Li Xi: China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South

The Summit Meeting of the Group of 77 and China, a major organisation of developing countries, was held in the Cuban capital, Havana, September 15-16.

Attended by more than 1,300 participants from 116 countries and 12 organisations and agencies of the United Nations system, it represented a major diplomatic achievement by Cuba and a stunning rebuff to US attempts to isolate the heroic socialist island. Representation was drawn from 33 nations from Latin America and the Caribbean, 46 from Africa, 34 from Asia, and three from Europe. They comprised 31 heads of state and government, 12 vice presidents, dozens of ministers from multiple portfolios, and many other high-level dignitaries.

Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee attended as the special representative of President Xi Jinping.

Addressing the summit on September 15, Li said that Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. He applauded Cuba’s effort and contribution.

The world, he added, is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.

At the same time, however, unilateralism and hegemonism are becoming rampant. Some countries are resorting to such practices as unilateral sanctions, erection of ‘fences and barriers,’ decoupling, and disruption of industrial and supply chains, seriously undermining the legitimate development rights and interests of developing countries and their space for development.

China is the world’s largest developing nation and a natural member of the Global South. China is ready to work with Cuba and other G77 members to open a new chapter in South-South cooperation in the quest for greater development through stronger solidarity, build a Global South community with a shared future, and usher in a new era of common development.

Li advanced three proposals to:

1) Stay true to the original aspiration of the G77 for independence and greater collective strength through unity.

The G77 was born nearly 60 years ago in the struggles of its members for national independence and against exploitation and oppression. Developing countries have since advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, won national independence, and endeavoured to safeguard world peace and promote global development.

2) Advocate equity, justice and inclusiveness.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted overwhelmingly for 30 consecutive times, demanding an immediate end to the US embargo against Cuba. We must continue to make our voice heard loud and clear at the UNGA and other major international fora and events.

3) Pursue development, revitalisation and win-win cooperation.

We need to foster new drivers for our own development, focusing on cooperation in areas of food security, poverty alleviation, industrialisation, green development, digital technology, and artificial intelligence.

China is the largest developing country in the world, Li stressed. “No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South. South-South cooperation is always a high priority in China’s cooperation with other countries. This is our strategic choice, and it is not a stopgap measure.

“We, the developing nations, have won national independence and liberation after a long and arduous journey. We share a fervent desire to bring a better life for our people. We have invariably stood in solidarity through thick and thin. We have supported each other and grown together, and we are a community that rise and fall together.”

Li combined his attendance at the summit with an official friendly visit to Cuba. Meeting with First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, he said that China stands ready to promote the development of the respective party building and socialist causes of the two countries.

For his part, Diaz-Canel said that China has firmly stood with the Global South nations and effectively safeguarded the common interests of developing countries, noting that the Cuban side thanks China for its assistance to Cuba’s economic and social development and is ready to maintain close friendly exchanges with the CPC and promote practical cooperation. He also expressed gratitude for China’s firm support for the Cuban people’s just struggle against unilateral blockade and sanctions.

When visiting Army General Raul Castro, the leader of Cuba’s socialist revolution, Li conveyed Xi Jinping’s greetings to Raul and said that the traditional friendship between China and Cuba was forged and carefully cultivated by the older generation of leaders of the two countries. Raul is a close friend of the CPC and the Chinese people and has made historic contributions to the development of relations between the two parties and the two countries. Facing the complex and ever-changing international situation, China is willing to work with Cuba to jointly build a China-Cuba community with a shared future.

Raul Castro asked Li to convey his greetings to Xi. He recalled his exchanges with Chinese comrades, saying that Cuba is happy and encouraged by the great achievements made in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and is willing to learn from China’s development experience. He also visited the Fidel Castro Ruz Centre together with Li.

Following his visit to Cuba, Li’s itinerary featured visits to Brazil and Egypt at the invitation of their governments and ruling parties.

We reprint below the full text of Li’s speech as well as a report of his meetings with Cuban leaders. They were originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency. The full text of the Summit Declaration may be read here.

Full text: Remarks by Li Xi at Summit of the Group of 77 and China

HAVANA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The following is the full text of the remarks by Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the Summit of the Group of 77 and China in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.

Working Together for Stronger Solidarity, Greater Development, and Closer South-South Cooperation

Your Excellency President Miguel Díaz-Canel,

Your Excellency Secretary General Antonio Guterres,

Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my great pleasure to attend the Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China as President Xi Jinping’s special representative. May I begin by thanking the government of Cuba for the meticulous preparations and thoughtful arrangements that have made the Summit possible.

As the Chair of the Summit, Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. We applaud your effort and contribution.

The world is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.

Emerging markets and developing countries have contributed as much as 80 percent of the world’s economic growth in the past 20 years, and now account for more than 40 percent of global GDP, up from 24 percent 40 years ago. South-South cooperation is playing an increasingly important role in driving the momentum of collective rise of developing countries and in sustaining the continued global economic growth.

Continue reading Li Xi: China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South

Why China is set to significantly overachieve its 2030 climate goals

In this article from Carbon Brief, Swithin Lui – China lead at Climate Action Tracker and climate policy analyst at NewClimate Institute – assesses China’s progress towards its climate targets and the implications for global efforts to tackle climate change.

Analysing the data in detail, he finds that China is on track to significantly overachieve its target of peaking greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; indeed this target will likely be reached in 2025. His analysis shows also that China is on track to achieve a reduction in carbon intensity (emissions per unit of GDP) below 2005 levels of 67 percent by 2030.

Meanwhile, China’s consumption of non-fossil energy is expected to grow by almost 80 percent from 2020-2030. “Our projections show, therefore, China’s share of non-fossil energy comfortably overachieving the 25 percent mark in 2030.”

The author expresses his hope that China will “announce new targets this year to signal its continued leadership in this area and help spark an accelerated international transition.”

China is continuing to build up its domestic fossil fuel production capacity and strengthening its portfolio for energy imports, even as it accelerates renewable power deployment.

Its energy decisions over the next few years will have large implications for its emissions trajectory towards 2030, its pathway towards the 2060 carbon-neutrality goal, and for global warming as a whole.

These recent developments are reflected in our latest Climate Action Tracker assessment of China’s current targets, policies and climate action, published today, which shows its emissions are likely to increase in the short term.

Yet our assessment shows the country is also set to significantly overachieve the targets it promised internationally for 2030, with emissions peaking by 2025. This means that China could increase the ambition of its targets, even without changing the path of its emissions this decade.

On the other hand, we find that this emissions trajectory – and China’s current targets – are incompatible with what would need to happen on a global level to limit warming to 1.5C. If all countries adopted an equivalent level of ambition, we would expect warming to reach 3C.

This article unpacks the details behind our outlook and points to possible ways in which China could take further steps to enhance its commitments towards achievement of global climate targets.

Continue reading Why China is set to significantly overachieve its 2030 climate goals

Engels’ influence from Eastbourne to Beijing

In the following article, which was originally carried by the Morning Star, John Pateman reports on the ‘Engels in Eastbourne’ international conference, which was held in the English seaside resort that was the favourite holiday destination of the co-founder of scientific socialism for many years and from where his ashes were scattered into the sea.

John gives particular attention to the prominent role played by Chinese scholars in the deliberations, with the opening session being on Chinese Perspectives on Engels and Marxism. He notes:

“It is clear that adapting Marxism to the Chinese context will play a crucial role in promoting the modernisation of China. As [Professor Xia] Wei [of Fudan University] observed, ‘Modernisation will be the most likely path to end the absolute power of capital and create a new form of human civilisation.'”

The article also highlights contributions from British Marxist academics, Terrel Carver (University of Bristol), Lindsey German (University of Hertfordshire), Derek Wall (Goldsmiths University London) and Joe Pateman (University of Sheffield), along with Helena Sheehan from Ireland’s Dublin City University and Palle Rasmussen from Denmark’s Aalborg University.

A previous report on this conference may be read here.

“ENGELS in Eastbourne” was an international conference to celebrate the 175th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto, organised by the University of Brighton and the International Association of Marx and Engels Humanities Studies (MEIA), held at the View Hotel, Eastbourne, from June 1-3 2023.

During the last 15 years or so of his life Engels adopted Eastbourne as his favourite go-to English seaside town.

Whenever he had time to spare, he would hurry down to the south coast, usually accompanied by a member of Marx’s family and close friends.

His favourite walk was along the seafront and over the downs to Beachy Head, where his ashes were scattered after his death in 1895.

The opening session of the conference was Chinese Perspectives on Engels and Marxism and included the topics Marxism and Chinese-style Modernisation from Professor Wang Binglin, of Beijing Normal University, Interpretation of the Materialistic-Historical View of Chinese-style Modernisation from Professor Xia Wei, of Fudan University, and On the Outlook of Nature in Engels and Its Contemporary Significance from Professor Wang Xinyan, of Wuhan University.

It was interesting to hear how Engels’ ideas are being used by the current political leadership in China to reinvigorate Marxism in line with the recent 20th congress of the Communist Party of China.

Continue reading Engels’ influence from Eastbourne to Beijing

Western tales about China are just tales – review of ‘The East is Still Red’

In the following review of The East is Still Red – Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, Roger Stoll provides a detailed summary of the text, including some key facts and figures about life in China today, China’s development strategy, China’s global leadership on renewable energy, China’s trade and investment relationships with the Global South, slanders about human rights in Xinjiang, the New Cold War, and more.

Roger concludes: “For those of us overwhelmed and frightened by the West’s prolific fictions about China and who wish to share a more accurate picture of the country with friends, families and fellow activists, in the hope of stopping the war before it starts, we might give them this book.”

The review has appeared in Popular Resistance, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360 and Orinoco Tribune, and an abridged version has been published in Chinese on

Roger Stoll lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has published articles, book reviews and political poetry in Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360, Jewschool, Marxism-Leninism Today, MintPress News, MRonline, New Verse News, Orinoco Tribune, Popular Resistance, Resumen Latinoamericano, San Francisco Examiner, and ZNet.

The East is Still Red can be purchased in paperback and digital formats from Praxis Press.


Western media never stop warning us of China: it menaces Taiwan, threatens its neighbors and shipping lanes in the South China Sea, and sticks military bases on Cuba. China, we are told, spies on us by the most devious means, through TikTok, Huawei 5G, and weather balloons. And China, say our media, ensnares Africa with debt traps. Meanwhile, the US government and its media-echo decry China’s abuses of its own people. China, the US says, has committed “cultural” and literal genocide against Uyghur muslims in Xinjiang. As for the Covid-19 pandemic, the West with whiplash-inducing self-contradiction accuses China of mishandling the crisis by imposing both draconian lockdowns and lockdowns that were too lax, as well as premature reopenings and reopenings that were too-long delayed.

Meanwhile, the liberal and left-liberal West shakes its ideological finger at China, declaring it to practice an idiosyncratic communism-capitalism that sometimes features the worst of both worlds. 

In the western imagination, China’s citizens are feared for their abject discipline and uncanny competence. Yet the West pities them too, thinking they are ruled by communist overlords in a dictatorship devoid of individual liberties.

In short, to the western world, China is an iconic picture of tyranny, malevolence, and exploitation. Still, China is not unique in its status as a US bogeyman. Whenever the West targets a country militarily or economically, the press always turns the country into a cartoon, invariably the same cartoon: authoritarian, autocratic, led by an evil/mad dictator, e.g., Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, etc.

Which is why we should be grateful for the picture of China drawn in this elegantly concise and easily read book, The East Is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, by Carlos Martinez (Praxis Press, 2023, 210 pp.). Of its 210 pages, nearly 60 are taken up with source citations, a 5-page index, reading recommendations, and photographs.

Despite its brevity, the book expertly refutes the West’s blizzard of charges against China. It also sketches China’s 20th century history, its economics and political system, and the ideology that accompanied the Chinese people’s astonishing advance. Martinez analyzes and answers two questions preoccupying many on the political left: Is China socialist? Is it imperialist? (Martinez argues Yes, and No, respectively.)

Continue reading Western tales about China are just tales – review of ‘The East is Still Red’

China is the leading force for world peace

The Forum on Global Human Rights Governance, themed Equality, Cooperation and Development: The 30th Anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and Global Human Rights Governance, was held in Beijing in mid-June 2023.

Jointly hosted by the Information Office of China’s State Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the China International Development Cooperation Agency, the forum attracted over 300 participants from nearly 100 countries and international organizations, including United Nations (UN) agencies.

In a congratulatory letter to the forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping “stressed the need to respect all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, jointly follow the path of peaceful development, act on the Global Security Initiative, and create a secure and peaceful environment for realizing human rights.”

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez attended the forum remotely, addressing a panel about the Global Security Initiative and human rights protection. We publish his remarks below.

A version of Carlos’s presentation has been published in Beijing Review.

A few weeks ago, US president Joe Biden called upon his fellow G7 leaders to stand against China’s “aggression”. A few days ago, Mike Turner, the chair of the US’s House Intelligence Committee, referenced “unbelievable aggression by China.”

Indeed, it is entirely normal in Western politics and media to hear China referred to as “aggressive”, “belligerent” and “expansionist”; as a country which is trying to impose its will on the world by means of force, by means of bullying.

Such an accusation, coming from the major imperialist powers, is nothing if not ironic.

After all, it’s well known that the US has been at war for 228 out of its 247 years of existence.

At this moment, there are nearly a thousand US troops in Syria, in violation of international law and Syrian sovereignty. This very year, the US has carried out several air strikes against Syrian government targets.

The US continues to be involved in the disastrous war in Yemen, which has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

In recent memory, the US has waged brutal wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yugoslavia.

It has active duty military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries, and it maintains 800 overseas military bases.

Its military expenditure is approaching a trillion dollars a year – meaning that a country with 4 percent of the global population accounts for 39 percent of the world’s military spending.

In relation to the crisis in Ukraine, the US’s policy from the start – indeed, before the start – has been to pour fuel onto the fire and to provoke conflict.

Sixteen months into Russia’s special military operation, it’s patently obvious that the only path to peace in the region lies through dialogue, not through escalation. And yet the US continues to provide more and more sophisticated weaponry to Ukraine, whilst doing everything it can to sabotage substantive peace talks.

Besides military aggression, the US is also the pre-eminent world power in terms of economic coercion and unilateral sanctions. It currently imposes unilateral sanctions on China, the DPRK, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, and several other countries. Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs describes the US as “by far the world’s biggest deployer of unilateral coercive measures.”

Let’s compare all this with China’s record.

Since its founding in 1949, China has maintained an extraordinarily peaceful record.

Between 1950 and 1953, over a million Chinese volunteers fought in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. And between 1965 and 1969, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops contributed to the defence of Vietnam.

Besides these wars, plus brief border disputes with India and Vietnam, China has been at peace.

Continue reading China is the leading force for world peace

China and Solomon Islands establish comprehensive strategic partnership

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare began a highly successful visit to China on July 9 2023. Meeting with President Xi Jinping the following day, the two sides jointly announced the official establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development for a new era.

President Xi noted that China and Solomon Islands are trustworthy friends and dependable partners to each other. He said that since the two countries established diplomatic relations, their friendly cooperation has become a pacesetter for the relations between China and other island countries in the Pacific in spite of a relatively late start. He said their cooperation is a paradigm of unity, cooperation and common development for countries of different sizes, and for developing countries. He further stressed that China greatly appreciates Solomon Islands’ firm adherence to the one-China principle, supports Solomon Islands in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and supports the development path that the country itself has chosen.

“China is supporting more Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Solomon Islands, and will continue to provide economic and technical assistance to the country without any political strings attached,” Xi said, adding that China supports Solomon Islands in hosting the 17th Pacific Games.

China fully respects the cultural traditions of Pacific island countries, and adheres to harmony in diversity and shared beauty of diverse cultures and also understands that island countries in the Pacific face severe challenges caused by climate change, and stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with them in such areas as meteorological services, disaster prevention and mitigation, and clean energy to help them implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Xi said.

Noting that the decision to establish diplomatic relations with China was a correct choice, Sogavare said fruitful outcomes have been achieved in bilateral ties and China has become Solomon Islands’ largest infrastructure partner and a reliable development partner.

After the meeting, the two sides released the Joint Statement on Establishing a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Featuring Mutual Respect and Common Development for a New Era Between the People’s Republic of China and Solomon Islands.

Meeting with his host, Premier Li Qiang on the same day, Sogavare said that Solomon Islands attaches great importance to relations with China, appreciates China’s active assistance for the economic and social development of Solomon Islands and other island countries in the Pacific, and supports the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China.

Li noted that China is willing to share development opportunities with Solomon Islands, synergize development strategies further, and expand cooperation on trade and investment, infrastructure construction, agriculture, tourism, forestry and fisheries, information and communication, and energy and mineral resources.

According to the Joint Statement, “The two sides agreed that since the establishment of diplomatic ties four years ago, China-Solomon Islands relations have developed rapidly and remained at the forefront of relations between China and Pacific Island countries, becoming an example of unity, cooperation, mutual support and mutual benefit between developing countries.”

They added that they “agreed that all countries, regardless of size, strength and wealth, are equals, and that their sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. The Chinese side reaffirmed its staunch support for Solomon Islands’ nation building process and to choose a development path suited to its national conditions and in upholding its sovereignty, security and development interests. The Solomon Islands side reaffirmed that it is resolutely committed to the one-China principle, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

In one of the most internationally noted aspects of China/Solomon Islands cooperation, the two countries agreed to enhance cooperation on law enforcement and security matters. “The Chinese side will continue to provide support and help to Solomon Islands as needed in strengthening Solomon Islands’ police law enforcement capacity. The two sides agreed to step up protection of the safety and lawful rights and interests of each other’s nationals and institutions in their countries.”

China’s assistance to Solomon Islands in this regard has been a particular focus of imperialist ire, with allegations that it infringes on the island nation’s sovereignty and independence. In fact, what really concerns the imperialist and colonialist powers is how this cooperation with China is precisely what is enabling Solomon Islands to assert and enhance its independence. Australia, which sees itself as the United States’ “deputy sheriff” in the South Pacific, has hitherto asserted its right to intervene, in a ‘policing’ capacity under an unequal 2017 security treaty, which Prime Minister Sogavare, secure in his friendly relationship with China, called to be reviewed in June.

The joint statement further said that the two sides are “committed to working with all sides to promote peace, development and stability in the Pacific Islands region, and firmly uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.” In a clear rebuke to Japan and to the AUKUS military alliance of Australia, Britain and the United States, it added that they “urge relevant countries to fulfill their international obligations and prudently handle issues such as the discharge of nuclear contaminated water and cooperation on nuclear submarine.”

In conclusion, “Prime Minister Sogavare expressed heartfelt appreciation to the Chinese side for the generous hospitality accorded to him during his visit, and extended an invitation to the Chinese leaders to visit Solomon Islands at an early date.”

Sogavare was elected as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands for a fourth time in April 2019 and established diplomatic relations with China in September that year. Since then his government has been subjected to tremendous pressure, both overt and covert, from the United States, Australia and other imperialist powers, but far from retreating, he has actively consolidated and developed the friendly relationship with China, proving himself to be a leader of courage, principle and integrity. This is already providing tangible benefits to his country. Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is building a cellular network whilst a Chinese state company is to redevelop the port in the capital Honiara.

Analyzing the visit, Niu Li, executive director of the Pacific Research Center at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Chinese newspaper Global Times that from establishing diplomatic ties with China in 2019 to signing the security pact in 2022, then to Sogavare’s current visit, “the Solomon Islands has shown its determination to defend its national sovereignty and is striving to get rid of being controlled regardless of the pressure from the US and its allies like Australia.”

The Chinese scholar added that the reaffirmation of strategic cooperation between China and Solomon Islands will encourage other Pacific Island countries to cooperate with China. “The China-Solomon Islands cooperation will serve as a model for other Pacific Island countries, which have come under long-standing bullying and control of the US-led Western powers, to defend their national sovereignty and autonomy.”

During his visit, Sogavare also officially opened the Solomon Islands embassy in Beijing, alongside China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi.

The following reports were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and Global Times.

Xi meets Sogavare, urging enhanced China-Solomon Islands cooperation

Xinhua, 11 July 2023

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare in Beijing on Monday afternoon.

The two sides jointly announced the official establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development for a new era.

Continue reading China and Solomon Islands establish comprehensive strategic partnership

China’s Global Security Initiative Concept Paper: finding a way to peace

The following article is based on a contribution given by Dr Jenny Clegg at a discussion on the Global Security Initiative (GSI) Concept Paper, hosted by the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) on 30 May 2023.

Providing the crucial historical background for the GSI, Jenny explains that the principles set out in the concept paper are “drawn from a world history of struggle against war and division” and are grounded in older conceptions: indivisible security (“the idea that the security of one country should not come at the expense of another”) and the five principles of peaceful coexistence. Jenny points out that the five principles – respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference, equality and mutual benefit – have long served as the fundamental basis of China’s foreign policy. Furthermore they informed the Bandung Conference in 1955 and the theory of nonalignment; as such, the concept paper and the principles it upholds are “far from Sinocentric” and represent a broad global trend, grounded particularly in the Global South.

Consistent with the United Nations Charter, the concept paper calls on the major powers to respond to conflict by facilitating peace talks and “encourage conflicting parties to build trust, settle disputes and promote security through dialogue.” People demand peace; war can be avoided; and governments must be held accountable. The difference with the West’s approach can be seen all too clearly in the case of the Ukraine crisis: while the G7 and NATO escalate by providing ever-heavier weaponry to Ukraine, China and other countries consistently advocate a political solution.

Other speakers at the webinar included Minister Wang Qi from the Chinese Embassy in London; Tom Unterrainer, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND); Dr. Zeno Leoni, Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London; and John Gittings, long-term China specialist and peace activist and former assistant foreign editor at the Guardian newspaper. The session was introduced and chaired by Keith Bennett, SACU member and co-editor of Friends of Socialist China.

“Today, our world, our times and history are changing in ways like never before, and the international community is confronted with multiple risks and challenges rarely seen before… The deficits in peace, development, security and governance are growing, and the world is once again at a crossroads in history. This is an era rife with challenges.”[1]

So opens the Global Security Initiative Concept Paper released by the PRC Foreign Ministry on February 21st, 2023. 

This was indeed a critical moment with the war in Ukraine threatening to spiral out of control. Just three days later, China’s leader, Xi Jinping seized the time with his announcement of the 12-point proposal on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. 

The purpose of the paper is to launch a New Security Concept based on common interests and equal participation for all states.  Whilst almost entirely escaping the superficial attention of the Western media, it in fact provides clarification of the rationale behind the 12-point proposal.[2]  Setting out the aim of the GSI as seeking to ‘eliminate the root cause of wars and improve global security governance’, it indicates the Ukraine-Russia initiative is actually part of a much wider and deeper agenda of global transformation.

There has been much angst-ridden speculation in the West in recent years over China’s emergence as a more powerful global actor.  What then does this concept paper reveal about China’s intentions as a world leader? In the past, China’s practice has been to declare principles to make its position known but not get involved operationally: so now in such uncertain times, is Xi Jinping stepping forward with some concrete solutions? If so is this just another self-serving agenda as with any other power? If not, is this only more of the same foreign policy rhetoric, just another case of old wine in a new bottle?

Perhaps China is making an opportunistic grab for power as it sees the West’s leadership apparently failing? Is it seeking to counter NATO which last year set out its own Strategic Concept identifying China as a security challenge, subverting the rules-based international order?

The GSI: the background

The GSI was first introduced last year at a forum for Asian dialogue and is best understood as part of a series of initiatives advanced by Xi Jinping – the Global Development Initiative put forward at the UN Summit in 2021 to advance the right to development, and the Global Civilisation Initiative launched in March just after the GSI concept paper, advocating mutual learning.  These three proposals frame Xi Jinping’s aim to bring ‘Chinese wisdom’ to the world negotiating table.

Global thinking on security has broadened out over recent years to cover not just matters of war and peace, but also issues of economic security, climate change, pandemics and human rights.  At first sight, China’s document appears as a quick skate over a broad list of concerns, citing also numbers of organisations and initiatives mostly associated with China itself, so making the document look decidedly Sinocentric.  However it needs a deeper dive to understand its holistic approach.

Continue reading China’s Global Security Initiative Concept Paper: finding a way to peace

Webinar: US anti-China propaganda, a prelude to war

Date Wednesday 28 June
Time8pm US Eastern / 5pm US Pacific


  • Lee Siu Hin – China-US Solidarity Network
  • Carlos Martinez – Author: The East Is Still Red
  • Sara Flounders – International Action Center
  • Arjae Red – Workers World Party

Even as the war in Ukraine rages, the US has increased its aggression towards China including increasing its military presence around China, provocations over Taiwan, heightened propaganda on Xinjiang, and claims of a Chinese spy base in Cuba. Does Blinken’s trip to China mean any change in these war threats?

Recently two US antiwar activists have returned from a trip to China.  Hear from these antiwar activists and from others presently in China about the real situation in the country. Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez will be introducing his new book The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century.

The Communist Youth League of China’s international responsibilities and tasks in the New Era

The Communist Youth League (CYL) of China opened its 19th National Congress in Beijing on June 19. Nearly 1,500 delegates, representing nearly 73 million CYL members, were joined at the opening ceremony by Xi Jinping and other top party leaders. Delivering greetings on behalf of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Cai Qi urged the youth in China to strive to be the new era’s great young generation with ideals, a sense of responsibility, grit, and dedication. Continued efforts should be made to deliver new results that are worthy of the times and history, and true to the expectations of the people, he added.

Congratulations to the congress were also delivered by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the All-China Women’s Federation, and other people’s organizations.

The congress concluded its work on June 22.

In this context, we are grateful to our advisory group member Roland Boer – Professor at the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China – for drawing our attention to the below article by Zhuo Mingliang, which was originally published in the journal Party Building Reference Material, and for translating it for us. Zhuo Mingliang is a research fellow at the Youth Think Tank and the Academy of Marxism, both of which are under the umbrella of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In his article, Zhuo argues that China’s CYL should take the initiative to promote the construction of a World Communist Youth League United Front, drawing on historical experience and for the following key reasons:

  • First, from a Chinese perspective it is objectively necessary to engage in struggle over international public opinion in the new era, win the support and approval of international youth, and carry out central tasks for the Party and the country.
  • Second, it is inevitable that the world’s youth should choose to work together in dealing with the impact of Western capitalist ideology.
  • Finally, it is a strategic move to promote the unity of young people around the world, strengthen mutual understanding, learn from each other’s strengths, and complement each other’s weaknesses, view the world from the perspective of appreciation, mutual learning, and sharing, and join hands to build a community of shared future for humankind.

The author further argues that there are now sufficient subjective and objective conditions for this, in that young communist organisations:

  • Accept the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and communism.
  • Accept the leadership of the Communist Party.
  • Are mass organisations of communist parties.
  • Are guided by the spirit of proletarian internationalism.
  • Have similar historical origins.
  • Maintain some existing organisational ties, for example membership of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).
  • Young people the world over face similar tasks and responsibilities.

Zhuo insists that the young communists of China would not be seeking to “recreate a centralised system” or “establish another world authority.” Instead, they would seek to build a new type of international coordinating body based on the principles of voluntary participation, equality, consultation, mutual assistance, and joint construction. He also says that China’s CYL should, “seek to guide the Communist Youth Leagues of socialist countries to take the initiative in assuming international responsibilities and obligations and strengthen publicity of and support for the Communist Youth Leagues in capitalist countries.”

He proposes that the CYL should learn from the Communist Party of China’s recent experience in arranging dialogues with Marxist parties from around the world and further suggests it holds an annual summer or winter camp for young communists from around the world.

The article is an interesting indication of important debates taking place in China.

Translator’s introduction: The article translated here was written by Zhuo Mingliang, who is a research fellow at the Youth Think Tank and the Academy of Marxism, both of which are under the umbrella of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The article is one result of a research project concerning the international responsibilities and tasks of the Communist Youth League of China.

I would add that the article is one example of the extraordinary ferment of ideas, proposals, and plans taking place in China at the moment. This is truly a time of “letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend.” All of this takes place in a context in which there is a quiet but very evident optimism in China about the future, and the sense that the times suit China very well. While this is primarily due to the internal dynamics and ever clearer qualitative advantages of China’s socialist construction, the global context also plays a role. The growing consensus here in China is that the West has hit rock bottom and it will be an immense struggle for Western countries to understand the reasons and find a way out. By the time they do so, the world will be a very different place. Readers may note the phrase – very common in China – “changes taking place in the world that we have not seen for a century.” Think back a century or so: this was the time of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. Historically, of course, we are in a very different situation, but the deep nature of the changes underway at the moment is analogous to the changes of a century ago.

In April of 2022, the State Department Information Office of China published the white paper entitled “Youth of China Youth in the New Era”. The white paper points out that humanity has entered a new era of inter-connectivity, in which the interests and destinies of all countries are closely linked and intertwined. Since the world today is faced with increasingly obvious deficits in governance, trust, peace, and development, as well as worsening chaos, discord and injustice, our era calls on young people around the world to unite, strengthen mutual understanding, learn from each other’s strengths and complement each other’s weaknesses, view the world from the perspective of appreciation, mutual learning, and sharing, and join hands to build a community of shared future for humankind. Since the Communist Youth League of China is the largest of such organisations in the world, the League should take the initiative in promoting the building of a World Communist Youth League united front, explain well the stories of the Communist Party of China and Communist Youth League of China, and draw upon the wisdom and strength of youth in building a community with a shared future for humankind.

Continue reading The Communist Youth League of China’s international responsibilities and tasks in the New Era

Rapid progress in China-Honduras bilateral friendship

President of Honduras Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento paid a state visit to China from June 9-14, 2023, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. Characterised by the exceptional warmth indicative of leaders and countries dedicated to a common path, Xiomara Castro became not only her country’s first female head of state but also the first to visit China. Coming less than three months after the countries established diplomatic relations, the successful visit shows both the rapid progress made in the bilateral friendship as well as its bright future.  

Meeting his Honduran counterpart in the Great Hall of the People on the afternoon of June 12, President Xi congratulated Castro on rallying her people on an independent path toward new achievements in national development, and commended her unwavering political will as evidenced by the historic decision she made to fulfil her campaign promise of establishing diplomatic relations with China.

Xi also spoke highly of the active role that Castro’s husband, former President Manuel Zelaya, played in this regard, adding that their contribution to the China-Honduras relationship will go down in history.

Underscoring the immediate and long-term significance of the establishment of diplomatic ties, Xi said the bilateral relationship has got off to a good and speedy start and enjoys great dynamism and promise. The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Honduras will benefit future generations. China will unswervingly develop friendly relations with Honduras and firmly support Honduras’s economic and social development.  China is ready to work with Honduras to increase exchanges on governance experience, share experience in poverty alleviation, social governance, and anti-corruption efforts, and encourage all-round exchanges and cooperation between the governments, legislatures, and political parties, including those at the sub-national level. It stands ready to launch negotiations for a free trade agreement with Honduras as soon as possible and to work together to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among developing countries and to defend their common interests. 

Xiomara Castro said that establishing diplomatic relations with China is a historic decision made by the government of Honduras, and it will definitely go down in history. Honduras deeply admires China’s great development achievements under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping. The Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, all proposed by President Xi Jinping, will contribute to building a more peaceful and secure world that meets the common expectations of people around the world. Honduras highly values these initiatives and will actively participate in them. She expressed Honduras’s conviction that developing friendly and cooperative relations with China will help Honduras obtain more and better development opportunities. The rapid development of bilateral cooperation over the two months since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries has given Honduras great confidence in the future.

Both heads of state attached importance to working together in the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of 17 agreements covering diverse areas and issued a joint statement. As is customary, prior to their talks, a welcoming ceremony was held for the visiting head of state, presided over by President Xi. What drew particular attention was the response of President Castro to the children greeting her. As the Xinhua News Agency reported, the Honduran leader, who was dressed all in red for the occasion, “broke into a smile and reciprocated the warm gestures by forming a heart shape with her hands. Standing beside her was Chinese President Xi Jinping. It’s a scene that would be inscribed in the chronicle of China-Honduras relations.”

President Castro also paid her respects to the martyrs of the Chinese revolution at the Monument to the People’s Heroes.

The joint statement noted that Honduras recalled China’s support at the United Nations General Assembly on June 6 2009 for the adoption of resolution A/RES/30/63 condemning the coup d’état against President Zelaya, and appreciated China’s support for Honduras’s efforts to safeguard sovereignty and security and oppose foreign interference.

The Chinese side highly values the actions and positions of the Government of Honduras under the leadership of the first female President, Xiomara Castro; acknowledging the initiatives of the Government of Honduras to promote equality in the country, uphold the rule of law, and combat corruption in a comprehensive manner. China firmly supports Honduras in independently choosing its development path and independently developing its foreign relations and is willing to exchange experience in governance with Honduras, to provide assistance within its capacity for Honduras’s economic and social development and achieve common development and prosperity.

It added:  The two sides oppose all hegemonism and power politics, any unilateralism, protectionism and violence, as well as interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Honduras agrees with China’s common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom for all humanity and the concept of building a community with a shared future for humanity; supports China’s Global Development Initiative, which is fully in line with the purpose set by the United Nations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; and supports the Global Civilization Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. Honduras is willing to actively participate in the above initiatives and recognizes their important role in addressing global challenges. China appreciates Honduras’s efforts to promote global and regional peace and development.

Whilst in Beijing, President Castro also met with Premier Li Qiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Zhao Leji, and Li Xi, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), referred to by Xinhua as China’s “anti-graft chief”. The fight against corruption was touched on in the talks between the two presidents and is referred to twice in the joint statement. 

President Castro began her visit in Shanghai. Visiting the headquarters of the New Development Bank (NDB), established by the BRICS grouping, and meeting her old friend, Dilma Rousseff, President of the Bank and former President of Brazil, Castro submitted her country’s application to join the growing number of bank members.

In the course of the visit, Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina formally opened his country’s embassy in Beijing alongside his Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang. Reina had also attended the opening of the Chinese embassy in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa shortly before departing for China as part of President Castro’s entourage.

The following articles were originally carried on the websites of the Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Global Times. The joint statement, as carried by the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was machine translated and lightly edited by us.

Xi holds talks with Honduran president

Xinhua, 12 June 2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday held talks with visiting President of the Republic of Honduras Iris Xiomara Castro Sarmiento in Beijing.

Noting President Xiomara Castro is the first Honduran president to pay a state visit to China following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in March, Xi extended a warm welcome to Castro and hailed her visit as one of special significance as it opens a new chapter in the annals of the China-Honduras relationship.

Continue reading Rapid progress in China-Honduras bilateral friendship

Dark time in US history rearing its head again

In this important article for China Daily, retired Chinese American judges and renouned peace activists Julie Tang and Lillian Sing highlight the connection between the US’s anti-China agenda and the alarming rise in anti-Asian racism. The authors point to the chilling parallels with the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s:

In the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, the US targeted the Soviet Union and China under a red-baiting hysteria about potential spies. Many Chinese Americans were arrested, incarcerated and subjected to deportation. Their only crime was that they were Chinese. Today, we see this dark history being repeated.

The article reaches the sad but unavoidable conclusion that “the US is no longer a safe place for Chinese Americans.”

The resurgence of anti-Asian racism is one of the key reasons that progressive people must stand up against the New Cold War and the Western ruling classes’ relentless demonization of China.

We are retired Chinese American judges with roots in China. We have spent most of our lives working in the legal system of the United States, rendering justice and fairness to those who appear before us as we adhere to the US and state constitutions, the rule of law, and state and local legal processes in our work.

We understand the importance of good US-China relations, as they affect our lives here in the US. We believe that unless the US resets its current hostile agenda against China, Chinese Americans will continue to have tough times ahead.

In the 1950s, during the McCarthy era, the US targeted the Soviet Union and China under a red-baiting hysteria about potential spies. Many Chinese Americans were arrested, incarcerated and subjected to deportation. Their only crime was that they were Chinese.

Today, we see this dark history being repeated.

Continue reading Dark time in US history rearing its head again

Africa Day celebrated in Beijing

The 60th Africa Day, inaugurated when the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded in 1963, was celebrated in Beijing on May 25. Joining State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang at the reception were  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen Hassen and Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo Christophe Lutundula, who were visiting China, as well as the African diplomatic corps.

Qin Gang stressed that, over the past 60 years, China and Africa have offered each other support, sharing weal and woe. No matter how the international situation evolves, China has always been there for Africa. China and Africa enjoy close friendly exchanges, and leaders of the two sides visit each other as often as relatives do. In the last six months alone, four African presidents paid state visits to China, and since the beginning of this year, more than ten African officials above the ministerial level have also visited China.

Being the world’s largest developing country and the continent home to the most developing countries, Qin Gang said, China and Africa need solidarity and cooperation more than ever. Turning to the economic front, he noted, that the two sides have together constructed and commissioned over 10,000 km of railway, nearly 100,000 km of highway, and an array of important infrastructure, including airports, docks, bridges and power plants. China is the first country to explicitly support the African Union (AU) in joining the G20.

Ministers Demeke and Lutundula said that through the common struggle for national liberation and independence, Africa and China have established a profound friendship, with solidarity and mutual trust becoming the cornerstone of the Africa-China partnership. China has made important contributions to Africa’s development and has become the most important partner in Africa’s integration.

The following reports, and Qin Gang’s speech, were first published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Qin Gang Attends Africa Day Reception

Chinese Foreign Ministry, 25 May 2023

On May 25, 2023, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang attended and addressed the Africa Day reception in Beijing. Also in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo Christophe Lutundula, and diplomatic envoys from various African countries to China.

On behalf of the Chinese government, Qin Gang extended congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Qin Gang said that the founding of the OAU is an epoch-making event in the history of Africa, and the start of a new chapter of African countries seeking strength and development through unity. At the turn of the century, the African Union (AU) took over the baton, and led African countries forward with bigger strides toward development and revitalization. With continued rise in its international status, Africa has become an important force with global influence. Over the past 60 years, China and Africa offered each other support, sharing weal and woe. No matter how the international situation evolves, China has always been there for Africa. In particular, over the last decade, guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and of pursuing the greater good and shared interests in developing China’s relations with Africa put forth by President Xi Jinping, China-Africa relations have been growing with the “acceleration button” on, and entered a fast track toward a new era of a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. China and Africa enjoy closer friendly exchanges, and leaders of the two sides visit each other as often as relatives do; enjoy ever-deepening win-win cooperation, delivering more benefits to the two peoples; enjoy stronger coordination on international affairs, serving as an important force for international fairness and justice.

Continue reading Africa Day celebrated in Beijing

G7 drive to war must be stopped in its tracks

We are very pleased to republish the following article by Robert Griffiths, which originally appeared in the Morning Star, and is a summary of the report he delivered to a recent meeting of the Political Committee of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB).

Noting that the G7 summit of leading imperialist powers, recently held in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, represented a drive to war that must be urgently stopped in its tracks, the General Secretary of the CPB observed that whilst these seven powers – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada – account for more than half the world’s wealth, they constitute no more than one tenth of the world’s population. The leaders of this global minority met in the city where the US – still the only power to have used nuclear weapons in conflict – murdered some 140,000 people, half the civilian population, on August 6 1945. As Comrade Griffiths states:

“Ever since, it [Hiroshima] has symbolised the struggle for peace and nuclear disarmament against the barbarism of weapons of mass destruction.” However: “All but one of the seven leading capitalist states represented in Hiroshima either possess nuclear weapons (the US, Britain and France) or play host to them (Germany, Italy and Japan).” 

Calling out the hypocrisy of western charges against China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK – North Korea), Griffiths observes that, “the US-funded military build-up continues in Taiwan, although the G7 countries still claim to respect the ‘One China’ policy which recognises that Taiwan is as Chinese as the Isle of Wight is English. The US Seventh Fleet and its nuclear-armed submarines with around 900 nuclear warheads patrol the Pacific and Indian oceans and adjoining seas off the coasts of China and North Korea.” The G7 countries all refuse to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which the United Nations voted to adopt in 2017, and which has been signed or ratified by countries, including Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Guyana, Bolivia, Palestine, South Africa, Brazil, Ireland, Austria and Malta.

All in all, the CPB General Secretary argues, the decision to hold the G7 meeting in Hiroshima was a “disgusting display of breathtaking hypocrisy, double-speak and dishonesty; a gross insult to the atrocity’s survivors and the bereaved.” Furthermore, the claim that these powers have no intention to “thwart China’s economic progress and development”, he explains, flies in the face of weekly announcements by the US, British and other Western governments blocking or expelling Chinese companies from whole sectors of their economies. 

The G7 summit made clear that the main political, economic and military target of the world’s leading capitalist powers is China, Griffiths explains, going on to state that: “The left, working-class and peace movements ignore these dire danger signals at their – and the planet’s – peril…

“The Doomsday Clock operated by the admirable Bulletin of Atomic Scientists now stands at 90 seconds to midnight — the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been.

“Can the Green Party in England and Wales and the SNP [Scottish National Party] still tell the time? Have all the Labour left MPs lost their watches, leaving the time-telling to Jeremy Corbyn? 

“How much longer will trade unions fail to make the connection between low wages, poor services, precarious employment and the massive expansion of Britain’s nuclear weapons arsenal?”

Calling for intensified efforts to build the peace movement, including the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Stop the War Coalition, the CPB General Secretary concludes by calling on his party to “support the invaluable work of the Friends of Socialist China.”

We also take this opportunity to thank the Communist Party of Britain and Comrade Robert Griffiths for their valuable and much appreciated cooperation and support for our work.

THIS year’s G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, was a far cry from its origins in the informal gathering of four finance ministers convened by the US 50 years ago.

Last weekend’s three-day high-profile event produced a detailed communique and four supplementary statements from the leaders of the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.

Together, these states account for more than half (at least 53 per cent) of the world’s wealth, between one-third and a half of global production, but no more than one-tenth of the world’s population. 

China is excluded from this club because it does not subscribe to the sovereignty of capitalist market forces. Following the destruction of its socialist system, Russia was a member of what became the G8 from 1997 until — in the wake of the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected president Viktor Yanukovich — it reincorporated Crimea in 2014.

The EU has played a full part in G7 proceedings since 1977, but is classed as a “non-enumerated member.” Whoever thought up that classification deserves a medal. 

Why was Hiroshima chosen to host this year’s G7 summit? 

Continue reading G7 drive to war must be stopped in its tracks

CGTN interview with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kazakhstan, arrived in the Chinese city of Xi’an on May 17, for a state visit to China and also to attend the first in person summit of the heads of state of China and the five countries of Central Asia. This will be held in the northwest city, that was the starting of the original silk road that linked China with Central Asia many centuries ago, on May 18-19.

Holding talks with President Xi Jinping shortly after his arrival, the Chinese leader wished Tokayev a happy birthday, noting that he turned 70 this very day. He pointed out that Tokayev’s state visit to China on this special occasion speaks volumes about the strength of the bilateral ties and once again attests to his unique bond with China. China and Kazakhstan are trustworthy good friends, good brothers and good partners, he added.

Shortly before he left for China, Tokayev gave an interview to Wang Guan from CGTN’s Leaders Talk series in the Kazakh capital, Astana. 

President Tokayev explains that, as a country at the center of Eurasia, Kazakhstan should be a territory of peace and friendship. (Although not mentioned in this interview, Kazakhstan’s hosting of several rounds of Syrian peace talks would be a good example of this aspiration.) The country should have as many friends as possible, first of all with its immediate neighbous, and should pursue a balanced, multi-directional foreign policy. 

Recalling meetings with his Chinese counterpart, Tokayev describes Xi Jinping as a great leader, for whom he has great respect and who is leading China to a bright future. He expresses support for the concept of a community of shared future and the global initiatives on security, development and civilizations, adding that they contribute positively to the necessary work of building a world free of discrimination, sanctions and pressure. 

Noting that both Kazakhstan and China are Asian countries, Tokayev insists that it is therefore senseless to conflate modernization with westernization. “We have our own way,” which involves learning anything that is useful, but which does not allow any interference in internal affairs.  He expressed strong support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which Xi Jinping first proposed 10 years ago during a state visit to Kazakhstan. 

Kazakhstan is to assume the role of chair and host country of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) later this year, following the summit to be held in the Indian capital, New Delhi. Tokayev, who, as Kazakh Foreign Minister, attended the group’s founding meeting in Shanghai in 1996, describes the SCO as a unique body with a diversified agenda, which does not confine itself to security and military issues only, but also applies itself to economic, investment, cultural and other matters.

Tokayev rejects any move aimed at antagonizing, containing or decoupling from China, noting that the neighboring country has never caused any harm to Kazakhstan in history. He is crystal clear about Taiwan, noting that it is a part of China and that China will, of course, eventually be reunified. The principle of the territorial integrity of all states is fixed in the United Nations Charter and must be respected. 

The Kazakh leader, as his interviewer notes, is today one of the very few world leaders who speaks fluent Chinese. He lived in China for nearly eight years, starting as a student in 1983. Kazakhstan was at that time a part of the Soviet Union and China and the Soviet Union were just then starting to repair and resume their relations after a period of bitter estrangement. Tokayev was therefore a pioneer and icebreaker. Shortly after completing his studies in 1984, he returned to Beijing and served as a diplomat in the Soviet Embassy until 1991. 

Tokayev describes his period studying in Beijing as one of the best times in his life and fondly recalls his university teacher after Wang Guan presents him with his video message. Switching to Chinese, Tokayev says that China and Kazakhstan are reliable partners who support each other’s development and all weather friends. Asked to name his favorite Chinese writer, he cites Lu Xun, who Mao Zedong described as, “not only a great man of letters but a great thinker and revolutionary.”

The full interview is embedded below.

Brazil-China joint statement on combating climate change

Among the important agreements reached between China and Brazil during President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s recent state visit was one on climate change. Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest is often referred to as the “world’s lungs”. Terrible damage was inflicted on the rainforest, and hence on the global environment, during the far-right rule of Jair Bolsanaro, a climate denialist who pursued policies aimed at benefitting wealthy ranchers at the expense, in particular, of indigenous peoples. Lula, in contrast, has always prioritized environmental issues in his political program and governance. Brazil’s Green Party, along with the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), formed part of his political coalition since he first ran for the presidency in 1989. Today, his Minister for the Environment and Climate Change is Marina Silva, a globally known environmental campaigner. Born on a rubber plantation, she has described herself as a, “black woman of poor origin”. She was among the large delegation that accompanied President Lula to China this time.

The Sino-Brazilian Joint Statement on Combating Climate Change begins by stating that, in their conversation, the two presidents, “recognized that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time and that addressing this crisis contributes to building a shared future of equitable and common prosperity for humankind.”

Noting that the international scientific community has “shown unequivocally that human activity is changing the global climate system, and creating new challenges to sustainable development to developing countries”, it affirms that developed countries, “bear the historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, and should take the lead in scaling up climate actions by reaching climate neutrality earlier than 2050, providing climate finance, and respecting the right to development and the policy space of developing countries.”

The statement stresses the need to combine urgent climate response with nature conservation so as to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the eradication of poverty and hunger, while leaving no one behind. It also reaffirms the important concept of common but differentiated responsibilities, “in the context of sustainable development, the inalienable Right to Development and efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger.”

Developing countries, the statement insists, require “predictable and adequate” support from developed countries in the fight against climate change and for sustainable development. This is important as many grand promises have been made at international gatherings by the imperialist countries, but they have rarely if ever been honored. As the statement goes on to note: “Considering that the implementation of a just transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy in developing countries will cost trillions, as presented in the first Report on the determination of the needs of developing countries related to implementing the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] and its Paris Agreement, we continue to be very concerned that climate finance provided by developed countries continues to fall short of the USD 100 billion per year commitment, as it has every year since the goal was set in 2009, even as the actual amount needed far surpasses that commitment. We urge developed countries to honor their unfulfilled climate finance obligations, and to commit to their new collective quantified goal that goes well beyond the floor of USD 100 billion per year and provide a clear roadmap of doubling adaptation finance.”

The statement also outlines the numerous areas where Brazil and China are committed to continuing and enhancing their bilateral cooperation on climate issues.

We reprint the full text of the joint statement below. It was originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency.

1. Presidents Xi Jinping and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met in Beijing on 14 April 2023. During their conversation, President Xi and President Lula recognized that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time and that addressing this crisis contributes to building a shared future of equitable and common prosperity for humankind.

2. The international scientific community has shown unequivocally that human activity is changing the global climate system, and creating new challenges to sustainable development to developing countries. Developed countries bear the historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, and should take the lead in scaling up climate actions by reaching climate neutrality earlier than 2050, providing climate finance, and respecting the right to development and the policy space of developing countries.

3. Brazil and China stress the need to combine urgent climate response with nature conservation to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the eradication of poverty and hunger, while leaving no one behind.

4. Brazil and China commit to broadening, deepening and diversifying our bilateral cooperation in climate, as well as our joint efforts towards an enhanced global governance under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in accordance with equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, in the context of sustainable development, the inalienable Right to Development and efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger.

Continue reading Brazil-China joint statement on combating climate change

Did Canada supply ‘infected insects’ to US military during the Korean War?

Even more than 70 years later, the claim, advanced by the People’s Republic of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), that the United States resorted to bacteriological, or germ, warfare during the 1950-53 Korean War (known in China as the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea and in the DPRK as the Fatherland Liberation War) remains one of the most controversial issues surrounding that brutal conflict. Official western circles have constantly tried to dismiss it as nothing but crude communist propaganda, despite its corroboration by various international delegations, including some of the finest minds of the age, such as the world-renowned British scientist, Dr. Joseph Needham.

In this important and detailed article, which we are very pleased to reprint from The Canada Files, Jeffrey S. Kaye, sheds signicant new light on the issue, centered on possible Canadian involvement and the stand taken by the then Chair of the Canadian Peace Congress, Rev. James G. Endicott. 

Like Needham, Endicott was an important historical figure. As the article notes: “He was a famous churchman who spent over two decades as a missionary in China, and was a leader of Canada’s United Christian Church. Endicott was well-known inside Ottawa’s government hallways. In the 1940s he had been an adviser to Soong Mei-ling, aka Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and China’s New Life Movement…Endicott had tried to convince Chiang Kai-Shek, unsuccessfully, of the importance of implementing land reform. Reporting back to the OSS [Office of Strategic Services, the US intelligence agency in World War II] on Chinese leaders in both the Kuomintang and Communist Party, Endicott found himself more and more drawn to the sincerity and popularity of the Communists, and he came to feel they offered the best hope for the Chinese people.”

Referring to the role of Fort Churchill in Canada’s Manitoba province, Kaye cites a 2020 book by Nicholson Baker, Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act, which described the military facility as the site of “Canada’s Defence Research Northern Laboratory, which did cold-weather weapons testing.” The area had been used by Chemical Corps researchers since 1946 and was the site of a US test release of radioactive mosquitoes in 1949. That same year, suspicions fell upon the site after a number of Inuit [indigenous people] succumbed to a mysterious illness.

This was significant as: “Quite famously, the first reports of US germ warfare in 1952 came during the dead of the Korean and Manchurian winter. Critics pointed to pictures the Communists released of insects wiggling on mounds of snow. They made much of the fact that it seemed absurd to think insects could be used as weapons in such a harsh climate.

“Was the secret work at Fort Churchill related to experiments with insect cold-hardiness or perhaps the breeding of more cold resistant insects and bacteria to be used in germ warfare during the Korean War…

“Biological warfare researchers in the West, as well as in Japan, were interested in how their bioweapons would work in wintry conditions. This was important as from the standpoint of these countries, the Soviet Union, with its vast tracts of frigid countryside, was thought of as their most likely target.

“Shiro Ishii, the leader of Unit 731, Japan’s World War Two biological warfare unit, was, according to General MacArthur’s office in postwar Tokyo, an expert on ‘the use of BW in cold climates.'”

Japan’s Unit 731, which was based in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, was notorious for its cruel experiments on Chinese, Soviet and other prisoners. It is well-established that its work was taken over by the United States following the conclusion of World War II.

The article also cites entomologist Jeremy A. Lockwood’s book, Six-Legged Insects: Using Insects as Weapons of War, establishing a connection between biological warfare research by Canada and the USA’s still notorious Fort Detrick: “Although Camp Detrick’s upper echelon was partial to airborne dissemination of pathogens, the Canadians’ progress with rearing and disseminating insect vectors could not be dismissed. Entomologists from the two countries collaborated on a series of field experiments ranging from the banal to the bizarre.”

Faced with tremendous threats and pressure, including calls for him to be charged with treason, Kaye details Endicott’s stand:

“For his part, faced with strong public criticism from Canadian politicians and editorial writers, not to mention possible prosecution, Dr. Endicott denied having accused Canada of any cooperation with the United States in biological warfare attacks against China or the DPRK. But, Endicott reiterated his belief in the veracity of China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s charges regarding US use of biological weapons. His conviction stemmed from a recent trip to northeast China, where he visited alleged germ war attack sites, and interviewed Chinese scientists, as well as peasant witnesses to the infected insects and feather bomb attacks.”

He continues: “Both declassified records and oral histories have been used in recent years to document the fact that Canada was in league with the United States biological warfare program. Endicott, knowing he was walking on thin legal ice – the Canadian government had recently passed a draconian law against anyone speaking out against allied forces fighting in the Korean War – may have pulled his punches to stay out of prison.

“The new law stated that a Canadian citizen could be prosecuted for ‘assisting, while in or out of Canada, any enemy at war with Canada or any armed forces against whom Canadian forces are engaged in hostilities whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are [fighting].'”

Moreover, this matter is not merely of historical interest. As Kaye explains: “According to Canada’s 2022 submission to the UN Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) review conference regarding ‘confidence building measures’ relevant to adherence to the Biological Weapons and Toxin Convention, Canada’s Biological Defence Program at DRDC spent ‘approximately $3,365,269 CAD.’ Another $4 million was spent on contracts with ‘external entities’ in industry and universities.

“Canada’s BWC document states, ‘No offensive [BW] studies of any kind are permitted by the Government of Canada.’ But it notes that military research does continue on ‘the mode of action and toxicity of toxins and the mode of action and infectivity of biological agents,’ supposedly exclusively for defensive purposes. But the Canadian government has made such claims historically before, and has been proven to have lied.”

Despite the threats made against him, Rev. Endicott continued to campaign. As the article notes: “On Sunday 11 May 1952, Dr. Endicott appeared before approximately eight to eleven thousand attendees at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. He was the featured speaker at a rally commemorating the close of a three-day session of the Canadian Peace Congress. According to Endicott’s biographer, son Stephen Endicott, in his 1980 book, James G. Endicott, Rebel Out of China (University of Toronto Press), the meeting was threatened by Endicott’s ‘opponents [who] arrived at Maple Leaf Gardens with eggs, tomatoes, firecrackers, stink-bomb, and placards’ (pp. 295).

“In response to the threat, Peace Congress officials had called upon five hundred ‘peace supporters, seamen, auto-workers, steel and electrical workers, miners from Sudbury, and other trade unionists’ who volunteered to protect the meeting. In the end, there was no significant disturbance (p. 296). The Canadian government intervened to the extent it could by preventing black scholar WEB DuBois from crossing the US border to address the meeting…

“In Dr. Endicott’s pamphlet, I Accuse, published after the May 1952 speech, the former missionary, turned activist against imperialist war crimes, asked the public:

If you had seen what I have seen, what would you say?

What would you say if you had seen with your own eyes sections of the brains of children who had died from acute encephalitis following germ-war bombardments by US aircraft?…

If you had talked to churchmen and Red Cross officials who thoroughly confirmed what the others said?

If as a result of all this you found out beyond reasonable doubt that germ warfare had been committed, what would you say?

Would you be silent? That would make you an accomplice.

Or would you speak out?”

This is an important and well-researched article which deserves to be carefully read. 

It was late April 1952 and the Korean War was nearing its second anniversary with no end in sight. In Canada, newspapers and the Canadian government erupted in fury when it was reported that the Canadian Peace Congress’ chairman implied that Canada may have supplied infected insects to U.S. forces, who were accused of bombing the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) and China with bacteriological or “germ” weapons.

China and the DPRK (also referred to as North Korea) accused the United States, under the umbrella of United Nations intervention, of using fleas, flies and other insects that had been deliberately infected with plague, cholera, anthrax and other diseases, to deliver deadly pathogens to Communist troops and civilians.

Continue reading Did Canada supply ‘infected insects’ to US military during the Korean War?

Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow contributes to deepening China-Russia friendship

President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia, from March 20-22, his first international visit since his re-election to serve as China’s head of state for a third term, was not only a milestone in bilateral relations, but also a major event in international relations, which strongly advanced the development of a multipolar world. 

In the first of his talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, held shortly after his arrival in Moscow, President Xi said that there is a profound historical logic for the China-Russia relationship to reach where it is today. To consolidate and develop well China-Russia relations is a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world. Both China and Russia are committed to realizing national development and rejuvenation, support world multi-polarity and work for greater democracy in international relations.

During their in-depth exchange of views on the Ukraine issue, President Xi said that voices for peace and rationality are building. Most countries support easing tensions, stand for peace talks, and are against adding fuel to the fire. A review of history shows that conflicts in the end have to be settled through dialogue and negotiation. China’s recent policy document on the Ukraine crisis, Xi said, advocated the political settlement of the crisis and rejecting the Cold War mentality and unilateral sanctions. China believes that the more difficulties there are, the greater the need to keep space for peace. The more acute the problem is, the more important it is not to give up efforts for dialogue. 

In further talks with President Putin the next afternoon, Xi reiterated that consolidating and developing long-term good-neighborly relations with Russia is a strategic choice of China and it will not be changed by any turn of events. He added that the two sides should support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and jointly resist the interference in internal affairs by external forces. The two sides should enhance communication and coordination on international affairs, especially in the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other multilateral frameworks, practice true multilateralism, oppose hegemonism and power politics, contribute to global post-COVID economic recovery, advance the trend toward a multi-polar world, and promote the reform and improvement of the global governance system.

For his part, the Russian leader called for new progress in practical cooperation in various fields, including the economy and trade, investment, energy, space and cross-border transportation and logistics, and in bringing people-to-people and cultural exchanges in sports and tourism and at subnational levels to new heights. Russia firmly supports China in upholding its legitimate interests on questions related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Russia congratulates China on helping to successfully bring about historic outcomes from the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing.

Following their talks, the two heads of state jointly signed a ‘Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era’ and a ‘Joint Statement of the President of the People’s Republic of China and the President of the Russian Federation on Pre-2030 Development Plan on Priorities in China-Russia Economic Cooperation’.

During the visit, the two sides also signed bilateral cooperation documents in such areas as agriculture, forestry, basic scientific and technological research, market regulation, and the media.

The following articles originally appeared on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

President Xi Jinping Meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

On the afternoon of 20 March local time, President Xi Jinping, upon invitation, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on his arrival in Moscow. 

When President Xi reached the Kremlin, he was greeted by the Kremlin Commandant at the alighting point. President Putin warmly shook hands and took photos with President Xi. The two Presidents had an in-depth and candid exchange on China-Russia relations and issues of mutual interest. 

President Xi noted that he was pleased to pay another state visit to Russia at the invitation of President Putin. Russia was the first country he visited after he was elected President ten years ago. Memories from that visit remain fresh today. Over the past ten years, he and President Putin stayed in close touch. President Xi expressed his appreciation to President Putin for immediately sending him congratulatory messages on his reelection as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee by the 20th CPC National Congress and on his reelection not long ago as Chinese President. He noted that Russia will hold the presidential election next year, and under President Putin’s strong leadership, Russia has made good progress in development and rejuvenation. President Xi said he is confident that the Russian people will continue to give firm support to President Putin.

President Xi stressed that there is a profound historical logic for China-Russia relationship to reach where it is today. China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. Both countries see their relationship as a high priority in their overall diplomacy and policy on external affairs. China always upholds an independent foreign policy. To consolidate and develop well China-Russia relations is a strategic choice China has made on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world. China is firm in keeping to the general direction of strengthening strategic coordination with Russia. Both China and Russia are committed to realizing national development and rejuvenation, support world multi-polarity and work for greater democracy in international relations. The two countries should further deepen practical cooperation in various fields and strengthen coordination and collaboration on multilateral platforms such as the UN to boost their respective national development and rejuvenation, and be a bulwark for world peace and stability. 

Continue reading Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow contributes to deepening China-Russia friendship

Taiwan separatists to lose key ally as Honduras announces intention to recognize China

This article by Ben Norton, which first appeared on Geopolitical Economy Report, reports on the recent announcement by Honduran President Xiomara Castro that her government intends to recognize the People’s Republic of China – one of the planks of her election campaign in 2021.

Ben provides a useful overview of US imperialism’s engagement with Honduras in recent times, including its sponsorship of a military coup in 2009, which overthrew the leftist government of Manuel Zelaya and installed a reactionary, repressive regime that was all too willing to submit to US pressure. Ben further notes that Taiwan has meddled in Honduran elections in support of the right-wing National Party.

Meanwhile, Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, with roughly three-quarters of its population living in poverty. Its population will no doubt benefit greatly from deeper ties with China. Such ties have certainly been beneficial to neighboring Nicaragua: “China is helping Nicaragua expand its public housing program, building thousands of homes for poor and working families. Beijing has also signed agreements to develop infrastructure, hospitals, and renewable energy.”

We hope that Honduras is able to make rapid progress on recognizing the PRC and developing broad economic, diplomatic and cultural ties.

The government of Honduras has announced that it is breaking formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognizing the People’s Republic of China.

Honduras’ leftist President Xiomara Castro had pledged during her 2021 campaign that, if she won the election, she would recognize China. This March, she fulfilled that promise.

This means that just 12 United Nations member states have formal diplomatic relations with the so-called “Republic of China” on the island of Taiwan.

The other 99.51% of the global population live in countries that formally recognize that there is only one China, and that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.

These 12 UN member states that recognize Taiwan have a combined population of only 38.9 million – representing just 0.49% of the global population of 8 billion.

Continue reading Taiwan separatists to lose key ally as Honduras announces intention to recognize China

The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper

On February 21st, the Chinese government released a comprehensive and authoritative Concept Paper on the Global Security Initiative (GSI), first proposed by President Xi Jinping at the annual Boao Forum in April 2022.

Noting that today, the international community is confronted with multiple risks and challenges, but is also “brimming with hope”, the document says that the GSI “aims to eliminate the root causes of international conflicts, improve global security governance, encourage joint international efforts to bring more stability and certainty to a volatile and changing era, and promote durable peace and development in the world.”

Divided into six core concepts and principles and 20 cooperation priorities, the concept paper calls for “bringing about security through political dialogue and peaceful negotiation; and pursuit of sustainable security, resolving conflicts through development,” noting that, “security will only be firmly established and sustainable when it is underpinned by morality, justice and the right ideas.”

It describes sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs as “basic principles of international law and the most fundamental norms governing contemporary international relations”, adding that “we believe all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Their internal affairs brook no external interference, their sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and their right to independently choose social systems and development paths must be upheld.”

The purposes and principles of the UN Charter are said to embody the peoples’ deep reflection on the bitter lessons of two world wars. “The various confrontations and injustices in the world today did not occur because the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are outdated, but because they are not effectively maintained and implemented.”

The paper insists that the security of one country should not come at the expense of that of others. Invoking a principle that China often cites with regard to both Russia and the DPRK, for example, it says that: “The legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly, not persistently ignored or systemically challenged.” In similar vein, it notes that: “War and sanctions are no fundamental solution to disputes; only dialogue and consultation are effective in resolving differences.”

The importance of the January 2022 consensus reached by the five recognised nuclear weapons states, that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, is underlined and support extended to the struggles of peoples in various regions of the world to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. Among the specific issues highlighted are the need to “achieve a just solution to the Palestinian question at an early date” and to address the concerns of Pacific island countries with regard to climate change, natural disasters and public health. The proliferation of non-traditional security threats, along with issues relating to outer space, pandemics, food and energy security, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are among the many other topics addressed. In all, it stresses that the proposed commitments are, “interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and are an organic whole of dialectical unity.”

We republish below the full text of the document. It was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

I. Background

The issue of security bears on the well-being of people of all countries, the lofty cause of world peace and development, and the future of humanity.

Today, our world, our times and history are changing in ways like never before, and the international community is confronted with multiple risks and challenges rarely seen before. Regional security hotspots keep flaring up, local conflicts and turbulence occur frequently, the COVID-19 pandemic persists, unilateralism and protectionism have risen significantly, and traditional and non-traditional security threats are entwined. The deficits in peace, development, security and governance are growing, and the world is once again at a crossroads in history.

This is an era rife with challenges. It is also one brimming with hope. We are convinced that the historical trends of peace, development and win-win cooperation are unstoppable. Upholding world peace and security and promoting global development and prosperity should be the common pursuit of all countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI), calling on countries to adapt to the profoundly changing international landscape in the spirit of solidarity, and address the complex and intertwined security challenges with a win-win mindset. The GSI aims to eliminate the root causes of international conflicts, improve global security governance, encourage joint international efforts to bring more stability and certainty to a volatile and changing era, and promote durable peace and development in the world. 

Continue reading The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper

Martin Jacques: China embraces new post-Covid era while the West lives in the past

China’s adjustment of its policies for dealing with Covid-19 have led to considerable debate, including among friends of China. In this context, we are republishing this article by Martin Jacques, author of ‘When China rules the world’, which originally appeared in Global Times.

Martin does not shy away from controversy and his article suggests that China’s new policies to deal with Covid are part of a pattern that, in his view, also includes adjustments to both economic and foreign policies.

When China announced on December 7 that it was abandoning most of its COVID controls, it took the West by surprise. It never expected such a dramatic shift. Many had speculated that a crackdown would follow the protests against the COVID controls. There was no sign of it. There was a tsunami of predictions that there would be a huge death toll, 1 million, perhaps many millions. It is too early to say how many there might be. At the weekend, the latest official figures indicated around 60,000 so far, no doubt with many more to come. 

The Western reaction to China’s move has emphasized the negative. This is not surprising. Ever since January 2020, the West has sought to denigrate China’s approach to COVID-19, a strategy of distraction designed to divert attention from how well China handled COVID-19 in 2020-2021 and how abysmally the West performed. More than any other issue, COVID-19 served to poison the relationship between China and the West. It became inextricably bound up with the so-called new Cold War. The West is finding it difficult to come to terms with China’s emerging post-COVID strategy because its mindset is still rooted in the COVID era, as illustrated by the speed with which many countries chose to impose new requirements on Chinese travelers. 

There are growing signs that China’s abandonment of its COVID controls is the first act in a major shift of policy. The West has been slow to grasp the economic implications of China’s opening up. The term opening up, of course, is synonymous with China’s rise after 1978: COVID-19, alas, became all too symbolic of its opposite, closing down and partial isolation. Once more China is now opening up and the effects will be huge. Its growth rate in 2023 is likely to be in excess of 5 percent; its enormous domestic market is returning to growth as Chinese consumers start spending again; global tourism will receive a huge boost; blocked supply lines will be freed; Chinese entrepreneurs can once more travel the world in search of new business. China has long been the engine of global growth. It can now resume that role in a post-COVID context.

Continue reading Martin Jacques: China embraces new post-Covid era while the West lives in the past