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Issue #1481      17 November 2010


The trend towards a multi-polar world

The uni-polar dominance of the United States is coming under serious challenge on a number of fronts. These include the rapid development of the economy of the People’s Republic of China and the development of security alliances and economic agreements between countries asserting their independence, some capitalist and others pursuing a socialist or anti-imperialist path, such as in Latin America.

The objective trend is towards a multi-polar world, but the US with the full support of Australia, is fighting a determined and dangerous battle for a uni-polar world under US leadership – a battle that the US cannot win. The US is prepared to use any means, including military, to achieve its goals. China was the main focus and target behind the US’s decision to escalate its military presence in Australia (see Australia tied closer to US plans for global dominance – CPA CC Statement this issue) and the East Asian region.

The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) is one of the most important alliances challenging US hegemony. It was formed in 2001, uniting China, Russia and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on the basis of a commitment to peaceful development and mutual assistance against imperialist attack. India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status.

Its most recent joint military exercise was held in September in Kazakhstan. Another important grouping is BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China). BRIC co-operated closely with the G77 (now 131 third world countries) thwarting US and Australian attempts to destroy the Kyoto Protocol during climate change negotiations in Copenahagen.

The US economy is now highly dependent and interconnected with that of China. Australia owes its glowing export figures and economic growth during the economic crisis to China. China contributes 23 cents in every dollar of revenue from Australia’s merchandise exports. Economic reality creates a huge contradiction for US and Australian war hawks as they rattle their sabres at China.

These contradictions have been raised in the media and brushed aside by the two governments. Professor Hugh White warns that there are “real risks” that a confrontation between China and the US “would become out of control, with serious dangers of war.” Long before that point was reached, “Australia would find itself forced to choose whether to follow the US into an increasingly intense strategic competition with China, or abandon the alliance.” (Age 08-11-2010) (White has served as a defence adviser to government and as an intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessment.)

In an article in The Australian (04-9-2010) titled “Our role in Asia’s superpower shuffle”, White says: “… the best outcome for Australia would be for the US to relinquish primacy and share power with China and the other major powers in a Concert of Asia. This is also the best outcome for the rest of Asia, and for the US.…” His views reflect the thinking of an enlightened section of Australia’s ruling class that thinks ahead and can see where their future economic interests lie. They reject war as a solution.

The US has no intention of abandoning its leadership ambitions. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made this clear in a speech on “America’s Engagement in the Asia-Pacific” in Honolulu (28-10-2010): “And everywhere we go, we will advance one overarching set of goals: to sustain and strengthen America’s leadership in the Asia-Pacific region and to improve security, heighten prosperity, and promote our values.” This leadership goal was repeated during last week’s visit to Australia and supported by the Australian government.

It is in sharp contrast to China’s aims of peaceful co-operation in the region and globally. China promotes a multi-polar regional order; its defence policy is not aimed at challenging or threatening any country, it is defensive. China’s approach is the one supported by the majority of peace loving people around the world and the one being taken by the SCO, by the Association of South Eastern Nations and socialist and anti-imperialist governments.

It is in Australia’s interests – security and economic – and those of the people’s of the region that Australia adopt an independent, non-aligned foreign policy. That means ending its military alliance with the US, ceasing all US-Australian military exercises, and reclaiming Australia’s sovereignty.  

Next article – Diabetic disgrace for Gillard

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