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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

George Galloway Calls for Russian-Chinese Alliance to Defeat US in Ukraine and Taiwan.

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“China & Russia together would be unstoppable & irresistible – economically & militarily”.

Look what support this statement has already got…

As an historian, veteran campaigner George Galloway knows well the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance (1950 – 1979). Perhaps he is also aware, coughs heavily, of the less than friendly relations between the two Marxist-Leninist superpowers over the years. But in the ‘multi-polar’ world of today who know what new alliances between Putin and Deng could arise.

The leader of the Workers Party of Britain (which has observer status on the Steering Committee of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is equally conscious of the views of the cadres who staff his party of a special type. Many of them (from his deputy leader Joti Brar down) are also members of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist -Leninist) who have their own friendship with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The CPGB-ML stands firmly with the People’s Republic of China – with its people, with its Communist party government, and with its leader Comrade Xi Jinping – in opposing the reckless war drive of the USA.

By interfering in China’s internal affairs and supporting the drive for ‘Taiwan independence’, the USA is forcing China to take action in defence of its integrity and sovereignty. Any war that ultimately results from such action will be entirely the responsibility of the US imperialist ruling class and its Washington frontmen.

All freedom and justice-loving anti-imperialists and socialists must stand with China and refuse to cooperate with the imperialist war drive, which aims to save the crisis-ridden world capitalist system at the expense of the mass of humanity, by destroying every obstacle to unfettered superexploitation and domination of the globe.

The following statement was issued by China’s foreign ministry yesterday and is reproduced with thanks.

The Workers Party is one of the few to rush to Jeremy Corbyn’s defence on Ukraine:

Here is the Workers Party of Britain’s pitch:

Written by Andrew Coates

August 5, 2022 at 10:37 am

Left Reactions to Jeremy Corbyn’s Call to Stop: “Pouring Arms into Ukraine.”

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Stop the War Pins Campaigning on TU Conference, next year.

What have been the reactions from the pro-Corbyn left to his call to stop Arming Ukraine? As yet neither the Stop the War Coalition, nor Counterfire, nor Momentum, nor the Morning Star, nor the Socialist Workers Party, nor Skwawkbox (too busy), nor Novara Media (checked, it’s still going), nor the Canary (same), Evolve Politics (last post. 21st of June), nor Rachael Swindon have made statements about former Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s views on the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

There have been individual comments on these lines:

A leading figure from the Northern Independence Party:

Platitudes about peace cannot hide the flaws in an argument for leaving Ukraine weakened faced with an Invader. They are dependant on Western weapons. If Corbyn wants negotiations for peace with justice (not that anybody asked his opinion, though the word justice is conspicuously absent in his most recent statement ), how is this going to happen if negotiations take place with Ukraine’s military capacity undermine?.

This is a lot more interesting.

What Ukrainians Think About Jeremy Corbyn’s Ukraine Interview

Chris York

3 August 2022

“As someone who’s been fascinated by the left side of the European and American political spectrum, I have to say that Jeremy Corbyn is someone I’ve looked up to at times,” journalist Oleksandra Povoroznyk told Byline Times. “So you can imagine my disappointment at the moment.

“I’d be very surprised if Corbyn has actually spoken to Ukrainians or even knows any, because something I’ve noticed is that even the most well-meaning Western experts, even the most pro-Ukrainian ones, don’t actually want to listen to what Ukrainians are saying.

“A lot of people in the West are denying Ukraine any sort of agency by claiming we’re constantly being manipulated by NATO or saying it’s a US proxy war and the West is forcing us to fight. None of these people are actually paying attention to what we’re actually saying. It’s sad and annoying.”

And,

Any peace agreement reached now between Russia and Ukraine would effectively reward Russia’s imperialist and expansionist invasion. Vladimir Putin’s army currently occupies around 20% of Ukrainian territory – an area equivalent to half the United Kingdom – and is already making attempts to permanently annex those parts occupied since February. 

A massive 84% of Ukrainians are against a peace agreement with Russia if it involves ceding territory to Russia, yet Jeremy Corbyn made no reference in his interview to the withdrawal of Russian troops.

More context

Written by Andrew Coates

August 3, 2022 at 5:11 pm