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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


by New Worker correspondent

PEOPLE’S CHINA urged the Americans to work together with them for peace at the G20 conference in Indonesia this week. Though the Group of Twenty only deals with economic problems, climate change and sustainable development the Western powers nevertheless sought to raise Ukraine as another stick to blame Russia for the global economic crisis.

It reached hysterical levels following Polish and Ukrainian claims that a Russian missile had fallen on Poland killing two villagers and only subsided when the Americans confirmed that it was a Ukrainian air-defence rocket that had strayed during a Russian air-raid.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, standing in for President Putin, said there was “no need to go deep [into the Ukrainian issue] since this is not the business of the G20”. But this didn’t stop the imperialists from trying to use the forum as a platform to drum up more support for their Ukrainian pawns.

Vladimir Zelensky did his usual video act for conference outlining a “10-point peace plan” that called on Russia to withdraw from all Ukrainian territory including Crimea and the Donbas republics and pay unspecified amounts of reparations as well as making his usual appeal for more Western military aid to keep up the fight that Ukrainians now think they are winning.

But the Russians sent back a message of their own with a barrage of missiles on Ukraine’s power grid that left ten million Ukrainians without electricity this week.

Though this year’s G20 ended with the usual platitudes on food, energy security and the digital economy the high spot of the two day conference was clearly the talks between the Chinese and American leaders.

red lines

Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden discussed their “red lines” over Taiwan and the trade war that began under Trump and continues under Biden.

The Chinese leader stressed the need to improve bilateral relations and put them on the path of stable and healthy development, at a time of unprecedented crises and challenges for humanity.

The current situation only adds more elements of instability in Asia and jeopardises peace on the entire planet. That is why, as China insisted, differences must be kept under control and beneficial cooperation must be promoted.

But both sides expressed their basic willingness to engage in dialogue rather than confrontation, and win-win cooperation rather than zero-sum competition. Nobody knows whether the summit will lead to a thaw in Sino-American relations but the fact that they were held and that they went on for over three hours are grounds for some optimism.

The same can’t be said for the British team led by Rishi Sunak and struggling to overcome the ignominy of the last days of the Johnson administration and the shambles of Liz Truss’ 49 days in office.

Sunak did manage to meet Biden and Indian leader Narendra Modi but his planned talks with Xi Jinping were cancelled at the last moment due to emergency meetings on the fringe of conference to discuss the alleged, and later proven false, claim that Russia had hit a Polish village.

Naturally enough the new British leader was his master’s voice over Ukraine but he didn’t get much out of Biden when they met and nothing at all on the free trade deal that Johnson thought was in the bag when Trump was in the White House. Sunak told the media that they “didn’t discuss the trade deal in particular” but “we did discuss our economic partnership...both of us acknowledged the fact that, actually, the United States is our single largest trading partner and there’s a range of economic co-operation that is happening, and can continue to happen in the future”.