Samuel Prentice highlights the increasing aggression of US imperialism in the context its own economic decline and the rise of China.
On 26th June the US National Security Council issued a paper illustrating the United States ideological opposition to China, rejecting previously held hopes that China would begin to liberalise “to meet the rising democratic aspirations of its people”.
National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien restated the USA’s ideological position to China and denounced their “totalitarian” Marxist-Leninist ideology: “Individuals do not have inherent value under Marxism-Leninism. They exist to serve the state; the state does not exist to serve them.”
Before we can really understand the circumstances that lead to this shift, we must look towards the economic position of both China and the US. Following the Coronavirus pandemic the U.S dollar has been predicted to decline up to 35%, real unemployment in the country is up to 32.1% as of 25th July, oil prices went negative in April and the GDP growth for Q2 is -32.9% – the lowest in recorded history. Meanwhile China is still on track to become the highest global GDP by 2030 and has demonstrated one of the most efficient recoveries from the pandemic, with Q2 GDP growth at 11.5% following a -10% decrease in Q1.
Bearing this in mind, it can be argued that the only rational analysis of US foreign policy can be that of a dying empire. The decline in the US dollar equates to the decline of one of the most powerful weapons of US imperialism – economic hegemony. From here on out the country will have to become increasingly militaristic and destructive in order to compete with the other imperialist powers such as the EU, Russia and China’s model of economic development based on peace and cooperation.
We can directly attribute the economic situation of the US to the sharp increase in propaganda surrounding the Chinese state. The situation is no different to when the US government lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction or when they lied about Assad using chemical weapons on civilians in Syria. The US government ensures that any state that opposes US hegemony will have millions of dollars pumped into propaganda and misinformation campaigns against it.
We can see this today with the various “non-profit” NGOs funded by the Whitehouse such as Radio Free Asia, spreading misinformation about Uighur re-education camps and other nonsense such as claims of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners. The claims made by what is effectively US state media have been thoroughly debunked already. It is not difficult to find flaws in the Western narrative. If the Chinese state wanted to persecute Uighur Muslims then why were ethnic minorities in China exempt from the one child policy? If the Chinese state wants to eliminate Uighur culture then why have the amount of mosques increased over tenfold since 1978? Why is Adrian Zenz, (one of the only sources for the claims that China is sterilising Muslims) taken seriously, when he believes he is led by God on a mission against China and is a senior fellow at the US state sponsored Victims of Communism Memorial foundation?
A former member of the White House has admitted on video that the US government has a vested interest in stoking a separatist movement in Xinjiang to destabilise China. The US government does not actually care about the culture and livelihood of the Uighur people, they merely see them as a method of gaining ideological and political power over China. This is unsurprising if you consider the anti-Muslim rhetoric Trump used to build his election platform and particularly his Muslim travel ban. Any analysis of US foreign policy that views the US state as a bastion for freedom and human rights is thoroughly delusional.
It is clear on closer inspection that many claims made about the Chinese state come from sources with a heavy interest in spreading lies and misinformation about China. Xinjiang is a region that has a history of separatism and religious extremism, with hundreds of people dying due to attacks from members of the religious fundamentalist ‘East Turkestan Islamic Movement’. With this added context the policy of the regional government begins to make more sense, especially considering US intervention has done nothing but destabilise predominantly Muslim countries, even going as far as supporting Islamist Mujahideen fighters to prevent social progress in Afghanistan.
We can further see the actions of the US in their struggle against China in the Hong Kong protests. The protests were largely seen in the West as in support of “freedom and democracy”, but there was a blatant contradiction between the demands of the protestors and the US funding and NGOs supporting it. Jimmy Lai, one of the prominent Hong Kong “pro-democracy” leaders denounced the George Floyd protests and Hong Kong opposition leaders like Joshua Wong sought to ally with regime-change neoconservatives within the US government. The Hong Kong protests were a blatant attempt at a US-backed colour revolution, the likes of which caused a huge rise in death rates, unemployment, drug overdoses and prostitution in post-Soviet states after the collapse of the USSR.
The TikTok ban is yet another example of US hypocrisy; the app was denounced for privacy and security reasons, in favour of western alternatives from multinationals like Facebook that perform a similar function and are just as much of a threat to people’s privacy. The truth is that the US government wants as little outside influence from alternative sources of media on their people as possible. They fear not being able to control what people can say on platforms they have little influence over and they fear not being able to view the data provided from these services. Whistleblowers like Edward Snowden have shown us that the surveillance done by the US government is no more benevolent or as relaxed as that of China.
It is clear we are entering a new era in world history, the 21st century must see the collapse of US imperialism. The intensification of the US propaganda machine against China is obvious. If they cannot control through economic means they will resort to even more aggressive methods, what we are seeing now is the beginning of a New Cold War. Communists might sound the alarm bell against this worrying development and fight for Britain to have a foreign policy based on peace and popular sovereignty.