multipolar future free from imperialism.

GT: The Russia-Ukraine conflict has dragged on for more than a year. What lessons can the world draw from this conflict?

Flounders: Hopefully, they will draw the conclusion not to go along with US provocations, intentional disruptions, and efforts to create crisis.

Now, out of this war in the past year, Russia has not only survived economically, its currency and its trade with the Global South have been reinforced and are stronger today. However, for the EU, they’re in a much weaker position. We shouldn’t forget that even though they are US allies, they are also competitors. The euro is now weaker than the dollar, the war has benefited the US and yet has been very harmful for all of the EU countries that went along with the war.

I think countries around the world will draw their conclusions. Do they want to be roped into this? Especially in Asia, who can US imperialism rope in in terms of their own sovereignty? Who can resist the US pressure?

GT: Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen was in California and met US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. While the US contains Russia through the Ukraine war in Europe, does it also want to provoke a war in the Taiwan Strait to contain China?

Flounders: This meeting was a direct and intentional violation of signed agreements that the US has made with China. China is one. Taiwan is a province of China. This is agreed to by the world, by the United Nations, by the US and by Taiwan’s “constitution.” For Kevin McCarthy to line up other congressional members and meet with Tsai Ing-wen is a direct violation of past agreements.

In the same way that Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last year was a direct and deliberate violation of the agreement. There’s no reason to do this, except to attempt to create provocations, to create further disruption of what had been an orderly process of reconciliation and of Taiwan becoming part of China, which is the wish for great majority of the people, even in Taiwan.

China’s approach is to continue to use diplomacy to not be baited into an intentional provocation. However, it is becoming a difficult situation because one offense after another, one arms shipment after another. And US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, destroyers, sail into the Taiwan Straits. These are all intended provocations, and any one of them could be a dangerous jumping-off point. 

GT: The US pursues hegemony by provoking conflicts. China promotes a human community with a shared future. What do the two differing governance concepts bring to the world?

Flounders: The very concept of shared future and cooperation has a profound impact. It’s not threatening to other countries, and it has the win-win idea, meaning if your economy is growing and our economy is growing, that’s better for both of us. That’s the basis of building further and deeper trust.

Continue reading Interview: China is governed in the interests of working people, the US in the interests of capital

China’s report on US cyber attacks only scratches surface of Washington’s impunity

In this article, first published in CGTN, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong analyzes a report released by China’s cyber security investigators detailing US interference in China’s internal affairs. The report concluded that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is conducting a cyber warfare campaign on key Chinese economic sectors and that this behavior is emblematic of the CIA’s role in overthrowing governments that challenge US hegemony.

U.S. political leaders and media analysts often hype “threats” from abroad in order to justify an increasingly aggressive foreign policy. China is now considered a top “threat” from significant elements of the U.S. political establishment and is regularly accused of conducting cyber espionage and other forms of snooping. Often, these accusations reflect the actual policies carried out by the U.S. government regardless of which political party holds majority power. On May 4, China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (NCVERC) and internet security company 360 offered verifiable proof of this in a joint report detailing the cyber weapons used by the U.S.’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on other countries.

The report builds on earlier findings in 2020 that an unknown cyber organization hacked into China’s major petroleum, infrastructure, aviation, and several other industries using methods related to WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” documents. These documents revealed that the CIA was able to infiltrate cyber technology and use it to spy on other countries as well as U.S. citizens.

Continue reading China’s report on US cyber attacks only scratches surface of Washington’s impunity

Keith Bennett: Conditions are maturing for the final defeat of neo-colonialism

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett spoke at the Global Conference on Multipolarity, held online on Saturday April 29. The conference, which was jointly convened by organizations from China, Türkiye, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere, and coordinated from Moscow, was addressed by more than 120 speakers from over 60 countries.

Addressing the theme of neo-colonialism, Keith said that the founding of the People’s Republic of China was among the great historic events which made the persistence of the old colonial empires untenable.

The collapse of the Soviet Union temporarily gave colonialism and imperialism a new lease of life, but a number of factors had served to make the moment of imperialist triumphalism a fleeting one. In particular, the People’s Republic of China, far from changing its class character, had deepened its socialist orientation and has continued its steady rise, remaining on course to overtake the United States as the world’s single largest economy, a change unseen in well over a century. Keith recalled that President Xi Jinping first said in 2017 that socialism with Chinese characteristics, “offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence.”

We reproduce below the text and video of Keith’s speech.

Dear Friends and Comrades

First, I would like to thank Nova Resistência of Brazil, the New International Order Initiative of Türkiye, the International Eurasian Movement of Russia, the Thinker’s Forum of China, and the International Russophile Movement for organizing today’s Global Multipolarity Conference and for inviting me to share some thoughts on the sub-theme of the Struggle Against Neo-Colonialism in a Multipolar World.

The themes you have chosen for today’s deliberations are the central questions of contemporary global politics. Indeed, I would argue, they are among the most vital issues facing humanity for centuries.

What is most significant about the present conjuncture is that the conditions are maturing for the final resolution of this historical problem, through the creation of a truly multipolar, or pluripolar, world, with independence as its foundation and at its core.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, the great African-American scholar and revolutionary, Dr. WEB DuBois said that the defining issue of that coming century would be what he termed the ‘colour line’. He spoke just a few short years after the European colonial powers had met in Berlin to carve the continent of Africa between themselves like so many slices of cake.

Continue reading Keith Bennett: Conditions are maturing for the final defeat of neo-colonialism

John Pilger: The coming war – time to speak up

This powerful and wide-ranging essay by the Australian journalist John Pilger, originally published in Consortium News, decries mainstream journalists’ role in building support for the US-led Cold War against China and NATO’s proxy war against Russia.

The author notes that leading Australian newspapers have been hyping up “the looming threat” of China and calling on the Australian government to bolster the country’s military defences. Essentially this is a thinly-concealed marketing campaign for the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal. Pilger states bluntly – and correctly: “There is no threat to Australia, none.” However, “China-bashing draws on Australia’s long history of racism towards Asia,” and much of the Australian public finds it all too easy to accept an anti-China narrative, no matter how transparently idiotic.

Turning to the United States, and the Obama-Clinton Pivot to Asia that initiated the now-escalating New Cold War, Pilger assesses the claims that this ‘pivot’ was a response to a serious threat:

There was no threat from China; there was a threat to China from the United States; some 400 American military bases formed an arc along the rim of China’s industrial heartlands, which a Pentagon official described approvingly as a “noose.”

The article compares today’s war by media with the techniques used by the Nazis, as described by a Nuremberg prosecutor in 1945:

Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically… In the propaganda system… it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.

Pilger concludes by demanding that journalists report the truth; that they expose – rather than amplify – the cynical lies that are used to justify the military murder of millions.

In 1935, the Congress of American Writers was held in New York City, followed by another two years later. They called on “the hundreds of poets, novelists, dramatists, critics, short story writers and journalists” to discuss the “rapid crumbling of capitalism” and the beckoning of another war. They were electric events which, according to one account, were attended by 3,500 members of the public with more than a thousand turned away. 

Arthur Miller, Myra Page, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett warned that fascism was rising, often disguised, and the responsibility lay with writers and journalists to speak out. Telegrams of support from Thomas Mann, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, C Day Lewis, Upton Sinclair and Albert Einstein were read out. 

The journalist and novelist Martha Gellhorn spoke up for the homeless and unemployed, and “all of us under the shadow of violent great power.” 

Martha, who became a close friend, told me later over her customary glass of Famous Grouse and soda:

“The responsibility I felt as a journalist was immense. I had witnessed the injustices and suffering delivered by the Depression, and I knew, we all knew, what was coming if silences were not broken.”

Her words echo across the silences today: they are silences filled with a consensus of propaganda that contaminates almost everything we read, see and hear.  Let me give you one example: 

Continue reading John Pilger: The coming war – time to speak up

Donald Ramotar: the US is waging a massive propaganda campaign against China

We are pleased to republish this article by the veteran Guyanese politician Donald Ramotar, which was originally carried by China Daily

Noting that Washington is leading a propaganda campaign aimed at undermining China’s bonds with other developing countries, Ramotar states that the expressed fear of China is not because it is threatening any country militarily, but because of its success in developing its economy and the goodwill it has generated by assisting poorer countries.

Outlining China’s external economic relations, Ramotar points out that, on the one hand, the country became one of the main destinations for investment from the developed countries as well as the largest holder of US government bonds. On the other hand, China’s assistance to developing countries started with an emphasis on the least developed ones, who were generally unable to secure loans from the international financial institutions. 

“It was the selfless assistance it provided that raised China’s reputation as a true friend to peoples in the developing world, Africa in particular,” Ramotar notes. 

US hostility increased after the 2008 global financial crisis, he explains, when, “China’s economic importance to the world economy became manifest.”

Turning his attention to the myth of ‘Chinese debt trap diplomacy’, the author writes: “When countries got into difficulties repaying loans, they were supported by China, which renegotiated the loans and gave the borrowing countries more time to repay. That allowed the repayments to be made on much easier terms. It also allowed countries to pay their debts with produce that they have in abundance, thereby reducing the pressure to repay in hard currency.”

He outlines how the imperialist countries have announced various initiatives in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), observing that, “on the face of it this seems laudable.” But as their main purpose is simply to counter the BRI, “it is clear that development of poor countries is not a priority for G7 countries.”

China’s reputation as a reliable partner and a real friend to the developing countries continues to grow, but as it does, US hostility, including the imposition of sanctions aimed at slowing the country’s progress, is also increasing.

Concluding, Ramotar states: “Clearly the US is very scared of China. Not because it believes that China wants to dominate the world militarily. The main reason is the example that China has become for many countries in the world. It shows that another road to freedom is possible and very viable.”

Donald Ramotar was President of Guyana, 2011-2015, as well as General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), 1997-2013, to which post he succeeded the late Dr. Cheddi Jagan.

The United States’ attitude toward China has always been complex.

It is apposite to note that the expressed fear of China by the US is not because China is threatening any country militarily, nor because it has attacked any state. It is because of China’s success in developing its economy and the goodwill China has garnered by helping poor countries to improve their productive capacity, that the US has been leading the West in waging a massive propaganda campaign against China. The aim of which is to create a false image of China as an exploitative state.

The reality is vastly different to their smears.

After China’s economy began to grow rapidly, it very soon surpassed that of Europe and Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world. At the same time, in keeping with its internationalist philosophy and its commitment to opening up to the world, China began to create links with the rest of the world, both developed and developing countries.

For the developed countries, China became one of the main destinations for investment. Meanwhile, the economy of China and those of Western countries became very much linked. Indeed China has become the largest holder of the US government’s bonds. It was an example of real mutual economic benefits for all concerned.

China’s assistance to developing countries started with the least developed ones, which were unable to get any loans from international financial organizations. They were considered high risk countries and practically ignored by Western governments.

It was the selfless assistance it provided that raised China’s reputation as a true friend to peoples in the developing world, Africa in particular, which had the greatest need.

During those times the US, from time to time made some criticism of China. But those criticisms grew in hostility particularly after the 2008 global financial crisis.

In this period China’s economic importance to the world economy became manifest. China became the greatest driver of the international economy and a key trading partner for most countries in the world.

From this time, relations with the US and China began to encounter choppy waters.

The main reason for this was an unreasonable fear by the US of China’s growing economic strength and the friendships China was forging by providing assistance to many developing countries.

Continue reading Donald Ramotar: the US is waging a massive propaganda campaign against China

British Foreign Secretary indicates willingness to improve relations with China

In this brief article, based on comments given to the Morning Star, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez analyses the speech about UK-China relations given by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on 25 April 2023. Carlos states that the speech indicates “a partial – limited but nonetheless important – move by the British government to return to a more sane policy with regard to China.”

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s speech on UK-China relations represents a partial – limited but nonetheless important – move by the British government to return to a more sane policy with regard to China.

Cleverly issues a reasonably stern rebuke to the China hawks in his own party (and indeed the opposition) by stating clearly that he doesn’t want a New Cold War; that the West and China are not compelled to fall into a Thucydides Trap; that Britain’s membership of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has been beneficial; and that cooperation with China on the issues of climate change, pandemics and nuclear proliferation is indispensable. He makes a point of congratulating China on its extraordinary achievement of lifting 800 million people out of poverty.

Needless to say, these useful comments are couched in the usual red-scare tropes about China’s “ruthless authoritarianism”, human rights in Xinjiang, and so on. On the one hand, Cleverly claims not to want a Cold War; on the other hand, he stupidly parrots all the propaganda that supports and justifies that Cold War. This should be seen as a loyalty pledge to Washington, and as a concession to the deluded hard-right China hawks in the British government.

The geopolitical context for Cleverly’s speech is obviously the developing trend of European countries seeking to distance themselves from the US’s anti-China strategy. The highest point of this trend so far has been Macron’s trip to Beijing earlier this month and the remarks he made about the need to develop a sovereign French foreign policy. Certainly Macron went much further than Cleverly – saying (consistent with international law) that the Taiwan question is an issue for Chinese people on both sides of the Strait. Nevertheless, it’s noteworthy and welcome that Britain sees the need to shift in the direction of a more independent and sensible policy.

A Global Times editorial fairly characterised Cleverly’s speech as “a correction of the UK’s aggressive line involving China in the past, and an attempt to return to British balanced diplomatic tradition.” However, the editorial sensibly calls for realistic assessment: “We welcome Cleverly’s positive remarks, at least it can be seen a little possibility of a turnaround in China-UK relations, but we remain cautious about how much it will be implemented in the UK’s China policy.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning echoed this sentiment, calling on Britain to “be prudent in its words and actions” and to “do more things that are conducive to the development of China-UK relations and world peace and stability.” She further warned that “bloc politics and the Cold War mentality are against the trend of history and do not serve the interests of the UK or any other party in the world.”

The Post-Brexit political consensus has for several years been that Britain’s fundamental interests lie in appeasing the US on foreign policy matters, in the hope that this will help bring forth a comprehensive US-UK trade deal. Cleverly’s speech – and Sunak’s refusal to define China as a ‘strategic threat’ – indicate a growing understanding that Britain needs investment from, and trade with, China, and that ‘decoupling’ is a dead end. The British people will benefit greatly if this understanding can blossom into a strategy of cooperation and mutually-beneficial relations.

Chinese ‘police stations’ and war propaganda

This article by Margaret Kimberley in Black Agenda Report discusses how the ‘Chinese police stations’ story currently doing the rounds in the West is nothing more than “laughable war propaganda”, designed to “incite fear and hatred of China and to normalize the idea of armed conflict”. It is yet another Cold War scare story to occupy people’s minds now that the ‘Chinese spy balloons’ hype has well and truly deflated.

Margaret points out that the putative ‘Chinese police stations’ are in fact “offices where Chinese citizens can get licenses renewed”. They “don’t have lock-ups or armed officers and are definitely not police stations.” Thanks to centuries of white supremacy and systematic repression of African-origin people, the Black community in the US is only too capable of distinguishing police stations from administrative offices.

The article highlights the fact that China’s stature is rising globally, especially in the light of its recent diplomatic activity, which has helped to bring about a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia (which is creating conditions for a prospective end to the horrific war in Yemen). Meanwhile the US’s insistence on desperately protecting its hegemony is only deepening its own isolation. “The US should be engaging in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. But that isn’t what the oligarchs and plutocrats here want.” Ultimately, it’s the working class and oppressed communities of the US and its allies that suffer from this New Cold War.

President Lula da Silva of Brazil recently visited China’s President Xi Jinping. French President Emmanuel Macron, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez have all made the journey in recent months. Even Germany’s amateurish Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock went, but her goal was to make sure that double talking Macron didn’t stray far from the EU’s pro-U.S. orthodoxy.

The frequency of high level meetings is interesting when one considers Joe Biden’s bizarre rant in his State of the Union Speech. He blurted out, “Name me a world leader who would trade places with Xi Jinping! Name me one!” Apparently the answer is all of them because they are making a collective beeline to Beijing. Because of his odd screed and shooting down a weather balloon, Biden can’t get Xi to take his phone call. Nor can Secretary of State Blinken schedule a meeting with his Chinese counterparts that was planned before the balloon fiasco. China is “ghosting” the U.S., which responds in typical fashion.

Like every small child does when frustrated about not getting their way, the U.S. ups the ante with a brand new tantrum.  Balloons are so two months ago, as are demented questions about Tik Tok. Now the courts are tools of the futile effort to subjugate China. In New York City prosecutors charged two Chinese-Americans with failing to register as agents of a foreign government by setting up a “police station” under the control of China’s government.

The trope of the Chinese police station has gone from a laughable war propaganda theory to war by other means. Federal prosecutors are charging the two men with obstruction, not espionage, and it appears they may not have been charged at all had they exercised their right not to talk to the FBI.

The charges are a prosecutor’s dream complete with press conferences where they can make outrageous claims against defendants. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace waxed particularly eloquently, “Today’s charges are a crystal clear response to the P.R.C. that we are onto you, we know what you’re doing and we will stop it from happening in the United States of America. We don’t need or want a secret police station in our great city.”

Of course the office was not a secret as it had been opened publicly. Nor is it anything resembling a police station. The term is a fiction, a creation of the state and their friends in the media meant to incite fear and hatred of China and to normalize the idea of armed conflict. These offices where Chinese citizens can get licenses renewed don’t have lock-ups or armed officers and are definitely not police stations.

The charges filed against the two men are purely political and will not lead to any advantage for the United States. While camera-loving prosecutors make nonsensical statements, China’s Defense Minister was in Moscow meeting with Vladimir Putin. China and Russia are now inextricably linked and are preparing to face the U.S. in whatever way it may choose to confront them.

In addition to the two New York men, the Justice Department indicted 34 people in China and charged them with conspiracy to transmit foreign threats but the complaint is a rehash of the old Russian troll farm stories. What was their crime? Among other things, “…an account controlled by the Group made numerous posts about George Floyd’s death and accusing U.S. law enforcement institutions of racism.” Any accusation of racism in law enforcement is a fact and not a reason for an indictment of any kind, but facts are never the issue when the U.S. declares another nation an enemy.

In attempting to diminish China’s economic prowess the U.S. has elevated its stature around the world. The ceasefire between Yemen and Saudi Arabia is the result of Chinese diplomacy as is the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Ukraine obsession and failure to harm Russia with sanctions has instead demonstrated the need to minimize relations with the U.S. and move away from the use of the dollar as the world reserve currency. China is leading in this regard and the more the U.S. amateurishly tries to isolate Beijing, the more it isolates itself.

China’s diplomatic success proves that the U.S. cannot be a peacemaker in the world. Its system depends upon domination and making what passes for friends through threats of force and interference. When another nation was able to bring persuasion to bear, the U.S. role as a hegemon and international aggressor was exposed for all to see.

The U.S. can call names, create hysteria about Tik Tok, claim that China uses “spy balloons” and “police stations” or make up anything else it wants. One quote in the Department of Justice press release is particularly revealing. “This case serves as a powerful reminder that the People’s Republic of China will stop at nothing to bend people to their will and silence messages they don’t want anyone to hear.” That statement is more accurately directed at the U.S.

The people of this country are the ultimate losers. Thanks to the corporate media repeating state talking points, they have no idea that China is moving up in the world and the U.S. is more and more isolated. They don’t know that the long predicted process of dedollarization is beginning to take shape.

The U.S. should be engaging in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. But that isn’t what the oligarchs and plutocrats here want. There would be no need for a military industrial complex if the U.S. wasn’t constantly creating new enemies and undermining other countries. All it has is aggression and the spectacle of name calling and incompetent diplomacy. The descent is obvious to anyone paying attention.

The France-China strategic partnership: towards a different type of international relations?

The recent state visit of French President Macron to China, and his subsequent comments regarding Taiwan and the overlapping relationships between China, Europe and the United States, have led to considerable furore on the part of other imperialist powers and politicians and certainly appear to indicate a significant breach in the coalition that US President Biden has been seeking to construct against China. 

In this thoughtful and incisive analysis, written specially for Friends of Socialist China, Dr Jenny Clegg, author and campaigner, who is a member of our advisory group, takes a deep dive into the issues surrounding the visit and its aftermath, including:

  • To what extent does it indicate a return to a more independent Gaullist tradition in French foreign policy?
  • Does the Sino-French 51-point Joint Statement offer a fresh template for relations between major developed and developing countries?
  • How can all this contribute to the search for peace in Ukraine and to averting the danger of war in the Asia Pacific Region?
  • How does it relate to President Xi Jinping’s recently announced Global Civilisation Initiative?

Jenny concludes with the observation that, “even if the path is twisted, multipolarity is the objective trend – and a work in progress.”


The French President Emmanuel Macron departed for China in early April, apparently on a mission on behalf of the ‘collective West’ to get President Xi Jinping to “bring Russia to its senses”; he came away, however, with quite a different message, calling on the EU to not be too dependent on the US.  It seems it was Xi’s mission to encourage Macron’s Gaullist instinct for ‘strategic autonomy’ that prevailed over the course of the three day state visit.

The fact that Macron was accompanied by a large group of businesspeople suggested that other, more commercial, motives were also at play. Indeed, China’s offer to bulk purchase 140 Airbus aircraft for $17bn was very generous. But this visit was by no means simply just another delegation along the vaunted ‘commerce over human rights’ pattern.

The meeting between leaders of the second and the seventh largest world economies – the largest developing and fourth largest developed respectively –  between two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and officially recognised nuclear powers, was made all the more significant by the exceptional times. 

The summit took place following a few short weeks of intense diplomatic manoeuvres – from China’s Ukraine and Middle East peace initiatives and summitry with Putin to the bizarre Sinophobic ‘balloon incident’ in the US, which saw Secretary of State Antony Blinken call off his visit to China, and, in the Pacific, the AUKUS expansion of nuclear-powered submarine capacity. All this reflected the extremely precarious situation internationally, with the Ukraine conflict on the verge of escalation, and now US provocations over Taiwan, potentially bringing major powers to the point of a Third World War.

The prospect of working towards a lasting Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership held the promise of injecting some rationality into a chaotic situation in danger of veering out of control.

For China, the summit was a key part of its major power diplomacy aimed at promoting a sound interaction between the world’s main players as set out in its recently released Global Security Initiative Concept Paper.  As major powers, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, as China sees it, China and France have a particular responsibility to address the current situation of growing global deficits in peace, development, security and governance, even as the international community confronts multiple risks and challenges.

The Sino-French 51 point joint statement

US President Biden’s New Cold War China policy formula to ‘compete, confront and cooperate’ carries great risks of muddle and incoherence in practice whilst narrowly and unrealistically restricting cooperation to the window of climate change.

The 51-point France-China Joint Statement in contrast opens up a wide range of areas for cooperation – political and strategic; economic and business; cultural and educational – and not only on a bilateral but also a multilateral basis, setting the frame, as major powers on the world stage, of “a shared view of a multipolar world” with “the United Nations at its core”.

On the vital question of the Ukraine crisis, there was support for “efforts to restore peace…on the basis of international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter” and, although there was no explicit call for a ceasefire, acknowledgement of Russia’s legitimate security concerns or opposition to unilateral sanctions – all covered in China’s 12 point proposal on the Ukraine crisis – what was of significance was the call for “no action that could heighten the risk of tension”,  given recognition of the dangers of escalation and even nuclear war.

On bilateral cooperation, from artificial intelligence and the digital economy, including 5G, from the general improvement of market access on both sides, to science and technology cooperation, language teaching, inter-university and cultural exchanges, there is little evidence of the paranoia that now permeates the US, UK and the rest of the Anglosphere over alleged Chinese ‘spying’ and the supposed hidden threat in all these to national security.

Continue reading The France-China strategic partnership: towards a different type of international relations?

The TikTok conspiracy – the Montana connection

In the following article, written for Friends of Socialist China, Keith Lamb uncovers the real reasons behind the move by lawmakers in the US state of Montana to ban the hugely popular TikTok app. 

Keith refutes the suggestion that the app presents any national security threat to the US, highlighting instead the degeneration of much of US popular culture as well as the contrast between a bourgeois government in the US – in hock to capital, including the big tech companies – and a socialist government in China, that prioritizes people’s welfare, including the balanced development of the younger generation. 

He also looks at why Montana is the first US state to take this drastic step.

Montana lawmakers have decided to ban TikTok, the popular app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Now their decision will go to Montana’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, for consideration. The argument for banning TikTok is based on several conspiracy theories. But the real conspiracy theory, which Montana has a role in, isn’t being reported.

The popular conspiracy theory narrative is that China will be able to spy on US citizens, propagandize them, and that China is even using TikTok to dumb down Americans while the Chinese version of the app is used to edify China’s citizens.

First, even the CIA has stated there is no evidence that the Chinese government has access to US TikTok data. Indeed, TikTok stores US data on servers based in Texas. As such, the reasoning for banning TikTok is based on made up and hypothetical situations rather than factual evidence.

Second, it is vacuous to claim that China is using TikTok to propagandize US citizens as US TikTok users overwhelmingly consume homegrown content. Banning TikTok would only mean US content creators would migrate to different apps – this is probably the intention!

In terms of the Chinese version of TikTok, an episode of the 60 Minutes TV show argued that it is more likely to show edifying content to Chinese youth while US children get the dumbed-down version. Thus, the reasoning goes, China is purposely dumbing down Americans!

This dumbed-down argument speaks volumes to the ignorance that masks the real causes for seeking to ban TikTok. Any serious self-reflection on popular US culture would recognize that it has long been dumbed down before TikTok’s advent.

Ignorance and mindless hedonism, combined with the generally illusory prospect of quick wealth added onto a catchy jingle, has long been the background melody that big business has used to propagandize American youth. Without widespread ignorance arguments that combine multiple foreign invasions with notions of “democracy” and “the good guys” would be untenable.

Continue reading The TikTok conspiracy – the Montana connection

France is correct to pursue strategic autonomy

French president Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments in Beijing that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours” have attracted condemnation from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (an international alliance of China hawks including Marco Rubio and Iain Duncan Smith), which accuses Macron of “appeasing” Beijing and failing to stand up for democracy.

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez responded to IPAC’s vitriol in a brief interview with the Morning Star, pointing out that Macron’s comments are essentially a reiteration of the Gaullism that has oriented French foreign policy since the late 1950s. That France should pursue an independent foreign policy based on its own interests, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable. Instead of issuing hysterical condemnation of Macron, British politicians would be well advised to follow the example of seeking strategic autonomy and establishing a sensible distance from the US’s reckless New Cold War.

BRITAIN would be well advised to follow [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s example in staying out of a US confrontation with Beijing, a China expert says.

Mr Macron told reporters following a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours.”

He singled out rising tensions over Taiwan, asking: “Is it in our interests to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worst thing would be to … take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.”

Thirteen British MPs signed an attack on Mr Macron drafted by the Inter-parliamentary Alliance on China, an international assemblage of legislators. It condemns “Beijing’s aggressive stance towards Taiwan” and voices dismay at the French president for “appeasing” China.

But author Carlos Martinez told the Morning Star: “That France should pursue an independent foreign policy, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable.

“On this question, Britain would be well advised to follow Macron’s example, although the current political configuration makes that difficult. The hard right in the Conservative Party is pushing for deeper alignment with (or subservience to) the US ruling class, and it’s found an unlikely bedfellow in the Labour leadership.

“It is crucial that Britain stop outsourcing its foreign policy to Washington. British people have much to gain from friendly relations, trade, co-operation and people-to-people exchanges with China.

“Such relations must of course be based on mutual respect, which means we should respect China’s sovereignty and accept that the Taiwan issue can only be solved by the Chinese people on both sides of the strait.”

The sudden arrival of a cold war with China

In the following article, which we are pleased to reprint from the Morning Star, Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London (2000-2008), denounces the new cold war that has been instigated against China, in which Britain has once again followed behind the United States. 

Outlining some of the hostile measures taken by the UK against China, Ken notes how recent ex-Prime Minister Liz Truss had been set to formally declare China to be an enemy of Britain while current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak describes the country as a “challenge to the world order.”

In contrast, Ken writes: “The rise of China is one of the greatest events in world history in my lifetime. When I was born, life expectancy in China was under 40. Around 90 per cent of the population was illiterate. The country had been torn apart by a century of foreign aggression, invasion, warlordism and civil wars. Millions died every year from floods and famine.

“What a contrast to today’s China, which is on the cusp of overtaking the US as the world’s greatest economy – a change unseen in over a century. China’s life expectancy has already overtaken that of the US… This economic transformation is one that all decent people should welcome.”

Ken compares the present policies towards China with the “golden era” declared by Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne as recently as 2015 and adds that when he was elected Mayor in 2000, “I was determined that London would develop positive relations with China.” He adds:

“We opened offices for London in Beijing and Shanghai, encouraged Stock Exchange listings, brought the annual celebration of Chinese New Year to Trafalgar Square, and expanded co-operation in a whole range of sectors, such as fashion, design and the creative industries.”

Whilst such positive policies were broadly supported by successive Labour leaders: “Sadly, they now find little or no echo from Keir Starmer and his shadow foreign secretary David Lammy. Their political horizons seem confined to attempting to outdo the Tories as to who can be the most bellicose cold warrior.”

This establishment consensus is leading us into dangerous waters, such as the Aukus nuclear submarine deal with Australia and the United States. Britain is vastly increasing military spending at a time when, “an increasing number of people aren’t being forced to choose between heating and eating because they can’t afford either.”

Ken concludes: “Progressives in the labour movement need to… build the broadest possible alliance to reverse the slide to disaster.”

AS SOMEONE who lived through the first cold war against the Soviet Union and its allies, and who was in some important respects politically shaped by it — including in terms of my decades-long opposition to nuclear weapons — I recognise all too well the depressing signs of a new cold war against China, being fomented by the US, Britain and a handful of other countries.

Here in Britain, we’ve seen:

● A thriving relationship with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei scuppered at US insistence, leaving 5G infrastructure to be ripped out of our networks, increasing costs to the Treasury and leaving us in the broadband slow lane.

● A ban on the massively popular TikTok app on government devices.

● Attacks and threats to close Confucius Institutes, which play an invaluable role in lessening our educational deficit in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

● Sanctions and refusal of investment from Chinese companies on dubious national security grounds, costing us jobs, markets and technical upskilling.

● A ban on the Chinese ambassador setting foot in the Palace of Westminster, instigated by a vociferous gang of right-wingers like Iain Duncan Smith.

Not surprisingly, all this, along with the attempts to blame China for the Covid pandemic from Donald Trump and his allies internationally, has led to an upsurge in racist attacks on members of Chinese and Asian communities.

Continue reading The sudden arrival of a cold war with China

US uses Taiwan as pawn for war on China

In the following article, which originally appeared in Workers World, Sara Flounders, a contributing editor to the newspaper and a member of our advisory group, unmasks and dissects the US plans for war against China, notably with Taiwan as a pretext.

Sara notes that, “Taiwan, like Ukraine, is a pawn. The military and economic threats on both China and Russia are a desperate bid to quash the emergence of a multipolar world.” She proceeds to outline how, “US imperialist hegemony is being challenged from every side,” citing de-dollarization, the strength of China’s economy, its position in international trade, and the Belt and Road Initiative.

“China,” she notes, “and a growing number of countries are in an increasingly stronger position to resist the U.S.’s unequal demands. Countries with three-quarters of the world’s population refused to go along with sanctions on Russia. Will they be willing to accept US sanctions on China?”

Sara explains that, “Taiwan’s trade with China is far bigger than its trade with the US. Mainland China and Hong Kong accounted for 42% of Taiwan’s exports last year, while the US had only a 15% share, according to official Taiwan data. For Taiwan’s imports, mainland China and Hong Kong again ranked first with a 22% share. The US only had a 10% share, ranking behind Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia. South Korea and Japan have greater trade levels with China than with the US.” For US imperialism, the problem is how to make countries and regions in the Asia-Pacific act against their own economic interests.

Explaining the US military moves in some detail, Sara writes that the US is frantically seeking to stop China’s economic rise by militarily encircling it, aiming to create an Asian version of NATO. In its drive to find an excuse for war, the US is reversing the One China policy to which it has committed over the last 50 years.

Her article ends with the militant call: We must mobilize! US hands off China!

While the U.S.-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine continues unabated, the U.S. is preparing at breakneck speed for war with China, using Taiwan as the excuse. Taiwan, like Ukraine, is a pawn. The military and economic threats on both China and Russia are a desperate bid to quash the emergence of a multipolar world.

U.S. imperialist hegemony is being challenged from every side. De-dollarization among major economies of the Global South is a component of trade agreements among the powerful emerging economies of China, Russia, Iran, Brazil, India, Malaysia and South Africa. Even Saudi Arabia, a reactionary bulwark of U.S. domination in West Asia, is willing to seek new agreements with Iran and is interested in trading their oil in Chinese yuan renminbi, rather than be wholly dependent on U.S. dollars. 

Even more threatening to U.S. capitalists is that China is developing trade relations with the 40 countries sanctioned by Washington, and they are doing this by barter and direct currency exchanges. This works around the almighty dollar, the international reserve currency that has dominated global trade and capital flows for 100 years.

These are not the first efforts to find a replacement to U.S. dollar domination. There is no crime that U.S. imperialism wouldn’t commit to preserve the U.S. dollar. Both oil rich Iraq, which proposed a currency based on the dinar in 1990 and Libya, which attempted an African currency in 2010 found they had fabulous resources but no protection from U.S. bombs. Their efforts at sovereignty led to their brutal destruction by U.S. imperialism.

The aspiration to break free of U.S. corporate control is today being challenged by many more countries. China is a more formidable opponent.China is surpassing the U.S. in gross domestic product and the development of its economy. China is the top trading partner to more than 120 countries and the largest external trading partner of the European Union. 

Continue reading US uses Taiwan as pawn for war on China

TikTok on trial: The latest front in the US tech war on China

This article by Amanda Yee, which was first carried on Liberation News, provides a detailed analysis of the US’s attempt to suppress (or transfer ownership of) the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok.

Amanda writes that the attack on TikTok is merely the latest front in an ongoing tech war being waged by the US ruling class, seeking to demonize Chinese tech companies and restrict their access to US markets. The US is “weaponizing Red Scare tactics” in order to ensure its tech dominance. “Forcing the sale of TikTok to a US company, or banning it entirely, which would drive its users to US competitors like Meta, Instagram Reels (owned by Meta), Snapchat, or YouTube Shorts.”

The article notes that the targeting of TikTok over data privacy concerns is discriminatory. US firms including Google and Facebook are notorious for providing data to the state, to the extent that there is “a mutually beneficial relationship between tech companies and the US government: the state protects the interests of Silicon Valley capital, and in return, Big Tech complies with its data requests.” The problem of data privacy is not TikTok’s specific practises – or its alleged links with the Communist Party of China – but the lack of meaningful regulation of the tech sector by the US government.

The US ruling class is whipping up anti-communist and racist hysteria in order to suppress China’s rise and to protect US economic hegemony. All those on the left should oppose this abhorrent strategy.

On March 23, CEO of TikTok Shou Zi Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee addressing concerns over the popular social media app’s data collection practices and parent company ByteDance’s alleged links to the Chinese government. Though TikTok is a subsidiary of ByteDance, which is based in Beijing, it operates as an independent entity. Chew has maintained the company has never shared user data with the Chinese government, and would refuse if pressed to do so. Still, the Congressional hearings amounted to nothing more than racist political theater, a McCarthyite witch trial, in which members of Congress who demonstrated little understanding of how basic social media algorithms—or even home Wi–Fi networks—work attempted to spuriously link Chew, who was born, raised, and currently lives in Singapore, to the Communist Party of China.

At one point during the hearings, Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona asks Chew, “Do you agree that the Chinese government is persecuting the Uyghur population?” to which a perplexed Chew firmly responds, “Congresswoman, I’m here to describe TikTok and what we do as a platform.”

Make no mistake: the TikTok hearings had nothing to do with the baseless threat of Chinese surveillance and everything to do with maintaining the dominance of U.S. capitalism. TikTok is the most popular and most frequently downloaded social media app worldwide, boasting 150 million users in the United States alone. The overall time users spend on TikTok now far exceeds some of its U.S. competitors, and it has been rapidly pulling digital advertising away from these same companies. 

The hearings were just the latest in the U.S. tech war against China—a key front in the new Cold War—and Silicon Valley has found as its ally rising anti-Chinese sentiment and, through the arm of the capitalist state, is weaponizing such Red Scare tactics to ensure tech dominance. This explains why the U.S. government is trying to force the sale of TikTok to a U.S. company, or ban it entirely, which would drive its users to U.S. competitors like Meta, Instagram Reels (owned by Meta), Snapchat, or YouTube Shorts.

Either way, Silicon Valley stands to benefit. And even if the U.S. government doesn’t go through with a TikTok ban, the spectacle of the hearings and fearmongering over Chinese surveillance was enough to drive up stocks for Meta and Snapchat.

Continue reading TikTok on trial: The latest front in the US tech war on China

US push to strip China’s developing country status an attack on development itself

The following article by Danny Haiphong, first published on his blog CGTN, discusses the unanimous vote in the US House of Representatives in favour of the ‘PRC Is Not a Developing Country Act’, which directs the State Department to seek the removal of China’s status as a developing country.

Noting that China’s developing country status is very much consistent with its per capita income (five times lower than the US) and overall development level, Danny demonstrates that this action is yet another component of the US’s broader strategy to contain China’s economic rise and geopolitical influence, and is driven by the US’s inability to compete with China’s rapidly advancing state-led economy. Other components of this strategy include the attempt to ban TikTok and the ban on semiconductor exports to China.

As Danny points out, the ‘PRC Is Not a Developing Country Act’ is an attack on development itself. “It is a warning to nations around the world that they risk economic warfare should their success be perceived as a threat to US hegemony.”

On March 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “PRC Is Not a Developing Country Act” by a unanimous vote of 415-0 in yet another demonstration of the solid bipartisanship that exists in the United States when it comes to containing and isolating China. Under the terms of the bill, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken would be directed to seek the removal of China’s status as a developing country from international organizations and institutions.

The United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank all recognize China as a developing country for good reason. China’s GDP per capita, while rising, is $12,700 or about five times smaller than the U.S.’s. China’s Human Development Index is 79th in the world. It’s committed to improving living standards for all people and has taken its commitments to the international community seriously. Of course, the “PRC Is Not a Developing Country Act” has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with curbing China’s development.

Ending China’s developing country status prematurely would come with consequences. The World Bank and IMF could rescind tariff preferences and low-interest loans. China’s carbon emissions target may increase and the time-frame for meeting them decrease. In other words, China’s development path would become more difficult, which is exactly what the “PRC Is Not a Developing Country Act” hopes to achieve.

Continue reading US push to strip China’s developing country status an attack on development itself

Videos: The Counter-Summit for Democracy

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

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

The videos from the event are embedded below.

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

China isn’t our enemy, targeting of Tiktok is xenophobic

In this brief interview for CGTN, North American anti-war activist Calla Walsh – one of the co-chairs of the National Network on Cuba, and a speaker at our Counter-Summit for Democracy – explains that a growing number of young people in the US do not see China as their enemy but rather as a friend; “as a global leader that is really paving the way to a more peaceful and multi-polar world where all countries have a right to sovereignty, instead of living under the yoke of the United States.” Although young people in the West are exposed to a relentless barrage of anti-China propaganda, increasingly people are able to see and understand certain powerful facts: that it’s the US and its allies that go round the world waging war and imposing domination, while China stands with the Global South; that it’s the US that’s failing to make meaningful progress addressing the climate crisis, while China has emerged as a global leader in green energy. In summary, “China is a progressive force, and the US is extremely regressive.”

Calla also addresses the attack on TikTok – an attack based on xenophobia, anticommunism, and a fear of China’s economic rise. However, this attack is having the opposite of its intended effect: “I think it’ll make the entire user base, which is hundreds of millions of people, even more skeptical of the US government’s narrative on TikTok and on China as a whole.”

The anti-China onslaught in the U.S. doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect on its younger population. A recent survey by The Economist and YouGov reveals that younger Americans are friendlier to China than their older counterparts. Nearly a quarter of Americans aged 18 to 44 view China as “friendly,” only 4 percent of Americans above the age of 45 view China this way.

The report comes amid the U.S. efforts to ban TikTok, a video app that has become a craze among American youth in recent years. At the Congressional hearing of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, U.S. lawmakers couldn’t hide their racism and xenophobia.

To understand how a large number of young Americans are contesting the anti-China narrative within the U.S., CGTN spoke with Calla Walsh, a youth anti-war activist who is on the board of Massachusetts Peace Action and one of the co-chairs of the National Network on Cuba.

Edited Excerpts:

CGTN: Let me ask you the question that The Economist-YouGov poll asked its respondents: Do you consider China to be a friendly nation or an enemy of the United States?

Walsh: China is not our enemy and I’m among the substantial group of young people in the U.S. that sees China as a friend. And I see China not only as a friend, but as a global leader that is really paving the way to a more peaceful and multi-polar world where all countries have a right to sovereignty, instead of living under the yoke of the United States. And it’s really hard to buy the U.S. demonization of China as this existential threat when in the past several decades the U.S. is the country that has committed hundreds of military interventions and invasions.

And I think young people can see through these warmongering lies that the U.S. is spreading about China. And we can also see China is actually delivering on the issues we care about, for example, climate. [U.S. President Joe] Biden is signing off on the willow project; he’s breaking his campaign promises to stop new drilling on federal land while China’s leading the world and reducing carbon emissions, building green infrastructure. So it’s very easy to tell China is a progressive force, and the U.S. is extremely regressive.

CGTN: Does the poll indicate that we are witnessing a slow but gradual generational change in perception about China?

Walsh: I think there is a slow generational shift in how we regard China and how we regard U.S. imperialism as a whole. We are not the generation of the first Cold War against the Soviet Union. I think our generation has been much more shaped by social movements that have really made us more skeptical of the U.S. government narrative on things. We’re the generation of these mass mobilizations against Climate Change, against gun violence, against racism and police brutality. And young people are becoming more civically engaged, having record-breaking voter turnout, and I think we’re much more skeptical of the U.S. government because of the failures on those issues I just mentioned.

CGTN: How do you see the ongoing targeting of TikTok? How will the Congressional hearing of the TikTok CEO affect the view of its user base?

Walsh: The ongoing targeting of TikTok is very much xenophobic, and red-scare tactic. And just when I’ve logged on to TikTok in the past few days, I’ve seen lots of popular accounts, ones that are even apolitical, that are calling this hearing a witch hunt. They’re mocking U.S. Congress members, for not even understanding how the internet works. So it’s really putting into light how ridiculous this anti-China propaganda is. And I think that’ll make the entire user base which is hundreds of millions of people even more skeptical of the U.S. government’s narrative on TikTok and on China as a whole.

And of course the U.S. government literally mass spies on its own citizens. So we know this isn’t about privacy at all. And other U.S. social media companies, like Meta, engage in very harmful data sharing practices. So what we should be talking about is why the U.S. really is doing this and that’s because of the economic competition that China poses.