The anti-imperialist struggle is alive and well in the 21st century
Andrew Korybko


Editor's note: Andrew Korybko is a Moscow-based American political analyst. The article reflects the author's views and not necessarily those of CGTN.

Western history books are wrong when writing that imperialism ended in the last century. All that it did was change its form from traditional colonialism to neo-imperialism. Instead of being led by Western Europe, this new manifestation is led by the U.S. It relies on a variety of means to indirectly control foreign societies and thus deprive them of their UN-enshrined sovereign rights.

It's not all doom and gloom, however, since the anti-imperialist struggle is alive and well in the 21st century. China is helping to peacefully liberate its fellow Global South partners from the U.S. neo-imperial bonds, which is why America is so obsessively against it nowadays.

The U.S. regularly employs sanctions, lopsided trade deals (oftentimes with political strings attached), the weaponization of international financial institutions, traditional (usually military) and non-traditional (Color Revolution) coups, information warfare, corruption, and so-called "vaccine nationalism" to subjugate the world. By contrast, China resists illegal sanctions, always promotes fair and balanced trade deals without any political strings attached, supports the reform of international financial institutions, never participates in coups, constantly counters information warfare, is transparent, and regards vaccines as a global public good.

China is the largest developing country in the world so it feels a fraternal obligation to assist the rise of other states just like it. The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is the means to this end, which is predicated on the creation of new trade networks aimed at unleashing everyone's economic potential. Global South states have lacked investment and market alternatives to the West for far too long, which resulted in those Western countries exploiting them and therefore holding back their full development. By offering low-interest and no-strings-attached loans in parallel with building infrastructure, China is offering this much-needed alternative to all.

One of the most common Western disinformation narratives about China is that it's only doing this to take advantage of Global South states in a similarly neo-imperialist way as the West itself does. This is patently false as China's leadership of the world's contemporary anti-imperialist struggle is the continuation of its historical mission.

A woman wearing a protective mask and goggles walks along Canal Street in the Manhattan borough of New York, April 27, 2020. /AP

A woman wearing a protective mask and goggles walks along Canal Street in the Manhattan borough of New York, April 27, 2020. /AP

This is more important than ever because the nature of neo-imperialism is changing in the aftermath of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The global economic crisis that this catalyzed created countless opportunities for the U.S. and its allies to further exploit Global South states. There's little doubt that they'd have engaged in predatory lending practices towards desperate states if there wasn't an equitable Chinese alternative to deter them. They'd also have demanded unilateral political and economic concessions in exchange for access to their vaccines if China didn't already create its own and share it with the Global South.

The timing of China's rise was fortuitous and therefore saved the Global South from falling under the U.S. neo-imperialist control during the COVID-19 pandemic, but more work must still be done in order to ensure that these states can sustain their recent gains. They'd do well to increase coordination in the UN against U.S. unilateral sanctions, as well as consider diversifying away from the dollar and towards other more reliable currencies instead. In parallel with this, China and its partners should continue economically integrating through BRI and promoting more people-to-people ties in the cultural, educational, and tourism spheres.

They must also stand in solidarity with one another against the U.S. pernicious information warfare attacks. This is thankfully already happening since the vast majority of the world doesn't believe U.S. fake news claims about China's Hong Kong, Taiwan, and especially Xinjiang. Global South states have plenty of experience dealing with American Hybrid Warfare, so they're able to recognize that China has just become the world's largest victim of such a scheme. China is being targeted precisely at this point in time because it leads the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle in the 21st century, thereby preventing the U.S. from establishing unipolarity.

Across the coming years, the twists and turns of international relations will vary, but the enduring constant is that global events can always in one way or another be characterized as a struggle between neo-imperialist and anti-imperialist states. This is because history is the story of the oppressed fighting for their rights against their oppressors, which has taken various forms throughout the centuries from slaves against their masters to Global South states against Western neo-imperialist ones in the present day. Observers must always remember this in order to have the most accurate understanding possible about past, current, and future events.

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