The West’s blueprint for goading China was laid out in Ukraine

The following article by Jonathan Cook (first published by Middle East Eye) explores the complex and contradictory policies of the Western powers in relation to China. On the one hand, Western leaders talk of wanting a collaborative relationship with China, and on this basis “US and European officials have scurried to Beijing for so-called talks”, including a high-profile visit by British foreign secretary James Cleverly in August. On the other hand, these same leaders are taking reckless steps towards confrontation: “showering Taiwan with weapons systems”; setting up AUKUS; forging a trilateral security arrangement between the US, Japan and South Korea; and developing new military bases in the Pacific as part of an ongoing strategy of encirclement. NATO last year declared Beijing a challenge to its “interests, security and values.”

Jonathan writes that “European leaders are torn. They fear losing access to Chinese goods and markets, plunging their economies deeper into recession after a cost-of-living crisis precipitated by the Ukraine war. But most are even more afraid of angering Washington, which is determined to isolate and contain China.”

The manifestation of these contradictory motivations is a policy of aggression combined with the pretence of a meaningful desire for peaceful engagement. “But the only real engagement is the crafting of a military noose around China’s neck, just as a noose was crafted earlier for Russia.” And the crafting of this military noose is justified to ordinary people in the West – who will inevitably shoulder the economic costs of the deteriorating relationship – with an absurd but carefully-curated narrative about protecting Taiwan. This “obscures Washington’s less palatable aim: to enforce US global dominance by smashing any economic or technological threat from China and Russia.”

The West is writing a script about its relations with China as stuffed full of misdirection as an Agatha Christie novel.

In recent months, US and European officials have scurried to Beijing for so-called talks, as if the year were 1972 and Richard Nixon were in the White House.

But there will be no dramatic, era-defining US-China pact this time. If relations are to change, it will be decisively for the worse.

The West’s two-faced policy towards China was starkly illustrated last week by the visit to Beijing of Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly – the first by a senior UK official for five years.

While Cleverly talked vaguely afterwards about the importance of not “disengaging” from China and avoiding “mistrust and errors”, the British parliament did its best to undermine his message. 

The foreign affairs committee issued a report on UK policy in the Indo-Pacific that provocatively described the Chinese leadership as “a threat to the UK and its interests”. 

In terminology that broke with past diplomacy, the committee referred to Taiwan – a breakaway island that Beijing insists must one day be “reunified” with China – as an “independent country”. Only 13 states recognise Taiwan’s independence.

The committee urged the British government to pressure its Nato allies into imposing sanctions on China.

The UK parliament is meddling recklessly in a far-off zone of confrontation with the potential for incendiary escalation against a nuclear power, a situation unrivalled outside of Ukraine

But Britain is far from alone. Last year, for the first time, Nato moved well out of its supposed sphere of influence – the North Atlantic – to declare Beijing a challenge to its “interests, security and values”.

There can be little doubt that Washington is the moving force behind this escalation against China, a state posing no obvious military threat to the West.

Continue reading The West’s blueprint for goading China was laid out in Ukraine

Documents show Taiwan working with FBI to prosecute Chinese Americans and intimidate US politicians

The following report by Alan MacLeod, first published in MintPress News, provides convincing proof that separatists in the Taiwanese administration are working with US intelligence agencies to drum up anti-China hostility, intimidate US politicians, influence US media, and drive a McCarthyite agenda.

The documents reviewed by MintPress reveal that Taiwanese officials are monitoring Chinese Americans and passing intelligence to the FBI with a view to having them prosecuted. Furthermore, Taiwan is spending millions in order to influence US public opinion against China and in favor of Taiwanese independence.

When Chinese American groups protested Tsai-Ing Wen’s visit to the US in early 2023, “it appears that Taiwan attempted to have these groups arrested and prosecuted as foreign agents.” In order to render pro-China or anti-Cold War campaigners liable for prosecution, Taiwanese officials aim to “collect clear and concrete evidence” that such campaigners are “directed by Chinese government”. Clearly this contributes to a broader campaign, led by reactionary US politicians and billionaire media, to stigmatize and criminalize any opposition to the pursuit of a reckless New Cold War.

The article observes that this escalating McCarthyism “has already helped create a culture of fear among Chinese Americans”, with 72 percent of Chinese researchers in the US feeling unsafe, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, “hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed.”

With the US dangerously promoting a hegemonist agenda and using economic, diplomatic, propaganda and military means to try and put an end to China’s rise, it’s crucial that progressive and anti-war forces stand up against Cold War, against McCarthyism, and against interference in China’s internal affairs – including the question of Taiwan.

Amid a controversial visit from Vice President William Lai (the front-runner to be his country’s next leader), official documents reviewed by “MintPress News” show that the Taiwanese government is attempting to drum up anti-China hostility, influence and intimidate American politicians and is even working with the FBI and other agencies to spy on and prosecute Chinese American citizens.

Key points of this investigation
• Taiwanese officials are monitoring Chinese Americans and passing intelligence to the FBI in attempts to have them prosecuted.
• Taiwan is working with “friends” in media and politics to create a culture of fear towards China and Chinese people in the US
• Taiwanese officials claim they are “directing” and “guiding” certain US politicians.
• Taiwan is monitoring and helping to intimidate U.S. politicians they deem to be too pro-China.
• The island is spending millions funding US think tanks that inject pro-Taiwan and anti-China talking points into American politics.

Working with the feds to prosecute Chinese Americans

Vice President Lai’s journey to the United States is, officially, only a stopover on his way to Paraguay (the U.S. does not formally recognize Taiwan as an independent state). He is scheduled to make appearances in both New York and San Francisco.

Lai himself is an outspoken leader of the growing movement for Taiwanese independence. Many nationalists see Taiwan as culturally different from the mainland and argue it would be better off as a fully independent state. To achieve this goal, they are attempting to gain American backing and influence American public opinion. China, however, sees the matter as purely internal, and American attempts to wrest Taiwan out of its orbit as a potential trigger for World War Three.

Continue reading Documents show Taiwan working with FBI to prosecute Chinese Americans and intimidate US politicians

DPRK expresses full solidarity with China in light of US provocations

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has expressed its full solidarity with its socialist neighbour and ally after the United States recently declared its intention to provide the Chinese renegade province of Taiwan with a further 345 million dollars’ worth of weapons.

In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 4, Maeng Yong Rim, director general of the Department of Chinese Affairs in the DPRK’s Foreign Ministry, noted that the US action, “constitutes a flagrant violation of the one China principle, which the US committed itself to before the Chinese government and people, and of the spirit of the three China-US joint communiqués. It is also an interference in the internal affairs of China and a grave encroachment on China’s sovereignty and security.”

According to the DPRK official:

“While talking about the improvement of relations with China, the present US administration is clinging to the Taiwan issue, the most important core interests of China. Its intention is clear.

“It is the sinister intention of the US to turn Taiwan into an unsinkable advanced base against China and the first-line trench for carrying out its strategy for deterring China and thus secure its hegemonic position in the Asia-Pacific region.

“But the US ambition for hegemony can never work on the strength of the powerful Chinese people.”

Maeng Yong Rim went on to warn: “Independent and sovereign states in the Asia-Pacific region have the strength and will to firmly defend their sovereignty and core interests from the US high-handed and arbitrary practices.”

His statement concluded: “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will fully support any measure of the People’s Republic of China to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and achieve the sacred cause of the unification of the Chinese nation.”

The following article was originally carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Maeng Yong Rim, director general of the Department of Chinese Affairs of the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK, issued the following press statement on August 3:

Recently, the U.S. made public “Weapons Aid Package” for providing Taiwan with weapons worth 345 million U.S. dollars, thus driving the military tensions in the Asia-Pacific region to another ignition point of war.

In less than three years since the present U.S. administration came into power, it provided military aid to Taiwan as times as the preceding administration had done.

The U.S. is planning to provide Taiwan with military aid worth 10 billion U.S. dollars for the coming five years and emergency defense aid worth a billion U.S. dollars every year.

This constitutes a flagrant violation of the one China principle, which the U.S. committed itself before the Chinese government and people, and of the spirit of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. It is also an interference in internal affairs of China and a grave encroachment on China’s sovereignty and security.

The U.S. says in public that it abides by the principle of one China but instigates in the rear the “independence” of Taiwan, inseparable part of China. Such shameless duality and double-dealing of the U.S. are a dangerous political and military provocation totally destroying the stability of the regional situation and an anti-peace reckless act which must be condemned by the world people.

Continue reading DPRK expresses full solidarity with China in light of US provocations

Arming Taiwan is an insane provocation

In this incisive article written for, John V Walsh exposes the utter recklessness of the US’s policy of increasing arms supplies to Taiwan.

Walsh describes the US’s longstanding First Island Chain strategy – a collection of military bases, weapons and troops deployed specifically in order to project US power and to contain and encircle the People’s Republic of China – and notes that Taiwan is at the center of this strategy. Indeed Taiwan is considered by Washington’s hawks as “America’s unsinkable aircraft carrier”.

Walsh observes that while the US officially adheres to the One China Policy, which recognizes that Taiwan is part of China, it has been arming Taiwan for decades and is increasingly flagrant in its encouragement of secessionist forces. For obvious reasons, this is a red line for Beijing. “A secessionist Taiwan, as an armed ally of the US, represents to China a return to the Century of Humiliation at the hands of the colonial West.”

The US should adhere to international law and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs. “Taiwan and Beijing can settle their disagreements by themselves. Frankly put, disagreements between the two are none of America’s business.” Furthermore, the US should put an end to provocations and militarism in the region, and take China up on its oft-repeated offer of mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two economies.

Those in the West who are concerned with building a lasting peace should pressure their governments to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and to stop arming Taiwan.

The Island of Taiwan has been turned into a “powder keg” by the infusion of U.S. weaponry, pushing the Taiwanese people into the “abyss of disaster.”  These are the words of the Chinese Defense Ministry in reaction to the recent $440 million sale of U.S. arms to the island. And now the U.S. is also giving, not selling, arms to Taiwan, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

The “First Island Chain” Strategy of the U.S.

Taiwan is but one in a series of islands along the Chinese coast, often called “The First Island Chain,” which now bristles with advanced U.S. weapons. These are accompanied by tens of thousands of supporting U.S. military personnel and combat troops.  The “First Island Chain” extends from Japan in the north southward through Japan’s Ryukyu islands which include Okinawa, to Taiwan and on to the northern Philippines. (U.S. ally, South Korea, with a military of 500,000 active duty personnel and 3 million reserves is a powerful adjunct to this chain.) In U.S. military doctrine the First Island Chain is a base to “project power” and restrict sea access to China.

Taiwan is at the center this string of islands and is considered the focal point of The First Island Chain strategy. When the fiercely hawkish Cold Warrior, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, conceived the strategy in 1951, he dubbed Taiwan America’s “unsinkable aircraft carrier.”

Taiwan is now one source of contention between the U.S. and China. As is often said but rarely done, the pursuit of peace demands that we understand the point of view of those who are marked as our adversaries. And, in China’s eyes, Taiwan and the rest of these armed isles look like both chain and noose.

Continue reading Arming Taiwan is an insane provocation

US anti-imperialist delegation meets with Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League

Delegates from the US Workers’ World Party and the International Action Center visited China in May as part of a program organised by the China-US Solidarity Network.

In this first report on their trip, which was originally published in the Workers World newspaper, Arjae Red reports on the delegates’ Beijing meeting with the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League. The League is one of eight democratic political parties in China that accept the leadership of the communist party and work alongside it in the governance of the country. 

The visitors were briefed on the League’s origins in the Taiwanese Communist Party, which was formed when the Chinese island was under Japanese colonial rule. When the people in Taiwan rose in struggle against brutal repression by the Kuomintang, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands, the communists were in the forefront of organising and waging the armed resistance. The League was formed in 1947 by survivors, who had been forced to flee to Hong Kong. Today it works for the reunification of China and the well-being of the people in Taiwan.

Workers World Party and International Action Center delegates traveled to the People’s Republic of China in May as part of an educational and political exchange organized by the China-U.S. Solidarity Network. The purpose of the delegation was multifold: to conduct research that brings truth to expose the lies of the U.S. empire, as well as to strengthen international friendships and forge a more resilient global anti-imperialist movement. Among the many stops on this tour was a meeting in Beijing with representatives of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League (Taimeng).

One of eight parties in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a united front under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, Taimeng works alongside the CPC to formulate the government’s policy in regard to relations between the mainland and Taiwan. 

Taimeng holds 13 seats in the National People’s Congress and three seats in the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The League consists of members of Taiwanese descent and with connections to Taiwan residents. It supports the reunification of Taiwan with the People’s Republic of China mainland.

The meeting between the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League and Workers World Party May 14 took place at a time when U.S.-China tensions are at an all-time high. Both parties exchanged friendly messages expressing a common interest in de-escalating the U.S.-led war drive against China, in which Taiwan is used as a pawn by U.S. imperialism.

The U.S. empire promotes Taiwan separatism, despite its stated agreement to the “One China” policy that supposedly forms the bedrock of U.S.-China relations. It simultaneously uses sanctions and other methods of economic warfare, in tandem with military encirclement and weapons imports, to turn the region into a powder keg. 

Members of Taimeng brought the delegates from Workers World Party through a tour of their three-story exhibit, showcasing the history of their organization from its inception in 1947, with roots in the Taiwanese Communist Party, to the present day.

Beginning on Feb. 28, 1947, the Kuomintang-led government of Taiwan began massacring people who had become fed up with the brutal administration of the island. Taiwanese communists organized resistance to this KMT violence. Xie Xuehong, a key leader in the Taiwanese women’s movement and founding member of the Taiwanese Communist Party, created a force in Taichung dubbed the 27 Brigade, a communist-led guerilla unit comprising some thousands of fighters.

The violence of the KMT resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. In the end, many left forces were violently suppressed and forced off the island. Surviving members of the Taiwanese Communist Party relocated to Hong Kong and formed the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League. Two years later in 1949, Taimeng witnessed the victory of the communist forces on the mainland and participated in the birth of the People’s Republic of China.

As an ally in the United Front with the CPC, Taimeng works resolutely toward a united China and promotes policies that mutually benefit people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Su Hui, chairperson of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League’s Central Committee, said at a press conference in March: “With the word ‘Taiwan’ in our party’s name, one of our missions is to carry on Taiwan compatriots’ noble tradition of loving our nation and homeland, and try our best to realize the motherland’s reunification.”

Chen Weihua on the New Cold War, Taiwan and Ukraine

On the road in Brussels, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong caught up with the prominent Chinese journalist Chen Weihua (China Daily’s EU bureau chief) for a very interesting interview.

Chen comments at length on the New Cold War and the deterioration in US-China relations during the Trump administration. Having worked in the US for several years during the Obama years, Chen witnessed a far healthier bilateral relationship, characterized mainly by cooperation – in spite of the launch of the Pivot to Asia, which obviously heralded a strategic shift on the part of the US. However, Trump dismantled the policy of engagement that had been in place since the restoration of relations between the two countries in the 1970s and, sadly, the Biden administration has been no improvement when it comes to US-China relations. Biden on the campaign trail criticized Trump’s trade war, but in office he’s continued and deepened it.

Regarding the Taiwan issue, Chen Weihua appealed to US politicians to not undermine the One China Principle or attempt to change the status quo over Taiwan. He stated that there is a consensus in China in favor of peaceful national reunification, and a general understanding that this process may take considerable time. For the US to encourage Taiwanese separatism and stoke the flames of conflict in the region is dangerous and ill-advised.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US uses Taiwan as pawn for war on China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading US uses Taiwan as pawn for war on China

Chinese Foreign Ministry statement on Tsai Ing-wen’s ‘transit’ through the US

The following statement, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on 6 April 2023, expresses China’s strong objection to the US’s facilitation of Tsai Ing-wen’s transit through the US, during which she had a high-profile meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The statement points out that this visit forms part of an increasingly consistent pattern by the US of undermining the One China principle and encouraging Taiwanese separatism, with a view to stoking cross-Strait tensions and weakening China.

The statement urges the US to return to a framework of international law and to its obligations under the three China-US joint communiqués.

Through the past few days, in disregard of China’s serious representations and repeated warnings, the United States deliberately greenlighted the transit of Tsai Ing-wen, leader of the Taiwan region, through the United States. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the number three in the US government, had a high-profile meeting with Tsai. Other US officials and lawmakers also had contact with Tsai and provided the platform for her separatist rhetoric for “Taiwan independence”. This is essentially the United States acting with Taiwan to connive at “Taiwan independence” separatists’ political activities in the United States, conduct official contact with Taiwan and upgrade the substantive relations with Taiwan, and frame it as a “transit”. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués. It seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and sends an egregiously wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it.

The one-China principle is a prevailing consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations. It is also the prerequisite and basis for the establishment and development of China-US diplomatic relations. In the three China-US joint communiqués, the United States made a clear commitment of maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan. Over the years, however, the United States has obdurately attempted to contain China by exploiting the Taiwan question and betrayed its commitments. The United States has been crossing the line and acting provocatively on issues such as US-Taiwan official exchanges, arms sales to and military dealings with Taiwan and creating chances for Taiwan to expand its so-called “international space”, and kept fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle. Since taking office, Tsai has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus which embodies the one-China principle. Instead of reining in separatist rhetoric and activities in Taiwan for “Taiwan independence”, Tsai has supported and encouraged them, and sought to push for “incremental independence” under various pretenses. This has put cross-Strait relations in serious difficulty.

The Taiwan question is at the core of China’s core interests and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations. “Taiwan independence” and cross-Strait peace and stability are as irreconcilable as fire and water. The pursuit of “Taiwan independence” will lead nowhere. In response to the egregiously wrong action taken by the United States and Taiwan, China will take strong and resolute measures to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. We once again urge the United States to adhere to the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, act on the US leader’s assurances of not supporting “Taiwan independence” and not supporting “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, stop at once any form of official exchanges with Taiwan, stop upgrading substantive relations with Taiwan, stop creating factors that could cause tensions in the Taiwan Strait, stop containing China by exploiting the Taiwan question, and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path.

Is Taiwan the next Ukraine?

Interviewed on BreakThrough News by Eugene Puryear and Rania Khalek, Professor Ken Hammond gives an extremely clear explanation of US policy in relation to Taiwan. Ken points out that the corporate media has reached fever pitch, encouraging the Western public to think that China is on the cusp of launching a military invasion of Taiwan Island; that this is a prima facie example of China’s disruption of the peaceful “rules-based order” that the US so benevolently presides over. This narrative functions to raise public support for a New Cold War, and to silence those voices making the rather obvious point that US-China cooperation over climate change and other global problems is both urgent and necessary.

Ken points out that China’s position in relation to Taiwan has not changed. China has always reiterated its commitment to a peaceful resolution of the issue, whilst maintaining its right to use force in the face of interference or any unilateral attempt by separatists to declare Taiwan’s independence. The issue is a fundamental concern of China: for hundreds of years, Taiwan has been part of China, and the only reason Taiwan is administered separately today is that the US Navy positioned itself in the Taiwan Strait following the victory of the Chinese Revolution in order to protect the remnants of the Nationalist regime and prevent national reunification under the CPC-led government in Beijing.

The US continues to provoke China over the Taiwan issue – and other issues – in the hope of triggering an incident that can be parlayed into a conflict which the US can somehow leverage to stall China’s development and its emergence as a major player in global affairs. Ultimately, Ken points out, this is done in order to protect US hegemony, and would certainly not benefit the ordinary people of the US. It’s a profoundly dangerous strategy which must be exposed and opposed.

The interview is embedded below.

Blinken attacks China for seeking peace in Ukraine

In this insightful article for Fighting Words, Chris Fry summarizes the latest efforts by the Biden administration to slander – and escalate tensions with – China.

The article starts by describing Antony Blinken’s recent accusations that China is sending – or “contemplating sending” – military assistance to Russia. Chris notes the twisted irony of this accusation, given that “the US has supplied more than $100 billion in military aid to Ukraine so far, with more on the way,” and given that the US government is quite clearly implementing a strategy directed not at bringing about peace or saving Ukrainian lives, but at defeating and weakening the Russian Federation and expanding NATO’s hegemony in Europe.

It is presumably not a coincidence that this accusation is being amplified at a time when China has put forward an important position paper on the Ukraine conflict, calling for the abandoning of Cold War mentality, a resumption of peace talks, and an end to illegal sanctions. China’s peace proposals – grounded firmly in international law and consistent with the principles of the UN Charter – are resonating with governments throughout the world, particularly in the Global South. Therefore the US is doing what it can to tarnish China’s reputation as a responsible power.

Chris also highlights the US’s increasingly desperate attempts to stoke tensions in relation to Taiwan Province. With the anti-independence Kuomintang having scored an important victory in Taiwan’s local elections last year – and having good prospects in next year’s presidential elections – the US is fast-tracking its provocations, which “seek to provoke a justified but costly Chinese military attack on Taiwan and thus ‘justify’ a US war against China.”

China’s response to such provocations has been measured and proportional; as such the US strategy is failing. Nonetheless, notes the author, “progressives and anti-war activists must prepare now to muster their forces.”

Unable to intimidate the leadership of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over its balloon being shot down by U.S. Air Force jets along with three other balloons in a missile-firing frenzy, President Biden, through his war hawk Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is now accusing China of “contemplating sending lethal aid” to the Russian Federation.

Speaking to “Meet the Press” on February 9 after meeting with Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi in Munich, Blinken arrogantly attacked China for its relations with the Russian Federation while it maintains strict neutrality in the conflict:

“Publicly, they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine,” he said … “But privately, as I said, we’ve seen already over these past months the provision of nonlethal assistance that does go directly to aiding and abetting Russia’s war effort.”

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War fever: after Ukraine, Taiwan?

The text below is the English translation of an interview with Dirk Nimmegeers, co-editor of and Friends of Socialist China advisory group member, originally published in De Wereld Morgen.

The interview focuses on the prospects for peace across the Taiwan Strait, particularly in the light of the recent comment by US General Mike Minihan that “my gut tells me” there will be a war over Taiwan in 2025. Dirk gives a summary of Taiwan’s 20th century history and the evolution of US policy in relation to the province, which since the signing of the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972 has officially been that “the United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.” Dirk notes that, in spite of this official adherence to the One China policy, the US has been encouraging “the most reckless separatist and militaristic politicians on Taiwan” and increasing arms sales to the province. Furthermore President Biden has repeatedly (and unilaterally) stated that the US would would intervene militarily if the People’s Republic attempted to change the status quo by force.

With China and Russia in particular in the crosshairs, Washington is boosting its ‘defence’ spending, modernising its nuclear arsenal, and escalating its militarisation of the Pacific – via AUKUS, its encouragement of Japan’s remilitarisation, the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, and more. “It is clear, and Washington does not deny it, that all this is primarily directed against China.” As part of this overall campaign of China encirclement, “one could argue that Taiwan has been assigned the role of a kind of military base by the US”. Additionally, Dirk opines that US strategists seem determined to use Taiwan against China in much the same way as they are using Ukraine against Russia, stoking conflict in order to weaken the emerging powers and thereby protect US hegemony.

Dirk concludes with a call for the peace movement in the West to make its voice heard loud and clear in forceful opposition to the US policy of escalating tensions over Taiwan. While the media presents the issue as one of Chinese bellicosity, the truth is that China’s position on the Taiwan question has not changed for many decades: “China is aiming at a peaceful reunification. But it also wants past agreements to be respected.” However, China will naturally defend its sovereignty against rising provocations. Peace can only be guaranteed if the US and its allies cease their provocations and return to a framework of cooperation, respect for international law, and respect for China’s sovereignty.

To fully understand what exactly is going on, it is important to grasp Taiwan’s special status. Can you explain that status a bit?

Taiwan does have its own government and parliament, but it is not a sovereign or independent state because it is part of China. Almost every state in the world, including the US, recognises that. Taiwan, for instance, has no seat in the UN.

There is only one China, with its government based in Beijing. The Taiwanese political entity was installed in 1949 by the losing side in the Chinese civil war, whose leaders fled to Taiwan.

Legally, the island has been part of China for centuries – like Flanders is part of Belgium, or Friesland is part of the Netherlands. In a way you can see Taiwan as a rebellious province.

What is China’s relationship towards this ‘rebellious province’?

China’s policy has been unchanging for decades: Taiwan should be reunited peacefully with the rest of the country. Beijing would like to see economic ties between the mainland and the island province restored to the same level as they were until recently. More social and cultural contacts would also be beneficial.

However, Beijing has always warned – and does so every time it is gravely provoked – that any declaration of Taiwanese independence or serious moves towards it would lead to a military response. Essentially, the ‘Taiwan issue’ is a domestic one, which the Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will settle between themselves.

Continue reading War fever: after Ukraine, Taiwan?

Stop US interference: Interview with the Labour Party of Taiwan

We are very pleased to republish this important and informative interview with Wu Rong-yuan, Chairperson of the Labour Party of Taiwan, the island’s main left-wing political party.

Wu explains that the Labour Party was founded in March 1989 by three groups of people: veteran political prisoners from the martial law period who had persisted in the struggle through long years of incarceration; progressive intellectuals who had grouped around journals published in the 1970s and 1980s; and some leaders of the ongoing labour and social movements. Through this regroupment, the party saw itself as re-uniting the labour movement with the movement for the reunification of China.

Reflecting on his own experience as a student in the 1970s, Wu explains that he and his contemporaries had a strong Chinese national identity, but began to question its representation by the contemporary Kuomintang (then the ruling party on the island), being inspired instead by the more pro-socialist orientation of its founder Dr Sun Yat-sen, along with the student movements in Japan, Europe and North America and the struggle against the Vietnam War and for African-American civil rights. “My personal political views didn’t stop at criticising capitalism and advocating anti-imperialism but were also characterised by a strong identification with our motherland.”

As a result, he was arrested and sentenced to death. This was later commuted to life imprisonment and then to 15 years. It was in prison “that I met many renowned political prisoners who, despite having been imprisoned for almost 20 years, were not demoralised. They were still in high spirits.” In words that will resonate with revolutionaries from Ireland to South Africa, and from Chile to Palestine, he quotes Lin Shu-yang, who was the honorary chairman of the party until his death in 2012, and who was imprisoned for 34 years and seven months: “Prison is a school for revolutionaries, so we must stick to our principles and maintain our fighting spirit.”

“Lin once said that when looking at the Taiwan issue from the historical perspective, the complete unification of the country would complete the liberation movement of the entire Chinese nation. This is the continuation of the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, and anti-colonial Chinese national liberation movement that goes back to the 19th century.”

Responding to a question as to what kind of party the Labour Party is, Wu explains: “Since its founding, the Labour Party has represented the interests of the working class in Taiwan. Therefore, we have been fully involved as a political party in the Taiwan workers’ movement, the movement against imperialist domination and interference, and the movement for reunification…

“In the Labour Party of Taiwan’s analysis of the social and economic situation in Taiwan at the current historical stage, the contradiction between unification and independence is the main contradiction in Taiwan’s society, while the contradiction between the working class and the bourgeoisie is the basic contradiction. The Labour Party has always adhered to the One China principle… The main contradiction has not changed regardless of which political party has been in power in Taiwan.”

The interview also addresses how the Labour Party sees the present war in Ukraine, and Wu Rong-yuan notes: “We believe that the Russian-Ukrainian War was caused by the expansion of the US-led NATO military alliance to the east. However, we oppose the use of war as a means of resolving this dispute and we call on both sides to sit down for negotiations and talk. It is now clear that this is a proxy war, and Ukraine is just cannon fodder for Washington.”

However, the situation is different from that of Taiwan: “Taiwan is not Ukraine, because Taiwan is a part of China. Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are one country. It is an internal political issue.”

Wu links last summer’s provocative visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to a renewed wave of repression on the island, including tightening so-called ‘national security’ legislation and cooking up supposed ‘espionage’ incidents, whose targets have included mainland students, retired military personnel, Hong Kong businesspeople and political figures advocating reunification.

The interview was conducted by Wim De Ceukelaire of Belgium’s Médecine pour le Peuple and was previously published in English on the website of No Cold War.

In the West, very little is known about the politics and history of Taiwan. Some will remember the island was ruled by the Kuomintang dictatorship for decades during the latter half of the 20th century. Others will know that, since becoming a presidential democracy in the 1990s, the island has had a two-party system with the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as the main political parties. Few will know of your party, the Labour Party of Taiwan. Can you tell us about its history?

Wu Rong-yuan: The Labour Party of Taiwan was founded in March 1989 by three groups of people. First, the veteran political prisoners of the martial law period in Taiwan who persisted in their struggle while they were imprisoned for a long time. Second, a collection of progressive intellectuals who were united by the well-known magazine “China Tide” (夏潮) in the 1970s and the equally prominent publication “The Human World” (人間) in the 1980s, including Chen Ying-zhen (陳映真), Su Qing-li (蘇慶黎), Wang Li-xia (汪立峽), and others. Third, there were some leaders of the labour and social movements at that time, such as Luo Mei-wen (羅美文) (now a member of the Hsinchu County Council), Ngan Kun-chuan (顏坤泉), and others.

The establishment of the Labour Party of Taiwan initiated the third period in the history of the Left in Taiwan. The first period, from the early 1920s to 1931, was defined by the resistance against the Japanese Empire’s colonial rule;[i] the second period, from 1945 to the 1950s, was marked by the participation of the “Old Classmates” in the New Democratic Revolution[ii] in Taiwan; and the third period, from 1988 onwards,[iii] has been characterised by the re-uniting the labour movement with the movement for the reunification of China. Therefore, we can say that the Labour Party of Taiwan has inherited the history of the left-wing movement of the Taiwanese people since the 1920s, and has continued the history of its patriotic anti-imperialist and unification movement, which was interrupted for nearly 40 years due to the so-called “White Terror”.

Every fall, the Labour Party of Taiwan and many pro-unification groups pay tribute to the victims who died during the “White Terror” in Taipei City. Can you tell us more about what happened to them?

Wu Rong-yuan: My heart is heavy when I talk about this historical tragedy. Most of the victims of the White Terror in Taiwan during the 1950s were local patriotic progressives. Thousands were killed and at least 140,000 were imprisoned in harsh conditions.

During Taiwan’s martial law, the former political prisoners linked up across the island after their release from prison through mutual aid associations. Immediately after the lifting of martial law in October 1987, the Taiwan Political Prisoners’ Mutual Aid Association was established and in March of the following year, Lin Shu-Yang (林書揚), the longest-serving political prisoner in Taiwan, was elected chairperson. They called each other “Old Classmates” and worked hard to continue the tradition of the anti-imperialist patriotic movement of the Taiwanese people.

These “Old Classmates” had been eyewitnesses to Japanese colonial domination and to the civil war between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang. After the lifting of martial law, they laid the basis for a number of unification organisations, including the Labour Party of Taiwan.

Continue reading Stop US interference: Interview with the Labour Party of Taiwan

Video: How the US’s Taiwan policy makes war with China a self-fulfilling prophecy

In this important episode of The Socialist Program on BreakThrough News, Brian Becker and Ken Hammond conduct a detailed discussion about the US strategy of fomenting tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Taking as their starting point a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘To Deter China, Taiwan Must Prepare for War’, Brian and Ken describe how the US is deliberately and determinedly creating instability in the region, encouraging Taiwanese separatism and undermining the One China Principle in order to create a potential war scenario that will slow down China’s rise and undermine popular support for the CPC-led government. The geopolitical context, of course, is that of a global New Cold War in which US imperialism is hitting out in all directions in order to perpetuate American global dominance and reverse its process of decline.

Brian and Ken note that China’s position in relation to Taiwan has not changed in the course of many decades: China is very clear that the Taiwan question is an internal affair and will be resolved by Chinese people on both sides of the Straits. The CPC has consistently stated – including most recently at its 20th National Congress in October 2022 – that it aims to achieve reunification by peaceful means. While the Western media narrative is that recent escalated tensions are due to Chinese truculence, what has changed isn’t the Chinese position but the US’s steady erosion of the One China Principle and its flouting of international law – including its recent commitment to provide direct military aid to Taiwan.

Brian and Ken also observe that, sadly, this strategy has bipartisan support within US ruling circles and that meaningful opposition to imperialist aggression will have to be based on the action of the masses of the people fighting for peace.

Taiwan local election shocks US imperialism

The following article from Fighting Words provides a useful summary of the recent local elections held in Taiwan Province. The author, Chris Fry, notes that although local elections are typically about local issues, in this instance Taiwan’s regional leader Tsai Ing-wen of the secessionist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had explicitly framed the election in terms of opposing the One China policy and “defending Taiwan’s democracy.”

It was, then, a huge blow to the separatists when the DPP was roundly defeated, winning just five seats, compared to the Kuomintang’s 13. The Kuomintang stands against secessionism and in favour of China’s reunification.

Chris observes that the imperialist powers, led by the US, are desperate to leverage Taiwanese secessionism against Chinese socialism. He concludes the article by calling on progressive forces in the West to oppose all such Cold War tactics aimed at containing and encircling China.

On November 26, local elections were held throughout Taiwan, an island that has always been part of China, but since 1949 has been ruled by a fascist leadership driven out of the mainland by the victorious Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Taiwan has since been “protected” by the military U.S. fleet, while Taiwan’s rulers maintained 48 years of martial law and a brutal regime of “White Terror”. In 1987, the regime allowed bourgeois elections.

Before the 2022 elections, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, had campaigned for her ruling “Democratic Progressive Party” (DPP) candidates with the assertion that Taiwan is an independent nation, and should prepare to wage war. As a Nov. 25th CNN article describes:

Polls opened in Taiwan on Saturday in local elections that President Tsai Ing-wen has framed as being about sending a message to the world about the island’s determination to defend its democracy in the face of China’s rising bellicosity.

The local elections, for city mayors, county chiefs and local councilors, are ostensibly about domestic issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic and crime, and those elected do not have a direct say on China policy.

But Tsai has recast the election as being more than a local poll, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid military tensions with China, which claims the island as its territory.

China carried out war games near Taiwan in August to express its anger at a visit to Taipei by then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and its military activities have continued, though on a reduced scale.

Taiwan’s main opposition party the Kuomintang, or KMT, swept the 2018 local elections, and has accused Tsai and the DPP of being overly confrontational with China.

Continue reading Taiwan local election shocks US imperialism

Arnold August: China’s rise is the West’s main fear

We are pleased to reproduce extracts of the November 13, 2022, edition of Press TV’s show Spotlight on the current South China Sea tensions, with Canadian author/journalist Arnold August and Teheran-based anchor/producer Kaveh Taghvai. August focused on China, the BRICS alternative non-US dollar currency as a very significant challenge to US hegemony, and the US vision for leveraging Taiwan against the People’s Republic of China, much as Ukraine is today being used as a pawn in the US/NATO war against the Russian Federation.

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

The US gets ready for war in Taiwan

In the following article, first carried in the Morning Star, Kenny Coyle details the “major reversal in US-China relations”, most recently highlighted by Biden’s unequivocal declaration that the US would commit its forces in the event of a military conflict between China and its renegade island province of Taiwan. This, Kenny explains, is “viewed with alarm in Beijing”, as it “increases the possibilities of a US-China war.”

The article outlines the key points of the three Sino-US joint communiques, noting how the second was swiftly undermined by the ‘Taiwan Relations Act’, and drawing attention to the ‘Taiwan Policy Act’, currently making its way through the US legislature. This would allow for an “enduring rotational US military presence” on Taiwan, something that the US has not maintained since 1979 when it established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic. As Kenny rightly concludes, this “suggests dark days lie ahead.”

On Sunday 18 September, US President Joe Biden told the US news programme 60 Minutes that the US military would go to war in Taiwan should Chinese forces land on the island chain to enforce its sovereignty.

While China has never ruled out the last-resort use of military force, it has always insisted on its preference for peaceful reunification. Biden’s most recent comments repeat previous statements, including one made in Japan, Taiwan’s former colonial occupying power, in May. They are, however, the first since US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s journey to Taipei in August which resulted in China holding major military exercises after her visit.

Pelosi’s meeting with the political leadership of Taiwan certainly enraged China and inflamed tension in the area. This was no diplomatic faux pas; it was the whole point of her trip.

An official visit by the third most senior politician in the US on a US Air Force special air mission Boeing C40 military jet emblazoned with US livery to a territory in which Washington does not have an embassy or a consulate was a deliberate provocation.

China got the message. Once Pelosi’s jet departed Taiwan’s self-declared air space, rejoined by her US Air Force escort, China announced a series of live-fire military drills around the main island of Taiwan and reaffirmed its declaration of sovereignty over the territories administered by the Taipei authorities.

Continue reading The US gets ready for war in Taiwan

Liu Xin interviews former Kuomintang leader

The below video features an extremely interesting and comprehensive interview with Ms. Hung Hsiu-chu, former Chair of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party and current Chair of the Chinese Cyan Geese Peace Education Foundation, conducted by Liu Xin for her popular CGTN programme, The Point. 

Speaking from Taipei in the aftermath of the visit by US House Speaker Pelosi, Ms. Hung presents a point of view that is almost never heard in the West – that of a Taiwan-born Chinese patriot. She makes clear that, in the wake of the visit and other western provocations, China will have to move from “fighting independence [of Taiwan] to boosting reunification in an enhanced manner.”

She slams the anti-China statement by the leaders of the G-7 countries and the EU High Representative following China’s response to the Pelosi visit, pointing out that this is simply a US-led bloc, all of whose members, with the exception of Japan, are members of NATO. She further notes that the G-7 did not reflect on the eastward expansion of NATO, which is the root cause of the Ukraine conflict. All Chinese, she explains, must join together to defend national sovereignty when the One China Principle is attacked, and the West should get over its centuries-old sense of superiority and treat others equally.

Ms. Hung speaks frankly about the decline in national sentiment among many young people in Taiwan but reiterates her absolute confidence in China’s eventual reunification.

The interviewer, Liu Xin is among the speakers at our webinar this Saturday, September 24, on China encirclement and the imperialist build-up in the Pacific – for which you can register using Eventbrite.

Keith Bennett interviewed by George Galloway regarding Taiwan

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett was one of the panellists on a recent episode of Kalima Horra, a discussion programme hosted by George Galloway on Al Mayadeen television, discussing the current situation on Taiwan, the prospects for cross straits relations between the island and the mainland, and between China and the United States. The programme, recorded on August 13 but first broadcast on August 29, was occasioned by the provocative visit to Taiwan by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the beginning of that month.

Keith emphasised that whilst China would do everything possible to prevent war, its absolute determination to complete the cause of national reunification should not be underestimated. The United States was engaged in ‘salami slicing’ the One China principle, to which it had committed itself in three joint communiques, and China could no longer stand idly by.

We reproduce here Keith’s two main contributions to the discussion. The full programme, which also includes some valuable interventions from Professor Michael Dutton of Goldsmith’s, University of London and Beijing Capital Normal University, who stressed that both the Taiwan and Hong Kong issues are unresolved problems of colonialism, can be viewed here.