Britain’s youth have nothing to gain from the USA’s new Cold War

It would be impossible not to have noticed the frenzied onslaught in Britain's media in recent weeks against China, focusing in particular upon the COVID-19 pandemic, the alleged repression of Uyghurs in Xinjang and human rights in Hong Kong.
It would be impossible not to have noticed the frenzied onslaught in Britain's media in recent weeks against China, focusing in particular upon the COVID-19 pandemic, the alleged repression of Uyghurs in Xinjang and human rights in Hong Kong.
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Johnnie Hunter, YCL General Secretary & Challenge Editor

It would be impossible not to have noticed the frenzied onslaught in Britain’s media in recent weeks against China, focusing in particular upon the COVID-19 pandemic, the alleged repression of Uyghurs in Xinjang and human rights in Hong Kong.

This targeted offensive has extended right across the monopoly owned press, to the BBC and online media. Despite our so called ‘free press’, the allegations, the alleged evidence relied upon and the editorial line is strikingly uniform.

Since the publication of the the ‘Russia Report’ by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee there has also been a feverish attempt to paint Putin’s regime in Russia as the root of all corruption in Britain’s politics. Again these stories have been trumpeted across the full spectrum of Britain’s media both ‘left’ and right.

A new Cold War

Britain’s ruling class, in their subservient role to US imperialism, identify two very different threats in People’s China and oligarchic Russia.

Russia represents another aspiring imperialist power. A power which has been aiming to compete with UK-EU-US domination in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia particularly in terms of energy resources and transit lines.

China’s model of peaceful economic development and cooperation represents a significant challenge to the USA’s domination of the whole planet, which has gone largely unchecked in the decades since the destruction of the Soviet Union. As China comes to surpass the USA economically and as the latter buckles under its own contradictions, extreme poverty, inequality and racial oppression, the US government seeks to lash out at China – at once the great ideological foe and the source of many domestic ills.

Boris Johnson’s Tory government has fallen in line with US policy to the letter. No longer just under the US nuclear umbrella but on the end of a foreign policy dog leash. The paranoid anti-communist rhetoric coming out US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s mouth one day is coming out Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s the next.

Many are calling what we are seeing in Washington and London today the beginning of a new cold war, indeed many in the monopoly owned media and the Tory Party are calling for one. What does this mean for Britain’s youth in 2020? How does this affect us and the struggle for a dignified life?

People’s China

Its not for Britain’s communists to dogmatically defend each and every decision of the Chinese government or Communist Party. We are concerned with building socialism in Britain and more to the point we can be sure they are more than capable of arguing their own case. What can be said is that claims and arguments about China should be evaluated on the actual evidence.

The government’s major u-turn earlier this month on the involvement of Chinese company Huawei in Britain’s 5G network was based solely on US pressure and unilateral demands. Dominic Raab admitted as much his press conference with Mike Pompeo last Tuesday (21 July 2020). Even the Tory government admits that there is no evidence that Huawei has ever attempted espionage or been used as a vehicle for spying.

The decision will cost Britain’s taxpayers billions and will set back our telecommunications network back by a number of years by the government’s own admission. But this was a decision made in Washington and imposed on Britain. We never voted for Trump or Pompeo – event the majority of US citizens didn’t vote for Trump.

On Hong Kong too, despite being the former colonial power, the Tory government has had the audacity to echo US rhetoric. This is despite the fact that there is no evidence that the Hong Kong or Chinese authorities have acted disproportionately in maintaining order. What there is clear evidence of is US meddling both internationally and on the ground with US diplomats holding clandestine meetings with anti-communist organisers.

The actions of the Hong Kong police force compared with the mass repression, state violence and extra judicial killings which are and have been taking place in the USA this year speaks for itself. Picture the response if the same scenes were being witnessed on the streets of Hong Kong or mainland China or if Chinese diplomats were meeting with protesters in the USA.

Britain has never had, does not and never will have any right to dictate politics in Hong Kong. Neither Britain nor the USA has any standing to talk to China or any other nation of democracy and human rights.

Despite this, the United States and Britain, two countries responsible for the deaths of over 2.5 million Iraqis and the destabilisation of the entire Middle East, now purport to be the champion of the rights of the Uyghur muslim population in China’s Xinjang region. The strategic importance of Xinjang in terms of mineral resources and its location on China’s western border, central to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, is entirely coincidental they would have us believe.

Claims suggest that anywhere between 2 and 5 million Uyghurs are being held in concentration camps in Xinjang. The main source for many of these claims is the USA citing a discredited born-again Christian anthropologist Adrian Zenz who lectures at the European School of Culture and Theology. These claims are broadcast without qualification by the German based and US funded World Uyghur Congress.

Other than alleged drone footage and unverified photos, there is no independent documentary evidence. Objectively, it would be reasonable to think that it would be extremely difficult to conceal camps alleged to hold up to 5 million people.

There is evidence of a risk of Islamic fundamentalism in Xinjang, with increasing terrorist attacks across China since 2004. At least 5,000 jihadists from Xinjang are estimated to have fought with Islamic state in Syria. The jihadist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) has long called for the creation of an independent Islamic state in Xinjiang and seeks to establish this by terrorist means. It is recognised as a terrorist movement by most governments including the US and British. It sometimes uses the names East Turkestan Islamic Party or Turkestan Islamic Party.

It is noteworthy that by and large few Muslim countries and certainly none outwith the orbit of the USA have condemned Chinese actions in Xinjang. In fact the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which has 57 member states has commended China’s anti-jihadist framework.

Individuals and organisations should judge for themselves what is taking place in Xinjang and draw their own conclusions based on the evidence which can be relied upon. What is clear is that we are currently witnessing a concerted propaganda offensive conducted from Washington. Their motivation is clear.

Putin’s Russia

The anti-democratic pro-oligarchy regime of Vladimir Putin is no friend of the communist movement, who are the regular victims of their vote rigging and persecution inside Russia. Internationally, Russia has sought to assert its influence in strategically important regions in terms of energy resources and transit routes, most notably in Syria and Eastern Europe. This is a cause for concern for the UK-US-EU powers and NATO who seek to control these regions for the same reason.

It is is patently clear that Britain’s youth and working people have nothing to gain from this dangerous inter-imperialist rivalry. We waste hundreds of billions every year on maintaining an offensively geared military and nuclear weapons while 1 in 4 children in Britain grow up in poverty and our NHS crumbles.

Our government arms and sponsors terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State around the world in pursuit of imperialists aims who kill civilians abroad and in Britain. Young workers on both sides are the first to die in Britain’s wars of aggression. The looming threat of a nuclear conflict threatens the very existence of human life on our planet.

Undoubtedly Putin’s regime adopts the same methods as our own government in pursuit of imperialist aims. Undoubtedly this includes manipulation of social and conventional media – just as our government does not just in Russia but the world over and has done for over a century. It is the most spectacular hypocrisy and working people must see beyond the cloak and dagger games of the ruling class and NATO sabre-rattling.

The biggest deceit wasn’t disclosed in the Russia report. The biggest threat to what little democracy we have in Britain is not Russian bots on Twitter spreading fake news – its the millions of pounds donated legally and illegally to the Tories and the other ruling class political parties. Absolutely some of it comes from Russian oligarchs – mostly anti-Putin ones – we’ve even had government minister’s on record defending it, but far more corrupting cash flows from the pockets ‘British’ capitalists into the coffers of the establishment parties.

The idea that the Tories, the main recipients of massive donations from the rich and powerful, can be trusted to keep corrupt cash out of politics is the very definition of the fox guarding the hen house.

We have even seen a wide spectrum of political opinion, including the purportedly left and certainly the right, allege that Russia interference was responsible for the Brexit vote. Not only is this allegation completely baseless, it is insulting to the millions who exercised their democratic right to vote in favour of exiting the European Union.

It might be more useful if those individuals who pretend to care about democracy in this country focused less on Putin in the Kremlin and Russian bots and spend more time addressing corrupt cash in politics and the fact that 6 billionaires own the majority of Britain’s ‘free press’.

The alternative

Britain’s ruling class have everything to gain from the new Cold War being engineered by the USA. The Tories talk of ‘taking back control’ while firmly hanging onto Trump’s coattails . All this will be at the expense of young people and workers in Britain and world peace. But only if we let them get away with it.

There is every reason for Britain to have peaceful, constructive and mutually beneficial relations with China. In any event our relations with China should be determined by the government elected here, not by Washington and the Pentagon. This should be decided on the basis of what benefits peace and cooperation internationally.

Rejecting NATO aggression in Eastern Europe and proxy wars in North Africa and the Middle East does not amount to support for Putin. Armed conflicts and the nuclear arms race mean record profits for the arms manufacturers, austerity and dead workers. We can’t allow Britain’s ruling class and media to construct a scapegoat for their own corruption and billionaire dominated ‘democracy’.

Rejecting this new Cold War is real patriotism. The Tories don’t want to defend Britain from imagined threats, they want to obey Washington and the Pentagon, they want to protect the monopolies and the financial interests in the City of London. They want to put us in the firing line of war and nuclear catastrophe in order to protect their wealth as they have done in countless wars before.

Real patriotism is what the Communists are fighting for and have been fighting for for the last 100 years – an independent foreign policy, peace, democracy and national sovereignty.


Johnnie Hunter
General Secretary
Young Communist League

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