Trade Wars

Military pact between US, UK and Australia threatens war on China

This week’s dramatic announcement of the AUKUS military alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia made explicit the fault lines of a terrible war between the nuclear powers. Hatched over months of secret negotiations, the pact rekindles the WWII Pacific alliance against Japan, this time against China.

British Carrier Strike Group 2021, led by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, departs from the UK [Credit: Royal Navy/Flickr]

The militaristic nature of the deal was underscored by the decision of the United States and Britain to arm Australia with long-range nuclear submarines. Their only conceivable goal, as part of the Pentagon’s overall nuclear war strategy, is to be able to drive Chinese nuclear submarines and warships out into the Western Pacific and potentially launch missiles against the Chinese mainland.

The alliance will also strengthen collaboration in cyber warfare and related technical fields, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing, as well as underwater capabilities, in addition to helping Australia build a submarine force. nuclear powered. Australia will also expand US access to its northern military facilities, adjacent to Southeast Asia, transforming the country into a giant US base of military operations as it did during World War II. global.

China immediately condemned the AUKUS pact. The Foreign Ministry spokesman said this “seriously undermines regional peace and stability and intensifies the arms race,” while the Chinese embassy in Washington accused the three countries of a “mentality of cold war and ideological prejudices ”.

The seriousness with which Beijing views the American threat was underlined in the comments of “a senior Chinese military expert” in the World time who warned that the pact made “Australia a potential target for a nuclear strike, as nuclear weapon states like China and Russia face the threat directly from Australian nuclear submarines that meet the requirements strategies of the United States ”.

China’s references to a new “cold war” grossly underestimate the dangers of military conflict. A new book titled Danger through Washington post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa have revealed that the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Mark Milley, was forced to take extraordinary measures to reassure Beijing and block President Trump, whom he feared ‘he orders a military attack, potentially including a nuclear strike, against China.

The AUKUS deal, coming in the wake of Britain’s exit from the European Union, will also worsen the rift between European powers. In an unprecedented move, France withdrew its ambassadors in the United States and also in Australia due to the “extreme gravity” of the announced alliance. The concern in Paris is not just that it marked the end of a $ 90 billion contract to build diesel-powered submarines for Australia, but more fundamentally because it sees itself as a Pacific power and was sidelined.

As the Biden administration escalates its confrontation with China across the board, the New Deal puts Britain and Australia in the spotlight. As one Pentagon official put it, the United States has “no better allies than Australia and the United Kingdom.” As a result, all major powers are under increased pressure to side with – for or against China – including in Europe. In Asia, the Biden administration has already strengthened the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or “Quad”, a quasi-military alliance with Japan and India as well as with Australia. Its first face-to-face leaders’ meeting is scheduled to take place in Washington this week.

Washington’s war campaign did not come out of nowhere. Instead, starting with the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia”, the United States has embarked on increasingly aggressive steps to undermine China diplomatically and economically, while restructuring its enormous military forces and consolidating alliances, strategic partnerships and basic agreements throughout the Indo-Pacific to surround China and prepare for war.

Behind the American war campaign lurks growing fears in Washington that China’s extraordinary economic growth will undermine American global hegemony. These concerns have been magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated the economic, political and social crisis of US imperialism in the country and led to a further closure of the US economic advance over China. Last year, the Chinese economy grew by 2.3% while the US GDP shrank by 2.3%, leading some economists to predict that China could now overtake the United States in economic terms. generals by 2025.

The Biden administration was quick to demonstrate that it would uphold all of Trump’s anti-China measures, from massive trade war sanctions and punitive measures against Chinese companies, such as Huawei, to provocative naval operations in the South China and South Seas. East China and the strengthening of US ties with Taiwan. This was accompanied by a vicious propaganda campaign, including the Wuhan laboratory lie and accusations of Uyghur “genocide” aimed at vilifying China and poisoning public opinion in preparation for war.

In March, the outgoing head of the US Indo-Pacific command, Admiral Philip Davidson, warned the US could be at war with China within six years and called for doubling its budget. command, including the development of new weapons to combat China. New Chief Admiral John Aquilino has suggested the conflict with China is “much closer to us than most think.”

The advanced US war preparations are driven not only by fears in US ruling circles that China might overtake the United States economically, but also by the extraordinary social tensions fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening social inequalities. Amid the re-emergence of the class struggles of the American working class, the ruling class seeks to turn these social tensions outward against an outward “enemy”.

Workers in the United States, Britain, Australia and around the world should scornfully reject lies and outright cynical and hypocritical accusations of “Chinese aggression” and “human rights violations.” It was the United States, not China, that carried out criminal neocolonial invasions and occupations that devastated entire countries like Afghanistan and Iraq and caused the deaths of millions of people. Britain and Australia have been its main partners in all of these wars.

Despite the latest debacle in the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Washington is preparing for new and more catastrophic wars in accordance with the Pentagon’s strategic shift from “the war on terror” to preparing for a “conflict of the great powers”.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime has no progressive response to the looming dangers of war. While clinging to the hope of finding a compromise with Washington, Beijing is pursuing an arms race that can only portend disaster for humanity. The CCP does not represent the interests of the working people in China, but the small, super-rich elite who got richer through the processes of capitalist restoration. As such, it is incapable of appealing to the only social force capable of preventing war: the international working class.

Five years ago, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) appealed to workers and young people around the world to forge a unified anti-war movement against the accelerated plunge into a third world war. In its declaration “Socialism and the fight against war”, the ICFI exposed the basic principles which should animate this movement:

  • The struggle against war must be based on the working class, the great revolutionary force of society, uniting behind it all the progressive elements of the population.
  • The new anti-war movement must be anti-capitalist and socialist, for there can be no serious struggle against war except in the struggle to end the dictatorship of finance capital and the economic system which is the root cause of militarism and the war.
  • The new anti-war movement must therefore, by necessity, be completely and unequivocally independent and hostile to all political parties and organizations of the capitalist class.
  • The new anti-war movement must above all be international, mobilizing the vast power of the working class in a unified world struggle against imperialism. The permanent war of the bourgeoisie must respond to the prospect of a permanent revolution of the working class, the strategic objective of which is the abolition of the nation-state system and the establishment of a world socialist federation. This will enable the rational and planned development of the world’s resources and, on this basis, the eradication of poverty and the elevation of human culture to new heights.

The task of building an anti-war movement of the international working class is becoming increasingly urgent today. The latent opposition of broad layers of workers around the world to the war must turn into a conscious political movement against the capitalism which is the root cause of the war. We urge our readers to contact the ICFI and its sections and participate in the fight against war and militarism.