The Dialectic of the New Cold War

Russia and China strengthen ties of mutual defence against imperialism

by Leon Carlos and Humberto Rodrigues

On December 15, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to create an independent financial structure, something like a common market shielded from international influence, above all from US interference. This structure is born from the articulation between two other huge structures: 1) the Eurasian Economic Alliance, made up of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan; and 2) the ” One Belt One Road” from China (Belt and Route Initiative, or BRI), also called the New Silk Road. In fact, it is not a road, as the name suggests, but the largest investment plan in human history, distributed in 65 countries. When it launched in 2017, the project was announced as costing $4 trillion, which is nearly 30 times the updated value of the Marshall Plan, which the US created to rebuild Europe after World War II. (1)

“Special attention was given to the need to intensify efforts to form an independent financial infrastructure to support trade operations between Russia and China. To create, I mean, a structure that cannot be influenced by third countries,” said Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s advisor, quoted by RIA Novosti. 

Russia and China agree to create an independent financial structure that cannot be influenced by other countries 

Both Putin and Xi Jinping defended the increase in the participation of national currencies in bilateral trade and called for “extending cooperation to guarantee the access of Russian and Chinese investors to the securities markets of both countries”, explained the presidential advisor.

Bilateral trade between the two countries in the first three quarters of 2021 reached $100 billion for the first time, and that number is expected to reach a new record by the end of the year.

In March 2021, China and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint establishment of an international scientific research station on the Moon. Similar collaboration is underway regarding Units No. 3 and 4 of the Xudabao Nuclear Power Plant, and units 7 and 8 of the Tanwan plant. These are the biggest joint projects between China and Russia in the area of ​​nuclear energy so far.

At the virtual summit, the 37th meeting between the two leaders since 2013, they also pledged to deepen coordination on burning issues within multilateral structures such as the UN Security Council, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS mechanism and reject the media campaign to boycott the Beijing Olympic Winter Games in 2022. The Chinese president assured:

“China and Russia will never allow any external forces to interfere in the internal affairs of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),… China and Russia have acted as great responsible countries, becoming the backbone for the practice of true multilateralism and safeguarding international justice and justice.” 

 Putin declared at the beginning of the meeting that relations between Moscow and Beijing are

“a true example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century”. “A new model of cooperation between our countries was created, based, among other things, on fundamentals such as non-intervention in internal affairs and respect for mutual interests, the will to turn the common border into a belt of peace”

Putin declares that relations between Russia and China are “an example in the 21st century” 

To which Xi Jimping retorted:

“the world entered a period of turmoil and great changes”, but Russian-Chinese relations “showed a solid viability and gained a new lease of life”. 

ibid

In fact, the creation of an alternative nucleus of countries from China and Russia is a product of the crisis of hegemony of US imperialism, which drags the world into turmoil and great changes. These changes challenge the understanding of those who limit themselves to interpreting the world through the lens of formal logic. It should be assumed that as workers’ states the USSR and China would create solid relations. But history does not obey this logic, but the dialectics of control of the Stalinist and Maoist bureaucracy,

Differences between China and the USSR even reached direct (Battle of Zhenbao Island, 1969) and indirect (Vietnam and Cambodia) armed confrontations, with China accusing the USSR of “social-imperialism” and endorsing Pinochet’s coup. The inter-bureaucratic contradictions outweighed the external contradictions between workers states and imperialism, which, obviously, were very well exploited by the US. But the decay of imperialism made room for these contradictions between China and Russia to be sidelined in favor of resistance against the common enemy. The main contradictions in the 50s to 70s became secondary in the 21st century. Imperialist pressure forced Russia and China to make a qualitative leap in their inter-bourgeois relations of mutual defense against sanctions and transactions.

Under imperialist pressure, China and Russia advance in their autonomy from the financial frameworks controlled by the imperialist powers. It is no longer just a question of de-dollarization of its common market, which in itself is already quite fearful for imperialism and represents an obstacle to the export of inflationary capital by the United States towards these countries, as it does to the rest of the planet. Under the offensive of the imperialist blocs against China in the Indo-Pacific and against Russia in Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Belarus,…) it provokes the effect of responding with greater cohesion on the part of the Russian-Chinese pole, which is the dialectic in question.

In Eastern Europe, the instruments of imperialism oppressing Russia are the Anglo-Saxon bloc and the European bloc. In the Pacific Ocean, the instruments against China are the Anglo-Saxon bloc and Japan (colonized militarily by US imperialism since the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and semi-colonies like South Korea, etc. The special roles and places in this dispute occupied by Ukraine and Poland, in Eastern Europe, and by India are more complex and we will not develop them here. Therefore, there is a broad unity of the imperialist powers against the Eurasian pole. In addition to these two flashpoints in Europe and the Pacific, another must be considered, in West Asia, against Iran, where the imperialist front is composed of the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist bloc, Saudi Arabia and supported by the European Union.

It is clear that UNITY of common interests against the adversaries China, Russia and Iran, does not imply IDENTITY of interests, so we do not deny, but frame the secondary contradictions that exist between the different nations manipulated by imperialism. For example, to clarify the differences between UNITY and IDENTITY of interest – since there is an identity difference, unity does not exclude secondary contradictions – we can mention Nord Stream 2 and Germany’s interest in cheap Russian gas against the blockade the US wishes to impose against Russia. Similarly there is the conflict between AUKUS and  the development of the French arms industry. Thus, the inequality in the identity of interests between nations sometimes clashes with the combination established by unity.

It is interesting that imperialist pressure has been forcing a relatively progressive reaction of Chinese diplomatic policy, historically centrist, neutral, pragmatic. Defending itself from the hybrid war and the war propaganda campaigns that accuse China of violating human rights, Chinese diplomacy has been reacting:

“China condemns the barbaric military interventions of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries under the banner of “democracy” and “human rights”, and calls on the international community to investigate the war crimes committed by the US military who killed Innocent civilians around the world, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. a drone attack that left 10 civilians dead in Kabul, Afghanistan. “The atrocity of killing civilians by US forces in Afghanistan is unacceptable.” Wang said. Summit of Democracy”, innocent Afghans were killed at gunpoint by the American military and their families had nowhere to complain. This is the cruel reality that “democracy” and “human rights” def sent by the United States”. Justice may take time, but it will not remain forever absent,” Wang said. The Spokesperson stressed that the era in which the United States acts recklessly around the world under the guise of so-called “democracy” and “rights” has come to an end. human rights” and that the US military’s crime of murdering innocent civilians in other countries will not go unpunished.”

China demands justice for civilians killed by US military: spokesman

In this warming process of the cold war, there are several different spheres of struggle against capital. At the international level, there is the inter-state struggle where, on the one hand, there are oppressed states (dependent countries, semi-colonies, workers states), oppressed by big imperialist capital, through blockades and sanctions that aggravate the living conditions of the working class, and of on the other hand, imperialist nations running oppressive coalitions, workers cannot afford to remain neutral. They need to take the opposite side to US imperialism, hegemonic in the globalized capitalist world. The anti-imperialist struggle, through the Anti-imperialist United Front (AIUF), is the form that class struggle takes on in the international sphere. If imperialism is victorious, the double chain of exploitation and oppression of nations is strengthened, on peoples and consequently workers of the oppressed countries. If imperialism is defeated, the struggle for national liberation awakens the struggle for social emancipation. Even during the first phase of the anti-imperialist struggle, the defeat of the great planetary oppressor encourages the working class against its immediate national and regional exploiters and oppressors. Thus, the social revolution was combined with various processes of national liberation after World War II, including in China, Cuba and Vietnam.

In the national sphere, the class struggle does not cease. It continues to defend the immediate, economic, union interests of the working population for the improvement of their living conditions against their own capitalists. In this ongoing process, the class becomes aware of the limits, shortcomings and chronic incapacities of its bourgeois rulers to carry out their own promises of sovereignty and, under the influence of communism, comes to the conclusion that the revolutionary takeover of political power from the rulers of the oppressed countries, is a necessary consequence, a moment in the process of the struggle for national liberation against the big capitalists of the oppressor countries. As history has proven, the native ruling classes will never sufficiently protect the oppressed countries from speculative attacks, military invasions, blockades and economic sabotage carried out by imperialism. Only the proletarian revolution can effectively put an end to the era in which the United States acts by committing crimes against innocent civilians all over the world under the pretext of so-called “democracy” and “human rights”, only the international and revolutionary unity of the working class will not let these crimes committed against her by the US and its regional puppets go unpunished.

Notes

1) “China says it will invest $4 trillion in the One Belt One Road Initiative (BRI) countries, though it won’t say for how long. Its officials angrily reject the comparison with the Marshall Plan which, they say, was a means of reward America’s friends and exclude its enemies after World War II. The BRI, they boast, is open to all. Under updated values, the Marshall Plan totalled $130 billion, in current dollars.” ( The Economist , 2016: “Our bulldozers, our rules: China’s foreign policy could reshape a good part of the world economy”)

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