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Competitions out of control
The conflict between the USA – China with the coronavirus as a spearhead is just one in the recent episodes of competition playing out between them which is escalating on the economic, military, and political level, provoking “seismic shocks” throughout the entire imperialist pyramid.
The coronavirus pandemic did not only act as a catalyst for the capitalist crisis, signs of which already existed before the crisis, but also for imperialist competitions.
China, exploiting the pandemic, tried to extend its influence to the traditional allies, the USA and NATO, offering healthcare assistance, a fact that provoked intense reactions on the part of the USA, NATO, and also the EU.
Over the recent period, the tension is escalating and is accompanied by mutual accusations and implications concerning the origin of the coronavirus or the concealment of information on its development.
The USA makes blatant statements about the “Chinese virus”, accusing China for not controlling it in the initial stages, allowing it to spread and develop into a global pandemic, and that all this took place with the tolerance, if not with the cooperation, of the World Health Organization, funding for which the Trump government has cut off.
Conversely, China has openly implied that the virus is of American origin which was brought to Chinese territory by the US army.
These mutual accusations are accompanied by evidence presented by both sides, with the Americans threatening even to demand compensation of trillions of euro from China, placing the blame for the thousands of victims of the coronavirus on China.
As much as one would like to attribute this tension to the pre-election climate of the USA, the reality is that the competition with China has deeper causes.
It essentially constitutes a conflict over who holds first place in the imperialist system. It is related to the strengthening of China economically and militarily, with the possibility it has today to play an upgraded role at the global level, to create new alliances.
The attempts of the USA to maintain its position in the global imperialist pyramid and of China to upgrade its own role, in combination with the reshuffling and the role of the other global forces, such as Russia, the EU, India, is the real background of the competitions that are sharpening.
In this way, for example can the so-called USA-China “trade war” be interpreted, the challenging of US global agreements and organizations, the increase of US military forces in the China Sea, a breath away from the territorial waters of China, the recent effort to increase its influence among US allies, exploiting its economic force and the grandiose plan for the “New Silk Road”.
In this way, can the transfer of American investments from China to India be explained, that lead even to military clashes between these two Asian countries, as occurred just a few days ago along their common border.
But also the US effort to impose the terms for the exclusion of Chinese investments and acquisitions of strategic technology groups, not only on their own territory but also in their allied countries, citing NATO security issues, as in the case of the development of the 5G network in European countries by Chinese monopolies.
That is why NATO, despite its internal contradictions, declares it will prevent the transformation of the "health" crisis into a "security crisis", establishing the further strengthening of China's role during the pandemic and the relatively smaller exposure of its economy. in the new global crisis.
The sharpening of competitions worldwide increases the threat against the peoples and leaves all the developments open. It is in the hands of the people to not become victims of these conflicts once again, but with their own struggle to emerge victorious.
Republished from the column, “Our Viewpoint”, Rizospastis, Friday 15 May