‘Towards a multipolar world order’: is this the end of US hegemony?

This thoughtful piece by Palestinian journalist and author Ramzy Baroud, originally carried in Counterpunch, examines the growing ties of solidarity and cooperation between China and Russia, and contextualizes these within the complex global struggle between US hegemony and multipolarity. Baroud writes that what Beijing and Moscow are working to achieve is “a long term political strategy that they hope would ultimately lead to a multipolar world.”

The meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in the Chinese eastern city of Huangshan on March 30, is likely to go down in history as a decisive meeting in the relations between the two Asian giants.

The meeting was not only important due to its timing or the fact that it reaffirmed the growing ties between Moscow and Beijing, but because of the resolute political discourse articulated by the two top diplomats.

In Huangshan, there was no place for ambiguity. Lavrov spoke of a new ‘world order’, arguing that the world is now “living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations” in reference to the escalating Russia-Ukraine/NATO conflict.

Continue reading ‘Towards a multipolar world order’: is this the end of US hegemony?

Fact sheet: China’s position on the situation in Ukraine

We are pleased to present the following fact sheet about China’s position on the situation in Ukraine, sent to us by the International Department of the Communist Party of China.

The fact sheet debunks the US State Department’s allegations and insinuations that China is fomenting or taking sides in the Ukraine crisis. China consistently works toward peace and stands for negotiated solutions to problems between countries. Furthermore, as the largest trading partner of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, China’s basic interests demand peace.

China has refused to support the US-led unilateral sanctions against Russia, on the basis that these sanctions are illegal and only serve to increase tensions and prolong the conflict. Meanwhile they are having a serious economic impact on countries around the world, particularly in the Global South, where the rise in prices for food and energy is seriously impacting wellbeing.

The fact sheet points out: “An enduring solution would be for major countries to respect each other, reject the Cold War mentality, refrain from bloc confrontation, and build step by step a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture for the region and for the world. China has been doing its best for peace and will continue to play a constructive role.”

China votes against Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council

We publish here the text of the statement made by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, held on April 7th, where the Russian Federation’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council was suspended. In explaining his country’s negative vote, Ambassador Zhang reiterated China’s respect for international humanitarian law and called on all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to protect civilians, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups. Noting that dialogue and negotiation are the only way out, he further noted that the people of the world, especially of the developing countries, are paying a price, for example in soaring food and oil prices, although they are not parties to the conflict.

Consistent with US pressure, the resolution was passed with 93 votes. However 24 countries (including all the socialist countries) voted against, 58 abstained and 18 did not participate in the vote. As only negative votes were counted in this way, the resolution was deemed to have passed with the required two thirds majority. It is, however, a noteworthy fact that a small majority of UN members actually failed to vote in favour of the resolution.

Mr. President,

On the Ukraine issue, China always believes that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, should be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. Putting an early end to the fight is the urgent expectation of the international community. It is also what China is striving for. China supports all initiatives and measures that will help ease the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We call on the parties concerned to respect international humanitarian law, and take concrete actions to ensure the safety of civilians, and protect the basic rights and humanitarian needs of women, children and other vulnerable groups. The reports and images of civilian deaths in Bucha are disturbing. The relevant circumstances and specific causes of the incident must be verified and established. Any accusations should be based on facts. Before the full picture is clear, all sides should exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations.

Continue reading China votes against Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council

Russia-Ukraine conflict highlights racist double standard in the West

In this hard-hitting piece, originally carried on China’s People’s Daily Online, Wu Chaolan exposes the racist double standards inherent in the West’s attitude to conflict in Ukraine compared to those in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has garnered widespread attention across the globe. The wall-to-wall coverage and outpouring of reactions to the Russia-Ukraine conflict from the West has raised eyebrows at its double standard toward other humanitarian crises, which has unsheathed flagrant racist and biased attitudes toward the value of non-white lives that also matter.

CBS News senior correspondent in Kyiv Charlie D’Agata, for instance, has faced a widespread backlash due to his discriminatory comments on the Ukraine crisis: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully, too – city where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to happen,” he said.

The seasoned correspondent was forced to apologize later, saying he spoke “in a way I regret.” However, his remarks are not part of an isolated incident. Ukraine’s former deputy general prosecutor David Sakvarelidze spoke to the BBC, suggesting that it is harder for him to watch white people fleeing the conflict.

Continue reading Russia-Ukraine conflict highlights racist double standard in the West

China clarifies neutral stance on Ukraine crisis

We are pleased to republish this important article from Global Times, which provides a detailed exposition of what it describes as China’s “neutral stance” in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and refutes some of the key misrepresentations of the Chinese position. It also analyses the motives of the Western powers in the current crisis and the evolution of their positions as events unfold, including the changing dynamic in relations between Europe and the United States.

Although the US and some other Western countries are trying to handle the current situation in Ukraine with waves of sanctions against Russia and questioning Beijing’s neutral stance, China has once again clarified its neutrality and the reason to the EU, France, Germany and the UK as to why it opposes sanctions ahead of the UN Emergency Special Session on Sunday.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had phone conversations with UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, French Diplomatic Advisor to the President Emmanuel Bonne and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock from Friday to Saturday, according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. 

They had in-depth exchanges of views with a focus on the situation in Ukraine, while Wang expounded China’s basic position on the Ukraine issue. Wang stressed that “China supports and encourages all diplomatic efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis. China welcomes the earliest possible direct dialogue and negotiation between Russia and Ukraine.”

Continue reading China clarifies neutral stance on Ukraine crisis

Chinese Ambassador to UN calls for diplomatic solution to Ukraine crisis

In the speech below, Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, explains China’s decision to abstain on the UN Security Council draft resolution demanding Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukraine. Zhang stated that “any action should be truly conducive to defusing the crisis, rather than adding fuel to fire.”

Is the crisis in Ukraine the beginning of a new world order?

In this important article, originally published in the Morning Star, Belgian political analyst Marc Vandepitte assesses the crucial importance of the recent joint statement of Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Marc notes that this is the first time both presidents have spoken out so clearly and strengthened ties so closely. Situating this against the background of recent history, he explains that, following the end of the bipolar division of the world, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US had determined that no power should ever again be allowed to challenge its hegemony. However, China, “a poor, underdeveloped country rose in no time to become an economic superpower”. Despite desperate US opposition, a “unipolar world must make way for a multipolar world”. The Collective Security Treaty Organisation, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the new Silk Road are all building blocks for this. A strong peace movement is also a vital necessity.

JUST before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping issued a joint statement on international relations and on co-operation between China and Russia.

It is a document of about 10 pages that comes at a time of great tensions with Nato over Ukraine and of a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games.

The text can be read as a plea for a new world order in which the US and its allies are no longer in charge, but in which the aim is to create a multipolar world, with respect for the sovereignty of countries.

“The sides oppose further enlargement of Nato and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologised cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilisational, cultural and historical backgrounds and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other states,” it reads.

Continue reading Is the crisis in Ukraine the beginning of a new world order?

China and Russia declare ‘new era’ of multipolarity, challenging US interventionism

We are pleased to republish the following article from Ben Norton, originally published on Multipolarista, in which he summarises the key points in the more than 5,000 word joint statement of the Chinese and Russian governments, released following the meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics. One of the most important documents in the recent history of diplomacy and international relations, Ben is surely correct in his opening assertion that, “February 4 2022 may very well be remembered in history textbooks as an important date in the shift of global politics.”

February 4, 2022 may very well be remembered in history textbooks as an important date in the shift of global politics.

That day was not only the inauguration of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing; it also saw a historic meeting between the presidents of China and Russia.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin signed a series of important economic and political agreements, deepening the integration of the two Eurasian superpowers.

Among these was a major 30-year deal in which Russia will supply gas to China via a new pipeline, with both sides of the energy transfers managed by state-owned companies. And in a sign of their mutual efforts to challenge the dominance of the US dollar, they decided to settle the sales in euros.

Continue reading China and Russia declare ‘new era’ of multipolarity, challenging US interventionism

Trapped in IMF debt, Argentina turns to Russia and joins China’s Belt and Road

In this recent article, first published in Multipolarista, Ben Norton discusses Argentine President Alberto Fernandez’s recent trip to Russia and China, where he agreed on a number of significant deals on trade, investment and health cooperation. The trip was explicitly framed in terms of a turn towards multipolarity and away from dependence on the US and IMF.

The United States constantly intervenes in the internal affairs of Latin America, organizing coups d’etat, destabilizing independent governments, trapping nations in debt, and imposing sanctions. Washington sees the region as its own property, with President Joe Biden referring to it this January as “America’s front yard.”

Seeking alternatives to US hegemony, progressive governments in Latin America have increasingly looked across the ocean to form alliances with China and Russia.

Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández did exactly that this February, taking historic trips to Beijing and Moscow to meet with his counterparts Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

Fernández signed a series of strategic agreements, officially incorporating Argentina into Beijing’s international Belt and Road Initiative, while expanding economic partnerships with the Eurasian powers and telling Moscow that Argentina “should be the door to enter” Latin America.

China offered $23.7 billion in funding for infrastructure projects and investments in Argentina’s economy.

In the meetings, Fernández also asked for Argentina to join the BRICS framework, alongside Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Xi and Putin reportedly both agreed.

“I am consistently working to rid Argentina of this dependence on the IMF and the US,” Fernández explained. “I want Argentina to open up new opportunities.”

The Argentine president’s comments and meetings with Putin and Xi reportedly angered the US government.

Argentina is trapped in odious debt with the US-controlled IMF

Argentina is a Latin American powerhouse, with significant natural resources and the third-largest economy in the region (after Brazil and Mexico, both of which have significantly larger populations).

But Argentina’s development has often been weighed down by debt traps imposed from abroad, resulting in frequent economic crises, cycles of high inflation, and currency devaluations.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a de facto economic arm of the United States, over which Washington alone has veto power – has significant control over Argentina, having trapped the nation in huge sums of odious debt.

In 2018, Argentina’s right-wing President Mauricio Macri requested the largest loan in the history of the IMF: a staggering $57.1 billion bailout.

Macri was notorious for his corruption, and this was no secret at the time. By agreeing to give such an enormous sum of money to Macri’s scandal-plagued government, the IMF knew it was ensnaring Argentina in debt it would not be able to pay off. But this was far from the first time the US-dominated financial instrument had trapped Argentina in odious debt.

In December 2021, the IMF published an internal report admitting that the 2018 bailout completely failed to stabilize Argentina’s economy.

But when Argentina’s center-left President Alberto Fernández entered office in December 2019, his country was ensnared in $44.5 billion in debt from this bailout that the IMF itself admitted was a total failure. ($44.5 billion of the $57.1 billion loan had already been disbursed, and Fernández cancelled the rest.)

The Argentine government has tried to renegotiate the debt, but in order to do so the IMF has imposed conditions that severely restrict the nation’s sovereignty – such as appointing a British economist who “will virtually be the new economic minister,” acting as a kind of “co-government,” warned prominent diplomat Alicia Castro.

Seeking ways around these US debt traps, Fernández decided this February to turn to the two rising Eurasian superpowers.

Argentine President Fernández travels to Russia to meet with Putin

On February 3, Argentine President Alberto Fernández travelled to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

“I’m certain Argentina has to stop being so dependent on the [International Monetary] Fund and the United States, and has to open up to other places, and that is where it seems to me that Russia has a very important place,” Fernández said, explaining his motivation for the trip.

Fernández added that, for Russia, Argentina “should be the door to enter” the region, telling Putin, “We could be a venue for the development of your cooperation with Latin American nations.”

The two leaders discussed Russian investment in the Argentine economy, trade, railroad construction, and energy technology.

Fernández also thanked Moscow for collaborating with his country in the production of its Sputnik V covid-19 vaccine. Argentina was the first country in the western hemisphere to do so.

The Argentine president even pointed out in their meeting that he has received three doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. Putin added, “Me too.”

Putin said the two countries agree on many issues, calling Argentina “one of Russia’s key partners in Latin America.”

Argentine President Fernández travels to China to meet with Xi

Just three days after meeting with Putin, President Alberto Fernández travelled to China on February 6 to meet with President Xi Jinping.

In this historic trip, Argentina officially joined Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, a massive global infrastructure program.

Fernández and other top Argentine officials signed agreements for $23.7 billion in Chinese financing, including investments and infrastructure projects.

The funding will be disbursed in two parts: one, which is already approved, will provide Argentina with $14 billion for 10 infrastructure projects; the second, for $9.7 billion, will finance the South American nation’s integration into the Belt and Road.

There are three joint Chinese-Argentine projects that were reportedly at the top of Fernández’s list: creating 5G networks, developing Argentina’s lithium industry, and building the Atucha III nuclear power plant.

Fernández also discussed plans for Argentina to produce China’s Sinopharm covid-19 vaccine, in addition to Russia’s Sputnik V.

Argentina and China signed a comprehensive memorandum of understanding, including 13 documents for cooperation in areas such as green energy, technology, education, agriculture, communication, and nuclear energy.

Fernández and Xi discussed ways to “strengthen relations of political, commercial, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation between both countries,” according to an Argentine government readout of the meeting.

The two leaders apparently hit it off very well, with Fernández telling Xi, “If you were Argentine, you would be a Peronist.”

Argentina’s incorporation into the Belt and Road comes mere weeks after Nicaragua joined the initiative in January, and Cuba in December.

Latin America’s growing links with China and Russia show how the increasingly multipolar international system offers countries in the Global South new potential allies who can serve as bulwarks against and alternatives to Washington’s hegemony.

While right-wing leaders in Latin America keep looking north to the United States as their political compass, progressive governments are reaching across the ocean to the Eurasian powers of China, Russia, and Iran, building new international alliances that weaken Washington’s geopolitical grip over a region that the US president still insists is its “front yard.”

Danny Haiphong: China-Russia partnership is a model for global cooperation in the 21st Century

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a virtual meeting on December 15th amid increasing aggression against both countries led by the United States. Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong published the following article in CGTN where he argues that China-Russia relations serve as a model for global cooperation and solidarity in the 21st century and beyond. The two heads of state are next scheduled to meet in person at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

On December 15, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a virtual meeting that emphasized the growing cooperation between the two countries amid unprecedented global challenges. Both sides agreed that relations between Russia and China represent a model for global cooperation in the 21st century. 

The meeting came less than a week following a series of moves on the part of the U.S. that have intensified its cold war posture toward China and Russia. These include the spread of rumors of a so-called Russian “invasion” of Ukraine, the Biden administration’s “diplomatic boycott” of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and U.S.’ facilitation of a “Summit for Democracy” which directly targeted China and Russia’s political legitimacy.

There is no denying that U.S.-led aggression toward both China and Russia has driven the two countries closer together. The simultaneous U.S. expansion of NATO along Russia’s border and the exponential growth of the U.S.’ military presence in the Asia Pacific represent very real threats to China and Russia’s national security. Furthermore, both China and Russia have been targeted by U.S.-sponsored riots in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Ukraine, and Belarus to name a few. U.S.-led hostilities have also come in the form of economic sanctions. China and Russia have responded to U.S. aggression by strengthening cooperation in the fields of defense, trade, diplomacy, and cultural exchange.

Continue reading Danny Haiphong: China-Russia partnership is a model for global cooperation in the 21st Century