The Guardian

The Guardian June 20, 2001


Culture and Life

by Rob Gowland

China and Russia main targets

The coming to power in the US of the Republican/Christian Right 
represents a push by aggressive corporations to shift not just the US 
domestic agenda but the "global" agenda to the right.

Bush was put in the White House by corporations to whom the Kyoto Treaty on 
reducing greenhouse emissions was nothing but a brake on the legitimate 
pursuit of profits. By corporations who saw the Gulf War (launched by this 
President's daddy, after all) and the subsequent never-ending air war 
against Iraq as a tremendous boost to profits, not only from military 
production but also from the related manipulation of oil supplies.

Those same corporations made squillions from the succession of imperialist-
inspired wars in (and on) Yugoslavia, wars that are still continuing. They 
also have a long term profit potential to do with future oil pipelines from 
Central Asia to Europe via the Balkans.

But the crux of their future plans is twofold:

On the one hand, the final destruction of Russia  still too closely 
linked to its Soviet past together with the nightmare possibility that it 
might rise again  and its forced disintegration into a collection of 
smaller, neo-colonial Third World countries.

On the other hand, the overthrow of the Communist government of China  by 
whatever means it takes  and the freeing of that country's billion-plus 
workforce from the constraints the Chinese Government places on imperialist 
investors.

Without the pesky Reds, foreign corporations in China would not be 
restricted to designated development zones where they are obliged to pay 
substantially higher wages than are the norm in the rest of China (low 
though they are).

With a pro-Western government, they would be free to pay as little as they 
could get away with. They would no longer have to accept majority ownership 
of their Chinese plants by the Chinese Government, nor see them revert 
totally to China after 15 or 20 years.

Corporations would be freed of any obligation to teach the Chinese how to 
manage their enterprises, or how to market the products they produce in 
them. China would merely provide an unlimited labour force grateful to work 
for a handful of rice.

They would not have to site their plants in parts of the country the 
Chinese Government wants to develop, such as the poverty-stricken Western 
districts, but could  and would  site them amidst the great coastal 
seaports, and let the people needing work come to the cities in search of 
it.

The resultant mega-slum cities would be a great social blight, but they 
would not be anywhere near where the capitalists live, so what would that 
matter?

There would in fact be a burgeoning market for security protection devices, 
razor wire, private police, guns, and the like, for the better-off 
(expatriate managers and local agents, etc). Every development has its up-
side.

But there remains that pesky Chinese Government. With the formal cementing 
of the Shanghai Group (China, Russia, and a clutch of oil-rich former 
Soviet Central Asian states) last week during yet another summit of 
Presidents Ziang Zemin and Vladimir Putin, they have taken a further step 
towards thwarting US corporate hopes of obtaining monopoly control over the 
oil of that region.

Make no mistake, Bush's NMD star wars missile system is aimed (literally) 
at China and China's military ally Russia. And our own leader, clever John 
Howard is contentedly tagging along in Bush's wake, ready and willing  
nay, eager  to volunteer our lilliputian military for war with a third of 
the world's people and half the world's missiles.

For his part, Bush, when he's not ostentatiously praying in public, is 
relying on the tried and tested policies of his father's day: War hysteria 
is being fostered at the highest levels in the US, and crude anti-China 
smears planted in the media by US intelligence services, just like they 
were in the good old Cold War days of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr.

The recent "China arms sales to Cuba" story is a case in point. It began 
with an obviously planted story in the "Washington Times", a paper 
notoriously owned by the ultra-reactionary and anti-Communist Moonie cult.

The story credited unnamed "US intelligence officials" for the news that 
China had secretly made "at least three arms shipments" to Cuba over recent 
months.

The story suggested that the "arms shipments" could lead to sanctions 
against China and its shipping company COSCO for breaking a US embargo on 
supplying arms to "countries that sponsor terrorism".

Cuba has always figured on this amazing US list (but the US  the world's 
greatest user and supporter of terrorism  doesn't, of course.)

The story also accused China of using Cuba for "electronic eavesdropping on 
the United States and Chinese government radio broadcasting".

An arch-reactionary in Congress then dutifully raised the Washington 
Times story there.

Well aware of what was afoot here. China and Cuba both protested that the 
story was a mischievous fabrication.

Although the US State Department later backed away from saying that China 
"did" ship arms to Cuba, that was not the point. The purpose of the planted 
article was to contribute to anti-China war hysteria in the US, and that 
role it fulfilled quite satisfactorily.

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