Chinese and U.$. imperialists Saber Rattle on the International Stage
On 7 March 2023, China’s new foreign minister Qin Gang, in his first public appearance, delivered denouncements and warnings that “conflict and confrontation” with the United $tates is inevitable if the U.$. imperialists do not change their course.(1) Before becoming China’s new foreign minister, Qin Gang was an ambassador to the United $tates known for eir non-confrontational and diplomatic approaches to eir job.(2) This new public statement marks a clear shift in tone from the diplomatic and cautious reputation that Qin has built as eir time as ambassador. On the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Qin has said the following:
“If the United States does not hit the brakes, but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing, and there will surely be conflict and confrontation.”(3)
Alongside these comments, Qin has condemned the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” of the United $tates which ey claims is sparking discourse and a new cold war in Asia and seeks the containment of China as a country.
One day after, on 8 March 2023, U.$. ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel made a response to Qin’s claims that China should not be surprised at all that Washington and its allies are deepening military ties in reaction to China’s aggression:
“You look at India, you look at the Philippines, you look at Australia, you look at the United States, Canada or Japan. They [China] have had in just the last three months a military or some type of confrontation with every country. And then they’re shocked that countries are taking their own steps for deterrence to protect themselves. What did they think they were going to do?”(4)
Emanuel responded to Qin’s claims that the Amerikans’ Indo-Pacific strategy is not in fact containment of China but a “deterrence” of China’s aggression in the previous months. In the past three months, Chinese ships harassed the Filipino navy;(5) conducted military drills near Taiwan and fired missiles (those missiles landed on Japan’s territorial waters);(6) and have had border skirmishes in the Himalayas with India.(7)
The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the U.$. imperialists
The Indo-Pacific strategy of the United $tates was a particular target of Foreign Minister Qin’s condemnations. The Indo-Pacific strategy is a political-economic program launched by the Biden administration which has highlighted the economic importance of the region of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Pacific. In the program, the U.$. imperialists also highlight the “aggressive forces” of the Indo-Pacific region – namely China and the DPRK – which the program claims furthers destabilization.(8)
“The United States is an Indo-Pacific power. The region, stretching from our Pacific coastline to the Indian Ocean, is home to more than half of the world’s people, nearly two-thirds of the world’s economy, and seven of the world’s largest militaries. More members of the U.S. military are based in the region than in any other outside the United States. It supports more than three million American jobs and is the source of nearly $900 billion in foreign direct investment in the United States. In the years ahead, as the region drives as much as two-thirds of global economic growth, its influence will only grow—as will its importance to the United States.” - The Indo-Pacific’s Promise (The Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States, February 2022). (9)
This pamphlet of the U.$. imperialists lays a clear plan for the shape of things to come. The question is whether the U.$. imperialism can defeat rising new star Chinese social-imperialism who is also looking to pierce their fangs into the region.
Qin Gang has made the claim that this strategy of the United $tates is the Southeast Asian version of the NATO; asserting China’s position parallel to that of the USSR and the countries of India, Japan, South Korea, and Australia as the NATO alliance which plays the part of Western Europe.
We see these particular trends among today’s big imperialist powers as incredibly worrying due to the similarities to the political-economic contradictions among the imperialist forces of the early twentieth century, which resulted in the first World War.
One difference/advantage that Amerikkka always will have over China or Russia is battle hardened experience. The Amerikkkan empire have been at war (against other imperialist powers during the two world wars and against colonies fighting for self-determination alike) for nearly all of the 20th century. While China and Russia have had some military conflicts with other nations during their post-socialist capitalist restoration era (namely in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe respectively) these little post-capitalist restoration wars are nowhere near the level of experience the United $tates have had against Nazi Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Cracking down on Chechnyan “terrorist” cells in Eastern Europe by the Russian Armed Forces, or beating up revolting farmers/ethnic minorities on the countryside by the so-called “People’s Liberation Army” is a cakewalk compared to the genocidal wars Amerika waged throughout the 20th century.
Saber Rattlings in Taiwan
After Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen met with U.$. house of representative speaker Kevin McCarthy, the so-called “People’s Liberation Army” of China began conducting military drills in Taiwan waters.
Taiwan’s modern history began with the losers of the civil war in China. The Kuomintang (the nationalist party - KMT) of China fled from the people’s wrath and the Communist Party of China (CPC), which had overthrown the KMT’s bourgeois dictatorship, replacing it with a proletarian one. The KMT fugitives have massacred the indigenous people of Taiwan, and began the nation building project sponsored by U.$. imperialism. For many years Taiwan actually held the legitimate position recognized by the international community as “real” China. With the restoration of capitalism in China, the KMT of Taiwan actually seeks to cozy up to the social-imperialist CCP and takes a “moderate” stance on Taiwan independence affirming that Taiwan is still Chinese while the Taiwanese nationalists of the pan-green alliance and the Democratic Progressive Party take a more harder stance on Taiwanese national identity.
After president Tsai Ing-Wen’s meeting with the U.$. imperialists in Los Angeles, China began a 3 day long military exercises on the doorsteps of Taiwan. With precision air strikes designed to intimidate the Taiwanese government, and a naval blockade, the so-called PLA have certainly flexed their muscles on the front. (10)
The official statement from the Chinese military reads as follows:
“The theater’s troops are ready to fight at all times and can fight at any time to resolutely smash any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ and foreign interference attempts.” (11)
On 10 April 2022, Taiwan detected 91 flights by Chinese bombers as well as multiple fighter jets. (12)
Capitalism-Imperialism Makes Inter-Imperialist Conflicts Inevitable
The Indo-Pacific strategy recognizes the economic importance that the region of Southeast Asia and the Pacific holds not only for the United $tates but also for the imperial core overall. China also recognizes this. Under capitalism, where labor in itself is a commodity, the cheap labor and the immense surplus value that the world imperialist system plunders from Southeast Asia is invaluable to China as a new rising imperialist power.
Qin Gang proclaimed warnings that the actions of the U.$. imperialists will cause a new cold war. We at MIM(Prisons) say that the social-imperialist forces of China and the United $tates are creating the precedence for a new world war as the nature of capitalism-imperialism makes it inevitable for the great imperialist powers to eventually battle over and reorganize their respective neo-colonial turfs/territories.(13)
If fascism arrives in the United $tates, then the communists and the revolutionaries will have their duties and work to do just like always. If inter-imperialist conflict breaks out and a new world war enters in our world, then we will have our duties and work to do to as well. The nihilism of impending crisis is common here in the belly of the beast. But Marxists recognize these developments as the inevitable playing out of the inherent contradictions of the capitalist system. Periods of great conflict are when qualitative transformations happen, and this is a good thing. It is our role to understand these changes so that we can move things in the interests of the world’s majority.
NOTES: 1. Nectar Gan, 8 March 2023, China’s new foreign minister warns of conflict with US, defends Russia ties, CNN.
4. Brad Lendon, Marc Stewart, 8 March 2023, Exclusive: China’s ‘attacks’ unite region against Beijing, US ambassador to Japan says, CNN.
5. Brad Lendon, 13 February 2023 2022, Philippine Coast Guard says Chinese ship aimed laser at one of its vessels, CNN.
6. Brad Lendon, 4 August 2022, China fires missiles near Taiwan in live-fire drills as PLA encircles island, CNN.
8. The White House Washington, 24 September 2021, Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States.
10. Ben Blanchard Yimou Lee, 10 April 2023, China ends Taiwan drills after practicing blockades, precision strikes, Reuters.
12. Huizhong Wu, 10 April 2023, China military ‘ready to fight’ after drills near Taiwan, ABC.
13. Wiawimawo, February 2018, China’s Role in Increasing Inter-Imperialist Rivalries, Under Lock & Key No. 60.