I’ll do my best to estimate what would happen if the China regime change advocates get the scenario they’re hoping for: sometime in the next decade, China’s government becomes so overwhelmed by Western economic warfare, U.S.-supported political unrest, and threats of military confrontation that Chinese Communist Party officials are forced to step down. A new government is then installed, fulfilling the wishes of Chinese billionaires like Guo Wengui, American neoconservatives like Bill Kristol, and Western imperialists overall.
In the event of this coup, the U.S. media claims that a “democratic” new government is being set up by the Chinese people themselves, but the shapers of China’s new system are exclusively wealthy oligarchs, neoliberal economists, and designated U.S. puppet politicians. No socialists are allowed to come to power as the new regime is formed. Pro-communist protests throughout the country go unheeded by the political class, as happened during the anti-austerity demonstrations of Russia’s post-Soviet era.
The promises that the free market reforms will make China prosperous are quickly proven false. In the same way that living standards collapsed in Russia and East Germany after the fall of socialism in these countries, the bulk of the Chinese populace experiences falling wages, lost social benefits, rising prices amid the privatization of services, and the disappearance of workplace rights. The country becomes a kleptocratic oligarchy where poverty and inequality skyrocket, the government invests in military expenditures for the benefit of the U.S./NATO empire, and refugees, poor people, and religious or ethnic minorities are treated with increasing amounts of violence by the state.
This is what’s happened in basically every capitalist country throughout the last half century, and China’s transformation into a capitalist state would subject over a billion additional people to these symptoms of the 21st century’s global economic and social collapse. Assuming that a Western capitalist takeover of China sufficiently repairs the declining U.S. empire, the people in other anti-imperialist countries would also feel the destructive consequences of the CCP’s ouster.
With China’s foreign policy under the sway of the U.S., Venezuela, the DPRK, and other countries that were once militarily protected by China would be left to fend off imperialist aggression on their own. The DPRK’s communist government would likely survive because of its nuclear weapons, and Syria would soldier on under its resilient socialist Ba’athist leadership. But the U.S. might successfully invade Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba amid the absence of a China that’s willing to defend these socialist countries. Russia and Iran, stuck in a fractured international alliance and newly vulnerable to attacks from a powerful U.S./China alliance, would at the very least be weakened by the demise of socialist China.
However much damage the U.S. empire would be able to do though, the biggest problem would that the planet is spiraling into climate apocalypse much quicker as a result of China’s collapse. The efficient approach to reducing greenhouse gasses that socialism grants to China has set China on course to be nine years ahead of its climate goals, and it’s estimated that China’s emissions will peak well before its 2030 target. The dismantling of the Chinese government’s dominance over the economy and the emergence of an unrestrained Chinese corporatocracy would drive up carbon consumption perhaps more than any other 21st century event.
The decline of Chinese living standards and the subsequent Chinese population increase would produce a situation where by mid-century, Asia is a densely populated and deeply impoverished region where capitalist China and India wildly exacerbate climate change. Generally throughout the Third World, which is partly depending on China to lend its support for global socialist development, a transition out of capitalism will also be made much harder. Given the choice between socialism and barbarism, civilization will take the latter path if China isn’t there to hold together the global anti-imperialist alliance.
In this scenario, the estimated 3-5 degrees Celsius range for global warming throughout the next century will be pushed towards the worst possible outcome. Regime change in China would have a catastrophic snowball effect with consequences that are difficult to estimate, much less comprehend. The world would see hundreds of millions of people driven into poverty, the start of multiple wars amid a resurgence of American imperialism and militarism, and avoidable climatic destabilization that significantly raises sea levels and expands the zones that are too hot for humans.
Historical analyst Brian Becker has written that “If counter-revolution were to succeed in China the consequences would be catastrophic for the Chinese people and for China. China would in all likelihood splinter as a nation as happened to the Soviet Union when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was toppled. The same fate befell the former Yugoslavia. Counter-revolution and dismemberment would hurtle China backwards. It would put the brakes on China’s spectacular peaceful rise out of under-development. For decades there has been a serious discussion within the U.S. foreign policy establishment about the dismemberment of China which would weaken China as a nation and allow the United States and Western powers to seize its most lucrative parts. This is precisely the scenario that cast China into its century of humiliation when Western capitalist powers dominated the country.” A broader-scale consideration of the issue shows that not only would Chinese regime change ruin China, but it would ruin the rest of the planet.
Will this happen? Almost certainly not, given China’s ever-growing economic and military might, virtual lack of poverty, and presence of a population that’s overwhelmingly unified behind the Communist Party. But because of the fact that the Western bourgeoisie and even many Western leftists desire the demise of China’s government, it’s necessary to warn people about just what would happen if China were to go under.
China regime change advocates like Bill Kristol don’t really care about “democracy” or “human rights.” Their promotion of disingenuous propaganda about “Chinese prisoner organ harvesting,” “1 million Chinese Muslim prisoners,” China’s “Orwellian social credit system,”and China being a “totalitarian dictatorship” are tools to rationalize their actual agenda, which is the dissolution of Chinese socialism at the behest of Western corporations and imperialist destabilization networks. Like when they’ve wreaked havoc and misery by implementing disastrous neoliberal policies within numerous countries, they’re only pretending to believe that their desired corporatist takeover would benefit the people of China; their only concern is to further the interests of the Western corporatocracy.
Our priority should be to stop these heinous predators from getting anywhere remotely close to their goal of Chinese regime change, and to ultimately get them out of power altogether through socialist revolution. The best way to do this is to not only fight for socialism, but to identify as a communist who supports Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. Because not only should China be supported as a bulwark against imperialism, but its greatly successful socialist project should be learned from and applied globally.
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