US Ramps Up Anti-Chinese Aggression Amidst Maneuvers Over Ukraine

After a Chinese balloon was spotted over Montana and shot down by the US government two days later over South Carolina, the US went into a balloon shooting frenzy. Anything in the sky that the US government and military could not immediately recognize was shot down for a week or so, so that in the news there was story after story of an “unidentified flying object” being shot down over North America. These were probably harmless objects like weather balloons, but the state utilized them to provoke public hysteria about China spying on the US and violating the US’ territorial sovereignty, and as another tool in generating mass acceptance of a future war with China. It is another attempt by the ruling class embodied in the Biden administration to use any excuse that they can to war-monger against China.

This leads into the wider US maneuvering against China over the last month. At the beginning of the year, certain Western bourgeois media outlets speculated on the end of ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomacy from China, due to a few diplomats being replaced in the context of China dealing with internal Covid and economic crises.(1) Nevertheless, this short blip of international optimism by a few in the bourgeois press has been replaced with the regularly scheduled programming of portraying China as a dangerous, aggressive power.

Blinken and Biden have upped their rhetoric here. Not only has Blinken used it as an attempt to gain a “public apology” from China, which China refused. The administration is now making pronouncements that China may be considering supplying lethal military aid to Russia for the war in Ukraine, and that China may have already supplied non-lethal military aid for that purpose (armor, uniforms, etc.), on top of the economic assistance that China has provided Russia in the form of new markets for oil to replace the lost European ones. And this is of course always linked with China’s plans for Taiwan (which the US is now saying it will go to war with China over).

The US ruling class is trying to push China into a corner, diplomatically, rhetorically, militarily. AUKUS, Five Eyes, and the Quad are just some examples of the US’ attempts to encircle and corner China. The first, between the US, UK and Australia, to give Australia nuclear-powered submarines in an obvious attempt to intimidate China. The second, a spy and intelligence-sharing network between the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. The third, an alliance between the US, India, Japan, and Australia, brought together by the US on the basis of ‘shared interests,’ aka a shared fear by their ruling classes of the ascendancy of China as a major imperialist power.

Xi Jinping, the CCP, and the Chinese bourgeoisie as a whole have no choice but to assert their own (imperialist) agency, and that they will not submit to the US’ “Cold War mentality”.(2) China has also recently released a 12 point so-called “Peace Plan” for Ukraine, which Zelensky has responded to somewhat positively, and which the US ruling class and those of other NATO states are at best ambivalent towards, but mostly suspicious of. This plan is imperialist jockeying by China, but for the US ruling class there is the fear that China could not only gain prestige as a potential peacemaker (a temporary peace) between Ukraine and Russia, but that Ukraine could slip out of the US’ imperialist orbit and into that of China. This is why the morning after it was released, Biden told reporters that the plan would only benefit Russia and so should be rejected. Surprising, considering that Russia found it inadequate to their interests as well, due to its lack of recognition of Russia’s annexed territories in Ukraine.

Which then leads to Ukraine. US imperialism’s support for Ukraine continues as a constant. The US and NATO states have now arrived at the decision to send tanks (M1 Abrams for US) to Ukraine, although this will take months. The Biden administration is at the moment signaling its opposition to sending F-16 Fighter Jets to Ukraine, which Zelensky is demanding. Zelensky is also continuing his calls for retaking Crimea, which some in the administration, like Blinken, are hinting may be too difficult, at least for the moment. Their motivation is that a full-scale invasion of Crimea may provoke a much larger Russian response, perhaps nuclear attacks. The US ruling class is not yet at the stage where they deem it profitable to send over ‘their own’ proletarians to massacre proletarians from Russia. That said, no amount of dead Ukrainian or Russian workers is too much for the US ruling class. So far, there have been between 200,000-300,000 total military casualties alone, along a frontline that resembles the horrid trenches of the First World War. This is to say nothing of the civilians, which the militaries of Ukraine, Russia and NATO consider ‘collateral damage.’ It may also be that in the near future, workers in the US too will be called upon to sacrifice their lives for capital in what would be the bloodiest, most destructive war in human history.

The war in Ukraine is not just between Ukraine and Russia. It is a war between US and Russian imperialism, being fought out on Ukrainian soil. No wonder Biden’s recently proposed military budget, the largest in US history, is nearly $900 billion. The US has successfully set the agenda in NATO for total support to the Ukrainian state in the form of weapons and ‘economic aid’ (the pillaging of Ukraine’s economy and exploitation of their workers by Western capitalists). Ukraine would not be standing today if all of NATO were not sending a steady stream of arms and intelligence to it.

Ukraine would also not be standing if the ruling class there did not have a steady supply of cannon fodder in the form of their working class. Conscription is mandatory, all men ages 18-60 are forbidden from leaving the country, protest is outlawed, there is one television channel, yet CNN and MSNBC would have you think that Ukraine is a flourishing liberal democracy. Even if that were the case, we know what bourgeois democracy is really worth; as Lenin said, it’s a “democracy for the moneybags,” where the owners of capital and the exploiters of our labor make all of the important decisions that we are subjected to. Interestingly, those decisions always end with our laboring away for the barest means of subsistence and being sent to die in imperialist wars that only further enrich the exploiting class.

Workers in Ukraine and Russia are being subjected to the wider future that capitalism has in store for us, a barbarous, imperialist world war. Our class has no interest in taking any sides in this global conflict. We have no country; as Marx said, the worker’s soil is neither French nor German nor English, but the factory floor, and none of it is owned by us anyways. Our only interest lies in uniting internationally as a class across all national borders, not only refusing to fight and die in capitalist wars, but taking up our own struggle, the class war, against the international capitalist class.

The only way to end these apocalyptic imperialist wars is to overthrow the capitalist system and replace it with a global society where production is for need and not profit; in a word, communism. To accomplish this, our class needs its own international party to act as its political reference point. We are not that party but we are working for its necessary formation.

The ICT has also launched the No War But the Class War initiative as a way to gather internationalists for intervention in the class struggle, linking the attacks of the ruling class with the march towards imperialist world war. The points of agreement for the initiative are the following:

  • Against capitalism, imperialism and all nationalisms. No support for any national capitals, “lesser evils”, or states in formation.
  • For a society where states, wage-labor, private property, money and production for profit are replaced by a world of freely associated producers.
  • Against the economic and political attacks that the current war, and the ones to come, will unleash on the working class.
  • For the self-organized struggle of the working class, for the formation of independent strike committees, mass assemblies and workers’ councils.
  • Against oppression and exploitation, for the unity of the working class and the coming together of genuine internationalists.

We are calling for committees to be set up in agreement with these five points. If you are in agreement with them, contact us so that we can get to work on spreading the internationalist class message against capitalist crisis and world war.

Internationalist Workers’ Group
US affiliate of the ICT

This article forms part of Internationalist Notes no. 5, Spring 2023, broadsheet of the IWG.


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Tuesday, March 14, 2023