Wall Street Aggression Drives Expansion of Iran-China Relations. In February of 2015, China heralded the opening of its month leading the Security Council with a cultural performance at the United Nations Headquarters. The performance, done in the form of traditional Chinese ballet was called “The Dream of the Maritime Silk Road.”
The theatrical performance told of events that took place hundreds of years ago, as Asian silk was first exported across the planet. The performance specifically highlighted the relationship between China and the ancient society of Persia, located in what is now called the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The theme of the performance was not merely an obscure historical reference, and its selection for performance at the United Nations was no accident. The respective histories of China and Iran in the last century have many similarities. In the current period, though the two countries have distinctly different ideologies and perspectives, they are increasing becoming bound together in economics. Both of them are facing increasing hostility from the United States.
US Backed Terrorism Against Popular Revolutions
Following the Second World War, even though the Communist Party played a key role in defeating the Japanese invaders, a US backed dictator named Chiang Ki-Shek barred it from participating in the elections. Members of the heroic “Eighth Route Army” were being rounded up and arrested.
In response to this, Mao Zedong rallied the people of China to take up arms once again, this time targeting the domestic tyrants in the Nationalist Party. From 1945 to 1949, the Chinese Communist Party and its allies battled against the US aligned Nationalists. In 1949, the Chinese Communist Party was victorious, and the “People’s Republic of China” came into existence. Mao Zedong proclaimed “the Chinese people have stood up!” Land was redistributed, education and employment was provided to the population, and industry was developed. Western capitalism was thrown out, and China began on an independent course.
Since that time, China has been subjected to an endless campaign of terrorism and subversion. In the 1950s, Tibetan separatists, trained in Colorado, were airdropped into the country to wage an ugly campaign of violence. The US backed Nationalists set up shop on China’s island of Taiwan, and used it as a base for terrorism and subversion against the mainland. Currently, the CIA has a cozy relationship with the Falun Gong, a crazed religious extremist group that kidnaps children among other atrocities. The CIA and western NGOs have funded “Occupy Central” protests in Hong Kong, and other schemes to destabilize Chinese society. US media has recently been filled with a wave of allegations about “cyber warfare” from China. The current Chinese President, Xi Jinping, is described as a dictator in the US press, and statements condemning him are becoming very frequent.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, like China, was also born in a popular revolution against a US backed dictator. The Shah of Iran was a brutal repressive tyrant, trained by the US government and the CIA, to repress and torture the Iranian people. In 1979, a massive uprising of the Iranian people brought the Shah of Iran down. A new government based on religious principles called the “Islamic Republic” was established.
The Islamic Republic utilized the country’s vast oil resources to develop the economy. Strong government control over industry and economic activity resulted almost full employment in Iran, in addition to the wiping out of illiteracy and the vast expansion of healthcare and education.
In response to the Iranian revolution, the US supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in attacking Iran. Over one million people died in an eight year war, in which the US provided chemical weapons, funding, and military support to the Iraqi aggressors.
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to be the victim of US backed terrorism. The Mujahadeen-E Khalq Organization, a violent terrorist group, is currently coddled by the US, even as it has assassinated Iranian scientists and professors. The organization has a record of slaughtering innocent people, and sided with Saddam Hussein and the United States during the Iraq-Iran War. US intelligence forces also have a cozy relationship with Jindallah, another terrorist group that facilitates drug smuggling and bombings along the Iran-Afghanistan border.
Thousands of Iranians and Chinese people have died as a result of US attacks. Though Iran is currently negotiating with the United States, and China has vast US investments, the blatant hostility has not ceased. US media demonizes both China and Iran, and the Pentagon and the CIA openly long to smash both societies with “regime change.”
“Neither East Nor West”
As the cold war neared its end in 1991, both China and the Islamic Republic of Iran were officially neutral. The People’s Republic of China originated as a Soviet aligned country, but in 1961 this relationship was abruptly terminated. By the 1970s, Chinese leaders spoke of “Soviet Social Imperialism” and often aligned with the United States in global conflicts.
Imam Khomeni, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran was highly critical of capitalism and the power of money. In his speeches he often invoked the “battle of poverty against wealth.” He referred to the United States as Sheitan-E Bozorg (The Great Satan).
However, Imam Khomeni was also highly critical of the Soviet Union. The Iranian revolution was not part of the current of Soviet aligned forces in the Persian Gulf Region. Instead of preaching secular Marxism, Khomeni raised the slogans of “Neither East nor West” and “Not Capitalism but Islam.”
Iran’s economic model has never been like the soviet style command economy, or the Arab nationalist model of central planning. Iranian revolutionaries have always maintained that markets and capitalism are absolutely necessary to develop the country, but they must be controlled. They argue that an Islamic Revolutionary government, based in committees and neighborhood organizations, must keep control of the capitalists who are naturally deceptive and greedy.
In the late 1970s, China transitioned to a very similar economic model. Deng Xiaoping argued “Poverty is anti-Communist, but to get rich is glorious.” China currently has a vast capitalist market, that is tightly regulated and controlled by the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party has millions of members throughout the country. The Communist Party functions in a highly disciplined manner, watching over the capitalists and society as a whole, to ensure that the goals of the revolution remain intact.
Both China and Iran have military structures which are partisan and based on revolutionary anti-imperialist principles. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps are not accountable to the President or any elected official, but only the Supreme Leader. The Revolutionary Guards are highly ideological, with each of its members well trained in the teachings of Imam Khomeni and the principles of the Islamic Revolution.
In China, the People’s Liberation Army is not under the dominion of the government, but under the direct control of the Communist Party. People’s Liberation Army soldiers are given highly political training and education. Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping has been showing Chinese soldiers films about the events leading up to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the criminal record of US military aggression.
Wall Street Aggression and Internal Disruption
The Islamic Republic of Iran faces crippling economy sanctions from the United States. These sanctions are based on the false allegation that Iran seeks to develop nuclear weapons. The sanctions target the peaceful nuclear energy program, and every effort is being made to push Iran out of the international economy. These sanctions are economic warfare, making it impossible for Iran to purchase necessary things like airplane engine parts, medical equipment, and other vital products. Negotiations are currently taking place, and many Iranians are hoping these criminal sanctions can be lifted.
Meanwhile, China is facing a growing level of hostility from the United States. US airplanes are violating China’s airspace, and the US military presence in the pacific is greatly expanding.
Internally, both Iran and China face similar difficulties. In an ironic twist of reality, the anti-capitalist revolutions have both in a huge expansion of domestic capitalism.
Prior to the 1979 revolution, Iran was highly impoverished. Wall Street corporations made huge profits from Iran’s oil, but most Iranians lived in extreme poverty, with a very limited domestic economy. The 1979 revolution in Iran has allowed many Iranians to open businesses and become wealthy. In comparison to its neighbors, Iran has a very vast economy, and there are many wealthy Iranian business owners. The northern section of Iran’s capital city of Tehran is filled with wealthy young people, who drive Mercedes and BMWs. These young wealthy Iranians eat hamburgers, wear American style clothes, and idealize everything about the United States.
Though they do not display it in public, it is no secret that these wealthy Iranians have absolute contempt for the Islamic revolution. During the “Green Movement” of 2008, many of them were in the streets, violently attacking government officials, disrupting society, directed by the CIA and cheered by US media.
China faces hostility a from a similar domestic grouping. The revolution launched by the Chinese Communist Party has allowed China’s economy to become a booming world center. Compared to its asian neighbors, China has a much larger number of business owners, and a very large population of wealthy, US worshipping youth. Many young Chinese people study at US universities, and openly espouse contempt for Mao Zedong, the Communist Party, and the Chinese revolution itself.
The United States, the CIA, and its apparatus of NGOs and Non-Profits, is doing all it can to cultivate a close relationship with these sectors of Chinese and Iranian society. US media, showing a filtered, glamorized image of US society plays an invaluable propaganda role.
If the US had kept its grip on China and Iran, this huge number of domestic capitalists would never have come into existence. However, this strata of newly rich people, especially its youth, are unsatisfied with their already vast level of prosperity. They have been sucked into the delusion that somehow US intervention and “regime change” will lead to even greater riches.
The reality of US intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Eastern Europe, and so many other places points to a far less desirable result. However, this reality is not highlighted in western media.
Friendship and Revolutionary Revival
In response to increasing hostility from the United States, Iran and China are becoming much closer. In the region of Hormuz in Southern Iran, an entire city has practically sprung up in the last three years alone. Economic activity in Bandar Abbas, the port where 90% of Iran’s maritime trade activity takes place, is rapidly expanding. The city’s skyline is dotted with Chinese language signs.
Chinese leaders announced on June 5th that they would be expanding investment in Iran’s energy sector. China is already the top purchaser of Iranian oil.
As the country’s grow closer, leaders of both China and Iran are urging a revival and reinforcement of their anti-imperialist principles.
The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Seyed Khamenei, gave a lengthy address on June 4th, at a ceremony commemorating the 26th anniversary of the death of Imam Khomeni, who lead the country’s 1979 revolution. In front of a crowd of Iranians who had bussed in from all across the country, he re-emphasized that Iran’s founder was a champion of the poor, oppressed, and downtrodden. He emphasized that Khomeni had opposed people living “aristocratic” lifestyles.
Khamenei warned that some figures were distorting the ideas of the Islamic Republic’s founder. He emphasized that while Imam Khomeni was not a “like the leaders of the French Revolution and Marxist Revolutions”, he also made clear that Khomeni saw the United States as “The Great Satan.” Khamenei emphasized that Iran has always “stood with the oppressed,” and opposed “international bullying” from the United States. As the crowd thunderously applauded and chanted against US imperialism, Khamenei’s speech made references to police brutality in the United States, and emphasized Iran’s solidarity with Palestine.
Meanwhile in China, Xi Jinping is waging a “Mass Line Campaign” against corruption by government officials. Leaders who take bribes are facing harsh penalties. Symbolic one day prison sentences are being handed down by Chinese courts as a warning to officials who are moving in a corrupt direction, or living extravagant lives.
Xi Jinping recently reached out to China’s religious community, and said that religion should be incorporated into Chinese society. In the same speech, however, Xi urged Chinese religious leaders not to become collaborators with the United States, as many have done in the past.
Driven Together By History
The growing relations between China and Iran are not faultless. Many Iranians distrust China, and speak of corruption and malpractice they have observed by Chinese capitalists. Iran’s supreme leader has emphasized that Iran’s “resistance economy” must involve a large amount of domestic production and self-reliance. Despite the growth of foreign trade, Iran must not become dependent.
In addition, while Chinese leaders are growing more friendly to Iran, there is still a level of mutual distrust. China, despite continuing to invest in Iran, has a very close relationship with the US, and has not boldly opposed the sanctions. Chinese leaders are often accused of having a condescending attitude of superiority in their relations with Iran, as well as in their growing relations with African and South American countries.
China and Iran are two very different countries, with two very different ideologies and histories. However, they are being driven together by the forces of history. Both of them want development, and are struggling to improve the living standards of their peoples. Both of them have rejected Wall Street and London, and seek to develop independently. Both countries refuse to be colonies, subjugated by foreign powers. Both of them have governments based in popular organizations of the population and supported by independent, politicized armed groupings.
While neither of these countries are “socialist” in the sense of the Soviet Union, it would be incorrect to describe their governments or economic models as being fully capitalist. Both of these societies are strong opponents of neo-liberalism, western economic domination, and free market insanity. As a result, they have both become victims of extreme attacks and subversion.
The relationship between Iran and China is greatly expanding, because Wall Street cannot tolerate such things. The only response of the Pentagon to self-reliance and independence is sanctions, subversion, attack, and war. The outmoded global set-up, where western bankers enrich themselves at the expense of the planet, is in severe decline.
However, the imperialist global set-up is not exiting the global stage peacefully. The recent bloodbaths in Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine are clear demonstrations of this. The vicious billionaires of Wall Street, armed with nuclear weapons, intend to go down fighting, as history marches past them, and more countries assert their freedom.
As a result of Wall Street’s attacks, countries across the world who want economic independence are pulling together and learning from each other. Despite the intentions from Iranian and Chinese leaders, in reality it is the increasing aggression and desperation of Wall Street that is constructing the “New Silk Road.”
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.