Demonizing China

The new U.S. administration’s foreign policy appointees have quickly bared their teeth to People’s China. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s first remarks clarified that U.S.-China relations are both important and adversarial. That’s diplomat-speak meaning that U.S. imperialism is hostile to China, and Chinese successes have the U.S. ruling class terrified. 

Joe Biden’s regime plans to give no space to China on the seas or in the financial markets. It will resume the “pivot to Asia,” started under Barack Obama’s administration, and try to pretend the last four years were a strange aberration instead of a symptom of U.S. imperialist decline.

While the twice-impeached former president and assorted Republican hacks have called Biden “soft on China,” even right-wing Fox News disagrees. Fox’s military analyst, retired Gen. Jack Keane, said Jan. 20 that a bipartisan anti-China policy prevails: “The fact is that the people around President Biden pretty much agree with Trump’s redefinition of the global security challenges that we’re facing.” 

After Blinken’s wink, the corporate media opened up a propaganda blitz against China as January ended. Media from the New York Times to NPR to Fox News pilloried China for (1) “authoritarian” handling of the COVID-19 crisis, (2)  alleged repression of internal minority populations and (3) its possessive attitude toward Hong Kong and Taiwan.

We point out that the last two territories had been part of China for millennia, before imperialist wars and maneuvers snatched them away. 

Times opinion columnist Nicolas Kristof’s Jan. 30 piece epitomized the media blitz. Kristof has an undeserved reputation as a “progressive,” because he writes of violations of human rights and especially of women’s rights. The twist is that he often uses the sympathy created by his description to argue for U.S. military intervention such as the 2011 U.S.-NATO overthrow of the Libyan government and the continued U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan — allegedly to protect women’s rights against the Taliban. 

Kristof omits the fact that from 1979-91, Washington armed every reactionary and misogynist Afghan counterrevolutionary — including those who murdered women school teachers under the then pro-socialist Afghan government and its Soviet allies. 

Kristof’s Jan. 30 column continued his pro-imperialist bent. He had the nerve to call China’s leader Xi Jinping “an overconfident, risk-taking bully who believes that the United States is in decline,” and he insisted that “Biden needs to manage Xi and reduce the risk of war without pulling his punches.” He urged U.S. strategists to take advantage of alleged differences within the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership.

Kristof got one thing right: U.S. imperialism is in decline. And the one area where the U.S. is still number one is the production of overconfident, risk-taking bullies, as the last president and the recent attack on the Capitol demonstrated. That attack showed the world which ruling class and its political representatives have the sharpest and most irrational differences.

The corporate media may have confidence that Biden’s appointees will carry out a coherent anti-China strategy. Workers World expects an aggressive and dangerous policy from Biden. 

We call on the U.S. population to confront the lies of the U.S. ruling class, its politicians and its media, and to mobilize to prevent any aggressive moves by U.S. imperialism against People’s China.

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