Hearing American hawks on China is an interesting phenomena. Gordan Chang provides a snapshot of this. A neoconservative and China hawk he has predicted numerous times since 2001 that China was about to collapse.1
They assign wishful properties to China – channelling their Gordan Chang energy. They discuss China as if their population is a captive nation in thrall to the Communist Party rather than the CPC enjoying wide support. Other points that are routinely discussed are the comparisons between the USSR and modern day China. Here we examine if any of these claims have any validity. Does US imperialism have any validity to these claims or is it channelling its deluded Gordan Chang energy?
The Legitimacy Of The Chinese And American Governments
When the Covid-19 outbreak first happened I can’t be the only person in the West to have been disgusted at the ghoulish glee on the faces of Neo-Conservatives and Neo-Liberals. Newspaper headlines held a barely concealed excitement that “this, this can finally bring down the Chinese government!” with repeated calls that this is “Chinas Chernobyl Moment!”.
The predominant view in Western nations that somehow China is a captive nation to it’s Communist Party. This is evident at the onset of the outbreak with far-right Christian fundamentalist who believes in the rapture2 , Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing:
“The Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist party focused on struggle and international domination. We need only listen to the words of their leaders.
“We have a long-cherished tradition of friendship with the Chinese people. But I must say that the communist government in China today is not the same as the people of China.” 3
But unfortunately the facts do not fit this argument. Chinese people trust it’s government more than Americans do.
In the trust barometer survey released in January of this year by Edelman Global Public Relations, the Chinese showed the highest trust (76 percent) in their government among people of 28 countries and regions.
This study contrasts sharply with several recent Gallup polls which showed dismal approval ratings by Americans for their government, president and Congress.
The Gallup poll released on Oct 20 found that approval for US President Donald Trump had slipped to 36.9 percent in his third quarter, compared with 38.8 percent in the second quarter. 4
What’s more worldwide Putin and Xi have the confidence of more of the people on Earth than Trump does
According to new poll numbers from Pew detailing the opinions of residents of 32 foreign countries, just 29% said they had confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs, while 64% said they had no confidence he could or would do the right thing.Those numbers are startling — especially when you consider where they rank in comparison to several authoritarian leaders in the world. Take Russian President Vladimir Putin: 33% said they had confidence he would do the right thing while 57% did not have that confidence. Or Chinese President Xi Jinping, about whom 28% expressed confidence that he would do the right thing in world affairs while 43% don’t have confidence that he will.
What’s more an astonishing 90% of Chinese believe their country is going in the right direction compared to only 35% of Americans making China the most optimistic country on the planet.
So we’ve established that the Chinese people hold a lot of confidence in their government, that they see their country heading in the “right direction” see themselves going in the right direction and Xi Jinping holds more respect worldwide than Donald Trump.
The United States on the other hand is a different kettle of fish and seems like a country on the precipice.
A deeply polarised country Foreign Affairs has this to say:
Although polarization in the United States shares some basic features with political divisions elsewhere, we found that it stood out in many crucial respects. American polarization has deep roots that have taken decades to grow and strengthen. The United States may look much like many other angry, divided countries, but its brand of polarization raises specific concerns about the future and functioning of its democracy.6
What’s more the recent political unrest in the United States mounting from Charlottesville onward displays the deep divisions in the country with Nazis chanting “blood and soil” and “jews will not replace us”.
Charlottesville may seem like a million years ago in our ‘information age’ but in reality it was only 2017. The White Supremacists had to crawl back under their rocks after a fascist killed a young woman.
They are still there. And it was only 30 April 2020 that armed gunmen stormed Michigans State Capitol.
Hundreds of demonstrators clad in military style gear, Maga hats with assault rifles in their hands were chanting “Let us in!” and “vote No!”.
Does this honestly look like a cohesive society ready and willing to come together to tackle major issues? Or a fractured society on the brink of a melt down?
I suppose on the flip side we could examine the Uyghur situation in China where Uyghurs committed a number of terrorist attacks causing the Chinese government to clamp down on them and also find ways to ensure those in poverty don’t turn to Islamic extremism.
Now the United States has unprecedented propaganda power: that’s how it can claim straight faced to the world that China is holding 1 million (or 3 million depending on which way the wind is blowing) Uyghurs in camps.
But this has been discredited for sometime and was based on 2 studies: one study interviewed a grand total of 8 people and extrapolated that number across the entire of Xinjiang and the other was led by Adrian Zens, a far right Christian fundamentalist who once claimed he was on a mission against Beijing.8
Chinas handling of the Uyghur situation has legitimacy globally also. If you look at a map of who condemns China over it’s treatment of the Uyghurs it’s basically a map of Nato. It is quite brave of the Nato countries, who have spent 2 decades straight bombing, drone striking, kidnapping and torturing muslims to cry crocodile tears over the fate of muslims in Xinjiang.
The US Is Unable To Gather A Coalition Against China Like It Was The Soviet Union
The US by it’s very nature has to exert power in every sphere of the globe. The entire trade and dollar backed system is supported by the hard fist of US empire – it’s Navy and military. The entire shipping system of the global economy is dependent on the US.
On the flip side China is seen as integral part of that economy as the factory of the world. But China understands that the value chain in the global economy is not assembling IPhones/Google phones for Western nations but moving up the supply chain and developing their own high technology and exporting that. Enter Huawei and Beijings Made in China 2025
Made in China 2025
Made In China 2025 is Beijings strategy to move away from producing cheap low quality goods utilising cheap labour power to becoming the worlds powerhouse in producing higher value products and services such as pharmaceutical industry, automotive industry, aerospace industry, semiconductors, IT and robotics etc, which are presently the purview of foreign companies.
Because of this China is seen as the future even in allied nations of the United States.
The most stark contrast in this is the United Kingdom. Previously little more than an American lapdog the UK was one of the first countries to sign up to Chinas investment bank inviting US anger in 2015. 11
The UK also allowed Huawei to take up to 35% of their network infrastructure against wishes. 12
Both these happened under Conservative governments who typically have been more pro-American, Pro-Nato and Pro-US hegemony.
The Cold War the US is now embarking on will be on it’s own as other governments understand the amount of money and services China is going to bring.
Whilst The US Talks Tough On China, China Pushes Them Out Of Guam
The United States recently pulled its bombers out of Guam – ending it’s 15 year rotation.13
Part of the US Air Force’s concern is China’s DF-26 missile, sometimes referred to as the “Guam Killer.”
The United States in it’s cold war against the Soviet Union had a united front against communism by funding, arming, (and in the case of Operation Gladio) committing terror attacks in Europe to blame on left wing elements in its allied nations. 14 The same conservatives today are salivating at the money to be made in China. China itself isn’t the closed of system the Soviet Union was – it’s an integral part of the world economy. [/efn_note]
It had a broad coalition of right wing, conservative and backward religious elements in Europe and was prepared to commit terrorism across Europe under what would be defined as a “strategy of tension”15 which kept the publics of Europe seeking safety in the state and conservative elements. This is most notable in Daniele Gansers book, Nato’s Secret Armies whereby Communists in Italy, France and Greece were often elected to Parliament and in many instances would’ve won majorities were it not for Nato interference in their democracies and the terror attacks that were blamed on Communists. The Communists in Italy and France were the most noble people during World War 2 and the most ardent anti-fascists which is why they had widespread support in the post World war 2 era.
The USSR was a closed system to the West. China is open. Today the right wing and Conservative elements of society understand that the road to China is paved in gold and as we’ve seen with the UK, who are culturally very close to the US, the UK unwilling to tow the United States diktats.
And unfortunately for the United States the right wingers are the most Pro-American forces. Left wing parties have a fountain of Anti-American sentiment they can draw from for perceived intervention in their democracies. 16
A Discredited Ideology
The Cold War with the USSR took place when the United States enjoyed unprecedented power and where funding via the mashall program gave the United States unprecedented control over other countries.
Take Greece, In 1964 when the Greek Ambassador claimed, over a dispute with Cyprus, that it was “unconstitutional and unacceptable for Greek democracy the President of the United States responded:
“Then listen to me, Mr. Ambassador,” said the President of the United States, “fuck your Parliament and your Constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked by the elephant’s trunk, whacked good…. We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr. Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about Democracy, Parliament and Constitutions, he, his Parliament and his Constitution may not last very long.” 17
That power is slipping away each day as China becomes the centre of the global economy. What’s more, Neoliberalism, the prevailing ideology since the Thatcher and Reagan revolutions has never been more hated. During the Cold War the US utilised the soft power of the material wealth of it’s society and posited to the world that this was a result of capitalism. With the collapse of the Soviet Union the capitalists no longer needed to provide decent jobs, wages, social security and benefits to its people.
The result has been the return of slums and tent cities to the United States. 18 The inability to get clean water to its people in places like Flint and the wholesale impoverishment of the American people.
The result is that countries no longer want to be like the United States. And those that turned away from their Socialist systems in the counter revolutions of 1989-1993 deeply regret moving to capitalism. 19
So with the socio-economic system discredited that the United States has championed since World War 2 now looks discredited in the eyes of the world. With the future of economic growth and services coming out of China the US also no longer has the ability to wholesale buy and corrupt the politics of other countries. And even then to maintain this coalition of European countries in Nato the US had to prop up a dictatorship in Greece, interfere with Frances democracy and commit terror attacks in Italy to prevent them pursuing socialist revolution.
The US’s ability to influence Geopolitics is utterly hampered because of its dysfunctional, polarised domestic politics. The same angry people at Obama then Clinton for the TPP and TTIP are now storming Michigans Capitol with assault rifles. Presstitutes in the Western Press were clamouring like jackals that “Chinas Chernobyl had come” but, as gunmen are storming local town council offices wearing various racist insignia, the United States is on far shakier ground.
This article is licensed under the Creative Commons License
- Global Times, Chang’s predictions of China’s collapse destroy his own credibility, 01/05/2016
- Speaking at a ‘Church God and Country’ rally Pompeo declared in 2015 that: “America had worshipped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.” He believes politics is “a never-ending struggle . . . until the rapture.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO0opXYM52w
- Washington Times, Mike Pompeo: Communist Party, not Chinese people, threatens U.S. and global security, October 31, 2019
- China Daily, Chinese trust government more than Americans do, 27/10/2017
- The world trusts Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping more than Trump, CNN, January 9, 2020
- Foreign Affairs, How Americans Were Driven to Extremes, September 25, 2019
- Common Dreams, ‘America In the Age of Trump’: Armed Gunmen Enter Michigan Capitol Demanding End to Covid-19 Lockdown, 30/04/2020, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/30/america-age-trump-armed-gunmen-enter-michigan-capitol-demanding-end-covid-19
- Grayzone, China detaining millions of Uyghurs? Serious problems with claims by US-Backed NGO and far-right researcher ‘led by God’ against Beijing, Dec 2019
- The Independent, UK joins 22 other UN nations in condemning China’s detention of Uighur Muslims, 30 October 2019
- The Independent, More than 35 countries defend China over mass detention of Uighur Muslims in UN letter, 13 July 2019
- The Guardian, US anger at Britain joining Chinese-led investment bank AIIB, Mar 2015
- The Guardian, US wishes. Using Huawei in UK 5G networks would be ‘madness’, US says, Jan 2020
- Asia Times, Why the US withdrew its bombers from Guam, April 28, 2020
- Daniele Ganser, Natos Secret Armies – Operation Gladio And Terrorism In Western Europe, 2005. In this book it is documented how Nato worked with the US to fund and arm far right nationalists and fascists in Europe who would go on to commit terror attacks in Europe and blame the Communists. The Bologna Massacre in Italy being one of the most notable instances.
“When you were on the Right you were not supposed to attack the State or its representatives. You were supposed to attack civilians, women, children, innocent people from outside the political arena. For one simple reason: To force the Italian public to turn to the State turn to the regime and ask for greater security. This was precisely the role of the right in Italy. It placed itself at the service of the State which created a strategy aptly called the “Strategy of Tension” in so far as they had to get ordinary people to accept that at any moment over a period of 30 years, from 1960 to the mid eighties a state of emergency could be declared. So, people would willingly trade part of their freedom for the security of being able to walk the streets, go on trains or enter a bank. This is the political logic behind all the bombings. They remain unpunished because the state cannot condemn itself.”Vincenzo Vinciguerra – Vincenzo was a fascist paramilitary in Italy who carried out terror attacks in Italy as false flag bombings as part of Operation Gladio
- RT, Clear-cut meddling? Mike Pompeo promises US will try to stop Corbyn from being elected, 10 Jun, 2019
- William Blum, Killing Hope, P. 215, 2003
- The Atlantic, America’s Tent Cities for the Homeless, Feb 2016
- The Dipolomatic Post, Communist Nostalgia As The Reality Of Bourgeois Democracy Hits Home In Eastern Europe, April 2020