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Japan Communist Party on China’s “Great Power Chauvinism”

SNA (Tokyo) — Japan Communist Party Chair Kazuo Shii has presented his party’s views on China and the Chinese Communist Party as part of the 28th Party Congress held in Atami on January 14 to 18. The following represents the Japan Communist Party’s basic stance on mainland China at the current juncture:

China’s Problems in International Politics

For the last few years, problems have emerged in China’s moves in international politics that are related to our assessment in the Program and cannot be overlooked.

The 27th Congress in January 2017 stated in its Resolution, “[A] new form of great-power chauvinism and hegemonism is emerging in China,” and pointed out the following four points: an alarming shift in China’s stance on nuclear-weapon issues, attempts to change the status quo through coercion in the East and South China Seas, high-handed behavior to tramp upon the democratic steering of international conferences, and behavior in contradiction to the confirmed principles of JCP-CPC relationship. It warned that if China continues with these mistakes, “‘decisively straying from the path toward socialism’ would be likely outcome,” and called on China to “take a course to foster the trust of the international community by abandoning its quest for great-power chauvinism and hegemonism.”

Unfortunately, during the three years since the last Congress, we have to judge that China has not corrected those problems but was taken actions that further worsen them.

First, the shift in China’s stance on nuclear-weapon issues has become more serious.

As a member of the five nuclear weapons states (The Permanent Five or P5), China has been hostile to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In July last year, taking on a “P5 Process” coordinator role, China opposed the treaty and helped to prevent its entry to take effect. It has revealed itself as an impediment to the movement for a world without nuclear weapons. It is also grave that the country has been modernizing its nuclear weapons while competing with other nuclear powers.

Secondly, China’s hegemonic actions in the East and South China Seas have intensified.

Intrusion by Chinese vessels into Japan’s territorial waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands have regularly occurred and increased sharply in number. In 2018, the leaders of the Japanese and Chinese governments visited each other and stated that Japan-China relations “are back on their normal trajectory.” Nevertheless, the number of Chinese vessels’ intrusion into territorial waters and entry into contiguous zones has sharply risen this year. We must say that it is a very dishonest attitude for China to call for normalization of the two countries’ relations while regularly intruding into territorial waters. No matter what the Chinese government argues, any attempt to force to change the status quo in an area under the effective control of a foreign government is in violation of principles for peaceful resolutions of conflicts set by the UN Charter and the UN Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States. We strongly criticize such an attitude and call for its correction.

In the South China Sea, China since 2014 has built large-scale artificial islands, runways where bombers can take off and land on, radar facilities, hangars for long-range surface-to-air missiles, and military barracks. The Chinese government initially stated that it had no intention to promote militarization there. But it now justifies its construction of military bases and strengthens its military control, arguing that deploying defense facilities is normal and within the scope of China’s right of sovereignty. In 2016, the arbitral tribunal dismissed China’s claim of rights in the South China Sea area and judged its attempt to force to change the status quo as a violation of international law. China’s attitude of disregarding the ruling and unilaterally promoting militarization should not be accepted under the universally accepted principles of the UN Charter and international law.

Thirdly, China has failed to take any actions to correct its high-handed trampling of democratic procedures at an international conference and its violation of principles confirmed by the JCP and the CPC. The Resolution of the JCP 27th Congress severely criticized China be pointing out that in the 2016 General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, China’s delegation took hegemonistic actions by unilaterally overturning the final text of a declaration, which included a call for swift start of negotiations on a nuclear prohibition treaty and was unanimously confirmed by the Conference’s drafting committee, and called the JCP’s delegation “hegemonist” during talks between the delegations of the two parties.

On January 12, 2017, just before the previous JCP Convention, I had talks with Chinese Ambassador Cheng Yonghua at his request when he visited the JCP headquarters under the order of the CPC Central Committee. I would like to give details of the talks. The ambassador requested the removal of contents criticizing China in the draft resolution of the Congress, including the phrase “new type of great-power chauvinism and hegemonism.” I flatly refused the request and explained the reasons why the JCP needed to take this stance. I also asked the Chinese side to correct the mistakes and asked the ambassador to convey our position to the CPC leadership.

Furthermore, I requested the ambassador to ask the CPC Central Committee if it supports or opposes its delegation’s behavior at the ICAPP General Assembly and to give us its answer. The ambassador replied that he would relay the request to Beijing. However, there has been no response from the CPC. Based on this development, we have to say that the Chinese delegation’s hegemonistic behavior in Kuala Lumpur was the problem emanating from the CPC Central Committee. We cannot therefore include the phrase “seriousness and sincerity in endeavor for socialism.”

Fourthly, in addition to these issues, human rights issues in China have become more serious.

Since large-scale, generally peaceful demonstrations calling for freedom and democracy began in Hong Kong in June, the Chinese government criticized them as “organized riots” and gave full support to the Hong Kong government forces repressing the movement. It justified live-fire shootings by the police which injured protestors. It deployed the armed police force in Shenzhen for intimidation. The JCP believes that it is important for demonstrators to strictly refrain from violence in any form and express their opinions in a peaceful manner. At the same time, as the freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are clearly recognized in the international human rights standards, we oppose the Hong Kong government’s repressive measures and the Chinese government’s complete support for them and its own intimidation against protestors by use of force. We strongly hope that the situation will be resolved through peaceful dialogue under the “one country, two systems” equation.

Furthermore, we are deeply concerned that arbitrary detention and other human rights violations have been conducted on an extensive scale by Chinese authorities in the Uyghur Autonomous Region. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in its Concluding Observations issued in September last year, expressed “alarm” about many Uyghurs and Muslim residents being detained and “reeducated” without legal procedures. As human rights issues in Uyghur become a grave international issue, the JCP strongly urges Chinese authorities to stop suppressing their human rights.

It must be said that none of the above-mentioned actions by China are compatible with the principles or ideas of socialism. The JCP can no longer recognize China as a country “beginning a new quest for socialism.”

Based on the above, we propose the deletion of the following part in Section 8: “It is important to note that today, several countries that broke away from capitalism are beginning a new quest for socialism, including the effort to “achieve socialism through a market economy,” although they still have political and economic problems to solve. This constitutes a historically significant current in the 21st century as an effort that covers vast regions with a total population of more than 1.3 billion.”

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