Building the “New Three Rings”: China’s choice in the face of possible complete decoupling

We are pleased to republish, from Monthly Review (MR) Online, this interesting discussion article by Professor Cheng Yawen, from the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University, previously carried by Culture Vertical and China Environment News.

According to Professor Cheng, the conflict in Ukraine marks the end of the US-led globalisation wave. As a result, China urgently needs to make a new choice in its diplomatic and strategic priorities to downgrade the importance of Europe and the US and to promote a new international system based on South-South cooperation. He says that whilst many people believe globalisation to be irreversible, the question still needs to be posed as to what to do should a full decoupling occur in the future. Events in Ukraine mean that China no longer has the peaceful external environment it has enjoyed for the past 40 years. This necessitates a greater focus on other developing countries, who, in turn, need to break from dependence on western countries and intensify cooperation amongst themselves. Drawing on Mao Zedong’s thesis of surrounding the cities from the countryside, Professor Cheng notes that: “The Russia-Ukraine conflict and the West’s unrelenting sanctions against Russia further highlight the fact that most of the world’s countries are in the ‘countryside’ on the periphery, while a few are in the ‘city’ in the centre, and the United States is the ‘city centre.’”

Outlining how, since the days of the Communist International, and through all subsequent phases, the Chinese revolution has advanced in close coordination with the movements of oppressed nations and peoples, Professor Cheng shows in detail how South-South cooperation has actually become more realistic today.


Since the change of China and the United States in 2018, the world situation has been in turmoil, and various “decoupling theories” have become popular at home and abroad. Especially since the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the international situation has become clearly camped, and the United States is targeting China from all aspects of domestic and foreign affairs. Although many people believe that globalization is irreversible and do not believe that there will be a day of full decoupling, how should we respond if full decoupling does occur in the future?

This article argues that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a landmark event in the end of U.S.-led globalization, meaning that China no longer has the peaceful external development environment it has enjoyed for the past 40 years. In the future China will have to promote a new global system, a “three-ring” international system that will guarantee China’s national security and development: the first ring is China’s neighboring East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, with which China has formed a close industrial division of labor and through which it obtains a stable energy supply and a reliable security barrier. The second ring is the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, with which China exchanges raw materials and industrial goods and assists their development; the third ring extends to the traditional industrialized countries, mainly in Europe and the United States. The “first ring” is the key to China’s construction of a “new three-ring” international system. In recent decades, a new global system has been formed among developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and the solid foundation formed by developing countries in terms of economic volume, trade exchanges, and economic cooperation is not what it used to be, but in order to further enhance their economic and political autonomy, they must break away from their financial and monetary dependence on Western countries. Therefore, to build a “new three-ring” international system, developing countries should also develop higher-level and broader financial and monetary cooperation among themselves.

Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine, and the ensuing full-scale confrontation between the West and Russia, is a landmark event in the end of the globalization tide that has been underway since the 1980s. The U.S. is holding its allies hostage to impose deadly sanctions on Russia and forcing the rest of the world to choose sides between the West and Russia, which has led to a recurrence of the deadly struggle of a century ago and poses a huge challenge to China. The “end of globalization” has left China without the external development environment it has had for the past four decades, and the U.S. push to rebuild its dominant international system and “decouple” from China and Russia is likely to intensify in the future. Today’s world is characterized by a paradigm shift. Faced with the possibility of a passive and comprehensive decoupling, China needs to take the initiative to make adjustments in its foreign strategic arrangements and make new choices in its national engagement priorities in order to shape a new international system that is conducive to counteracting the negative effects of the West’s decoupling of China.

In the thirty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has gone from an initial active approach to the United States and the West, to a gradual alienation from them, to the current unrelentingly fierce confrontation, highlighting the political limits of globalization. Contrary to the romantic imagination of globalization, the latest round of globalization was initially an investment of U.S. hegemony, partly serving the purpose of dismantling the Soviet Union and the socialist camp, which determined that it could not be expanded indefinitely. In terms of the relationship between the leading and following countries of globalization, or between developed and developing countries, there are equal limits to international politics: when globalization backfires on its initiators and threatens their power advantage, globalization will inevitably be “reversed” and the path of operation will be redesigned. The process of globalization in recent decades and the pursuit of U.S. power dominance are the two sides of the same coin, and they are mutually conditional and mutually reinforcing. Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine is the result of this round of globalization, which has fully exposed its true nature of power and put an end to the U.S.-led globalization.

NATO’s expansion to the east is the main reason for Russia’s initiative. It appears to be a security issue, but in fact it is also an economic issue in the process of globalization. Peripheralization of the Soviet Union in the global system is the goal of the U.S.-initiated globalization process, and Russia’s intention to use globalization to achieve national renaissance and become a center-state clearly runs right counter to its occurrence and evolutionary logic. The interest of global capital, especially financial capital, in Russia is more focused on energy, food and minerals, which are the areas from which financial capital can make huge profits. But since Putin took power, Russia has strengthened its control over key industries that are crucial to national security and basic livelihoods, and is committed to building the Eurasian Economic Union and shaping an economic development space that is suitable for itself, something that external capital is not happy about. NATO’s expansion to the east is a manifestation of capital’s swaying politics to achieve market expansion, which continues to squeeze Russia’s development space and intensify Russia’s peripheralization. If no effective response is made, Russia will be further defined as a provider of primary products, lose its ability to participate in great power politics, and even have an internal crisis. This is what the Russian elite does not want to see.

NATO’s expansion to the east and the current Western sanctions against Russia have revealed the power structure of the contemporary world. “After the end of World War II, the European colonial system gradually collapsed, and the explicit rule of the international order since the second half of the 20th century was centered on the United Nations and international law, which embodied the principle of sovereign equality of states. However, the central-peripheral hierarchical international order under the European colonial system has not really disappeared, but has continued as a subtle rule and hidden order, except that the absolute hierarchical power relations characterized by direct drives in the past no longer exist, and have been replaced by a “common but differentiated” international order, i.e., all countries are sovereign and equal on the surface. In other words, all states are sovereign and equal, but in practice there are still differences in power. The “rule-based order” is the main expression of this order, in which all countries are required to follow the same rules, but the real meaning of these rules is not centered on the United Nations and international law, but on the Western countries.

The U.S. hegemony since the post-war period and the G-7 established after the 1970s are the main manifestations of the contemporary version of the global center-fringe order. The annual meeting of the G-7 discusses not only the affairs of seven countries, but also the affairs of the whole world, and they negotiate and then promote the transformation into global rules. The “rule-based order” is actually “an order based on the rules set by the West”, and it is the key who is the rule-maker. In a global division of labor system, rule-making, money supply and industrial goods production are the business of a few countries at the center, and if other countries want to join in, they risk dismantling the dominant position of a few countries, which is something countries that hold rule-making and monetary dominance and maintain technological superiority with intellectual property rights do not want to see. China’s unexpected economic growth in recent decades has disrupted the post-war center-periphery international order and threatened the unspoken rules centered on Western countries. The main reason for this is that China’s development has touched the cheese of the United States and other Western countries, which never envisioned that China could also “take center stage”, even if it is only “approaching” for now.

Whether it is the expansion of NATO to the east or the selection of China as a key target of the U.S. crackdown, it reflects that the U.S. and the West want to maintain and strengthen their own power advantage. The Russia-Ukraine conflict and the West’s unrelenting sanctions against Russia further highlight the fact that most of the world’s countries are in the “countryside” on the periphery, while a few are in the “city” in the center, and the United States is the “city center” in the global The “city center” of the “urban center”, the “city” does not want to see the “rural” like them The “cities” do not want to see the “countryside” become “cities” like them. The obstruction of the global “urban centers” by China and Russia lies both in their strong control over capital, which is the last two largest uncontrolled areas of capitalist globalization, and in the fact that they have become “urban centers” due to their much stronger state power compared to most countries. The two countries are also obstacles to the “urban centers” further controlling the “rural” fringes of the globe because they are much stronger than most countries. In this round of globalization, China, with its strong economic growth and overall increase in national power, has shown a tendency to move from the “rural” to the “urban” areas, and in contrast to its earlier overtures to globalization, the central countries have in recent years become “This has exposed the “common” limits of the post-war international order. The fact that China has become one of the “cities” is intolerable for the center-state.

In the first article of Selected Works of Mao Zedong, “Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society,” the opening chapter poses the question: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This question is the primary question of the revolution.” Over the past 40 years, China has carried out reform and opening up, and in recent years it has initiated the building of a community of human destiny. In its international exchanges, it no longer deliberately emphasizes the distinction between enemies and friends, but hopes to promote “beauty and commonwealth” in the “beauty of each, beauty of the beauty”. But can we achieve “commonwealth”? However, whether the world can achieve “commonwealth” is not determined by China’s wish alone. With the U.S.-led Western countries showing a full-scale confrontation with Russia and China, the contemporary world can no longer be considered mechanically as “peace and development”, but needs to seriously consider “competition” or even “war”. “Even if war can be ruled out, it is no longer possible to achieve better development in a globalized system dominated by Western countries. China has to rethink the “primary question” in its foreign dealings: who are the possible partners of China now and in the future, and who are the partners that China cannot pull in?

Things come together in groups, and people are divided by groups. The same is true for countries. Countries with similar experiences, situations and aspirations are more likely to form long-lasting cooperative relationships. In contemporary international relations discourse, Western vs. non-Western countries, developed vs. developing countries, and Northern vs. Southern countries are common distinctions between types of countries, with developed countries and Northern countries being mostly Western countries and Southern countries and developing countries being non-Western countries. Unlike the distinctions of developed vs. developing countries and North vs. South countries, which are economic in nature, the distinctions of Western vs. non-Western countries also point to political and cultural dimensions, implying global power relations. Since the nineteenth century, the world has undergone a “global transformation”: the formerly discrete “centerless, pluralistic world” has shifted to a highly interconnected and hierarchical “center-marginal” global system. The “imperialism” of the late 19th century and the revolutionary era of the first half of the 20th century is a description and characterization of the relationship between this order and the highly interconnected and hierarchical “center-periphery” global international system, of which the West was the center. Imperialism and globalization from the mid-to-late 19th century to the early 20th century were two sides of the same coin: imperialism came with globalization, and globalization strengthened imperialism, both of which together set up an “iron barrel formation” for countries on the periphery, from which it was very difficult to escape. The Western countries used to be the center of the global system and the place of imperialism, from which the colonial order of the modern world and the American hegemony since the middle and second half of the 20th century came; at the same time, many revolutions since modern times, including the anti-colonial movement in the middle and second half of the 20th century, were aimed at breaking this unequal and unjust center-marginal power structure.

In the center-fringe global power structure, the center states cannot sincerely help the revolution of the peripheral states, nor will they welcome the peripheral states to join the center states on an equal footing. During the Chinese revolution in the first half of the 20th century and the consolidation of power in the second half of the 20th century, the main external forces that China relied on were from the periphery of the global system. The Communist International network, in which the Chinese Communist Party was involved, was an alliance between the non-regime forces of the colonized and oppressed peoples of the time; in the war against Japan, China took the opportunity of its participation in the world war against fascism to continue the “anti-imperialist” demands of the previous Chinese revolution and to further promote the abolition of the various unequal rights imposed on China by the imperialist countries; in 1949, when the People’s Republic of China was founded, the Chinese government was able to achieve its goal. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China attached great importance to cooperation with “Third World” countries and supported the anti-colonial movement and post-independence nation-building in Asia, Africa and Latin America, especially its active participation in the Bandung Conference in 1955 and its proposal of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which were well received by Asian, African and Latin American countries and became the basis for China’s cooperation with them. It also became an important point in the virtuous circle of relations between China and Asian, African and Latin American countries, and with the latter’s support and cooperation, China returned to the United Nations in 1971 and became a permanent member of the Security Council.

China’s mutual solidarity and assistance with Asian, African and Latin American countries in their resistance to colonial rule and nation-building have established a key feature of Chinese multilateralism in recent times, namely, the high priority given to cooperation with non-Western developing countries in defending national independence and development progress in their joint resistance to the unequal and unjust international order constructed by the central state. In its all-round diplomacy based on non-Western developing countries, China does not exclude its contacts and even the development of friendly and cooperative relations with developed Western countries and other major powers. However, it should also be noted that China’s past interactions and cooperation with the centerland countries have always been based on two premises: first, from China’s perspective, China insists on developing its foreign relations under the premise of independence, equality and reciprocity, and opposes the hierarchy of power in international relations; second, from the perspective of the centerland countries, their cooperation with China has always had a ceiling, which is not to shake the global power structure centered on the Western countries. structure. When either of these two premises changes, it will be difficult for China, as a developing country, to continue to develop cooperative relations with Western countries in depth, especially politically.

Over the past four decades, China has abandoned ideological differences and avoided differences in national systems, and has committed itself to cooperating with all countries, gradually forming a pattern of foreign relations in which “major powers are key, the periphery is primary, developing countries are fundamental, and multilateralism is an important stage. However, this pattern has encountered many obstacles when the time of “the end of globalization” comes. The “decoupling” of China’s economy, technology, knowledge, and people-to-people contacts, initiated by the U.S. with the help of other Western countries, is unlikely to be withdrawn by the war between Russia and Ukraine, but may be intensified.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, it has undergone several changes in diplomatic direction, from the “one-sided” approach when the country was first established, to the “one line, one big area” and “three worlds” division in the 1970s, to the shift to reform and opening up after 1978, focusing on developing cooperation with Western countries. From the “one-sided” approach when the country was first founded, to the “one line, one big area” and “three worlds” division in the 1970s, to the shift to reform and opening up after 1978, focusing on developing cooperation with Western countries, all in response to the prevailing situation. At this time of “unprecedented changes”, Western countries are showing stronger and stronger intentions to suppress potential challengers, especially after the outbreak of the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has exposed the Western countries’ tendency to gather and suppress non-Western countries on all fronts, and will become a structural presence in international relations for a long time to come. China cannot help but be highly alert to the fact that the West’s omnipotent sanctions and repressive tactics against Russia will be applied to China in the future. For this reason, it is urgent to re-examine China’s past tradition of multilateralism, adjust the spatial pattern of its foreign relations, and strengthen cooperation with non-Western developing countries in order to create a new international environment conducive to safeguarding China’s national security and long-term development.

In 1974, Mao Zedong proposed the division of the “three worlds” and made an analysis of the three types of countries in the world at that time and the way China could interact with them, with the developing countries of the “third world” being the main target of China’s interaction and China itself being a member of the “third world”. “The Chinese government and people firmly supported the just struggle of all oppressed people and nations. The “three worlds” theory follows the previous experience of China’s foreign relations, which ranked the spatial priority of China’s foreign relations at that time and was an important ideological guide for China’s past participation in South-South cooperation, and it still has strong inspiration for China to reconstruct the spatial priority of its foreign relations at present. Compared to the increased emphasis on cooperation with Western countries since the reform and opening up, China will have to give prominence to promoting South-South cooperation in the future. Whether seeking diplomatic breakout, long-term development, or national rejuvenation, China’s foreign strategic arrangements will have to focus primarily on promoting the construction of a new global system based on Asia and its surrounding region for quite some time to come. The ultimate result is the formation of a “three-ring” international system to guarantee China’s national security and development: the first ring is China’s neighboring East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, where East Asia is connected to the world’s financial resources and China has formed a close industrial division of labor with the countries in this region, and Central Asia and the Middle East are connected to the world’s resources and China has to rely on the countries in this region for a stable energy supply and a reliable security barrier. The second ring is the vast number of developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with which China exchanges raw materials and industrial products, and China’s foreign aid should be mainly directed to these countries; the third ring extends to the traditional industrialized countries, mainly Europe and the United States, with which China exchanges industrial products, technology and knowledge. This “three-ring” structure is used to prioritize and redirect foreign contacts and to redefine the direction and content of foreign contacts.

The first and key to the construction of the “new three-ring” international system is in the “first ring”, that is, the two wings of Asia: one is East Asia, the other is Central Asia, the Middle East. In order to continue to further promote the process of economic integration in East Asia and strengthen the linkage with Central Asia and the Middle East, it is necessary to enrich the issues of interaction with Asian countries as a prerequisite. Over the past years, China has devoted itself to promoting economic diplomacy with other countries, and has strongly promoted East Asian economic integration and economic cooperation with many Asian countries. The latest breakthrough in East Asian economic integration is the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after years of negotiations, which will enter into force on January 1, 2022. However, economic exchanges among East Asian countries have been increasingly affected by extraterritorial forces and security factors in recent years. Disputes over maritime rights in the South China Sea and the U.S. “Indo-Pacific” strategy have added uncertainty to the process of East Asian economic integration. China should step out of its previous “GDP supremacy” in international relations, pay attention to political and security issues, and promote more security cooperation among Asian countries to avoid internal problems in Asia from being exploited by external forces.

The basis of international relations for China’s promotion of a “new three-ring” international system is “South-South cooperation,” an old concept that emphasizes mutual cooperation and support among non-Western “third world” countries. It is an old concept that emphasizes mutual cooperation and support among non-Western “third world” countries. In the second half of the 20th century, the meaning of South-South cooperation was more political, as developing countries were generally economically underdeveloped and technologically weak, and the trade and technology exchanges between them were of limited help to each other and had little impact on the global economy. However, in fact, South-South cooperation is building a new foundation in the new century and has become more realistic today. The main reason is that, in recent decades, developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America have become industrialized or quasi-industrialized countries, following the wave of globalization and “laddering up” to a new global system in terms of global material production and circulation, and the original globalization “ladder” set up by the West has become a new global system. The original “ladder” of globalization built by the West has lost its color in their eyes. This new global system has the following main manifestations.

First, the global share of developing countries is not what it used to be: in 1980, developed countries accounted for 78.9 percent of global GDP, while developing countries accounted for only 21 percent; in 2021, developed countries’ share of global GDP falls to 57.8 percent, while developing countries’ share rises to 42.2 percent. The combined GDP share of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) plus Turkey, South Korea, and Indonesia in terms of purchasing power parity increases from 18 percent of the global economy in 1992 to 37.36 percent in 2021, while the G7 countries decline from 51 percent to 44 percent in the same period.

Second, trade exchanges and mutual investment among developing countries have also become pivotal. Trade between China and Africa increased 22.6 times between 1997 and 2010, and trade with Latin America increased 22 times; by 2021, China-Africa and China-Latin America trade will increase another 2 times and 2.5 times, respectively, compared to 2010. in 2000, China-Arab trade was only $15.2 billion, and by 2018 it reached $244.3 billion, an increase of 16 times in less than 20 years. Brazil’s trade with Arab countries increased fourfold from 2003 to 2010, while trade with Africa increased fivefold to a total of $26 billion, a figure higher than Brazil’s trade with traditional trading partners such as Germany or Japan; by 2019, Brazil’s trade with Arab countries and Africa increased 0.98 times and 0.68 times, respectively, compared to 2010. Since 2001, India’s trade with Africa has grown at an average annual rate of 17.2%, with 2.26 times more in 2021 than in 2011. India’s trade with Latin America and Middle East and North African countries has experienced similar growth. Both mutual trade and investment between emerging economies such as India and Brazil are also heating up rapidly, with trade volumes among developing countries growing faster than the global average growth rate, while trade exchanges with developed countries continue to decline, and the division of labor and cooperation among these countries in the production of primary and industrial goods replicates the historical globalized exchange of material goods.

Then again, from around China, Asia has formed a network of co-existing economic cooperation. This is demonstrated by the following.

In 1980, developing countries in Asia accounted for only 12.7% of the world’s GDP, but in 2010 it rose to 20.6%, and by 2021 it will reach 31.2%. By 2020, the 15 RCEP members will have a total population of 2.27 billion, a GDP of U.S.$26 trillion and total imports and exports of over U.S.$10 trillion, all accounting for about 30% of the global total. HSBC predicts that by 2030, the global share of economic volume of the RCEP economic circle will increase to 50%.

Second, the center of gravity of global trade and investment has also been shifting to Asia. Asia’s share in global trade increased from 15.7% in 1980 to 22.2% in 1990, 27.3% in 1995, 26.7% in 2000, 25.6% in 2001, and further rose to 36% of world trade in 2020, becoming the world’s leading trading bloc.

Third, the level of intra-Asian trade exceeds that of extraterritorial trade. between 2001 and 2020, total intra-Asian regional trade jumps from $3.2 trillion to $12.7 trillion, with an average annual nominal growth rate of 7.5%. During the same period, Asia’s share of total world trade increased from 25.6% to 36.0%, and in 2020, Asia’s intra-regional trade accounted for nearly 58.5% of foreign trade.

Fourth, the two wings of Asia are becoming one world economically, and the flow of energy from the Middle East has shifted from its previous direction mainly to Europe and the United States to East and South Asia.

To date, developing countries have initially formed a global economic system, but further economic and political unity is needed to achieve a higher degree of economic connectivity among them, as well as a stronger political influence in the international arena and freedom from the control or coercion of Western countries. Since the second decade of the 21st century, China has become the world’s largest real economy and the second largest economy, as well as the largest trading partner of most countries in the world; the global contribution of China’s manufacturing sector is close to 30% in 2021, and as the country that produces the most material goods in the world China’s global manufacturing contribution will be close to 30% by 2021, and as the world’s largest producer of material goods, it will play the role that the United States played at the end of World War II (at its peak, in 1953, the United States accounted for about 28% of global industrial output). What China can and should do is to actively promote the improvement of the global system of material exchange among developing countries in a global strategy, i.e., to truly realize South-South cooperation.

But there are still deficiencies. Current trade flows and mutual investments of developing countries still rely heavily on the financial and monetary networks provided by the West. If developing countries are to further enhance their economic and political autonomy, and if emerging economies are to gain political influence in the world system commensurate with their economic size, they must break away from their financial and monetary dependence on the West. Therefore, to build a “new three-ring” international system, it is necessary to consider not only the traditional geopolitical factors, but also the currency and information margins as important considerations. Over the past few years, China has explored this by developing currency swaps with some emerging market economies. A higher level and broader scope of financial and monetary cooperation should be developed among developing countries in general. To this end, there is a need to make good use of some existing platforms and mechanisms to take South-South cooperation to a new level, including upgrading and revamping the ADB and the BRICS Bank, and improving an autonomous and controllable international payment system; strengthening security cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and China-Russia-India-Iran cooperation under its framework, especially financial cooperation, and the need to see that Russia is also a developing country and that China and Russia are highly complementary economically. The government should further promote the economic integration of East Asia under the framework of “One Belt, One Road”, especially consolidate the achievements of RCEP; build a common energy market in Asia, so that the energy buyers’ markets in East and South Asia and the energy sellers’ markets in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia can share the same energy trading and payment network; make good use of the BRICS meeting mechanism, thus leading to the deepening of South-South cooperation; and promote the international cooperation between China and Russia. It should promote the internationalization of the RMB in the context of the diversification of the international monetary system and South-South cooperation, and provide support to the international status of the euro while hedging against the hegemony of the U.S. dollar.

One hundred years ago, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party proposed the revolutionary path of “encircling the city in the countryside. At this time of “unprecedented changes”, China and the developing countries need to break the center-periphery order of the contemporary world and the Western countries’ prevention and suppression of non-Western countries, as well as to improve solidarity and cooperation in the global “rural” areas. The emergence of a new global system and the deepening of South-South cooperation will create good conditions for China to enter the forefront of the world economy and politics, and to mobilize global resources to build a “three-ring” international system, to resolve international pressures and to break through. After more than 40 years of reform and opening up, China must adjust its understanding of “opening up” and make a new breakthrough in its thinking about foreign exchanges. Of course, China should still try to maintain its cooperation with the West as long as possible, and should not give up on working with the latter as long as they do not make the choice to be completely enemies of China.

Demanding China’s exclusion: US blocks world access to vaccines

We are pleased to republish this very important article by Sara Flounders which originally appeared in Workers World. Sara contrasts in detail the diametrically opposite approaches to the international distribution of anti-Covid vaccines on the part of the imperialist United States and socialist China. Whilst China is now the world’s largest provider of Covid-19 vaccines, having provided over 2.1 billion doses to more than 120 countries and international organisations, accounting for one third of the vaccines administered outside China, US trade officials have announced that they will veto a global plan that would allow countries on an emergency basis to temporarily ignore patents and produce their own vaccines. This measure was first proposed by India and South Africa in 2020. The US is motivated by a desire to isolate China and to defend the mega profits of big pharma. China, meanwhile, has gone far beyond temporary intellectual property waivers for its vaccines, providing public access to the technology, along with raw materials and manufacturing ability.

Just how far is the U.S. government determined to go in the protection of corporate profits?

For the past two years the Biden administration and earlier the Trump administration have blocked every effort to make medicines for the COVID-19 virus widely available. U.S. control of the patents has been ruthlessly enforced.

U.S. trade officials have now announced that the government will veto a global plan that would allow countries on an emergency basis to temporarily ignore patents and make their own COVID-19 vaccines. The U.S. says it will block this plan unless China is explicitly excluded from the waiver of intellectual property (IP) rights. This ultimatum has created international shock waves. 

Health officials globally are concerned because U.S. opposition could kill even a limited international deal. Two years of discussions in Geneva were intensified this month in the hopes of signing a final pact in June. 

Corporate ownership of patents

Control of patents in technology and medicine play a crucial role in U.S. economic domination. Patents on intellectual property are a set of laws that protect legal rights of products to be privately owned. Even if essential products are developed through the common labor of hundreds of thousands of people, were developed with public funds or are based on science and technology developed over many generations, the corporations that file for the patents can claim ownership of the product and of the manufacturing process. 

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Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School holds cadre seminar

The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School, a joint project of six progressive political parties in southern Africa, built by China and named in honour of the Founding Father of Tanzania, held a seminar for middle-aged and young cadres on May 25th. Participating in the seminar were the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the six parties served by the school, namely Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party, the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) Party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) Party of Namibia and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Opening speeches were made by Song Tao, Minister of the CPC’s International Department, and Daniel Chongolo, the Secretary General of Tanzania’s CCM.

The six parties were all the leading forces in their country’s national liberation struggle. They all have a long-standing friendship with China and the CPC and are today leading the struggle for the building of a new society in their respective countries.

In his speech, Song Tao noted that: “The CPC and the six parties enjoy a long-term friendship and share similar concepts. In the face of the changes and the pandemic both unseen in a century, the CPC is ready to strengthen experience exchange in state governance and administration with the six parties, promote practical cooperation in various areas, practice true multilateralism, jointly oppose hegemony and power politics, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests and overall interests of developing countries, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”

For his part, Daniel Chongolo observed that: “The six parties cherish their traditional friendship with the CPC, and wholeheartedly admire the remarkable achievements China has made under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core. They hoped to learn experience in developing economy, creating jobs, scientific and technological innovation, environmental protection and fighting corruption from the CPC, and build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future together with the Chinese side.”

The below report was originally carried on the website of the CPC International Department. We previously reported the congratulatory message of President Xi Jinping when the school opened on February 23rd.

Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School held here today this year’s seminar for middle-aged and young cadres of the six parties in southern Africa themed on “new development in the new era: exploration and communication of the CPC and the six parties in southern Africa”. A total of 120 middle-aged and young cadres of Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party, the African National Congress of South Africa, the Mozambique Liberation Front Party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the SWAPO Party of Namibia and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front were present. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), and Daniel Chongolo, Secretary General of Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party, attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the seminar via video link.

Continue reading Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School holds cadre seminar

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Martinez: Latin America’s socialist project is inextricably linked with global anti-imperialism

Below is the video and text of a speech by Carlos Martinez, co-editor of Friends of Socialist China, introducing our recent event 21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline. Carlos explains the motivation for organising a webinar focused on socialist processes in China and Latin America: that both China and progressive Latin America are building a vision of 21st century socialism, and this is of immense importance and interest for Marxists around the world.

On behalf of Friends of Socialist China, I’d like to thank you all for joining today’s webinar.

I’m not going to speak for long, but I wanted to quickly say something about the motivation for putting on this event. Why China and Latin America?

Of course our platform focuses on China in particular. Not because of our special appreciation for jasmine tea or Ming dynasty pottery, but because, as the largest socialist country, and the largest developing country, and as a rising power, China has a critically important role in terms of the global transition both towards a multipolar framework of international relations, and towards socialism.

And if we’re talking about socialism in the 21st century, it’s obvious we need to discuss China. Having achieved its historic goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2021, China’s now building systematically towards its Second Centenary Goal: to build “a great modern socialist country in all respects.”

Continue reading Carlos Martinez: Latin America’s socialist project is inextricably linked with global anti-imperialism

China and Latin America: Dilma speaks

The following is a detailed report of our recent webinar, 21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline, by US-based political analyst Charles McKelvey.

The Friends of Socialist China sponsored on March 19, 2022, a Webinar on “21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline.”  Friends of Socialist China, located in London, is a platform dedicated to supporting the People’s Republic of China and promoting understanding of Chinese socialism.  The event was co-sponsored by lborada, ANTICONQUISTA, CODEPINK, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, International Action Center, International Manifesto Group, Kawsachun News, Morning Star, Multipolarista, and Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples. 

The event was moderated by Radhika Desai, Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada), and Convener of the International Manifesto Group.  She observed that the relation between China and Latin America is of growing importance, and it is central to a world-wide shift from decadent capitalism to modern and progressive socialism, from a US-centered world to a China-centered world.  As an indication of this shift, U.S. trade with Latin America has decreased significantly, while Chinese trade and investment in Latin America has greatly increased.  China is now the top trading partner of Brazil, Uruguay, and Peru; and it is the second trading partner of several Latin American nations.

The events of recent weeks have given a boost to the Chinese-Latin American relation, as it has become increasingly clear that the United States demands the subordination of the nations with which it has relations, including its supposed allied and friends.

Continue reading China and Latin America: Dilma speaks

Edgar Snow, and why his legacy is so important today

We’re pleased to republish this essay about Edgar Snow, written by Andy Boreham, a China-based journalist who works for Shanghai Daily and runs the Reports on China YouTube channel. Andy describes how Snow’s classic book Red Star Over China continues to inspire him to report factually and to counter the ubiquitous misrepresentation of China.

The vast majority of Western mainstream media reportage on China is negative and unbalanced, presenting China to the world as a dangerous, dirty dystopia, where 1.4 billion live terrible lives under the control of the “violent” Communist Party of China.

Of course, this is far from the reality. But any attempt to get the truth out about China, especially by foreigners living here, is often met with derision, accusations of CPC funding, and claims of brainwashing. Western media have also begun going out of their way to discredit foreigners who dare to say anything positive about China, with special reports where they twist facts and stain reputations.

But, believe it or not, this is nothing new …

On this day exactly 50 years ago, American journalist Edgar Snow passed away at the age of 66. Unfortunately he died just a week before then US President Richard Nixon made his famous 1972 visit to China and would never get to see the normalization of relations between the two nations.

Continue reading Edgar Snow, and why his legacy is so important today

Wang Yi: The ‘China debt trap’ narrative is being promoted by imperialist forces that oppose Africa’s sovereign development

Continuing a tradition of 32 years, the Chinese foreign minister’s first external trip of the year is to Africa. Wang Yi has been in Eritrea, Kenya and Comoros, cementing the longstanding relationship of friendship and solidarity between China and the peoples of the continent. Speaking in Nairobi, he referred to the accusation – popular in the West – that China is trapping African countries in debt:

China has never attached any political conditions to its cooperation with Africa, and has never imposed its own will on others. The so-called ‘debt trap’ is in fact a narrative trap created by forces who do not want to see rapid development in Africa. If there is any ‘trap’ in Africa, it is the ‘poverty trap’ and the ‘underdevelopment trap,’ both of which should be got rid of as soon as possible.

Xinhua: Chinese FM refutes “debt trap” allegation in China-Africa cooperation

Quote: Wang Wenbin on the US’s brazen misuse of the word ‘democracy’

For too long the US has been using democracy as a cover to flagrantly engage in infiltration and subversion in sovereign countries, impose economic sanctions, cause turmoil and chaos, and wage wars of occupation, bringing disaster to the affected countries and the international community.

The so-called ‘Summit for Democracy’ will not turn Washington into a democratic high ground. It will only expose further the true face of the US as a manipulator and saboteur of democracy in front of the whole world.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on December 1, 2021

Drop the illusions: Biden is a vicious Cold Warrior

This original article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez analyses the recently-announced AUKUS military pact in the context of the Biden administration’s aggressive foreign policy. The article points out that any pro-peace hopes in Biden have been comprehensively dashed; this administration is pursuing an imperialist New Cold War with all the zeal of its predecessor.

After four years of Trump’s unhinged anti-China rhetoric, combined with the intensification of US diplomatic and economic attacks on China, many people on the left and in the anti-war movement breathed a sigh of relief upon Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House.

Gone were such fanatical China hawks as Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Stephen Bannon, Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro. Gone was the bombastic and openly demagogic style of the far-right Republican administration, with its racism, its blackmail, its threats. Perhaps it would now be possible to end the trade war; to accept China’s emergence as an important global power; to build an environment conducive to urgently-needed cooperation on climate change, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and peace.

The leopard has not changed its spots

Such hopes were misplaced, and have since been comprehensively dashed. As Demetri Sevastopulo noted in the Financial Times back in April, “Joe Biden’s hawkish stance on China has been much closer to that of his predecessor Donald Trump than experts had predicted.” Biden has made it abundantly clear that he has every intention of continuing – and indeed escalating – the New Cold War against China, stating: “China has an overall goal to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world and the most powerful country in the world; that’s not going to happen on my watch.”

One of the Biden team’s first acts in the realm of foreign policy was to work to undermine the EU-China investment deal, which is currently still frozen. Nine months into Biden’s administration and there is no sign of Trump’s trade war being dropped, in spite its manifest failure to revive US manufacturing. Biden continues to repeat Trump’s talking points about China’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and its “abuses of the international system.”

Meanwhile the US continues to ramp up its military presence in the South China Sea. The US Coast Guard has commenced a massive upgrade of its fleet, for the specific purpose of “countering China’s growing influence in the region.” This has been combined with increased weapons sales to Taiwan.

Facing the reality of US defeat in Afghanistan, you might expect the US military budget to decrease somewhat, and yet even the relatively moderate proposal by Bernie Sanders to reduce military expenditure by 10 percent has been met with resolute, bipartisan opposition. In fact Biden’s 715 billion dollar defence budget will be the largest in history, making a mockery out of his widely lauded infrastructure plan, which commits to spending 3.5 trillion dollars over 10 years – meaning that he proposes to spend more than twice as much on the military as on solving the most basic needs of the American people.

The information warfare against China has if anything accelerated under Biden. His insistence on spreading conspiracy theories about Covid’s origins – dismissing the WHO’s findings that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely” and ordering US intelligence services to conduct a separate investigation focused on the Wuhan Institute of Virology – is nothing more than a sugar-coating of Trump’s flagrant ‘kung flu’ racism. When Trump first put proposed the lab leak hypothesis, Democrats correctly dismissed it as a conspiracy theory; now in the driving seat of the New Cold War, these so-called progressives have chosen to take the same road.

The Democratic administration and its media supporters have amplified the crazed accusations of Mike Pompeo about genocide in Xinjiang. In the first week of the administration, national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned that the US would “impose costs for what China is doing in Xinjiang, what it is doing in Hong Kong, for the bellicosity and threats that it is projecting towards Taiwan”. Accusing China of “genocide and crimes against humanity” – on the basis of extremely dubious evidence that has been comprehensively debunked (for example by The Grayzone and the Eurispes Institute of Political, Economic and Social Study) – the US, EU, UK and Canada co-ordinated to impose sanctions on China. The Western media has ramped up its slander campaign in order to win broad public support for anti-China actions at an economic, political, diplomatic and military level.

In summary, as Danny Haiphong has observed, when it comes to the New Cold War, Joe Biden is “a Democrat with Trumpian Characteristics.” The imperialist leopard has not changed its spots. Biden is just as committed as his predecessors were to the preservation and expansion of the US-led imperialist world system. The New Cold War on China constitutes the cornerstone of this bipartisan strategy.

AUKUS and the attempted rebuilding of an imperial alliance against China

Trump’s bluster, his crudity and his unfiltered aggressive nationalism served to alienate some of the US’s traditional allies. The longstanding coalition of advanced capitalist countries – the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Japan – started to fracture under the weight of Trump’s refusal (or inability) to convincingly pretend that neoliberal imperialist plutocracy is good for everyone.

Once installed in the White House, Joe Biden lost no time in declaring that “diplomacy is back” and that he would work to “repair our alliances” in order to “confront China’s economic abuses; counter its aggressive, coercive action; to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance.” In particular he promised to coordinate with “other democracies” to contain China.

In June, Biden travelled to the NATO and G7 summits in order to promote this anti-China alliance and to reiterate the importance of a “rules-based international order” A genuinely independent press might have queried whether the phrase “rules-based international order” should actually refer to the existing framework of international law as defined by the United Nations – of which, for example, the US’s wars, drone strikes and unilateral sanctions are a clear violation. Needless to say, such analysis was noteworthy by its absence.

The Quad alliance (the ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ of the US, Japan, Australia and India), dormant for nearly a decade, was revived by Trump in 2017 as an ‘Asian NATO’ with a mandate to increase military pressure on China. Biden’s administration is picking up this ball and running with it – “making the Quad the core dynamic of its Asia policy.” Biden convened the first leaders’ summit of the Quad in March, and on 24 September 2021 the Quad holds its first ever in-person leaders’ summit.

The latest move in this deepening New Cold War is the announcement on 15 September 2021 of AUKUS – a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the US. The pact is designed to “deepen diplomatic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region” and involves cooperation on cyber warfare, underwater capabilities, and long-range strike capabilities.

The composition of the AUKUS pact serves to expose its nature as a colonial throwback. Boris Johnson may try to present the three countries’ core commonality as being “English-speaking maritime democracies”, but what the world sees is an “alliance of white colonial states” attempting to reassert imperial hegemony and keep the natives in line.

The pact’s most obvious practical significance is in improving Australia’s ability to police the Pacific on behalf of US-led imperialism – specifically, with the aid of nuclear-powered submarines. Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh write that “the aim is to put Australia’s currently diesel-powered navy on a technological par with China’s navy.”

Nobody is in any doubt that AUKUS is part of a strategy to contain and encircle China. Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), observes: “this major new multifaceted defence agreement between the US, UK and Australia sees the latter firmly jump into the US camp and the former strengthen and renew its Pivot to Asia through unashamedly militaristic means.” Gideon Rachman, writing in the Financial Times, describes it as being “ultimately aimed at deterring Chinese power, much as NATO deters Russia in Europe” (Rachman of course considers this a good thing).

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating argued vociferously against Australia’s membership of such a pact, on the basis that it would induce a “further dramatic loss of Australian sovereignty” and that its only objective – “to act collectively in any military engagement by the US against China” – runs counter to Australia’s basic interests.

The provision of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia certainly violates the spirit – and quite possibly the letter – of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), involving as it does the provision of weapons-grade enriched uranium to a non-nuclear weapons state. Kate Hudson points out that the NPT “stipulates that any sharing of nuclear technology must be ‘for peaceful purposes’, and a military pact does not have ‘peaceful purposes’”.

Given these nuclear submarines will doubtless be deployed in and around the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, AUKUS adds significantly to the threat of the New Cold War turning extremely hot. As the spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Britain put it: “The AUKUS military partnership and cooperation on nuclear submarines risk intensifying global arms race, crippling international non-proliferation efforts and severely undermining regional peace and stability.” Even New Zealand, a fellow “English-speaking maritime democracy”, is keeping its distance from AUKUS, stating that Australia’s new nuclear-powered submarines will be banned from New Zealand waters.

Build opposition to the New Cold War

It is an inescapable fact that the Biden administration does not plan to end the New Cold War or pursue a cooperative, multipolar foreign policy. The US remains a hegemonist power, armed to the teeth and ready to risk humanity’s future for the sake of preserving the imperialist status quo.

The fight against the New Cold War therefore requires a global alliance of the socialist countries, the developing world, the working class and oppressed communities in the imperialist heartlands; alongside the peace movement, the environmental movement, and all forces that can be united to oppose this reckless strategy. Cold War benefits only a tiny handful of people. Meanwhile humanity face global problems that require global solutions: climate change, containment and prevention of pandemics, microbial resistance, and the threat of nuclear confrontation.

Kishore Mahbubani puts the case simply and eloquently in his recent book, Has China Won?: “If climate change makes the planet progressively uninhabitable, both American and Chinese citizens will be fellow passengers on a sinking ship.”

The cooperation we urgently need cannot be built in an atmosphere of fear and distrust, in the context of a New Cold War and a relentless slander campaign. Those of us in the West must demand of our governments and media that they cease their hysterical hostility towards China, stop demonising China, stop attempting to prevent its rise, stop constructing military alliances against it, and start creating an environment conducive to deep and lasting cooperation.

China’s approach to international relations provides an example for others to follow: “No matter how the international landscape evolves, China will resolutely safeguard UN’s core role in international affairs, stay firmly on the right side of history, strive to build a community with a shared future for mankind, join hands with all progressive forces in the world, and work tirelessly to advance the noble cause of peace and development for humanity.”

Let us consolidate and expand our forces, and put our shoulders to the wheel of ending the New Cold War.

Towards a shared vision, a shared prosperity and a shared partnership between China and Vietnam

We are pleased to reproduce the following articles from CGTN and Nhân Dân, reporting on Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent visit to Vietnam. Both reflect a growing consensus between the two states to deepen cooperation, reject US interference and trouble-making, and settle historic differences in the spirit of peace and friendship.

CGTN: For Vietnam, China is a bulwark against Western interventionism

As a part of his tour of regional countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Vietnam and participated in the 13th meeting of the China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation. Vietnam official media described the visit and the meeting as two countries maintaining positive trends and that Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh sees win-win cooperation in a number of areas, including senior leadership visits, security issues, economic cooperation and COVD-19 management.

Continue reading Towards a shared vision, a shared prosperity and a shared partnership between China and Vietnam

US intelligence agents are not scientists but experts in making chaos

The latest article by Danny Haiphong, published on CGTN on 1 September 2021, addresses the recent report by the US Office of National Intelligence, commissioned by the Biden administration, on the origins of Covid-19. The article points out that US intelligence agencies have no competence or mandate in this matter; they are simply being used for the same purpose they have so often been used for in the past: furthering the political interests of the US imperialist ruling class.

The lab leak theory has received another blow to its questionable legitimacy following the report by the U.S. Office of National Intelligence (ONI) on its “investigation” into whether the virus now known as SARS‑CoV‑2 was intentionally or accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The report released on August 27 came to a number of conclusions. It asserted that SARS‑CoV‑2 was not developed as a “biological weapon” and speculated that the virus might have initially spread from an infected animal. No evidence for any “lab leak” at the WIV was offered. Still, the report left open the possibility that such a scenario could have occurred in the November leading up to the first discovered cases in Wuhan.

Biden’s 90-day intelligence investigation was never meant to be a genuine inquiry into the origins of novel coronavirus. The ONI’s continued speculation into a “lab leak” at the WIV left the door open for U.S. officials and their allies to blame China for a virus that was circulating in Europe and the United States well before the first known cases in Wuhan. Rather than build from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) late March report indicating the likely natural origins of the virus, U.S. intelligence agencies have chosen to operate outside of their scope of practice. Their interference in the origins-tracing process has only led to further confusion in the scientific community.

Continue reading US intelligence agents are not scientists but experts in making chaos

DSA International Committee condemns recent Congressional legislation that fuels a new Cold War with China

The following statement, posted by the Democratic Socialists of America International Committee on 30 August 2021, is an important and powerful condemnation of the US strategy of waging a New Cold War against China. It correctly highlights that such a war presents a danger to humanity, while offering nothing to ordinary people in the US.

Summary: The International Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA IC) strongly condemns Congress’s use of industrial policy and other elements of the proposed US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) to counter China as part of a new Cold War fueled by US imperialist interests, a stance that further destabilizes geopolitical relations and jeopardizes efforts toward greater global cooperation on issues affecting everyone worldwide.

The United States Congress is in the midst of drafting, debating, and presenting significant legislation regarding US industrial, diplomatic, and military policy. Industrial policy in the US is a prominent and important concern, as US infrastructure and development are under increasing strain. Infrastructure failures, privatized utilities, and a gutted social safety net clearly call for state intervention via a positive vision for American society. The most prominent element of the industrial policy legislation that has been drafted is the bipartisan US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). Unfortunately, the legislation being drafted for infrastructure investments is being crafted to reinforce US imperial control throughout the world and to antagonize China. While there are overtures made toward the underlying need for American industrial policy, this entire discussion has been subsumed into a broader US imperialist position of “combating” China. The DSA International Committee (IC) condemns the use of industrial policy and other elements of the USICA to counter China, which will further destabilize geopolitical relations, entrench a new Cold War, and jeopardize global cooperation on issues no country can solve alone. 

Continue reading DSA International Committee condemns recent Congressional legislation that fuels a new Cold War with China

China and the Left: a socialist forum (18 September 2021)

Our friends at Qiao Collective are organising a one-day forum with an all-star lineup of speakers on Saturday 18 September 2021 (10am-8pm US Eastern, 3pm-1am Britain, 7am-5pm US Pacific).

The event, co-sponsored by Monthly Review, The People’s Forum and Codepink, will take place in person at the People’s Forum (320 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018) and online on Youtube:

You can find more details and RSVP over at the People’s Forum.

Continue reading China and the Left: a socialist forum (18 September 2021)

Fighting corruption remains central to good governance

We are republishing this useful article by Keith Lamb, which first appeared on CGTN on 30 August 2021, about the continuing fight against corruption in China.

Although there has been less in the news about China’s anti-corruption struggle, it is in full swing. The trial of Dong Hong is but one example of this. On August 26, Dong, former deputy head with the central disciplinary inspection team, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes worth $70.98 million during 1999-2020.

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to office, there has been a greater focus on fighting corruption than before. In his latest collection of speeches published in “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China III,” Xi mentions “corruption” 85 times. He rightly states that “the people resent corruption most; and corruption is the greatest threat our Party faces … a Marxist ruling party, our Party must always hold itself to the highest standards.”

Continue reading Fighting corruption remains central to good governance

Press release to mark the 1000th day of incarceration of Meng Wanzhou

This press release was issued by the Cross-Canada Campaign to Free Meng Wanzhou. It was released on 26 August 2021 in order to mark the thousandth day of Meng’s unjust incarceration by the Canadian authorities, acting on the orders of the Trump administration. We congratulate the campaign for the important work it is doing.

Thursday, August 26, 2021, marks the 1000th day of unjust incarceration by the Trudeau government of Meng Wanzhou. That’s 1000 days during which Mme. Meng has been denied her freedom, has not been able to be with members of her family, has not been able to carry on the duties of her very responsible position as Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s leading tech companies, with 1300 employees in Canada.

Meng’s ordeal began on December 1, 2018, the date on which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kowtowed to the request of former USA President Donald Trump’s to extradite Meng. This was a colossal blunder on Trudeau part’s because it torpedoed fifty years of good relations between Canada and China, resulted in China curtailing major economic purchases in Canada (to the detriment of 1000’s of Canadian producers), and, because the Trudeau government dithered on the question of Huawei’s participation in the deployment of Canada’s 5G network, may have threatened the entire future existence of Huawei in Canada. Furthermore, Trudeau’s obsequiousness towards Trump embarrassingly called into question the very sovereignty of the Canadian state in front of the entire world, that it would sacrifice its own national interest in the service of its imperial neighbour.

Continue reading Press release to mark the 1000th day of incarceration of Meng Wanzhou

China has every right to reject WHO’s embrace of lab leak theory

We are republishing this article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong, which originally appeared on CGTN, about the recent announcement by China’s National Health Commission that it has rejected the WHO’s proposal for a second phase of investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy of the National Health Commission Zeng Yixin asserted that China will not follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) suggested plan to focus second phase research into the origins of COVID-19 on the lab leak theory. The remarks came at a press briefing held on July 22. Outlets such as CNN and Reuters reported on the development with a strong negative bias. Each report appeared to conclude that China was shirking its commitments to the international effort to uncover COVID-19’s origins.

Yet China has every right to be suspicious of the undue focus that has been placed on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The lab leak theory emerged from far-right political forces in the United States such as Senator Tom Cotton very early in China’s battle with COVID-19 and has since been mainstreamed by the likes of Donald Trump’s former Center for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield.

Current President Joe Biden ordered an intelligence investigation into COVID-19’s possible origins in Wuhan after a Wall Street Journalreport claimed that workers at the WIV had become ill in November 2019.

Michael R. Gordon co-authored the report using evidence from anonymous former intelligence officials. Gordon also co-authored the famous article in 2002 with Judith Butler which claimed that Saddam Hussein was harboring Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. This report was influential in the U.S. decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Over eight years, U.S. military forces were culpable in the death of nearly one million people and the massive instability currently plaguing the region.

The lab leak theory is a highly politicized framework for pursuing answers into the origins of COVID-19. That China would exercise caution in supporting an investigation that possesses far-from-impartial motives should come as no surprise.

The WHO’s study into the origins of COVID-19 released this past March declared that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.” From this vantage point, Zeng remarked that any follow up investigation on the origins of COVID-19 should build upon the basis of the first study.

COVID-19 is an extremely complex phenomenon. It will likely take years for scientific experts to fully understand a virus that has facilitated such a historic public health crisis in every part of the world. China has been targeted unfairly by U.S. and Western governments for the virus’ origins without any evidence. Without full and equal cooperation among all governments and countries, more questions than answers are likely to arise from investigations into COVID-19’s roots.

China is not turning its back to the international effort to understand the development of COVID-19, but is simply asking that fairness be exercised in the process. The undue focus on WIV ignores several additional indications that the virus may not have emerged from the first known outbreak in Wuhan. Traces of COVID-19 were found in Spain’s sewage system as early as March 2019. Research further suggests that COVID-19 was spreading in Italy as early as September 2019.

That the lab leak theory would be a priority at this time is neither consistent with these developments nor the global situation. Millions of Chinese netizens have signed a petition demanding that the U.S.’s lab in Fort Detrick become subject to international investigation. Fifty-five nations have denounced the politicization of investigations into COVID-19’s origins. China is thus not alone in its rejection of the WHO’s intention to investigate the lab leak theory.

Experts who attended the press briefing made clear that they supported a wide-ranging investigation of COVID-19’s origins that takes more than just a few, politicized hypotheses into account.

Detractors in the U.S. and the West will undoubtedly argue that China is not being transparent in its rejection of a lab leak investigation. But facts are stubborn things. China has been a model of transparency throughout the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Health and government officials in China have worked tirelessly with the WHO and countries around the world in the fight against COVID-19. The U.S. and West, on the other hand, have latched onto a theory of the virus’ origins which relies upon arguably the least transparent institutions in the world: their own intelligence agencies.

Experience is the greatest teacher. The U.S. and West have yet to contain the pandemic and lead the world in global cases and deaths. China is rapidly vaccinating its population and has already provided hundreds of millions of doses to beleaguered countries after bringing COVID-19 under control last year. It should be clear by now that those who have accused China for lacking transparency during this delicate moment are in fact the ones placing the interests of hegemony over the needs of humanity.

International figures support the CPC and PRC throughout history

We are republishing this lovely article from Beijing Review highlighting the life and contributions of Rewi Alley, the New Zealand-born writer, social reformer and educator who spent 60 years of his life working in China.

The life path of many an international figure has crossed with that of the Communist Party of China (CPC) over the past 100 years. As China witnessed tremendous progress and change, their stories, too, have been remembered. Rewi Alley (1897-1987) was one of those international friends, who shared long-term ties with the CPC dating all the way back to the earliest of days when the Party was embracing the struggle to save the nation from peril.

The New Zealand-born writer, social reformer and educator spent 60 years of his life working in China. He arrived in Shanghai on April 21, 1927, and later decided to align himself with China’s working class after witnessing their trials and tribulations. 

During the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-1945), Alley and a handful of his both Chinese and foreign associates, including American journalist Edgar Snow and his wife, initiated and organized the Gung Ho movement, short for the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives movement, in 1938, mobilizing mass production to support the war effort. By 1942, they had set up about 2,000 such cooperatives.

“The movement made important contributions to the Chinese people’s victory against the invaders and the success in China’s new democratic revolution,” Lin Songtian, President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship With Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), a national organization engaged in people-to-people diplomacy, told Beijing Review.

Additionally, from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s, Alley founded the Shandan Bailie Schools in the northwestern county of Shandan in Gansu Province. Through the creation of a work-study program, students would use their brains as well as brawn. The school ended up generating a host of young technical staffs ready to support the country’s economic construction.

“After the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, Alley spared no efforts in supporting China’s development, promoting the people-to-people friendship between China and other countries, and safeguarding world peace,” Lin added.

Alley passed away in Beijing on December 27, 1987.

On July 10, the former residence of Alley in Beijing was reopened after having been renovated in memory of his years in China.

A friendly p(a)lace 

Located in the CPAFFC compound, the house is also known as the Friendship Palace. However, strictly speaking, it did not just belong to Alley as four other expats also took up residence there at one time or another, according to Lin.

Many people must have heard about Chairman Mao Zedong’s assertion that “all reactionaries are paper tigers.” It owes its publicity to an American journalist by the name of Anna Louise Strong, who once lived in the house. During her fifth trip to China in 1946, Strong interviewed Mao in Yan’an, the headquarters of the CPC Central Committee from 1935 to 1948. She then had the chance to listen to this famous thesis and went on to include the term “paper tiger” in her book.

In 1958, Strong, then 73, visited China for the sixth time. This time around, she decided to not return to her old home and instead adopted China as her new haven where she would live out the rest of her days. On March 30, 1970, this American writer with a profound passion for China passed away from illness in the country that she considered her “ideal resting place.”

Other residents included Chilean painter Jose Venturelli, the first well-known Latin American artist to visit China after the founding of the PRC. Venturelli, who died in Beijing in 1988, always expressed a deep concern for those living and working at the grassroots throughout his body of work. Then there was American activist Robert F. Williams, who stood at the forefront in the fight for African American rights, and Japanese politician Kinkazu Saionji, who was active in promoting good relations between Japan and China following his move to Beijing in the late 1950s.

Michael Crook, Chairman of the International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives (ICCIC), established in 1939 based on the Gung Ho movement, attended the ceremony together with his mother, 106-year-old Isabel Crook, who has spent most of her life in China, teaching English and training students.

Aside from those who actually lived here, many more made their choice to come and stay in China and support the cause of peace and justice, including Korean composer Zheng Lucheng, who joined China’s fight against Japanese aggression, according to Michael Crook.

New chapters 

Lebanese-American doctor George Hatem, known as Ma Haide in China, was the first foreigner to join the CPC, in 1937, and the first expat to obtain Chinese citizenship after the founding of the PRC, in 1950. Alley used to live with Hatem in a cave house in Yan’an back in early 1939, according to Zhou Youma, Hatem’s son.

Zhou scattered both Alley’s and his father’s ashes across the places dearest to them in China. “With my own hand, I sent them, two dear friends who forged a friendship through thick and thin, back to the land where they had devoted their lives to the Chinese people,” he said.

Zhou added that he and the descendants of Alley and other international friends of China are also part of the endeavor to realize the great rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. “We will keep putting our best foot forward,” Zhou said.

“Today, under the leadership of the CPC, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China,” Lin said. “I believe our international friends can be satisfied with the CPC’s achievements, and proud of the contributions they themselves have made.”

Michael Crook said if Alley and the other residents who used to live in the house had known they would serve as an inspiration to so many Chinese and foreigners in the pursuit of peace and development, they would have been absolutely thrilled.

In 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the ICCIC to continue its international cultural exchanges and make new contributions to world peace and development in a letter responding to the ICCIC and Beijing Bailie University, one of the Bailie schools.

Beijing Bailie University has managed to uphold the notion of vocational education as championed by its founding and former presidents, and over the course of its history has cultivated a large talent pool for China’s modernization.

The ICCIC, on its part, has played a role in helping to lift people out of absolute poverty, proving an enduring inspiration to all international friends, according to Michael Crook. “We are continuing Alley’s legacy,” he said. “Let’s try and answer Xi’s call for Gung Ho and start writing some new chapters in international friendship.” 

From 30 million cases to zero: China is certified malaria-free by WHO

We are republishing this press release from the World Health Organization (WHO) certifying China as malaria-free. This is an extraordinary achievement and a testament to China’s people-centred public health strategy. We also note that China is working with several other countries to share its experience in support of their anti-malaria efforts.

Following a 70-year effort, China has been awarded a malaria-free certification from WHO – a notable feat for a country that reported 30 million cases of the disease annually in the 1940s.

“Today we congratulate the people of China on ridding the country of malaria,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Their success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal.”

China is the first country in the WHO Western Pacific Region to be awarded a malaria-free certification in more than 3 decades. Other countries in the region that have achieved this status include Australia (1981), Singapore (1982) and Brunei Darussalam (1987).

“Congratulations to China on eliminating malaria,” said Dr Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office. “China’s tireless effort to achieve this important milestone demonstrates how strong political commitment and strengthening national health systems can result in eliminating a disease that once was a major public health problem. China’s achievement takes us one step closer towards the vision of a malaria-free Western Pacific Region.”

Globally, 40 countries and territories have been granted a malaria-free certification from WHO – including, most recently, El Salvador (2021), Algeria (2019), Argentina (2019), Paraguay (2018) and Uzbekistan (2018).

China’s elimination journey

Beginning in the 1950s, health authorities in China worked to locate and stop the spread of malaria by providing preventive antimalarial medicines for people at risk of the disease as well as treatment for those who had fallen ill. The country also made a major effort to reduce mosquito breeding grounds and stepped up the use of insecticide spraying in homes in some areas.

In 1967, the Chinese Government launched the “523 Project” – a nation-wide research programme aimed at finding new treatments for malaria. This effort, involving more than 500 scientists from 60 institutions, led to the discovery in the 1970s of artemisinin – the core compound of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), the most effective antimalarial drugs available today.

“Over many decades, China’s ability to think outside the box served the country well in its own response to malaria, and also had a significant ripple effect globally,” notes Dr Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “The Government and its people were always searching for new and innovative ways to accelerate the pace of progress towards elimination.”

In the 1980s, China was one of the first countries in the world to extensively test the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) for the prevention of malaria, well before nets were recommended by WHO for malaria control. By 1988, more than 2.4 million nets had been distributed nation-wide. The use of such nets led to substantial reductions in malaria incidence in the areas where they were deployed.   

By the end of 1990, the number of malaria cases in China had plummeted to 117 000, and deaths were reduced by 95%. With support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, beginning in 2003, China stepped up training, staffing, laboratory equipment, medicines and mosquito control, an effort that led to a further reduction in cases; within 10 years, the number of cases had fallen to about 5000 annually.

In 2020, after reporting 4 consecutive years of zero indigenous cases, China applied for an official WHO certification of malaria elimination. Members of the independent Malaria Elimination Certification Panel travelled to China in May 2021 to verify the country’s malaria-free status as well as its programme to prevent re-establishment of the disease.

Keys to success

China provides a basic public health service package for its residents free of charge. As part of this package, all people in China have access to affordable services for the diagnosis and treatment of malaria, regardless of legal or financial status.

Effective multi-sector collaboration was also key to success. In 2010, 13 ministries in China – including those representing health, education, finance, research and science, development, public security, the army, police, commerce, industry, information technology, media and tourism – joined forces to end malaria nationwide.

In recent years, the country further reduced its malaria caseload through a strict adherence to the timelines of the “1-3-7” strategy. The “1” signifies the one-day deadline for health facilities to report a malaria diagnosis; by the end of day 3, health authorities are required to confirm a case and determine the risk of spread; and, within 7 days, appropriate measures must be taken to prevent further spread of the disease.

Keeping malaria at bay

The risk of imported cases of malaria remains a key concern, particularly in southern Yunnan Province, which borders 3 malaria-endemic countries: Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam. China also faces the challenge of imported cases among Chinese nationals returning from sub-Saharan Africa and other malaria-endemic regions.

To prevent re-establishment of the disease, the country has stepped up its malaria surveillance in at-risk zones and has engaged actively in regional malaria control initiatives. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, China has maintained trainings for health providers through an online platform and held virtual meetings for the exchange of information on malaria case investigations, among other topics.

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway: A Testament to China-Africa Friendship

We’re pleased to republish this article from Global Times, shining a light on a powerful and inspiring episode in the history of China-Africa solidarity.

It was the beginning of the year 1970. News came that Wang Xingguo was about to work on a railway project in Africa. His wife Zhang Yunhua was very reluctant to let him go: Africa is so far away and their sons are still too little — the elder one is three years old and the younger one is only two. Wang tried to explain: He is a cadre, a CPC member; when duty calls, he must be the first to sign up. In October that year, Wang, together with over 1,000 co-workers, got on board the ocean liner Jianhua in Guangzhou and left for Tanzania.

The Civil Affairs Bureau of Taixing City still keeps a copy of an article written by Wang Xingguo in 1971. He began the article with two quotes from Chairman Mao Zedong. One goes, “I am for the slogan ‘fear neither hardship nor death.'” and the other, “China ought to make a greater contribution to humanity.” For Wang, the first quote reflects his attitude; the second explains why he decides to go to Africa.

In Tanzania, Wang Xingguo took part in the construction of the Irangi Number 2 Tunnel. Undeterred by the risks of flood and possible collapse of the soil structure, he was working with frontline workers on the foundation pit of the tunnel portal when the structure suddenly came down. He was buried underneath right away and died from lethal injury despite the best efforts of doctors. For the cause of world revolution, Wang made the ultimate sacrifice. He was only 35 years old.

Chinese and African Workers Building the Railway Together
Chinese and African Workers Building the Railway Together

The Chambeshi River Bridge was the largest railway bridge in Zambia, spanning a length of 267 meters. The river below was 5.6 meters deep. To survey the riverbed, Li Jinyu and three of his colleagues from the Chinese engineer team, jumped into the river without any diving or underwater lighting equipment but only a rope tied around their waists. Repeated exposure to freezing waters caused Takayasu arteritis and permanent loss of sensation in both of Li’s legs. He had to be amputated and was paralyzed for life. Carpenter Cai Jinlong was diagnosed at a late stage of stomach cancer, and threw up everything he tried to eat. Despite the biting pain, he insisted on working on the scaffold and refused to leave his post. When he was finally sent back to his wife in China, Cai was thinned to the bone.

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