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Taiwan and China. Left Responses. Controversy over Campism shown in France by Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s response.

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Across Europe Chinese sabre-rattling against Taiwan has met with different responses on the left.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader (without a Parliamentary seat) of La France insoumise, and part of the left alliance, NUPES, created controversy in France with this statement.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon calls Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit an American ‘provocation’.

Le Monde (English edition) 5th of August.

Amid tensions between Taipei and Beijing, La France Insoumise (LFI) leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon called the US House Speaker’s trip to Taiwan a “provocation,” saying in a blog post published on Wednesday, August 3 that “there is only one China.”

Nancy Pelosi’s initiative, taken as part of an Asian tour, is seen by China as support for Taiwanese independence advocates and a reneging on the US pledge not to have official relations with the island.Read more Pulling the tiger’s tail: Nancy Pelosi’s dangerous Taiwan trip

In his post, Jean-Luc Mélenchon wrote that “Taiwan is a fully-fledged component of China,” using a term used by the Beijing regime but rejected by the Taipei authorities.

….

Chinese Embassy thanks Mélenchon

“The Chinese will solve the problem among themselves. There is no other reasonable outcome possible,” said Mr. Mélenchon, accusing the United States of wanting to “open a new front.” This is not a new position for Mr. Mélenchon, who in 2021 rejected the idea of a “cold war with China” when discussing a proposal for a resolution in the Assemblée Nationale in favor of Taiwan being included in the work of international organizations.

In the evening, the Chinese embassy in France tweeted to thank Jean-Luc Melenchon “for his consistent support for the one-China policy.”

After immediate fall-out from this statement Melenchon buckled down,

Taiwan: Jean-Luc Mélenchon defends his position despite criticism

Le Monde (translation from French editions)

The leader of La France insoumise described Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as a “provocation” and reiterated that “there [was] only one China”, triggering strong criticism, particularly in the within the left-wing Nupes alliance.

Within the left-wing alliance Nupes, the national secretary of Europe Ecology-The Greens (EELV), Julien Bayou, had denounced Friday “a rather dated vision” and “a real cynicism in terms of geopolitics” on the part of Mr. Mélenchon, while the head of the Socialist Party (PS), Olivier Faure, judged that if “the advisability of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan [was] debatable, the will of the Taiwanese to live in a democracy is not not” .

There were also sharp criticisms from  Raphaël Glucksmann who accused the chief of La France insoumise of being guided purely and simply by « l’antiaméricanisme ».

This is untrue. Melenchon has a long history of ambiguous statements about the Chinese Communist Party social chauvinist imperialists, hostility to Tibet’s Dalí Lama, and even saying that France had much to learn from the Chinese ‘planned’ economic model, for its state directed development).

There has been some serious unpicking of Mélenchon’s statements, notably in Libération:

Mélenchon et Taiwan: «Dire que les Chinois règleront le problème entre eux est un contre-sens»

Interview with China specialist Antoine Bondaz.

I generously translate this as saying Mélenchon’s claim that the Chinese will settle this problems between themselves is a load of bollocks.

If the leader of the French Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, has also condemned the “provocation” of the Pelosi visit some of the radical left have taken a different position on Taiwan.

Campism (France): Mélenchon’s blindness on China rekindles tensions on the left.

Campisme (France) : L’aveuglement de Mélenchon sur la Chine ravive les tensions à gauche.

August 5, 2022,by BOUGON François , DEJEAN Mathieu Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières.

….asking the question of the advisability of such a visit does not mean that one should line up behind the propaganda of the People’s Republic of China in the name of an anti-Americanism inherited from the struggles of the Cold War.

It is indeed to ignore the voice of the Taiwanese who, in their vast majority, reject the “Chinese model” of Xi – the omnipotence of the Party-State, repression at all costs and Han nationalism – , which runs counter to what Taiwanese society has become since the democratisation of the 1980s.

The radical left party Ensemble! (Not to be confused with Macron’s coalition, which stole its name), which has 4 MPs as an ally of La France insoumise in the French National Assembly, has issued this statement:

Défendre les droits du peuple taïwanais 8th of August.

Press Release.

The political and military tensions around Taiwan are the result of Beijing’s stated desire to reintegrate Taiwan, in the name of the “one China” principle, without any consideration for what the Taiwanese people want, attached as they are to their democratic freedoms.

Without even mentioning the ferocious repression of which the Uighur and Tibetan peoples are victims, we must recall the precedent of Hong Kong. The way in which its people have seen themselves brutally repressed and deprived of their democratic rights – in total disregard of the commitments made by the Chinese authorities (“one country, two systems”) – testifies to what the Chinese dictatorial regime is planning to do with regard to Taiwan.

If we can discuss the appropriateness of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, this subject can in no way eclipse the necessary solidarity with the Taiwanese people, respect for their right to self-determination and opposition to any aggression. aimed at prohibiting them from deciding their destiny independently.

On the British left the Stop the War Coalition published this piece by Jenny Clegg a backer of “Anglo Chinese understanding”, ” interested in a “multipolar world”, “China’s unique contributions to Marxism”, and a supporter of the No Cold War campaign.

PELOSI’S TRIP TO TAIWAN THREATENS WAR WITH CHINA

Taiwan is portrayed in the West as a semi-independent democracy threatened by China’s expansionist autocracy; China however sees the island, just one hundred miles from its shores, as kept separate by external backing, its political system permeated by US interests.

For China, it is a matter of sovereignty, reunification its core issue pursued consistently over 70-plus years so as to close the last chapter on its history of imperialist domination.

Taiwan was taken by Japan in 1895 following its defeat of China. At this time China was being divided into spheres of influence by the imperialist powers. However, after the 8 year anti-Japanese war of resistance (1937-1945) which cost some 15-20 million Chinese lives, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed, in recognition of Chinese contribution to the WW2 victory, that Taiwan would be returned to the mainland.

Even if a crisis is averted this time, the US has clearly begun serious planning for a conflict with China. Those hapless ignoramuses who pass as our political leaders are buffeted this way and that amidst the vagaries of US politics: the decoupling that should be taking place right now is between our policymakers and the US warmongers.

If anybody cared what the StWC said this might have created a media controversy.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 11, 2022 at 10:37 am

Jeremy Corbyn: “Pouring Arms into Ukraine” will “prolong and exaggerate this war.”

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Exclusive: Arms flow to Ukraine will not bring peace – Corbyn Al Mayadeen.

[“Al Mayadeen has its own critics who say the channel is backed by the regimes in Syria and Iran, making for its own set of biases. Not so, says Ghassan bin Jiddo, a well-known Tunisian journalist who heads Al Mayadeen.” (France 24. ‘Anti-Al Jazeera’ channel Al Mayadeen goes on air. 2012. “pro-Hezbollah Al Mayadeen TV” Times of Israel. 2022, Al-Mayadeen media, which is considered pro-Iran. Jerusalem Post. 2022. “In its coverage of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Al Mayadeen strictly follows the coverage guidelines published by the Russian State, with articles reflecting the general terms, storylines, and topics similar to those presented by Russian state media outlets to Russian audiences. For example, Al Mayadeen refers to the presence of Russian military within Ukraine as a “special military operation” rather than “invasion” or “war”.” Wikipedia.) The station has a studio in Tehran.].

“Pouring arms isn’t ‘gonna‘ bring back a solution”.

Jeremy Corbyn affirmed his opposition regarding the war in Ukraine, deeming Russia’s military operation in Ukraine “fundamentally wrong.” 

“Pouring arms in isn’t going to bring about a solution, It’s only going to prolong and exaggerate this war,” he asserted, expecting that this war will drag on for years.

The former Labour Party leader touched upon NATO’s expansion and the implications it has to the global economy and world peace: “Expanding NATO isn’t going to bring about a longer-term peace, [but it] will only bring about greater, greater strain and greater stress.”

Corbyn highlighted this,

…..the world woke up and suddenly realized that Russia and Ukraine are the world’s biggest grain exporters and something has to be done. So they came to an agreement , and I hope it holds, to export grain through Odessa and through the Bosphorus to the rest of the world. That is a good move, but at the same time, putting more and more arms into Ukraine isn’t going to bring about it [peace].”

It is noteworthy that last month, the British government announced that it will be providing $1.2 billion in military aid to Ukraine. 

Corbyn continued, “Ukrainians are dying. Ukrainians are going into exile here; Thousands and thousands. And Russian soldiers are dying, conscripted. Young Russian soldiers are dying. This war is disastrous for the people of Ukraine, for the people of Russia, and for the safety and security of the whole world. And therefore, there has to be more much more effort put into peace.”

Noting the European reception of Ukrainian refugees the former Labour leader took the opportunity to make a gratuitous swipe at Europe’s attitude towards those fleeing from the war in Yemen, a conflict in which Iran is a big player.

Corbyn spoke of the racist, double standards that Europe holds towards refugees: “Europe has been very welcoming of Ukrainian refugees, and that’s good, that’s right. Sadly, they’re not so welcoming and not so enabling of refugees coming from Yemen or anywhere else.”

The response to Corbyn is simple: if Ukraine is attacked by Russia what on earth is wrong with supplying it with arms to fight off the invasion?

Get a flavour of the politics of the Broadcaster Corbyn gives an interview to:

Written by Andrew Coates

August 2, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Contemptible Act by Starmer: Sacking Sam Tarry for Joining RMT and TSSA Rail Strikers’ Picket Line.

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Sacked by Starmer for Backing Workers.

Many people, trade unionists and members of the Labour Party, have attended RMT pickets in recent weeks to give support to the strikers. It beggars belief that this display of solidarity is considered unacceptable for members of Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet.

It is not just wrong in principle but makes the Labour leader look out of touch with what our supporters and activists think.

Inevitably you have to compare Starmer today with his own past.

“Musing on the future of the Labour Party in 1986, one twenty-four-year-old activist denounced centrism, insisting that the future lay with the grassroots Left. “Instead of heading towards an SDP Mark II”, he wrote,  “we would be better to go forward to re-build and develop the party as an instrument of socialism, capable of integrating into its project the emergence of the new social movements of the last twenty years”. That activist was a young Keir Starmer, and he was writing for a journal called Socialist Alternatives.”

Starmer’s Socialist Alternatives.  David Klemperer. 2020.

Starmer was not involved with the Marxist self-management left for a brief period, but for the best part of a decade in his ‘twenties. I first met him in Paris at an international conference of the TMR in 1986, an event attended by some people considerably more radical than, say, the British SWP or TUSC.

Socialist Alternatives was the British section of the International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (IRMT), a formerly Trotskyist Pabloite group based in Paris.[1]

Being a small group in the UK, it was best known for the Marxist magazine of the same name partially edited by Keir Starmer from 1986 to 1987.[2] The magazine is believed to have been produced by the Pabloist International Revolutionary Marxist Tendency (IRMT)[3] and advertised its events and publications, although one of the authors identified it as being an outgrowth of the Socialist Society connected with Ralph Miliband and Hilary Wainwright.[4] Paul Mason has called it a “Trotskyite front magazine”,[5] although this is disputed.[4] The French Trotskyist journalist Maurice Najman was also cited as a key supporter.[4]

Its politics were defined by one of its later authors Andrew Coates as being “aligned to the European ‘alternative’ movements of the time which stood for ecology, feminism and self-management. These were forerunners of later radical green-left groups, Los Indignados, Podemos, the left of Labour and similar currents within social democratic parties.”

Written by Andrew Coates

July 27, 2022 at 6:22 pm