Taking the initiative in responding to imperialist rivalry
Written by: John S on 15 September 2020
The US is marshalling its forces and its allies and proxies to resist Chinese encroachment on US dominance. It is upgrading and focusing its military resources and strategies, and roping in allies such as Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and working to entice India into that fold.
It has also unleashed an intensifying ideological and political campaign to demonise and isolate China, and Chinese businesses that threaten to out-compete US firms.
China is a rapidly rising economic power. Its major current objective is access to economic opportunities around the world. It wants access and stability so that it can expand business and investment opportunities, and make money. Its major current strategies are to project “soft power” through investment and bilateral and multilateral political and economic agreements, and, at the same time, to develop its international military capabilities for both defensive, and, at some future times, offensive purposes. It is involved in militarising its islands in the South China Sea, and is positioning itself by gaining control of ports and areas in countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Cambodia.
The US dominates Australia economically, politically and ideologically.
US investment comprises 25% of all foreign investment in Australia; this has tripled since 2005.
Chinese investment represents only 2% of foreign investment in Australia (the 9th largest investing country), or 5.7% (5th largest) if Hong King investment is included. (see “Enduring Partners” published by the US Studies Centre).
50% of US investment is in mining and manufacturing. Amid all the hysteria about Australian jobs going to China and the Australian economy being dominated by the Chinese market, US multinationals are at the forefront of shifting Australian manufacturing to China and selling Australian raw materials to China.
US multinational Chevron, the largest producer and exporter of Australian LPG (gas), has been selling so much to the rest of the world that Australia will almost certainly have to import LPG at higher prices to meet our needs.
So, yes, China is our biggest market but it is mainly US multinationals transferring manufacturing to China and selling to China. US imperialism is caught in this hypocritical contradiction: it wants to prevent the growth of Chinese power, but it is dependent on manufacturing in, and trade with, China, so it needs Chinese prosperity.
Australia is being dragged into the US effort to resist the challenge of Chinese capitalism, as China develops into a fully imperialist power. We see the growth of military preparations, with the establishment of US military facilities in Darwin and the alignment of Australian military personnel and equipment with the US military, including through the purchase of massively expensive US hardware.
We are experiencing an ideological and political offensive against everything to do with the Chinese government. Australian military and intelligence agencies are effectively determining Australian foreign policy, as they fall into line behind the US offensive.
The authoritarian policies and practices of the Chinese government, and real and exaggerated intelligence gathering and bullying of Chinese citizens overseas, provide ample propaganda opportunities for its opponents to criticise and fear-monger. These attacks on China always ignore the bigger or equally bad activities of US imperialism – its economic domination, its constant cyber -warfare activities, its massive military build-up, its arming of its proxies to wage war eg Yemen, and interfere in other countries (eg Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Palestine). The US elephant in the room is ignored.
The anti-China campaign also promotes racism against Chinese-Australians and Chinese citizens living in Australia. Again, our ruling class wants the money from Chinese students and the profits from outsourcing jobs to China, at the same time as joining the pro-US anti-China campaign.
The US and Australian ruling classes also maximise the opportunity to label the Chinese Communist Party as the source of the problems, as part of their anti-Communist propaganda. Despite retaining the name, the Chinese Communist Party has nothing to do with Communism – it sold out to capitalist restoration decades ago.
We need to help direct the responses here to this intensified rivalry between China and the US.
We need to keep Australia out of war preparations, and out of war itself. Work needs to be done to popularise the notion of an independent and peaceful Australia. There should be no foreign military bases in Australia.
We need to oppose all signs of racism. We support the Black Lives Matter movement here and internationally. There is no place for Islamophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of discrimination and prejudice.
We need to promote the economic and social demands of our Fighting Program, and in particular support environmentally sustainable Australian manufacturing and the nationalisation of strategic economic sectors. All privatisation should be opposed.
Australia must be independent of both imperialist powers.
Kick out US imperialism and keep out Chinese imperialism.
Socialism and independence for Australia.
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