If there is one word that causes everyone in Washington to convulse more than any other, it’s China.
America’s anti-China rhetoric probably reached its apotheosis during the Trump era but looks set to continue along a similar trajectory under president, Joe Biden.
Professor of Wellbeing Economics, Paul Frijters, and Journalist and Founder of the Canadian Patriot Review, Matthew Ehret, met up with host, Ross Ashcroft, to discuss what lies behind Washington’s anti-China rhetoric.
China’s massive economic development over recent decades appears to come as surprise to observers in international relations within Washington’s Beltway. China is widely regarded to be a potential rival to America’s supremacy in the world, a rivalry that Paul Frijters says the US will undoubtedly lose due to the fact that, unlike the US, China has not been preoccupied by issues such as the war on terror and Islamic fanaticism.
According to the LSE professor, the Chinese have spent huge sums of money on internationally disconnected “bad ally” nations such as North Korea and Pakistan, who “cost a lot and don’t give you much”, whereas the Americans, he asserts, have invested in more ‘competent’ wealthier allies such as the Europeans and Australians.
But this situation is beginning to change. Currently, China has the worlds biggest economy and as such it is increasingly likely they will begin to forge a different set of alliances and regular trade ties with other countries such as Vietnam and South Korea, long considered to be their traditional enemies.
Another potentially fascinating phenomenon to arise in this new geopolitical landscape, is the interplay between China, its potential new allies and the estimated 50 million Chinese diaspora. Frijters says that the Chinese authorities are likely to have political concerns about the activities of recent diaspora, mainly students, that still have connections with family in China.
The authorities are worried that these people will bring back ideas that are contrary to Communist Party doctrine and Communist Party interests.
“This is the main thing that puts them in conflict in places like Australia, Europe and America. The Chinese authorities are very interested in keeping the recent diaspora in the fold and making sure that they don’t get to hear negative things about China or that they behave in what they see as an anti Chinese way”‘ says Frijters.
In this regard, adds the LSE professor, “they will want the media of the country with that diaspora to behave in a certain way and they’ve poured huge resources into that kind of thing. So it’s a very interesting phenomenon that the group which in principle could help them, is also seen as a worry for potential strife. And Australia is the shining example of that where basically, that group has almost split the trade ties.”
The Chinese authorities are aware of the need to keep people happy in order to facilitate the expansion of internal growth, particularly within the service and technological sectors which Frijters predicts will disrupt the way that Western societies have hitherto worked. These potential threats and the likelihood that within two decades the US economy is only going to be a third of China’s, almost certainly explains the consternation the US has towards China embodied in Washington’s anti-Chinese rhetoric.
Journalist Matthew Ehret points out that this is not a new historical game America is playing but part of the same psyop formula designed to demonize ‘official enemies’ as well as prominent writers, intellectuals, artists and leading political figures who happen to sympathize with them. In the aftermath of WW2 in the US, secret hearings and royal commissions were set up to investigate who these people were.
Ehret says that many of the figures were leading members of the Progressive Party of Canada who were allied with Henry Wallace and other allies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, people who had a vision for a US-Russia-China alliance and who had called out the fascist support that was being given by many of the Western financial networks and industrialists.
These prominent critics of fascism “were very loud voices and they were slandered, called commies and given jail time for things that they had nothing to do with. What we saw was McCarthyism, the house of un-American activities and the FBI take over the USA”, says Ehret.
Then, as now, the intention of not only the US ruling class but also their Canadian, British and Australian counterparts, is to convince the public that the Russian’s and, more recently, the Chinese, are behind all of the problems of the world and are the natural enemies of the West. In order to sustain this kind of Cold War 2.0 propaganda of fear, the ruling class create bogeymen where there are none. In this way they are able to control their populations.
Whenever the mass media accuse Russia or China of Western government interference, it rarely occurs to them that the history of Western imperialism has, to a greater or lesser degree, been predicated on both covert and overt forms of meddling in the internal affairs of ‘official enemies’ including their regional allies. This has often resulted in legitimate acts of self defence by the Wests said ‘adversaries’.
Whether it’s Venezuela, Syria or Libya, the neocon strategy has been a succession of foreign policy failures. But the Wests response to these failures has been to double down on them. All the while, the Russia-China alliance and the increasing merger of the Eurasian Economic Union into the framework of China’s Belt and Road Initiative sovereign-based development model for nations has contributed to the creation of a resistant power bloc.
As Ehret puts it:
“The Belt and Road Initiative has arisen as a true opposition to the bipolar insanity of western right wing militarism/monetarism on the one side and left wing depopulation under ‘Great Resets’ and ‘Green New Deals’ on the other.”
Paradoxically, as this multipolarity increases, as more partnerships are born, the West are likely to do all they can to hinder the progress and the economic capacity of poorer nations within the Russia-China orbit. What is certain is that the current two coexistent notions of political economy are completely incompatible. One is founded on long-term multipolarity principles of win-win cooperation and the other on a short-term unipolar perspective predicated on unsustainable commodity speculative bubbles.
Which of the two models is likely to dominate in the future – the unipolar vision represented by the billionaire technocratic class in Davos, or China’s multipolar Green New Deal resistant agenda that demands the submission of national sovereignty to a supranational world order of zero-growth and depopulation?
“I don’t have my crystal ball, but it will be a very interesting time in the coming weeks and months ahead”, says Ehret.
When will we finally see through the spin to ensure there’s no more war?
Author Charlie Robinson joins host Ross Ashcroft to discuss the fall of the American Empire.
With the world in apparent stasis as a consequence of the Corona virus, one of the remaining constants has been the extent to which America creates enemies and bogeymen with monotonous regularity.