Oppose the new Cold War on China by opposing every U.S. war

By Sara Flounders
February 24, 2024

Based on a talk by Sara Flounders to a webinar held on Feb. 18, 2024, Peace Delegates Report Back from China, organized by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group. To see the webinar, go to tinyurl.com/2rv6njbj.

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.

Viewing China’s accomplishments

Everyone on this panel has been to People’s China, seen its remarkable accomplishments and returned full of enthusiasm for what is possible.

I’ve also traveled to Gaza, seen bombed buildings, open sewers and a lack of potable water. Israel has bombed Gaza six times with full U.S. backing since Hamas won elections there in 2007.

I’ve seen what the Pentagon’s calculated destruction did in Iraq — it was indescribable.

I’ve seen the impact of U.S. bombing on Syria. One third of the population was turned into displaced refugees. Infrastructure was deliberately targeted. Schools and hospitals were always destroyed.

It was quite a contrast to see Xinjiang, as I did when on a delegation with Lee Siu Hin. We traveled to the vibrant and peaceful cities of Kashgar and Urumqi. We’ve seen the lush countryside and prosperous villages. The contrast can’t be greater.

Stop a Cold War with China; oppose the U.S. /NATO war in Ukraine.

Two years ago this week, the U.S.-led NATO military alliance appeared to be the most powerful the world had ever seen. NATO members boasted a collective armed force of three million troops, along with the largest array of tanks, missiles and aircraft. NATO claimed its members combined had the world’s largest economic power.

For over 25 years NATO had expanded steadily eastward, to the borders of Russia. NATO seemed unstoppable.

Following a 2014 military coup, Ukraine, with full U.S. backing, shelled the ethnic Russian majority areas in its East, along with the Russian border, until Russia responded.

The leaders of the U.S. and NATO were thrilled with what they saw as an opportunity.

U.S. strategists considered it would be easy to impose regime change on Russia, which would be a key step to their next move — against China. The most extreme sanctions against Russia were quickly rammed through by every country in the G7. They believed this would surely destroy Russia. “Regime change” seemed inevitable.

President Joe Biden promised that sanctions against Russia would turn the Russian ruble into rubble within weeks. That didn’t happen. Instead, the European Union and NATO alliance is in disarray and experiencing economic crises.

Today, the lines that the Kiev regime’s military had held are collapsing. The town of Avdiivka, strategically Ukraine’s most important military stronghold, was just abandoned [Feb. 18] in a humiliating rout.

It is the U.S. that is now bogged down in a new quagmire. According to polls, the majority of the U.S. population now opposes additional funding to Ukraine.

But the U.S. rulers have learned nothing. They are gearing up for the most threatening confrontation — now with China. The largest military budget in history just sailed through Congress. Hundreds of line items and hundreds of billions of dollars are focused on countering “the China Threat.”

U.S. capitalism, a totally reckless economic system, is by its very nature based on “expand or die.” The U.S. economy is totally intertwined with military industries, the greatest source of profit and endless government subsidies for U.S. corporations, which are also endless drains on all social needs.

China threatens U.S. domination

China’s threat to U.S. domination is real. China’s working class is larger than the working class in the U.S. and European Union combined. And its politically conscious leadership is steering in another direction. That is a threat.

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. To give the world the choice of peaceful development and trade, rather than to submit to economic domination, is a threat to that domination.

Billions of people want new infrastructure — rather than economic strangulation through sanctions, military invasions, new weapons and hundreds of military bases.

Anyone coming from the U.S. sees that China is beautiful beyond imagination. In the United States, even if we avoid desperation ourselves, we survive while stepping around homeless, desperate people. We see violence every day and have to keep on going. We live in such a violent, edgy, ruthless society that it is a stunning experience to be free of that, even if for just a few days.

I was struck by the level of enthusiasm and energy, enthusiasm for solving problems. The people whom I met in China were far from cynical.

Then, too soon, we returned to the imperialist center. The only way to remain sane is to oppose every U.S. war, to oppose funding endless wars with hundreds of billions of dollars.

We see the relentless military build-up around Taiwan and throughout the South China Sea. But we don’t know what will ignite a new crisis.

We must separate ourselves from the class interests of our class enemy on every front. In this election year, we must break away from the corrupt two-party imperialist system.

China leads in construction of a new world order!

We are living through a tumultuous transition from a neocolonial world system, with a ruthless winner-take-all, capitalist world economy, driven by a Cold War mentality. The current economic globalization is not about common development or benefits for all. It follows the law in which only the most brutal forces survive. Currently, inter-imperialist competition is the norm, with endless wars, coups and repeated interference in the internal affairs of nations.

But another kind of globalization is emerging. The combined Gross Domestic Product of the BRICS (Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Africa) countries is already larger than that of the U.S. and the G7. What is taking shape is not only economic growth, compared to current Western power, but new forms of exchange and cooperation in the formerly colonized world.

This new globalization was introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, beginning in 2013 with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Now emerging is a different kind of world system, focused on trade, development and a more just and democratic global exchange. This new system challenges the geographical division of labor between imperialist core and neo-colonial periphery.

The goal of BRICS+ and of the Belt and Road Initiative is to develop a more inclusive form of globalization that is beneficial to all.

Developing countries need modernization — but with it they want cooperation and equal participation. China’s win-win approach provides a way for peaceful development. It can build partnerships based on dialogue rather than confrontation, to engage in trade, rather than the debt burden of a military alliance. This is a new vision of people-centered development.

China can launch new road

Nothing confirms more clearly the socialist roots of the Chinese economy. Those who run state-owned industries can think, plan and invest long term, without being driven to increase profits each quarter.

Capitalism must expand and must make a profit, or it is out of business. It is relentless. We need to build a new type of political relations among peoples’ organizations, here in the West, based on mutual respect, equality, justice and cooperation.

Solidarity and resistance become a material force when they are harnessed.

Let’s organize collectively to demand: Hands off China!

Full solidarity with Palestine!

A new world is in birth.