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

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

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

Why the US wants to destroy China and Russia: Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega explains

We are very pleased to reproduce this key extract from an important speech by Daniel Ortega, President of revolutionary Nicaragua, with thanks to our friends at Multipolarista. As a multipolar world emerges, Comrade Ortega explains, the US is trying desperately to maintain its hegemony by attempting to destroy the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China and the economies of the European countries. 

What harm, Ortega asks, has People’s China done to the United States or to the peoples of the world – to the peoples of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa or Asia. What worries them rather is that China is providing benefits to these peoples, so the United States is losing its power to keep them enslaved. 

Speaking on the day that US House Speaker Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, Ortega said that he was sure that the Chinese people, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, have the strength, intelligence and experience to formulate the correct response that will further strengthen the People’s Republic and weaken US hegemony.

Amidst all these tumultuous events, the veteran Nicaraguan revolutionary leader points out, a new world is being born, something to which Nicaragua and its people are contributing their little grain of sand every day.

Britain’s participation in US-led New Cold War is shortsighted

In this article for the Global Times, FoSC co-editor Carlos Martinez discusses the change of occupancy in 10 Downing Street and assesses whether Liz Truss is likely to contribute to an improvement of Britain-China relations. Noting that Truss is widely regarded as a “China hawk”, and that she has promised to classify China as a “threat to British national security” for the first time, Carlos concludes that the British ruling class has (for the foreseeable future) settled on an idiotic and self-defeating anti-China policy. This policy will bring no benefit to the British people, and is being carried out for the purpose of demonstrating loyalty to the US in its pursuit of a New Cold War.

It seems a long time ago now that George Osborne and Boris Johnson – then British chancellor and London mayor respectively – spent a week in China on a “charm offensive” to promote strong economic ties between the two countries. Announcing in October 2013 that a Chinese company would help refurbish the Port of London Authority building and that China would be working on Britain’s nuclear energy programme, Johnson commented: “If that isn’t openness to China, I don’t know what is.”

Two years later, Prime Minister David Cameron and President Xi Jinping were photographed relaxing in a pub in South Buckinghamshire, eating fish and chips, drinking pale ale and talking with locals. The mood music was all very uplifting and optimistic, and the scene was set for the development of an increasingly close, symbiotic relationship.

Of course from the British point of view, the motivation for pursuing good relations with China had very little to do with international solidarity or a hitherto-suppressed fondness for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; rather, the impetus was naked self-interest and economic common sense. Chinese investment, markets and manufacturing prowess were – and are – tremendously important for the British business, which is why Carolyn Fairbairn, former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, stated in 2020 that in order to protect “future British jobs and prosperity”, Britain “cannot afford to self-isolate from China.”

Continue reading Britain’s participation in US-led New Cold War is shortsighted

China’s development an inspiration for people around the world, an alternative to capitalist exploitation

Reproduced below is an important interview with Ken Hammond, professor of East Asian history at the New Mexico State University, originally published in the Global Times. Ken provides a concise and valuable description of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, outlining China’s political trajectory in recent decades, including some of the problems and contradictions emerging from its extraordinary development.

Ken highlights the key themes of the last decade – “The lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of absolute poverty, the ongoing work to suppress corruption and promote a socialist ethical order, the vital struggle to solve environmental problems and address the global concern of climate change, and the program of outreach to other developing countries and people around the world through the BRI and other initiatives” – and discusses how China’s successes have prompted a dangerous and negative response from the US.

Beyond China’s economic rise, Professor Hammond also notes that China’s socialist nature and Marxist orientation constitute a particularly acute challenge to Western ideological hegemony. “Socialism as an alternative to capitalism is seen as a threat, although in fact it offers the only path to social and economic justice, and indeed to saving the planet from ecological catastrophe.”

GT: Last year, you mentioned in an article on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC that under Xi’s leadership, China has not succumbed to the wished-for transformation of its political and economic systems. How do you understand the political and economic systems of China?

Hammond: I see China as working to develop a system of political economy with public, social ownership and control of the basic economic resources of the country, a socialist system in which the wealth produced by working people is distributed based upon the contribution they make through their labor. China is not yet at the point of having reached this, but this is the goal toward which the Party and the government and the people are working. To reach this objective China has chosen to utilize market mechanisms to pursue the rapid development of the economy, raise the overall level of production both in terms of quantity and quality, and enhance the material conditions of life for the people. Great successes have been achieved in these areas.

The process of development, especially with the use of markets, has also generated contradictions and challenges which China has to face, including corruption, increased inequality, and environmental stresses such as pollution and the rising dangers of climate change. These contradictions are recognized and acknowledged, and China is making serious efforts to address them. This, too, is an ongoing process, and the outcome is not predetermined. This is why the leadership of the Party is so critical, to ensure that the original mission of the revolution, the creation of a just, equitable, socialist society, with the eventual goal of a communist system, remains the guiding vision and the practical program.

GT: In the past 10 years, which policy or practice initiated by the CPC impressed you the most?

Hammond: The decade since Xi Jinping assumed the leadership of the Party and the presidency of the PRC has been one of dramatic changes in China. The project of development, the movement toward a system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, has begun to yield significant positive results. The lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of absolute poverty, the ongoing work to suppress corruption and promote a socialist ethical order, the vital struggle to solve environmental problems and address the global concern of climate change, and the program of outreach to other developing countries and people around the world through the BRI and other initiatives, have all achieved important advances. In conjunction with these, China has also been re-emerging as a significant participant in global affairs. 

Continue reading China’s development an inspiration for people around the world, an alternative to capitalist exploitation

The US is a serial human rights abuser

The following article by Carlos Martinez, written for the Chinese magazine China Today (founded under the name China Reconstructs by Soong Ching-ling in 1952), comments on the recent report issued by the China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS) entitled U.S. commits serious crimes of violating human rights in the Middle East and beyond. Carlos discusses the irony of the US having such a disastrous human rights record at home and abroad, given that “it so often frames its aggressive foreign policy precisely within a context of human rights.” He further contrasts the US’s record with that of China, concluding that “the West’s attempts to smear China as a human rights abuser – and to portray the U.S. and its allies as upholders of freedom and democracy – are nothing but the hypocritical lies of a collapsing hegemonic world order.”

The latest report from the China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS), entitled “U.S. commits serious crimes of violating human rights in the Middle East and beyond,” provides a detailed assessment of the United States’ human rights record, particularly in relation to its wars and regime change operations in the Middle East. 

Noting that U.S. imperialism has caused “permanent damage and irreparable losses to countries and people in the region,” the report highlights a valuable lesson to be learned by the peoples of the world: that the pervasive Western narrative of democracy and human rights is nothing but a façade, behind which lies hegemony, inequality, cruelty and violence.

A great irony of the U.S.’ record of human rights abuses is that it so often frames its aggressive foreign policy precisely within a context of human rights. For example, in early 2011, journalists and politicians in the West loudly raised their voices about the abuses supposedly being perpetrated by the government of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. They spread numerous stories: that the government was preparing a massacre in Benghazi; that sub-Saharan Africans were being forced to fight for the government; that Gaddafi was instructing pro-government troops to use rape as a weapon of war. 

Continue reading The US is a serial human rights abuser

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

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

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

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

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

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

The video is embedded below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China wants peaceful reunification with Taiwan

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

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

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

Taiwan separatists on the Offensive

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

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

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

Divisions on Canada’s approach to China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the media gets wrong about Taiwan’s place in China

We are pleased to republish the below article by Brendan Devlin, which was originally carried by the Canadian publication Passage.

Brendan sets out some vital contemporary and historical facts with regard to the Taiwan situation as a necessary corrective at a time when the corporate media essentially serve to uncritically amplify the US-led narrative. He shows how China’s 1842 defeat in the first Opium War, waged by British imperialism, set the scene for Japan’s seizure of Taiwan in 1895 and that any idea of partitioning China was solely an imperialist project, as, for example, enunciated by Winston Churchill in 1902, and continues:

Thus, in 1949, there was no split between Taiwan and China. Instead, there were two governments claiming to be the sole legitimate government of all of China. One was based in Beijing and controlled the whole of mainland China, while the other was based in Taipei and controlled Taiwan and a few other small islands. Both governments espoused the One China principle, which holds that there’s only one China and that Taiwan is part of it.”

Brendan explains that the separatist elements that have emerged in Taiwanese politics since the 1990s have throughout been deeply connected to US imperialist strategy, with the US arming and training military forces on the island, regularly sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait, and President Biden openly contradicting his own government’s ostensible policy on several occasions.

United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan earlier this month received extensive media coverage across the globe. In North American media, this coverage was framed by self-interested distortions about the history of China and Taiwan.

Most articles briefly explained that China claims Taiwan as its own territory, and then moved on without any further explanation. Some added that Taiwan will “be annexed by force if necessary,” that China opposes visits by foreign governments and/or that China considers relations with Taiwan as an internal matter of sovereignty. Certain articles also briefly and selectively quoted Chinese officials to bolster the above points. 

Meanwhile, many articles uncritically included claims that Taiwan is a sovereign country. When discussing China’s response to Pelosi’s visit, an Associated Press (AP) article published at the CBC wrote simply that “Taiwan decried the actions, saying they violate the island’s sovereignty.” The article also quoted the President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-Wen, saying: “We will firmly uphold our nation’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defence for democracy.” Both this article and another one from AP published at Global News quoted an official from Taiwan’s Defence Ministry saying the Chinese response to the visit “equals to sealing off Taiwan by air and sea, such an act severely violates our country’s territorial sovereignty.” 

Continue reading What the media gets wrong about Taiwan’s place in China

US media hide military threats against China

This insightful article by Sara Flounders, originally published in Workers World, exposes the incredible hypocrisy shown by the ‘free’ media – giving non-stop coverage to China’s allegedly aggressive response to Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit whilst studiously ignoring the RIMPAC maneuvers being carried out at the same time by the US naval command.

Sara notes that the US maintains a constant military presence in the region, and connects this back to the imperialist domination of China, starting with the First Opium War nearly 200 years ago. Just as the Opium Wars were fought to impose British imperial hegemony, so is the current escalation in the Pacific region being carried out in order to impose US imperial hegemony. The difference being that, following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the CPC-led government has been able to “rebuild a strong, united China which is increasingly able to defend its coastal waters and resist US imperialist demands.”

The author points out that the US is conducting a “desperate imperialist strategy to reverse its declining global position”, and is wreaking havoc in the process. Progressive and pro-peace forces worldwide must join hands against this menace.

Consider what is being said, as well as what is totally omitted, in the U.S. coverage of China’s naval action around Taiwan.  

The U.S. naval command RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Amphibious Assault Training) was carrying out maneuvers involving 170 aircraft, 38 ships, four submarines, and 25,000 military personnel from all the G7 imperialist countries. Some 19 other Asia Pacific countries were pulled in for symbolic participation. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise.

This aggressive maritime action took place from June 29 to Aug. 4. In other words, it was going on as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was visiting Taiwan.

The shaping of information is all pervasive. Whether it is FOX News, CNN, AP, the New York Times or the Washington Post, the multibillion-dollar media are part of and totally intertwined with U.S. military industries. They collaborate in hiding U.S. war plans and provocations. 

The role of the corporate media in totally distorting the news on China must be challenged.

Continue reading US media hide military threats against China

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

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

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

Confirmed speakers

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

Topics include

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

Co-sponsors

Please register and spread the word!

Imperialism becoming more aggressive and more dangerous to world peace

This statement by the Communist Party of Ireland, posted on the CPI website on 11 August 2022, situates the increasing provocations against China within a broader strategy by the US-led imperialist camp to strengthen its military presence in the region. This is a component of the overall crisis of imperialism, in which “monopoly capitalism cannot overcome its growing contradictions”, leading the US to pursue a path of militarism “as the means of securing its hegemony and overcoming its declining power and influence.”

There are increasing tensions in and around the Asia-Pacific region, particularly resulting from the calculated actions by Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, in visiting the Chinese territory of Taiwan.

US imperialism is attempting to shore up its declining economic dominance and to strengthen its general military presence around the globe and in particular in the South China Sea. The visit by Pelosi was part of its strategy of raising tensions in the region and provoking the People’s Republic of China into an arms race.

This is a similar strategy to that being pursued in the current conflict in Ukraine, in which the United States and European Union are using the NATO military alliance to fight a proxy war against Russia. The escalation of that conflict poses a grave danger to peace in Europe and globally.

Monopoly capitalism cannot overcome its growing contradictions, while the United States is resorting to increased  militarism as the means of securing its hegemony and overcoming its declining power and influence.

The subservient role being played by the Irish government and state, in the interests of imperialism, is reflected in its attitude and its statements in relation to both the proxy war taking place in Ukraine and these latest provocations against the People’s Republic of China.

The Communist Party of Ireland calls for an end to such provocations. There is an urgent and growing need for a worldwide movement of peace forces to demand an end to militarism, aggression and interference by imperialism and for respect for international law as well as for the national independence and sovereignty of nations and peoples.

We express our respect for and our solidarity with the people and government of the People’s Republic of China.

US Peace Council statement: Stop all provocations against China!

We are pleased to republish this powerful statement from the US Peace Council, denouncing Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan and calling for “an end to the belligerent foreign policy of the United States against China, Russia and the other nations of the world.” The statement points out that the Pelosi visit was carried out with two key purposes in mind: to bolster the rising militarization of the Indo-Pacific region, which forms the cornerstone of the long-term strategy to contain and suppress China; and to distract the attention of ordinary people in the US away from their just and legitimate demands for peace, for healthcare, for decent jobs with a living wage, for a sustainable energy system and for civil and human rights.

The U.S. Peace Council condemns in strongest terms the latest U.S. government provocation against the People’s Republic of China and against peace in the world.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi imposed herself into the Taiwan Province of China without an invitation from the Chinese government. We have to examine the questions of why such an imposition and why now in light of U.S. imperialism’s increasing global weakness and its attempt to retain global hegemony through war and militarism. We have to understand this provocation as part of the stated U.S. policy of “Full Spectrum Dominance.”

Pelosi’s provocative trip is in violation of the One-China policy established between China, the U.S. and the rest of the world, which recognized Taiwan as a province of China, not an independent country. This trip makes it clear that the present U.S. administration gives only lip service to the One-China policy while its actions are aimed at undermining it.

We view Nancy Pelosi’s provocation in the context of the long-term and now accelerating U.S. and its allies’ militarization of the Indo-Pacific region. The hundreds of military bases surrounding China; the recently signed AUKUS Pact, which expands U.S. and UK nuclear weapons into Australia; the Quad military alliance between United States, India, Australia and Japan; and the RIMPAC multinational war exercises — are all aimed at threatening China. We must view the U.S. government provocation in light of nuclear war fighting exercises the U.S. runs annually against North Korea, and the THAAD first-strike missile systems situated in South Korea that also threaten China. What the U.S. has been trying to do against Russia in Ukraine, is now being replicated against China in Taiwan. What the United States government and monopoly corporations are attempting to accomplish is to deny China’s sovereignty.

The U.S. government is attempting to distract the people’s movements from demanding an end to these crises so that they agree to more vast military spending that in total destroys the quality of life of the people. At the approach of the November elections, the U.S. government, including Speaker Pelosi and the Biden Administration, is trying to distract the citizenry from responding to the huge array of unresolved crises, very limited victories and giveaways of huge subsidies to monopoly capital by voting their party out of office.

Among the crises the U.S. government and private capital are incapable of solving and that led to this latest distraction and provocation — from ensuring affordable food and housing, child care and livable wages, to providing efficient and inexpensive mass transit, to providing universal health care, to guaranteeing civil rights and ending official police violence, to creating a sustainable energy system and livable environment, among others.

On the occasion of the current United Nations review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the world’s leaders that we are a single misstep away from nuclear annihilation. Yet the United States is prepared to take that misstep by provoking China.

We call on the people of the United States, the people’s movements, and people’s leaders to actively oppose this latest provocation against China, which brings with it the threat of yet another war and the use of nuclear weapons.

We must put an end to the belligerent foreign policy of the United States against China, Russia and the other nations of the world.

Roger Waters refutes US war propaganda in CNN interview and World Beyond War webinar

As co-founder of the band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters occupies an iconic place in the history of British rock music. He is also a progressive political activist, who does not hesitate to take a stand on anti-imperialist issues. The following article, originally carried on the World Socialist Web Site, reviews Waters’ recent interview on CNN and his participation in a webinar hosted by World Beyond War. Waters exposes US and NATO culpability for the conflict in Ukraine and also speaks about China, asserting that “Taiwan is part of China” and that, “the Chinese didn’t invade Iraq and kill a million people in 2003.”

On Saturday and Monday, English-born musician-composer and activist Roger Waters denounced the role of the US government in the war between Russia and Ukraine and discussed other contemporary political issues in two public appearances.

Waters, currently on a 38-date concert tour in North America entitled “This is Not a Drill,” appeared on Saturday morning in a short interview on CNN with Michael Smerconish and was featured in a 90-minute webinar on Monday hosted by World Beyond War.

The appearances are noteworthy—and newsworthy—because the US media in general is as tightly censored and as submissive to the authorities as that existing under many authoritarian regimes. Opposition to the US-NATO war with Russia and/or the campaign to demonize China is simply not encountered on American television or in the pages of the daily newspapers.

In the course of the CNN interview, Waters took the opportunity to explain why, during his concerts, he includes President Joe Biden as a “war criminal” who is “just getting started” on a list along with every other US president since Ronald Reagan.

In reviewing the facts that prompted the characterization of Biden, Waters showed that Smerconish—who presents himself on his weekly CNN program and in other journalistic pursuits as a “balanced” commentator—is merely another mouthpiece for US propaganda.

Continue reading Roger Waters refutes US war propaganda in CNN interview and World Beyond War webinar

China: COVID, computer chips, airliners, and US imperialism

This interesting article by Chris Fry, writing in Fighting Words, analyzes the escalating tech war initiated by the Trump administration and being carried forward under Biden. Desperate to slow down China’s economic and technological rise, the US is spreading all manner of lies in order to impose sanctions on China.

In dealing with China, the primary goal of each successive administration is to successfully maintain U.S. hegemony, to assert the power of the U.S. ruling class to profit from exploiting Chinese workers as well as the rest of the global working class and oppressed nations without restrictions.

These sanctions will inevitably fail to prevent China’s development, but in the meantime are already impacting the livelihood of the working class in the West. As Mao Zedong famously remarked in 1957: “‘Lifting a rock only to drop it on one’s own feet’ is a Chinese folk saying to describe the behavior of certain fools. The reactionaries in all countries are fools of this kind.”

The leadership of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) likes to describe its social and economic structure as “Socialism with Chinese characteristics.” But we can describe the U.S. system, driven by its insatiable greed for profits and global hegemony, as “Imperialism with imperialist characteristics”.

A July 5th Bloomberg article revealed that the Biden administration is pressuring the Netherlands to force Dutch companies to stop selling computer chip manufacturing equipment to China:

The US is pushing the Netherlands to ban ASML Holding NV from selling to China mainstream technology essential in making a large chunk of the world’s chips, expanding its campaign to curb the country’s rise, according to people familiar with the matter.

A computer chip ploy for a vast subsidy for Big Tech

Since the 1970s, U.S. Big Business has closed thousands of plants and factories across the country, while finance capital has invested trillions in overseas facilities to exploit low wage workers. Currently, the predominant manufacturer of the leading edge 5nm computer chip is the Taiwan based TSMC Corporation in Taiwan.

Senator Sanders stated in a July 14th  editorial for the Guardian describing a current piece of chip-industry pushed legislation for $52 billion in subsidies to build a TSMC chip facility in the U.S.:

Let’s review some recent history. Over the last 20 years, the microchip industry has shut down more than 780 manufacturing plants in the United States and eliminated 150,000 American jobs while moving most of its production overseas – after receiving over $9.5bn in government subsidies and loans.

In other words, in order to make more profits, these companies took government money and used it to ship good-paying jobs abroad. Now, as a reward for that bad behavior, these same companies are in line to receive a giant taxpayer handout to undo the damage that they did.

Continue reading China: COVID, computer chips, airliners, and US imperialism

Biden administration continues to unravel while increased US provocations threaten world peace

The below article was originally published by the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), which is registered for electoral purposes as the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada. Calling out Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as “yet another U.S. provocation against China”, the Canadian comrades state:

This hooligan behaviour is paraded as being necessary to uphold a rules-based international order, despite the fact that it destroys all norms of international relations between countries and of international diplomacy.

Noting the Chinese warning that those who play with fire will get burned, the CPC(ML) points out:

The fact is that the U.S. has already been burned, as the peoples at home and abroad have witnessed one failure after the other of the current U.S. president’s foreign relations and increasingly see the U.S. government wracked in disagreements and unable to hold its ranks in check. Repeatedly resorting to more violence and wars of destruction will not provide humanity or the U.S. a way out of the crisis caused by its striving for world hegemony. Certainly, having witnessed the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan few consider the U.S. could succeed against China.

The top leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, decided to visit Taiwan, which is Chinese territory. She did so without securing the permission of Chinese authorities and against clearly stated Chinese objections. This hooligan behaviour is paraded as being necessary to uphold a rules-based international order, despite the fact that it destroys all norms of international relations between countries and of international diplomacy.

It is yet another U.S. provocation against China, which in recent months have included sailing U.S. ships through the Taiwan Straight which are strategic waters between China and Taiwan, holding war games in the vicinity, issuing threats of sanctions if China in any way supports Russia and so forth. Four U.S. warships, including the USS Ronald Reagan are now standing by. U.S. fighter jets, along with those of Taiwan, are flying above Taiwan, further increasing tensions and bringing Chinese jets into the area. All of this has the complicity of Canada.

Biden has said more than once that he would come to Taiwan’s aid militarily if China were to attempt to forcefully reunify the country. He has not reversed measures taken by former President Trump which lifted U.S. government rules prohibiting interactions between U.S. diplomats and their Taiwanese counterparts. Such interactions are contrary to recognition of the Chinese government as the government of China, including Taiwan, and respecting international relations between sovereign countries.

Continue reading Biden administration continues to unravel while increased US provocations threaten world peace

Nancy Pelosi, Taiwan and Baltimore

In this article, first published by Struggle/La Lucha, Stephen Millies situates US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week against the background of her family’s reactionary history. Both her father and brother were mayors of Baltimore, with a notorious track record of racism and segregation. Setting out some of the true history of Taiwan, he also unmasks Pelosi’s utterly specious claim to be upholding human rights, whether in Taiwan, the rest of China or the United States.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, landed in Taiwan Province on August 2. Her trip is a dangerous provocation against the People’s Republic of China.

Pelosi arrived on the 58th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson claimed Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin had attacked a U.S. Navy destroyer.

The Pentagon Papers later admitted this was a lie, a complete fabrication. That it was a lie didn’t stop LBJ, who used the lie to start bombing Vietnam.

Even the United States government concedes that there’s only one China. Because it’s an island, Taiwan is the only part of China that wasn’t liberated in 1949 by the People’s Liberation Army during the Chinese civil war.

With U.S. assistance, the defeated dictator Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan Province in 1949. His regime had already slaughtered 28,000 or more people in Taiwan during a massacre that began on Feb. 28, 1947. 

It’s doubtful that TV’s talking heads will mention that atrocity or that “democratic” Taiwan was under martial law from 1949 until 1987.

Continue reading Nancy Pelosi, Taiwan and Baltimore

Pelosi’s Taiwan visit places the US on the wrong side of history

Co-editor of Friends of Socialist China Danny Haiphong summarizes the reasons for Nancy Pelosi’s reckless trip to Taiwan and how this provocation toward China has placed the United States on the wrong side of history. Danny notes that Pelosi’s trip “did not occur in a political vacuum” and that the US has been “steadily eroding its commitment to the one-China principle in action while claiming to abide by it in word.” The US’s end-game is clear: “to encircle China, to provoke China, and to undermine China’s rise on the global stage.”

This article first appeared in CGTN.

On August 2, U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi led a Congressional delegation to Taiwan despite numerous warnings from China’s Foreign Ministry and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to reconsider. Pelosi’s military aircraft snuck into Taiwan late in the evening.

The next day, the second-in-line to the U.S. president met with authorities in Taiwan. Pelosi’s actions represent a blatant violation of the one-China principle. They place United States firmly on the wrong side of history by further accelerating the deterioration of its relationship with China.

The one-China principle is the foundation of China-U.S. relations. In 1971, The United Nations recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as China’s rightful government under Resolution 2758. This came after more than 22 years of sanctions against China led by the U.S.

Continue reading Pelosi’s Taiwan visit places the US on the wrong side of history

The real agenda behind Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan

In this detailed discussion on BreakThrough News, Brian Becker and Ken Hammond discuss the historic significance of Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to China’s Taiwan. Dismissing the comments by President Biden and Antony Blinken that Pelosi was visiting in some sort of unofficial capacity, they point out that Pelosi herself described the visit as a “bipartisan Congressional delegation”. The trip simply could not have taken place without the tacit blessing of the ruling cirles in the US. As such it is clearly meant to send a message of support to separatist forces in Taiwan, to provoke a response from China, and to mark an escalation in the ongoing US-led hybrid warfare aimed at containing and encircling the People’s Republic of China and rolling back the Chinese Revolution.

Brian and Ken powerfully debunk the notion that the US interest in relation to Taiwan has anything to do with “protecting democracy”. After all, the US gave its enthusiastic military, economic and diplomatic support to the military dictatorship led by Chiang Kai-shek from 1949 onwards – including manipulating the UN such that China was represented on the Security Council and the General Assembly by the Taipei regime. Martial law in Taiwan was only lifted in 1987 – eight years after the signing of the Taiwan Relations Act by the Carter administration.

The discussants make another crucial point: China has not changed its position regarding Taiwan; there has been no increase in aggressive rhetoric or activity on the Chinese side. The Chinese position has been clear and consistent: the issue of reunification is an internal matter that will be settled by Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait; that reunification is necessary and inevitable; and that it should be achieved preferably via peaceful means. It is the US and its separatist proxies in Taipei that are engaged in bellicose rhetoric and behavior, that are trying to justify an expanding US military presence in the region in order to further the US’s long-term strategy of containing China and suppressing its rise.

Statement by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

The following statement was released by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shortly after Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit is a gross violation of China’s sovereignty and the One China principle that the US has claimed to uphold since 1972. Furthermore it is an affront to the dignity of the Chinese people and a dangerous escalation in Washington’s New Cold War.

On 2 August, in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. China firmly opposes and sternly condemns this, and has made serious démarche and strong protest to the United States.

There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This has been clearly recognized by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 of 1971. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, 181 countries have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. The one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations.

In 1979, the United States made a clear commitment in the China-U.S. Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations — “The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.” Congress, as a part of the U.S. Government, is inherently obliged to strictly observe the one-China policy of the U.S. Government and refrain from having any official exchanges with China’s Taiwan region. China is all along opposed to the visit to Taiwan by U.S. congressional members, and the U.S. executive branch has the responsibility to stop such visit. Since Speaker Pelosi is the incumbent leader of the U.S. Congress, her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a major political provocation to upgrade U.S. official exchanges with Taiwan. China absolutely does not accept this, and the Chinese people absolutely reject this.

The Taiwan question is the most important and most sensitive issue at the very heart of China-U.S. relations. The Taiwan Strait is facing a new round of tensions and severe challenges, and the fundamental cause is the repeated moves by the Taiwan authorities and the United States to change the status quo. The Taiwan authorities have kept seeking U.S. support for their independence agenda. They refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus, go all out to push forward “de-sinicization”, and promote “incremental independence”. The United States, for its part, has been attempting to use Taiwan to contain China. It constantly distorts, obscures and hollows out the one-China principle, steps up its official exchanges with Taiwan, and emboldens “Taiwan independence” separatist activities. These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it.

The position of the Chinese Government and people on the Taiwan question has been consistent. It is the firm commitment of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is the common aspiration and sacred responsibility of all Chinese sons and daughters to realize the complete reunification of the motherland. The will of the people is not to be defied, and the trend of the times cannot be reversed. No country, no forces and no individual should ever misestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese Government and people to defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation. China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit. All the consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the U.S. side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

China and the United States are two major countries. The right way for them to deal with each other lies only in mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, no-confrontation and win-win cooperation. The Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of China, and no other country is entitled to act as a judge on the Taiwan question. China strongly urges the United States to stop playing the “Taiwan card” and using Taiwan to contain China. It should stop meddling on Taiwan and interfering in China’s internal affairs. It should stop supporting and conniving at “Taiwan independence” separatist forces in any form. It should stop its acts of saying one thing but doing the opposite on the Taiwan question. It should stop distorting, obscuring and hollowing out the one-China principle. It must take credible actions to observe strictly the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, deliver on the “five noes” commitment made by the U.S. leadership (i.e. not seek a “new Cold War”; not seek to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support “Taiwan independence”; not look for conflict with China), and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path.