China: Imperialism or Semi-Periphery?

Minqi Li

Monthly Review | 2021Volume 73, Issue 3 (July-August 2021)

China is currently the world’s largest economy measured by purchasing power parity. As the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy reshapes the global geopolitical map, Western mainstream media has begun to define China as a new imperialist power that exploits cheap energy and raw materials from developing countries. Some Marxist intellectuals and political groups, drawing from the Leninist theory of imperialism, argue that the rise of monopoly Chinese capital and its rapid expansion in the world market have turned China into a capitalist imperialistic country.

Whether China has become an imperialist country is a question of crucial importance for the global class struggle. I argue that although China has developed an exploitative relationship with South Asia, Africa, and other raw material exporters, on the whole, China continues to transfer a greater amount of surplus value to the core countries in the capitalist world system than it receives from the periphery. China is thus best described as a semi-peripheral country in the capitalist world system.

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How US Media Misrepresent the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Laboratories and Safety Protocols

Joshua Cho

MintPress News | September 15, 2021

Lab Leak Media Feature photo

Editor’s Note | We recognize that COVID-19 coverage can inflame passions and is prone to controversy. In the past, MintPress News has published varying viewpoints on the topic (including ones that stand in contrast to those represented in the following article). We strive to provide well-researched articles representing a diversity of views to our readers in the interest of fostering healthy discussion in the public interest.

WUHAN, CHINA — While many people have already criticized the lack of evidence and scientific basis for the hypothesis that the Covid-19 pandemic originated from a laboratory, both critics and proponents of the lab-leak theory appear to have uncritically accepted false or unproven premises regarding work done at the laboratory most often implicated in these speculations, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

Some of the most prominent accusations pointed at the WIV are that it was conducting research as part of China’s alleged biowarfare program, and was conducting its experiments in substandard biosafety conditions. The implication is that if the WIV lied about not having SARS-CoV-2 before the outbreak, the virus would also be more likely to have originated from there owing to their inadequate biosafety standards. However, after investigating these widely circulated claims and contacting several scientists, it turns out there is actually little evidence for any of these allegations.

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Hush, Hush (Venezuela is Winning!)

Maria Paez Victor

COUNTERPUNCH | September 17, 2021

By now it is obvious that the mainstream media does not cover any good news whatsoever about Venezuela.  Even non-political issues are always accompanied by a poisoned cliché sentence or two about “dictator”, “authoritarian regime”, “collapsed economy” “humanitarian crisis”, etc. etc.

So, the game-changing news that there are peace talks being held in México City between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties is ignored.  México is acting as host and facilitator with the kingdoms of Norway and Netherlands, and the Russian Federation as mediators. This seminal event has been scarcely reported by the North American media or commented on by politicians. Not a peep. Perhaps it is because neither the USA nor Canada have been permitted to be part of these negotiations, although certainly the USA has tried, and failed, to worm itself in.

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Venezuela Proposes a General Secretariat for Celac

teleSUR | September 18, 2021

President Nicolas Maduro, Mexico, Sep. 18, 2021.
President Nicolas Maduro, Mexico, Sep. 18, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @NicolasMaduro

President Nicolas Maduro called for the reactivation of mechanisms for analyzing economic, social, political, and trade integration proposals. 

Addressing the VI Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro reiterated the need to set up a “powerful” bloc’s General Secretariat to promote the region’s multilateralism, integration, and cooperation.

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AMLO Condemns US Blockade of Cuba

Orinoco Tribune | September 19, 2021

As part of the commemoration of the 211 years of the Independence of Mexico, the annual military parade, held in Mexico City, had Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel as this year’s guest of honor. In a speech given before the parade, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), President of Mexico, highlighted the injustice suffered by the Cuban people due to the ongoing US blockade, and urged US President Joe Biden to lift the blockade against Cuba.

“The government that I represent respectfully calls on the US government to lift the blockade imposed on Cuba, because no state has the right to subdue another nation, another country,” declared the president of Mexico. “It is necessary to remember what George Washington said: ‘Nations must not take advantage of the misfortune of other peoples.’ To put it frankly, it looks bad for the US government to use their blockade as an impediment to the well-being of the Cuban people so that they are forced by necessity to confront their own government.”

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China Firmly Rejects Illegal Detention of Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab

Orinoco Tribune | September 19, 2021

On Friday, September 17, the People’s Republic of China firmly rejected the illegal detention of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab and urged the United States to respect the norms that govern international law.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, stated at a press conference that the US “has been playing a shameful role in regard to Venezuela. The US has constantly abused political and judicial maneuvers, including sanctions and extraditions; with the purpose of meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela.”

Lijian went on to point out that the US harassment policy “affects the regular international personnel exchange and endangers mutual trust and cooperation between countries,” and due to this reason “China firmly rejects this.”

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Abimael Guzmán, leader of Peru’s Shining Path, dies at 86

In Defense of Communism | September 14, 2021

Abimael Guzmán, the historic leader of the Shining Path, died on Saturday at the age of 86 in Peru while serving a life sentence in the maximum security prison of the Callao Naval Base.
Also known by the name “comrade Gonzalo,” Guzmán died due to a generalized infection at the Naval Hospital, where he was being treated for deterioration in his health.

A former philosophy professor, he had been serving a life sentence for terrorism and treason since 1992. In 1969 Abimael Guzmán and 11 others founded the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso in Spanish), a guerrilla group of Maoist influences which tried to lead a “people’s war” to overthrow Peru’s bourgeois democracy.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

15. Enter regional states 

The Taliban hoisted their black and white flag on the presidential palace in Kabul on September 11, which happens to be the twentieth anniversary of the Al-Qaeda’s attack on New York and Washington, DC. The symbolism is too obvious to be missed. Although the Taliban had no hand in the 9/11 attacks, it took the brunt of the US’ revenge act to invade Afghanistan. 

No doubt, the flag hoisting is an assertion by the Taliban that they have returned as the ruling elite 20 years after their government was overthrown, and that is a reality the US cannot ignore. 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan-15/

16. Biden’s Taliban blues 

The best part of the visit by the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Nikolay Patrushev to New Delhi (September 7-8) was that the two countries may embark upon a voyage of discovery of each other at a phase in their relationship when the US-led Quad irrevocably sets them apart and as Delhi climbs on board the US’ Indo-Pacific Strategy to fight the Chinese on the beaches, in the hills and in the air. 

The Americans are of course back on the cold war era track obsessed with weakening and possibly dismembering Russia, if they can, to realise their elusive dream of ‘nuclear superiority’. 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan-16/

17. Foreign Devils on the Silk Road  

The title of an unputdownable 1980 classic by Peter Hopkirk comes to mind even as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation are preparing to hold back-to-back summit meetings at Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on September 17. 

Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia tells the breathtaking story of the intrepid men who made long-range archaeological raids in far west China looking for the lost cities of the Taklamakan Desert before they were gradually swallowed by the shifting waves of sand (and weren’t rediscovered until the early 19th century.) 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan-17/

18. India’s ‘over-the-horizon’ dilemma 

In England, they’d plan a park, build it but wouldn’t complete it until they could observe  for a while the foot tracks of walkers, before deciding where to lay the pathways for optimal utility. 

The Blinken Administration and Modi Govt apparently think they don’t have that luxury when it comes to Afghanistan. That is the troubling signal out of the Congressional hearing on Monday in Washington with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

But, for a start, Blinken was rather muted in his reaction on Pakistan’s perceived duplicity in taking advantage of the US. Certainly, he would know three things. 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan-18/

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Chile: 48 Years after the Military Coup, Allende’s Star Still Shines Brightly

RESUMEN | September 11, 2021

The political and human thought of Salvador Allende continues to be valid for the people of Latin America and the world, who struggle today for a more just and equitable society.

Salvador Allende is one of the most important and remembered personalities in the history of Chile. He was elected president of that country in 1970 to serve until 1976, but on September 11, 1973, Augusto Pinochet – in complicity with the United States – led a civilian-military coup against his government. That morning, President Allende died in the palace of La Moneda defending “the mandate of the people”, as he said in his last words.

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Colombia’s Iván Duque Launches Another False Flag Operation Against Venezuela

José Manuel Blanco Diaz

orinocotribune | September 13, 2021

Right wing Colombian president, Ivan Duque. File photo.

Venezuelan Minister for Defense, Vladimir Padrino López, issued a forceful response to new accusations from the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, who recently launched a new false positive against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Calling out Duque’s manipulation and conspiratorial plans, Padrino López denounced the Colombian president’s pronouncement as a “tormented attempt” to torpedo the Venezuelan government-opposition dialogue that is being held in the Mexico.

In recent days, violent attacks against military and police authorities have plagued Colombia. Without providing any evidence, Colombian authorities have pointed to Venezuela as being the place where these alleged FARC and ELN attacks were planned.

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