The real reason for U.S. attacks on China: global class struggle

Chinese healthcare workers celebrate after pushing back the pandemic.

As the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign wound down, there was a perception held by many that a Biden win would mean a more diplomatic international approach by the new administration. 

But that presumption didn’t consider the decades of uninterrupted hostility towards countries targeted by U.S. imperialism. Hostility towards Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Zimbabwe and other countries that try to chart a course independent of U.S. imperialism, gets passed on from administration to administration.

The vitriol toward China in particular has recently reached levels not seen in years. 

China’s victorious “people’s war” against COVID-19 drew high praise from scientists around the world. But the virus was largely ignored in the U.S. even as it overwhelmed hospitals and devastated communities. 

That stark contrast has fueled the new Cold War-level propaganda blitz. The White House pointed the finger of blame at China as Trump allowed the virus to rampage through the poorest and most vulnerable populations — Black and Brown and Indigenous. 

Trump lost the election, but the Biden administration hasn’t dropped the lies and attacks on China. That hostility has been around since that day in 1949 when Mao Zedong declared that “China has stood up.” 

Aggression and military threats are being amped up in the form of the “Pivot to Asia” — the new international orientation ushered in during the Obama administration. After decades of trying economic strangulation, and even with the inroads capitalism had made in the giant Chinese market, the imperialists haven’t achieved their goal of recolonizing China. 

The Pivot to Asia is the U.S. military’s attempt to refocus on China. Though they haven’t been able to extricate themselves from their bloody efforts to reconquer oil-rich West Asia and North Africa, important aspects of the Pivot to Asia have still proceeded. 

Repeated provocations by U.S. battleships steaming close to China have become commonplace, and the Pentagon is quietly redesigning itself – getting its ducks in a row for an all-out war.

The Quad: a tool of imperialism

Biden’s team is also continuing efforts to strengthen the as-yet loose alliance between the U.S., Japan, Australia and India against China. The alliance is called “the Quad” and the imperialists are banking on it becoming a version of NATO for Asia. 

The Quad won’t only be a military threat. It is meant to be a tool to complement all aspects of the U.S. relationship to China – a complete package. 

Immediately after their first well-publicized summit by Zoom, the Quad are already proving to be an amplifier for Washington’s imperialist voice. On March 12, Japan rejected China’s offer to supply vaccines for every Olympic athlete in the postponed Tokyo Games and next year’s Winter Games in Beijing. The International Olympic Committee had already welcomed the offer. 

Australia, for its part, has for months bolstered the false theory, once again being promoted by the White House, that the virus “leaked” from a Wuhan laboratory, the implication being a cover-up by the Chinese Communist Party.

The real foundation of the U.S.-led hostility and aggression against China is the global class struggle – “a struggle to the death between the future and the past,” as Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, called it. Like Cuba, People’s China has survived, and in fact thrived, against the most destructive imperialist empire ever.

The class struggle aspect of the relationship between China and the imperialist countries is obscured by the presence of a major capitalist economy functioning inside China which, on one hand, is in competition with U.S. capitalism and other major capitalist countries, but at the same time has become a global manufacturing center that they have interests in. 

This capitalist economic sector functions in parallel to the giant economy which is owned collectively by the Chinese working class and is directed by the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP has so far exercised control over the capitalists, and through state-owned industry has lifted 800 million people out of dire poverty. 

This historic and unprecedented achievement by the workers’ state is a blow to the U.S. and other imperialist countries and is the basis for the rising beat of their war drums.

Slander to conceal class truth

The lies and slander against China are used to conceal the class struggle from workers at home at a time when millions here in the U.S. have been thrown into poverty or near poverty by the pandemic and capitalist crisis.

Millions of youth have already rejected the Cold War atmosphere that made socialism a dirty word for more than half of a century in the U.S. The Occupy Wall Street movement, the popularity of Bernie Sanders’ recent presidential runs, and the rise of left-leaning congressional representatives like “the Squad” are testament to that. 

The popularity of self-described socialist political figures doesn’t go as far as embracing the idea of workers’ ownership of the means of production that exists in China, but it’s still a  development that has the corporate ruling class in the U.S. concerned.

One of the most egregious examples of the China-bashing campaign is evident in the World Health Organization. 

Even though the Biden administration restored the U.S. share of WHO funding that was cut by Trump, the threat created by the financial attack has resulted in a split in the delegation that took a second trip to Wuhan to further investigate the origin of the virus in January. Key figures in the Biden administration are embracing those WHO delegates that are now accusing China of not cooperating with their investigation and of a coverup of the virus’ origin. 

U.S. intelligence agencies pushed the “lab leak” theory under Trump. It was discredited by the first WHO delegation in the spring of 2020, and there was a consensus among the world’s scientific community that a “lab leak” was extremely unlikely. Now the Biden administration and U.S. intelligence agencies have revived it.

Many mainstream media — even some seen as left-leaning — are writing unfounded and hypocritical criticisms on the efficacy of Chinese vaccines, cynical attacks on China’s commitment to help poor countries being excluded by capitalist countries, and support for the discredited “lab leak” story. A March 8 Politico article by Josh Rogin is one example of a liberal publication carrying water for the imperialist White House.

China’s “people’s war” against the virus and its commitment to aid the poorest countries as the pandemic continues to plague the world will stand historically as an example of resourcefulness, strength, and most of all, global solidarity. The movement for social justice, especially activists in the U.S., where the most reactionary slanders against China take root, need to make every effort to bring the truth to light.