The Financial Express

US and its allies ramp up anti-China war drive

| Updated: January 15, 2022 21:46:30

US and its allies ramp up anti-China war drive

The US and its allies are continuing their military build-up in the South China Sea and also pressing ahead with hysterical anti-China rhetoric and threats of war. The US has deployed multiple warships including aircraft carriers to the South China Sea in a show of its military might. The latest military exercise a few weeks ago hosted by Japan is seen as escalating US-led military exercises that are clearly aimed at preparing for war against China.

The commander of the US Seventh Fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas,  based in the Pacific region called for a big increase in aircraft carriers for the region. He further said that while combined military forces represented quite an incredible amount of power, yet the allies need to go further, and also added "When we think how we might fight, it is a large water space, and four aircraft carriers is a good number but six or eight would be better".

Also, at the same time the US supported by its allies, in particular like Australia and Britain are provoking China to war over Taiwan. The deployment of such a massive armada of force in the vicinity of China is to demonstrate their aggressive stance to come to the aid of Taiwan if China tries to establish its primacy over its breakaway province. Their game plan is to create an atmosphere where they compel China to retaliate these provocations and fire the first shot.

Meanwhile, by an overwhelming majority margin of 88-11, the US Senate approved the largest military budget in history a few weeks ago. The size of the military budget is US$770 billion, US$25 billion  more than the Biden administration asked for.

The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) has always enjoyed bipartisan support by huge margins in Congress. It calls for pouring in staggering amount of money into procuring more warplanes, warships, tanks and other military equipment as well as development of new weapons system and technologies.

The NDAA also allocated more funding for the military build up against both China and Russia. It authorised US$7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), an effort purely directed against China. It also allocated US$4 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) directed against Russia.

The NDAA further declared that the US would maintain Taiwan's military capacity and issued a "statement of policy" which clearly outlined that the US would "resist a fait accompli" against Taiwan. In other words, the US will intervene in any military conflict between Taiwan and China.

Meanwhile, the UK has deployed to the South China Sea its largest naval armada in years which includes an aircraft carrier, destroyers, supply  frigates, a submarine and auxiliary ships. "When our Carrier Strike Group (CSG) sets sail, it will be flying the flag of global Britain" declared the British Defence Secretary.

It is quite delusional for Britain to court confrontation with China by parading modern day gunboats under the very nose of China. Britain's neo-imperial fantasies fail to recognise just how much its ability to influence events in the Asia-Pacific region has diminished-- so much so that the country has become an extremely minor player in the region. A political commentator aptly described Britain's new military venture in the region as its attempting once again to gain fortune and treasures by plundering in Asia.

The British contingent is accompanied by US Marine's F-35Bs (each costs US$35,000 an hour to fly) and a US Navy destroyer. Also,  Dutch and German naval vessels are there to conduct joint drill and patrol waters very adjacent to China. Australia and Japan are as well playing full part in patrolling in the area.

Under the one China policy  as adopted in 1970s, Washington fully recognised Taiwan as an integral part of China and the government in Beijing is the legitimate government of China.  That Taiwan is an integral part of China is an indisputable historical fact, about 180 countries in the world including the US recognise that historical reality.

But the Biden administration has been stirring up confrontation with China over Taiwan by boosting its ties including military ties with Taiwan. Taiwan remains the most explosive flash point in Asia and any US attempt to pick up the big stick against China will prove to be catastrophic. The US must recognise that Taiwan remains the deepest red line for China and will remain so forever.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden also opened a new cold war front to confront China and Russia. He staged a two day "Summit for Democracy" held on 9-10 December. The summit's obvious purpose was to align as many nations as possible to support the US efforts to isolate and contain China and Russia rather than to promote democratic values.

It is to be noted that during the 2011 Arab Uprising, then as  Vice President, Joe Biden in a television interview with  Jim Lehrer of PBS (January 27, 2011) said that he did not consider the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak as dictator  and also pointed out that Mubarak was a friend of both the US and Israel. Biden also claimed that he knew Mubarak fairly well.

Biden's summit was clearly designed to escalate pressure on China and Russia while dressing it up as a defence of democracy against autocracy, a supposedly value based cold war strategy. In fact, the China-US relationship has already consolidated into a cold war style confrontation.

Given that the US has a very long history of destabilising and overthrowing democratically elected  governments all around the world since the end of the WWII starting with Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran and Juan Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in the early 1950s, then moving on to the murder of Salvador Allende of Chile in the early 1970s, to name a few, the US has no right to lecture any one on democracy. More importantly the US should acknowledge and focus on the degradation of its own democracy.

The list of invitees also clearly demonstrate the hypocrisy of Biden's political machinations.  The summit was especially directed against China  as reflected  particularly in the invitation to India. Under the Hindu supremacist government of Narendra Modi, India has witnessed continual degradation of democracy and human rights as clearly evident in its treating the Muslim minority population and extremely repressive rule in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Modi told the Summit for Democracy that the democratic spirit, including respect for rule of law and pluralistic ethos, is "ingrained in Indians". Interestingly enough, at around the same time when Biden was hosting his democracy summit,  a group of Hindutva (the Hindu supremacist ideology espoused by Modi and his party BJP) inspired Hindu religious leaders and political activists closely associated with Modi and his party BJP at an event named as "Religious Parliament" held in a place called Haridwar called for Muslim genocide in India. 

But the list of invitees also included Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil. Like Modi in India, Duterte is also directly responsible for the large-scale police and vigilante murders in the Philippines.

By the US State Department's own account India is responsible for unlawful and arbitrary killings, tolerance of violation of religious freedom and restrictions on freedom of press, including violence. Philippines is also  identified as a country responsible for killings by the US State Department. Sweden's V Dem Institute classified both India and Philippines as "electoral autocracies". Bolsonaro has been charged by the Brazilian Senate's Commission of Inquiry with crimes against humanity.

In fact, Biden has provided a platform to many worst offenders for the violation of  democratic principles and practices including human rights. According to Freedom House, a US based organisation classified some 30+ per cent of the invited countries as "partly free", "not free" and "electoral autocracies".

About thirty countries with population less than  a million were invited to jack up the number of participants. Also, the US battle to  save its own democracy which  is not  losing  to authoritarians around the world, but  is losing at home. More importantly, it is hard to believe that democratic prospects in any country, invited or not, will be influenced by speeches at the conference.

To further escalate confrontation with China, less than a month after President Biden had his summit with Chinese President Xi, the US announced a provocative diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing in February. As usual, the Anglosphere countries like Australia, Canada and the UK also followed the US.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the reason for boycott was the expression of the US' opposition to China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses". Psaki basically recycled the false accusations made by former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the mass internment and severe restrictions  on religious practices of Uyghur Muslims were taking place in Xinjiang.

These allegations mostly emanated from a handful of far-right, anti-communist academics without any substantiation and the CIA funded organisations such as the World Uyghur Congress and the American Uyghur Association. These two CIA funded organizations also failed to corroborate their allegations.  Even the Biden administration could not provide any substantive evidence in support of its allegations of human-rights violations in Xinjiang.

The word genocide coveys the images of industrial scale mass murder, most notoriously the Nazi Holocaust. Psaki's false accusation of genocide is itself  a political crime and also degrades the meaning and severity of crimes in the past such as the Nazi Holocaust.

In fact, Pompeo himself was an integral part of an administration that imposed the bigoted and racist travel ban on Muslims in his own country, the US. A ban even the Supreme Court of the US upheld ignoring the bigotry and racism involved in it. The US should look at itself first before crying for Muslims elsewhere in the world.

The US "War on Terror" after September 11, 2001, soon became a "war on Muslims". The American wars and military interventions since September 2001 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen  killed millions  and displaced millions of others who are now flocking into other Middle Easter countries and Europe seeking  shelter but face hostile borders in Europe-- so much so that thousands lost their lives in the Mediterranean sea and the English channel.

A New York Times correspondent very recently claimed that civilian casualty files revealed the US hid thousands of deaths in Middle-East air wars.

Right now people in Afghanistan and Yemen are facing starvation. Yet,  the US is currently finalising a US$650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia to enable it to bomb starving Yeminis and has frozen Afghan government assets in the US. Its indiscriminate bombing laid to waste historical  landmarks and stripped bare civilisational achievements of these countries including resorting to looting museums.

The US regards the spectacular growth of the Chinese economy  as the principal threat to its dominant position not only in Asia but also globally. The US is determined to prevent China from challenging its global hegemony and with that objective in mind marshalling its own and the allies' military forces in the Indo-Pacific region. But if the US goes for direct military violence against China, that will not go unchallenged.

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