Regular Proletarian readers will be familiar by now with the growing trend amongst countries oppressed by imperialism to seek greater cooperation amongst themselves, and in particular with the People’s Republic of China.
In 2021, Sandinista Nicaragua re-established diplomatic relations with Beijing for the first time in over 30 years, abandoning the pro-Taiwan policy of the previous neoliberal administration.
At the time of writing, Honduras has announced its intention to follow its neighbour in switching relations to Beijing. President Xiomara Castro, wife of former President Manuel Zelaya (deposed in a US-backed coup in 2009), was elected in 2021 on a platform of continuing her husband’s legacy.
Despite an otherwise progressive foreign policy record, most notably restoring relations with Venezuela, she had up until now shied away from challenging the pro-US status quo in her country regarding Taiwan and China. This is a major step forward and will no doubt bring big economic benefits to Honduras whilst further infuriating the US imperialist regime.
In September 2022, Iran signed up to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). After the debacle over the JCPOA (yet another ‘deal’ ripped up by the USA after signing), the pro-west reformists in Tehran were thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the masses.
In 2021, President Ebrahim Raisi, from the staunch anti-US camp, was elected. Widely regarded as much closer to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (constitutionally the most powerful figure in the country) than the leaders of the previous administration, President Raisi has followed an unashamedly pro-Russia and pro-China policy.
The majority of African states have extensive trade cooperation with China, including many that also retain strong neocolonial links to the west. This is not lost on various pro-imperialist western commentators, both of the neoliberal and of the ‘socialist’ variety, who are frantically concocting pot-calls-kettle-black analogies about supposed Chinese ‘debt traps’ and financial predation.
President Lukashenko received with all honour in Beijing
Now it is the turn of Belarus. With its long-serving leadership, heavily state-managed economy, impressively low levels of inequality and unemployment, and overall political stability, Belarus stands out like a sore thumb amongst the governmentally unstable, poverty-stricken and crime-ridden ‘free-market democracies’ that characterise 21st-century eastern Europe.
Naturally, US, British and European imperialists alike have been relentless in their attempts, by all means of conspiracy and sabotage, to sink this island of stability throughout the 29-year reign of the fiercely independent President Alexander Lukashenko.
Despite western propaganda that typically portrays President Lukashenko as a ‘Moscow stooge’, relations between Minsk and Moscow have not always been smooth. As recently as 2020, Lukashenko was believed to be distancing Belarus from Russia and inclining towards the USA and the European Union, in an attempt to build a more balanced foreign policy.
The gratitude he received for this pro-western pivot was, of course, zero. Rather, the imperialists responded almost immediately with yet another violent colour revolution attempt to overthrow his government by force.
The treatment of Georgia’s Shevardnadze and Ukraine’s Yanukovych – both with much more pro-western records than Lukashenko – show that the imperialists do not tolerate fence-sitting. They demand total domination and point-blank refuse even to consider any kind of mutually-beneficial or even neutral relationship.
Moreover, following the launch of the Russian military operation in the Donbass last year, Belarus was sanctioned and demonised by the west as harshly as was Russia, despite having sent no troops to Ukraine. Belarusian sportspeople have been banned from competing in virtually all western-run competitions except under a neutral flag, whilst there is powerful pressure on organisers to follow Wimbledon’s openly racist policy of banning all Belarussian competitors entirely.
The problem with such a bullying approach is that it only works if everyone can be intimidated into complying. Unfortunately for the imperialists, the leaders of the world’s second-largest economy (and soon to be largest) are not joining in. President Lukashenko was welcomed to Beijing with great fanfare in March, where he met for in-depth discussions with President Xi Jinping.
A particular focus of the talks, which went on “much longer than planned”, was the signing of a joint statement setting out the main principles of developing “exemplary relations of all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership between Belarus and China in the new era” – a new deepening of an already longstanding friendship.
Along with general economic and trade matters, the two leaders also discussed shared security concerns. In particular, the shared concern over western intelligence-backed violent insurrection attempts – the so-called ‘colour revolution’ machinery. China has had to face down riots in Hong Kong and a separatist terrorist campaign in Xinjiang, not to mention a global imperialist-coordinated media campaign accusing Beijing of committing ‘genocide’ against the Uyghur minority.
Following his visit to Beijing, President Lukashenko visited Tehran – another recent victim of violent west-backed riots and media slander – to have discussions with President Raisi and Ayatollah Khamenei. The Iranian leader did not mince his words, stating: “Countries sanctioned by the US must cooperate with each other and form a united front to destroy the weapon of sanctions.”
The era of US hegemony is coming to an end. The brief boost that US imperialism has received as a result of tricking its European rivals into crippling themselves through anti-Russia sanctions cannot hide this reality.
The sight of oppressed nations joining forces with Chinese help to face down the threats of imperialist robbers and bring into being a new multipolar world should bring joy to the hearts of all of progressive and peace-loving humanity.