New Zealand pseudo-lefts support Washington’s war preparations against China

By Tom Peters
16 August 2014

The campaign for New Zealand’s September 20 election takes place amid growing international geo-political tensions. In response to the crisis of US capitalism, the Obama administration is attempting to use its superior military power to secure Washington’s domination over every part of the world. Obama’s “pivot to Asia”—a strategy to encircle and prepare for war against China—has turned the entire Asia-Pacific region into a dangerous tinderbox.

Washington is backing the re-militarisation of Japan, while encouraging the Philippines and Vietnam to press their territorial disputes against China. The Australian government has agreed to host US troops in Darwin, and to effectively transform the southern continent into a base for any attack on China.

New Zealand’s National Party government and the opposition Labour Party have both pledged their support for Obama’s “pivot” and for stronger military and intelligence ties with the US. Last month, the parties also welcomed the Japanese government’s decision to “re-interpret” Japan’s constitution to allow its troops to take part in aggressive military operations alongside the US and its allies.

The preparations to support a US-led war have reached an advanced stage, largely behind the backs of the public and without any organised opposition. The main political reason for this situation is the crisis of leadership in the working class. Every political party supports US imperialism, while middle class pseudo-left groups—which in an earlier period protested against wars in Vietnam and Iraq—have moved sharply to the right and joined the political establishment.

NZ Labour and its political allies—the Greens, the right-wing NZ First, and the Internet-Mana Party—are spearheading an anti-Chinese campaign aimed at conditioning public opinion for war. At the same time they are scapegoating Asian immigrants for the unemployment, soaring cost of housing, and other aspects of the country’s social crisis for which governments, Labour and National, are responsible. The opposition parties have all denounced Chinese investment and called for cuts to immigration.

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