THE TRUMP administration has ratcheted up the confrontation with China with an escalation of its economic trade war, coupled with a provocative military build-up the South China Sea.
In the front line of the US government’s economic attack is the Chinese communications giant Huawei, which last week Trump blacklisted from selling any of its products to US companies.
Along with this, Trump ordered a complete ban on US companies selling computer chips to China – which are vital in manufacturing smart phones.
This month Huawei overtook the US Apple company to become the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world.
Yesterday, American tech giant Google rushed to comply with Trump’s ban when it announced that it would ‘restrict’ Huawei’s access to Google’s Android operating system and apps, which Huawei phones use under licence from the Silicon Valley company.
The ban on Huawei follows Trump declaring a ‘national emergency’ and ruling that the firm could ‘undermine US national security or foreign policy interests’. In particular, the Americans are scared that China is a world leader in the next stage of computer development – the 5G network.
The US is desperate to smash the great Chinese advances in technology and is banning Huawei from buying computer parts from America. Trump’s intention to enforce this ban across the rest of the world is integral to his ‘Make America Great’ (at the expense of the rest of the world) policy.
Huawei’s chief security officer John Suffolk last week rounded on the US administration and all its unproven allegations that Huawei’s 5G mobile communications technology provides a security threat to other countries, and that it contains ‘back doors’ that would enable China to listen in to the whole world.
Suffolk pointed out that the one country with a proven record of using the technology it owns to spy on individuals and other countries is the US.
This was revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden who, in 2013, exposed the extent to which the US National Security Agency used American tech companies to spy on governments and people all over the world – including their own citizens.
The NSA has the ability to compel companies like Google and Facebook to turn over all the data they hold on individual users.
Suffolk went on to say that the campaign against Huawei is not because of fears over spying, but because the US wants to monopolise new technologies and destroy any competition from systems that are far superior to anything the American companies have produced.
Suffolk said: ‘My belief is America should face up to competition. It should face up to competition because American citizens will benefit.’
Where Suffolk is wrong is in supposing that American capitalism has any desire – or ability – to face competition and the US capitalist class doesn’t give a hoot about benefits to its own citizens.
Trump’s trade war against China has already devastated US farmers whose crops have been locked out of their biggest overseas market as China retaliates against Trump’s massive tariff increases on their exports.
Similarly, the increases on import duties have fallen on the backs of the US working class in the form of increases on basic commodities.
The working class is expected to pay for Trump’s trade war against China, a war that is rapidly threatening to turn into a shooting war.
At the same time as Trump ratcheted up his trade war with China, America was sending warships through the South China Sea waterways, which China regards as part of its territorial waters but which the US claims the right to sail in under the pretext of ‘freedom of navigation’ but which the Chinese call a violation of ‘China’s sovereignty’.
The drive to war by US imperialism is the result of the weakness of a capitalist system that can no longer tolerate rivals but must smash them through economic and military wars.
The only answer to war is for the working class to take power through socialist revolution in Europe and America, and put an end to imperialism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.