Struggle in China, Part 8
U.S. remains hostile to China
While supporting rightists & demanding concessions
By Fred Goldstein
May 28, 2012
The capitalist government and the big business media in the U.S. have firmly and vociferously taken sides against Bo Xilai and any manifestation of leftist policy in China. These same media and government have also demanded economic and political concessions from the Chinese government.
But the Chinese leaders’ massive campaign of suppression against Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party secretary of Chongqing; the recently negotiated permission for U.S. firms to own up to 49 percent of Chinese non-bank financial institutions; and the release to the U.S. of the counterrevolutionary lawyer Chen Guangcheng cannot diminish the underlying, profound hostility of the U.S. ruling class toward China.
The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, among other mouthpieces of big business and the State Department, have been working with traitorous bourgeois elements and anti-Bo bureaucrats inside the Chinese state security system and the government to spread reams of leaked and unsubstantiated hearsay against Bo Xilai, while at the same time crying out for the “rule of law.”
It is reminiscent of the way the press works to frame up oppressed people in this country, especially revolutionaries like Mumia Abu-Jamal, and conduct trials by government leak and media slander. This is precisely the way in which CNN, NBC, CBS. ABC and other media are preparing the ground for freeing the cop-supported, racist vigilante George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin.
They are in close collaboration with the right wing in China, who desperately need to reduce the case of Bo to a criminal matter to conceal what it really is: a 21st-century version of the earlier two-line struggle between the left and the “capitalist roaders” over whether to take China further down the capitalist road or to slow down reliance on the capitalist market in favor of state planning and state-owned enterprises.
If the Chinese leadership can reduce the matter to one of corruption or criminality, they do not have to deal with the progressive accomplishments of Bo in Chongqing, where he built massive low-cost housing for the workers, increased social spending in order to raise the masses’ standard of living, paved the way for the peasantry to gain urban status and other benefits, and emphasized “red culture” in state-owned media and at public events.
The capitalist media in this country repeat every unverified rumor, accusation and lurid detail spread by “anonymous sources” and suspect individuals against Bo, as well as making up their own. These reports poison public opinion in the U.S. and the West. They then go back into China through the Chinese press and social media, reinforcing the campaign.
The Chinese government humiliated itself by freeing Chen Guangcheng into U.S. custody after the sightless lawyer was secreted into the U.S. Embassy via the most egregious CIA intervention. Chen is part of a network of Chinese counterrevolutionaries who used opposition to China’s one-child policy as a lever in an anticommunist campaign. The affair was a total violation of Chinese sovereignty, which, in more militant days, would have called for national anti-U.S. demonstrations.
The Chinese government made this concession during negotiations with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in order to keep the talks from breaking down. During the negotiations the Chinese leaders also made concessions to Wall Street, while Geithner and Clinton stonewalled the Chinese on their requests to be allowed to import crucial items of technology that are now banned by the Pentagon on “national security” grounds.
Whether Washington was angry because all its demands were not met, or whether the U.S. was trying to attack while the Chinese leadership was off balance with a major internal struggle, or both, the visit was immediately followed by escalation of the anti-China offensive.
Times attacks leadership for ‘corruption’
The New York Times opened up a front-page attack on not just Bo but the entire Chinese top leadership for alleged corruption, including President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and their children. This “newspaper of record” for the U.S. bourgeoisie then expanded its attack on the Communist Party of China itself.
Much was left unsaid in the charges. Most of the accusations amounted to the fact that children of the leaders were in charge of many state-owned enterprises and that they attended Western educational institutions.
Of course, any degree of nepotism, privilege or corruption that exists at the leadership level is an absolutely impermissible violation of socialist norms, and should be stamped out. That was the goal of the great Cultural Revolution initiated by Mao Zedong. It was the defeat of Mao and the left that led to the present regime, which adheres to the concept of “market socialism” invented by Deng Xiaoping. We doubt that the New York Times wants to revive the Cultural Revolution.
The capitalist press reach unparalleled heights of hypocrisy when they condemn the Communist Party of China’s leadership for “corruption.” These charges derive from the deepest hatred of the Chinese Revolution and all that is associated with it, including the CPC and the People’s Liberation Army. The New York Times and the ruling class it speaks for — and it does speak for the ruling class in this case — would like to see the total destruction, not only of the party and the PLA, but of all remaining institutions of socialism established by the Chinese Revolution.
Furthermore, these charges have nothing to do with concern about corruption. The U.S. is the land of corruption. Frederick Engels noted back in the 19th century that corruption was one of the principal instruments of rule used by the U.S. capitalist class. The robber barons bought legislatures and got titles to lands for their railroads and mining companies — lands that had been expropriated from the Native peoples during genocidal campaigns.
Today Washington, D.C., is populated by more than 40,000 lobbyists whose occupation is to foster corruption among the legislators and other branches of the capitalist government. Every state capital in the U.S. is infected with a similar plague of corrupters.
Super Pacs, empowered by the Supreme Court, now openly ply candidates with tens of millions of dollars. And these Super Pacs are financed by billionaires seeking to corrupt their candidates.
Tariffs on Chinese solar panels
Within days of the negotiations in China, the Commerce Department issued stinging tariffs of 31 percent on Chinese solar panels. China is the largest exporter of solar panels in the world. It has developed the technology to its highest state.
This tariff was levied by the Commerce Department on the grounds that China is a state economy and therefore its exports are unfairly subsidized. This ruling has been pending now for over a year, but it was levied right after the U.S.-China talks, in a stinging rebuke to the Chinese leadership.
The Chinese leaders appropriately reacted with fury and denounced the measures as protectionist. “China’s exported solar panels have a relatively competitive price, mainly because of technical research and development work done by Chinese companies,” said China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei. “At the same time, China has imported a lot of raw materials and production equipment from the U.S., and this has benefited the U.S. economy. … This action by the U.S. has hurt cooperation between China and the U.S. in the renewable-energy sector, and hurt the U.S. itself. We hope the U.S. will appropriately resolve this issue.” (Wall Street Journal, May 18)
The truth is that these tariffs will hurt the masses in the U.S. by drastically raising the cost of solar panels, just when the Obama administration is touting renewable energy and “a green economy.” It will also lead to the loss of jobs here among the 100,000 workers who are presently employed in installing affordable Chinese solar panels.
Pentagon attacks China’s military
On the heels of the tariffs, the Pentagon issued a report denouncing China for building up its military and called it “the lead cyberattacker of U.S. computers.” (Christian Science Monitor, May 12)
A New York Times article on May 19, quoting the Pentagon, said that China’s “air force is ‘transforming into a force capable of offshore offensive and defensive operations,’ the report said, with prototypes of a stealth fighter seen starting last year. Other areas of investment include defenses against ballistic missiles, early warning and air-defense missiles, and their land and naval equivalents.”
Excerpts from this report were made public just after the Chinese Minister of National Defense, Gen. Liang Guanglie, ended a meeting in Washington with Pentagon chief Leon Panetta.
In other words, the U.S. has a dual approach in its relations with China. It tries to gain economic and political concessions by carrying out negotiations on a government-to-government basis, and at the same time, it carries a big stick.
Left out of the Times report about China building up its military was that the U.S. has recently carried out so-called “joint military exercises” in the Philippines directed at China, at a time when the Philippines and China are engaged in a dispute over island territories in the South China Sea. “Joint military exercises” means U.S. military exercises. The Philippine government and military are hardly a threat to the Chinese military.
Marines are being rotated out of Iraq and Afghanistan into Australia as part of the Obama administration’s (read Pentagon’s) “pivot” toward Asia and the Pacific region. This so-called pivot is in large part a soft military threat disguised as an alleged change in policy. In fact, the U.S. has been pivoting toward the Pacific since 1854, when Commodore Matthew C. Perry sent gunboats to “open up” Japan. The U.S. colonized and conquered Hawaii, Samoa and the Philippines and sent troops to put down the Boxer Rebellion in China toward the end of that century.
Washington has had the goal of conquering and ruling over the Pacific Basin for more than a century. The U.S. threw massive forces into the war against Japanese imperialism in the Pacific with a view to conquering China. The Chinese revolution of 1949 put an end to the Pentagon’s strategic drive.
The U.S. then proceeded to try to isolate the Chinese Revolution, keeping it out of the United Nations for a quarter of a century, building up the Seventh Fleet to menace the Chinese People’s Republic, and launching two wars, one in Korea, followed by one in Vietnam, both on China’s borders.
The profound hostility of the U.S. ruling class to China and the Chinese Revolution has deep historic and material roots. Washington and Wall Street will be satisfied with nothing less than the complete recolonization of China, the destruction of the remaining pillars of socialism, and the untrammeled rule of capital over one-fifth of the human race who dwell there.
No concessions by the Chinese leadership will mitigate this hostility. The cause of this hostility lies precisely in the continued existence of the socialist sector of China. The Chinese leadership can protect China against irreversible incursions of imperialism, even on a nationalist basis, only by defending the state-owned enterprises. They are the foundation of its economic survival and the development of its military and the PLA.
In the long run, the only salvation for China is for the Chinese masses to retake the center stage of Chinese history. This is the surest guarantee of socialism in China and victory over capitalist counterrevolution and imperialism.
Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” and “Capitalism at a Dead End.” More information about these books and other materials is available at www.lowwagecapitalism.com.