US ‘forced labor’ allegations in Xinjiang nothing but imperial projection

The following article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong, originally carried in the Global Times on 3 July 2022, addresses the recent implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, effectively imposing a blanket ban on goods produced in Xinjiang. Danny notes the startling hypocrisy of the US – the global capital of prison labor and modern slavery – slandering China on this basis. He further points to the two central motivations for the ‘China Bad’ narrative: firstly, creating a scapegoat for the steadily worsening problems of contemporary US capitalism; secondly, increasing demand (and thereby profits) for the military-industrial complex. What is abundantly clear is that ordinary people in the US have absolutely nothing to gain from the ruling class’s New Cold War.

US President Joe Biden has begun enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act that was passed in late 2021. The legislation is comprised of a set of economic sanctions that represent some of the broadest the US has leveled upon China since the normalization of relations between the two countries. This includes a ban on all imported goods from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and a US Department of Commerce review of all goods produced outside of the region that may have connections to economic institutions in Xinjiang. These measures have been justified by Biden and the US political establishment as a measured response to China’s use of “forced labor” in Xinjiang, particularly of its Uygur minority ethnic group. Allegations of forced labor in the region have never been proven and both foreign companies and Uygur workers alike have denied its existence.

That the US would attempt to punish China over forced labor is a clear act of imperial projection. Forced labor is a serious problem in the US. According to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union, US prisoners produce more than $11 billion in profits and services despite being paid an hourly wage of between $0.13 and $0.52. Seven states were found to pay no compensation for prison labor. Prisoners cited that punishment in the form of solitary confinement and family visitation was routinely employed against those who refused to work. 

Continue reading US ‘forced labor’ allegations in Xinjiang nothing but imperial projection

BRICS indispensable for the collective interests of developing countries

The following article, by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, is a slightly expanded version of a piece written for Global Times and published on 20 June 2022. Carlos writes about what to expect from the forthcoming BRICS Summit, which will be hosted by China on 24 June 2022, and discusses the global significance of BRICS in terms of the pursuit of a democratic and multipolar system of international relations.

The 14th BRICS Summit, to be held virtually on 24 June, comes at a crucial moment, as the US is escalating and expanding its New Cold War. While waging a proxy war in Ukraine with a view to inflicting a heavy blow against Russia, the US and its allies are also stepping up their anti-China rhetoric, recklessly undermining the One China principle, sending warships and spy planes to Chinese waters and airspace, and reviving their despicable slanders about the human rights situation in Xinjiang.

The Ukraine crisis has exposed important fault-lines in the so-called rules-based international order. The US has been able to persuade its European and Anglo-Saxon allies to impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia – at significant cost to ordinary people in those countries, who now face a cost of living crisis that threatens to drive millions into poverty. These sanctions, and the provision of heavy weaponry to Kyiv, are aimed not at resolving the conflict but prolonging it.

However, most countries of the developing world have rejected the West’s strategy of division and escalation. China’s principled opposition to unilateral sanctions and its emphasis on a negotiated solution to the crisis are well known. India, which the US has long sought to cultivate as a stable ally and stalking horse against China, has also been firm in its opposition to sanctions against Russia. South African president Cyril Ramaphosa incurred the wrath of the Western media when he stated the blunt truth that the Ukraine war was primarily a result of NATO expansion. Even Brazil, while tending under its current government to side with the US, is taking a position of neutrality in relation to Ukraine.

Continue reading BRICS indispensable for the collective interests of developing countries

Taiwan: Red lines and strategic ambiguity

We are pleased to reproduce this article by Stefania Fusero, a Friends of Socialist China advisory group member from Italy, about recent developments in US rhetoric regarding Taiwan and the Biden administration’s undermining of the One China policy. The article was first published in New Cold War.

On May 5, 2022, the State Department amended its Taiwan factsheet removing the part in which it acknowledged that Taiwan is a part of China and stated that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence.

While Washington has said the update does not reflect a change in its policy, it has clearly increased both its military and political activism in the region and Biden even went so far as to say in Tokyo on May 23 that the US is ready to use military force to defend Taiwan in the event of an intervention from Beijing.

As the US-led proxy war of NATO against Russia in Ukraine continues, are we going to open a new front against another nuclear power, this time in Southeast Asia? Already our press has begun to compare the situation in Ukraine with the Taiwan issue, so we can expect that the great media circus will soon light up its spotlights to the seas of China – the narrative being likely the same as the one we have been made addicted to by now.

Will we therefore learn to recognise a glorious new flag to insert in the host of democratic countries, that of Taiwan? This will be the easy part, the harder one will be to understand what Taiwan is and why it will have become a vital issue for Western democracies. Will we once again be inundated with a thumping propaganda campaign focused on the epic struggle of democracy against autocracy, freedom against tyranny, light against darkness, good against evil?

Brief historical notes

First of all, it must be noted that Taiwan is not an independent state, in fact it is not even a state according to international law.

After the defeat of Japan in the Second World War, Taiwan returned to be an integral part of China, and as a consequence, after the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang, of the People’s Republic of China.

The name of Taiwan denotes an island (+ some other islets) about 160 km from the south-eastern coast of China, surrounded by the East China Sea to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest. The inhabitants are about 23 million, the capital is Taipei.

Starting from the end of the 13th century groups of Chinese began to arrive from the mainland and settle on the island, but during the 17th century Taiwan, to which Portuguese explorers had given the name of Formosa, became a pole of attraction also for Europe: the Dutch colonised the south and the Spanish colonised the north.

In 1644 the Ming were defeated by the Manchus, who founded the new Qing dynasty, which would be the last in Chinese imperial history. The prince of Yanping, known in the West as Koxinga, did not recognise the authority of the new Qing dynasty, and attempted to restore the Ming. In 1661 he crossed the strait, attacked the Dutch settlers claiming the island of Taiwan as a historic property of China, and ended Dutch colonisation, which had lasted nearly 40 years. Taiwan thus became a military base from which Koxinga and later his descendants tried in vain to restore the Ming dynasty. After finally defeating them in 1683, the Qing integrated Taiwan into their empire.

England defeated the Qing in the First Opium War in 1842, ushering in the so-called “century of humiliation” for China, which became the prey of the greed of several empires. To Japan, the last newcomer to the imperial club, the dying Qing dynasty was forced with the 1895 treaty of Shimonoseki to cede the island of Taiwan, which remained a Japanese colony until October 25, 1945, when the government of China, which had been became a republic, finally regained possession of Taiwan and the Penghu archipelago, reassuming their full legitimate sovereignty.

The victory over the Japanese, however, did not mean the end of military hostilities in China, where since 1927 the civil war between the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) had been intermittently raging.

 The civil war ended in 1949 with the victory of the Communists and the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek, who, just as Koxinga had done a few centuries earlier, fled the mainland and occupied Taiwan, where his regime took on the name of ROC (Republic of China), the same name adopted by the state entity born after the fall of the Qing Empire in 1912.

This is the origin of the so-called ‘Taiwan question’.

One China or two Chinas?

For its part, on the very day of its foundation, October 1, 1949, the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) announced to the world that it “… is the sole legitimate government representing the entire people of the People’s Republic of China”. It declared to the United Nations that the KMT authorities had “lost all basis, both de jure and de facto, to represent the Chinese people” and therefore had no right to represent China. Since the founding of the PRC, a sine qua non condition for any country wishing to have relations with the PRC has been to recognise the government of the PRC as the sole legitimate authority of the whole of China, as well as to sever or refrain from establishing diplomatic relations with the Taiwanese authorities.

At least on this point did Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek agree: China is one and has only one legitimate government, which obviously for the PRC is that of Beijing and for the KMT that of Taipei.

The US, which during the civil war had gambled on the Kuomintang, supporting it militarily and economically against the Communist Party, did not resign to its victory and continued to give generous aid to the KMT.

After the start of the Korean War in June 1950, the US government not only sent troops to Taiwan, which General Mac Arthur compared to an “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, but even considered using nuclear weapons against the PRC.

From a diplomatic point of view, meanwhile, the US questioned the status of Taiwan and lobbied for “dual recognition” among the international community in order to create “two Chinas”, whereas the government of the PRC, to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation, staunchly supported the one China principle: there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is an integral part of it, and the PRC government is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China.

This principle came gradually to be accepted by the international community, until on October 25, 1971, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which expelled the representatives of the Taiwanese regime and awarded the seat in the United Nations to the government of the PRC.

In the following year, February 1972, President Nixon’s historic visit to China led to the total revision of the official position of the US towards Taiwan. With the famous Shanghai communiqué, which was to be followed by another two in 1979 and 1982, later defined as “the three joint communiqués”, the USA relinquished the doctrine of the two Chinas, recognised the indivisibility of China, declared that Taiwan is a province of China and that the liberation of Taiwan is an internal affair of China; they also pledged to withdraw all US military forces stationed in Taiwan.

Was that the happy ending for the Taiwan issue, then? Unfortunately not, as shown by the tensions which today, while a war is still being waged in Ukraine, are intensifying around the Seas of China.


The one-China principle vs the so-called US strategic ambiguity

If from the very moment of its foundation in 1949 the position of the PRC on Taiwan has remained unequivocal and constant overtime, that of the US has instead been configuring in terms of “strategic ambiguity”.

As early as in 1979 Deng Xiaoping’s government articulated the policy of “peaceful reunification and one country, two systems”: China is committed to achieving peaceful reunification but will not rule out the use of force if any of its red lines were to be overpassed, if for example Taiwan ceased to recognise the principle that China is one and inalienable and/or proclaimed independence from the PRC or were occupied by any foreign countries.

The PRC wants to achieve reunification through peaceful negotiations and is willing to negotiate any matter except the overriding one-China principle. After reunification, the “one country, two systems” policy will be practiced: mainland China will continue with its socialist system and Taiwan will maintain its capitalist system for a long time to come. After reunification, Taiwan will enjoy a high degree of autonomy and the central government will not send troops or administrative personnel to be stationed in Taiwan.

Economic and cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have made rapid progress since the end of 1987, and economic data shows that imports from the PRC and exports to the PRC far outweigh those with all other countries. Despite these trends, the current majority party in Taipei, the DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) led by Tsai Ing-wen, has increased military spending, moved closer to the US, and sharpened the hostility of its government towards the PRC.

Notwithstanding the principles solemnly stated in the three Communiqués between 1972 and 1982, the US has in fact often contradicted the spirit and the letter of them, adopting a policy toward Taiwan that they equivocally define as “strategic ambiguity”, which certainly does not favour a climate of trust and détente between the USA and the PRC.

We could give many examples to illustrate the ambiguous US policy on Taipei, such as the steady increase in arms sales to the island, the incendiary declarations of members of Congress on official visits to what the US does not even officially recognise as a nation, as well as the fact revealed in the WSJ last October 2021 that US military advisers had been present in Taiwan for at least one year, all obviously in flagrant violation of the agreements made in the three communiqués.

And what about a 2002 act that: “… Taiwan shall be treated as though it were designated a major non-NATO ally (as defined in section 644(q) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961?”

We can get an idea of how their policy of “strategic ambiguity” can be correctly interpreted by turning directly to official US sources. I highly recommend reading the Taiwan fact sheet on the official website of the US State Department, or rather its different versions that have appeared between 2019 and a few days ago. To facilitate comparison for anyone wishing to go through them in detail, I have prepared a PDF with the three versions in chronological order, highlighting the most significant parts (see here).

June 8, 2019: the fact sheet begins with the 1979 communiqué  recognising the PRC as the sole legitimate government of one China. It also importantly states that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence.

May 8, 2022: what a twist! The sheet has dramatically changed: it begins by saying that Taiwan is a key partner of the United States in the Indo-Pacific and that the United States and Taiwan share the same values. US policy is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, the three joint US-China Communiqués and the Six Assurances (in that order).

The PRC government is well aware that a few fundamental words have gone missing from the fact sheet, i.e.  “the US does not support Taiwan’s independence”. On the other hand, the so-called Six Assurances are in!

To understand the reason why the Chinese government promptly and firmly reacted to these changes, we need to say just a few words about the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances.

The Taiwan Relations Act is a pro-Taiwan lobby-inspired law passed by Congress in 1979 to offset the effects of the US government’s recognition of the PRC: “…the United States shall provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and shall maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.”

The term ‘Six Assurances’, instead, refers to six Reagan-era security assurances unilaterally provided to Taiwan in 1982 but not formally made public, which the United States declassified in 2020, among which: the United States has not agreed to set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan; the United States has not agreed to consult with the PRC on arms sales to Taiwan; the United States has not agreed to revise the Taiwan Relations Act.

May 28, 2022: the fact sheet, surreptitiously modified one more time, reaffirms that the US does not support Taiwan’s independence.

Playing with the Joint Communiqués as well as with laws and provisions that unilaterally regulate, in a more or less open way, relations between China and the USA, erratically emphasising either, is sufficient in itself to convey totally contradictory and obviously destabilising messages to the world.

What is China doing in the meantime? Its policy has constantly remained the same, that to foster a gradual and peaceful reunification but in the meantime, it is bracing for the worst. In fact, for the PRC Taiwan is not a pawn to be used to destabilise countries thousands of km away from its national territory, but “… it is part of the sacred territory of the People’s Republic of China. It is the sacred duty of all the Chinese people, including our fellow Chinese in Taiwan, to achieve the great reunification of the motherland.” (from the Preamble of the Constitution of the PRC)


Sources: 

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Shanghai_Communiqu%C3%A9

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Joint_Communiqu%C3%A9_on_the_Establishment_of_Diplomatic_Relations

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/US%E2%80%93PRC_Joint_Communique,_August_17,_1982

https://web.archive.org/web/20190608140339/https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-taiwan/

https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-taiwan/

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/us-state-department-website-deletes-taiwan-is-part-of-china-reference-2963338

https://oec.world/en/profile/country/twn#Profile

https://www.mfa.gov.cn/ce/celt/eng/zt/zgtw/t125229.htm

https://www.congress.gov/bill/96th-congress/house-bill/2479#:~:text=Taiwan%20Relations%20Act%20%2D%20Declares%20it,other%20people%20of%20the%20Western

https://www.ait.org.tw/our-relationship/policy-history/key-u-s-foreign-policy-documents-region/six-assurances-1982/

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:22%20section:2321k%20edition:prelim)

http://www.npc.gov.cn/englishnpc/constitution2019/201911/1f65146fb6104dd3a2793875d19b5b29.shtml

Danny Haiphong: The trend toward a multipolar world is defined by class struggle

These edited remarks were given by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong at our recent webinar, The Empire Strikes Back: Imperialism’s Global War on Multipolarity. The full event can be viewed on YouTube.

In the post-Soviet era, it has become fashionable to strip all geopolitical developments of their class roots. Wars have been explained away by bourgeois propaganda: the War on Terror, Great Power Competition, and matters of “national security.” The Ukraine crisis is a case in point.  Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has been labeled a war without a cause by Western detractors. But underneath the cacophony of capitalist ideology and propaganda is a class struggle occurring on the global stage for multipolarity where the Russia-Ukraine conflict is but one flashpoint.

Vladimir Lenin is perhaps the most well-known Marxist revolutionary to advance a modern theory of international relations rooted in the class struggle brought about by imperialism. Lenin concluded that the ascendency of monopoly and finance capital divided the world into colonies and oppressed nations. The self-determination of these nations would therefore form a core pillar in the struggle for socialism worldwide. Without self-determination, workers and oppressed people of the world would suffer immeasurable losses from the scourge of colonial domination and its triple evils of military occupation, economic plunder, and racial discrimination.

Multipolarity is in essence a continuation of the struggle for self-determination in the modern era. After years of imperialist ramblings about the “End of History” and “There is No Alternative” (TINA) to neoliberalism, the trend toward a multipolar world is demonstrating that the exact opposite is true. In all corners of the globe, the unipolar dominance of U.S. imperialism is collapsing upon its own contradictions. In Europe, U.S. imperialism threatens to shut the lights out and place what was once the center of capitalist development into a permanent state of decay. In Latin America, insurgent left-wing governments led by Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and others are rejecting U.S. domination in their pursuit of peoples-centered socialist development and integration. In Africa, Western plunder and militarization led by the U.S. has led many countries to pursue stronger relations with China and Russia.

Continue reading Danny Haiphong: The trend toward a multipolar world is defined by class struggle

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

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

Full event stream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solomon Islands: build up to the US war against China

We are pleased to republish this insightful article from The Socialist Correspondent about the recent imperialist hysteria surrounding the Solomon Islands’ security agreement with China. The author contextualises this manufactured crisis within the escalating US-led New Cold War and the longstanding project to encircle and contain the People’s Republic of China and to roll back the Chinese Revolution. The article goes on to note that the West’s attempts to keep the island nations of the Pacific within its ‘sphere of influence’, plus the Biden administration’s undermining of the One China principle, pose a significant danger to world peace.

The Solomon Islands nation in the Pacific – 2000 kilometres north-east of Australia – has dared to assert its own independent foreign policy after decades spent under foreign tutelage. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare hailed an agreement between his country and China – including a security pact – as a “milestone”. He said: “We need to diversify the country’s relationship with other partners. What is wrong with that?” China was not pressuring his country into signing the pact, he insisted, adding that “the Solomon Islands themselves requested the treaty.”

The USA and Australia are nevertheless threatening military intervention to prevent the deal from being enacted.

The issue is a potential Chinese military presence in the Solomons – under an agreement that would allow Chinese ships to visit and “carry out logistical replenishment” and allow Chinese police to assist in “maintaining social order” in the country.

“We have respect for Solomon Islands’ sovereignty, but…”

Even though Sogavare assured the West that there would be no Chinese military base on the Solomon Islands, Daniel Kritenbrink, the chief US diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific, made this veiled threat: “Of course, we have respect for the Solomon Islands sovereignty, but we also wanted to let them know that if steps were taken to establish a de facto permanent military presence, power projection capabilities, or a military installation, then we would have significant concerns, and we would very naturally respond to those concerns” (Guardian, 26 April).

Continue reading Solomon Islands: build up to the US war against China

Danny Haiphong: The Biden administration is escalating the war on China

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong joined peace activist Margaret Flowers for an episode of Clearing the Fog to discuss the Biden administration’s escalating New Cold War against China. A particular focus was US president Joe Biden’s recent statement expressing a commitment to military intervention in Taiwan during his first trip as president to Asia, and the underlying motivations of the New Cold War being rooted in the US’s fear of China as a good example of stability, sovereignty, and a commitment to socialism that runs counter to the aims of US imperialism.

China to provide South Pacific countries ‘what US, Australia failed to offer’

This article by Yang Sheng and Liu Caiyu, originally published in the Global Times, exposes the hypocrisy of Western propaganda regarding China’s expanding cooperation with the nations of the Pacific. This cooperation is taking place in numerous fields, including trade, environmental protection, poverty relief, tourism, education, culture and sports; however, the West chooses to only pay attention to security agreements, implying that China is acting in a hegemonic manner, using Pacific island countries as pawns within a big-power competition with the US. In reality, these countries are finding that China is “a major power which is willing to treat them equally and can provide win-win cooperation and seek no control over them.” This stands in stark contrast to US and Australian hegemonism.

As China and South Pacific island countries are going to strengthen their cooperation to better serve local people’s demand for development, some voices from the West or Western media have started to distort the cooperation and hype the fear of a new “Cold War.” Chinese experts said the US and Australia always see the island countries as their puppets. So when China help them to become  independent and prosperous, the West will definitely feel anxious. 

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor upon invitation from May 26 to June 4, and will also visit Micronesia via video and have a virtual meeting with leaders of Cook Islands and Niue. Observers believe this trip will be a milestone for relations between China and the entire region. 

Wang’s trip will cover cooperation and deals in many fields including economy, infrastructure, climate change, public health, policing and security.The reason why China’s presence has been welcomed by the regional countries is that China could promote the livelihood of the locals and  activate the economic potentials of those islands, experts said. However, some Western media have focused only on the cooperation about security, and tried to exaggerate that the cooperation could spark “new Cold War” between China and the West in the region.

Continue reading China to provide South Pacific countries ‘what US, Australia failed to offer’

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

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

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

Topics include:

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

Confirmed speakers:

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

Fact Sheet on the National Endowment for Democracy

We are pleased to republish below this comprehensive and thoroughly-researched report by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The report exposes the NED’s origins and rationale – as essentially an extension of the CIA, funded and controlled by the US government. It goes into detail, uncovering the NED’s extensive operations on behalf of US imperialism throughout the world, both in China (backing pro-independence and anti-China groups in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong) and in other countries that refuse to go along with US diktat (including Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Belarus, Libya, Syria, Algeria, and more). The report is well worth reading in full.

Foreword

The United States has long used democracy as a tool and a weapon to undermine democracy in the name of democracy, to incite division and confrontation, and to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs, causing catastrophic consequences. 

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), as one of the US government’s main “foot soldiers”, “white gloves” and “democracy crusaders”, has subverted lawful governments and cultivated pro-US puppet forces around the world under the pretext of promoting democracy. Its disgraceful record has aroused strong discontent in the international community. 

In today’s world, peace and development is the theme of the times, and the trend towards greater democracy in international relations is unstoppable. Any attempt to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs in the name of democracy is unpopular and is doomed to failure.

Continue reading Fact Sheet on the National Endowment for Democracy

No to a new Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific

This article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez explores the hysterical and hypocritical reaction by the US and Australia to the recently-announced security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands. Carlos observes that the Western imperialist powers are attempting to construct – via AUKUS and other means – a Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific, imposing US hegemony over the region as part of their long-term strategy of China containment. The article also deals with the contention that China itself is acting in an imperialist manner in the Pacific.

The Anglo ruling classes have gone into a state of frenzy over a recently-signed security agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Solomon Islands. Various people who had barely heard of the Solomon Islands just a few weeks ago are now expressing grave concern that this small sovereign nation could be used as a pawn by an aggressive and expansionist China in its bid for world domination.

The deal itself appears to be entirely ordinary, allowing for China to “make ship visits to, carry out logistical replenishment in, and have stopover and transition in the Solomon Islands,” in addition to providing the Solomon Islands police with training and – on invitation – support. Indeed, the Solomon Islands already has similar security cooperation arrangements with Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Fiji; as such, the deal with China simply represents a desire to “seek greater security partnership with other partners and neighbours.”

Responding to criticism of the deal by Australian and US politicians, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare assured that it was signed “with our eyes wide open, guided by our national interests”, and that it has been developed not as a means of power projection but of addressing the island nation’s security needs.

Nonetheless, Western politicians and media have reacted with an anxiety bordering on the hysterical. Indeed the Australian government made repeated attempts to prevent the deal being signed in the first place, and its failure has prompted bitter recrimination. Allan Gyngell from the Australian Institute of International Affairs commented to BBC News that “the objective had to be to stop something like this happening. You can’t read it any other way – this is a failure of Australian diplomacy.” Meanwhile, opposition leader Anthony Albanese described Australia’s failure to prevent the agreement going through as “a massive foreign policy failure” and “a Pacific stuff-up”. The Australian Labor Party is now promising that it will “restore Australia’s place as the partner of choice in the Pacific” if it is successful in the coming federal elections.

Continue reading No to a new Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific

NATO and AUKUS: the makings of an Asian NATO

In this recent presentation to the International Manifesto Group webinar, The Case Against NATO, Dr Jenny Clegg traces the makings of an Asian NATO via such mechanisms as AUKUS and the Quad whose fundamental purposes are to contain and confront a rising China. She further draws attention to the extension of NATO influence into the Asia Pacific through its Partnerships for Peace for example with Japan, South Korea and Australia; and also considers the impact of the Ukraine crisis in relation to these developments with the increase of tensions, divisions and militarisation in the region

NATO serves as the nuclear-armed fortress that helps to elevate the West above the ‘Rest’; it anchors Europe to its western orientation, severing it from its Eurasian geography.

But NATO members are also Pacific powers – the US, Canada, but also France and Britain, which maintain possession of a few islands and hence some considerable maritime territory. 

In this Pacific presence can be seen the makings of an Asian NATO as a counter to the growing Eurasian dimension.

Whilst the world’s focus is on Russia in the Ukraine, for the US, China is the ‘pacing challenge’, and from this perspective, the Ukraine crisis can be seen as the first phase in the US’s last-ditch battle to retain its world supremacy, a battle pitting ‘democracies against autocracies’ in which NATO is to serve as the armed vanguard against the so-called Russia-China alliance.

The world before NATO was to be a new world of the UN Charter which, in the coordination of the wartime allies – the US, UK, Soviet Union and China – and in its commitment to national sovereignty, held the promise of a multipolar world.

It was this new world of the equality of nations that the US set out to smash in driving the first Cold War.

From Cold War to thaw back to Cold War in the Asia Pacific

The Cold War in the Pacific divided China and Korea and involved two hot wars – in Korea and Indochina – at the cost of countless lives and countless war crimes.

The US sought to set up an Asian NATO – however Australia lacked trust in Japan after WW2; Japan’s military was constrained under Article 9 of its constitution; and many South East Asian states, having fought to gain independence, chose non-alignment over subordination in a military alliance.

SEATO – Southeast Asia Treaty Organization – was set up in 1955 to block the ‘communist domino effect’ but it lacked unity and folded in 1977. The US instead relied on bilateral alliances and a spread of some 400 military bases to encircle China.

The Cold War never ended in the Pacific – China and Korea remain divided. Nevertheless, a degree of thaw in the 1990s allowed China to improve its relations in the region whilst ASEAN extended membership to the three communist-aligned Indochinese nations along with Myanmar.  Regional economic growth entered a new phase.

But then, sending things into reverse, Obama embarked on his Asian pivot launching the freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.  Following this, Trump declared China a strategic competitor, initiating the Quad to draw India into a new network with Australia, Japan and the US.

2020 saw the counter-hegemonic trend gather momentum with agreement on RCEP – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, embracing large parts of East Asia and Oceania; the EU was also about to sign a major investment deal with China – these two  developments recalling the coalition of Germany all the way across to China which Brzezinski foresaw in 1997, claiming this would be hostile to the US.

The US then prepared to strike back, launching the New Cold War, followed in September 2021 by AUKUS – a mini–Asian NATO, an intervention by the outside Anglosphere which started to sow disunity within the region, undermining its resolve for Asians to deal with Asian affairs.

NATO in the Pacific

NATO itself has been expanding into Asia since 2012 with its Partnerships for Peace programme drawing in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the Philippines. 

By 2014, an equation was already being drawn between Russia and the Ukraine and China in the South China Sea.

At the 2019 NATO summit, Pompeo raised the issue of the China threat and, in 2021, the NATO 2030 document widened its focus to include the ‘IndoPacific’, making very clear a strategy of: Russia first then China.

Biden has advanced on Trump’s anti-China approach in two key ways, elevating the Quad and bringing the Taiwan issue more into view. But the Quad lacks military muscle – hence the announcement of AUKUS. 

The US and UK are to equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, not only violating the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but also subverting the nuclear weapons free zones of South East Asia and the South Pacific – both important advances of regional independence in the 1980s.  These submarines will extend Australia’s naval reach much further into the South and East China Seas. 

Australia is to be transformed into a forward base for the US military, providing the core of a regional ‘hybrid warfare’ network, with looser links bringing nations into various regional networks under US direction, covering diplomacy, intelligence sharing, media narratives, supply chains and so on. 

The pact also represents a new level of cooperation in military technologies – in quantum computing and digital technologies – as exemplified in the recent announcement on the development of hypersonic weaponry. 

Accompanying the promotion of arms sales and the implementation of sanctions, AUKUS then is designed to secure US dominance over East Asia’s future growth in its support of US competition at the cutting edge of new technologies.

The impact of the Ukraine crisis

Amidst the Ukraine crisis, fears have been raised of a Chinese military takeover of Taiwan – in a completely false parallel between Ukraine, a sovereign state and Taiwan, recognised by the UN as a part of China.

As in Europe, militarisation in East Asia is accelerating: Japan has just increased its military budget by $50bn; Australia has estimated the cost of AUKUS at an eye-watering $250bn. With the newly elected conservative president in South Korea, a North East Asian arc with Japan and the US, comes into view, and with both Japan and South Korea strengthening military links with Australia, there are possible ties here into AUKUS in the South.

AUKUS only received a lukewarm reception amongst regional powers with Indonesia and Malaysia most openly expressing their reservations. Again, as in Europe, pressure is being brought to bear to erode the long held stabilising positions of Japan’s peace clause and ASEAN’s non-aligned inclinations, using the threat of sanctions to splinter and subordinate the organisation so as to clear the obstacles to militarisation.

Rather than Ukraine-Taiwan, Ukraine-the South China Sea may offer a better parallel: whilst Russia insists on Ukraine’s neutrality, China has been seeking the neutrality of the South China Sea in negotiations on a code of conduct which limits permission for outside powers to set up naval bases.

The marker of the Cold War battle line of ‘democracies versus autocracies’ is being drawn by the US around the so-called democratic right of nations to choose their allies. This is also the meaning behind the ‘free and open IndoPacific’ – that is freedom to join in the making of an Asian NATO.

Why is it that the US is blocking peace negotiations on Ukraine’s neutrality? Why can’t it accept the legitimacy of Russia’s security concerns?  Not least, because this would set a precedent for China over Taiwan and the South China Sea.  And it is China that is seen as the real, comprehensive challenger.

Amidst false allegations that China is supplying arms to Russia and propping Russia up, NATO is strengthening its links with the Pacific 4 – Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.  The upcoming summit this June will set the stage for an attempt to legitimise NATO’s increasing penetration into the IndoPacific region as the necessary opposition to the so-called ‘Russia-China alliance’.

In conclusion

NATO expansion is the root cause of the war in Europe; through its links into the Asia Pacific, it is equally intent to divide and destabilise a region now forecast to overtake Europe as the centre of the world economy by 2030.

Russia first, China next, NATO is bringing on a new world order – it’s called the jungle.

If China has not criticised Russia, at least one reason is because it looks to the long term – to a new security plan not just for Europe but one which restores its Eurasian orientation, a new Eurasian Security Order

China, in taking its stand on the indivisibility of security, on security for all – not of one at the expense of another – is keeping alive the spirit of the UN Charter.

Solomon Islands and the hypocrisy of national security

Co-Editor of Friends of Socialist China Danny Haiphong analyzed the hypocrisy of the West’s hysterical opposition toward the recent security pact reached between the Solomon Islands and China on his weekly podcast, Cold War Brew. Haiphong observes that the US and its allies, particularly Australia, have no issue with Ukraine possibly joining NATO but have threatened regime change on the Solomon Islands for working bilaterally with China to meet its security needs. He goes on to explain the root causes of this contradiction.

The Cold War Brew podcast can be listened to live each Sunday at 11:30 AM US Eastern on the Callin app, which can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices as well as on Spotify after the episode publishes.

Kamila Valieva and Eileen Gu: Young Women Athletes as Enemies of Empire

In this article, originally published by Countercurrents, women’s historian Linda Ford analyzes and condemns the misogynist and racist animus directed by US imperialism towards two outstanding teenage woman athletes, Gu Ailing (Eileen Gu) of China and Kamila Valieva of Russia, in the service of the new Cold War.

As Ford rightly concludes:

“Here is hegemonic politics, and ruthless patriarchy and racism, coming together. And here are two remarkably strong and level-headed young women athletes who are braving the results of being who they are. In its overwhelming power, the US Empire has made evil all things Chinese and Russian, and women athletes have not been spared the weaponizing of that hate.”

As one who has followed Olympic women’s figure skating, especially since Michelle Kwan (ironically a Chinese-American), I was—as an egalitarian feminist when it comes to sports—excited to learn that there was a 15-year-old Russian woman skater, Kamila Valieva, who could do effortless quad jumps.  Waiting in anticipation of her first Olympic performance, I listened to commentators and former US skaters Tara Lipinsky and Johnny Weir rave about her spectacular talent.  They told the audience that we were about to see “the best skating in the world”…that “a talent like this comes around once in a lifetime.”  They found her first performance in the short skate “incredible… flawless… perfect in every way.”  It was, they said, a rare privilege to watch her perform:  “she will have an amazing legacy.”  Days later they would say nothing watching her perform.

Continue reading Kamila Valieva and Eileen Gu: Young Women Athletes as Enemies of Empire

No to US/Australian attempts to revive the Monroe Doctrine in the South Pacific

Responding to a question from a Bloomberg journalist, Wang Wenbin comprehensively rejected accusations made by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that China was planning to build a military base on the Solomon Islands. Wang Wenbin further highlighted the hypocritical nature of US and Australian commentary and behavior, noting that the two are attempting to construct a new Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific.

The security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands is based on equality and mutual benefits. It is within the sovereignty of our two countries and consistent with the international law and international customary practice. The cooperation is open, transparent, legitimate, lawful and irreproachable. The speculation that China will build a military base in Solomon Islands is pure disinformation fabricated by a handful of people who harbor ulterior motives. 

I have noted that the US and Australian accuse the framework agreement on security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands of not being transparent. However, it is the AUKUS security partnership that is neither open nor transparent. When will the US and Australia invite South Pacific island countries and other regional countries to review AUKUS cooperation? The US claims that China’s military presence will cause grave concerns. If we follow this logic, the nearly 800 military bases in 80 countries and regions across the world run by the US have long been of major concern for the world. When will the US shut down those bases?

Island countries in the South Pacific are independent and sovereign states, not a backyard of the US or Australia. Their attempt to revive the Monroe Doctrine in the South Pacific region will get no support and lead to nowhere. 

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on April 25, 2022

Xi Jinping’s speech at 2022 Boao Forum for Asia

We are very pleased to publish the full text of President Xi Jinping’s important speech delivered via video to the opening session of this year’s Boao Forum for Asia on the morning of April 21. Often referred to as the ‘Asian Davos’, this year’s forum was joined virtually by several regional leaders, including the presidents of the Philippines, Mongolia and Nepal and the Prime Ministers of Laos and Kazakhstan.

In his comprehensive speech, President Xi made a number of important calls to the Asian and wider international community, stressing the need to unite together to win final victory over the Covid-19 pandemic; to promote economic recovery and to overcome uneven and inadequate development through the Global Development Initiative; and to work together to promote peace and stability in the world.

The Cold War mentality, President Xi explained, would only wreck the global peace framework, hegemonism and power politics would only endanger world peace, and bloc confrontation would only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century.

China would therefore like to propose a Global Security Initiative – to stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.

Specifically turning to Asian issues, the Chinese president noted that: “The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, first advocated by Asia, are all the more relevant today. We should honor such principles as mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence, follow a policy of good-neighborliness and friendship, and make sure that we always keep our future in our own hands.”

The entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and specifically the opening to traffic of the China-Laos Railway, were cited by Xi as key examples of Asian cooperation.

Continue reading Xi Jinping’s speech at 2022 Boao Forum for Asia

The China Initiative and the New McCarthyism

In this detailed video interview, Professor Ken Hammond talks with Danny Haiphong about the China Initiative and associated programs attacking Chinese academics in the US. Ken observes that, while the program is ostensibly based on protecting US intellectual property and strengthening its IT security systems, the vast majority of cases have been about individual researchers’ supposed association with the Chinese state, and in particular the People’s Liberation Army. These connections are tenuous at best. Most Chinese universities have some relationship with the People’s Liberation Army, in the same way that most US universities have some relationship with the Department of Defense. If something like the China Initiative were applied around the world, practically no US scholar would be able to engage in joint research with any institution abroad. Meanwhile, in spite of the Biden administration claiming to have shut the program down, several thousands cases are ongoing. The reality of the China Initiative and associated programs is that they are are part of a broader campaign to demonize China and contribute to public support for a New Cold War.

The “America COMPETES Act of 2022” risks turning Taiwan into the next front line

Keith Lamb explains how one of the many dangers in the America COMPETES Act, which now just awaits presidential ratification, is that it effectively writes into US law a repudiation of the ‘one China’ policy, thereby potentially opening the door to a catastrophic confrontation.

The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (COMPETES) Act of 2022 only needs to be passed by the President and it will become law. The bill sounds innocuous but the contents of it are not. While the bill is partly about promoting US science and technology it is just as much about preventing the rise of China’s 1.5 billion as well as the Global South who have democratically partnered with China to build a new world through the Belt and Road Initiative.

In attempting to prevent China’s rise the bill pays special attention to preventing cross straits reunification with the country’s Taiwan province, which could lead to chaos on both ends of Eurasia while the US gains. Already, in the west, the Ukrainian front has been opened at the expense of Europeans who are now forced to buy US gas all the while, as reported in the Global Times, the US has increased its purchase of Russian crude oil by 43 percent. In the east a similar strategy is at play. Taiwanese and European tech companies have been forced to limit their sales to mainland China while the US has made special tech provisions to continue selling.

If the America COMPETES Act of 2022 is passed stoking tensions with China and playing the Taiwan card will become US law! If a war can also be sparked in the east then the US will, as in Ukraine, seek to profit geopolitically and economically by fuelling tensions through weapons sales and “sitting it out” while others are sacrificed in a proxy war.

Continue reading The “America COMPETES Act of 2022” risks turning Taiwan into the next front line

America COMPETES Act of 2022: A manifesto for a New Cold War

In this article, originally carried by CGTN, Keith Lamb argues that the America COMPETES Act of 2022, in which China is mentioned a staggering 666 times, and which now only awaits presidential approval following its passage in the House and Senate, amounts to a formal declaration of the New Cold War, not only against China but against the entire Global South.

The America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (COMPETES) Act of 2022 has passed in the House and the Senate. It now only needs presidential approval to become law. If it is passed, it will mark the official start of a new Cold War against China and the Global South.

Importantly, the “America COMPETES Act of 2022” is actually the “United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021.” This is because, on March 28, the Senate voted to use the more belligerent text of the 2021 Act for the 2022 Act.

The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, originally known under the imperial sounding “Endless Frontier Act,” was drawn up by those conditioned by the ideology of neoliberal imperialism, namely Senator Todd Young and Chuck Schumer. Schumer was a supporter of the illegal occupation of Iraq, and Young, an ex-naval officer with an MBA from the University of Chicago, one of the centers of neoliberal ideology, worked at the anti-China think tank “The Heritage Foundation.”

Continue reading America COMPETES Act of 2022: A manifesto for a New Cold War

Former Brazilian president compares US neoliberalism with China’s people-centered development

We are pleased to republish this summary of former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s keynote speech at our event 21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline. The article is written by Carlos Martinez and first appeared in Global Times. President Rousseff’s speech can be read in full here.

Friends of Socialist China held a webinar on March 19 themed “21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline”, with a keynote speech from former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff, a trained economist, gave a detailed analysis of rising tensions between the US and China, starting with Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” in 2011. She noted that, while the Trump administration was responsible for the sharpest escalation of anti-China hostility, the Biden administration has thus far failed to meaningfully improve the situation.

Rousseff compared the US and China’s performance in a number of key areas, starting with the Covid-19 pandemic. The US “has failed to reduce the deadly effects of the disease in the country”, whereas China has been able to get the virus under control and provide enormous numbers of vaccine doses to Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

Continue reading Former Brazilian president compares US neoliberalism with China’s people-centered development