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Should Japan return the Diaoyu Islands to China?

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Should Japan return the Diaoyu Islands to China?

Yes
15
83%
No
3
17%
 
Total votes : 18
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 17 Sep 2012, 12:50
Pretty simple yes or no question here. Please discuss your view.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 17 Sep 2012, 12:52
Yes, i guess, because documents say that these islands are Chinese.
Aside from that i don't really care and it's an irrelevant issue.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 17 Sep 2012, 15:13
This is ridiculous. Will they go at war for stones? They should share. Same for the disagreements between China and Vietnam. Or they could organize a wrestling between their political leaderships, and the winner keeps the stones.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 Jul 2009, 21:32
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Post 17 Sep 2012, 16:57
I'm too unfamiliar with the backstory of this issue so I can't really support any side here. Although PRC having claim issues with multiple countries gives me an initial bad image of them.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 17 Sep 2012, 17:43
newsovietunion wrote:
I'm too unfamiliar with the backstory of this issue so I can't really support any side here. Although PRC having claim issues with multiple countries gives me an initial bad image of them.


Bear in mind that most of those countries, especially the Philippines are clients of American imperialism. Vietnam is the only one I would give any consideration to. China's claims are (as far as they are concerned) based on historical ownership and discovery. They want to reclaim what they feel was taken from them in the past and what they weren't strong enough to maintain control over. We can expect this to happen now that China is reaching a point were it can challenge the West and Japan and support it with action. These are the actions of a victim which has grown big enough to punch the bully in the guts and take his lunch money back. We shouldn't take it as evidence of Chinese imperialism. It would be a different story if China claimed an island group which it has no historical claim to, say Hawaii.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 17 Sep 2012, 17:53
Another even more important question is the Damansky / Zhenbao island.
Whose is it? Does China really have a right to it? Or were the Soviets right in defending what they saw as their island?
Were the Chinese right in trying to reclaim their historical island from the paws or Soviet social-imperialists?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhenbao_Island
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 17 Sep 2012, 18:10
You're twisting the facts. That dispute goes back to before the Russian revolution. The Soviet's had a difficult problem to solve when faced with the aftermath of the Russian Empire. Had the Sino-Soviet split not occurred, it's likely the dispute would have been solved long before 1991.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
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Post 17 Sep 2012, 18:16
Quote:
You're twisting the facts.

No i'm not. What facts did i twist? I didn't even claim anything.

Quote:
That dispute goes back to before the Russian revolution.

Of course it does, so does the question of Ukraine, and many other parts of the ex-USSR.

Quote:
The Soviet's had a difficult problem to solve when faced with the aftermath of the Russian Empire.

Of course, the Soviets rarely had simple problems to solve.

Quote:
Had the Sino-Soviet split not occurred, it's likely the dispute would have been solved long before 1991.

Most certainly.

Still we haven't decided on this difficult but important issue. Of course the island is Chinese now but were the Soviets right in defending it?
That's the real dilemma here.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
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Post 17 Sep 2012, 18:36
I will spell it out for you. The way you framed your questions puts a spin on the issue which doesn't reflect reality. Asking if the Soviet Union had a right to defend the island is irrelevant. Their doing so was a consequence of the split which itself is the fault of both parties. The entire situation has nothing to do with the subject of this thread.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 18 Sep 2012, 18:40
Both countries probably quite like the current status quo. This is because the islands are just a few uninhabited rocks (possibly with hydrocarbons nearby) that serve well to whip up nationalist sentiment which distracts domestic attention away from domestic affairs. It's the classic nationalist ploy. All the energy expressed by the working classes of both countries would be much better served in trying to improve situations within China and Japan.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 19 Sep 2012, 18:45
I think it's mostly posturing to seem important, but if a diplomatic crisis occur, it would be interesting to see where western leverage is placed.

While the liberal west may prefer Japan in ideology, they are more closely linked to china financially.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
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Post 20 Sep 2012, 03:12
other
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
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Post 20 Sep 2012, 13:47
And article i accidentaly came across:

THE CASE OF THE SENKAKU
ISLANDS INCIDENT

N. Borodin

Quote:
The Senkaku Islands incident attracted world attention because it revealed a specific aspect of the Sino-Japanese contradictions.

The Senkakus are a small chain of rocky islands and reefs (in the East China Sea) occupying an area of 6.3 square kilometres. The islands’ importance derives from the belief that their continental shelf is rich in oil. The discovery of indications of such deposits at the end of the 1960s ignited an argument over ownership of the Senkakus.

Japan bases its claim on the fact that the islands were discovered by a Japanese citizen in 1884, and since 1895 have been regarded as an integral part of Japanese territory.

The Chinese contend that the Senkakus formed part of the sea defence perimeter of China long before the Japanese “ discovered" them and were seized together with Taiwan by the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. Therefore, notes Peking, when Japan accepted the conditions of the 1945 Potsdam Declaration and gave up its claim to Taiwan, it consequently relinquished all rights to the Senkaku Islands as well. At the beginning of 1972, the Chinese representative to the United Nations emphasised that “the Chinese province of Taiwan and all islands adjacent to Taiwan, including the Senkakus, are part of the sacred territory of China”.

It will be recalled that following the normalisation of Sino-Japanese relations in September 1972 the Chinese in pursuit of their overall political goals and in an attempt to conclude a treaty of “peace and friendship" with Tokyo on terms suiting Peking, distinctly toned down their territorial claims. Moreover, in October 1974, Deng Xiaoping declared in so many words that “to accelerate the conclusion of the treaty of peace and friendship, 106 China is willing to set aside the discussion of the Senkaku Islands problem”.

Still, the inner logic of events around the Senkakus led to an aggravation of the conflict between the contending parties.

In February 1978, the Chinese journal Geographical Knowledge published material which reaffirmed the Chinese position that the Senkakus were “the sacred territory of the People’s Republic of China in the province of Taiwan”. In March, the Japanese government responded by declaring in answer lo a parliamentary deputy’s inquiry that the Senkaku Islands were in Japanese hands and there was no necessity whatsoever to discuss the question of their rightful ownership with anyone.

On April 12, a Chinese fishing flotilla consisting of more than 100 boats was spotted off the Islands in an area considered by the Japanese as within their territorial waters. The Chinese ignored the orders of a Japanese launch to leave the 12-mile zone. Instead they raised posters, reading “This zone is in Chinese territorial waters”. The Japanese then dispatched patrol vessels and aircraft to the region. However, many of the Chinese fishing boats were indeed armed with machine-guns and their crews with submachine-guns. These arms were unambiguously pointed at the Japanese launches.

The Chinese actions raised a storm of protest in Japan. They were regarded as open encroachment on Japan’s sovereignty and a clear illustration of the very hegemonism that the Chinese themselves had said could not be tolerated in East Asia. The Japanese government filed an official protest with the Chinese authorities. Prime Minister Fukuda, other Japanese government officials and leaders of the opposition parties, all condemned Chinese behaviour and reaffirmed support for the Japanese position on the Senkaku controversy. Hints were dropped of the possibility of a serious deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations.

Such a turn of events evidently did not suit the Peking leadership. Within a few days the Chinese issued a statement that the Senkaku incident was “accidental” in nature. Towards the end of April, the Chinese boats left the region of the islands.

However, the political disquietude engendered by the April events was not laid to rest with the departure of the Chinese ships. Japan continues to be puzzled as to the significance of the 107 Chinese actions. No one takes seriously the statements of Peking leaders concerning the Senkaku “accident”, not even those who would like to believe China and see the matter closed. Declarations about the unpremeditated appearance of the poster-clad and machine-gun-armed fishing boats just don’t square. A more plausible explanation is that China by its manoeuvres was attempting to pressure Tokyo into signing a treaty of friendship on Chinese terms, and failing that, to instigate a political crisis in Japan. The Chinese overestimated their chances. By their unceremonious provocations in the waters around the Senkakus, they saw carefully cultivated self-portrayal as a great friend of Japan go up in smoke. Peking once again has demonstrated that it is prepared to use any means, no matter how crude, including the threat and use of military force, to achieve its goals.


Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, No. 6, 1978, pp. 126–27.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2007, 06:03
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Post 22 Sep 2012, 14:03
Quote:
On April 12, a Chinese fishing flotilla consisting of more than 100 boats was spotted off the Islands in an area considered by the Japanese as within their territorial waters. The Chinese ignored the orders of a Japanese launch to leave the 12-mile zone. Instead they raised posters, reading “This zone is in Chinese territorial waters”. The Japanese then dispatched patrol vessels and aircraft to the region. However, many of the Chinese fishing boats were indeed armed with machine-guns and their crews with submachine-guns. These arms were unambiguously pointed at the Japanese launches.

The Chinese actions raised a storm of protest in Japan. They were regarded as open encroachment on Japan’s sovereignty and a clear illustration of the very hegemonism that the Chinese themselves had said could not be tolerated in East Asia. The Japanese government filed an official protest with the Chinese authorities. Prime Minister Fukuda, other Japanese government officials and leaders of the opposition parties, all condemned Chinese behaviour and reaffirmed support for the Japanese position on the Senkaku controversy. Hints were dropped of the possibility of a serious deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations.

Read the first paragraph and then the second paragraph through very carefully. Do it once, and then a few more times. The second paragraph does not follow from the first, given the very nature of the subject at hand. The author has already drawn a conclusion before even defending it anywhere.

Quote:
carefully cultivated self-portrayal as a great friend of Japan

lol wtf was the author smoking?
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Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
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Post 22 Sep 2012, 14:15
Quote:
Do it once, and then a few more times. The second paragraph does not follow from the first, given the very nature of the subject at hand.

I don't understand. Why is that?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
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Post 22 Sep 2012, 14:52
Quote:
The author has already drawn a conclusion before even defending it anywhere.

By choosing which name of the islands to use, he's already taking a side.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2007, 06:03
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Post 22 Sep 2012, 15:01
I was originally going to post this, but then I realized I really did not have a supportive argument for Japan's claim. It's the stuff inside {}, given for full disclosure.

Anyways, the simplest way to answer your question is this: Why are we to unquestionably assume that the author's claim that the islands belong to Japan is true?

{
Loz wrote:
I don't understand. Why is that?


Nowhere in that article before those two paragraphs does the author actually imply that the islands belong to China (btw, Senkaku/Diaoyu are horrible terms because using either one of them already more or less implies that the author thinks the islands belong to Japan/China). This isn't the problem, since he may have made that clear in a previous article.

Now, in the first paragraph, we are under the impression that the author supports the Japanese claim. Not a problem.

Then the second paragraph states that people thought it violated Japan's sovereignty. Who? This isn't the problem either. But it makes for a shit article.

The real problem comes in the claim about hegemony. We are now to support unquestionably the author's view that the islands are Japan's. Why? The international community at large has not decided on who the islands belong to.

From China's point of view, having its own citizens going into their own territory is not a problem. It would not be hegemony having your own citizens go into your own waters. In fact, Japan would be doing the exact same thing it is decrying by ushering them out of the waters.

Also, in the last line... Japanese people supporting Japanese interests... how surprising!
}
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 25 Sep 2012, 06:43
I see, thanks for the response.
There's another article from the RCIT ( Trots, obviously ), comments would be appreciated:

Quote:


Imperialist interest behind both Japan’s and China’s claims on the islands



6. The real reasons of Japan’s and China’s claims on the islands are of course not related to any historic claims but rather the economic and geo-strategic importance of the islands. While the rocky islets are not inhabited and very small (the biggest one is only 4.3km2), control over the islands allows the occupying power a number of economic advantages:

a. The East China Sea – as well as the South China Sea (or East Sea as Vietnam calls it) – is a key international shipping route for world trade. About 60.000 ships deliver – via the Straits of Malacca and the East China Sea – 80% of the oil to Northeast Asia. In 2009, the top five world trade routes originated in East Asia. In 2010, seven of the world’s top ten container ports were in East Asia, with the port of Shanghai in the East China Sea holding a firm first place. (1)

b. Huge natural energy resources are estimated under the seabed in the East China Sea. China-estimates oil reserves of about 160 billion barrels. It expects also quite high natural gas reserves of about 175 to 210 trillion cubic feet. The Chunxiao/Shirakaba field is the most promising field with gas reserves of 168 billion cubic feet. (2) The China National Offshore Oil Corp.'s 2011 annual report said the firm had 384.6 million barrels of proven crude oil reserves in the whole of the East China Sea and natural gas reserves of 303.7 billion cubic feet. (3)

c. The Sea also contains important fishery resources. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries reported that the total fishery catch in the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea was about 9.2 million tons in 2004. It is most particularly important for China which got 8 million tons, with 1 million tons for South Korea and 0.2 million tons for Japan. (4)



Increasing economic and political contradictions in China and Japan



7. Control over the East China Sea is important and indeed necessary for the world’s second (China) and third (Japan) biggest economic powers. In a period of world capitalism’s decline the rivalry between these two powers is increasing substantially. When the total cake gets smaller, Great Powers who have the means available, will do whatever they can keep their share as big as possible and at the cost of their rivals if necessary. This is particularly true in a situation where the world economy is close to another recession after hardly any substantial upswing after the 2008/09 recession. This is a very serious danger for Japanese capitalism which already saw in the decade 2001-2010 a decline of its industrial production of annually -0.4% in average and similarly a negative “growth” of its Gross Fixed Capital Formation of annually -1.9%. (5) While China is still in a period of rapid capital accumulation and economic growth, even here a slowdown seems to be ahead. Premier Wen Jiabao recently announced a 7.5% growth target for this year, which would represent the slowest growth for China in 22 years. (6)

8. This economic crisis can easily translate into a sharp political crisis given the increasing political and social contradictions inside these two imperialist powers. China’s growth is built on the super-exploitation of its numerically growing working class and the brutal dictatorship over its people. As a result inequality and poverty is rising dramatically. While China has the fastest growing millionaires' club, nearly 30% of its population lives on less than $2 a day. The country's top 10% earners get 23 times more income than the lowest 10%. (7)

9. While the Stalinist-capitalist ruling class strengthens its repressive state apparatus, the class struggle of the workers and the rural poor is massively rising. Popular protests, officially called “mass incidents”, rose from 60.000 (2006), 80.000 (2007), 90.000 (2009) to 180.000 (2010). (8) The Commune in Wukan, created as a result of a popular insurrection at the end of 2011, is only the most outstanding example. Wu Zhong, the China Editor of the Journal Asia Times correctly observed: “To a certain extent, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may not be unhappy to see the rise of patriotic sentiments. In past decades, the Party has devoted great efforts to introduce patriotism to Chinese youths in the hope of filling the ‘ideological vacuum’ orthodox Marxist believe was abandoned to pave the way for economic reform and opening up advocated three decades ago by Deng Xiaoping. In practice, anti-Japanese protests could help divert the attention of Chinese people from worrying about the slowdown of economic development and other domestic problems.” (9)

10. Against this background, a power struggle has erupted inside the Stalinist-capitalist ruling class for the first time since two decades. This is reflected in one of the biggest corruption scandals and the spectacular downfall of powerful former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai. Bo, who had hoped to get a seat on the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee at the upcoming party congress, was removed from his Chongqing post and, soon thereafter, suspended from the Politburo. His wife, Gu Kailai, received a suspended death sentence after she was convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood in November 2011. Bo’s right-hand man in Chongqing - former police chief Wang Lijun - was also tried for his alleged part in a failed plot to cover up of Heywood’s murder and for his later attempt to defect at the US consulate in Chengdu. This power struggle seem to have reflected the conflict with a more state-capitalist faction – for whom Bo was a leading figure – and a faction closer related to private capitalists which seem to have won for now. Current Premier Minister Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao as well as their likely successors, Li Keqiang and Xi Jinping, must take care of not being accused by the more state-capitalist faction as being “unpatriotic” and “weak” towards arch-enemy Japan. So against this background, China’s rulers are eagerly looking for a foreign adventure to raise their profile as “strong defenders of the nation”.

11. To summarize, Chinas Stalinist-capitalist ruling class faces growing social and political domestic problems in an environment of a global capitalist crisis. At the same time, as the world’s second biggest power, it possesses the means to push its imperialist hegemonic interests abroad to counteract these growing domestic difficulties.

12. Japanese imperialism is – in relation to the size of its population – much wealthier than China and hence has more resources to retain political stability. Nevertheless the country has seen in the past two decades a massive increase of unemployment and poverty. The horrible Tsunami and the nuclear catastrophe of Fukushima in 2011 and the reckless management of the consequences by the government have shattered the society.

13. Against this background Japan see now its biggest mass mobilizations since decades. In a summer of discontent tens of thousands of protesters march every Friday evening in Tokyo against the nuclear policy of the government. According to the organizers sometimes up to 100.000 or 200.000 people joined the demonstrations in the past months. While the workers movement remains still relatively weak – with some exceptions like the rail way workers – these recent mass mobilizations represent an important turn in Japan’s politics.

14. In this situation right-wing chauvinist forces – like the Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara – try to utilize this situation to initiate a turn of the country’s foreign policy. While Japanese imperialism – after its defeat in WWII – developed already in the 1960s and 1970s into one of the worlds biggest economic powers, it could not gain a similar status as a political or even military power. In this sphere it remained under the hegemony of US imperialism which came out as the main victorious power of WWII. Even now the USA has a major military basis in Okinawa. Japan has the worlds 7th biggest military budget which however is less than 1% of its annual GDP. The right-wing chauvinist forces represent a growing sector in Japans ruling class who wants to overcome it’s supposedly “pacifist” foreign policy in subordination to the USA and instigate a more aggressive, militarist policy which would make Japan more independent of the USA.

15. To summarize, Japanese capitalist ruling class is faced with economic stagnation and a looming recession and a growing political polarization. While on one hand sectors of the working class and the lower middle class enter the streets en masse for the first time since decades, the right-wing chauvinist forces push for a turn to a more aggressive foreign policy to divert the attention from domestic problems. While Japan’s development of its military has to overcome certain historic limitations as a result of its defeat in WWII, it certainly possess the economic means to build a very powerful military in a few years so that it can pursue its imperialist hegemonic interests abroad independently without the USA.



Japan as an old imperialist Great Power



16. To develop a correct position in the conflict between Japan and China socialists and class conscious workers need to have a clear analyzes of the class character of these two countries. Why? For Marxists the decisive criterion in a looming war is not, who formally possess a given territory first, nor who fires the first shots. What is decisive is which kind of class rules the given country and what are the consequences of such a conflict for the working class and the oppressed.

17. Japan clearly has an imperialist class character. Since the late 19th century the ruling class waged a series of colonial wars in Asia and battled with US imperialism for hegemony in the Pacific region during WWII. While it suffered a setback after 1945 Japanese monopoly capital gained in strength relatively quickly and became one of the worlds’ major economic powers. Hence Japan is an imperialist country ruled by a monopoly bourgeoisie. It pursues imperialist interests towards China and all other Asian neighbors.



China as a new, emerging imperialist Great Power



18. The class character of China is more complicated to determine because it underwent important changes in the past decades as the RCIT showed in a major study on China’s emerging imperialism. (10) China transformed in the early 1950s from a semi-colonial capitalist country into a Degenerated Workers State. This means it became a country where the bourgeoisie was expropriated and where the economy was (bureaucratically) planned on the basis of post-capitalist, proletarian property relations. At the same time however the working class was politically expropriated and oppressed by a Stalinist bureaucracy. The heroic uprising of the workers and students in 1989 ended in a historic defeat on 4th June with the Tienanmen Square massacre. This opened the road for the Stalinist bureaucracy to restore capitalism in the early 1990s under its continuing political regime.

19. Since then the transformed Stalinist-capitalist ruling class successfully initiated a rapidly progressing accumulation of capital based on major super-exploitation of huge sectors of the numerically growing Chinese proletariat. Utilizing its old household registration system (the so-called hukou system) most workers moving from the countryside into the cities lack any social or political rights – which is why they are called “migrants” despite the fact that they are often of the same nationality like the urban citizens. On this basis China’s new bourgeoisie could abolish most social achievements of the past, push down the wages and raise their profit rates enormously.

20. Given this super-exploitation, the rapid capital accumulation and the continuing dictatorship, as well as the US decline (and Japans and EU’s stagnation), China’s ruling class could increasingly strengthen its position. This was clearly visible when China proved a strong economic power during the Great Crisis in 2008/09. By the end of the 2000s it became an emerging imperialist power. Today China produces 14.3% of the world’s global output; it is the globally biggest exporter as well as manufacturing producer. Amongst the top 500 global corporations, China is home of 73, only to be superseded by the USA. China has developed a huge financial capital which plays an important role on the world’s bond market as well as at the loan market. It is also increasingly exporting capital to other countries to exploit the working class there. China became the world’s fourth-largest outward investor in 2010.

21. This of course cannot hide the fact that China is an emerging imperialist power which in terms of labor productivity and spread of modern technology is still much behind the old imperialist power. As we have already pointed out in our study, it is exactly because of its “historic deficit” as a late-coming imperialist power that China is forced to act as an aggressive and rapidly arming Great Power. It is surrounded by areas which are already in the sphere of influence of other hegemonial powers. To its North and West the rival is mainly Russian imperialism, while to its South and East it is the USA and Japan. This means China can only create its (semi-)colonial sphere of influence by openly confronting other Great Powers. In this respect its fate is not dissimilar to the historic situation of Germany in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century which could only create its empire by challenging the existing Great Powers like France, Britain and Russia.

22. Nevertheless the economic relations between Japan and China demonstrate the strong position of the later. China is a major trade partner for Japan, accounting for 20.5% of its imports and 18% of its exports. While Japan has huge investments in China of about $83.97 billion, China on the other hand is a major lender of loan capital to Japan. China holds short-term and long-term Japanese government bonds worth $230 billion (end of 2011) and became the largest creditor of Japan in 2010. This is of major importance given the fact that Japan is highly indebted – in relative proportions more than the USA or the EU countries ($12.81 trillion or 2.2 times the value of Japan's national economy!). (11)

23. Chinas imperialist character is demonstrated by the fact that today it has the second-biggest military expenditures, only to be superseded by the USA. It needs such a huge military since imperialist China has ambitious hegemonic plans for the East Sea and South China Sea. China’s military strategist developed the concept of the two Island Chains – an area which they desire to dominate and control. The first line – also called “nine-dashed line” – claims complete control of the South China and the East China Sea, leaving only the coast area for all other neighboring countries like Vietnam, Malaysia or the Philippines. The second line goes further till the Guam Island (including most of Japan) and therefore obviously clashes with the interests of imperialist Japan. So to summarize, China is in no way a socialist country, nor is it still a Degenerated Workers State or a semi-colonial capitalist country. It is an emerging imperialist power. The RCIT therefore totally rejects open or semi-open support for China by (petty-) bourgeois forces around the world which describe themselves as socialist (like various Stalinist parties, Chavez, Castro and the Bolivarian movement).

24. Socialists and class conscious workers therefore must neither support Japan nor China in a possible conflict in the East China Sea. Both are imperialist powers. Both pursue imperialist hegemonic interests in the region. Both are deadly enemies of the working class.



On the mass protest in China and Chinese chauvinism



25. While in Japan the chauvinist mood has not found articulation on the streets in form of militant mass demonstrations, this is different in China. Here, a sector of the masses – many of them young – is fully sized by rabid anti-Japanese, Chinese chauvinist sentiments. According to reports, protests had spread to at least 108 cities across China. These demonstrations turned in many cities into anti-Japanese riots – like Shenzhen, Guangzhou (former known as Canton) and Dongguan (in Guangdong province); in Changsha, Hunan's provincial capital; Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province; and Qingdao, in Shandong province. According to many reports, demonstrators often shouted chauvinist slogans like "Down with Japanese devils!" "Boycott Japanese products!" "Diaoyu Islands belong to China!" "Declare war on Japan!" or “For the respect of the motherland, we must go to war with Japan!” Numerous Japanese cars and shops were attacked and set on fire and also the Japanese embassy was the target of massive protests. As a result Japanese corporations like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Canon, Panasonic or Uniqlo temporarily halted their operations in China. There are even reports of notices posted on street lampposts in Beijing to recruit a "dare-to-rape" team of men to rape Japanese women, according to a Hong Kong paper. (12)

26. While these protests initially certainly had the support by the regime they possessed a certain spontaneous dynamic and went in a number of occasions out of control. This was particularly the case in Shenzhen. There protesters besieged a Shenzhen government building demanding the immediate release of arrested demonstrators and throwing objects into the building. They confronted the police and turned a police vehicle upside down. At one time, some protesters even shouted: "Down with the People's Liberation Army", for not taking any action in the face of Japan's provocation.

27. This shows several things. First it demonstrates the effects of the strong nationalism which was preached by the Stalinist bureaucracy for more than nine decades. This chauvinism was intensified in the past two decades when the ruling Chinese Communist Party put “Marxism” and “Communism” even rhetorically in the background and filled the "ideological vacuum" with patriotism, i.e. chauvinism.

28. On the other hand one also has to recognize that given China’s history of aggression and occupation by Japanese imperialism, a material basis for nationalist rage in the society exists. Since 1894 Japan waged repeatedly attacks against China and committed a number of horrible massacres. The Communist International in Lenin’s time and later Trotsky’s Fourth International unconditionally defended China as a semi-colonial country against Japanese imperialism.

29. Finally these protests show that China’s Communist Party at the moment seems to successfully divert the mass unrest fueled by increasing social inequality into a chauvinist movement. However, this is a risky game for the Stalinist imperialist rulers. They are now under pressure to transform words into deeds, i.e. to challenge Japans control over the islands. The sending of first a number of Chinese navy patrol ships and in mid-September of nearly 2.000 Chinese fishing boats towards the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands – accompanied by Chinese navy patrol ships – is a reflection of this.

30. Naturally Chinese chauvinism is fuelled by the memory of the repeated imperialist attacks and the justified national liberation struggle. The Yihetuan (called by the West “Boxer”) Rebellion in the turn of the 20th century and the civil war against the Japanese occupiers are the most prominent example of this. However, as many things in politics, relations between classes and people change and with it the character of a given ideological current. With the constitution of the Stalinist state under Mao’s CP, Chinese nationalism became an instrument of the new ruling caste. Since then it served to justify the oppression of national minorities in China – first and foremost the Uyghurs in East Turkestan (called Xinjiang by China’s rulers) and the Tibetans. It was also used to legitimate the reactionary foreign policy of Chinas Stalinist bureaucracy when it collaborated with US imperialism against the Soviet Union or when its army attacked Vietnam in February 1979.

31. So while Chinese nationalism had a certain progressive element in the time of the national liberation struggles against Western and Japanese imperialism until 1945, this has fundamentally changed since then. Today Chinese chauvinism is nothing but an ideological instrument of the Stalinist-capitalist ruling class of emerging imperialist China. While it was the ideology of the country’s oppressed petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie (with strong support in the working class) before, it became the ideology first of the ruling Stalinist caste and later of the Stalinist-imperialist ruling class. So while many ordinary Chinese people might associate the present conflict with the past national liberation struggle against Japan, Marxists must warn against such an ideological trap and point out the change in class relations. Such a change of the class content of nationalist ideology is nothing new or exceptional. To name a few examples, we refer to German nationalism which had a progressive element in the 1850s and 60s till the national unification in 1870 but later became deeply reactionary. Or one can point to Algeria where nationalism against the French colonial power had a progressive element, but after the country gained independence in 1962, it was increasingly used to justify the oppression of the Berber minority.

32. While China’s Stalinist-imperialist ruling class utilizes anti-Japanese chauvinism for its purpose, this is a risky game. As it happened to the Qing Dynasty in the 19th century, popular sentiments against Japan could turn into anti-government anger when the regime is seen as to weak or incompetent to drive Japan from the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands or on the numerous other issues of conflict with its neighboring states. In such a case the regime could easily face a domestic revolutionary crisis.

...

What should be the internationalist working class position in the conflict between Japanese and Chinese imperialism over the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands?



46. We of the RCIT believe that the fundamental task of the socialists and class conscious workers in China and Japan consists in opposing the chauvinist wave in their countries and in fighting against their own ruling class and their imperialist goals. We say: Chinese and Japanese workers: Your main enemy is at home! The task is to denounce the expansionist war drive as goals which are fundamentally in contradiction with the interests of the working class and the oppressed. The Chinese workers are not poor because their rulers don’t control the Diaoyu-islands. To fight unemployment in Japan and nuclear catastrophes it doesn’t help in any way if its government possesses the Senkaku islands. The Chinese and Japanese millionaires are rich and want to get richer. This is why they want to expand their empires. China doesn’t exploit the Japanese workers – it is the Japanese bourgeoisie. And Chinas workers and peasants are not so much exploited by the Japanese but rather by their own rulers. It has to be shown that the only interest of both the Chinese and the Japanese ruling class is to increase their influence and their profits as Great Powers. Of course the same is true for US imperialism. Socialists and class conscious workers in China and Japan must show that their rulers deliberately utilize the crisis around the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands in order to divert the masses attention from the explosive class contradictions in their countries and that they try to diffuse the growing mass protests which accumulated in the recent period.

47. It is obvious that the possibilities for revolutionaries in China are very different from those in Japan since they have to work in strict illegality. But ways can always be found if they are desired. The precondition for revolutionary propaganda agitation is a revolutionary analyzes and programmatic conclusions. Despite these difficulties it would be important if progressive activists and organizations both from China and Japan could join forces to produce a common declaration protesting against chauvinism and any economic or military war between the two countries.

48. Socialists and class conscious workers in China and Japan should actively oppose any chauvinist campaigns of boycott foreign commodities. They should oppose any chauvinist riots against other nationals or foreign companies. They should reject any economic sanctions against the “rival” country.

49. In Japan – in addition to agitate for the above mentioned positions – is seems important to us to organize a mass campaign against the right-wing chauvinist forces which are the driving force in organizing propaganda stunts by travelling towards the islands and which call for a “strong and self-confident Japan”. These right-wing extremists are playing with the fire of a war and have to be stopped by any means necessary. In addition one has to point out to the absurdity in spending huge sums of money for armament in a period where the people are facing rising unemployment and the consequences of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima. If the government and the super-rich want to be patriotic, they should give their money for their own people! Japanese workers: Take the money from the rich to finance a public works program to rebuild the areas devastated by the effects of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima! No money for war but to create jobs for the unemployed and to reduce the working hours!

50. Another important issue is the demand for substantial and immediate compensation payments to those millions of people (respectively their descendants) in China, Korea and other Asian countries who became victims of the horrible occupation by Japanese imperialism in WWII. This is particularly relevant to the hundreds of thousands of sex slaves (so called “comfort women) who were systematically raped and tortured by the Japanese soldiers in military brothels (a fact still not officially acknowledged by Japan). It is also necessary to call for Japans full diplomatic recognition of North Korea and the overdue massive reparation payment to the country for the colonial rule in 1910-1945. Such reparation payments must be paid not out of the pockets of the Japanese workers but by an extra-tax of the super-rich Japanese monopoly capitalists.

51. While joint actions with reformist and pacifist organizations are necessary in order to broaden the resistance, Bolshevik-Communists sharply criticize the social-imperialist policy of organizations like the JCP. It is high time for the formation of a revolutionary workers party in Japan!

52. In China opposing patriotism faces the challenge to explain the difference of the justified national liberation war before 1945 and the reactionary patriotism today. If the government really cares about the Chinese people they should give them higher wages, proper housing and social security instead of spending huge sums for armament. If the rich want to wage war, they should give their money and fight it alone!

53. To counter-act the chauvinistic wave it is important to point out how “unpatriotic” the Chinese bosses are themselves. Bolshevik-Communists draw attention to the fact that imperialist China spends huge sums for foreign investment of which the capitalists hope for extra-profits and also armament while at the same the people are poor and living in social insecurity. In addition it is important to point out that while China’s rulers whip up the memory of Japan’s past colonialism, they act as colonial powers today in Tibet and East Turkmenistan. In these provinces China act as foreign power as Japan did 70 years ago in China! Internationalism begins at home – not against Japan about the uninhabited Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands but by supporting the will of the national minorities in Tibet and East Turkmenistan for independence!

54. In any military conflict, the Bolshevik-Communists call for a revolutionary defeatist position both in China and in Japan. In the RCIT’s programme, we say: “In imperialist wars, we reject any support for the ruling class. We advocate the defeat of the imperialist state. Our slogan is that of Karl Liebknecht: ‘The main enemy is at home’. Our goal is to transform the imperialist war into a civil war against the ruling class.“ (28) Such a Marxist position applies in our opinion to any possible military conflict between China and Japan (and/or the USA).

55. For the Chinese proletariat the defeat of “its own” imperialist rulers in any conflict with Japan (or any other country) would be the lesser evil. Why? Because a weakened regime in Beijing would mean a weakened enemy for the workers who are struggling higher wages, better working conditions, democratic freedoms and finally for taking the power in their own hands. A weakened Chinese ruling class can easier be pressed for reforms and finally be toppled by a working class revolution. The same is true for Japan: A weakened or defeated Japanese bourgeoisie is a weaker enemy for the Japanese workers and oppressed.

56. For such a policy of turning the guns against our own ruling class, it is important – despite the obvious difficulties – to organize illegal work amongst the soldiers both in the Chinese and the Japanese army.

57. With the escalation of the conflict it is likely that various reformist and pacifist forces will call for peace, disarmament, UN mediation and peaceful coexistence between the states. We Bolshevik-Communists say that such propaganda is utopian, empty and harmful. As we wrote in the RCIT’s program: “The rulers with their talking shops as the UN or its hypocritical international courts can never abolish war from the world. This can only be achieved by the working class and the oppressed peoples themselves through the uncompromising class struggle – including the armed struggle.” (29)

58. The only lasting solution for peace is the consistent class struggle – which must inevitable culminate in a civil war – against the ruling classes in China, Japan, the USA and all the other Great Powers. As difficult as it might be, the only lasting solution is a wave of socialist revolutions in East Asia which would lead to the formation of a workers and peasant republics in China, Japan, Korea and other countries. This again could form the basis for a Socialist federation of workers and peasant republics in Asia. Under such conditions the wealth of resources of the Sea could be jointly exploited and used for the welfare of all peoples of Asia and beyond.

59. As we have shown an economic or even military conflict about the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands will affect not only China and Japan but the whole Asian region and indeed the whole world. It is therefore an issue of the international workers movement too. International anti-imperialist campaigns including against any additional interference of other Great Powers are an urgent issue.

60. The need for a consistent revolutionary and anti-chauvinist position in the looming China-Japan conflict demonstrates the urgent need for an organized internationalist force to develop and spread such a policy. This can only be an international revolutionary workers party – the Fifth International. The RCIT is an organization of Bolshevik-Communists to bring forward the formation of such a world party of socialist revolution! Join us!
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Soviet cogitations: 5146
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2007, 06:31
Embalmed
Post 25 Sep 2012, 18:49
Other: erase the monopoly on land nation-states have
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 25 Sep 2012, 20:13
And now Taiwan is doing the same. This is hilarious. Where are the Koreans?

Quote:
Chinas imperialist character is demonstrated by the fact that today it has the second-biggest military expenditures, only to be superseded by the USA

Loz stop with this trotskyist propaganda, this is totally stupid. It's not because you have a big military expenditure that you are imperialist. Have you ever seen China in Iraq, in Yugoslavia or in Africa?

These trotskyists should rewrite Lenin's Imperialism: the biggest imperialist is the one with the biggest military expenditure.
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