|Volume 50 Number 23, June 20, 2020||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
Stop The War, June 5, 2020
Any conflict between the two would threaten a third and most destructive world war from which there would be no winners
The world crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has serious implications for economic and military tensions. In particular, there is a growing danger of conflict between the US and China. Not a week goes by without a new attack by Donald Trump on the Chinese and their government. The White House now talks of China as 'the enemy', of the 'China virus,' and threatens to break all relations with the country. Trump has threatened to withdraw funding from the World Health Organisation because his administration alleges that it neglected to share information about the virus in China. This is creating the backdrop to potential military conflict.
This year the US has pledged to spend approximately $1.5billion dollars on new military technology and to refocus the Marines from combatting insurgents in the Middle East to facing off the Chinese in the Western Pacific.
These latest provocations are part of a gathering trend which has included confrontation with China over North Korea, the US pull out from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty and two rounds of tough economic US sanctions against China. At the same time, the US is continuing to sanction and provoke regime change in Iran and Venezuela
As well as leading to potential confrontations in the South China Sea, these multi-level escalations will create increased tensions in many parts of the world. Existing local or regional wars will be exacerbated and new flare-ups are likely.
The US is the world's biggest military power. China too is a major military power with growing weapons capability. Both have nuclear arsenals. Any conflict between the two would be deadly for many people around the world. It would threaten a third and most destructive world war from which there would be no winners.
The moves by the British government, and some in the Labour leadership, to endorse Trump's anti-China policy is to be condemned. Not least because this is increasing the racism faced by the Chinese community in the US and Britain.
The anti-war movement has had a significant impact since the Iraq War, helping to generate widespread opposition to foreign wars particularly in the Middle East. Now we are entering a new phase in which China has become the western powers' main enemy and the Asia Pacific the main theatre for US forces. The anti-war movement has to oppose the growing militarism and competition and calls for peace and cooperation rather than this escalation.