The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The U.S. Plays India against China

Jun 26, 2023

With a great deal of fanfare, President Joe Biden hosted the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was greeted on the South Lawn of the White House with marching bands, honor guards and a 21- gun salute. There was a White House state dinner with flowers and drapery in the colors and designs of India and the very best food. Modi also addressed a joint session of Congress. The sky was the limit for both leaders in flattering each other and declaring their love of democracy and all things warm and wonderful.

So just what was the occasion? State dinners and decorated moments are few and far between for the Biden administration. Recently, relations with Modi have been strained as Biden has pressured Modi to join with him in his recent public attacks against China. So, what changed?

What is clearly evolving, by the day and week, is the ramping up of the U.S. trade war against China. Remember the balloon incident, portrayed as a spy drama, as if China were attacking the U.S. It was followed by news alerts about China responding aggressively when U.S. ships and planes invaded its air space and waters. In the South China Sea, not near the U.S! There are daily attacks and accusations in the U.S. press against China.

Underlying these attempts to rally public support for anti-China sentiment lie the very real sanctions the U.S. government has imposed against the Chinese giant tech corporation Huawei and the limits of sales of technically advanced semiconductors. The Biden administration, following Trump’s agenda, is openly acting to slow down China’s high-tech sector.

In this circumstance, India has become a pivotal piece in U.S. strategy to control Asian trade. India, with its huge population and a wealth of natural resources, can serve the U.S. as a counterweight against China. While the Modi government may take a distance from U.S. policy, in the end, it is a state power that has always been squarely in capitalism’s camp.

It appears that U.S. imperialism is continuing to pressure the Chinese regime. With roots in a revolution, formed in a massive national struggle against imperialist domination, the Chinese state has an ability to somewhat resist imperialism’s demands, no doubt in order to keep profits generated there for itself. A closer alliance with India, however temporary, gives the U.S. more leverage in Asia, allowing it to pivot away from China.

The U.S. and the major European powers have massive investments in China, India, and throughout Asia. The U.S. military already has almost one half of its forces stationed in Asia. It has the military capacity to cut off trade to and from China, even to cripple China in the world economy.

Are they looking to India, with its massive, impoverished workforce, to be an alternative “workshop of the world?” Will they continue to push U.S. giants like Apple to move more production to India? How far can they push this realignment? Clearly, these will be questions answered into the future.

But another outcome we could see develop, intentional or non- intentional, is war. U.S. imperialism is promoting the most ruinous, murderous, most profitable, most destructive military policies on the planet. Its funding and directing of the Ukrainian resistance for over a year now has put trade war and generalized war on the world agenda by promoting the militarization of Europe and regions beyond.

The political and military jockeying we are witnessing today have been played out twice before on the world stage and led to World Wars I and II.

The only force strong enough to counter this level of war, should it emerge, is revolution. The massive laboring populations of China and India have the potential to resist the blueprint for war in Asia that is unfolding before us. The U.S. working class, in the belly of the beast, can begin the process of joining with the world working class to turn capitalist war into revolution, into fight for a world free of capitalism.