Three US wars threaten World War Three: $95 billion targets Palestine, Iran, Russia and China

The following article by Sara Flounders, originally published in Workers World, discusses the 95 billion dollar “supplemental aid” bill passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on 24 April 2024. Of the $95 billion, $61 billion is allocated to Ukraine, $26 billion to Israel and $8 billion to Taiwan and the Pacific region. Sara writes that the package constitutes “a declaration of war on the world … an ominous and highly publicised military escalation on three fronts.” She continues:

In an era when uncontested US economic, productive and technological hegemony has decisively deteriorated, the only way that US corporate power can assert its dominance is in the military destruction of its rivals. Instigating wars and imposing sanctions are desperate efforts to destroy the emerging poles of development, cooperation and trade in West Asia, Russia and China that are outside of US control.

Sara observes that, as the bill was being signed, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in China – “not to promote diplomacy, but to make threats”. Blinken was demanding that China support the US’s unilateral and illegal sanctions against Russia, while back in Washington funds were being assigned to support Taiwanese separatism and stir up tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

The article concludes:

The bill finances a drive toward World War III on three fronts: the U.S.-Israeli genocidal war aimed at Palestine, the US-NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, and preparation for a US-led war in the Pacific against People’s China and the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea.

The powerful global movement that has taken bold steps to stop Israeli genocide will be stronger as it grows to understand that this whole imperialist system is its enemy.

Anyone who thinks that the U.S. policy of continued arming and fully supporting the Israeli genocide is an accident or a mistake need only look at the $95 billion “supplemental aid” bill just passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden on April 24.

The same group of war criminals in Washington who back genocide in Gaza also support the NATO-provoked proxy war in Ukraine and maneuvers in the Pacific that threaten war against China.

The U.S. “supplemental” military aid package is a declaration of war on the world. It is an ominous and highly publicized military escalation on three fronts.

In an era when uncontested U.S. economic, productive and technological hegemony has decisively deteriorated, the only way that U.S. corporate power can assert its dominance is in the military destruction of its rivals. Instigating wars and imposing sanctions are desperate efforts to destroy the emerging poles of development, cooperation and trade in West Asia, Russia and China that are outside of U.S. control.

U.S. accelerates aid to Israel 

The $26 billion in additional aid to Israel, part of the supplement package, is a public statement of complete support for genocide in Gaza. It confirms U.S. determination to escalate the brutal aggression.

Moreover, it is sending a threat of escalating war to Iran, Lebanon, Yemen and the vast majority of the people of the world who support the Palestinian people’s justified resistance to colonial occupation.

This $26 billion is in addition to Washington’s $4 billion a year allotment to Israel, which has already been committed through 2028, and the over 100 military aid transfers to Israel that are intentionally kept out of the accounting process.

Since World War II, the U.S. has provided more foreign aid to Israel than to any other country. In 2022, 99.7% of those funds went to the Israeli military.

The huge infusion of aid to Israel confirms the decision by U.S. corporate powers to prop up Washington’s primary strategic ally in West Asia. This has been the goal behind the billions of dollars allocated to the apartheid state over decades.

Despite receiving enormous funds and creating massive destruction, Zionist forces have failed to defeat the unified Palestinian Resistance. This is a political blow to Israel and a humiliating setback to U.S. imperialism’s position in the entire region.

For this reason, Israel and some U.S. policy strategists are seeking to widen the war by bombing Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that it “demonstrates strong bipartisan support for Israel and defends Western civilization.” He immediately announced plans to proceed with a major military operation in Rafah.

Funds for humanitarian assistance are supposedly included in the bill. Yet its language stipulates that financial allocations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees are prohibited. UNRWA is a lifeline for nearly two million people in Gaza and for Palestinians in the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Without this U.N. agency’s help, there is no way to provide food aid, teachers or medical care.

Continue reading Three US wars threaten World War Three: $95 billion targets Palestine, Iran, Russia and China

Hands off China! Full solidarity with Palestine!

The following article by Sara Flounders, based on a talk given at our event Peace delegates report back from China: Building solidarity and opposing the New Cold War, calls for a joined-up anti-imperialism, positing that “the best way to oppose the new Cold War with China is to be the most militant opponent of every US war.”

Sara observes that the events of 7 October 2023 “opened a new chapter in the worldwide class war”. US imperialism is backing Israel to the hilt, desperate to protect its interests in the region – part of defending and expanding US global hegemony. “That means Palestine fights for all of us”, and those that oppose the US-led program to encircle and contain China should also stand with the people of Palestine.

Further, we should be standing firmly against the US’s unilateral sanctions, which are being used to undermine and destabilise a total of 40 countries currently.

The US and its allies are also engaged in a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. The over-arching strategy is to “impose regime change on Russia, which would be a key step to their next move — against China.”

The basic dynamic in geopolitics today is the contest between a moribund imperialism and a rising multipolarity. As Sara writes, “China’s very existence as a prosperous, developing country confirms that humanity has another choice. The developing world, the Global South, looks to China — not to U.S. imperialism. That is a threat to imperialism.”

Sara concludes by calling on our movement to unite behind the slogans: “Hands off China! Full solidarity with Palestine!”

This article appeared first in Workers World.

With U.S. wars coming thick and fast, the best way to oppose the new Cold War with China is to be the most militant opponent of every U.S. war.

If Israel succeeds in crushing Palestinian resistance, based on U.S. financial, political and military support, then U.S. imperialism is stronger on a world scale. That means Palestine fights for all of us. Palestine’s resistance has ignited a global resistance.

Before October 7, Israel, after 75 years of U.S. backing, seemed all powerful. Now the Israeli military has been frustrated at every turn by the indomitable spirit of Palestinian resistance. The Israelis face ambushes without end.

There is a sea change in the U.S. working class. For the first time, a majority of the population supports Palestine. There is sharp opposition to U.S. policy, shown by mass marches, shutdowns, walkouts. Let’s build on this global outrage over the U.S. role as the “enabler” of this genocide!

Global support for Palestine

On a world scale, people side with Palestine, whose resistance is our resistance. The liberation of Palestine is an important step in the liberation of humanity.

October 7 opened a new chapter in the worldwide class war. The Israeli regime’s genocidal crimes against the people of Gaza demand our international solidarity.

Faced with an unwinnable quagmire, the U.S. and Israel have expanded this war. Just this week, they bombed Muslims in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Three days ago, they blew up two main natural gas pipelines in Iran, leaving millions of Iranians without heat and cooking fuel in winter. This is the way the U.S. and Israel fight wars — they target essential civilian infrastructure.

The U.S. and NATO countries cut off all food, medical care and schools to all Palestinians — even in Jordan and Lebanon, and on the West Bank, by cutting off funding to UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East].

I raise all of this, because the U.S. media and politicians claim they want to protect Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. The sheer hypocrisy of this claim is blatant. Yet it is the basis of the sanctions! This false charge is a big weapon in the war on China and in lining up and demanding compliance of all U.S. allies against China.

Thousands of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche cars are impounded on ships at U.S. ports, just because they include a small Chinese electronic part. These German auto corporations are told they must pay U.S. fines, remove the offending part and agree to U.S. charges against China regarding Xinjiang.

Bales of clothing made in Vietnam and Malaysia go through isotopic testing at U.S. Customs. If even a thread of cotton comes from Xinjiang, the clothing is destroyed. This is because the U.S. authorities allege there is slave labor in Xinjiang — even though Xinjiang’s cotton industry is fully mechanized.

Anti-war activists need to militantly oppose the wanton use of economic sanctions, which are used against not only China but a total of 40 countries, inhabited by one-third of the world’s population. Applying sanctions is a powerful weapon of economic destabilization.

However, this is a double-edged sword. Enforcement of these sanctions now widens U.S. isolation. They intensify trade wars with Washington’s imperialist “partners” — or are they better called imperialist rivals?

Much to the frustration of U.S. imperialism, sanctioned countries are finding new roads to cooperation and trade.

Continue reading Hands off China! Full solidarity with Palestine!

China’s position paper calls for comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza

On Thursday 30 November, China released a position paper on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The paper reiterates China’s longstanding position of support for the national rights of the Palestinian people, and sets out realistic proposals for a peaceful and durable solution to the crisis in Gaza and its underlying factors.

In sharp contrast to the statements made by the Western powers, which have largely given a carte blanche to Israel in its brutal assault on Gaza, China’s position paper calls for a comprehensive and immediate ceasefire, and for an end to the forced transfer of Palestinians – which by any reasonable definition must be considered as ethnic cleansing.

The position paper states that there will be no lasting peace without the “restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

It is worth noting that China is a longstanding friend of the Palestinian people and supporter of Palestinian national rights. In a letter to Ahmad al-Shukeiri, president of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), dated 6 June 1967, Premier Zhou Enlai wrote: “The Chinese people will forever remain comrades-in-arms of the Palestinian people and the people of the Arab countries in the struggle against imperialism.”

This was four years before the People’s Republic of China’s rightful seat at the United Nations was restored. Since taking up its position in the UN General Assembly and Security Council, China has been a loud and consistent voice on the international stage in favour of justice for the Palestinian people.

China sent its first aid to the Palestinian people in 1960, and when the PLO was founded in 1964, China became the first non-Arab country to recognise it. It was also one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine – on 20 November 1988. Indeed Yasser Arafat – historic leader of the Palestinian resistance and Chairman of the PLO from 1969 to 2004 – stated in 1970 that “China is the biggest influence in supporting our revolution and strengthening its perseverance.”

In May 2013, just two months after his election as president, Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal for the settlement of the Palestinian question, highlighting his personal commitment to the cause. This proposal was pragmatic and realistic, and centred around the demand for an independent, viable Palestinian state enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. Xi reiterated this demand in a new three-point proposal for settlement of the Palestinian question, put forward during discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Beijing in June this year.

In response to the current crisis raging in Gaza, Xi has commented that “the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored.” China’s often-repeated demand – for a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with the right of return for Palestinian refugees – reflects the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, and is consistent with the position of the PLO and the Arab League, and furthermore with UN General Assembly Resolution 3236, adopted in 1974, which affirms the Palestinians’ right to national independence and sovereignty.

With Israel committing war crimes on a vast scale in Gaza – targeting hospitals, schools, residential buildings, refugee camps and mosques, and killing civilians in their thousands – China has persistently called for a ceasefire, a position supported by the vast majority of the world’s countries, although unfortunately not the US and Britain.

Addressing an extraordinary joint meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries last week, President Xi called for the convening of an international peace conference to build international consensus and to create a path towards Palestinian statehood. He stated: “The only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.”

With its facilitation of a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, China has shown that it has a valuable role to play in helping to resolve conflicts in the Middle East region. This is why, earlier this month, a delegation of foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries seeking to find a solution to the Gaza crisis chose China as the first destination of their ministerial tour.

It is increasingly clear to the peoples of the world that while the imperialist powers cling on to their old habits of war, aggression, unilateralism and coercion, China is working determinedly and resolutely for peace, development, multipolarity and common prosperity.

The full text of the position paper is republished below, along with a report from the Chinese Foreign Ministry of President Xi Jinping’s message of congratulations to the 30 November UN meeting marking the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People.

Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

The current Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused heavy civilian casualties and a serious humanitarian disaster. It is a grave concern of the international community. President Xi Jinping stated China’s principled position on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation on a number of occasions. He stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and ending the fighting, ensuring that the humanitarian corridors are safe and unimpeded, and preventing the expansion of the conflict. He pointed out that the fundamental way out of this lies in the two-state solution, building international consensus for peace, and working toward a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question at an early date.

Pursuant to the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and should thus play an active and constructive role on the question of Palestine. In this connection, China offers the following proposals:

Continue reading China’s position paper calls for comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza

The US has its own BRI: the Bomb and Ruin Initiative

The following article by Carlos Martinez, originally published in Global Times, compares the records of China and the US in terms of their engagement with the Global South. Specifically, Carlos summarises the impact of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) over the course of its first decade, and contrasts this with the effect of the US’s equivalent projects.

While several US-led global infrastructure projects have been announced (such as the Build Back Better World and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor), none of these have made any meaningful progress as yet. However, “if we look at the actual history and reality of US foreign policy, it becomes clear that the US does actually have its own BRI: the Bomb and Ruin Initiative.”

From Iraq to Palestine to Venezuela to Syria to Ukraine to Zimbabwe and beyond, the US uses war, proxy war, destabilisation, sanctions and coercion, “spreading death and destruction in pursuit of its own selfish economic and political interests,” while China cooperates with the countries of the world on the basis of respect, equality and common interest in pursuit of a global community of shared future.

The article is based on a speech given at a webinar themed Third Belt and Road Forum: Together for Common Development and Shared Prosperity, organised by the Pakistan-based Friends of the Belt and Road Forum, the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies and the Centre for BRI and China Studies, which took place on Tuesday 7 November.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted a great deal of attention recently, particularly with the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation having taken place in Beijing last month.

Since it was announced a decade ago, the BRI has already become the world’s largest platform for international cooperation, with more than 150 countries and 30 international organizations participating across five continents. A trillion dollars have been spent or committed on projects that are increasingly transforming the development prospects for dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and the Pacific. 

A number of these projects have already been delivered. The Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, for example, is the largest infrastructure project carried out in Kenya since its independence. The China-Laos Railway, completed in 2021, has turned Laos from a land-locked country into a land-linked country, thereby stimulating trade, employment, economic opportunities and living standards. The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway – the first high-speed rail system in Indonesia – has reduced the journey time from 3.5 hours to 45 minutes.

The BRI is becoming green. The prominent Norwegian environmentalist Erik Solheim, former minister of the environment, stated at a webinar hosted by Friends of Socialist China on November 4 that the BRI has become the most important global project in terms of green, sustainable development. 

Does the US – the world’s largest economy in nominal GDP terms – have an equivalent to the China-proposed BRI? A few such projects have been announced, to much fanfare. The Build Back Better World (B3W) was unveiled in 2021. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) was announced in September this year. But these initiatives are yet to experience any manifestation in reality – and it’s tempting to wonder if they ever will.

But if we look at the actual history and reality of US foreign policy, it becomes clear that the US does actually have its own BRI: the Bomb and Ruin Initiative.

The Bomb and Ruin Initiative started in earnest in 1950 with the launch of the Korean War, in which an estimated four million people were killed. The initiative continued with the Vietnam War, the brutal 1965 coup in Indonesia, the coups and proxy wars in Guatemala, Angola, Brazil, Chile, Mozambique, Argentina, Nicaragua, Grenada, just to name a few.

The flagship Bomb and Ruin Initiative project this century so far has been the illegal war on Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed. The country was flattened and its development set back by decades. 

China has taken a significantly different approach with respect to Iraq. Indeed Iraq is one of the major recipients of infrastructure investment under the BRI, with a vast array of bridges, roads and railways being constructed, alongside energy and telecommunications infrastructure. China is committed to building some 7,000 schools in Iraq. 

Iraq of course is best known for its abundance of oil – certainly that has been a central motivating factor for a century of British and American interference – but these days China is leading the investment in Iraq’s growing solar energy industry. The world can look forward to the day when Iraq is an advanced, prosperous country, and a green energy superpower.

In Iraq, the contrast between the BRI and the Bomb and Ruin Initiative is quite stark. So much so that there’s a popular saying: “America bombs, China builds.”

This contrast is emblematic of the US’ and China’s role in the world in general.

The US has brought misery and destruction to Afghanistan, that long-suffering country, with a 20-year war and occupation, and now cruel sanctions put in place to prevent the country from getting back on its feet.

The US and its allies bombed Libya into the Stone Age, turning it from a relatively prosperous country – with the highest Human Development Index in Africa – into a failed state.

The US has been a key player in fomenting and perpetuating the devastating war in Syria, supporting the emergence of terrorist groups in a strategy of regime change, and then using the presence of those same groups as a justification for its own uninvited and unwanted military presence in the country.

About two weeks ago, the US responded to attacks on its illegal Syrian facilities not by dismantling the facilities but by carrying out air strikes against Syrian government sites. 

It’s no secret that the US is the driving force behind the war in Ukraine. The essential character of this conflict is a proxy war to weaken Russia.

With the sponsorship and total support of the US, Israel is showing no regard at all for the people of Gaza. Already more than 10,000 people have been killed. The UN has called it a “children’s graveyard.” The people of the world want a ceasefire; China, Russia, Brazil and many others have called for a ceasefire. But the US – along with its most dependable ally, Britain – is standing in the way.

The US gets criticized for not building enough infrastructure. However, the US is building plenty of infrastructure of war and aggression: 800 overseas military bases; the stationing of nuclear-enabled missiles and warplanes in Japan, Guam and South Korea, along with tens of thousands of US troops; the placement of the THAAD so-called missile defence system in Guam and South Korea; the AUKUS trilateral nuclear pact between the US, UK and Australia. When it comes to the project of containing and encircling China, the US has no problem with building infrastructure.

The stark difference between China’s BRI and the US’ BRI is clear for all to see.

The US is pursuing a hegemonic, imperialist project; a Project for a New American Century. It is spreading death and destruction in pursuit of its own selfish economic and political interests. 

Meanwhile, China is pursuing what it calls a global community of shared future – described by President Xi Jinping as “an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, charting a bright future for human development.”

This is an inspiring, democratic and inclusive vision that is rapidly gaining broad support around the globe.

Rejecting call for ceasefire means killing more civilians

The following article from China Daily, written by EU bureau chief Chen Weihua, expresses outrage at those countries refusing to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Noting the horrific number of deaths from Israel’s bombing campaign, including thousands of children, the author writes: “Leaders who have refused to call for immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip have become an accomplice to war crimes.”

The US in particular “has been an enabler of the humanitarian crisis”, vetoing UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire, and voting against Jordan’s motion at the UN General Assembly – which 120 countries voted in favour of, with only 12 countries voting against.

Chen Weihua notes British PM Rishi Sunak’s continuing opposition to a ceasefire, and points out that Sunak is clearly out of step with the British public – “as demonstrated by the half a million people pouring into the streets in London in support of Palestine and calling for a ceasefire.”

The author draws the obvious conclusion:

History will prove that those who refused to call for immediate ceasefire have blood on their hands.

Leaders who have refused to call for immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip have become an accomplice to war crimes as a total of 8,805 people, including 3,650 children and 2,252 women, have been killed in Israel’s bombardments over the past three weeks. The numbers are rising rapidly.

The situation has become so dire that UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, said on Tuesday that “Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children. It’s a living hell for everyone else”.Almost half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population are children.

Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees, told the UN Security Council on Monday that the entire population of Gaza is becoming “dehumanized”. He decried Israel’s “collective punishment” and said that a cease-fire has become a matter of life and death for the 2.3 million people.

The reckless, brutal bombing in densely populated areas has been truly appalling. On Tuesday, Israel claimed that it eliminated a Hamas official during its air strike in Jabalia refugee camp. No one knows whether the Hamas official was actually killed, but for sure dozens of innocent people, including children, were reportedly killed in the raid.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday denounced Israel’s bombing around the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the main cancer facility in Gaza where services are no longer functional after Israel severed electricity supply (along water, food and medicine supplies) to Gaza, and restricted the entry of medicine and other supplies. In some hospitals in Gaza, doctors had to operate patients in the hallways, without anesthesia.

Despite the tragedy playing out in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed global calls for a ceasefire or temporarily halt the fighting to enable emergency aid deliveries of food, medicine, drinking water and fuel. This is despite the warning by International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor Karim Khan that blocking humanitarian aid could be a war crime.

The US administration has been an enabler of the humanitarian crisis. The Huff-Post reported on Oct 13 that US State Department officials instructed staff to make sure press materials do not include three specific phrases: “de-escalation/cease-fire”, “end to violence/bloodshed “and “restoring calm”.

The US is one of the 14 countries which last Friday voted against Jordan’s motion at the UN General Assembly, calling for a sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities. An overwhelming 120 countries, including China, voted for the motion in a powerful message by the international community.

Washington has fully endorsed Israel’s military operations in Gaza. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was speaking at a Senate hearing for $14.3 billion in military assistance to Israel when he was disrupted by angry protesters, not once but multiple times with their palms painted “bloody” red and repeatedly yelling “cease-fire now” and “you have blood on your hands”.

The US insists that a “cease-fire will only benefit Hamas”. But for the rest of the world, a cease-fire will help save countless, innocent lives in Gaza.

The White House’s indifference to the suffering of Palestinian people is shocking. US President Joe Biden challenged the accuracy of the death toll in Gaza instead of condemning the slaughtering of civilians, prompting the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza to publish the full list of names with ID numbers of the more than 6,000 people killed.

Calling for a cease-fire has also become politically incorrect in parts of Europe. Paul Bristow, a Conservative MP, was fired on Monday from his government job at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology after urging British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call for a “permanent cease-fire” in Gaza.

But like US leaders, Sunak was also alone as demonstrated by the half a million people pouring into the streets in London on Saturday in support of Palestine and calling for a cease-fire.

History will prove that those who refused to call for immediate cease-fire have blood on their hands.

Zhang Jun: Without a comprehensive ceasefire, humanitarian assistance will only be a drop in the ocean

After four attempts to pass a resolution in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the conflict in Gaza had already failed, due to the imperialist powers, led by the United States, aiding and abetting Israeli genocide, China, joined by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), currently a non-permanent member, called for an emergency UNSC meeting on October 30.

In his remarks to the meeting, Ambassador Zhang Jun noted that on Friday October 27, an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had, by an overwhelming majority, adopted a resolution calling for an immediate and durable humanitarian truce leading to the cessation of hostilities.

“Regrettably and unacceptably however, Israel, turning a deaf ear to the common concerns of the international community, has chosen to further escalate its military operations in Gaza and formally declared the launch of a ground assault.”

Noting the warning made by UN Secretary-General Guterres that the people of Gaza are facing an “avalanche of human suffering”, the Chinese Ambassador went on:

“Having one of the highest population density in the world, Gaza is a land that has been under siege for 16 years. The 2.3 million innocent people are living in utter fear amidst the indiscriminate bombardment and have been cut off from water, electricity, food, and fuel for 21 days. Just this past weekend, they experienced a communication blackout that lasted for nearly 36 hours. If left unchecked, the situation will spiral further out of control and an even greater humanitarian catastrophe will be inevitable.”

After expressing, “our deep sympathy to the people in Gaza who are struggling on the brink of life and death,” Zhang Jun said:

“China solemnly calls on Israel as the occupying power to fulfil its obligations under international humanitarian law, lift its full siege on Gaza, immediately rescind its emergency evacuation order, and expeditiously restore the supply of basic necessities so as to prevent an even larger humanitarian disaster.”

And clearly addressing himself to the United States, he added:

“China solemnly calls on a certain major country with special influence on the parties concerned to put aside its self-interests and geopolitical considerations and make every effort to stop the war and restore peace.”

He warned of the real dangers of escalation: “There will be no firewall in Gaza… The situation in the West Bank and along the Lebanese-Israeli border has already sounded the alarm.”

Although humanitarian assistance is vital: “Without a comprehensive ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, no matter how much there is, will only be a drop in the ocean. What the people in Gaza need now is more than just the reiteration by the Council of the importance of international humanitarian law and unfulfilled promises of protection. What they need is concrete actions to restore peace, uphold the rule of law, and save lives.”

In solemn words that match the gravity of the situation, and which all countries would do well to heed, Ambassador Zhang Jun concluded:

“At this juncture. silence means acquiescence, and inaction is tantamount to a green light. The eyes of the world are upon us, and history will record our choice.”

The next day, October 31, at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s regular press conference, in response to a question from Chinese television, Spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated:

“For too long, Palestinian territories have been under illegal occupation. For too long, the Palestinian people’s right to independent statehood has been overlooked. And for too long, their basic rights have received no fundamental guarantee. This is the root cause of the cycle of conflict between Palestine and Israel. Such historical injustice must not continue.”

The following article was originally published on the website of the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations.

Mr. President.

First of all, I would like to thank Brazil for organizing today’s meeting upon the request of the UAE and China. I thank Executive Director Catherine Russell, Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, and Ms. Lisa Doughten for the briefings. Their briefings underscored once again the gravity of the situation in Gaza and the urgency for the Council to act.

Last Friday, the 10th emergency special session of the General Assembly adopted by an overwhelming majority a resolution calling for an immediate and durable humanitarian truce leading to the cessation of hostilities. This reflected the widespread call on the part of the international community. Regrettably and unacceptably however, Israel, turning a deaf ear to the common concerns of the international community, has chosen to further escalate its military operations in Gaza and formally declared the launch of a ground assault.

Secretary-General Guterres has warned that the population in Gaza is facing an “avalanche of human suffering”. Having one of the highest population density in the world, Gaza is a land that has been under siege for 16 years. The 2.3 million innocent people are living in utter fear amidst the indiscriminate bombardment and have been cut off from water, electricity, food, and fuel for 21 days. Just this past weekend, they experienced a communication blackout that lasted for nearly 36 hours. If left unchecked, the situation will spiral further out of control and an even greater humanitarian catastrophe will be inevitable.

We express our deep sympathy to the people in Gaza who are struggling on the brink of life and death. And we are also deeply worried about the Middle East peace process which is on the brink of collapse.

China solemnly calls on the parties to the conflict to cease all hostilities, disengage immediately, put in place a humanitarian truce, and make every effort to prevent the situation from escalating further.

China solemnly calls on Israel as the occupying power to fulfill its obligations under international humanitarian law, lift its full siege on Gaza, immediately rescind its emergency evacuation order, and expeditiously restore the supply of basic necessities so as to prevent an even larger humanitarian disaster.

China solemnly calls for greater diplomatic efforts to facilitate the release of hostages without delay and to work on this basis to open up space for dialogue, so as to return to the track of a political settlement.

China solemnly calls on a certain major country with special influence on the parties concerned to put aside its self interests and geopolitical considerations and make every effort to stop the war and restore peace.

Mr. President,

The decades-long history of the Palestinian-Israeli issue has taught us that military means is not the solution. Absolute security cannot be achieved by imposing collective punishment on civilians, and violence for violence will only exacerbate hatred and confrontation. We call on the parties to the conflict to abandon their blind faith in the use of force and to commit themselves to breaking the cycle of violence and achieving common security.

There will be no firewall in Gaza. It is a dangerous myth to think that a contained war is possible there. Allowing the fighting in Gaza to continue could very well turn it into a military catastrophe that will engulf the entire region. The situation in the West Bank and along the Lebanese-Israeli border has already sounded the alarm. We call on all parties who are concerned about the spillover of the conflict to devote their efforts towards promoting a ceasefire in Gaza.

As long as the war rages on, more violations of international humanitarian law are bound to happen. Without a comprehensive ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, no matter how much there is, will only be a drop in the ocean. What the people in Gaza need now is more than just the reiteration by the Council of the importance of international humanitarian law and unfulfilled promises of protection. What they need is concrete actions to restore peace, uphold the rule of law, and save lives.

The Council has so far held several meetings on the Palestinian-Israeli Situation. It cannot be said that there was no consensus at all. The resolution just adopted by the General Assembly has also pointed the Council in the right direction. In the face of the current critical situation, China once again solemnly calls on the Council to strengthen unity, build consensus, and take responsible and meaningful actions as soon as possible. We believe that so long as we focus on the most pressing issues such as a ceasefire and an end to the fighting, the protection of civilians, and the prevention of a larger humanitarian disaster, it is possible for members of this Council to reach consensus, and indeed this is what we should do. At this juncture. silence means acquiescence, and inaction is tantamount to a green light. The eyes of the world are upon us, and history will record our choice.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Stop the War Coalition condemns war preparations against China

Britain’s Stop the War Coalition held its Annual General Meeting in London on September 16.

In a significant development, a resolution proposed by Manchester Stop the War, opposing the preparation for war against China, was passed unanimously. It notes that the US Biden administration, “is overseeing a massive military buildup in the Pacific amidst constant talk of war with China”, and continues:

“Just as Ukraine served as a proxy to aggravate Russia, the US is stoking Taiwan with arms and military trainers, creating uncertainty around the One China policy agreed with China and supported internationally.”

The resolution further notes the attempts being made to extend NATO’s reach into Asia and criticises Britain’s participation in the AUKUS pact alongside the Australia and the United States, as well as its increased military collaboration with Japan.

Key speakers at the meeting included Stop the War leaders Lindsey German and Andrew Murray, Irish Member of the European Parliament Clare Daly, independent Member of Parliament for Leicester East Claudia Webbe, and President of the RMT rail and transport union Alex Gordon. Videos of their speeches can be viewed here. A message of solidarity was also read from former Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.

We reprint the full text of the resolution below. The full texts of all the resolutions passed can be read here along with the news report carried in the Morning Star.

Opposing the preparation for war against China

  1. This Conference notes that:
  • Biden’s administration is overseeing a massive military buildup in the Pacific amidst constant talk of war with China – now the main ‘strategic competitor’ – predictions ranging from 2 to 10 years;
  • Just as Ukraine served as a proxy to aggravate Russia, the US is stoking Taiwan with arms and military trainers, creating uncertainty around the One China policy agreed with China and supported internationally, in order to provoke aggression;
  • Increasing military activity in disputed waters in the South and East China Seas and around Taiwan runs a high risk of accidental collision escalating rapidly into a catastrophic war;
  • Increasing tensions jeopardise international cooperation essential to address the mounting climate catastrophe;
  1. We also note that:
  • With the claim ’Euro-Atlantic and IndoPacific security are linked’, the US is building an Atlantic-Pacific Global NATO-style partnership, drawing NATO into Asia, with Britain the most active accomplice;
  • Through AUKUS and a military forces exchange with Japan, Britain is not only stoking a Pacific arms race but also runs the risk of a direct clash with China;
  • Rishi Sunak has identified China as ‘the biggest challenge to the world’;
  • Spending on preparations for war with China is pushing up Britain’s military budget significantly.
  1. This Conference believes that a war between the US and China must be stopped before it starts.
  • We say no to war preparations and provocations;
  • We support the peaceful dialogue across the Taiwan Strait as well as between the countries bordering the South China Sea to resolve differences;
  • We oppose outside interference since this can only complicate dialogue, with failure likely leading into conflict;
  • We call for British withdrawal from AUKUS and from military commitments in the IndoPacific; the government should refrain from any moves that may contribute to destabilising the situation regarding Taiwan;
  • We support activists in the Pacific region opposing militarisation and the arms race, and calling for de-escalation of tensions.
  1. This Conference resolves to step up campaigning to oppose Britain’s part in the war preparations by

(i) developing understanding of the issues and dangers through discussion among our membership supported by educational materials;

(ii) raising public awareness of the dangers of Pacific militarisation and Britain’s part in this;

(iii) including in our campaigning to reverse the TUC’s decision on increasing military spending, factual material on the costs of Britain’s ‘IndoPacific tilt’.

China and DPRK mark 70th anniversary of historic victory over US imperialism

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) organized a number of grand celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the armistice agreement, on July 27 1953, that ended just over three years of bitter fighting in the Korean War. Known as the Fatherland Liberation War in the DPRK and as the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea in China, July 27 is considered in both countries as a triumphant day when the two fledgling socialist states scored a historic victory over US imperialism and its satellite forces. 

A high-level Chinese party and government delegation, led by Li Hongzhong, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), attended the celebrations at the invitation of the Korean side, between July 26-30.

The only other foreign delegation to participate was led by Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation. The former Soviet Union provided crucial assistance to the Korean and Chinese peoples during the war, most notably through the deployment on active service in Korean skies of its air force fighter pilots.

These were the first foreign delegations to visit the DPRK since the country closed its borders as a preventive measure against the spread of the Covid-19 virus at the start of the pandemic.

Top leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un gave a reception for the Chinese delegation on July 28.

Repeatedly expressing gratitude to the respected Comrade Xi Jinping for having dispatched a party and government delegation to the significant celebrations of the victory common to the DPRK and China and sending his personal letter with best wishes, he extended heartfelt thanks to the Communist Party of China, the PRC government and all the Chinese people that helped the DPRK’s revolutionary war at the cost of their blood and have invariably supported the just cause of the WPK [Workers’ Party of Korea] and the people of the DPRK.

He said that the Korean people would always remember and praise the militant feats and historic contribution of the service personnel of the Chinese People’s Volunteers who provided the excellent tradition of winning victory in the staunch anti-imperialist revolutionary spirit and with the revolutionary unity while heroically fighting in the same trench with the Korean army in the most difficult period of the DPRK.

Being very rejoiced over the fact that the Chinese party and government have made world-startling achievements in the new course of comprehensively building a modern socialist country with Chinese characteristics and the international position of the PRC is growing higher with each passing day, he expressed conviction that the fraternal Chinese party and people would surely realize the Chinese nation’s dream of great prosperity under the wise leadership of Xi Jinping.

Earlier, Comrade Kim Jong Un had met the Chinese delegation just prior to a concert held in the early hours of July 27. 

There, Li Hongzhong handed Kim Jong Un the personal letter from Xi Jinping, in which the Chinese leader pointed out that 70 years ago, the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV), together with the people and army of the DPRK, achieved a great victory in resisting US aggression and aiding Korea, and forged a great friendship bound by blood. No matter how the international situation may change, it is always the unswerving policy of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop China-DPRK relations, Xi Jinping wrote.

Expressing his thanks, Kim Jong Un told Li Hongzhong that the significance of July 27, the war victory day common to the Korean and Chinese peoples, was further highlighted as they were present together to celebrate it. Noting that Xi Jinping dispatched a party and government delegation to the DPRK in the current crucial period, he said that it showed the general secretary’s will to attach great importance to the DPRK-China friendship.

Saying the Korean people will never forget the fact that the brave soldiers of the Chinese People’s Volunteers shed blood to bring about the war victory and their noble spirit and soul, though many years have passed and that generation has been replaced with a new one, he affirmed that the WPK and the DPRK government will as ever strive to further strengthen the friendship and solidarity with the fraternal Chinese people and always advance hand in hand with the Chinese people in the struggle for socialism.

Previously, on the day of their arrival, the Central Committee of the WPK and the government of the DPRK had invited the Chinese delegation to a welcome reception at which Kim Song Nam, head of the WPK’s international department, made a speech.

Referring to the fact that the CPV made a historic contribution to bringing about the war victory, an unprecedented event in history, through militant unity and comradely cooperation, he said that the Korean people would never forget the heroic feats and merits of the brave soldiers who recorded a brilliant page in the history of the great victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and the history of DPRK-China friendship.

The Korean people are rejoiced over the achievements made by the Chinese people in building a modern socialist state with Chinese characteristics in the new era, he said, expressing conviction that the Chinese nation’s dream of great prosperity will surely come true, thanks to the steadfast leadership of the Communist Party of China with General Secretary Xi Jinping as its core and the devoted efforts of the Chinese people rallied around the Party.

Replying, Li Hongzhong said that China is very rejoiced over the fact that the socialist cause of the DPRK has steadily gained momentum with each passing day through thorough implementation of the resolutions made at the 8th Congress of the WPK and the plenary meetings of the Party Central Committee. He hoped that the Korean people would continue to achieve fresh successes by promoting the cause of socialism under the leadership of the WPK headed by General Secretary Kim Jong Un.

During their stay, the Chinese delegation also attended the huge military parade held in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, met with other senior leaders of the DPRK party and state, and visited the birthplace of the DPRK’s founding leader Kim Il Sung, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Martyrs Cemetery of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, which includes the grave of Comrade Mao Zedong’s son, Mao Anying, and the Friendship Tower, which honors the fallen Chinese internationalist fighters.

In the days leading up to the anniversary, Kim Jong Un also visited the Chinese People’s Volunteers cemetery. The DPRK leader said that the noble soul and spirit of sons and daughters of the Chinese people who supported the Korean people in the sacred anti-imperialist, anti-US struggle with their heroic sacrifice, and made an important contribution to the war victory, are obviously recorded in history as a foundation and model of the DPRK-China friendship to be immortal along with the socialist ideal.

Noting that the hard-fought Fatherland Liberation War was a war of justice to defend their dignity, honor and sovereignty as well as the world peace and security and an acute political and military confrontation with the imperialist dominationist forces which was staged on behalf of the peace-loving forces and progressive humanity, he stressed that the great victory won by the peoples of the DPRK and China at the cost of their blood is invariably displaying its great vitality still now, century after century.

Also, at the end of June a remodeling of the interior of the Friendship Tower was unveiled. Speaking at the ceremony, the DPRK’s Minister of Urban Management, Im Kyong Jae, said that the  militant unity and comradely cooperation between the DPRK and Chinese peoples, displayed in the joint struggle against the US-led imperialist allied forces, set a living example of internationalism, and the historic contributions made by the officers and men of the Chinese People’s Volunteers, who rendered assistance to the just cause of the Korean people at the cost of their lives will always remain in the hearts of the peoples of the two countries. He noted that Kim Jong Un personally initiated the work for remodeling the interior of the Friendship Tower on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the war victory and gave detailed instructions on its layout, new art pieces and exhibits and guided the work for successfully completing the project.

Chinese Ambassador Wang Yajun expressed sincere thanks on behalf of the Chinese party and government to the Korean party and government and people over the fact that the interior of the Friendship Tower was excellently remodeled under the personal attention and guidance of General Secretary Kim Jong Un.

The Chinese party and government will remain unchanged in their firm stand to successfully defend, consolidate and develop the China-DPRK relations no matter how the international and regional situations may change, the ambassador said, adding that the Chinese side is willing to thoroughly adhere to the common understanding reached by the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries and thus provide the peoples of China and the DPRK with better happiness and make new and bigger contributions to the regional and global peace, stability and prosperity, together with the DPRK side.

In an article carried on China Daily, Liu Qiang, a prominent Chinese academic, wrote that fighting aggression and assisting the DPRK had been the right decision. He noted:”Some people have questioned China’s decision to aid the DPRK and resist US aggression, and have questioned whether the cost in lives was worth it. It is not difficult to answer these questions if we consider the situation at that time.

“Although it was at the request of the DPRK that China’s leadership decided to send the Chinese People’s Volunteers force to the peninsula, China also had to safeguard its own national security… As the US bombed border cities and towns on the border between China and the DPRK, it posed a threat to China’s national security, with some in the US calling for the war to be extended into China.

“Since the expansion of the war into China would have had severe consequences for the newly founded People’s Republic, Chairman Mao Zedong announced that China needed to restore peace on the Korean peninsula.”

He added: “Some people think the hostilities ended in a stalemate because after the signing of an armistice, the two sides returned to their respective pre-war positions separated by the 38th Parallel. But the fact that the ill-equipped Chinese People’s Volunteers force, who made huge sacrifice during the war, did not retreat in face of the US-led forces, which had the most advanced weapons and equipment, shows that the Chinese side was the victor in the war.”

Pointing out that, by fighting the war, China minimized the risk of a direct military attack on China at the height of the Cold War, Liu Qiang concluded:

“Some countries led by the US are hyping up the ‘China threat’ theory nowadays as part of their strategy to contain China. China is not a threat to any country, it pursues a defensive defense policy. However, should its sovereignty, national security and development interests be threatened, the spirit of the Chinese People’s Volunteers force will inspire the people to firmly defend the motherland.”

A similar tone was struck in an editorial carried by the Chinese newspaper Global Times, which noted that, prior to the 70th anniversary, “a US nuclear ballistic missile submarine visited Busan, South Korea, the first visit by a US submarine since 1981. Some US congressmen have openly claimed that this move is not only a warning to North Korea but also a deterrent against China.”

The paper observed that: “The Korean War is one of the most profound regional conflicts following World War II, and it is regarded as the ‘biggest defeat in the history of the US Army.'”

However, “some American political elites have drawn completely wrong lessons from the Korean War, using them to misguide the US’ foreign policy today, leading the country to proactively incite and provoke crises, and even wars.”

In this regard, the paper critiqued an article entitled ‘Why America forgets – and China remembers – the Korean War’, written by Mike Gallagher, Chairman of the recently established neo-McCarthyite “House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party”, and carried in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, the house journal of the US foreign policy establishment.

Global Times writes: “His arrogance and madness are comparable to that of Douglas MacArthur.” (MacArthur was the US commander in Korea, who even the US administration felt constrained to dismiss following his advocacy of the mass use of nuclear weapons not only in Korea, but also against the major cities of both China and the Soviet Union.)

Global Times issued a serious warning to the United States, writing:

“The US should never underestimate China’s determination and ability to defend its homeland. Disregarding these… lessons happens to be the prominent characteristic of current American hegemonism. The Korean War inflicted a painful price on the US, but if the US fails to learn from it, it will make even greater mistakes in the future.”

Before China decided to resist the US aggression and aid North Korea during the Korean War, it had repeatedly sent stern warnings that if US forces crossed the 38th parallel China would not sit idle. However, the US did not take it seriously, thinking that China was only making empty threats and would not take action. As a result, they were caught off guard when they encountered the Chinese People’s Volunteers Army on the battlefield. Today, a similar major misjudgment toward China is occurring in Washington. The biggest difference between now and the Korean War era is that China’s strength has greatly increased. The consequences of infringing upon China’s security interests and national sovereignty will undoubtedly be much more severe… it must be clear that if there is another strategic misjudgment this time, the price it will pay will surely be much higher than 70 years ago.”

The following articles were originally carried on the websites of the Xinhua News Agency, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), China Daily and Global Times.

Continue reading China and DPRK mark 70th anniversary of historic victory over US imperialism

Book review: IF Stone – The Hidden History of the Korean War

Written to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, this book review by Carlos Martinez of IF Stone’s recently re-issued The Hidden History of the Korean War seeks to identify the lessons to be learnt from the so-called “forgotten war”, and to draw out parallels between the original Cold War in the Pacific and the New Cold War in the Pacific.

A shorter version of this review was published in the Morning Star.

The 27th of July 2023 marks 70 years since the signing of the armistice agreement at Panmunjom, finally bringing about a cessation of hostilities in a war that was extraordinarily destructive but which has been largely ignored.

As Bruce Cumings writes in his preface to I.F. Stone’s classic The Hidden History of the Korean War – first published in 1952 and recently reissued by Monthly Review Press – the Korean War is a forgotten war, “remembered mainly as an odd conflict sandwiched between the good war (World War 2) and the bad war (Vietnam).”

For those seeking to build a peaceful and prosperous future for humanity, the lessons of the Korean War must not be forgotten. Indeed re-reading The Hidden History it becomes clear that there are several crucial parallels with today’s world.

Stone’s meticulous investigation provides abundant proof that most of the key players in the US government and military actively wanted the Korean War; that it was the right war, in the right place and the right time in terms of US imperialist interests.

Top US generals have since admitted that their “police action” in Korea gave them just the excuse they needed to construct the military infrastructure of Cold War in the Pacific: a vast network of overseas bases; large-scale, long-term deployments of US troops in Korea and Japan; and the permanent stationing of nuclear warheads in the region.

The Korean War set the whole military-industrial complex in motion. It created the national security state. It was the first major test case for the Truman Doctrine of “support for democracies against authoritarian threats” and helped establish the US in its self-assumed role of global policeman. By forcing through a United Nations endorsement of its invasion, the US was able to establish its dominance of the UN-based international system.

Reading Izzy Stone’s reporting today, it’s striking the extent to which these mechanisms of Cold War still exist and are being used to wage a New Cold War. The military bases, the troop deployments, the nuclear threats that aimed to contain socialism and prevent the emergence of a multipolar world in the 1950s continue to serve the same purposes in 2023.

Stone’s book emphasises that peace was very much an option in 1950.

The Soviet Union of course wanted peace; having lost 27 million lives and sustained incredible damage to its infrastructure in the course of saving the world from Nazism, the Soviets needed space to rebuild. The People’s Republic of China also wanted peace; having only been founded in October 1949 after long years of civil war and struggle against Japanese occupation, the last thing the new state needed was to become embroiled in another war. (In the event, nearly 400,000 Chinese volunteers gave their lives fighting in Korea).

Continue reading Book review: IF Stone – The Hidden History of the Korean War

John Pilger: The coming war – time to speak up

This powerful and wide-ranging essay by the Australian journalist John Pilger, originally published in Consortium News, decries mainstream journalists’ role in building support for the US-led Cold War against China and NATO’s proxy war against Russia.

The author notes that leading Australian newspapers have been hyping up “the looming threat” of China and calling on the Australian government to bolster the country’s military defences. Essentially this is a thinly-concealed marketing campaign for the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal. Pilger states bluntly – and correctly: “There is no threat to Australia, none.” However, “China-bashing draws on Australia’s long history of racism towards Asia,” and much of the Australian public finds it all too easy to accept an anti-China narrative, no matter how transparently idiotic.

Turning to the United States, and the Obama-Clinton Pivot to Asia that initiated the now-escalating New Cold War, Pilger assesses the claims that this ‘pivot’ was a response to a serious threat:

There was no threat from China; there was a threat to China from the United States; some 400 American military bases formed an arc along the rim of China’s industrial heartlands, which a Pentagon official described approvingly as a “noose.”

The article compares today’s war by media with the techniques used by the Nazis, as described by a Nuremberg prosecutor in 1945:

Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically… In the propaganda system… it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.

Pilger concludes by demanding that journalists report the truth; that they expose – rather than amplify – the cynical lies that are used to justify the military murder of millions.

In 1935, the Congress of American Writers was held in New York City, followed by another two years later. They called on “the hundreds of poets, novelists, dramatists, critics, short story writers and journalists” to discuss the “rapid crumbling of capitalism” and the beckoning of another war. They were electric events which, according to one account, were attended by 3,500 members of the public with more than a thousand turned away. 

Arthur Miller, Myra Page, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett warned that fascism was rising, often disguised, and the responsibility lay with writers and journalists to speak out. Telegrams of support from Thomas Mann, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, C Day Lewis, Upton Sinclair and Albert Einstein were read out. 

The journalist and novelist Martha Gellhorn spoke up for the homeless and unemployed, and “all of us under the shadow of violent great power.” 

Martha, who became a close friend, told me later over her customary glass of Famous Grouse and soda:

“The responsibility I felt as a journalist was immense. I had witnessed the injustices and suffering delivered by the Depression, and I knew, we all knew, what was coming if silences were not broken.”

Her words echo across the silences today: they are silences filled with a consensus of propaganda that contaminates almost everything we read, see and hear.  Let me give you one example: 

Continue reading John Pilger: The coming war – time to speak up

Securing US global primacy: how the US prepares for war on China

In this detailed essay, British author and peace campaigner Jenny Clegg provides a comprehensive overview of the US drive to war against China.

Jenny describes the attempts being made to construct a Global NATO, leveraging AUKUS, the remilitarisation of Japan, the undermining of the One China Principle and the prolonging of the Ukraine crisis in order to link the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific theatres of war. Britain and Japan are emerging as the most important partners in this phenomenally dangerous strategy which, taken as a whole, constitutes “a historic restructuring of the international security order: strengthening of the NATO transatlantic military axis against Russia whilst elevating the US-Japan trans-pacific military axis at the core of newly created regional NATO-like multilateral security frame.”

The aim of this strategy is, of course, “to contain the growing multipolar trend”.

We must build a formidable global opposition to this warmongering. Thanks to an already-developing multipolarity, countries of the Global South are “starting to wake up to the real nature of US intentions”, and as such “a non-aligned resistance is taking shape”, with these countries asserting their sovereignty and interests. For anti-war activists in the West meanwhile, as we recall the historic protests against the Iraq War 20 years ago, Jenny writes that the task of playing our part in a worldwide mass movement for peace will require us to “resist the insidious influence of imperialism permeating through social democracy”.

The trajectory of war: Iraq then, China now?

Back in September 2002, Dan Plesch wrote an article in the Guardian entitled ‘Iraq first, Iran and China next’.  Less than a year earlier, George W. Bush had put China on a nuclear ‘hit list’ along with Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea. Twenty years on, it seems China’s turn has arrived, now identified as ‘America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge’.

Iraq was a turning point for the world as Bush ‘seized the unipolar moment’: ‘shock and awe’ and ‘full spectrum dominance’ in air, land, sea and space presaged a new militarism to secure US global primacy; and, blatantly displacing the UN on the pretext of ‘humanitarian intervention’, the US found a new means of rallying allies in a ‘coalition of the willing’, embedding key NATO partners into ‘out of area’ operations.

All this was in line with the neocons’ Project for a New American Century which had advocated for the US pursuit of hegemony through the preeminence of its military forces.

As Plesch foresaw, the 2003 war set precedents to be used against other states that stood up against US global control.  US militarism has advanced into ‘air sea battle’ plans to wipe out multiple cities across China at a single strike, with trillions of dollars sunk into upgrading ‘full spectrum dominance’ capabilities; ‘humanitarian intervention’ has evolved into a New Cold War of ‘democracies against autocracies’ edging the UN further aside.  And now, using the Ukraine war to subjugate Europe and weaken Russia, the US is starting to assemble a new ‘coalition of the willing’ in the ‘defence of Taiwan’, ordering the global security architecture anew as it sets the stage for a new war on China.

But much has also changed over twenty years with the rise of China and the emergence of a multipolar world: as the economic balance shifts from West to East, countries in the Global South are not so easily influenced to follow US leadership.

What does China want?

US political elites have convinced themselves that China is bent on global hegemony.  Despite Xi Jinping’s assurances to Biden that China ‘has no intention to challenge or displace the United States’, they revert to racialised stereotypes of the Chinese as inveterate liars – recall the words of the popular 1880s music hall song: ‘for ways that are dark and tricks that are vain, the Heathen China is peculiar’ – rather than face history.[1]

That China was its ally in WW2 is something the West conveniently forgets. KMT Nationalist and Communist armies successfully blocked the bulk of the Japanese forces from advancing west, a vital contribution recognised by Churchill and Roosevelt when they signed, with Chiang Kaishek, the 1943 Cairo Agreement.  This stipulated that the territories seized by Japan from China, including Taiwan, be restored, and that Japan be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific seized or occupied since 1914.

As one of the allies, China took part in the establishment of the United Nations, assuming a permanent seat on the Security Council.  But the UN order as based on the Cairo Agreement, confirmed in the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, was not to be.  Instead, the Japan peace settlement was determined at the behest of the US by the 1951 San Francisco Conference from which both the PRC and RoC (Republic of China) and the two sides of the Korean war were excluded, with the USSR refusing to attend.  US power came to prevail over the Pacific through a series of bilateral alliances and an extensive array of US military bases.[2] 

Despite political improvements over time – the PRC regained the UN seat,the US and China established official ‘One China’ ties, the USSR and China reached their own peace deals with Japan – the US-dominated military pattern remained and a number of territorial issues covered by the WW2 agreements affecting the USSR/Russia as well as China were left to fester.

What China wants is to see the promise of the Yalta of the East system realised through reunification with Taiwan and from this the construction of a cooperative security arrangement for the Pacific together with the US.

Militarising the Indo-Pacific

US control over the Pacific was never complete in the face of the armed resistance of the peoples of China, Korean and Indo-China and the non-aligned leanings of South East Asia states.  The US was never satisfied.

Today, claiming the Russian invasion of Ukraine ‘raises the spectre of a Chinese takeover of Taiwan’, the US is creating a new militarised order for the Indo-Pacific.  Increasing its own military capabilities to hem in China’s coastline and reinforce control across the wider oceans, the US is at the same time upgrading the key regional axis of power, its alliance with Japan, now elevated into a major military player.  Taking the Japan alliance and AUKUS as the core, the US is attempting to pull together a group of militarily committed powers covering the whole Pacific to oppose China.

Where previously the US pursuit of a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific has focused on the South China Sea, the prospect of a war over Taiwan has become the new focus.

The US is now reinforcing its force structure across the region, increasing manoeuvrability along the first island chain and plugging the gaps in this arc of alliances and bases from Japan in the North stretching down to the Philippines in the South.  The US has now secured agreement with the Philippines for four new bases, three in the Northern island of Luzon, within striking distance of Taiwan. Meanwhile under the terms of the new Japan alliance, the US Okinawa base north of Taiwan is being strengthened whilst the Japanese island of Mage is being rebuilt to serve US forces.  A new base is opening in Guam, the first in decades and a US nuclear submarine base is under construction in Australia.[3]

However it is the rehabilitation of Japan as a military power that is the biggest change in the region’s security pattern just as the US shifts its primary focus to the China challenge.

Japan also now identifies China as the main strategic challenge under a new National Security Strategy, the only US ally to do so. With the endorsement of its new US alliance, the country is undergoing the most radical overhaul in its regional positioning since WW2, vastly increasing its war-fighting capacity as it embarks on its largest military buildup in decades. Military spending is set to double from 1% to 2% of GDP over 5 years – from some $50 bn a year to an accumulated $318 bn – to see Japan leap to the third or fourth largest military power in the world.

Matching Japan in the North, Australia too is reconfiguring itself as a military power in the South Pacific, its military spend set to rise from around $49 bn to $57 bn per year by 2025-6.  Meanwhile Taiwan’s increased budget of $19bn is being backed by the US-pledged $10bn in military aid. 

For the US neocon Right, their long-held aspirations for a remilitarised Japan and an armed Taiwan serving as an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’ – passed from MacArthur and the McCarthyites to John Bolton and Paul Wolfowitz and now to Kagan and Blinken – are materialising.

As the US advances plans to catch Taiwan between the pincer of its forces in Okinawa and the Philippines, Biden’s constant vacillations between the One China policy and the defence of Taiwan are highly destabilising.  China is committed to a peaceful reunification, yet states it will never renounce the use of force directed against interference by outside forces.  The military display by the PLA following Pelosi’s August 2022 visit to the island demonstrates it is serious about this.  It has the capacity: in its vast naval fleet capable of imposing a blockade on the island, and with missiles capable of sinking US aircraft carriers and destroying US warships on the far side of the island, as its recent missile overflights demonstrated.

Lying 100 miles to the north of Taiwan and less than 300 miles from the massive US airbase in Okinawa, are the disputed islands known as the Diaoyutai in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese which may become the locus of battle given their critical importance in the event of a Chinese blockade of Taiwan.

These uninhabited islands are claimed not only by China and Japan but also by Taiwan (the Republic of China); they were taken under control by the Japanese government in 2012 and now are increasingly patrolled not only by Japanese and Chinese but also by US forces.

To defeat any move by China, the US would need a coalition of forces – and this is what the Pentagon is seeking to construct.

Towards a Global NATO

With the transatlantic NATO alliance strengthened against Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, and a new Indo-Pacific regional security architecture  emerging, the US is also working to construct a third axis under its control between the European and Asian theatres to serve as a counter to China’s Eurasian Belt and Road initiative.

AUKUS and the US-Japan alliance both offer access points for linking the security of the Euro-Atlantic to the security of the Indo-Pacific in accordance with NATO’s New Security Concept adopted at its 2022 summit.

NATO allies are getting drawn into the Indo-Pacific security pattern step by step.  Military exercises have multiplied in the last year or two as a way of involving outside powers, not only the UK, but also France, which is boosting its military presence in the region. Germany has also sent in warships.  NATO forces made up at least half of last year’s US-led RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) exercises.[4]  Australia, South Korea and Japan are again to attend the 2023 NATO summit, and Japan has become a regular participant in NATO Chief of Staff meetings.[5]

So far, NATO is committed to addressing the ‘systemic competition’ from China, but Stoltenburg’s recent visits to South Korea and Japan were looking for a more strategic undertaking.  Japanese PM Kishida, mirrored by Zelensky’s visits around Europe, had embarked earlier in January on a diplomatic tour to rally support, visiting the UK, France, Italy and Canada as well as the US to gain approval for Japan’s new militarist orientation.

Eliciting statements of stronger support from Macron and Trudeau, Kishida was to agree a form of strategic partnership with Meloni of Italy.

But it was Sunak that took things furthest, signing a Reciprocal Access Agreement to allow the two nations to deploy military forces on each other’s soil. This represents Japan’s first military agreement with a European power.

The UK leads the way

The UK and Japan began to deepen military cooperation with the visit of the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group in 2021.

This was followed in November 2022 with an agreement on new UK-Japan-Italy partnership – the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP) – a hi-tech programme for unmanned aircraft and cutting-edge weapons heralded as an ‘unprecedented international aerospace coalition’.  BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and MBDA are to work together with Leopard in Italy and Mitsubishi in Japan to deliver next generation combat fighter jets.  The Tempest is to replace the Typhoon aircraft by the mid 2030s; its capacity to carry hypersonic missiles will significantly increase Japan’s capabilities in joining a US war with China.[6]

Also in November 2022, a ‘Vigilant Isles 22’ joint exercise simulated the retaking of an island under enemy control.  The new RAA aims to regularise such exercises in ‘island defence’.[7]  This should set alarm bells ringing.

Similar to ones agreed by the US and Australia with Japan, these arrangements gain significance together as providing the US with the means to break a blockade of Taiwan: the RAA could bring British forces into direct conflict with China given the deepening Sino-Japanese island dispute.[8]

The RAA and GCAP are designed to sit alongside AUKUS and with the US and Australia also having access agreements, few barriers remain for Japan to join the ‘Asian NATO’.

For the UK, the deals cement Global Britain’s Indo-Pacific tilt, breaking new ground in military relations with Japan as an example for other NATO members to follow.  As it opens the door for a wider international recognition of Japan’s rehabilitation as a military power countering any residual reluctance to do so given its past history, the UK is playing a significant role in the shift to a new Indo-Pacific security architecture.

At the same time, as the US’s key ally in the West, its links with Japan the US’ key ally in the East create a new global axis linking the Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific theatres of war.

As it looks to build a future beyond Brexit, Global Britain follows the US in tying future prosperity to military development – arms manufacture and arms exports.  Here it aims to serve as a new model of Western 21st century power ‘creating jobs, saving lives’ as through GCAP it boosts its ‘world beating defence industry’ to promote high-high-skilled employment, drive innovation, and open up markets in both Europe and Asia.

Aiding and abetting the US, the UK similarly indulges the military aspirations of Japan’s right wingers, long held in restraint by its constitutional pacifism.  Now GCAP subverts Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, the ‘peace clause’, by developing Japan’s counterstrike – that is – offensive capabilities.

Shockingly, the UK Prime Minister’s office was to draw parallels between the RAA and the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902.[9]  Forged to counter Russia’s expansion to the East at the time, the alliance oversaw a twenty year period of Japan’s rapid military industrialisation which then drove its bloody expansion across Asia.

US progress after WW2 on democratising and demilitarising Japan ground to a halt after the CPC victory in China in 1949. Suspected Class A war criminals, such as the grandfather of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, were released from jail to help form the Liberal Democratic Party which has now held power almost continuously over the last 70 years.  Senior political figures in Kishida’s government continue to visit the Yasukuni shrine to the war dead which still memorialises those convicted of war crimes. 

It did not seem to bother either Biden or Sunak in promoting collaboration between Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems respectively with Mitsubishi to restore its role in arms manufacturer, that the company’s owners are yet to meet South Korean demands for compensation for the use of forced labour in WW2.  South Korea and Japan have recently announced some measures to ease these particular tensions.[10]

Constructing a new coalition

The US perceives the ‘security threats of the future’ – China – to be of such an order as to demand an entirely new response.  Learning the lesson from the Iraq war not to alienate allies, the US seeks to secure military pacts and alliances through a fusing of economic and technological resources into their structure.

US Secretary of State Blinken states: ‘whether techno-democracies or techno-autocracies are the ones who get to define how technology is used … will go a long way toward shaping the next decades.’

AUKUS and the UK-Italy-Japan GCAP have both been designed to set the pace in the military use of new technologies, integrating security- and defence-related science and technology as well as arms production bases and supply chains centred on US core technologies.  France, Italy, Germany as well as the UK are mentioned in Japan’s National Defense Strategy as partners with whom the government will work for training and exercises, defence equipment and technology cooperation.[11]

Meanwhile the Quad, falling short of a fully-fledged military alliance, uses Australia and Japan as a means to draw India closer to the US.

Rather, then, than relying simply on formal alliance structures, the US is making good use of unconventional arrangements and linkages to draw others along in the slipstream of its agenda, knitting an array of supporters together around the militarised core – all singing from the same hymn sheet of ‘freedom and democracy’.

Revolutions in technology and communications are opening new opportunities to broaden the more flexible ‘coalition of the willing’ format to a wider range of partners involved in a hybridised warfare.

Short of actual military engagement, support can come in various ways – through the provision of material, arms, logistics, economic and technological assistance, and through participation in economic warfare with sanctions along the lines of the informal groups now aiding Ukraine.  Arrangements involving data- and technology-sharing, and exclusive supply chains can serve as a dragnet to draw ‘democratic’ states away from economic and diplomatic links with ‘authoritarian regimes’.

In this way the emerging pattern of US military hegemony is being underpinned by the globalisation of what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has called a new Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank (MICIMATT).[12]

Towards a new World War

With the Iraq war underway by March 2003, the US effectively stepped back from a fight on two fronts, agreeing within months to join the six-party talks on Korean denuclearisation. Today, in contrast, it is shifting from the strategy of containment, prolonging the conflict with Russia in Ukraine in order to gear up for war with China.

What is taking place is a historic restructuring of the international security order: strengthening of the NATO transatlantic military axis against Russia whilst elevating the US-Japan trans-pacific military axis at the core of newly created regional NATO-like multilateral security frame.  Meanwhile the UK-Japan military pact together with the increasing presence of NATO in Asia are laying the preliminary groundwork to complete the third axis of its triangle of global power, between the Euro-Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.

Not since WW2 with the Axis powers of Japan, Italy and Nazi Germany coordinating the worldwide fascist offensive, have these two theatres of war been bridged in this way, and not for want of the US trying.

Through these three axes of a Global NATO, the US aims to contain the growing multipolar trend.  A key here is to block the Eurasian link: the prolongation of the Ukraine war is helping to drive China and Europe apart, as China maintains neutrality whilst Europe demands it take a position on what it sees as its existential priority.

The US is applying immense pressure to achieve this, endeavouring to break the remaining post WW2 pacifist restraints in the Indo-Pacific as it has been doing in Europe so as to achieve these goals. 

Actually it is NATO that is being positioned to cover and play the coordinating role between the two theatres, with the US pushing plans at the next summit to prepare for fighting on the home front and beyond NATO borders simultaneously.  Europe will be under great pressure to increase spending on weapons procurement to free the US to move more of its assets closer to China.[13]

The major world powers are close to a stand-off – the last time this happened it ended indeed in world war.  The UN has become a battleground for the New Cold War as US-influenced motions are designed to divide the ‘democracies’ from the ‘autocracies’. The UN Charter represents the deep learning from the horrors of the two world wars, lessons which are embodied in its institutional design built to maintain world peace.  The UN is now under existential threat. Should war break out directly between the permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US and UK versus Russia and China – this would finally finish off the organisation. What then is left to prevent another word war?

One cannot help but wonder at the key players following the US into this deadly situation: the Anglosphere AUKUS pact intervening in an Asia becoming accustomed to managing its own affairs and a remilitarised Japan with its dark past to lead the region, partnering up in Europe with Italy, its former fascist ally and a Britain deluded by fantasies of past imperial glory.

But countries in the Global South are starting to wake up to the real nature of US intentions – to perpetuate its own and the West’s supremacy – and a non-aligned resistance is taking shape as they refuse to take sides over Ukraine. 

More and more developing countries will be looking to China and others in the BRICS for economic stabilisation with the prolongation of the war further damaging further the prospects of world economic recovery after COVID.

The Iraq war unleashed over a decade of disruption for the Middle East, leaving the region even further divided: the countries of East Asia hardly want to see this happen to them.  US plans to remilitarise and divide East Asia threaten to derail their promising prospects of further economic development, destabilising a region vital to the world’s future prosperity and the battle against climate catastrophe and not least at risk of nuclear proliferation.

Nor is Japan’s rearmament welcome in the region: not only China and the Koreas remain sceptical as to the sincerity of Japan’s apologies for its past, but other Asian nations, whose memories of Japan’s WW2 brutality and military-colonial occupations live on, may also be wary.  Indications are that the Japanese public themselves will not support increased taxes to cover the proposed rise in military spending.

Meanwhile, new US proposals that allies host more intermediate range missiles in the region are being met with reluctance not only Thailand and the Philippines but also Australia, South Korea and Japan.[14]

Ahead of the G7 summit, planned to take place in Hiroshima and built up by Kishida’s January tour of the Western powers, is intended to send a strong signal of their unity both to Russia and China.  A visit by Kishida to Kiev is also on the cards.

With the Ukraine crisis threatening to escalate into a direct clash between major powers, China has stepped forward with guidelines for a political settlement backed by a concept paper for a new global security. It may be that the Global South, still rather disorganised, will find direction under China’s proposals and start to set a limit to the US-led wider war preparations.[15]

The world is changing very fast indeed.

Peace and anti-war activists in the West seek to draw inspiration from the massive protests against the Iraq war, but to resist the insidious influence of imperialism permeating through social democracy requires a deeper historical and international understanding to unite a new worldwide mass movement for peace and common security.

[1]  E.Ayketin “China has no intention of challenging the US: Xi Jinping” Nov 15, 2022

[2] John W. Dower, The San Francisco System: past, Present and Future in US-Japan-China Relations, Asia Pacific Journal February 23, 2014, Vol. 12, Issue 8, No. 2

[3] For details on the US military build up in the Pacific see Michael Klare, The Pentagon prepares for island combat in the Pacific as US-China tensions rise

[4] A. Wright “Largest ever US-Nato naval war drills in Pacific a Threat to Peace and Marine Life”, June 22, 2002

[5] R. Nemoto, “Japan’s top uniformed officer to attend 1st NATO military chiefs meeting” May 17, 2022

[6] K. Inagaki, L. Lewis and S. Pfeifer, “The fighter jet that could create a new alliance between the UK and Japan” Financial Times Nov. 27, 2022

[7] A. Chuter, UK, Japan ink agreement to enable bilateral troop deployments, Defence News, Jan 11, 2023

[8] The US is also now pushing the Philippines into a similar arrangement so that not only could Philippines’ forces be deployed in Japan but Japanese forces be deployed say in Luzon.

[9] Downing Street Press release, Jan 11 2023

[10] A. Jung-a and K. Inagaki “US hails thaw between Seoul and Tokyo” Financial Times March 7 2023

[11] National Defense Strategy Dec 16, 2022

[12] R. McGovern US-Russia Talk About Where Not To Place Missiles, Jan 11, 2022


[14] Rand Corporation, Ground-Based Intermediate-Range Missiles in the IndoPacific: assessing the positions of US Allies

[15] China’s Foreign Ministry Proposals for a Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis

Britain’s secret betrayal and repatriation of Chinese sailors after WWII

In this documentary, The Secret Betrayal, presented by Jamie Owen, CGTN exposes the racist deportation of thousands of Chinese seamen from Liverpool by the post-war British Labour government and movingly highlights the continuing and tenacious campaign for truth and justice being waged by their children and grandchildren.

One in seven of Britain’s merchant seamen, who manned the deadly Atlantic Convoys during World War II, were Chinese. Lauded as heroes in a 1944 government film, it was a different story post-war. Documents in the National Archives refer to the “compulsory repatriation of undesirable Chinese seamen”. They were “surplus to requirements” and to be subject to “bulk clearances”. Their wives and girlfriends, with whom many of them had young children, were dismissed as being “many of the prostitute class.” This racist and anti-working class disdain was doubtless compounded by many of the women in question being from Liverpool’s substantial Irish community. 

In order to expel the Chinese seamen, the racist British state resorted to both subterfuge (such as changing the dates of ships’ sailings to allow deportation) and brute force, with Special Branch, Britain’s political police, brought in to round up people from shipping offices and cafés. Families were left with no idea what had happened to their husbands and fathers. And, according to legislation in force at the time, women who had married foreign nationals were deemed to have acquired “alien status”, with no rights to benefits or state support. As a result, many were left completely destitute. Families were further destroyed, with children given up for adoption and babies buried in unmarked, mass graves. 

Left Labour MP Kim Johnson, a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, whose constituency includes Liverpool’s Chinatown, the oldest of its kind in Europe, has campaigned tirelessly for justice for the victims of this racist injustice. She tells the programme that it is not just a matter of securing an apology from the present Conservative government. This happened under a Labour government, and “to have a level of acknowledgment from our own party would be a step in the right direction.”

Looking at reasons for the deportations, the presenter notes, showing contemporary footage of Unite leader Sharon Graham addressing a workers’ meeting, that the Liverpool dockers have a long history of industrial militancy. The Chinese sailors were paid less than their white counterparts and denied bonuses until a strike led by the Liverpool Chinese Seamen’s Union in 1942. An excellent article by Dan Hancox, published in the Guardian in May 2021, describes the union as “Communist-affiliated”, adding that “the Shangainese Blue Funnel [a major shipping company that employed only Chinese seamen] crew were mostly active Communists and trade unionists.”

The Labour government responsible for these actions is lionised by much of the left for its creation of the NHS and a welfare state. But this racist crime was not the only one of which it was guilty. The ‘Windrush scandal’, for example, did not begin with Conservative governments of the last decade. Coinciding with the ship docking from Jamaica at Tilbury on June 22, 1948, 11 Labour MPs wrote to Prime Minister Clement Attlee, stating that: “This country may become an open reception centre for immigrants not selected in respect to health, education, training, character, customs and above all, whether assimilation is possible or not. The British people fortunately enjoy a profound unity without uniformity in their way of life, and are blest with the absence of a colour racial problem. An influx of coloured people domiciled here is likely to impair the harmony, strength and cohesion of our public and social life and to cause discord and unhappiness among all concerned.”

Attlee could only reply: “It is too early yet to assess the impression made upon these immigrants as to their prospects in Great Britain and consequently the degree to which their experience may attract others to follow their example. Although it has been possible to find employment for quite a number of them, they may well find it very difficult to make adequate remittance to their dependants in Jamaica as well as maintaining themselves over here. On the whole, therefore, I doubt whether there is likely to be a similar large influx.”

This same Labour government, as Keir Starmer never fails to remind us, was also central to the creation of NATO, and enthusiastically waged anti-communist and colonial wars in Greece, Malaya, Korea and elsewhere.

The CGTN documentary is embedded below.

Lukashenko: We do not want war, West blocking peace talks

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko paid a state visit to China from February 28 to March 2. Just prior to the visit, he gave an exclusive interview to Li Tongtong of CGTN in his capital Minsk as part of the Chinese channel’s impressive Leaders Talk series. 

Their extensive discussion began with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its impact on Belarus. President Lukashenko said that he fully agreed with President Putin that the root cause of the problem is not to be found in Russia. He recalls the 2014-15 diplomatic process in the Belarus capital, which had culminated in the signing of the Minsk Protocol. However, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President François Hollande had both now admitted that they had engaged in this process in order to give Ukraine more time to prepare for war. It is therefore clear who wanted conflict.

Belarus, Lukashenko insisted, is a peace-loving country. Its people know what war means. Belarus lost one third of its population in World War II. Belarusians do not want war with anyone, but especially not with Ukraine, whose people are their kin. President Lukashenko noted that his own forebears hailed from Ukraine. Despite all this, the western powers are trying to drag Belarus into the conflict. As Belarus has long frontiers with both Poland and Lithuania, this would mean that the country would be directly facing NATO, which would force it to disperse its forces and therefore become more vulnerable to attack. The President insisted that whilst his country did not want war, it was ready to defend its sovereignty and independence. 

In the ongoing conflict, it is the United States and the western powers that are obstructing peace talks. Russia proposed negotiations from the very beginning and they were held in Gomel, the second largest city of Belarus, right back in February 2022.

Lukashenko praised President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative (GSI), noting that only peace can lead to prosperity for humanity whilst war leads to catastrophe. Extolling his personal and political friendship with the Chinese leader, he said that he and his family were very excited by Xi’s re-election at last October’s 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. He praised Xi’s ability to draw on the experience of his predecessors while injecting new meaning into it. 

The program also highlighted the development of the Great Stone Industrial Park, the key focus for Belarus-China cooperation, which President Xi had visited when he travelled to Belarus in 2015. The park has developed rapidly is now one third of the size of Minsk. Lukashenko stressed the importance of synergizing the work of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with that of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), whose full members currently comprise Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. He further stressed that the friendship between Belarus and China would last not just for his tenure in office but for ever. He described this belief as having become deeply ingrained in the hearts of the people of Belarus. Especially during the period of sanctions imposed by the West, the people of Belarus had become very clear as to who were their enemies and who were their friends. 

Towards the end of the interview, he highlighted education, culture and sports as among the areas where he would like to see even more cooperation and exchange with China and noted that his youngest son is currently studying at university in Beijing.

President Lukashenko also touched on a number of other issues, including the US shooting down of an unmanned Chinese airship, its instigation of ‘color revolutions’ not only in Belarus but in the Arab countries, and the relations between the European countries, the United States and China.

The full interview is embedded below.

China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis

On February 23, with the first anniversary of Russia’s launch of its Special Military Operation in Ukraine, China issued a 12-point document, setting out its official position on the conflict.

The 12 points are:

  1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries
  2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality
  3. Ceasing hostilities
  4. Resuming peace talks
  5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis
  6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs)
  7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe
  8. Reducing strategic risks
  9. Facilitating grain exports
  10. Stopping unilateral sanctions
  11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable
  12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction

Regarding the first point concerning respect for the sovereignty of all countries, the Chinese Foreign Ministry calls for strict observance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. It stresses that: “The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community.” Significantly, considering the long and continuing record of the imperialist powers in failing to observe and flagrantly breaching these principles, it adds, in a point that has been expressed in one way or another by numerous countries of the Global South, that: “Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected.”

On the need to abandon the Cold War mentality, the document states: “The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly.” This underscores that part of the complex background to the present tragic situation lies in the steady expansion of the aggressive NATO alliance right to the borders of Russia, in breach of repeated promises made to Soviet and Russian leaders at the time of the collapse of the USSR. It also alludes to the proposed accession of hitherto ostensibly neutral Finland and Sweden to NATO. It continues by calling for the forging of a “a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture,” and working together for peace and stability on the Eurasian continent. Such proposals, in one form or another, have been advanced over the years by a number of countries, including France and Russia. They are, of course, bitterly opposed by the United States, as the prospect of the countries and peoples of Europe and the wider Eurasian space making their own arrangements and settling their own problems would correspondingly reduce the superpower’s capacity for hegemonic meddling, division and domination.

The document calls for resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, noting that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the crisis. It should be noted here that such negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had resulted in at least the broad outlines of an agreed settlement as far back as last April, but this was scuppered by outside intervention, not least a hurried visit to the Ukrainian capital by then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Since then the peace process has been aborted and the conflict has escalated, thanks to massive infusions of western military support, making the proxy nature of the conflict completely transparent.

China reaffirms that it opposes armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities. Ukrainian forces have repeatedly shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and obstructed international inspectors. It further notes that: “Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought. The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed.” This not only reflects the fact that China is the only one of the five recognised nuclear powers that has consistently and unequivocally stood for a ‘no first use’ policy, but also the fact that the quoted statement embodies an agreed position taken by the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France not long before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also insists that: “Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems…Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ against other countries.” Unilateral sanctions are a kind of ‘smokeless warfare’ deployed by the United States against any country that displeases it or fails to dance to its tune. In a clearly well-prepared operation, they have been deployed against Russia, to a maximum and still escalating extent, since the start of the special military operation. Equally, the US uses ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ on an industrial scale, against adversaries and allies alike, as this recent detailed presentation published by the Xinhua News Agency makes clear.

Below is the full text of the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement. It originally appeared on the ministry’s website.

1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries. Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, must be strictly observed. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. All parties should jointly uphold the basic norms governing international relations and defend international fairness and justice. Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected. 

2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality. The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others. The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. All parties should, following the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and bearing in mind the long-term peace and stability of the world, help forge a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture. All parties should oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent.

Continue reading China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis

Wang Yi meets with Sergey Lavrov

As part of the recent week of intensive diplomatic activity in Asia, focused around regional and global gatherings successively in Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Bali, Indonesia, on November 15, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit of major economies.

Discussing the Ukraine issue, Wang Yi said that China has noted that Russia recently reiterated its established position that a nuclear war must never be fought, which represents a rational and responsible attitude of Russia.

The importance of this statement is that it clearly debunks the, deliberate or otherwise, misrepresentation of the comments made by Chinese President Xi Jinping, for example in his meeting with German Chancellor Scholz, opposing the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in the context of the Ukraine conflict as somehow representing an attack on Russia or indicating a fundamental difference between the two countries.

The following article was first published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On November 15, 2022 local time, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was accompanying President Xi Jinping to the Group of Twenty (G20) Bali Summit, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the summit.

Lavrov once again extended warm congratulations on the success of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He said that President Xi Jinping’s re-election as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee by a unanimous vote testifies to the lofty political prestige of President Xi Jinping and the deep trust and strong support from the Chinese people. Russia is ready to work with China to further consolidate the sound momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries, maintain the continuity of the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, expand pragmatic cooperation between the two sides, and strengthen international coordination, so as to fully release the potential of Russia-China relations.

Wang Yi said that the success of the 20th CPC National Congress has been in the limelight in China and the world as a whole. The most important outcome of the congress is the election of a new central leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. That fully reflects the common will of the whole Party and the people across the country. Steered by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core of the Party central committee and in the Party as a whole, and under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China, as a giant ship,  will forge ahead toward the established goal of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation without fear of any winds and storms. China is ready to work with Russia to pursue a well-coordinated approach to high-level exchanges and exchanges in various fields, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and facilitate personnel exchanges.

Continue reading Wang Yi meets with Sergey Lavrov

Keith Bennett: Join hands in the struggle for socialism and against imperialist war

At the recent webinar marking the first anniversary of the International Manifesto Group’s document ‘Through Pluripolarity to Socialism’, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett made a speech assessing geopolitical developments since the launch of the manifesto. Keith observes that imperialism’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan has flowed into escalating aggression against both Russia and China, noting that both “NATO’s proxy war against Russia, which it seems determined to fight to the last Ukrainian” and the new Cold War against China have only intensified under the Biden administration.

Keith further states that the international left – albeit in a partial and contradictory way – is embarked on a process of realignment that has significant parallels to the realignment that took place a century ago, when the lines were drawn between those willing to fight against imperialism and those choosing the path of class collaboration. The questions our movement is asking itself are: “Whether to oppose imperialist war wherever it is waged; whether to support all those who fight imperialism, no matter the banner under which that struggle is waged; and whether to give resolute, wholehearted and unqualified support to any and every country, no matter where and no matter how, where our class, the working class, takes power, and sets out on the long and difficult road of building a new society, a socialist society.”

The late British Prime Minister Harold Wilson reputedly said that a week is a long time in politics. Certainly that might seem to be the case for former UK Chancellor Kwesi Kwarteng. The one who turned up in Washington for the annual meeting of the IMF, declaring he wasn’t going anywhere, only to have to leave early to return home for the dubious pleasure of being sacked.

But if a week is a long time in politics, it’s already one year since we launched our Manifesto, Through Pluripolarity to Socialism. Of course, in the broad sweep of human history, a year is far less than a blink of an eye. But perhaps we should reflect more on Lenin’s famous observation that there are periods of years when nothing seems to happen and then there come days into which years are compressed. We seem to be headed more in that direction.

Two things occupied particular attention when we were drafting the Manifesto. One was the global Covid-19 pandemic, the variegated response to it, the contradictions that it had bought to the surface and exacerbated, and the social, economic and political crises it had triggered. The other was the chaotic US, British and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and the ignominious collapse of the puppet regime they had sought to leave behind.

We noted that the response to Covid-19 on the part of the socialist countries had been exemplary. And that has continued to be the case, whether in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, despite the fact that the last two named countries have laboured for decades under crippling and asphyxiating sanctions and blockades. China, Vietnam and Cuba have not only carried out exemplary policies at home. They have been providers of much-needed aid, primarily to developing countries, but also to developed countries, in the finest traditions of working-class international solidarity. By being the very first country to introduce lockdown measures, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea registered not a single case of Covid for over two years, and then, thanks to a huge nationwide mobilization, rapidly suppressed the virus when it finally entered the country. As the Manifesto stated:

“No wonder, the ruling Communist Party of China celebrated a proud centenary in July 2021.”

As we meet today, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has opened in Beijing. It will not only set the scene for the next five years of China’s socialist development, but also map out more generically the route from the achievement of a moderately prosperous society and the complete elimination of extreme poverty, achieved just before the first centenary, that of the party, to the realisation of a modern, powerful and prosperous socialist country in all respects by the time the nation marks its second great centenary, that of the founding of the People’s Republic in 2049.

Continue reading Keith Bennett: Join hands in the struggle for socialism and against imperialist war

RMT passes resolution opposing war and wasteful military spending

Recently, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), and its General Secretary Mick Lynch, have captured the imagination and support of a huge number of people in Britain with their ongoing industrial action for a pay rise in line with the surging rate of inflation, for no compulsory redundancies, and against changes to working conditions, that would not only be to the detriment of the rail workers, but also not simply inconvenience but endanger the safety of members of the public, particularly from among the most vulnerable members of society. The RMT has a fine record as a class struggle trade union, which has not hesitated not only to take militant action in defence of its members, but also to take progressive stands on major issues of domestic and international politics. It has, for example, long been a strong and active supporter of socialist Cuba.

In this context, it is extremely significant that, at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Birmingham in July, the RMT voted to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition and passed a resolution entitled Peace is Union Business. The resolution draws attention to the bellicose stands taken by NATO at its Madrid Summit in late June and notes its increased attention to the Global South, US President Biden’s further military build up in Europe, and British Prime Minister Johnson’s announcement of increased military spending at a time when wages are being held below the rate of inflation and energy prices are soaring.

The resolution then notes that these moves follow last September’s conclusion of the AUKUS pact between the governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, noting how the sister Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) had drawn attention to the way AUKUS will impact on the dumping of nuclear waste on First Nations land, increase the likelihood of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war.

The resolution then states very clearly: “Workers have no interest in war with China, Russia, or any other country. Every effort should be made to pursue peaceful relations between countries through negotiations and disarmament.”

The stand taken by the RMT is in the best traditions of the British working class movement, from the East London dockers, who in 1920 refused to load munitions onto the ‘Jolly George’ as they were to be used against the fledgling Soviet workers state, to the Rolls Royce workers in Scotland, who in 1974 refused to load air force jet engines that were to be sent back to the murderous Pinochet regime in Chile following repair, a struggle depicted in the 2018 documentary ‘Nae Pasaran’.

The text of the RMT Resolution, which we reproduce below, was originally carried on the website of the Stop the War Coalition.


“That this AGM notes with grave concern the NATO summit meeting in Madrid (28-30 June 2022) confirmed an escalation of military spending, troop build-ups and further expansion of this nuclear-armed bloc with a seemingly endless supply of money poured into weapons development and procurement including:

• expanding the numbers of NATO troops from 40,000 to well over 300,000;

• expanding NATO’s role at the request of the Spanish government to include the global south, including control over migration from sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel region (north Africa) following the tragic deaths last week of 23 African migrants entering Melilla, Spain’s colonial enclave in north Africa;

• US President Biden’s announcement that the US would establish a permanent
military base in Poland, a brigade in Romania, air missile systems in Italy and Germany and two additional F-35 squadrons based in the UK;

• British PM, Johnson’s announcement on 30 June 2022, that UK defence spending will increase from 2.3% of GDP in 2022 to 2.5% of GDP in 2030 when wages are being held below inflation with taxes and energy prices rocketing contributing to a cost-of- living crisis.

These latest announcements of military escalation follow the announcement in September 2021 by the governments of Australia, the UK and US of the so-called AUKUS pact, which provides nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as part of a military alliance with the US and UK.

RMT’s sister union, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has warned these submarines use highly enriched uranium ideal for nuclear weapons. The Australian government has repeatedly tried to set up nuclear waste dumps on First Nations land. This will intensify that pressure. The AUKUS pact also contributes significantly to the likelihood of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war.

Workers have no interest in war with China, Russia, or any other country. Every effort should be made to pursue peaceful relations between countries through negotiations and disarmament.

RMT stands in solidarity with trade unionists and workers in all countries opposing war and wasteful, environmentally harmful, military spending. We pledge our opposition to development of nuclear submarines in Australia, to NATO expansion and to Boris Johnson’s disastrous pledge to further increase military spending by the UK government instead of addressing growing poverty, homelessness and hunger in Britain.”

With RIMPAC, South Korea expands its military footprint

In this article, part of the Feminist Peace Initiative’s joint campaign with Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) against the militarization of the Asia-Pacific region, coinciding with the annual US-led RIMPAC exercises and originally published by FPIF, leading South Korean peace activist Choi Sung-hee notes that after the US, South Korea is the second largest participant in this year’s war games.

She notes that: “When RIMPAC began, the NATO summit meeting also started in Madrid. It is the first time that a South Korean president joined the NATO summit meeting. Yoon Suk-yeol, elected as the new South Korean president on May 9, has talked dangerously about the possibility of a ROK-US-Japan military alliance, which even other conservative presidents had abstained from openly talking about because of the past imperial-colony relationship between Japan and Korea. Already a NATO partner country, South Korea will likely increase its involvement in the US-led domination game against ‘enemy forces.’ Under the previous president Moon Jae-in, South Korea became the first Asian country to join the NATO cyber defense group. South Korean participation in RIMPAC risks inflaming military tension against China in the Pacific.”

“The current South Korean government”, she notes, “is strengthening trilateral coordination with the United States and Japan to put pressure on North Korea and contain China. But it would be in Seoul’s interest to reduce tensions in the region, not exacerbate them. China is the number one trading partner of South Korea, so it makes no sense for Seoul to participate in the anti-China efforts of the United States. Improving relations with North Korea—for instance by formalizing the end of the Korean War with a peace treaty—would also help to remove one of the key drivers of conflict in the region.”

On June 22, 2022, 20 civic groups held a “No RIMPAC!” press conference in front of the Jeju Naval Base in Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island, South Korea. Beginning with the words “Aloha ʻĀina,” the press conference expressed solidarity with the people and all living beings in and off Hawai’i and southern California. It also demanded “peace practice, not war drills” and closure of the Jeju Naval Base.

In Hawaiian, “Aloha ʻĀina” means love and care of the land and sea. Many friends from Hawai’i have visited Gangjeong in solidarity for peace during the last few years. One of them was Pua’ena, who urgently appealed to people in Jeju not to let the warships in Jeju head for Hawai’i during the current RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) exercises, the biggest U.S.-led multinational maritime war drill, which is held every two years.

Continue reading With RIMPAC, South Korea expands its military footprint

The feminist response to RIMPAC and the US war against China

The annual Rim of the Pacific, popularly known as RIMPAC, military exercise is this year being held from June 29-August 4. Led by the United States, this year’s is the largest ever, with a total of 26 nations and 25,000 military personnel taking part.

In this article, first published on Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), Christine Ahn notes that this is “all for the purpose of containing China”, but adds that, “often overlooked are the very real consequences of increased militarization in the Asia-Pacific, especially for frontline communities and marine ecosystems.”

Regarding the supposed ‘China threat’, she notes that, “the real threat China poses is to the bottom line of US multinationals like the Carlyle Group”, and goes on to quote historian Laurence Shoup: “Financial capitalist corporations like Carlyle want to be able to buy and sell companies without restrictions and do what they want to profit from each company’s resources and workers,” but, “China does not allow such unrestricted access, putting up roadblocks to the unfettered capitalism favored by neoliberal thinkers.”

Christine introduces the Feminist Peace Initiative, that “seeks to transform US foreign policy away from a military-first approach towards one that prioritizes genuine human security. This requires democratizing the process of shaping foreign policy by centering the voices of those most impacted by US wars and militarism.”

“We are all casualties and accessories of empire, which is why we must link across oceans and national boundaries to end this rampant militarization. As the Biden administration pursues aggressive policies to confront China’s rise, it is ever more urgent to challenge outdated definitions of security that imperil our collective futures,” she concludes.

A renowned campaigner and scholar, Christine Ahn is the executive director of Women Cross DMZ and coordinator of the Korea Peace Now! campaign.

From June 29 to August 4, the United States will lead 26 nations in a massive, coordinated military exercise around Hawai’i and Southern California known as Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, it will involve approximately 25,000 military personnel, 38 warships, four submarines, and over 170 aircraft from countries including Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and the Philippines. This year’s RIMPAC—the largest ever—happens against a backdrop of a ballooning U.S. defense budget and calls for increased U.S. military presence in the “Indo-Pacific”—all for the purpose of containing China.

Yet often overlooked are the very real consequences of increased militarization in the Asia-Pacific, especially for frontline communities and marine ecosystems. During last year’s RIMPAC war games, for example, an Australian destroyer killed a mother fin whale and her calf in San Diego. “These military exercises can wreak havoc on whales, dolphins and other marine mammals through explosions, sonar, and ship strikes,” says Kristen Monsell of the Center Biological Diversity.

Continue reading The feminist response to RIMPAC and the US war against China