US: Arrogance, Disdain and War

Joe Biden’s foreign policy and strategy with respect to Russia and China place world stability and peace in grave danger. Likewise, he endangers the international consensus needed to address the ecological and climate crises caused by capitalism’s war against nature. These crises demand immediate action and a profound, systemic course correction toward a system that allows the concentration of social forces in favor of the national and international public interest, while acting against the catastrophic ecological and bio-climatic deterioration linked to greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are the result of the profit-seeking private energy and transportation corporations that produce carbon dioxide and methane, among other greenhouse gases.

The regulation of greenhouse gas emissions has been proposed for decades, with an urgency that is only accentuated by rising temperatures and the increasing intensity and duration of floods, forest fires and droughts around the world. The effects are being felt from California, Canada and Greece to Turkey, Russia and large cities like New York City and Mexico City.

Into the midst of this vast ecocide, Biden reappears with the same Trumpian diplomatic and military designs against Russia and China, ignoring the advice of cautious experts who warn against a new “Cold War.”

This offensive is incredibly provocative, including rhetoric about the supposed “worsening” of the threat in the official narrative, and exacerbated by the vast array of NATO military bases, troops and missiles positioned in the territory and seas around both Eurasian powers. Over 400 of the just under 1,000 U.S. military bases in the world are located on the periphery of Russia and China, as well as the majority of the U.S. blue-water fleet.

To understand the essential elements of this diplomatic and military plan, you cannot do better than reading John Bellamy Foster’s piece in The Monthly Review (July-August 2021), “The New Cold War on China.” It is a precise analysis that presents ample evidence of the unprovoked hostility and accompanying diplomacy of force that the U.S. has levied at the Eurasian powers. It observes that China is in full technical and economic ascent, and Russia is modernizing its military-industrial and nuclear capabilities. Both, I repeat, in the face of constant harassment by the agents of NATO throughout their territorial and sea borders.

Foster shows how the aggressive rhetoric of the U.S. diplomacy of force was manifest shortly after Biden’s election, during the first high-level bilateral summit between the People’s Republic of China and the U.S., which took place on March 18 in the city of Anchorage, Alaska. The meeting was attended by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and their counterparts, Yang Jiechi, the Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, and Wang Yi, the Foreign Minister.

Among the most important details of the summit in Anchorage, important for Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, are the more varied manifestations of the U.S.’s diplomatic and military arsenal. In a clean break with all diplomatic convention, Blinken arrogantly began the conversation by speaking about his lengthy meetings with the head of the Pentagon to discuss what he considers “China’s questionable actions.” Later, Blinken and Sullivan referenced meetings with other military allies of the United States located around China’s sea and land borders.

Blinken and Sullivan continuously brought up a litany of grievances against China. After many displays of hostility by Blinken, Sullivan continued to reference Biden’s meetings with coalition members in the area, stating that his Asian allies have expressed “deep concerns” with respect to China’s “use of economic and military coercion” and its “assault on basic values” in which the U.S. welcomed stiff competition with China, but adding in an intimidating tone that “it is also necessary to prepare for full-scale conflict.”

Thanks to press reports, the public was able to hear the details of this conversation. Foster notes: “Yang responded that he had ‘felt compelled to make this speech because of the tone on the U.S. side,’ in which the U.S. diplomats chose ‘to speak to China in a condescending way from a position of strength,’ with all the appearance of having carefully ‘planned’ and ‘orchestrated’ this confrontation. Wang followed by returning to Blinken’s veiled reference to Japan and South Korea regarding their concerns about coercion from China. He indicated that it was not clear whether this was actually coming from these countries themselves or was simply a U.S. projection.”

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