Friday, September 27, 2019

China Isn’t Imperialist. It’s The Great Ally Of Global Socialism.

As we approach the 70th anniversary of China’s communist revolution, something unprecedented is coming from this event’s legacy: the decline of the U.S. empire is giving way not to its replacement by a new bullying hegemon, as has been the case after the fall of all past empires, but to the rise of a world power that seeks to advance peace and international cooperation. This historically exceptional nation is China.

You won’t hear the same from the Westerners who opportunistically seek to vilify China. You’ll hear them claim that there’s a threat of Chinese imperialism, that China is trapping countries in debt to carry out its ambitions for world conquest, that China is perpetrating neo-colonialism in Africa. If you believe what they say, the future looks bleak indeed; as climate change, extreme inequality, and other crises of capitalism envelop our world, the superpower that will overtake the United States is supposedly another capitalist empire.

The Trotskyists, anarchists, and general left-wing Sinophobes who hold this cynical view about China are falling for a dangerous piece of propaganda from the U.S./NATO empire. The Western capitalist class wants global socialists to revile China and the other socialist states, because if the international proletariat were to unite behind China and its guiding ideology of Marxism-Leninism, the anti-capitalist movement would unanimously stand behind a nation that represents an unparalleled threat to capitalism and imperialism.

Despite the unfortunate absence of a pro-China consensus within the Western First World Left, China is carrying through this revolutionary agenda. Without China’s military protection from the threats of the U.S., Venezuela may have been invaded by now. China has also used its armed might to help prevent Western aggressions against the DPRK. China, being the strongest nation within the anti-American alliance, is acting as a global defender against the growing belligerence of the United States.

If China is doing all of this simply to further its imperial ambitions, the term “imperialism” has lost its meaning. It no longer means “the transition from a colonial policy which has extended without hindrance to territories unseized by any capitalist power, to a colonial policy of monopolist possession of the territory of the world,” as Lenin defined it. It now has a ridiculously broad and unfair definition, one where any nation that globally utilizes its military or financially engages with other countries is “imperialist.”

This is how China’s foreign policy, especially as it relates to Africa, is portrayed within conventional Western thought. Since it’s difficult to argue that China’s very restrained protective military actions in countries like Venezuela are imperialist in and of themselves, they’re conflated with the claims about China dominating and exploiting countries through financial manipulation. The term “neo-colonialism” (which Western propagandists never use to describe America’s violently aggressive neo-colonial actions throughout the last century) is supposedly applicable to what China is doing in Africa.

Unlike is the case with what America has done with its neo-colonial projects, China hasn’t used violence to carry out its economic goals in Africa, because China’s relationship with African countries isn’t coercive or exploitative. As Kwame Nkrumah wrote in Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism, “The result of neo-colonialism is that foreign capital is used for the exploitation rather than for the development of the less developed parts of the world. Investment under neo-colonialism increases rather than decreases the gap between the rich and poor countries of the world.” This is most definitely not what’s happening with China’s involvement in Africa. 

All African countries have governments that are very much independent of China. Unlike the United States and its political allies in the IMF, China hasn’t engaged with poorer countries by seeking to become the guiding force behind their economies. China’s international business projects and foreign loans are mutually beneficial; a report from the McKinsey consulting firm has found that “89 percent of employees were African, adding up to more than 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up across all 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa, these numbers suggest that Chinese-owned business already employ several million Africans.” China has also helped colonized countries pull themselves out of the debt peonage of Western imperialism, with China having provided Laos with $49 million in 2013 and given it $32 million in free interest credits. China’s foreign investments aren’t designed to make short-term speculative deals based on the profit motive (as U.S. investments are), but to gain needed commodities for China’s economy. This arrangement benefits the Chinese people while helping the job markets in other countries, and while even making these countries freer from the actual imperialism of the U.S.

The Western effort to delegitimize everything that China does abroad has the common theme of portraying China as “imperialist” when it’s taken action to liberate lands from Western colonialism. Not only has China helped lift nations out of financial servitude to the Western empire, but it’s freed territories that were formerly controlled by American/European powers. Mao’s liberation of Tibet from the U.S.-backed Dalai Lama, who enslaved his people through a horrific serf system, has been followed up by efforts from China to not make such oppression reappear in Tibet. Barry Sautman of East Asia Forum has written that “The point to stress is that there is no repression of Tibetans simply for being Tibetan. Nor does the Chinese government repress religion per se. Instead, Tibetans receive a range of preferential policies, and authorised religions in China receive state support. Where religious organisations pose no political threat, they are regulated by the state and can generally function openly, especially among ethnic minorities.” 

This is the paradigm that’s come after China’s insistence that Tibetans have full economic and civil rights, which the capitalistic anti-Chinese U.S.-backed factions within Tibet evidently don’t agree with. China has done much to improve the livelihoods of those in Taiwan as well as Xinjiang, two supposedly oppressed autonomous regions which both have higher annual wages than most Chinese provinces. This is what the West calls “imperialism” and “colonialism.”

To a lesser extent, China has freed Hong Kong. China has taken Hong Kong out of the possession of Britain, and the island will eventually also be freed from capitalist control when China’s socialist government gains full policy-making authority over it in 2047. The decline in Hong Kong’s living standards that have provoked widespread protests throughout the island isn’t China’s fault, as China has little or no power over the actions of Hong Kong’s corrupt, hyper-capitalist government. The only imperialism that’s going on in Hong Kong comes from the U.S./NATO empire, which is funding the anti-China protests in a bidto recolonize the island.

The situation is similar for Taiwan, another capitalist U.S.-aligned state that China is trying to retake. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, which has come close to eliminating poverty within mainland China, is the system that Hong Kong and Taiwan need in order to get out of their inequality crises. But the Western media is painting China as a malicious aggressor against them in order to manufacture consent for America’s escalating economic and diplomatic war against China.

The ultimate goal of the West is the complete destabilization of China and the dismantling of all of the gains in living standards that the Chinese Communist Party has made. If the U.S. gets its way, China and many of its allies will be overthrown and replaced with American proxy states. 

Yet year after year, as American global power declines and China grows stronger, this wish looks more and more like an absurd fantasy of a dying empire. If the best efforts from the U.S. regime change machine can’t even win out within the tiny island of Hong Kong, it’s clear that China is winning the battle for 21st century dominance. 

China’s vastly powerful military will continue to grow throughout the next decade or so, and the heightened belligerence of the U.S. only motivates China to take greater steps towards protecting the other regime change target countries; since Obama’s efforts towards pivoting to Asia in order to tighten the screws on containing China, China has been strengthening its alliance with its fellow anti-imperialist state Russia and has become willing to intervene on behalf of its allies. This trend will get more pronounced as the years go by.

China’s detractors of both the neoconservative and leftist varieties will keep calling this rising global Chinese presence “imperialist.” But all evidence points to the contrary. China’s new role in the world will be one that’s managed peacefully, and that’s done with care to not abuse China’s power. As China has stated in a White Paper that it released yesterday: “From the mid-19th century, China was abused by the Western powers and left with indelible memories of the suffering brought about by war and instability. It will never impose the suffering it has endured on other nations.”

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