Inter-imperialist Contention: China vs the United States

Central Organ of the Communist Party of Ecuador — ML (PCMLE).

One of the present characteristics of the international situation is the confrontation between the United States and China. Both imperialist states are struggling for domination of the global economy and the control of territories and markets.

There is no doubt that the strengthening and growth of the Chinese economy in the last forty years has turned this imperialist power into a contender for the United States, which has received strong economic blows and military setbacks in recent decades.

Beijing and Washington have been the main actors in several confrontational events that presently affect the chessboard of world geopolitics. The following is a summary of the main confrontations between these two imperialist powers.

Trade War

Donald Trump took a series of measures in the sphere of trade, imposing punishments on Chinese companies. Biden continued the restrictive measures against these companies and the pressure on his allies to block the expansion of Huawei and other companies from that country in the laying of 5G networks, which adds to the reduction of imports. In this context is the blocking of the social network Tik Tok on the phones and tablets of officials of 19 states of the United States and of members of the House of Representatives.

The United States strategy has used the application of tariff rates; strict controls on Chinese investments; controls on high-tech U.S. exports, and regulations on acquisitions of U.S. assets. Tariff restrictions have lost support within the U.S., both because of the higher costs in production, and because of the tariff restrictions faced by several sectors of exporters to the Beijing market, but the other measures and their aggravation have support in the legislature.

South China Sea conflict

There have been several conflicts in the South China Sea in which the US and Chinese navy are involved.

The Asian giant claims sovereignty over parts of this sea, which has led to a dispute with the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. In this conflict, the U.S. has given itself the role of defending the free movement of ships in the area. Half of the world’s commercial transit passes through this corridor, as well as most of the oil consumed by Asian countries, so whoever controls this sea route controls a strategic line of the world trade in hydrocarbons.

Taiwan conflict

On September 14, 2022, the US legislature approved a law that strengthens relations with Taiwan, ignoring the one-China policy that was adopted by Washington in 1978. To that is added, the visit to that island by Nancy Pelosi, chair of the House of Representatives of the United States. Recall that already in May of that year President Biden stated that the US would intervene “militarily” in case China invaded Taiwan.

Among the latest tensions that have increased in the strait of the Formosa Sea is the increase in the number of incursions by Chinese aircraft in the self-declared air identification zone (ADIZ) of Taiwan and the statements by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, admitting that the United States has a military presence on the island.

Ukrainian War

China made public an announcement of a peace plan for Ukraine. On February 24, 2023, he put on the table a plan that in general terms calls for respect for territorial integrity, for the end of international sanctions against Russia and proposes a ceasefire, among other measures. For their part, the United States and its European allies have stated that they do not trust the document; “Putin is applauding it, so how could it be good?” said US president Joe Biden when asked about the Chinese peace plan on ABC News. The confrontation of the powers is not reduced to press statements; the US Department of Commerce added five Chinese companies to its blacklist because they “contribute significantly to Russia’s military or defense industrial base.”

Latin America and indebtedness

China grants loans without the traditional demands posed by multilaterals, which has caused several countries to take these credit programs, which the Asian country has used to invest in the Latin American region that for the United States was considered its backyard.

Asian investments in this region have been mainly directed to energy, infrastructure and mining. China was among the main investors in Latin America and the Caribbean in regard to mergers and acquisitions.

The relationship between the United States and China being conflictive is complementary, both powers have investments in their counterparts; for example, at the beginning of this year it was estimated that the Asian country has about US $870 billion in US debt.

The contention for control of the world economy goes hand in hand with the contention for the influence of territories. Trade confrontations and localized conflicts are drawing a panorama of confrontation between these two imperialist powers, which will harm the peoples and workers of the world.

En Marcha # 2038 from March 1 to 7, 2023

Categories: Economy, Imperialism, U.S. News

%d bloggers like this: