One-sided and Naïve … at Best!



A joint call by the friends of Chinese imperialism and the daydreamers of well-meaning global capitalism


by Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 31 March 2021,




A large number of self-proclaimed left-wing politicians, activists and intellectuals have issued a statement called “A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity”. [1] The statement opposes the Cold War policy of the U.S. against China and calls their governments for global cooperation of the powers to tackle “extremely serious common issues”.




Initiators and Text




The statement lists as organizations, which were initial signatories, the ANSWER coalition, the International Action Center and CODEPINK (US), the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Stop the War coalition (UK), the Mouvement de la Paix (France), the Simon Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples (Venezuela), the South African Peace Initiative and the Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of the Peoples and others.


Among its prominent individual initial signatories rank Diane Abbott (Labour MP, UK), Celso Amorim (Former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Brazil), Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (Green Party candidates for President resp. Vice-President in 2016, US), Sevim Dağdelen and Heike Hänsel (leaders of the Die Linke parliamentary group, Germany), Martin Jacques (a British academic who regular publishes in Global Times, the English-language mouthpiece of the Chinese regime), Irvin Jim (General Secretary of NUMSA and leader of the SRWP, South Africa), Chris Matlhako (Second Deputy General Secretary, South African Communist Party), Maite Mola (Vice-President European Left Party, Spain), the Australian journalist John Pilger, N Ram (Former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, India), João Pedro Stedile (MST, Brazil), Yanis Varoufakis (former Finance Minister of Greece) and the prominent Chinese academics Wang Wen and Zhang Weiwei.


Let us first reproduce the entire statement:


We note the increasingly aggressive statements and actions being taken by the US government in regard to China. These constitute a threat to world peace and are an obstacle to humanity successfully dealing with extremely serious common issues which confront it such as climate change, control of pandemics, racist discrimination and economic development.


We therefore believe that any New Cold War would run entirely counter to the interests of humanity. Instead we stand in favour of maximum global cooperation in order to tackle the enormous challenges we face as a species.


We therefore call upon the US to step back from this threat of a Cold War and also from other dangerous threats to world peace it is engaged in including: withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement; withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Accords; and its increasing disengagement from UN bodies. The US should also stop pressuring other countries to adopt such dangerous positions.


We support China and the US basing their relations on mutual dialogue and centring on the common issues which unite humanity.




Repeating the Calls of European Imperialism




Of course, only complete reactionaries will support the Cold War efforts of U.S. imperialism. But calling the biggest imperialist robbers to cooperate instead of confrontation is nothing progressive. In fact, it has been a long-standing demand from politicians representing European imperialism to ask the U.S. returning to “joint global efforts” in tackling the climate crisis, human rights issues, global trade issues, the nuclear deal with Iran, etc.


In so far, the “socialist” signatories only repeat the impotent calls of weaker imperialist powers which want to pressurize the U.S. – the long-time but declining hegemon – to keep the institutions of global imperialism working.


Nothing could be more absurd! Until 2016, when Trump became President, the U.S. fully participated in all these institutions. The whole period of globalization is characterized by collaboration (not without tensions, of course) between the imperialist powers on “global issues”. This was the period which saw a massive increase of global inequality [2], a series of imperialist aggressions (most prominently the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan [3], Iraq [4] and Syria [5]) as well as the dramatic climate catastrophe. [6] How on earth should collaboration between these Great Powers now result in any positive developments for humanity?!


When you go to a doctor and for years and years, he or she fails to find out the cause of your illness and, as a result, your heath continuously deteriorates, would any sensible person call such a man or woman as competent to cure illnesses?! Translated into the language of politics, one wonders why socialists should wish a return to a period of global collaboration of imperialist Great Powers which have led humanity into the current catastrophe?!




Pacifist Nonsense




Furthermore, the statement is characterized by silly pacifism. We are living in the age of imperialism. This is the age of Great Powers and as such these states have conflicting interests. Of course, there can be periods where one power is such a dominant hegemon that it can effectively subordinate the other imperialists and, herby, impose global decisions. As it is well-known, the U.S. was such a hegemon for some time after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. But these times are over, as U.S. imperialism is in irreversible decline, as Marxists have pointed out repeatedly. [7]


In other words, “maximum global cooperation”, as the statement calls for, is either impossible because of the rivalry between the Great Powers or it is only possible due to the hegemony of the strongest imperialist state. Hence, such a call is either a pacifist illusion or an implicit call for hegemony by the biggest imperialist power. Authentic socialists can not support any of these options!


However, it is not an accident that the statement is based on such illusionary pacifist principles. Looking at the list of initiators, it is evident that many of them come from a Stalinist or ex-Stalinist background. It has been a long-standing dogma of these forces to call for “peaceful co-existence” between the imperialist Great Powers resp. between the imperialist states and the USSR.


One was as idiotic than the other. Robbers rob – it is in their nature. Great robbers rob more. They don’t live in peace with each other. They make deals, they need time to prepare the next coup. But in the end, they don’t establish a safe and wealthy life for all of us but fight each other for their own profit.


Hence, despite the reformists’ numerous calls for “peaceful co-existence”, humanity experienced two World Wars and a Cold War as well as the collapse of the USSR. In other words, the reformist concept of “peaceful co-existence” is either completely illusionary or an instrument which serves imperialism.




Support for imperialist China




Similar bad, but very telling, is another fact. While the statement criticizes the foreign policy of Washington, it does not mutter a single critical word about the second imperialist Great Power – China! [8] This is a scandal from a democratic as well as socialist point of view! Have the signatories forgotten the barbaric oppression of the Uyghur people in Xinyang (East Turkestan for the Uyghur people)?! [9] Or do these “socialists” not care because these are “only” Muslims and they implicitly sympathize with the brutal treatment by the Beijing regime? (”The Muslims are just re-educated”) Are they not aware that the people in Hong Kong have also faced a draconic crackdown in recent past? [10]


May be these “socialists” say that these are issues within China and, as such, they belong to the sphere of national sovereignty of a state. But such an approach is fundamentally nationalist and reactionary. Does anyone of the signatories consider the racial oppression of Black and Latino people an issue belonging to national sovereignty of the U.S.? Would they suggest that socialists should not interfere on such issues?! Treating the oppression of national minorities as an “internal issue” is in complete contradiction to the Marxist principles of internationalism! Would any socialist, feminist, or democrat accept the idea that a man raping a woman is only bad if it takes place in public but not if it happens inside his house?!


However, China’s reactionary policy is not limited to its domestic terrain. Everyone with the slightest interest in world politics is aware of the fact that China claims ownership of the whole South China Sea (or East Sea as it is called by Vietnam). Thus, it is violating the sovereignty rights of all other nations there (Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines). [11] Likewise, it is obvious that the conflict between China and India is based exclusively on geopolitical power interests on both sides. [12] If you want another example of China’s reactionary foreign policy, ask the people of Myanmar what they think about Beijing’s support for the military dictatorship which slaughters its people protesting against the recent coup d'état! [13]


Furthermore, it should not be too much asking these professional politicians and academics to read a few studies in order to know that China has become the second Great Power in the political and economic arena and is also rapidly increasing its military strength. China’s corporations are playing a prominent role in the capitalist super-exploitation of the people in the global South.


As the RCIT has demonstrated in many works China’s rise as a new imperialist Great Power is an undeniable fact. In terms of share in world production and trade, capital accumulation, corporations, billionaires and military strength, China has become a leading power. [14]


However, again, it is not an accident that the statement lacks any word of criticism against the Chinese regime. And, again, the reason for this is the (ex-)Stalinist political outlook of the initiators of this statement. They call “socialist” or “progressive” what, in fact, is capitalist and reactionary. They denounce reactionary policy when it comes from the Washington … but are silent when it comes from Beijing!


Hence, the statement must be characterized as a de-facto declaration of support for Chinese imperialism combined with pacifist daydreaming. No sincere socialist, nor authentic democrat can sign it!


Authentic socialists have to oppose all imperialist powers – those in the West as well as those in the East. They should support workers and popular struggles and side with oppressed national minorities – both in East as well as in West. [15]


Workers and Oppressed: Fight all Great Powers in East and West!




[2] See on this e.g. our book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013,

[3] See on this e.g. RCIT: Afghanistan: A Successful Strike against the US Occupation. Major Attack by the Afghan Resistance against a High-Level Meeting of Afghan and U.S. Generals in Kandahar, 19.10.2018, Links to many other documents of the RCIT on the Afghanistan war are listed at the end of this statement.

[4] See on this various articles which can be read on our website at:

[5] The RCIT has published numerous documents on the Syrian Revolution which are compiled on a special sub-page on our website:

[6] See on this e.g. RCIT: Revolutionary Change to End Climate Change! Only expropriation of the capitalist corporations opens the road towards the end of climate change, 20 September 2019,

[7] See on this e.g. the book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019,; See also the latest pamphlet by the same author: “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues, 23 March 2021,; we refer readers also to numerous documents of the RCIT on the Global Trade War which have been compiled at a special sub-page on our website:

[8] For our analysis of China as an imperialist power see e.g., in addition to the above-mentioned book “Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry”, Michael Pröbsting: Chinese Imperialism and the World Economy, an essay in the second edition of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism, edited by Immanuel Ness and Zak Cope. It has been published by Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, in 2020,;; see also by the same author: China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 4,; How is it possible that some Marxists still Doubt that China has Become Capitalist? (A Critique of the PTS/FT), An analysis of the capitalist character of China’s State-Owned Enterprises and its political consequences, 18 September 2020,; Unable to See the Wood for the Trees (PTS/FT and China). Eclectic empiricism and the failure of the PTS/FT to recognize the imperialist character of China, 13 August 2020,; The China Question and the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, December 2014,

[9] For the RCIT’s analysis of the oppression of the Uyghurs see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: China: Defend the Muslim Uyghurs against Oppression! 18.10.2018,; Michael Pröbsting: 37 Signatures Are Worth a Thousand Words. On a letter of 37 states, including Muslim countries, sent to the United Nations defending China's treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, 16 July 2019,

[10] For the RCIT’s analysis of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong see e.g. RCIT: China: Solidarity with the General Strike in Hong Kong! For an international solidarity movement as the Stalinist-Capitalist regime in Beijing prepares a brutal crackdown! 01 August 2019,; RCIT: China: Long Live the Popular Uprising in Hong Kong! After protestors storm the parliament: general strike against the extradition bill and the Lam Administration! 03 July 2019,; RCIT: China: Mass Protests against Reactionary “Extradition Law” in Hong Kong. For an indefinite general strike to kill the bill and to bring down the Administration of Carrie Lam! 18 June 2019,

[11] See on this e.g. See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: No to chauvinist war-mongering by Japanese and Chinese imperialism! Chinese and Japanese workers: Your main enemy is at home! Stop the conflict on the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands in the East China Sea! 23.9.2012,

[12] See on this e.g. the pamphlet by Michael Pröbsting: The China-India Conflict: Its Causes and Consequences. What are the background and the nature of the tensions between China and India in the Sikkim border region? What should be the tactical conclusions for Socialists and Activists of the Liberation Movements? 18 August 2017,

[13] See on this e.g. RCIT: Myanmar: Popular Masses turn against Chinese Imperialism! For an indefinite general strike and armed insurrection to bring down the dictatorship! No illusions in US and European imperialism!, 16 March 2021,; We draw reader’s attention to other documents of the RCIT on the military coup in Myanmar which are compiled on a special sub-page on our website:

[14] The above-mentioned pamphlet “A Really Good Quarrel”. US-China Alaska Meeting: The Inter-Imperialist Cold War Continues contains a series of tables with actual figures which reflect the role of China as a leading power.

[15] For a more detailed discussion of the program of revolutionary defeatism, we refer – in addition to the above-mentioned book “Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry” to the RCIT document Theses on Revolutionary Defeatism in Imperialist States, Resolution of the International Executive Committee of the RCIT, 8 September 2018,