Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 25, November 13, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

No to Anglo-US Militarism in the Asia Pacific!

The British Military Must Be Withdrawn

The Korean Friendship Association picketing the British Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office in Whitehall in August to protest against the dispatch of the British aircraft carrier strike group to Korean waters, the ongoing US south Korean military exercises as well British sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The US has entered into several known military agreements to surround and threaten China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and indeed all the peoples in the Asia Pacific region. Already the US stations tens of thousands of troops and war materiel and equipment in Japan, south Korea and several south Pacific islands. The US military regularly sends warships and planes to prowl the waters surrounding China and the Korean Peninsula to probe and test the defences of both countries.

The warmongering has become particularly intense with the US and British militaries entering this strait separating mainland China and the island of Taiwan, which at its narrowest point is only 80 miles wide. The US is inflaming the situation by appearing to want to station troops, warplanes and ships in Taiwan as a close staging ground for an attack on China. The US imperialists are doing everything they can to inflame passions over the issue of Taiwan reuniting politically with China. The One China policy was settled a long time ago. The US is refusing to permit peaceful political settlements of any issue in the Asia Pacific region.

In a Commons debate in Westminster Hall on October 20, Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, gave the most reactionary and warmongering account of the policy of the ruling elites on the impact on Anglo-Chinese relations of AUKUS. This is the pro-war naval alliance of Australia, Britain and the US [1]. The MP elaborated his pro-war, anti-China, anti-Russia outlook: "There is no doubt in my mind that both Russia and China are threats to the United Kingdom. Make no mistake: Russia and China are both grave threats to freedom, to the western world in particular and to true democracy in general. The discussion is not about whether they are a threat but about the type of threat they present and the degree to which they endanger us." He added: "With regard to AUKUS, we need to celebrate."

Although the thrust of Daniel Kawczynski's remarks was that the government should do more to recognise the "threat", particularly of China, and specifically of the Communist Party of China, the fact is that this outlook is the one behind the government's warmongering, its brinkmanship and its militarism, and it is clear who is threatening whom. As the MP said: "I pay tribute to our own Navy, which has been at the very forefront of pursuing freedom-of-navigation exercises through the South China sea." One can imagine the reaction if the Chinese navy engaged in freedom-of-navigation exercises through the Channel.

Lest we should be in any doubt, Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, said: "It is in that spirit ['to deter aggressive and bellicose behaviour that threatens British interests and those of our allies and our liberal democratic values'] that Labour Front Benchers welcome AUKUS and its increased defence co-operation with our allies."

Such remarks show the nature of the Westminster consensus of the cartel parties on a pro-war government. No path to peace can be found through the actions and outlook of these parties. The people must step up their fight for an anti-war government that represents their desire for peace and a decision-making power to implement it. The militarism of "Global Britain" must be ended, and the British military withdrawn from their participation in all such adventures as in the Asia Pacific.


1. AUKUS is a trilateral military pact announced on September 15 involving Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The pact includes war preparations to attack China and the DPRK, and an agreement for Australia to buy nuclear powered submarines from the US war economy. This unilaterally cancels an earlier contract for Australia to buy non-nuclear powered submarines from France. The three war partners will co-operate in sending warships and planes throughout the Asia Pacific region and co-ordinate spying and cyber-activity directed at China, the DPRK and all peoples of the region. Britain recently ordered its Royal Navy/Royal Air Force Carrier Strike Group led by the new multi-billion dollar HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to sail close to China.


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