Dalai Lama’s “Tibetan Orphans” Taken from Parents

“Violation of common ethics and morality”

Xinhua

In 1963, seven-year-old Tibi Lhundub Tsering was picked up by his foster parents at Zurich Airport, Switzerland. His mother Youden Jampa, working in a road-building camp in India, knew nothing of her son’s whereabouts.

This is the beginning of the inconvenient and uncomfortable truth presented in Swiss documentary “Tibi and his mothers” directed by Ueli Meier.

According to the documentary, Tibi was one of the 200 so-called “Tibetan orphans” who were brought to Switzerland in the 1960s from the Nursery for Tibetan Refugee Children in Dharamsala headed by Tsering Dolma, the elder sister of the Dalai Lama. They were moved through a program privately run by Swiss entrepreneur Charles Aeschimann and approved by the Dalai Lama.

Contrary to the expectations of the foster parents in Switzerland, only 19 of these children were orphans, while the vast majority had at least one parent in Tibet, often both, said Meier in the bonus feature of the DVD edition, citing a report by Aeschimann.

In a confidential letter in February 1963, the Swiss Ambassador to India at the time said he discovered many of these “orphans” selected in Dharamsala actually had at least one parent. He warned against the “human and spiritual difficulties” faced by children who became “contractually assigned care items” thanks to the agreement between Aeschimann and the Dalai Lama.

Meier said during his research on the documentary, many documents showed that Aeschimann and the Dalai Lama had divergent interests in their arrangement. While Aeschimann wanted a child refuge, the Dalai Lama appeared to intend to turn the children into an elite for the “Tibetan government-in-exile”.

According to letters between the two, the Dalai Lama never mentioned the psychological well-being of the children after being separated from their parents and only had limited discussion with Aeschimann about them, the director said in an interview with Swiss German-language daily Neue Zuricher Zeitung, which ran a series of reports in September questioning the “Tibetan orphans” program.

As for Tibi, protagonist of the documentary, the tender care and devotion of his foster parents cannot replace the love of his birth mother. He went off the rails and almost lost himself after he visited his birth parents for the first time years later and realised his mother will never be able to understand him.

The film accompanied Tibi on his journey to visit his birth mother in India and his foster mother in Gruningen, Switzerland. “While observing the now quiet everyday life of the two old women, distant memories emerge silently and sometimes painfully to the surface,” says the introduction of the film.

The director said he learned many tragic stories of the former foster children during his research.

A study published in 1982 by the University of Zurich found that among the Tibetans who grew up in Switzerland, suicides were only reported in the group of “Aeschimann Children,” Meier pointed out in the interview with the Swiss newspaper.

Meier said he sent an interview request to the Dalai Lama’s bureau in Geneva, but was met with silence.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government condemned the Dalai Lama and his clique for abusing children’s rights by orchestrating the 1960s campaign to send Tibetan “orphans” to Switzerland.

At a regular news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, “The Dalai Lama’s deeds have trampled on the children’s individual rights and publicly violated common ethics and morality. All humane, justice-loving people should condemn such acts.”

White House Syria Lies Backfire on Administration

Clifford A. Kiracofe

Although US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that diplomatic options suggested by Russia to solve the Syrian chemical weapon crisis would be pursued, the damage done by the US beating the drums of war has already been done.

The use of propaganda in wartime is nothing new. From experience with Washington’s lies during former president George W. Bush’s Iraq War, the international community knows the US cannot be trusted.

The Bush administration knowingly and systematically circulated false stories about weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) allegedly possessed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Washington’s outrageous claims such as supposed uranium “yellowcake” from Niger being transferred to Iraq proved false. Claims about “aluminum tubes” for rocket production proved false. Claims about chemical warfare and WMDs raised by then secretary of state Colin Powell at the UN proved false.

The broader pattern of Western deception for the Iraq War included falsified “intelligence” reports from the UK ordered by then prime minister Tony Blair.Parliament in its subsequent investigations of the “dodgy dossier” intelligence manipulation revealed Blair’s lies.

Investigations of the British claims revealed that Israeli institutions, including the Herzliya research complex, played an important role in creating these false British and US reports.

Today in the case of Syria, the world is experiencing the same spectacle of US, British,and Israeli propaganda and deception. The players remain the same and the pattern of lies and deception is the same.

In the present case, the White House bases its case of the Syrian use of WMDs primarily on a single “intercept” of an unencrypted Syrian military voice communication.Washington alleges that this intercept proves the Syrian military used WMDs against civilians.

But what are the facts? Official Washington carefully avoids identifying the source of the intercept and hides it under the rubric of classified information because, critics say, the source of this intelligence report is Israel.

Experienced retired US intelligence officers believe that Israel is once again playing false with information so as to influence the West to go to war in the Middle East. Reports say that the alleged electronic intercept of a conversation between Syrian military personnel was fielded by Unit 8200 of Israeli military intelligence, which specializes in signals intelligence.

Some US experts believe that this alleged intercept, if it even exists, was doctored by the Israeli government so as to “prove” Syrian government complicity in WMD attacks.

Former British ambassador Craig Murray raises additional questions about the Israeli report.

He claims that the powerful British electronic intelligence center for the region, located on Mount Troodos in Cyprus, has no such intercept from its own monitoring.

He says that this center has such powerful capabilities that no electronic communications in the Middle East can escape it.

In addition to the Israeli allegation, the White House says it has obtained materials from the scene of the recent attack in Syria which “prove” the nerve agent Sarin was used.

From whom did the US obtain such contaminated materials? The Obama administration refuses to identify the source and chain of custody of the materials.

Given Washington’s transparent propaganda campaign, it is not surprising that some leaders around the world express grave doubts about US allegations. Russian President Vladimir Putin forthrightly calls such propaganda “lies.” Many Americans, including senators and congresspersons, would agree with him.

It is significant that the US Intelligence Community (IC) so far is not on public record supporting the Israeli allegations. The US IC apparently cannot assess with high confidence this Israeli reporting.

This is why the Obama administration had to issue its own politicized report on alleged Syrian WMD use from the White House.

The White House made a major political mistake engaging in such blatant deception of the American people and the international community.

The recent turnabout may mean no strikes, but the harm to US credibility has already been done.

The author is an educator and former senior professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

Xi Jinping Calls for Return to Marxism

Fred Goldstein

The president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, has been issuing statements that seek to curb the corrosion of socialist values that has become widespread in China.

The Press Trust of India reported on July 1: “Officials of the ruling Communist Party of China should shed the obsession with GDP numbers to get promotions and return to principles of Marxism, which suffered an ideological meltdown in the course of the country’s reforms, President Xi Jinping said today.”

Later Xinhua, the official press agency of China, reported on July 12: “Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the 85 million members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to work hard and serve the people wholeheartedly to ‘ensure the color of red China will never change.’”

Xi, who is also the general secretary of the CPC, made these remarks on the eve of the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the party. On July 11, he visited Xibaipo in Hebei Province, where the CPC leaders had been based from May 1948 to early 1949 as they prepared to seize power and become the ruling party of China.

Xi said, according to Xinhua, that “late Chinese leader Mao Zedong’s remarks on Party members’ work styles prior to the founding of New China in 1949 still have far-reaching ideological and historical significance.”

“At an important meeting of the CPC in March 1949,” continued Xinhua, “Mao called on the whole party to resolutely carry forward the work style of displaying modesty and prudence while guarding against conceit and impetuosity, and resolutely carry forward the style of working hard and plain living.”

“Calling China’s revolutionary history ‘the best nutrient,’ Xi said studying and recalling such history can bring ‘positive energy’ to Party members.”

Xinhua paraphrased Xi as saying “the people should be encouraged to take care of the CPC and be guided to exercise their duty of supervision.”

The Press Trust article quoted Xi as having said earlier that “the party’s cadres should be firm followers of Communist ideals, true believers of Marxism and devoted fighters for the socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The PTI further paraphrased Xi: “A party official’s integrity will not grow with the years of service and promotion of his post but with persistent efforts to discipline himself and study Marxist classics and theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi said.”

These were not just one-time speeches. They are part of a campaign to try to restore the party’s reputation through pushing a public, ideological foundation. The campaign began back in April of 2013, as a campaign against corruption shortly after Xi took over as president.  At that time it was known mainly by a slogan against “four course meals” for officials, meaning an end to extravagant banquets and other indulgences. Now it is being put in the context of Marxist ideological renewal.

The campaign has been unfolding step by step recently, with daily reports in the Chinese government press about carrying out the “mass line” and using such slogans as “from the masses to the masses.”

All 31 provincial level regions, central government organs and other people’s organizations are scheduled to convene work conferences to carry out an educational campaign, attacking undesirable work styles such as “formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.” This is part of the anti-corruption campaign initiated by Xi.

Xi is promoting rectification of work styles by calling for “self-purification, self-perfection, self-renewal and self-progression. “

A matter of ‘survival or extinction’ for the CPC

In a blunt statement to a Central Committee meeting on June 18, called to launch the campaign in full, Xi put the stakes involved as plainly as possible. Xinhua reported: “‘Winning or losing public support is an issue that concerns the CPC’s survival or extinction,’ Xi said, stressing that the mass line, or furthering ties with the people, is lifeline of the Party.”

The same dispatch spoke about “flesh and blood” ties with the people and called for getting more workers with knowledge of the grassroots and social conditions into the party.

Li Junnu, a former vice president of the CPC Central Committee Party School told Xinhua: “Maintaining close ties with the masses is the Party’s largest political advantage while isolation from the people is the greatest danger facing the CPC.” (Xinhua, June 18)

It must be remembered that on Xi’s first trip after assuming the presidency in March 2013 he went to Guangdong Province and gave a talk to a party group warning about the dangers of a Gorbachev-type development in China. He spoke in dire terms about how the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was overthrown and socialism completely destroyed. The long-term fate of the party is undoubtedly a deep concern of Xi and his collaborators.

An observer must conclude that this is a serious attempt to reverse the effects of three decades of erosion of socialist morality under the impact of capitalist inroads and all the decadence, corruption and market immorality that the exploiters, domestic and international, bring along with their profit lust.

Massive corruption is the norm under capitalism. And these norms have become pervasive throughout socialist China, severely undermining the consciousness of the society as a whole and breeding cynicism and alienation among the workers and the peasants.

The reputation of the party has suffered immeasurably, especially at the provincial and local level. There have been tens of thousands of “mass incidents” annually, reported on by the government itself. They include peasants protesting their lands being sold off to developers; workers protesting against employers violating their rights; protests against pollution; and numerous other grievances.

In this campaign led by Xi to deal with the political and social decay brought on by concessions to capitalism and imperialism, the leadership is harkening back to memories and associations with the heroic period of the Chinese Revolution.

It is notable that Xinhua, undoubtedly with the agreement and perhaps the advice of Xi, referred in the most favorable way to Mao as the authority in prescribing “hard work” and “plain living” as the correct practice for cadres. The reference to studying the revolutionary history of China as “nourishment” to strengthen the party is a breath of fresh air. Talk of “mass line,” “from the masses to the masses” and “serving the people heart and soul” — various prescriptions for self-correction and reflection — are clear references to the early stages of the Chinese Revolution.

The leadership is reaching back to earlier, more revolutionary times, both to warn the corrupt elements and to inspire the masses.

Entrenched bureaucratic interests must be fought from below

This campaign is a laudable step, certainly as regards its intentions, and hopefully it will bring about positive results. But there are deep contradictions and limitations in the campaign that must be overcome in order for it to achieve its objectives.

There are bureaucratic interests in the party that are tied in with government officials and those invested in capitalism who will not abandon their positions based upon moral appeals or social pressure alone. They will find a thousand ways to evade or obstruct the campaign, so long as it relies on voluntary compliance.

These entrenched interests must be fought. And the surest, most reliable way to fight them is to enlist the masses in the struggle. Without this, the campaign will be severely limited.

Corrupt officials must be weeded out. And this cannot be done from above. It must come from below, from the masses who are subject to official abuse, who know firsthand who are corrupt, who are opportunists, who are out for themselves, who are privately collaborating with the landlords or the developers and the bosses, who violate the rules that protect the people’s interests, who laud it over the people and so on.

It is ironic that Bo Xilai, a popular former party official and Politburo member in charge of Chongqing Province, now languishes in detention because he was persecuted by the present leadership. Among other things that put him out of favor with the leadership was that he called upon the masses in Chongqing to report corrupt officials, business people and party officials. Bo waged a hard campaign to prosecute and jail these corrupt elements as part of his overall campaign to slow down the march along the capitalist road.  And Bo tried to restore Maoist culture.

Reading the Marxist classics and popularizing the idea of remaining loyal to communism is a healthy and ideologically cleansing program. The more widely it is implemented, the greater the benefit for socialist forces in China.

But it will take more than reading to overcome the pragmatists, the opportunists and the capitalists who were allowed into the party by Jiang Zemin in 1992. Marxism asserts that being determines consciousness. While some individuals can re-educate themselves, the broad layers of privileged officials will not do so voluntarily. It will take a fight. Perhaps the Xi leadership has anticipated this and has a plan to break the resistance of recalcitrant elements. That would be all to the good.

Economics determines politics

But there is a more fundamental problem. The problem is the very existence of outrageous privilege itself in the party. In the early Bolshevik revolution, Lenin and his collaborators instituted the “law of the maximum,” following the example of the Paris Commune. No party member could earn more than the highest-paid worker.

This was a measure designed precisely to prevent privilege and its companion, corruption. It was the abandonment of this practice and the growth of inequality that was one of the decisive factors leading to the alienation of the Soviet workers and the decline of the Soviet party leadership, making the USSR vulnerable to capitalist counterrevolution as it came under pressure from imperialism on all sides.

Privilege in China, under the regime of so-called “market socialism,” is out in the open. It is praised as a sign of accomplishment, not in the party so much as in society as a whole. China has strayed far, far away from socialist norms and has become enveloped by capitalist norms.

When Xi calls upon party members to be loyal to communism and to study “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” what he is not acknowledging is the relationship between politics and economics. It is a foundational tenet of Marxism that in the long run economics determines politics — and morality, social consciousness, legality and ideology as well.

“Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is actually a phrase whose content is a socialist China in partnership with domestic and international capitalists. But this is a wholly antagonistic partnership — one in which the capitalist side strives to destroy the socialist side.

In addition to being affected by the spread of private capitalists — who are corrupt and corruptors — the socialist sector, the state-owned enterprises, the banking system and the planners have adopted capitalist market models. This is a great source of corruption inside the state itself.

Xi has not yet declared openly his economic program nor has he taken a public position on the economic orientation of Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Li is calling for the reduction of the role of the central government in the economy, including reducing the role of state-owned enterprises, ending the use of economic stimulus to support the economy, increasing the role of small and medium private businesses in the Chinese economy, and opening up widely to foreign investment in finance and other crucial areas.

In fact, last year Li was a co-sponsor, along with the World Bank, of a long and detailed report entitled “China 2030.” This was a blueprint for profoundly undermining the remaining fundamental structures of Chinese socialism — government planning, state-owned enterprises, and central financial and economic control by the Communist Party.

Xi himself is a devoted advocate of so-called “market socialism.” Market socialism means socialism side by side with and contaminated by capitalism. The acquisitive, grasping quest for profit and individual material gain that characterizes capitalism has permeated China and eroded the socialist spirit.

The destruction of the rights and benefits of the working class and the peasants to jobs, land, education, health care and housing that were bedrocks of the revolution of 1949 were abandoned by the Deng leadership and subsequent leaderships.

Now the chickens have come home to roost in the form of the alienation of the masses. Xi, to his credit, sees this as a threat to the party and the foundation of what remains of socialism in China.

But the Xi leadership is trying to fight the symptom without tackling the disease: capitalist penetration of the economy and the social mores, ideology and the very core socialist spirit of the Chinese Revolution.

Perhaps the attempt to turn back this reactionary tide of corruption and bureaucracy will lead to greater struggles in which the masses can intervene and act in their own name and on their own behalf.

But one thing is certain: the politics of anti-corruption, anti-bureaucratic reform on the one hand and capitalist market economics on the other are thoroughly opposed to one another.

Snowden, NSA, and the Rise of a New Fascism

we-are-free

Understanding the latest leaks is understanding the rise of a new fascism

John Pilger

In his book, ‘Propaganda’, published in 1928, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

The American nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays invented the term “public relations” as a euphemism for state propaganda. He warned that an enduring threat to the invisible government was the truth-teller and an enlightened public.

In 1971, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg leaked US government files known as The Pentagon Papers, revealing that the invasion of Vietnam was based on systematic lying. Four years later, Frank Church conducted sensational hearings in the US Senate: one of the last flickers of American democracy. These laid bare the full extent of the invisible government: the domestic spying and subversion and warmongering by intelligence and “security” agencies and the backing they received from big business and the media, both conservative and liberal.

Speaking about the National Security Agency (NSA), Senator Church said: “I know that the capacity that there is to make tyranny in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law… so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

On 11 June 2013, following the revelations in the Guardian by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg wrote that the US had now fallen into “that abyss”.

Snowden’s revelation that Washington has used Google, Facebook, Apple and other giants of consumer technology to spy on almost everyone, is further evidence of modern form of fascism –  that is the “abyss”. Having nurtured old-fashioned fascists around the world – from Latin America to Africa and Indonesia – the genie has risen at home. Understanding this is as important as understanding the criminal abuse of technology.

Fred Branfman, who exposed the “secret” destruction of tiny Laos by the US Air Force in the 1960s and 70s, provides an answer to those who still wonder how a liberal African-American president, a professor of constitutional law, can command such lawlessness. “Under Mr. Obama,” he wrote, “no president has done more to create the infrastructure for a possible future police state.” Why? Because Obama, like George W Bush, understands that his role is not to indulge those who voted for him but to expand “the most powerful institution in the history of the world, one that has killed, wounded or made homeless well over 20 million human beings, mostly civilians, since 1962.”

In the new American cyber-power, only the revolving doors have changed. The director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, was adviser to Condaleeza Rice, the former secretary of state in the Bush administration who lied that Saddam Hussein could attack the US with nuclear weapons. Cohen and Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt – they met in the ruins of Iraq – have co-authored a book, The New Digital Age, endorsed as visionary by the former CIA director Michael Hayden and the war criminals Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair. The authors make no mention of the Prism spying programme, revealed by Edward Snowden, that provides the NSA access to all of us who use Google.

Control and dominance are the two words that make sense of this. These are exercised by political, economic and military designs, of which mass surveillance is an essential part, but also by insinuating propaganda in the public consciousness. This was Edward Bernays’s point. His two most successful PR campaigns were convincing Americans they should go to war in 1917 and persuading women to smoke in public; cigarettes were “torches of freedom” that would hasten women’s liberation.

It is in popular culture that the fraudulent “ideal” of America as morally superior, a “leader of the free world”, has been most effective. Yet, even during Hollywood’s most jingoistic periods there were exceptional films, like those of the exile Stanley Kubrick, and adventurous European films would have US distributors. These days, there is no Kubrick, no Strangelove, and the US market is almost closed to foreign films.

When I showed my own film, ‘The War on Democracy’, to a major, liberally-minded US distributor, I was handed a laundry list of changes required, to “ensure the movie is acceptable”. His memorable sop to me was: “OK, maybe we could drop in Sean Penn as narrator. Would that satisfy you?” Lately, Katherine Bigelow’s torture-apologising ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and Alex Gibney’s ‘We Steal Secrets’, a cinematic hatchet job on Julian Assange, were made with generous backing by Universal Studios, whose parent company until recently was General Electric. GE manufactures weapons, components for fighter aircraft and advance surveillance technology. The company also has lucrative interests in “liberated” Iraq.

prism

The power of truth-tellers like Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden is that they dispel a whole mythology carefully constructed by the corporate cinema, the corporate academy and the corporate media. WikiLeaks is especially dangerous because it provides truth-tellers with a means to get the truth out. This was achieved by ‘Collatoral Murder’, the cockpit video of an US Apache helicopter allegedly leaked by Bradley Manning. The impact of this one video marked Manning and Assange for state vengeance. Here were US airmen murdering journalists and maiming children in a Baghdad street, clearly enjoying it, and describing their atrocity as “nice”. Yet, in one vital sense, they did not get away with it; we are witnesses now, and the rest is up to us.

China and Africa: The West Just Doesn’t Get It

New Worker

China has been investing heavily in Africa over the last few years but has not been telling the West much about the details — giving rise to all sorts of speculation about China’s motives, claims of unfair secrecy and Chinese ambitions to grab control of supplies of vital raw materials.

So United States researchers have been beavering away to build up a big public database of Chinese development in Africa, giving details of 1,700 projects in 50 countries since 2000. These researchers, from AidData at the College of William and Mary, have spent 18 months creating their database. They have been looking to discover any underhanded practices by the Chinese; they are certainly not pro-Chinese propagandists.

They found that China’s financial commitments in Africa are much larger than previously thought. China has committed $75 billion (£48 billion) on aid and development projects in Africa in the past decade, according to research which reveals the scale of what some have called Beijing’s escalating soft power “charm offensive to secure political and economic clout on the continent.”

This is still less than the $90 billion the US has spent in “aid” to Africa but is likely to be more useful to Africans because it does not include strings linked to privatisation of public utilities or the funding of mercenaries to destabilise governments it does not like.

They found that China is still keeping to the Eight Principles of Chinese aid that date from 1964:

1. Equality and mutual benefit form the basis of Chinese aid;

2. China respects sovereignty, never attaches conditions or asks for privileges;

3. China helps lighten the burden with interest-free or low-interest loans and by extending repayment terms when necessary;

4. The purpose of aid is to help countries become self-reliant;

5. Projects that require less investment but yield quicker results are favoured;

6. China provides quality equipment and materials manufactured in China at international market prices;

7. China will help recipient countries master the techniques of any technical assistance;

8. Chinese experts will have the same standard of living as those of the recipient country and are not allowed to make special demands.

The data obtained by this American research challenges western capitalist assumptions —Beijing’s unrelenting quest for natural resources.

There are few mining projects in the database and, while transport, storage and energy initiatives account for some of the largest sums, the data also reveals how China has put hundreds of millions of dollars towards health, education and cultural projects.

In Liberia, China has put millions towards the installation of solar traffic lights in Monrovia and financed a malaria prevention centre. In Mozambique, China’s projects include a National School for Visual Arts in Maputo. In Algeria, construction has begun on a multimillion dollar 1,400-seat opera house in the Ouled Fayet suburbs of western Algiers.

China has also sent thousands of doctors and teachers to work in Africa, welcomed many more students to learn in China or in Chinese language classes abroad and rolled out a continent-wide network of sports stadiums and concert halls.

Western analysts are going crazy trying to work out China’s motives and why it is doing so much that does not seem to bring in any direct profit. Western propagandists are forever cynically proclaiming human rights and humanitarianism while impoverishing and oppressing millions in the Third World.

They cannot grasp that these “sinister Orientals” have a better grasp of human rights — that, as Stalin said, “free speech” and “voting rights” are a poor joke to someone who has no job, no home and no idea where the next meal is coming from.

In other words, in spite of their successes in economic growth using capitalist methods, the Chinese state still retains working class, communist values and their humanitarianism is not a cynical pretence.

U.S. Seeks Recolonization of China

Missile ‘shield’ pointed at Chinese cities

William West

For the past year the Obama administration has been touting the policy of the “Asian pivot,” a gradual redistribution of U.S. resources into southeast Asia. President Barack Obama’s November trip through Asia was promoted as a diplomatic tour designed to reinforce established alliances and forge new allies in the region. That same month, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development released a report saying that the People’s Republic of China would have the world’s largest economy by 2016, overtaking the United States. The gradual refocusing of U.S. foreign policy towards Asia is meant to stop the OECD’s prediction from coming true.

Obama’s tour began in Myanmar, where he was the first sitting U.S. president to visit the country. The visit coincided with the lifting of sanctions against Myanmar. Myanmar and several of the nations on the tour, such as Cambodia, have long been allies of China and the U.S. appears to be trying to forge alliances with them as a way of curbing Chinese influence in the region.

But other recent actions by the U.S. in Asia have not had nearly so “diplomatic” a flavor. In August, the U.S. launched a “missile shield” in Japan, ostensibly to knock away debris from a North Korean satellite. But experts point out that the trajectory of the “shield rockets” would not intercept falling debris, but could be used against China and North Korea.

In December, the Pentagon announced that there would be an increase in U.S. troops, ships and aircraft in the Philippines, a U.S. client state that has recently been in territorial disputes with China over the Spratly Islands. Chinese leaders have called the expansion of U.S. forces in the Philippines a threat to their national security, with Chinese Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping going so far as to urge the country’s military to “prepare for struggle” without naming the enemy.

Laughably, the United States’ response to China is that the military presence in the Philippines is “humanitarian” in nature, and that the U.S only intends to help the Philippines recover from Typhoon Bopha. How aircraft carriers are supposed to help the Filipino people rebuild is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, the government of the Philippines has continued its policy of torturing and disappearing dissenters while enjoying $700 million in “aid” from Washington, just since Obama took office.

Last summer, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the U.S, which already has 50 percent of its Navy in the Asia-Pacific region, will have 60 percent of its warships—the majority of the largest navy in the world—in Asian waters by 2020. This comes as the U.S. is planning the construction of a large naval base on the South Korean island of Jeju, despite the fact that 94 percent of the residents of the island’s largest village voted against the building of the naval base.

Still, Panetta thoroughly refuted any notion that the buildup of the U.S. war machine in Asia should be any cause of alarm for the Chinese. “Some view the increased emphasis by the United States on the Asia-Pacific region as some kind of challenge to China. I reject that view entirely,” Panetta said. “Our effort to renew and intensify our involvement in Asia is fully compatible … with the development and growth of China. Indeed, increased US involvement in this region will benefit China as it advances our shared security and prosperity for the future.”

But in November, Panetta announced that F-22 and F-35 fighter planes would be in Japan by 2017. This means that China’s major cities would be within striking distance of the world’s most advanced warplanes by the time it becomes the world’s largest economy.

Many in the U.S. government allege that it is nonsensical to claim that the U.S would want to ever wage war against China, as the Communist Party of China has decided to provisionally open the country’s markets up to foreign finance capital, and that capitalists in the U.S have much to gain from China’s market. But it must be remembered that China’s ruling Communist Party, upon coming to power under the leadership of Mao Zedong, ended decades of colonial exploitation of the Chinese people. The CPC still dictates the terms under which foreign companies can enter into the Chinese market. Even this is unacceptable to U.S. imperialism. They would like to overthrow the CPC and see the installation of a regime fully compliant to the whims of imperialism.

In addition, the U.S, as the current master of the capitalist-world, cannot allow a foreign market to overtake it in profitability, as the Chinese market currently seems capable of doing. It must thus seek to break up that market into more easily controlled fiefdoms. U.S. imperialism aspires to the ultimate break-up of the People’s Republic of China, and the recolonization of the Chinese people.

Japan’s “Territorial Disputes”: Pretext for U.S. Confrontation with China & DPRK

International Department, Japan Communist League

Recently in East Asia, political tension regarding the territorial sovereignty over Dokto Island (Takeshima in Japanese) and also the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands in Japanese) has grown. The former has been claimed by both governments of South Korea and Japan, while the latter has been claimed by China and Japan.

Especially in mainland China, massive “anti-Japan demonstrations” have risen in many cities in response to Japan’s announcement of the nationalization of the disputed Diaoyu Islands. Japanese-owned shopping malls were attacked in these demonstrations and even some worker’s strikes were held in some Japanese-owned factories to denounce the Japanese government’s act and also to demand improvement of working condition.

The Japanese government and mainstream media have repeatedly claimed that both Dokto Island and the Diaoyu Islands are the “inherent territory of Japan,” rejecting one-sidedly the argument from South Korea and China. They have encouraged ultra-rightwing and racist forces in Japan, and even caused attacks against the South Korean consulate and the Chinese consulate in Japan.

How should Japanese communists and working people behave in this situation?

Historical fact

What we should point out first is the fact that both Dokto Island and the Diaoyu Islands are NOT the “inherent territory” of Japan.

Prior to the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which was a political revolution that paved the way for the establishment of Japanese capitalism, Japan did not recognize both islands as part of its own territory. In spite of intentional disregard by the Japanese government and media, history shows that Japan unilaterally seized Dokto Island from Korea and the Diaoyu Islands from China in the process of its imperialist expansion that led Japan into both World Wars for division and re-division of colonies.

Immediately following the Meiji Restoration, Japan rapidly came into the way of imperialism and expanded its colonies. Japan colonized Taiwan after its victory in the Sino-Japanese war in 1895, concluded the Anglo-Japanese alliance in 1902 and plunged into the Russo-Japanese war in 1904 in order to gain dominion over the Korean Peninsula. During the same period, the U.S. took over the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico as its colonies through the Spanish-American war and established dominion over Cuba as a protectorate.

In 1905, Japan and the U.S. signed the Taft-Katsura Agreement. In this agreement, both imperialist countries secretly acknowledged Japan’s domination over Korea and the United States’ domination over the Philippines. With an imperialist military alliance with the U.K. and secret agreement with the U.S., Japan had further expanded its invasion in Asia.

Japan forced the then Korean Empire to disband its army and also deprived it of diplomatic rights in 1905. Then, it annexed Korea and deprived it of national sovereignty in 1910. It meant the start of 36 years of Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula. At the same time, Japan also started its invasive movement in mainland China leading to the waging of all-out invasive war in the 1930s. Furthermore, Japan expanded the hand of invasion to Southeast Asia in early 1940s.

The seizing of the Diaoyu Islands and Dokto Island by Japanese imperialism was a part of the above-mentioned history of Japan’s invasive war and colonization in Asia. Regarding the Diaoyu Islands, Japan secretly decided they were a Japanese possession in a cabinet meeting (without announcement) in January 1895 in the midst of the Sino-Japanese war and then actually seized them from China after victory of the war. Regarding Dokto Island, in the same way, Japan decided to incorporate the island into its territory in a cabinet meeting in January 1905 in the midst of the Russo-Japanese war and named the island “Takeshima.”

The Japanese government, however, has neglected to engage in sincere reflection on its past invasive wars and colonization of Asian countries, and has intentionally separated the seizing of Dokto Island and Diaoyu Islands from the whole process of the history of its invasion. The government has claimed that Japan’s possession of both islands is occupation of terra nullius (land belonging to no one) and has legal effect under international lows. But as world history shows, the logic of the “occupation of terra nullius” itself is nothing but the logic of imperialist robbery. The Japanese government’s claim has no legitimacy at all.

Japan’s aim and U.S. intervention

Hiding historical fact, the Japanese government has claimed its territorial sovereignty over Dokto Island and the Diaoyu Islands. The present Noda administration claims that “there is no territorial issue’” on the Diaoyu Islands that are under Japan’s effective control, while it denounces South Korea’s effective control over Dokto Island as an “illegal occupation.” Such an attitude of the Japanese government is based on imperialist territorial expansionism.

Why does the Noda administration claim the territorial sovereignty of both islands in a loud voice , denouncing China and South Korea?

The Noda administration is facing a serious decline in approval ratings because of its anti-people policies such as the continued use of nuclear power energy, the reinforcement of U.S. bases in Japan and decision to increase the consumption tax etc. In this situation, the Noda administration intends to deflect the anger and discontent of workers and people, and oppress the growing people’s movement against U.S. bases and nuclear power plants by means of chauvinistic propaganda on “territorial disputes.”

The Japanese government has justified the establishment of its invasive military posture, the consolidation of the U.S.-Japan military alliance and the reinforcement of U.S. bases in Okinawa and “mainland” Japan, emphasizing the ‘”threat of China.” Against the backdrop of economic interest in Asia, in recent years the Japanese government changed its “Defense Only” policy and has pursued a more proactive or invasive defense policy based on the concept of so-called “Dynamic Defense.”

Under this line, Japan has planned to reinforce the deployment of the Self Defense Forces (Japanese army) in Okinawa. It has also supported the consolidation of U.S. bases in Okinawa and other areas, including building a new base in Okinawa, and the deployment of the newest U.S. transport aircraft Osprey also in Okinawa, disregarding mass opposition. All these maneuvers target China. The “territorial dispute’ has been used to justify all these maneuvers against China as well the oppression against the anti-U.S. base movement in Okinawa and “mainland” Japan.

At the same time, we strongly denounce the U.S. intervention in territorial disputes in East Asia, especially the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands between China and Japan. It was the Heritage Foundation that provided the venue for ultra-rightwing Tokyo governor Ishihara’s speech on the “metropolitan government’s plan to purchase the Senkaku Islands’” from a private owner, which was proposed in April 2012 in the U.S. and led to the latest dispute with China. Furthermore, the U.S. government and military officials have repeatedly said that “the Senkaku Islands are covered under the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.” It is a threat against China and a declaration that the U.S. is preparing a military intervention on the territorial dispute regarding the Diaoyu Islands or an invasive war against China under a U.S.-Japan military alliance. In this context, the U.S. and Japan will hold a joint drill “to retake remote islands” on in November 2012. These maneuvers coincide with the United States’ “rebalancing” strategy that the Obama administration announced in January 2012 in order to consolidate the U.S military posture in the Asia-Pacific for confrontation with China and DPRK.

The task of Japanese communists and working people

The raging response of workers and people in China and South Korea regarding these territorial disputes with Japan has a valid historical basis. It is also an expression of opposition and criticism against Japan’s recent building-up of an invasive military posture. In this situation, what stance should Japanese communists and working people take regarding the territorial disputes over Dokto Island and the Diaoyu Islands?

Our answer is as follows.

FIRST is to demand that the Japanese government should withdraw the claim of territorial sovereignty over Dokto Island and the Diaoyu Islands, criticizing the government’s fictional logic of the ‘”inherent territory” and exposing the historical fact of Japan’s seizing of both islands.

SECOND is to fight for the realization of the government’s sincere apology and compensation for victims of Japan’s past invasive wars and colonization in Asia.

THIRD is to oppose Japan’s recent building-up of an invasive military posture and the consolidation of the U.S.-Japan military alliance.

FOURTH is to struggle against chauvinistic and racist forces, and release Japanese workers and people from their influence.

Implementing this line may be difficult because Japanese imperialism has thoroughly promoted the campaign that Dokto Island and the Diaoyu Islands are “inherent territory” of Japan through the education system; all corporate media coincide with the government’s chauvinistic propaganda. But only through the raising of these demands can Japanese workers and people build a relationship of genuine solidarity with workers and people in China and the Korean Peninsula. Urgently raising demands based on proletarian internationalism regarding the present “territorial disputes” in East Asia is required for communists and working people in Japan, an imperialist country. At the same time, to raise these demands in the present situation in Japan is in keeping with Lenin’s revolutionary and internationalist spirit, as expressed in his attitudes on “the national and the colonial question” and “Revolutionary Defeatism” as he faced the First World War.