A document released by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines April 9, “2021 Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community,” labels China the greatest threat to the United States.
It claims China’s threat is so serious that an intensifying level of U.S. intelligence operations, cyberattacks and investment in military technology must be organized to counter it. Democrats and Republicans vye in Congress in a push of anti-China legislation requiring multibillion-dollar funding.
A hard line on China is one of the few truly bipartisan efforts occupying the divided U.S. Congress.
This includes a vast increase in funding to reactionary journalists, “human rights” organizations and social media platforms, including “alternative media,” who will toe the alarmist anti-China line.
In response, the progressive political movement in the U.S. must prepare to answer a tidal wave of well-funded, anti-China assaults in the media and from the political establishment. This toxic cloud will saturate every social and political movement. Step by step, a response must be prepared to challenge this criminal policy on every possible front.
What crime has China committed to make it the target of U.S. military encirclement, severe sanctions that mount by the day, an onerous trade war and cancellation of cultural exchanges and visas for tens of thousands of Chinese students?
Is there a basis to charges by prominent “human rights” organizations and endless hostile media condemnations? What is behind the increased surveillance of all Chinese people in the U.S. and the escalating anti-Asian violence?
Haines told members of Congress, “China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the U.S. in multiple areas — especially economically, militarily and technologically — and is pushing to change global norms.”
What global norms is China challenging?
The biggest global norm is poverty. Some 7 million people die of hunger each year; 1 billion survive on less than $1 a day.
Capitalism is unable to end poverty or hunger within the U.S. — and certainly not globally. The “Threat Assessment” anticipates a surge in acute hunger and poverty, due to economic disruptions from the global pandemic and climate-change catastrophes. It predicts “acute hunger will rise to 330 million people this year from 135 million people.”
No recognition is given in this report to China’s historic achievements of ending extreme poverty, illiteracy and lack of potable water, while providing access to basic health care for 800 million of its 1.4 billion people.
The Intelligence Report even condemns China for “using its success in combating the coronavirus pandemic to promote the ‘superiority’ of its system.”
Vaccines confirm a superior system
China has produced millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses, sharing them with some 80 countries. The U.S. ranks second in vaccine production, but has exported very few doses. (Global Times, May 9)
The World Health Organization finally gave approval to China’s Sinopharm vaccine May 7. Results for Sinovac, another Chinese manufacturer, are to be announced by WHO next week. Previously only Western-produced vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna had received WHO approval.
This will accelerate global supply, as China’s overall yearly production capacity is approaching 5 billion doses. Easy storage requirements for the Sinopharm vaccine make it highly suitable for low-resource settings, WHO said May 7.
China has extensive plans to assist regions having undeveloped infrastructure with vaccine shipment, cold-chain vehicles and vaccination training for health workers. China’s technical capability and willingness to share billions of lifesaving vaccines with the world deeply threaten the U.S. ruling class, because they confirm the superiority of its system.
Xinjiang and Belt & Road
Even more threatening to the U.S.-imposed “global norm” is China’s broad infrastructure development program called the Belt and Road Initiative. This multitrillion-dollar initiative has expanded to programs in 138 countries. The U.S. shows no capacity or will to provide such desperately needed programs.
Rather, it does everything possible to sabotage these programs by funding mercenary armies and reactionary internal dissention.
Xinjiang is a less-developed region in the far west of China. U.S. claims of massive human-rights violations there against the Uyghurs, an ethnic and religious minority, expose this strategy. Xinjiang is a major logistics center for China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and the gateway to Central and West Asia, as well as European markets.
Claims that China is guilty of genocide in Xinjiang come from the Washington-based and funded Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders. The World Uyghur Congress, another source of sensationalized reports, is U.S. funded.
Sensationalized claims of wanting to protect a Muslim group in Xinjiang can’t wash away 40 years of U.S. wars in primarily Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Yemen. Nor will they dissolve years of attacks against Muslims in the U.S., including secret renditions, kidnappings and hundreds of frame-ups.
Some 54 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America support China against these claims, including more than a dozen members of the Organization of Islamic States. Supporting the U.S. charges are non-Muslim countries in Europe, plus Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Nevertheless, the U.S. has imposed sanctions on China.
Endless funding for war
The “Endless Frontiers Act” is a bill to spend $112 billion over five years on countering China. Tacked onto this are 230 amendments, as various corporations lobby for a cut of the action.
Another mega bill before Congress is the “Strategic Competition Act of 2021.” Its purpose is to restrict China’s technological development with the explicit goal of slowing it or sabotaging it completely.
Countermeasures against China include $300 million a year for four years ($1.2 billion), called the ‘‘Countering Chinese Influence Fund.” It provides funding for charging China with “forced labor” in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, suppressing human rights, “unfair competition” and “intellectual theft.”
Congressional funding for mercenary operations include $655 million in Foreign Military Financing in the Indo-Pacific region and $75 million for an ‘‘Infrastructure Transaction and Assistance Network’’ in the Indo-Pacific to generate criticism of China’s Belt and Road Development Initiative.
Some $450 million for the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative would ensure U.S. aircraft-carrier battle groups can operate freely in the region.
The Strategic Competition and Endless Frontier Acts are part of a fast-track effort promised by President Joe Biden. Both bills are accompanied by an echo chamber of unfounded charges against China.
Infrastructure collapse in the U.S.
The Intelligence Report warns that “at a minimum,” China can “cause localized, temporary disruptions to critical infrastructure within the United States.”
Disruptions of critical infrastructure are a fact of life in the U.S., without any Chinese interference. Wildfires in California in 2020, caused by electric utility companies’ lack of maintenance, torched 40 million acres. In 2018, wildfires cost $148 billion in losses, and millions of residents were left with soaring medical bills, and polluted air, soil and waterways.
The Texas freeze and electric outage, after years of maximizing profits by privatized electric corporations which repeatedly ignored warnings to protect the power grid, meant a loss of $200 billion and left millions without power, heat or water. All 254 counties were impacted by the power outage.
Lead-contaminated water pipes that poisoned children in Flint, Mich., and Newark N.J., were not caused by China. Nor is the inability to provide safe evacuation in hurricanes from Puerto Rico to North Carolina.
An obsolete system
Capitalism is demonstrating to the world it is incapable of solving the problems of modern society.
China, by its very existence, is violating the “global norms” of imperialism’s world order. U.S. hostility to China began with its 1949 revolution. But now, China has grown into a near peer of the U.S. in productive capability and technology and is quickly surpassing it in infrastructure.
In other words, China is guilty of solving problems that cannot be solved by a system based on ruthless competition and the private expropriation of resources, industry and labor. This is a major challenge to the “global norm.”