From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 March.
Xi Jinping, China’s vice-president, who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao when he completes his 10 years as president, visited the US from 14 February. His reception was undiplomatic in the extreme, reflecting the rage of US imperialism at China’s undermining of its world domination.
Defence Secretary Leon Panetta made a speech in Xi Jinping’s presence about how the US needed to make substantial new investments in weapons technology to counter ‘rising powers’ who were ‘testing international rules and relationships’. Xi responded with great dignity, referring to people’s longing for peace, stability and development.
Vice President Joe Biden for his part presented Xi with a long list of grievances under the guise of a champagne toast! These included complaints about China’s enforcement of US intellectual property rights, the question of Syria, China’s ‘artificially depressed currency’, and China’s demands for technology transfer as a condition for the right to do business with China.
Given such ungraciousness on the part of their hosts, it would be surprising if China would be anxious to repeat their visit to the US any time soon.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February
Russia and China continue to frustrate attempts by US imperialism to establish a no-fly zone over Syria that would be aimed at obliterating its independence in the same way as was done with Libya.
A spokesman for the Russian government said that in the case of Libya it had made serious mistakes. These lay not in backing Gaddafi but in not backing him nearly strongly enough. Dimitry Medvedev, the Russian president who made the decision to abstain on the UN vote imposing the no-fly zone on Libya, has been heavily criticised within Russia for that decision.
The Russians have made it quite clear that no amount of pleas from the Arab League, manipulated as it is by western imperialism, is going to stop it from wielding its UN Security Council veto in Syria’s interests.
In the meantime, violence is intensifying in Syria as Turks and others get themselves involved in the assaults on Syria’s sovereignty.
It has become clear even to the blind that, for the most part, the opponents of the government in Syria are not innocent people peacefully expressing their disagreement with government policy but disparate armed thugs who are unable to win any substantial internal support for their various policies and are therefore bent on destabilising Syria by whatever means, happy to court the support of imperialist countries determined to put an end to Syria’s independence
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 4 February
The Burmese government has rekindled the civil war against the ethnic Kachin group who live in the mountainous area close to the Chinese border. This region has been effectively self-governing for 17 years under the control of the Kachin Independence Army, which levies taxes on all commerce in the region.
There have apparently been over 1,000 skirmishes since June, with 140 Kachin soldiers killed. Tens of thousands of villagers have been displaced, including thousands who have fled to China.
The area is one where major hydroelectric projects built with Chinese involvement are situated. The Myanmar government is hinting that the reason for the crackdown is that the Chinese are inconvenienced by alleged Kachin objections to their operations, which it says are the reason why it suspended the planned Myitsone Dam in a part of the state controlled by the government.
However, this is widely regarded as an excuse to cover the fact that the Myanmar government is more and more dancing to the American tune, this being the real reason it is distancing itself from Chinese funded projects. Certainly it would be odd if people actually being targeted by China should turn to China for refuge!
The area is rich in all kinds of resources, so it may be that US imperialist enterprises have expressed an interest in operating there in ways that the Myanmar government is well aware the Kachin will object to even more virulently than they have objected to Chinese projects.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 3 December
China has announced that it will be spending £1.1tr over the next five years on developing green energy and clean technology hi-tech manufacturing.
In the meantime, the China Investment Corporation, China’s sovereign wealth fund, has announced plans for investment in UK infrastructure in the belief that this will bring “stable and sound financial returns”.
Osborne’s strategy for rescuing the economy now seems to revolve round spending some £30bn on infrastructure projects, for which purpose he is hijacking £20bn of pension funds, which will no doubt bear the brunt of any losses.
Projects to be included in Britain’s national infrastructure plan include upgrades to the M1 and M25 and new railway lines, including reopening an Oxford-Cambridge line that fell victim to the Beeching cuts.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 5 November
On the outskirts of Beijiang, southeast of Beijing, a Chinese publicly-owned corporation SDIC has built what the New York Times refers to as a “technical marvel: an ultrahigh-temperature, coal-fired generator with state-of-the-art pollutions controls, mated to advanced Israeli equipment that uses its leftover heat to distill seawater into fresh water”.
The fresh water so generated costs twice as much to produce as what it sells for. However, per capita fresh water supplies are dwindling at an alarming rate. With most enterprises wealthy enough to set up such a project being capitalist enterprises tied to profitability, not many desalination plants, although desperately needed, are being produced. It is fortunate that China is still able to make an important contribution to the future of humanity.
China’s goal is to quadruple its production of desalinated water by 2020 from the current 180m gallons to about 800m, which will require 10-12 more plants like the one that has just been completed. Currently, less than 60 percent of China’s desalination equipment is domestic, with the rest being imported mainly from Israel, but China plans to increase its production of such equipment to provide 90 percent of its needs by 2020.
Meanwhile, on 1 November, China launched an unmanned spacecraft into orbit whose function will be to practise docking techniques to join with the Tiangong-1 or ‘Heavenly Palace’ experimental module launched on 29 September. Space exploration is another project that economic crisis tends to wipe off the agenda of capitalist countries.
From the International Report delivered to the CPGB-ML’s central committee on 1 October
On 29 September, the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the PRC, China launched an experimental module to lay the groundwork for a future space station.
The car-sized Tiangong-1 module was shot into space from a launch centre on the edge of the Gobi Desert aboard a Long March 2FT1 rocket. After moving it into orbit 217 miles above the Earth, China plans shortly to launch an unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft to practise remote-controlled docking manoeuvres.
Two more missions, at least one of them manned, are to meet up with it next year for further practice, with astronauts staying for up to one month.
The 8.5-ton module, whose name translates as Heavenly Palace-1, will stay in place for two years. Two other experimental modules will be launched after this, followed between 2020 and 2022 by the actual station in three sections.
China has succeeded in warning off US imperialism from supplying Taiwan with the 66 F-16 fighter jets that had been negotiated. China had announced it was cutting off all military cooperation with the US if that contract went ahead, and the US has bowed to the pressure.
Although the US will instead be helping Taiwan upgrade its existing forces, it is thought that Taiwan will no longer have the independent military power to ward off any attempt by China forcibly to reintegrate it into the mainland.
[Issued jointly by Hands off China and the CPGB-ML]
Akmal Shaikh, a British citizen, was found guilty by the highest Chinese Court, the Supreme People’s Court, of smuggling just over 4 kilograms of heroin into China. It is generally well known that this offence carries the death penalty in China. In its crackdown on drug-related crimes, China treats criminals of all nationalities exactly the same. In the case of Mr Shaikh, China’s Criminal Code and court procedures were immaculately followed – in word and in spirit. Following his failed appeal, Mr Shaikh was executed by a lethal injection.
In response to this, the imperialist media and the political spokesmen of imperialism went into overdrive denouncing the execution of Mr Shaikh as inhuman and a violation of human rights. The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, condemned the execution “in the strongest terms”, stating that he was “appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted”.
The British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, too, expressed “deep regret” over “the fact that our specific concerns about the individual in this case were not taken into consideration,” adding that there had been “inadequate professional interpretation” provided to Mr Shaikh during the trial.
It has even been suggested by the imperialist media and imperialism’s political representatives that Mr Shaikh was somehow mentally impaired, without any substantial evidence to back this claim. The Chinese state media have refuted this assertion, quoting China’s Supreme People’s Court as saying that although officials from the British Embassy and Reprieve, a human rights group, had asked for a mental health examination of Mr Shaikh, “the documents they provided could not prove he had a mental health disorder nor did members of his family have a history of mental disease”. The Supreme People’s Court stated: “There is no reason to cast doubt on Akmal Shaikh’s mental status”. There is no evidence whatsoever of Mr Shaikh consulting any doctor concerning his mental health during his 53 years of life.
In the light of this, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, quite correctly said: “We express our strong dissatisfaction and opposition to the British accusation”. She advised “the British side” to face this case squarely and not create new obstacles for China-Britain relations.
Ms Jiang was absolutely right, for the response to Mr Shaikh’s execution is yet another example of the continuing anti-China activities undertaken by imperialism to undermine the People’s Republic of China and its efforts to build a powerful and prosperous China which does not tolerate any foreign interference in its internal affairs. Imperialism is out to create trouble for China, be it on the question of Tibet, the environment, the Beijing Olympics, or Xinjiang.
Mr Shaikh took his unwanted wares to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region where Muslims account for over 40% of the population. Over the past few years, there have been disturbances in this region fanned by counter-revolutionary agents of imperialism. It is not entirely out of the question, although there is no proof at the moment, that Mr Shaikh went to Xinjiang on a mission directly or indirectly organised by an imperialist agency. History knows only too well that the smuggling of drugs and literature inciting religious hatred is among the tools of imperialist penetration. This method was well practised by various imperialist countries against the erstwhile Soviet Union and the former socialist countries. It is now being practised against the People’s Republic of China. Imperialism leaves no stone unturned in inciting religious and ethnic divisions – all for the purpose of destabilising the People’s Republic of China. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that this methodology is resorted to.
The Chinese people are naturally very sensitive to such dirty tricks. Before liberation in 1949, when, in the words of Comrade Mao Zedong, “the Chinese people stood up”, China had been subjected to national humiliation and oppression through colonialist and imperialist brigandage. Britain waged three Opium Wars to force the trade in, and addiction to, opium on the Chinese people. Hong Kong was occupied by Britain as a station for smuggling narcotics into China. Quite rightly the Chinese people do not wish to return to those days and treat with the utmost of severity those who, whatever their religion, nationality or race, want to purvey the scourge of drug addiction.
Britain’s record the world over, including in China, is shameful. There is very little in it that decent working people could be proud of. One must thus marvel at the suggestion in 2005 by Gordon Brown that it was time that “we” stopped apologising for the British empire and started celebrating a past which had generated values of tolerance, liberty and civic duty. This is not the view of the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Ireland, all of whom were subjected to massacres, torture, genocide, arbitrary executions, dispossession, super-exploitation and domination. This is not a view shared by the Chinese people, who underwent tortures, large-scale massacres, expropriation, deprivation of liberty and forced drug addiction at the hands of imperialism. Instead of lecturing China about human rights and the value of human life, the present-day representatives of imperialism should offer profuse apologies for their crimes against the Chinese as well as other peoples. At the very least they should stop interfering in their internal affairs.
The imperialists’ pretended concern for human rights, those of Mr Shaikh included, is particularly inappropriate when the United States and Britain, along with their satellites, have killed over a million innocent Iraqi men, women and children and forced 5 million Iraqis to become refugees in their own country or abroad and are well on their way to achieving the same effect in Afghanistan – all in pursuit of predatory imperialist wars aimed at domination and the extraction of maximum profit.
If the British and American governments are really concerned about human rights of individuals, specially those who belong to the Muslim faith, they should stop torturing detainees in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and dozens of other rendition centres to which illegally abducted individuals are routinely sent to be tortured. The British government should stop its persecution of the Muslim community in Britain and put an end to the arbitrary incarceration of hundreds of Muslim youth. The US and Britain, if they are truly concerned about human rights, democracy and the rule of law, should immediately withdraw their aggressor troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and they should stop supporting the continuing Zionist genocide against the Palestinian people, 1.5 million of whom, living in the Gaza Strip, are subject to a vicious and fascistic siege designed ethnically to cleanse the region of its population.
In the light of the foregoing, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) and Hands Off China! issue this Joint Statement to condemn in the strongest terms the attempts of the British and US governments, as well as these countries’ media, to portray China in the darkest of colours over the case of Mr Shaikh. At the same time, we express our full support for, and solidarity with, the Chinese people, their government, their legal system, as well as the Communist Party of China, for correctly handling the case of Mr Shaikh and standing up to the bullying attempts of imperialism to make China bend its legal system to unreasonable demands made on them by those who are historically used to interfering in other people’s affairs and to obtain obedience by force.