11-08-2022: The US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s recent “visit” to Taiwan was nothing short of a reckless provocation. Under the cover of darkness, and with an escort of military aircraft, the third highest ranking US politician touched down in Taipei on August 2. The delegation was preceded by the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group which includes a guided missile destroyer and a guided missile cruiser, steaming into the South China Sea from Singapore less than a week earlier. Pelosi ignored express and repeated warnings from the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that such a visit would be seen as the US moving towards breaking with its official “One China” policy and the adoption of open backing for Taiwanese “independence”. Pelosi herself effectively announced the real reason for the timing of her visit, when she claimed that the US must “honour its commitment to democracy” in opposition to Russia supposedly waging an illegal war on Ukraine. In reality, Russia’s DeNazification operation in Ukraine is grinding NATO’s proxy war efforts into the dust, crushing the decades long attempt of Washington to effect regime change in Moscow.
Double or nothing
Instead of tactically retreating from military setbacks in Ukraine, the US ruling class has apparently decided to go for double or nothing. Many observers have commented that despite the horrendously dangerous provocations against Russia, the real game for Wall Street is regime change in Beijing. Obviously this cannot be carried out by a conventional war, so the US state, through numerous agencies, tries to break off small chunks of the PRC as part of its seven-decade long plans to “contain and roll back communism” on the Chinese mainland. Taiwan is clearly part of China, and it has been for millennia, even despite the defeated nationalists fleeing there after the victory of China’s socialist revolution in 1949. Taiwan is not a country, and virtually all world governments officially recognise the government in Beijing as the representative of all of China – including the USA. In fact, in 1979, the US government de-recognised the “Republic of China” (Taiwan) to instead recognise the PRC as the sole legal government of China. In practice, however, the US government has been playing a shell game for years in relation to Taiwan – saying one thing and doing another.
It is impossible to understate the danger of catastrophic nuclear war when the US ruling class, backed by the ruling elites of the European Union (EU) push and provoke both Russia and China into a response to flagrant military and political goading. In fact, the US Empire is currently provoking conflict in Kosovo against Serbia, in Israel against Iran, and on the Korean peninsula against the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) in addition to the bellicose aggravation against the Russian Federation and the PRC. Many try to grapple with why the US and their allies would seemingly risk their own destruction to start wars with nuclear armed states. Yet there is an explanation.
The decline of the West
Imperialism is driven to desperation by its own impasse. The US is arguably in the process of being surpassed by the PRC in at least the economic, scientific and technological fields. In fact, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd (TSM) produces 90% of the world’s advanced computer chips. This is potentially one reason why Washington is so keen to push Taiwanese separatism from the PRC at almost any cost. Yet it is not just the gargantuan size of the PRC’s economy that US capitalism is unable to compete with. It is much more that the PRC is the world’s most powerful bureaucratically deformed workers’ state, which gives its economy the ultimate protection of predominant state ownership and control through Five Year Plans. As a result of 1949, the major and strategic means of production in China are state owned, and the free market does NOT rule. The PRC has over 150 000 state owned enterprises (SOEs), none of which necessarily need to make any profit at all, as long as their output aligns with the national plan. Yet both the SOEs and the private sector in the PRC are ultimately controlled by the highest levels of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Any part of their operations can be closed and/or expropriated, or redirected, if the CPC so decides.
However, the CPC operates as a variation of Stalinism, which means that the Chinese working class has little or no democratic control over the use and operation of their state assets. It also means that the CPC has allowed capitalism to develop in Taiwan, rather than wage a left-wing class struggle to politically re-unify the island with the socialistic mainland. Despite this, if the PRC is prodded far enough by US warships in the region, the CPC may have little option but to integrate Taiwan through military means. Indeed, the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command is now conducting anti-submarine and assault drills in the sea and airspace around Taiwan. As a key component of defence of the PRC against imperialism, workers should defend such actions of the PLA, up to and including the military takeover of both Taiwan and its bases in the South China Sea. Despite conservative and bureaucratic rule in the PRC, workers of the world must stand for the defence of socialism – however distorted – from the predations of a US juggernaut driven to frenzy.
If the US Navy seriously attempts to fight China using a few warships sailing off the coast of Taiwan, Beijing has the missile capability to simply send these vessels to the ocean floor. The US deep state is aware of this, so this strategy could have the aim of binding the PRC into a conflict, blocking its supply lines and waging a war of attrition. The majority of light and manufactured goods used in the West are manufactured in China. The severing of these distribution lines would send the West into an even deeper recession than it currently finds itself in, due to its backfiring sanctions and proxy war on Russia. Working people cannot bear any more privation, after two and a half years of deliberate economic chaos stoked by fraudulent “Covid” lockdowns. Marxists should prepare the masses not only for an anti-war movement, but for the conversion of an imperialist war into a civil war, which strives towards the establishment and defence of workers’ councils against a capitalist counter-revolution.
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