Communist Party USA

  The Biden administration has been described as potentially transformative, equaling Lyndon Johnson’s years and possibly even rivaling Franklin Roosevelt’s tenure.  While it’s still early, such comparisons may not be far off, considering the possible impact of pending environmental, infrastructure, voting, and labor rights legislation. If made into law (and at this stage that’s still a big if, thanks to Mr. Manchin & Co.),  these bills would go a long way to not only rescue the country from the scourges of the health, environment, racial, economic, and political crises that currently beset it, but also mark a break with the neoliberal doctrine that has gripped decision making since the 1980s. Or would it? This question is brought into bold relief when considering the nine-month-old administration’s “inflection point” foreign policy doctrine. It too might be transformative, but the comparison now would not so much be to LBJ and FDR but rather to Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Dwight Eisenhower, and even Richard Nixon. Transformation, in this instance, would represent a 180-degree turn towards positions not assumed since the height of the Cold War, away from not only the Obama administration’s rather constrained international posture, but from the very concept of peaceful coexistence that at least, in part, influenced U.S. foreign policy for the past half century. How so? Having retreated from the Afghan theater in the war on terror, Mr. Biden’s administration now seems hell-bent on opening up a whole new battlefront,  replacing “radical Islam”  with China, socialism, and what are deemed  autocratic states.  In today’s Cold War redux, China is seen “as America’s existential competitor, Russia as a disrupter, Iran and North Korea as nuclear proliferators,” writes the New York Times. Indeed, news of the military agreement between Australia, the U.S., and the U.K. aimed at China  underscores this new direction. “We’re in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st century,” the 46th president recently declared. “We’re at a great inflection point in history.”  “On my watch”  he later boasted to reporters, China will not achieve its goal “to become the leading country in the world, the wealthiest country in the world, and the most powerful country in the world.” The administration’s lurch rightward in foreign affairs flies in the face of U.S.-China detente that dates from 1979 with Deng Xiaoping’s entry onto the world stage and China’s “opening up.” Only two years ago, Biden was referring to China’s leadership as “nice people.”  What changed? Thomas Friedman in a recent Times column sums up the U.S. rationale succinctly, identifying  technology theft, Hong Kong, the alleged mistreatment of national minorities, notably the Uygurs, and  Xi Jinping’s leadership. The last factor tops Friedman’s list: “Then there is the leadership strategy of President Xi Jinping, which has been to extend the control of the Communist Party into every pore of Chinese society, culture and commerce.”  He continues, “This has reversed a trajectory of gradually opening China to the world since 1979.” Trade is another key issue. Here Friedman suggests that, to end the tariffs imposed by Trump, China must first end its commodity subsidies. “Many U.S. businesses are pushing now to get the Phase 1 Trump tariffs on China repealed — without asking China to repeal the subsidies that led to these tariffs in the first place. Bad idea.” Clearly, what irks U.S. capital and its apologists are primarily two issues: the CPC’s campaign to deepen the role of the Communist Party and the country’s commodity export policy, in other words, how what’s called “socialism with Chinese characteristics” handles trade. The party has been campaigning against  corruption and attempting to politically…

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The next cold war with China