Australian government strengthens key role in US aggression against China


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On the eve of this week’s G7 and NATO summits in Europe, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Defense Minister Peter Dutton dramatically stepped up Australia’s role as a attack dog for Washington, in its increasingly aggressive economic and military offensive against China.

Scott Morrison [Source: Facebook/Scott Morrison]

On his way to join European rallies, Morrison delivered a speech in Perth, in which he aligned himself with US President Joe Biden’s demand at summits for an alliance of the supposed “free world” – the main imperialist powers – against Beijing.

As if describing the program of another world war, Morrison declared that “the strategic competition of the great powers” was “the defining issue” for “global and regional stability, upon which our security, prosperity and fashion depend. of life “. The Indo-Pacific region was the “epicenter” of this “renewed” historical conflict.

Provocatively, Morrison again accused China of “increased economic coercion,” even though it was Australia, in partnership with the United States, that systematically imposed punitive measures against China, including bans on China. virtually comprehensive investment and a ban on telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei.

This accusation was accompanied by a long list of allegations, which included “rapid military modernization”, “violation of international law“, “increased disinformation, foreign interference and cyber threats”.

Last year, Morrison vehemently defended the Trump administration’s unfounded accusations that China was responsible for the global COVID-19 disaster, despite scientific evidence that the virus did not originate from a Wuhan lab. Now, Morrison has said he “strongly supports” Biden’s demand for a further investigation into the allegations, with “heightened surveillance” powers.

Morrison’s alignment behind Biden on the Wuhan lab’s conspiracy allegations embodied the Australian prime minister’s move to personally and politically identify with Trump, to support Biden’s rapid escalation of the confrontation with China.

In October 2019, Morrison denounced “negative globalism,” echoing Trump’s “America First” demagoguery. He was celebrated with a state dinner at the White House and appeared alongside Trump at a campaign rally in Ohio. Now he supports Biden’s calls for stronger action against China through Western-dominated institutions such as the World Trade Organization.

In other words, Morrison did all he could to support Biden’s shift from Trump’s unilateralism to the demand that all major US rivals, including European and Japanese powers, stand by. align against China to ensure the United States “wins the 21st century.” – that is to say reaffirms the world hegemony it obtained through World War II.

The common thread is the Australian ruling elite’s dependence on US imperialism since that war, both in terms of military support and foreign investment, and its willingness to act as a precursor to Washington’s demands.

Echoing Biden, Morrison called for an alliance to maintain “a liberal rules-based order, which has benefited us for so long.” This “order” includes the international economic and financial arrangements, based on the US dollar, which were put in place by the United States and its allies after this catastrophic war.

Despite all the talk about “freedom” and “democracy,” the United States is speeding up preparations for war against China. Dutton, giving his first public speech since taking office as defense minister in March, provided another indication.

Dutton said he expects more US troops to join the current annual base of 2,500 US Marines near the strategic northern town of Darwin and welcome more US warships. at the Australian Indian Ocean Key Naval Base near Perth.

The United States is exploring options for dispersing its forces in the Indo-Pacific as several important bases, such as those in Japan and Guam, are within Chinese arms reach. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin this week ordered Pentagon leaders to “revitalize” relations with the US network of allies, after a classified report on the military challenge posed by China.

“There is clearly an opportunity for Australia to do more, given our geographic location in terms of troop movements,” said Dutton. He gave “credit” to the previous Labor government of Julie Gillard, for having agreed with the Obama administration in 2011 on the stationing of the US navies.

Dutton declined to specify the timing, composition or number of US personnel potentially involved, but pointed to his government’s plan to spend nearly $ 8 billion to modernize military bases and training areas in the Northern Territory. to improve US access.

Dutton also accused Beijing of having already carried out “gray area tactics”, which he said were designed to “intimidate or hurt a country” without resorting to armed conflict.

During the week, Dutton and Foreign Secretary Marise Payne held virtual meetings with their German and Japanese counterparts, issuing strident statements accusing China of aggression and pledging to step up their joint actions against Beijing.

Another indication of the pace and provocative nature of the US-led war preparations came from Labor Prime Minister of West Australia, Mark McGowan. After listening to Morrison’s speech in Perth and having a private meeting with him, McGowan accused the Liberal-National coalition federal government of “insanity.”

“All this language that I see coming out of the Commonwealth government, about our war on China, I’ve never heard anything so crazy in my life,” McGowan said. He described “the idea that somehow we should be promoting armed conflict with a superpower” as “absolute madness” and “absolutely off the planet”.

McGowan has sounded the alarm of sections of Australia’s ruling class that rely heavily on exports to China, particularly producers of iron ore and liquefied natural gas based in Western Australia.

The value of goods exported to China was 20 times the value of goods imported from China, McGowan said. “I am the prime minister of the state that really drives the economy of the country,” he said, “especially when iron ore costs over $ 200 a tonne. Losing this relationship with China by being “the spearhead in examining trade issues” would be “absolutely catastrophic” for Australia.

In addition to the impact on multibillion-dollar profits, McGowan’s nervousness reflects fears that the government’s blatant statements and actions against China will spark underlying popular opposition, including among workers and youth. , to such a disastrous conflict, which would almost certainly be fought with nuclear weapons.

This anti-war sentiment and hostility to American militarism, which developed during the Vietnam War, was deepened by the criminal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, based on lies and fabrications of the “War on terrorism” and “weapons of mass destruction”. . “

But the Labor Party and its affiliated unions, represented by McGowan, are no less committed than the Liberal-National Coalition to the US military alliance and Washington’s offensive against China. At this year’s National Labor Party conference, party and union officials reaffirmed this commitment and passed six resolutions denouncing China.

Moreover, the “madness” McGowan complains about is the madness of the capitalist profit system itself. Its division of the world into nation-states, based on rival ruling elites, each struggling for pillage and supremacy, has already plunged the world into two world wars in the last century.

The only force that can prevent an even greater calamity, with human civilization itself threatened by a nuclear holocaust, is the international working class, whose interest lies in the unification of its struggles on all continents against the class. “mad” capitalist in order to overthrow the private profit, nation-state system.

McGowan and the Labor and union apparatuses are totally opposed to this essential socialist perspective. Instead, as McGowan’s reference to the damage to “the national economy” shows, they are totally committed to defending the interests of their “own” Australian ruling class.

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