“A Really Good Quarrel”

US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23 March 2021, www.thecommunists.net

Contents Part 1

Introduction

A symbolic public row

Two thieves as upholders of moral standards Part 2

Escalating the conflict between China and Japan

The Quad Summit

Inter-Imperialist tensions in the Taiwan Strait Part 3

Unavoidable continuation and acceleration of inter-imperialist rivalry

Continuing doing business

Towards escalation on the Korean Peninsula? Part 4

Fuck the EU” and Russia, again?

Confirmation of the Marxist analysis

Appendix (with 7 Tables)

 Introduction

The recent meeting between top diplomats of the U.S. and China reflected the continuation of the Cold War between the two biggest imperialist Great Powers. Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, the two delegations were led by US State Secretary Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan respectively by their Chinese counterparts – State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the “Communist” Party and director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs.

Unsurprisingly, the delegations couldn’t reach agreement on any substantial issue. The only outcome was to set up a working group on climate change and to hold talks “to facilitate activities of … diplomatic and consular missions” and on issues related to each other’s journalists. [1]

In fact, the opening of the meeting symbolically reflected the dramatic deterioration in the relationship between the Washington and Beijing in the recent past. The delegation leaders had a public row in front of assembled world’s press – an unprecedented event in the field of diplomacy between Great Powers for decades – with some participants obviously going off-script.

Hu Xijin – the editor-in-chief of Global Times, the English-language mouthpiece of the Beijing regime – commented pointedly: “I believe China and the US had a really good quarrel during their Alaska talks on Friday.[2] Or, to give an analogy of Bhim Bhurtel, a Nepalese commentator: “The verbal salvos between top American diplomats and their Chinese counterparts seemed more like testosterone-driven exchanges between professional wrestlers at the opening session of the US-China high-level meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

A symbolic public row

At the opening of the meeting, Blinken attacked China by stating that the U.S. government had “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States and economic coercion toward our allies.” He added: “The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winner takes all and that would be a far more violent and unstable world.

Yang immediately fired back in a lengthy statement. He accused the US of being the “champion” of cyber-attacks and questioned its moral ascendancy to speak on human rights and democracy issues. Referring to the notorious police violence against African Americans and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, he said: “Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States.

In response, Sullivan made a rejoinder in an unmistaken criticism of China’s system by stating “a confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings and constantly seek to improve, and that is the secret sauce of America.”

However, Yang shot back by stating, “Is that the way you had hoped to conduct this dialogue?”, according to his delegation’s translator, sarcastically lamenting, “I think we thought too well of the United States. The United States isn’t qualified to speak to China from a position of strength.” He added that China doesn’t think “the overwhelming majority of countries in the world recognize the universal values advocated by the US, or that the opinion of the US represents international public opinion.” He also said that “the rules made by a small number of people in the West should not serve as the basis for the international order.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his reply, retorted: “We do not believe in invading through the use of force, or to topple other regimes through various means, or to massacre the people of other countries, because all of those would only cause turmoil and instability in this world. And at the end of the day, all of those would not serve the United States well.[3]

An editorial of Global Times accurately commented this event: “The intensity of the opening is record-breaking since the two established diplomatic ties.[4] And the New York Times stated that “the scenes playing out now have echoes of the bad old days. As a moment in theatrical diplomacy, the meeting on Thursday and Friday in Anchorage between the Americans and Chinese was reminiscent of when the Soviet premier, Nikita S. Khrushchev, made headlines around the world 60 years ago by banging his shoe on a desk of the United Nations and shouting about American imperialists.” [5]

Two thieves as upholders of moral standards

Basically, both sides are not wrong in their accusations. Indeed, the Stalinist-capitalist regime brutally oppresses the Muslim Uyghurs in Xingang (or East Turkestan as the Uyghurs call it). It holds about one million in cynically called “re-education camps“. [6] Likewise, Beijing tries to smash the democratic mass movement in Hong Kong by any means available. [7]

But, then, who is the U.S. to make such accusation?! Which other state has started so many wars in the past decades and killed so many people?! According to the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University the U.S. Administration of Bush and his successor Barack Obama spend over $6.4 trillion on the wars in Iraq [8], Afghanistan [9], Pakistan and Syria. These U.S. wars have resulted in more than 801,000 people dying as a direct result of fighting. [10] And let us not forget that Washington has such cold-blood killers like Netanyahu or Mohammed bin Salman as close allies!

In other words, both U.S. as well as Chinese imperialism are thoroughly reactionary powers. They try to expand their power and profits by any means available. They try to exploit the weaknesses of their rivals and sometimes support in one way or another “my enemy’s enemies”. Socialists support the national and democratic rights of all people facing oppression by any Great Power – both the U.S. and China as well as any other imperialist power. At the same time, the RCIT warns against trust in any of these imperialist thieves! They are no friends of any oppressed people. Their loyalty belongs only to the principles of power and profit! [11]

Escalating the conflict between China and Japan

The ongoing Cold War between the two biggest Great Powers has become visible not only by the open diplomatic confrontation in front of the world’s press in Alaska. More importantly, it has become evident by a number of developments in recent past.

The Biden Administration might not use the same provocative language as did its predecessor. But in essence, nothing has changed. In the days before the Alaska meeting, Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III visited Japan. In Tokyo, they held a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. In a joint statement, they denounced China’s “coercion” and “destabilizing actions”. They also called for “stability” in the Taiwan Strait and supported Japan’s control the Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China. “We will push back when necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to try to get its way,” Blinken said. And Austin noted Beijing’s “destabilizing actions” in the South and East China Seas, saying, “Our goal is to make sure that we maintain a competitive edge over China or anyone else that would want to threaten us or our alliance.”

The Ney York Times commented on these statements: “Taken together, the Americans’ statements amounted to the most explicit admonishment in recent years by U.S. diplomats of Chinese provocations toward Japan and the rest of the region.” [12]

There are indications that they will follow words with deeds. A few days after the meeting, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi suggested at a press conference several days that Japanese and US forces might do joint exercises around the Senkakus islands. [13]

These disputed islands – called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China – are a major issue in the conflict between the two Asian powers. Japan took these islands as a result of its victorious war against the Qing Empire in 1894-95. While these islands have been always uninhabited, control over them gives an advantage in the geostrategic rivalry for regional hegemony. Hence, China challenges Tokyo’s control over the island on a regular basis. For years, Beijing has sent boats into or near Japan’s territorial waters around the disputed islands. Last year, Chinese ships spent a total of 333 days in Japan’s contiguous waters, the longest time on record, according to the Japanese Coast Guard. There is a realistic danger that Chinese and Japanese coast guard forces could be drawn into a shooting match as they patrol the island chain and are authorized by their governments to use deadly force to defend them. Likewise, there have been repeated incursions by Chinese military aircraft into Japan’s “air defense identification zone”.

As the RCIT has stated in the past, the issue behind the conflict about controlling the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands is the rivalry between Great Powers for geostrategic hegemony. It is similar to the conflict between Russia and Japan over control of the Kuril Islands or between Britain and Spain about the sovereignty of Gibraltar. In all such conflicts, imperialist states utilize historical refences in order to ideologically justify their territorial claims.

However, from a Marxist point of view the real issue is not if one of the two imperialist power has a “historical right” to own such territories. The fundamental question is rather the class character of the states involved in such a dispute. If – as it the case with the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands – both sides are imperialist Great Powers, socialists must not support either of the two. The RCIT calls all workers and popular organizations to intransigently oppose all territorial claims, armament efforts, sanctions, militarist adventures and chauvinist propaganda campaigns by any imperialist state – the U.S., Japan as well as China. [14]

The Quad Summit

Another reflection of Washington’s continuation of its aggressive foreign policy has been the recent virtual summit of the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue held on 12 March. This grouping – usually called Quad – consists of four countries, Australia, India [15], Japan and the US. Washington hopes to utilize this alliance as a kind of “Asian NATO” in order to contain China, its rising rival and most important challenger of America’s global hegemony. [16]

In a joint statement of Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the four state leaders reaffirmed: “We bring diverse perspectives and are united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific. We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion.[17] While this statement is directed against China, it is difficult to ignore its cynical character of phrases like “democratic values” or ”unconstrained by coercion” since one of its signatories, India, is suppressing the Kashmiri people with utmost brutality since decades, killing tens of thousands of people. [18]

The signatories also state: “We will continue to prioritize the role of international law in the maritime domain, particularly as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas.” This is a thinly veiled phrase challenging Beijing’s domination of the East and South China Seas. The background of this threat is the fact that these seas are of tremendous economic and geostrategic importance. It is estimated that there are huge oil and natural gas reserves beneath its seabed. Furthermore one-third of the world’s maritime shipping passes through it.

Leaving aside that the real motive behind this statement is not any concern for international law but the pragmatic power interests of imperialist states, it is not without irony that the statement justifies its demands with reference to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, while this treaty entered force on 16 November 1994, Washington has refused to sign it until today! [19]

Inter-Imperialist tensions in the Taiwan Strait

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have also escalated around the issue of Taiwan. Historically part of China, Taiwan became a separate state at the end of the Chinese civil war. When the Stalinist forces led by Mao Zedong won the war and proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949, the pro-imperialist forces led by Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang retreated to the island. [20] Since then, both sides called for the reunification of China under their respective leadership. Naturally, China is the much stronger force but as Taiwan has always been a close ally of U.S. imperialism, Beijing had to refrain from forcefully reuniting the country until now.

However, since China has dramatically increased its economic and military weight in the past decades – and the U.S. has experienced a parallel decline – the relation of forces has changed in the region. Beijing is becoming increasingly inpatient and the U.S. attempts to counter China’s rise at its doorsteps.

Taiwan is crucial for the U.S. not only because of its geostrategic location at the door of China. It also has become very important for the American monopolies because Taiwan – mainly the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) – is the world’s largest exporter of semiconductors. According to latest data, 88% of the semiconductor chips used by US industries, including the automotive and defense industries, are fabricated outside the US. Hence, any Chinese attack on the island would have devastating consequences not only for Taiwan itself but also, indirectly, for the U.S. corporations. [21]

Shortly after the inauguration of President Biden, China dispatched two large formations of warplanes – including nuclear-capable bombers and fighters – close to Taiwan over the weekend. On the other side, Biden signaled support to Taipei by sending a destroyer through the Taiwan Strait three times in the last two months.

Reflecting the changing relation of forces in favor of Beijing, a number of Chinese commentators and retired military commanders have called for military efforts to conquer Taiwan. It is hardly surprising that China’s ruling class feels more self-confident given its increasing military strength. To cut the chain of American installations along the Pacific littoral, Beijing has built eight military bases on tiny islands in the South China Sea and imposed an air defense zone over a portion of the East China Sea. [22] Its ability for complex command-and-control operations is massively enhanced by owning the planet’s second global system of military satellites. Beijing has also accelerated the build-up of its navy. It is already operating two aircraft carriers and a third one is expected to be launched this year. A recently published Pentagon report claims that China “has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines including over 130 major surface combatants. In comparison, the U.S. Navy’s battle force is approximately 293 ships as of early 2020.[23] While it is quite likely that this report is tendentious (as usual, the Pentagon wants to convince Congress to raise its annual budget), it is an undeniable fact that China’s military strength has increased considerable.

Furthermore, Beijing also passed a law in January that for the first time explicitly allowed its coastguard to fire on foreign vessels. The Coast Guard Law empowers it to “take all necessary measures, including the use of weapons when national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction are being illegally infringed upon by foreign organisations or individuals at sea”. [24]

However, it is not only Beijing which is accelerating its military build-up in the region. Washington also wants to increase its military presence. The US Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command issued a report which asked the US Congress to double its outlay to $4.68 billion for 2022 ($22.69 billion for 2023 to 2027). Admiral Davidson, who heads the Command, said in a statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee that this money was essential in order to deter Beijing. “Our deterrence posture in the Indo-Pacific must demonstrate the capability, the capacity and the will to convince Beijing unequivocally, the costs of achieving their objectives by the use of military force are simply too high. Indeed, we must be doing everything possible to deter conflict: Our number one job is to keep the peace. But we absolutely must be prepared to fight and win should competition turn to conflict.” [25]

Davidson further said that the trade war could easily accelerate into a hot war sooner than 2050. [26] Emphasizing the urgency for the U.S. to increase its military presence in the region, the Admiral said that China’s threat to Taiwan “is manifest in this decade — in fact, in the next six years.” [27] This is a thinly veiled indication that the Pentagon expects war with China for control of Taiwan resp. the Taiwan Strait in the period until 2027!

In summary, it is safe to say that Taiwan is one of the most likely flashpoints of a war between the U.S. and China in the next few years. In case of a military conflict between China and Taiwan – which most likely would involve the US on the side of Taiwan – the RCIT will advocate a revolutionary defeatist position. True, Taiwan is not an imperialist country – in contrast to the U.S. and China. However, given its whole history as well as the current climax of Cold War, Taiwan has always been and can only act as a proxy of U.S. imperialism. Hence, a war between China and Taiwan would be, by its very nature, a war between China and the U.S. In such a conflict, socialists must refuse supporting either side since both represent reactionary and imperialist camps. Revolutionaries are obligated to follow the principles of Lenin and Liebknecht: “‘The main enemy is at home’. Our goal is to transform the imperialist war into a civil war against the ruling class“. [28]

Unavoidable continuation and acceleration of inter-imperialist rivalry

All these events of the past weeks reflect the ongoing rivalry between the two biggest Great Powers. U.S. imperialism is fully aware that China poses the biggest threat to its hegemonial position. A few weeks ago, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a wide-ranging speech about the Biden administration’s priorities. He listed the names of several countries that present the US with “serious challenges, including Russia, Iran, North Korea.” However, he said: “But the challenge posed by China is different. (…) “China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system.

He made no secret that the present world order serves the interests of U.S. imperialism, saying that the system’s rules and values “make the world work the way we want it to, because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people.” China threatens this, Blinken said, so the US must “engage China from a position of strength.” [29]

Naturally, this statement does not reflect a new turn but simply a continuation of the long-standing approach of U.S. imperialism. This has been also confirmed, we note as an aside, in a report of the U.S. National Security Council written in 2018 but which has been declassified just two months ago. This report names – at the very beginning – as a challenge: “How to maintain U.S. strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region”. And it notes on the second page: “Loss of U.S. preeminence in the Indo-Pacific would weaken our ability to achieve U.S. interests globally.” The document also states as the US government’s objective to “maintain American industry’s innovation edge vis-à-vis China,” which does not mean only to enhance US industry, but it also means to prevent China from getting access to technology and finance. [30]

The Biden Administration itself admits that it is basically continuing the aggressive anti-China policy of its predecessor. Last month, Blinken said Trump “was right in taking a tougher approach to China“, while commerce secretary Gina Raimondo has said she will continue the Trump policy of using the “full toolkit at my disposal… to protect America and our networks from Chinese interference“. [31]

China’s Xi regime is also fully aware of the continuation of the Great Power rivalry. After a two-hour telephone conversation last month between Biden and Xi, Beijing concluded that the Cold War will not abate. Shortly after the conversation, the Chinese leader reportedly told local officials in the northwest of the country that “the biggest source of chaos in the present-day world is the United States,” which he also described as “the biggest threat to our country’s development and security.[32]

Yang Xiyu, a former Chinese diplomat and senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing, characterized the current state of China-US relationship as at “the worst situation since the handshake between Mao Zedong and Richard Nixon.” In the future there are only two ways – “back on the right track or back to the situation before diplomatic ties were established, which is a cold war or even a hot war.” [33]

In addition to its continuing military build-up, China – as well as Russia – also attacks the U.S. in the cyberspace. As it became known recently, hackers most likely operating under Beijing’s order gained access to Microsoft’s Exchange servers which is also used by tens of thousands of companies and government entities. And a Russian intrusion into network management software made by a company called SolarWinds got them into roughly 18,000 private and government networks. [34]

Behind the fog of rhetoric, the remarks of the Chinese delegation’s leaders at the Alaska meeting reflect a crucial development in the world situation. Yang’s statement that “the United States isn’t qualified to speak to China from a position of strength” reveals that Beijing is fully aware of decay of the old hegemon and that it feels pretty confident to challenge Washington.

China’s growing self-confidence can be also observed in the comments by its official media. Global Times wrote in an editorial: “It is a fantasy to strike China down. Putting China in awe is day-dreaming. Both sides have to accept the status quo that neither will compromise, and work for cooperation areas in an unfriendly atmosphere and find a way out. Strategic patience and restraint are required for 21st century major powers. There needs to be a framework that is able to tolerate and dilute conflicts. We hope China and the US can work toward that goal.” [35]

And another article of Global Times confidently states: “With or without the US, China is poised to grow. And the genuine economic and trade partners of China will continue to benefit from the country’s huge dynamic market. If the politicians in Washington continue to engage in the blame game, demonizing and smearing China on the world stage, China will just ignore them, leaving them bickering and waning in strength.[36]

Even the New York Times – a leading newspaper of the U.S. monopoly bourgeoisie – was forced to acknowledge such a change in the relation of forces between the two powers. “While this was not the first testy meeting between the Chinese and the Americans, the balance of power between the two countries has changed. For decades, China approached American governments from positions of weakness, economically and militarily. That forced it at times to accede to American demands, however grudgingly, whether it was to release detained human-rights advocates or to accept Washington’s conditions for joining the World Trade Organization. China today feels far more assured in its ability to challenge the United States and push for its own vision of international cooperation. It is a confidence embraced by China’s leader since 2012, Xi Jinping, who has used the phrase, ‘the East is rising, and the West is declining.’[37]

A similar observation about the meaning of the Alaska meeting has been made by the above-mentioned Nepalese commentator Bhim Bhurtel who concluded that “China has challenged US primacy publicly.[38]

And Spengler (David P. Goldman) – a well-known conservative commentator in the U.S. – pointed out the changed relationship of forces between the U.S. and China in splendid words: “Wang told Blinken in so many words, ‘You and what army?’ It must have stung.[39]

Continuing doing business

This does not mean that war between the U.S. and China is around the corner. While there is recognition on both sides that on a political and military level, the Cold War is here to stay, there are certain efforts to keep economic relations going. In fact, despite all the diplomatic conflicts, bilateral trade between the two countries grew by 8.8% in 2020 and jumped by 81.3% in the first two months of 2021.

Greg Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said at a recent press briefing that the Biden administration would “normalize” ties with China and he remains “optimistic” that the Biden administration would remove some measures or restrictions put in place by the Trump administration and “has reason to do so.” Over 3,500 US firms have filed a lawsuit against the US government over the tariffs which were imposed by the Trump Administration. This reflects the strong desire of a significant section of the U.S. capitalist class to continue doing business with China.

Likewise, China’s monopolies are also interested in continuing access to the U.S. market. Li Yong, deputy chairman of the Expert Committee of the China Association of International Trade, said: “It has become clear that trade is the [most important] area left where the two countries still hold massive mutual interests and could reach some consensus.” Huo Jianguo, a vice president of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, made a similar statement: “While these trade issues are also complicated and thorny, they are much easier to address compared to the political differences. (…) On politics, it seems that no agreement can be made. But in business, there is always common ground.[40]

Towards escalation on the Korean Peninsula?

Another indication for an aggressive foreign policy of U.S. imperialism is the following formulation in the above-mentioned statement of the recent Quad summit. The sentence “We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea” was a deliberate provocation against the regime of Kim Jong-un. Traditionally, diplomatic statements referred to the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”, i.e. indicating the goal of removing nuclear arms from the whole region. The Quad formulation however indicates openly that the imperialists’ goal is simply to disarm North Korea (which, of course, was always their real goal).

Unsurprisingly, this statement provoked a sharp rebuke from the North Korean regime. Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, said in a public statement: “We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off (gun) powder smell in our land. (…) If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.[41]

As Trotskyists we have no illusions about the North Korean regime. As we have analyzed in past documents, the Stalinist regime brutally oppresses its people and restored capitalism in the past decade. [42] However, it is clearly not an imperialist but rather a small semi-colonial country facing aggression from the biggest imperialist power as well its South Korean ally (an imperialist state in its own right). [43]

Hence, the RCIT and its South Korean section consider it as the duty of all socialists to energetically oppose all sanctions and other forms of imperialist aggression against the North. In case of a military conflict, we call for the defeat of the imperialist forces and their allies and for the defense of North Korea. [44]

Fuck the EU” and Russia, again?

If we make a first assessment of the foreign policy of the new U.S. Administration one can say that – compared with Trump – the language might have changed but not the substance. As we did elaborate above, its global policy remains focused on containing the rise of China as its most important rival.

Likewise, Washington is set to continue its aggressive policy towards another imperialist rival – Russia. [45] Biden’s recent statement in an interview with ABC that Putin is a “killer” reflects the ongoing Cold War. In fact, such a choice of words is an unprecedented diplomatic affront no U.S. President has done before. We note as an aside that, of course, it is true that Putin is a killer. But coming from the President of a state which has a long tradition of invading and occupying so many countries far away, of killing hundreds of thousands of people, of organizing bloody military coup d’états in other countries, of having murderous allies all over the world, etc. – all this makes such a statement a silly provocation designed only to escalate the inter-imperialist rivalry.

One could think that the President has misspoken which would not be surprising since the 78-year-old geriatric in the White House is obviously past his best. As the world could watch in past weeks, he forgot both the name as well as the position of Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin at a at public White House event — calling the Pentagon chief “the guy who runs that outfit over there.” [46] He also had visible difficulties in walking as he stumbled and fell three times when he tried to enter Air Force One. [47]

However, looking at the global picture, it is clear that insulting Putin was not an unintended blooper but part of the continuing Cold War policy of U.S. imperialism. This becomes clear from the determined efforts both of the Biden Administration as well as U.S. Congress to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline by any means necessary. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany – is a highly important project both for Brussels as well as for Moscow. Washington has always opposed this pipeline – which is 95% complete by now – as it would intensify the economic and political relations between the Western Europe and Russia (the latter already provides about a third of the EU’s annual gas consumption). Furthermore, it would reduce the EU’s dependence on the Ukraine as well as on energy imports from the U.S. market.

A few days ago, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned entities participating in the Nord Stream 2 to stop work on the project immediately. According to a Bloomberg report, the Biden administration is reviewing additional sanctions against entities involved. The sanctions could target an insurance company working with companies laying pipeline and other companies providing vessels and material to the project. [48]

Such sanctions would be without doubt a major blow for the Washington’s relations both with the EU as well as with Russia. This is not only the case because it is an $11 billion international infrastructure project in which some of the largest European corporations participate together with Russia’s Gazprom. Nord Stream 2 is a project of strategic importance for Western Europe as the new pipeline would provide 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year. It shall reduce the costs of Europe’s energy imports from Russia since Europe now pays about $2 billion a year in transit fees to the Ukraine, Slovakia and other countries. [49]

Imposing sanctions on a key project for German and EU imperialism could have dramatic effects. It could provoke Germany’s Christian Democrats – the chancellor party since 2005 and the traditional main party of the capitalist class – to turn against the U.S. No wonder, that Klaus Dieter Frankenberger of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – the conservative mouthpiece of the German bourgeoisie – suggested last month that Biden would turn out to be “Trump light.” Daniel Benjamin, president of the American Academy in Berlin and a former coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department 2009-12, rightly commented that such a breach “could turn the relaunch of the U.S. as the leader of a network of global alliances into a home harbor shipwreck.[50]

It is clear that European imperialism has its independent interests and has no desire to subordinate itself any longer to Washington’s dictates. [51] This has been also demonstrated by the convergence of Brussels and Beijing in the past 12 months – despite America’s ongoing Cold War against the Middle Kingdom. At the end of December 2020, Chinese and European Union leaders agreed on an investment treaty which would make it easier for companies to operate on each other’s territory. [52]

Another indication of a not-so-friendly approach of the new US Administration towards its European NATO allies is the nomination of Victoria Nuland as undersecretary of state for political affairs. Nuland is a neoconservative and a former deputy national security adviser to then-vice president Dick Cheney. She was prominently associated with America’s 2014 involvement in the Maidan coup in Ukraine. At that time, she was taped on a cell phone call with America’s ambassador to the Ukraine in 2014 ordering the composition of the next Ukrainian government after the Maidan coup, in the tone of a colonial viceroy. Told that there might be some difficulties, Nuland explained that the UN was being enlisted in support and said, “That would be great, I think, and help glue this thing.” She famously added, “And, you know, fuck the EU.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the time denounced the remark as “unacceptable.”

In short, Nuland’s nomination reflects that the Biden’s public characterization of Putin as a “killer” was not an unintended blooper but part of a confrontational foreign policy. It also shows that it would be mistaken to expect a dramatic turn in the U.S. relations with the European Union compared with the past four years of the Trump Administration.

Confirmation of the Marxist analysis

This overview demonstrates that the U.S. foreign policy will not experience dramatic shifts compared with the previous Trump Administration. It will rather continue and accelerate an aggressive foreign policy designed to halt the decline of U.S. imperialism as the hegemonic power by putting down all potential Great Power rivals.

This confirms the RCIT’s analysis which we have elaborated in a number of documents in the last years. [53] Two years ago, we commented on the Global Trade War between the U.S. and China: “This is only the latest escalation in the accelerating rivalry between the two Great Powers. It should not come as a surprise to any observer. As we have explained repeatedly, this economic war has much more fundamental causes than the buffoonery of Donald Dumb or the authoritarian nature of the Xi regime. It is rather a result of the fundamental antagonism between the two most powerful imperialist states. On one hand, there’s the U.S., the absolute capitalist hegemon since WWII that is now confronting both its economic and political decline. On the other hand, there’s China, the emerging imperialist Great Power that has risen as the most powerful challenger to previous, unquestioned, U.S. dominance. For this reason, the clashes between these two rivals in the struggle for world hegemony must inevitable accelerate. Of course, temporary compromises are possible and will take place. There is no war without periods of truce. However, the fundamental antagonism between the interests of the imperialist powers will drive them inevitable to accelerate their rivalry, on the economic, the political and, ultimately, also on the military terrain.[54]

As we have elaborated in much detail in other works about America’s decay, the emergence of Chinese imperialism and the resulting acceleration of the Great Power rivalry we will limit ourselves to a few remarks at this point. [55]

Since 2008/09 world capitalism has entered a period of historic crisis – a tendency which dramatically accelerated since the onset of the Third Depression in autumn 2019. In such a period, it is inevitable that the ruling classes of all Great Powers try to advance their interests at the cost of their rivals. Likewise, as they all face domestic political problems, they have a desire to deflect public attention by instigating chauvinism against their foreign opponents (as well as against domestic “enemies” like migrants, Black [56] and Muslim [57] minorities or against opponents of the authoritarian COVID-19 Lockdown policy [58]).

We have demonstrated in many works that China’s rise as a new imperialist Great Power is an undeniable fact. In terms of share in world production and trade, capital accumulation, corporations, billionaires and military strength, China has become a leading power (see on this the 7 Tables in the Appendix).

This does not mean that we expect China to become the new hegemon – i.e. that it could simply replace the U.S. History has demonstrated that replacing one hegemon by another is only possible via great wars. In the end, World War III between the U.S. and China is inevitable in the long run if the working class and the oppressed do not overthrow global capitalism in time. But for the foreseeable future we expect that there will be no absolute hegemon. The U.S. is no longer strong enough to impose its dictates globally and China is not strong enough to replace it. As we explained in our book on the COVID-19 Counterrevolution, published one year ago, the consequences will be a massive acceleration of rivalry and increasing geopolitical instability: “In fact, it seems to us that the future course of development of world politics will be characterized by a lack of any hegemon. The U.S. is no longer capable of putting its mark on world politics. And China (and even less so any other Great Power) is not strong enough to do so. What will be the result of such equilibrium of the Great Powers? It will be a further acceleration of the inter-imperialist rivalry – mainly between the U.S. and China. In fact, we are entering a period which can be characterized as a prelude for World War III.[59]

As we already stated above, it is crucial for socialists to take a consistent anti-imperialist and internationalist line towards Great Power rivalry. The only possible, the only revolutionary tactic is the consistent opposition against all imperialist Great Powers. Socialists must denounce all forms of chauvinism. Likewise, they must oppose imperialist sanctions and punitive tariffs. Those “progressive” forces which support such chauvinist acts must be unreservedly condemned and their influence within the workers and popular mass organizations must be fought against as they act as social-imperialist lackeys. The RCIT advocates the program of revolutionary defeatism as it has been developed by the Marxist movement. This means that socialists must oppose all Great Powers and act in each imperialist country on the basis of “the main enemy is at home“. They should utilize any conflict in order to weaken and eventually overthrow the ruling class. [60]

We repeat our advice to the brothers and sisters of oppressed people who experience brutal tyranny by one or the other Great Power. The Uyghurs by the Stalinist-capitalist ruling class in Beijing, the Syrian [61] as well as the Chechen [62] people by Russian imperialism, the Yemeni people by the US-allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates [63], the popular masses in Africa and Latin America suffering from the yoke of pro-American regimes, etc. It is clear that many activists of popular movements hope to get some help from “my enemy’s enemies”. However, we repeat our warning that the only true friends of the oppressed are the workers, youth and oppressed in other countries. History has shown that the ruling class of any Great Power will “at best” utilize the aid of this or that oppressed people in order to get advantage against its rivals. But when “the Moor has done his duty, the Moor can go“ (to quote William Shakespeare’s Othello) Rulers will sell-out this or that people when they make a deal with a rival or when they fear that their liberation struggle might inspire other people (in their own sphere of influence).

It is a bizarre and shameful fact that many of so-called left lack any understanding of these developments. Many “left-wing” social democratic, post-Stalinist (e.g. the “Party of the European Left”) and populist forces (e.g. PODEMOS in Spain, Mélenchon in France) in Europe act as supporters of EU imperialism. The Stalinist and Bolivarian parties act as cheerleaders of Russian and Chinese imperialism. Many of them even claim that China would not be a capitalist but rather a “socialist” country! A number of Trotskyist organizations believe that China and Russia are “semi-colonial” or “sub-imperialist” states. As we have explained on many occasions, such misconceptions open the door to view these two emerging powers as a somehow “lesser evil” and, hence, siding with one of several of such imperialist powers. [64]

Only a correct Marxist analysis of the imperialist character of all Great Powers – in West as well as in East – allows to take a correct position on one of the key contradictions in the period of historic decay of capitalism. Only such an approach allows Marxists to take a revolutionary defeatist stance against the ruling class of all Great Powers, i.e. a consistent anti-imperialist position!

Appendix:

Table 1. Share of U.S., Western Europe and China in Global Industrial Production, 2000 – 2015 [65]

                                                        Share in Global Industrial Production

                                                        2000                    2015

U.S.                                                 25.1%                  17.7%

Western Europe                            12.1%                  9.2%

China                                             6.5%                    23.6%

Table 2. Share of U.S. and China in World Trade, 2001 and 2016 [66]

                                          Share in World Trade

                                          2001                    2016

U.S.                                   15.1%                  11.4%

China                               4.0%                    11.5%

Table 3. Regional Share of Global Gross Fixed Capital Formation, 1961 – 2015 (in percent) [67]

                                                        1961      1970      1980      1990      2000      2010              2015

United States                                38.04     31.93     24.10     23.17     30.73              17.72     19.49

United Kingdom                          4.23       4.05       4.35       4.42       3.85       2.50              2.64

Japan                                              5.36       10.40     12.29     18.11     17.36     8.01              5.60

Canada                                           2.66       2.68       2.33       2.36       1.89       2.50              1.97

France                                            –             5.34       6.14       5.42       3.80       3.85              2.84

Germany                                        –             8.82       8.79       7.86       5.81       4.37              3.65

China                                              2.85       3.11       2.01       1.62       5.25              18.07     26.43

Table 4. Top 10 Countries with the Ranking of Fortune Global 500 Companies (2020) [68]

Rank                   Country                                                       Companies                      Share(in%)

1                          China (without Taiwan)                            124                                    24.8%

2                          United States                                              121                                    24.2%

3                          Japan                                                            53                                      10.6%

4                          France                                                           31                                      6.2%

5                          Germany                                                     27                                      5.4%

6                          United Kingdom                                        22                                      4.4%

7                          South Korea                                                14                                      2.8%

8                          Switzerland                                                14                                      2.8%

9                          Canada                                                         13                                      2.6%

10                        Netherlands                                                13                                      2.6%

Table 5. China and U.S. Lead the Global Rich List 2021 [69]

                            2021                    Share of “Known” Global Billionaires 2021

China                  1058                    32.8%

U.S.                     696                      21.6%

Table 6. World Nuclear Forces, 2019 [70]

Country                            Deployed Warheads       Other Warheads              Total Inventory

USA                                  1,750                                  4,050                                 5,800

Russia                               1,570                                  4,805                                 6,375

UK                                    120                                     95                                      215

France                              280                                     10                                      290

China                                –                                         320                                    320

Table 7. The World’s 10 Top Exporters of Weapons, 2015-19 [71]

Rank                   Exporter                           Global Share (%)

1                          USA                                  36

2                          Russia                              21

3                          France                              7.9

4                          Germany                          5.5

5                          China                               6.2

6                          UK                                    3.7

7                          Spain                                3.1

8                          Israel                                3.0

9                          Italy                                  2.1

10                        South Korea                    2.1


[1] See e.g. Ken Moritsugu: After testy meeting, China says will discuss climate with US, 20 March 2021 https://apnews.com/article/alaska-china-1b1cb3c09cfc2775731b8a408f602600; China, U.S. to work on climate, Beijing says after rancorous meeting, 21 March 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china/china-u-s-to-work-on-climate-beijing-says-after-rancorous-meeting-idUSKBN2BD016

[2] Hu Xijin: China, US have good quarrel during Alaska talks, 20 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218910.shtml

[3] See on this e.g. White House: Secretary Antony J. Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Director Yang And State Councilor Wang At the Top of Their Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, 18 March 2021, https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-national-security-advisor-jake-sullivan-chinese-director-of-the-office-of-the-central-commission-for-foreign-affairs-yang-jiechi-and-chinese-state-councilor-wang-yi-at-th/; Lara Jakes: In First Talks, Dueling Accusations Set Testy Tone for U.S.-China Diplomacy, 18 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/us/politics/china-blinken-sullivan.html; Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom, Michael Martina: ‘Tough’ U.S.-China talks signal rocky start to relations under Biden, 19 March 2021, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-alaska/tough-u-s-china-talks-signal-rocky-start-to-relations-under-biden-idUSKBN2BB216; Wen Sheng: It’s important to reactivate China-US relations, avert misunderstandings, 20 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218923.shtml; Matthew Lee and Mark Thiessen: US and China spar in 1st face-to-face meeting under Biden, 19 March 2021, https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-alaska-antony-blinken-yang-jiechi-hong-kong-7c82af723084bc3d7825df4c9678f0b9; Richard Javad Heydarian: Fireworks and fury set New Cold War tone in Alaska, 19 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/fireworks-and-fury-set-new-cold-war-tone-in-alaska/.

[4] Global Times: What did China and US learn about each other from Alaska talks? Editorial, 20 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218927.shtml

[5] David E. Sanger: That Was Fast: Blowups With China and Russia in Biden’s First 60 Days, 20 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/20/us/politics/china-russia-biden.html

[6] For the RCIT’s analysis of the oppression of the Uyghurs see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: China: Defend the Muslim Uyghurs against Oppression! 18.10.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-defend-the-muslim-uyghurs-against-oppression/; Michael Pröbsting: 37 Signatures Are Worth a Thousand Words. On a letter of 37 states, including Muslim countries, sent to the United Nations defending China’s treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, 16 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/37-states-defend-china-s-treatment-of-uyghurs/

[7] For the RCIT’s analysis of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong see e.g. RCIT: China: Solidarity with the General Strike in Hong Kong! For an international solidarity movement as the Stalinist-Capitalist regime in Beijing prepares a brutal crackdown! 01 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/solidarity-with-the-general-strike-in-hong-kong/; RCIT: China: Long Live the Popular Uprising in Hong Kong! After protestors storm the parliament: general strike against the extradition bill and the Lam Administration! 03 July 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/long-live-the-popular-uprising-in-hong-kong/; RCIT: China: Mass Protests against Reactionary “Extradition Law” in Hong Kong. For an indefinite general strike to kill the bill and to bring down the Administration of Carrie Lam! 18 June 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-mass-protests-against-reactionary-extradition-law-in-hong-kong/

[8] For the RCIT’s analysis of the U.S. occupation of Iraq see e.g. Yossi Schwartz: Iraq: Down with U.S. Imperialism, 31.12.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/iraq-down-with-u-s-imperialism/; see also chapter 12 and 13 in Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/.

[9] For the RCIT’s analysis of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan see e.g. RCIT: Afghanistan: A Successful Strike against the US Occupation. Major Attack by the Afghan Resistance against a High-Level Meeting of Afghan and U.S. Generals in Kandahar, 19.10.2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/afghanistan-a-successful-strike-against-the-us-occupation/; see also chapter 12 and 13 in the above-mentioned book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South.

[10] Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs: Costs of War, https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/

[11] See on this e.g. Yossi Schwartz: The National Question. The Marxist Approach to the Struggle of the Oppressed People, August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-national-question/; see also chapter XXI in our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019. The book can be read online or downloaded for free here: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/

[12] Lara Jakes, Motoko Rich and John Ismay: Visiting Japan, Top U.S. Envoys Set Combative Tone for China Talks, 16 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/world/asia/us-japan-china-talks.html

[13] Grant Newsham: Time for US, Japan to muscle up their alliance, 22 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/time-for-us-japan-to-muscle-up-their-alliance/

[14] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: No to chauvinist war-mongering by Japanese and Chinese imperialism! Chinese and Japanese workers: Your main enemy is at home! Stop the conflict on the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands in the East China Sea! 23.9.2012, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/no-war-between-china-and-japan/

[15] For the RCIT’s analysis of India see e.g. the following works of Michael Pröbsting: Is India a New Emerging Great Power? In: Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory has in its latest issue (Volume 48, Issue 1, 2020), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03017605.2019.1706783; China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? 18 August 2017, Revolutionary Communism No. 71, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-india-rivalry/; India: A Prison House of Nations and Lower Castes. Essay on the social and national contradictions of Indian capitalism and the rise of Hindutva chauvinism, 16 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/india-is-a-a-prison-house-of-nations-and-lower-castes/

[16] On China’s rise as an imperialist power see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Chinese Imperialism and the World Economy. An Essay published in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism (edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope), Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2020, https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-319-91206-6_179-1; see also by the same author: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism (English-language Journal of the RCIT) No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4

[17] Quad Leaders’ Joint Statement: “The Spirit of the Quad”, 12 March 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/12/quad-leaders-joint-statement-the-spirit-of-the-quad/

[18] For the RCIT’s analysis of India’s oppression of Kashmir see the special sub-page on our website which compiles our documents on this issue: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/collection-of-articles-on-the-liberation-struggle-in-kashmir/. In particular we draw attention to the pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: The Kashmir Question and the Indian Left Today. Marxism, Stalinism and centrism on the national liberation struggle of the Kashmiri people, 26 September 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/kashmir-question-and-indian-left-today/.

[19] Bhim Bhurtel: Quad lacks moral authority in South China Sea, 17 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/quad-lacks-moral-authority-in-south-china-sea/

[20] On China under the leadership of Mao, see chapter “Tito and Mao: disobedient Stalinists” in our book LRCI: The Degenerated Revolution: The Origin and Nature of the Stalinist States, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/stalinism-and-the-degeneration-of-the-revolution/. On Stalinism in general see, in addition to this book, the book by Michael Pröbsting: Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out? The Road from Revolution to the Restoration of Capitalism, August 2013, RCIT Books, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/cuba-s-revolution-sold-out/.

[21] Carol Handwerker: US fights to make up lost ground in chip production, 14 March 2021, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-global-computer-chip-shortage-shows-danger-of-u-s-production-trends/

[22] Alfred McCoy: Washington’s Delusion of Endless World Dominion. China and the U.S. Struggle over Eurasia, the Epicenter of World Power, 21 March 2021, https://tomdispatch.com/washingtons-delusion-of-endless-world-dominion/

[23] Quoted in Congressional Research Service: China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities – Background and Issues for Congress, 9 March 2021, p. 28

[24] China’s next aircraft carrier likely nuclear powered, says report, 13 March 2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/13/chinas-next-aircraft-carrier-could-be-nuclear-powered-report

[25] Jim Garamone: Erosion of U.S. Strength in Indo-Pacific Is Dangerous to All, Commander Says, 9 March 2021, https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2530733/erosion-of-us-strength-in-indo-pacific-is-dangerous-to-all-commander-says/

[26] Vijay Prashad: Biden continues conflict with China through the Quad, 16 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/biden-continues-conflict-with-china-through-the-quad/

[27] Lara Jakes, Motoko Rich and John Ismay: Visiting Japan, Top U.S. Envoys Set Combative Tone for China Talks, 16 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/world/asia/us-japan-china-talks.html

[28] See on this e.g. RCIT: TikTok, Consulate Closures and the Cold War between the U.S. and China. Socialists must oppose all Great Powers! 10.08.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/tiktok-consulate-closures-and-the-cold-war-between-the-u-s-and-china/; RCIT: Escalating Cold War between the Great Powers amid the COVID-19 Crisis. Workers and oppressed must oppose both U.S. and Chinese imperialism! 14.05.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/escalating-cold-war-between-the-great-powers-amid-the-covid-19-crisis/

[29] Quoted in Vijay Prashad: Biden continues conflict with China through the Quad, 16 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/biden-continues-conflict-with-china-through-the-quad/

[30] National Security Council: U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific, https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/IPS-Final-Declass.pdf, p. 1 resp. p. 2

[31] Joe Gill: Joe Biden and the decline of American power, 19 March 2021, https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/us-china-trump-biden-confront-power-waning

[32] David E. Sanger and Michael Crowley: As Biden and Xi Begin a Careful Dance, a New American Policy Takes Shape, 17 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/17/us/politics/us-china-relations.html

[33] Yang Sheng: China, US kick off Alaska talks amid tensions, attach great importance, 18 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218851.shtml

[34] See on this e.g. David E. Sanger, Julian E. Barnes and Nicole Perlroth: Preparing for Retaliation Against Russia, U.S. Confronts Hacking by China, 7 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/07/us/politics/microsoft-solarwinds-hack-russia-china.html; David E. Sanger, Julian E. Barnes and Nicole Perlroth: White House Weighs New Cybersecurity Approach After Failure to Detect Hacks, 14 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/14/us/politics/us-hacks-china-russia.html

[35] Global Times: What did China and US learn about each other from Alaska talks? Editorial, 20 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218927.shtml

[36] Wen Sheng: It’s important to reactivate China-US relations, avert misunderstandings, 20 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218923.shtml

[37] Lara Jakes and Steven Lee Myers: Tense Talks With China Left U.S. ‘Cleareyed’ About Beijing’s Intentions, Officials Say, 19 March 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/19/world/asia/china-us-alaska.html

[38] Bhim Bhurtel: How China drew a red line in Anchorage, 22 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/how-china-drew-a-red-line-in-anchorage/

[39] Spengler (David P. Goldman): Biden’s firing squad stands in a circle, 22 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/bidens-firing-squad-stands-in-a-circle/

[40] Quoted in Wang Cong: After China-US confrontational talks, eyes turn to trade for possible cooperation, 19 March 2021, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1218888.shtml

[41] See on this e.g. Kim Tong-Hyung: N Korea warns US not to ‘cause a stink’ before Seoul meeting, 2021-03-16 https://apnews.com/article/north-korea-kim-yo-jong-message-to-us-9ace712d14a96bfbe180e666e0d20612; Josh Smith: Analysis: Denuclearisation of what? U.S. switch on North Korea wording raises debate, 18 March 2021 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-northkorea-denuclearisation-analy/analysis-denuclearisation-of-what-u-s-switch-on-north-korea-wording-raises-debate-idUSKBN2BA0E0

[42] See on this Michael Pröbsting: Has Capitalist Restoration in North Korea Crossed the Rubicon or Not?, 15 July 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/has-capitalist-restoration-in-north-korea-crossed-the-rubicon-or-not/; by the same author: In What Sense Can One Speak of Capitalist Restoration in North Korea? Reply to Several Objections Raised by the Polish Comrades of “Władza Rad”, 21 June 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/north-korea-and-the-marxist-theory-of-capitalist-restoration/; Again on Capitalist Restoration in North Korea, 12 June 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/again-on-capitalist-restoration-in-north-korea/; World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, RCIT Books, Vienna 2018, Chapter VI. The Korean Peninsula: Imperialist Aggression, Capitalist Restoration and Revolutionary Defensism, pp. 95-105, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2018/

[43] Se on this our pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: South Korea as an Imperialist Power. On the nature of South Korean monopoly capital and the ensuing programmatic tasks of the workers vanguard, December 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/study-on-south-korea-as-an-imperialist-power/

[44] See on this e.g. Korea: There Is No Peace Without Overthrowing Imperialism and the Rule of Capital! Peace through the Proletarian Socialist Revolution! Joint Statement of the Revolutionary Communists of South Korea and the RCIT, 8 March 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/joint-statement-on-south-korean-imperialism/; 홍수천: 한반도 전쟁 위기와 미·중 제국주의 패권 쟁투 (Hong Su-Cheon: War Crisis on the Korean Peninsula and the Rivaly between US and Chinese Imperialism, Article in Korean language, Spring 2019), https://www.thecommunists.net/home/%ED%95%9C%EA%B5%AD%EC%96%B4/crisis-on-korean-peninsula-us-and-chinese-imperialism/

[45] On the RCIT’s analysis of Russia imperialism see these two pamphlets by Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character, August 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/; Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/

[46] Steven Nelson: Biden seems to forget defense secretary’s name, calls him ‘the guy who runs that outfit’, New York Post, 9 March 2021, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-seems-to-forget-defense-secretarys-name-calls-him-the-guy-who-runs-that-outfit

[47] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwjmyZUA2O8

[48] Christian Nunley: U.S. warns companies to abandon work on Nord Stream 2 pipeline as Biden reportedly weighs sanctions, 18 March 2021 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/18/us-warns-companies-to-abandon-work-on-nord-stream-2-pipeline-.html

[49] Spengler (David P. Goldman): Biden’s firing squad stands in a circle, 22 March 2021, https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/bidens-firing-squad-stands-in-a-circle/

[50] Daniel Benjamin: How One European Pipeline Is Derailing Biden’s ‘America Is Back’ Promise, 18 March 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/03/18/how-one-european-pipeline-is-derailing-bidens-america-is-back-promise-476901

[51] For the RCIT’s analysis of European imperialism see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism; in: Special Issue of Revolutionary Communism No. 55, August 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: Does the EU Represent “Bourgeois Democratic Progress”? 16.09.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-brexit-article/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism, August 2015, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 40, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; Michael Pröbsting: The EU Reform Treaty: what it is and how to fight it, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-reform-treaty/; Michael Pröbsting: ‘Americanise or bust’. Contradictions and challenges of the imperialist project of European unification, 2004, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-imperialism-americanise-or-bust/;

[52] Jack Ewing and Steven Lee Myers: China and E.U. Leaders Strike Investment Deal, but Political Hurdles Await, 30 December 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/30/business/china-eu-investment-deal.html

[53] The RCIT’s documents on the Global Trade War have been collected at a special sub-page on our website: see https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-global-trade-war/; our fundamental position has been summarized in a programmatic statement “Global Trade War: No to Great Power Jingoism in West and East!” which has been published in 10 languages (in English: https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/joint-statement-on-the-looming-global-trade-war/).

[54] Michael Pröbsting: The Next Round of Escalation in the Global Trade War. After negotiations ended without results, the U.S. imposes new tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing retaliates, 13 May 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/the-next-round-of-escalation-in-the-global-trade-war/

[55] See on this our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, Vienna 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/. In addition the RCIT has published a number of documents on the Great Power rivalry and the rise of China and Russia as new imperialist powers. They are collected at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/

[56] See on this e.g. various documents which the RCIT has published on the Black Live Matters mass protests in the U.S. and which are compiled on a special sub-page on our website here: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/north-america/articles-on-uprising-after-murder-of-george-floyd/.

[57] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: France: The Parliamentary “Left” Fails to Oppose Macron’s Anti-Muslim “Separatism Law”, 14 February 2021, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/france-the-parliamentary-left-fails-to-oppose-macrons-anti-muslim-separatism-law/. This article contains also many links to other articles which we have published on the oppression of Muslim migrant communities in Europe in recent past.

[58] The RCIT has analyzed the COVID-19 counterrevolution extensively since its beginning. Starting from 2 February 2020 we have published nearly 80 pamphlets, essays, articles and statements plus a book which are all compiled at a special sub-page on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/collection-of-articles-on-the-2019-corona-virus/. In particular we refer readers to the RCIT Manifesto: COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive. We are at a turning point in the world situation as the ruling classes provoke a war-like atmosphere in order to legitimize the build-up of chauvinist state-bonapartist regimes, 21 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/covid-19-a-cover-for-a-major-global-counterrevolutionary-offensive/. In addition, we draw attention to our book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It. A Marxist analysis and strategy for the revolutionary struggle, RCIT Books, April 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-covid-19-global-counterrevolution/. See also our very first article on this issue by Almedina Gunić: Coronavirus: “I am not a Virus”… but WE will be the Cure! The chauvinist campaign behind the “Wuhan Coronavirus” hysteria and the revolutionary answer, 2 February 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/global/wuhan-virus/.

[59] Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution – What It Is and How to Fight It, RCIT Books, Vienna 2020, p. 32, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/the-covid-19-global-counterrevolution/

[60] See on this also our Theses on Revolutionary Defeatism in Imperialist States, Resolution of the International Executive Committee of the RCIT, 8 September 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-revolutionary-defeatism-in-imperialist-states/

[61] The RCIT has supported the Syrian Revolution since its beginning. We have published numerous booklets, statements, and articles on this issue which are compiled at a sub-page on the RCIT website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/collection-of-articles-on-the-syrian-revolution/.

[62] See e.g. RCIT: Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Chechen People! Open Letter to the Oppressed Chechen People, February 2018, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/solidarity-with-the-liberation-struggle-of-the-chechen-people/

[63] The RCIT supports the struggle of the Yemeni people against the Saudi-led invasion. See e.g. RCIT: Yemen: Another Humiliating Blow for the Saudi Aggressors! Yemeni popular resistance eliminates three pro-Saudi military brigades, 02.10.2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/yemen-another-humiliating-blow-for-the-saudi-aggressors/

[64] We have discussed this extensively in several chapters in the above-mentioned our book Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. See also two recent extensive essay by Michael Pröbsting: How is it possible that some Marxists still Doubt that China has Become Capitalist? (A Critique of the PTS/FT), An analysis of the capitalist character of China’s State-Owned Enterprises and its political consequences, 18 September 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism-2/; Michael Pröbsting: Unable to See the Wood for the Trees (PTS/FT and China). Eclectic empiricism and the failure of the PTS/FT to recognize the imperialist character of China, 13 August 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/pts-ft-and-chinese-imperialism/

[65] Hong Kong Trade Development Council (2017) Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, https://hkmb.hktdc.com/en/1X0ABHUR/hktdc-research/Changing-Global-Production-Landscape-and-Asia%E2%80%99s-Flourishing-Supply-Chain

[66] Hong Kong Trade Development Council (2017) Changing Global Production Landscape and Asia’s Flourishing Supply Chain, 3 October 2017, https://hkmb.hktdc.com/en/1X0ABHUR/hktdc-research/Changing-Global-Production-Landscape-and-Asia%E2%80%99s-Flourishing-Supply-Chain

[67] OECD (2017) OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris, http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264274891-en, Figure 2.4

[68] Fortune Global 500, August 2020, https://fortune.com/global500/ (the figures for the share is our calculation)

[69] Hurun Global Rich List 2021, 2.3.2021, https://www.hurun.net/en-US/Info/Detail?num=LWAS8B997XUP

[70] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: SIPRI Yearbook 2020. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Summary, p. 15

[71] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: SIPRI Yearbook 2020. Armaments, Disarmament and International Security, Summary, p. 13

Foto: Stefan Paulus

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