The Anglo ruling classes have gone into a state of frenzy over a recently-signed security agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Solomon Islands. Various people who had barely heard of the Solomon Islands just a few weeks ago are now expressing grave concern that this small sovereign nation could be used as a pawn by an aggressive and expansionist China in its bid for world domination. The deal itself appears to be entirely ordinary, allowing for China to “make ship visits to, carry out logistical replenishment in, and have stopover and transition in the Solomon Islands,” in addition to providing the Solomon Islands police with training and – on invitation – support.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, told a UN Security Council meeting on the war in Ukraine Thursday that NATO’s eastward expansion since the end of the Cold War has “sowed the seeds of conflict.” Zhang’s comments came as Beijing commemorates the anniversary of the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, during the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia. “NATO’s repeated eastward expansion after the Cold War has not only failed to make Europe any safer, but also sowed the seeds of conflict,” Zhang said. “Contrary to its claim to be an organization defensive in nature, NATO has wantonly launched wars against sovereign countries, causing colossal casualties and humanitarian disasters.”
Russia’s war on Ukraine both reflects and deepens a global split that should remind us of Karl Marx’s famous remark: “No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces, for which there is room in it, have been developed; and new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society.” The United Kingdom already lost its particular social order—its empire—while the United States is now losing its. Despite differences, both of these social orders shared a mostly private form of capitalist relations of production (the organization of enterprises centered around private employers and employees). That social order has given way to a different, mostly public form of capitalist relations of production where state officials are major employers.
In 1999, the United States and the 56 other participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) signed a charter in Istanbul that is another intentionally ignored key to understanding the war in Ukraine. The OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization . It claims to engage in political dialogue - that is, a forum for political dialogue on a wide range of security issues. There are 57 OSCE member states that cover three continents - North America, Europe and Asia. The policies the OSCE deliberates over include security issues such as arms control, terrorism, good governance, energy security, human trafficking, democratization, media freedom, and the rights of national minorities that affect more than a billion people.
2014 saw two pivotal events that led to the current conflict in Ukraine. The first, familiar to all, was the coup in Ukraine in which a democratically elected government was overthrown at the direction of the United States and with the assistance of neo-Nazi elements which Ukraine has long harbored. Shortly thereafter the first shots in the present war were fired on the Russian-sympathetic Donbass region by the newly installed Ukrainian government. The shelling of the Donbass which claimed 14,000 lives has continued for 8 years, despite attempts at a cease-fire under the Minsk accords which Russia, France and Germany agreed upon but Ukraine backed by the US refused to implement. On February 24, 2022, Russia finally responded to the slaughter in Donbass and the threat of NATO on its doorstep.
The United States and its Pacific allies have sounded alarm bells over a security cooperation deal signed between Solomon Islands and China, with threats directed at China. On Sunday, April 24, the Chinese embassy in Solomon Islands hit back at the comments made by the US delegation that visited the Pacific nation last week, calling it a “blatant threat.” The Chinese embassy’s spokesperson stated that the comments “again exposed the hegemony mindset and bullying behavior,” reported Global Times. The spokesperson also added that “any attempt to stir up trouble, tension and opposition in Pacific island countries doesn’t conform to the common interest of regional states and won’t work.”
An article written by authors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge for Bloomberg on March 24 sounded the alarm to announce the end of “the second great age of globalization.” The Western trade war and sanctions against China that predated the pandemic have now been joined by the stiff Western sanctions imposed against Russia after it invaded Ukraine. These sanctions are like an iron curtain being built by the United States and its allies around Eurasia. But according to Micklethwait and Wooldridge, this iron curtain will not only descend around China and Russia but will also have far-reaching consequences across the world. Australia and many countries in Asia, including India and Japan—which are otherwise reliable allies of the United States—are unwilling to break their economic and political ties with China and Russia.
Islamabad, Pakistan – Following weeks of high drama and controversy that have racked the nation, Imran Khan has been removed from office. The Pakistani prime minister suffered a vote of no confidence and a loss in the supreme court, ending his rule after less than four years. Coalition partners abandoned him, leaving his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party in the minority. The cricket-star-turned-political-leader had been warning for some weeks that a foreign power – assumed to be the United States – was seeking to overthrow him because of his independent foreign policy, which saw Pakistan grow closer to Russia and China. Then, in a long public address on April 8, he directly named Washington as a prime instigator in the regime-change conspiracy, accusing the U.S. of bribing his political allies with tens of millions of dollars to desert his coalition.
The Solomon Islands are in the process of cementing into place a security pact with China. According to an alleged leaked draft, this pact includes provisions allowing the Solomon Islands to request the presence of Chinese police and military personnel to “assist in maintaining social order, protecting people’s lives and property, providing humanitarian assistance, carrying out disaster response, or providing assistance on other tasks” agreed upon by the Solomon Islands and China. There also appear to be provisions for Chinese ships to visit ports among the Solomon Islands to carry out logistical replenishment as well as provisions for Chinese forces to “protect the safety of Chinese personnel and major projects” in the Solomon Islands – with the consent of the Solomon Islands’ government.
The U.S. doesn't do diplomacy. Every country has its own interests. But the U.S. and its pricks in the State Department insist that its interests must have priority over all others. Any country that disagrees with that will be called out on this or that issue or will even get sanctioned.
On April 10, in Islamabad, Pakistan the Supreme Court upheld a vote of no confidence to remove Imran Khan of the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from power. The opposition parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) voted in favor of no confidence. 174 votes were in favor for no confidence, two more than 172 vote mark that needed for this to be passed.
The US-dominated International Monetary Fund (IMF) has acknowledged that the hegemony of the dollar is in noticeable decline. At the same time, the Chinese currency, the yuan or renminbi, is slowly growing in influence, along with other currencies, according to the IMF. In 2000, roughly 70% of global foreign exchange reserves were held in US dollars. As of 2021, that figure had fallen to just under 60%. Meanwhile, the IMF noted that there is a rise in “nontraditional currencies” from smaller countries being held in international reserves. The United States has veto power over IMF decisions, and the institution is notorious for acting as an instrument of US political influence.
NATO sees Russia as a threat to US power—and has poured arms and soldiers into eastern Europe accordingly. That’s not the latest statement from the Stop the War Coalition—but the picture NATO paints itself in its annual report released on Thursday. The report gives an outline of what the US’s military alliance got up to in 2021 and spells out its aims for the years ahead. It all comes packaged in the language of “cooperation” and “security.” But once you strip out the guff, what the report really says is NATO's biggest concern is containing Russia and China. In his foreword to the report, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg writes, “We have entered a new era in global security, where authoritarian powers, like Russia and China, are openly contesting core principles for our security, and seeking to re-write the entire international order on which our peace and prosperity depend.”
Here is my analysis of what’s going on in Ukraine after one month. It may not prove acceptable to many. Certainly not liberals, the ruling elite in Washington, or even some left liberal and socialist left. But I’ve always spoken my mind and will continue to do so, with no allegiances to any political forces or organizations. So here goes: First, this is a proxy war engineered by US neocons and political elites, that has its origins going back as far as 1999, when the neocons began to gain greater control over US foreign policy. The dress rehearsal for the current conflict originates with the Clinton administration. Once Clinton could not keep his zipper shut and the radical right used the opportunity to exact whatever concessions they wanted from him in his final two years in office, the shift in US foreign policy began and has gained momentum ever since.
On 16 March 2022, as Russia’s war on Ukraine entered its second month, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev warned his people that ‘uncertainty and turbulence in the world markets are growing, and production and trade chains are collapsing’. A week later, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a brief study on the immense shock that will be felt around the world due to this war. ‘Soaring food and fuel prices will have an immediate effect on the most vulnerable in developing countries, resulting in hunger and hardship for households who spend the highest share of their income on food’, the study noted. South of Kazakhstan, in the Kyrgyz Republic, the poorest households already spent 65% of their income on food before these current price hikes; as food inflation rises by 10%, the impact will be catastrophic for the Kyrgyz people.