Press release: campaigners against racism and the New Cold War forge a path of unity

Wednesday 11 November 2020

For immediate release

The launching of a New Cold War against China by the US has inevitably been accompanied by a rise in racism.

Racism has been built in to the fabric of US society since its foundation – in particular against Native Americans and African Americans. In recent years right-wing forces, empowered by Trump, have extended this to islamophobic attacks on Muslims and xenophobic attacks on Latin Americans. Now the launching of a New Cold War and the attempt to push the blame for the coronavirus pandemic onto China has fanned the flames of anti-Asian and anti-Chinese racism.

The New Cold War is also to a significant degree the product of the decreasing weight of the US within the world economy. With China set to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy within the next few years, international relations are clearly moving away from US-led unipolarity and towards a multipolar world order. Rather than developing a coherent strategy to represent US interests within such a system, the US administration seems intent on trying to prevent it from emerging. Hence the New Cold War, the ‘Pivot to Asia’, the trade war, the attacks on Chinese technology companies, and the strategy of increased military tension.

The vibrant Black Lives Matter protests this summer are an indication that racist scapegoating has met serious resistance and that young people in particular are increasingly unwilling to be manipulated by divisive propaganda. Taking inspiration from this, the No Cold War campaign is holding a Zoom webinar around these themes, entitled Uniting Against Racism and the New Cold War. The event aims to forge maximum unity between the anti-war and anti-racist movements. Speakers include Diane Abbott MP, the rapper Lowkey, Lebanese-American journalist Rania Khalek, Chinese journalist Jingjing Li, indigenous US academic Nick Estes, and Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford.

The event will take place on Saturday 14 November at 14:00 British Summer Time online over Zoom. Registration is free and open to all via Eventbrite. The event will also be broadcast live on No Cold War’sYoutube channel and on its Facebook page.

About the campaign

The No Cold War campaign held its inaugural meeting on 25 July 2020, with an online conference attended by participants from 49 countries, and has since attracted significant support.

The campaign’s founding statement, ‘A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity’, has been translated into seventeen languages and has been signed by a growing list of prominent politicians, intellectuals, social movement leaders, campaigners and journalists from across the world.

No Cold War founding statement

A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity

We note the increasingly aggressive statements and actions being taken by the US government in regard to China. These constitute a threat to world peace and are an obstacle to humanity successfully dealing with extremely serious common issues which confront it such as climate change, control of pandemics, racist discrimination and economic development.

We therefore believe that any New Cold War would run entirely counter to the interests of humanity. Instead we stand in favour of maximum global cooperation in order to tackle the enormous challenges we face as a species.

We therefore call upon the US to step back from this threat of a Cold War and also from other dangerous threats to world peace it is engaged in including: withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement; withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Accords; and its increasing disengagement from UN bodies. The US should also stop pressuring other countries to adopt such dangerous positions.

We support China and the US basing their relations on mutual dialogue and centring on the common issues which unite humanity.

The statement is available in seventeen languages – for more information click here.

The initial signatories include – in a personal capacity:

  • Diane Abbott MP, former Labour Party Shadow Home Secretary (UK)
  • Celso Amorim, former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Brazil (Brazil)
  • Ajamu Baraka, Green Party candidate for US Vice-President in 2016, (US)
  • Medea Benjamin, Peace activist and cofounder CODEPINK (US)
  • Barbara Finamore, author of Will China Save the Planet?’ (US)
  • Gerald Horne, Chair of History and African American Studies, University of Houston (US)
  • Martin Jacques, Senior Fellow, Department of Politics and International Studies Cambridge University (UK)
  • Irvin Jim, General Secretary, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (South Africa)
  • Maite Mola, Vice-President European Left Party (Spain)
  • Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Argentina)
  • John Pilger, Prize Winning Journalist, Director of ‘The Coming War on China’ (Australia)
  • N Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu (India)
  • Carlos Ron, President, Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples (Venezuela)
  • João Pedro Stedile, MST (Brazil)
  • Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President of the US in 2012 and 2016 (US)
  • Yanis Varoufakis, Economist, Member of Parliament, and former Finance Minister (Greece)
  • Wang Wen, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China
  • Colonel Ann Wright, US Army (retired), Veterans for Peace (US)
  • Zhang Weiwei, Professor, Fudan University, author ‘The China Wave’ (China)