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  • No Cold War International Peace Forum webinar. September 26, 2020.

    No Cold War International Peace Forum webinar. September 26, 2020. | Photo: Youtube / No Cold War

Published 26 September 2020
Opinion

Panelists from all corners of the globe discussed how to organize to stop the threat of a new cold war.

Peace activists from China, the US, Britain, South Africa, India, Morocco, Bolivia and Belgium have come together for an international forum to discuss the US-led New Cold War and how to oppose it.

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The event, organized by the No Cold War campaign, was chaired by Vijay Prashad, Director of the Tricontinental Institute and Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communisty Party, Chris Matlhako spoke on the first panel centered around what is being confronted, discussing China’s role in Africa’s infrastructural development and the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between the continent and China under the Belt and Road initiative.

“The African continent continues to be weighed down by the debt to multilateral institutions that are propped up by a policy regime that comes from the United States and Europe, and as such, it’s not tuned for the conditions of the African continent and for a development trajectory that supports ordinary people and equal development.”

“We think China-Africa relations have a good potential going forward. China’s recognizing in this period, especially as a result of the One Belt One Road, that there are important initiatives to be undertaken on the continent. Not only through an extractive process, but building a mutually-beneficial relationship that builds and also cultivates the manufacturing of the continent among many other things.”

Victor Gao, Professor at Soochow University (China) “The world is facing a very critical moment. We are no longer facing the peace and development challenges. I think if the United States continues onto this very dangerous path, mankind may face a critical war or peace moment and this will have tremendous impact on mankind as a whole in almost every country in the world.”

Professor Gao refers to the United States as having the ‘Tonya Harding syndrome’ as it tries to whack the kneecaps of China to try to wipe out the competition.

"From the Chinese perspective, we are not an enemy of the United States."

“We don’t want to participate in a cold war or hot war with the United States, as a matter of fact, China’s development has benefitted the American people as it has benefitted lots of countries of the world.” 

“I would like to appeal to the leaders in Washington, to come back to their senses, to adopt an approach of sanity and soundness and science in sense— rather than adopt a policy of anti-science and irrationality and a very wrongful emotionality, for example, because it’s not going to save the United States, it’s not going to save the American people,” stated Professor Gao.

Journalist with Kawsachun News and radio host Ollie Vargas connected from the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) campaign trail in Cochabamba, Bolivia to discuss the model China has provided for the developing world, including Latin America.

Vargas provided an example of how cooperation with China has directly benefited the Bolivian people under the socialist government of Evo Morales: “Here in Bolivia, China was involved in a number of state projects which brought huge benefits to Bolivia people. The internet connection with which I’m speaking to right now is thanks to Bolivia-China cooperation under the government of Evo Morales. Before Evo Morales, Bolivia had a neoliberal model which created poverty and the country had almost no connectivity. Those in rural areas and working class areas of the city didn’t have phone signals or internet connection. And what happened when Evo Morales took power? He worked with China to build a satellite, it’s called the Tupac Katari satellite, named after an Indigenous leader who fought the Spanish empire here in Bolivia. Bolivia is a small country, it doesn’t have the expertise to launch a rocket into space, so it worked with China to launch the satellite which now provides internet and phone signal to all corners of the country, from the amazon, through to the Andes, and here in the working class areas of the big cities.”

Other panelists included Margaret Kimberley, of the Coordinating Committee of Black Alliance for Peace, Jodie Evans, Co-founder of CODEPINK, Abdallah El-Harif, Founder of Democratic Way (Morocco), Lindsey German of Stop the War Coalition, Julie Tang from Pivot to Peace and Ludo De Brabander from Vrede vzw and No to War – No to NATO Network.

A first forum by No Cold War was held on July 25th, and initial signatories of the campaign’s statement which calls upon the U.S. to step back from the threat of a Cold War and also from other dangerous threats to world peace, include the Simon Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples (Venezuela), Black Alliance for Peace (U.S), ANSWER Coalition, and many other peace organizations and activists.

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