Former Prime Minister John Key with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, 2014
This reactionary NACT regime has sold out to China like the parasitic ‘compradors’ – gentry dressed-down as jumped-up land agents – they are. Nothing to do with ‘one party states’, ‘Red tides’ or ‘yellow perils’, but a born-again imperialist global power sucking out profits. While we moaned about US oligarchs buying NZ citizenship, the ‘market socialists’ were scavenging NZ’s finite resources from its neoliberal pimps. Yet working people must reject all attempts to resist China on racist, chauvinist terms, but recognize that what motivates China is the same as all imperialist powers, the inexorable drive to increase its capital wealth by super exploiting its neo-colonies.
Brady’s Magic Weapons or WSWS dogma?
Let’s look at the work of Anne-Marie Brady on China’s ‘soft power’ as the ‘Red menace’ invading NZ. Brady is an academic with a foot in both the US and NZ. Her analysis documents the growing formal and informal ties with China which accompany the increase in its economic stake in NZ. Her factual analysis of the growing Chinese State/National Government partnership in the management of the NZ economy is one thing, but her political conclusions are another. For Brady ‘Red China’ is a threat to ‘Western Democracy’ defended by the US and its ‘allies’ such as NZ. This reflects the rise of China and decline of the US, marked by China’s ability to use ‘soft’ economic power to ‘out-compete’ the US forcing it to resort to the ‘hard’ power of military aggression.
This is the main thrust of the WSWS critique of Brady’s research being introduced into the recent electoral campaign to stir up racist hostility to Chinese immigrants and portray the National Party as in bed with ‘Red China’. No doubt Brady is siding with the US warmongering against China as a rival that threatens US hegemony – she presented her recent paper at a conference on ‘democracy’ in Taiwan. We too reject any attack on China by the US but not in order to defend ‘Red China’. ‘Red China’ exists only as the bogey of the neo-liberals who want to destroy it as a rival to US hegemony. Yet to the dogmatic WSWS, ‘Red China’ is a restored capitalist state but far from imperialist. China is therefore a semi-colony at the mercy of existing imperialist powers and has to be defended in any war with US imperialism.
This is a dogma that unfortunately too many of the ‘crypto-Stalinist’ Western left hold – all those who still see Russia and China today as ‘progressive’ forces against Western imperialism. China (and Russia) both restored capitalism in the 1990s by opening up to the global capitalist market. From that point, the prices of goods and services in China became set by the price of commodities on the global market. Their value was set by the labour-time required to produce commodities. Over two decades China transitioned from state ‘socialism’, to ‘market socialism’ to ‘state capitalism’. But because of its history as a deformed workers’ state, a reborn capitalist China was able to avoid re-colonization by Western imperialism and turn its restored ‘state capitalism’ into a new imperialism.
Fight Racism and Fight Imperialism!
We will not side with China in a war with the US because we recognize it is a new imperialist power. Unlike Brady who wants us to go to war against ‘Red’ China, and WSWS who wants us to defend ‘semi-colonial’ China from the US, we say a curse on both their heads. That means we won’t fight in any imperialist war on the side of China or the US. We are for the defeat of both – at the hands of their own armed workers. Yet, because we live in a small, weak neo-colony of both the US and China, we cannot sit back and wait to see who wins and gets NZ for its prize. As we continue to point out with greater urgency, new imperialist wars are between the rival ruling classes that use national chauvinist appeals to drag their working people into fighting their wars. A WW3 or even regional wars such as we could see over the DPRK, threatens the survival of humanity itself.
That is why when the debates about China’s role in NZ start to escalate we have to resist all attempts by the NZ ruling class to pressure workers into new imperialist wars on the side of any imperialist power. Chinese expansion into NZ is motivated not by any ‘Red Menace’ to spread the communist revolution, or ‘Yellow Tide’ to spread the influence of Chinese as a ‘race’. China today is the antithesis of real socialism let alone communism. Nor is China reviving the Middle Kingdom. China is behaving like any other existing imperialist power – expanding globally to take advantage of cheap labour and resources to maximize profits.
In the debates about migration we have to differentiate between Chinese capitalists who buy their citizenship in NZ and Chinese workers who come to settle and work. We should oppose the entry of all capitalists whatever their country of origin, which includes NZ capitalists who promote foreign ownership and investment. They are all the agents of imperialist exploitation and oppression. We should be for the free access of Chinese workers who come to NZ to find work rather than to escape the working class. They are part of the international working class that has no country.
Resist all imperialist wars!
Working people of all nationalities must defend NZ as an oppressed neo-colony against all attempts by any imperialist power, US, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, Japan etc., to exploit and oppress us. In doing so we are acting in unison with Chinese, US, and workers everywhere, against the threat of WW3. It should be very clear after this election that to do this we have to replace the existing state that represents the interests of the capitalist ruling class with a Workers State and a socialist program which would include the expropriation of all capitalist and imperialist property!