We must say no to sinophobia and yes to global co-operation says Stop the War Chair


In a Zoom discussion hosted by Liberation and Socialist Health Association on the evening of the 3rd June, on what we should be doing through Internationalism in the post COVID-19 world, l stated that with Trump’s continuing attacks on China, we need to continue being anti-racist, anti-war and anti-nuclear.

Even during the Chinese New Year celebrations before the lockdown started, Chinatown in London was suffering a steep downturn of 50% on their usual bustling trade during the lunar festivities.

Alarmingly and depressingly, this could be at least partly explained by a recent IPSOS Mori Survey, which reported that 1 in 7 people would avoid people of Chinese origins or appearance as a result of the onset of the global pandemic.

These regressive attitudes have certainly been helped along by the Far Right’s amplification of conspiracy theories and President Trump’s recent incendiary proclamations.

Ultimately, if we are going to defeat this pandemic, we need international cooperation, both on the medical and economic front. A key component of this involves clamping down on all forms of xenophobia, wherever it rears its ugly head.

The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier says it well when suggesting the fight against the pandemic is “not a war”, as many world leaders have claimed, but rather “a test for humanity.”

So we must say no to Sinophobia and yes to global co-operation.

The greatest threat to the US is not a foreign adversary but the coronavirus, yet their budget priorities does not reflect that even with over 100,000 deaths down to COVID-19 and the need for a vaccine, PPE for health workers and focus on test, track and isolate.

During the lockdown, Trump went further by expanding militarisation into space by launching the SpaceForce when he could be trying to save 100,000’s of American. All this while Stop The War and the UN called for a global ceasefire on military conflicts around the globe during COVID-19.

So, the US needs a coronavirus cure and not more war clearly.

And finally, Trump’s America is threatening nuclear peace.

Trump’s “America First” policies mean there is no space for multinationalism, making the strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in its 50th year doomed. This along with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and Strategic Arms limitation Treaty not being extended has resulted in both Russia and the USA modernising their nuclear arsenal. Trump has already thrown out the Iran Nuclear Deal and looks set to walk away from the Nuclear Test ban as well.

For all these reasons, we need to keep up our anti-racist, anti-war and anti-nuclear progressive stance within internationalism.

05 Jun 2020 by Murad Qureshi

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