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【No to the New Cold War】John Ross: A New Cold War Against China is Against the Interests of Humanity

2020-07-29

Editor's Note: On July 25th, an international meeting in Opposition to the US-led New Cold War on China organized by scholars and activists from 48 countries voluntarily was broadcast live on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube simultaneously. The joint statement with 14-language version of "A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity" has attracted great attention from the international community. The event brought together 17 well-known scholars and opinion leaders from China, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Russia, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil and other countries to participate in the speech. John Ross, a senior researcher at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China(RDCY), is one of the initiators of the "No to the New Cold War" initiative.




Full Text:


I want to go very quickly through what were the type of discussions that led to the drafting of the statement against a new cold war.


I want to be clear what is the nature of this statement. It's an ‘anti-cold war’ statement. It's not a ‘pro-China’ statement.


The new cold war is a threat to humanity. I know that here some signatories support China's policies and methods of development. Other signatories may oppose parts of China's development or even all of it. I don't know the views of all the speakers and signatories.


But what unites them is that they are all agreed a new cold war will be against interests of humanity. It will take humanity backwards.


I would like to give examples by looking at five of the urgent issues which face the whole of humanity today. In this, I believe particularly important is the dialogue of speakers from the US and China, because as Carlos said there is not nearly enough dialogue which takes place on that basis.


What is a new cold war? It is not only about the US and China. It is an attempt by the present US administration to impose its policies on the world and to force other countries to follow it. What would be the consequences of success in this for the US administration? What would be consequences for the whole of humanity?


First, let's start with Covid-19. The pandemic is completely out of control in the US and is rising internationally. As you can see on the graph on the right, when the US applied some lockdown measures, there was a decline in the number of cases. But these are now rising vertiginously.


Look also at the same situation in Brazil – the country that follows the same policies as the US.


Adopting these Covid19 policies would be a disaster for humanity. Literally, millions of people would die if this policy were imposed.


Second, take the threat of war, the US in the last decade has launched major wars -  most openly in Iraq and Libya. But these wars brought disaster not only for these countries but to entire regions - destabilization of the Middle East and parts of Africa and rise of terrorist organizations operating internationally.


The US administration has also taken dangerous steps such as withdrawal from the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) Treaty and it has imposed unilateral sanctions against countries.


Of course, the threat of war with China itself would be an unimaginable catastrophe.


Third, climate change. The US is the only country to formally withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Accord. But don't have any illusions. It's putting huge pressure on countries such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia, which remains formally signatories, in order to undermine the Paris accords. This poses a catastrophe, the threat of a catastrophe for the planet and humanity.


Fourth, the issue of racism. Most of the world has been inspired by the huge protests in the United States since the racist killing of George Floyd and by the Black Lives Matter Movement. But this is directly related to this threat of a new cold war.


Because what has happened is that the US people have recognized, by these actions, clearly that their main problems were made in the United States, not in other countries. What the US administration wants to do is to try to sway people in all countries, including, for example, my own, that their problems are not made by people in their country but by some other countries.


I remember still, because I'm old enough to be have been involved at the time in the  movement against the Vietnam war, Muhammad Ali's inspiring words, ‘I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong’, ‘they never lynched you, never called you n*****, never put dogs on you, never shot your leaders.’


Anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions are also a very serious threat.


And we've seen from several countries' clear evidence that Chinese people would be added to the list of black people and Muslims in the list of racist targets.


In short, a new cold war would see a huge wave of international racism.


Fifth, economic development and poverty reduction. Overcoming world poverty remains the decisive issue for humanity. We should never forget that 84% of the world's population lives in developing countries.


This is literally a life or death question. The life expectancy in a low-income economy is 17 years less than in a high-income economy.


China's raised over 860 million people out of World Bank defined property - over 70% of all those lifted out of poverty in the world.


But what is the US attempting to do now? I have shown a graph which is the projection for the share of contributions to world growth by the IMF in the next two years (2019-2021). China will contribute 51%, India 19%, the US 3.3%.


So, what the US cold war is attempting to do is to re-orientate all countries in the world away from the most rapidly growing parts of the world economy and towards its own relatively stagnant economy. This would have very serious consequences for increases in world poverty and stopping economic development.


So, to summarize, the threat of new cold war is not just about the United States of America and China. It is about all of our futures, it's a threat to the whole of humanity.


And what is the alternative to it? It is to jointly work together to fight the pandemic, to oppose war, to fight climate change, to oppose every form of racism, to work together for peaceful economic development.


Therefore, I believe that for the interest of humanity there should be a simple slogan, ‘No cold war!’


There has to be real international work around that. Thank you very much for listening.