‘Beijing parade - defensive move in response to US policy of encirclement of China’

Chinese soldiers salute in a chorus on a stage during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 3, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. © Wang Zhao
The US deploying so much of its overseas military power in Asia is no doubt a policy of encirclement of China, and the WWII victory military parade in Beijing is a defensive response to this aggression, says Richard Becker from the anti-war Answer coalition.

RT: Around 30 world leaders attended the military parade in Beijing commemorating victory over Japan in WWII. However, none of them are the leaders of America or Western European countries. Should this be considered a deliberate disregard by the West?

Richard Becker: I think it should be considered as deeply offensive to the Chinese people, to the People's Republic of China and to the Chinese people who probably were second only to the Soviet Union in causalities inflicted in WWII. The estimate is as many as 20 million people killed in China. The assault on China by Japan was almost unprecedented, like the Nazi assault on countries of Eastern Europe and the then existing Soviet Union.

I just came from hearing – the National Public Radio coverage of this event that [was] going in and it was amazing to hear – this is the National Public Radio which is supposedly the liberal wing - and they said: “These strong men - Putin was there, and the dictator Nicolas Maduro was there; and the Chinese government had planned this to divert the attention of the people from the economic problems that exist right now, and in fact of course this has been planned for many, many months before that.” But that is the most insulting, degrading, mocking coverage even from the public view in the US.

RT: Do you think that by hosting such a large military parade, unveiling 84 per cent of military hardware never seen by the rest of the world, China is attempting to send a message to its allies?

RB: It is a very interesting – the way it’s treated by the Pentagon and the administration in the US as if there is something wrong with China developing modern weaponry. They ask questions which are really unintentionally comedic – like: Why would China possibly want to develop such weapons? When in fact the US has made a pivot toward Asia - 60 per cent of its military forces are in Asia now- their overseas forces...

RT: So what do you think about the parade? It’s impressive, isn’t it?

RB: Oh, yes, I think that it is very impressive, and it is an assertion not of an attempt to carry out aggressive warfare, but it is defensive. The fact that the US has deployed so much of its overseas military power not only in Japan, but in the entire region and says that it is going to raise the overseas deployment to 70 per cent of its total overseas forces – has to be seen as extremely menacing to the people of the region. There is no doubt; there is no question that they are pursuing a policy of encirclement of the People’s Republic of China. The fact that China is responding in this way – there can be no mystery about it or no second guessing – it is because of the fact that this aggression against China is in full swing.

‘Glaring demonstration of the Russia-China strategic partnership’

The military parade in Moscow to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany - where Chinese President Xi Jinping was present – and Thursday’s event in Beijing demonstrates a strategic partnership between the two countries, says political analyst Pepe Escobar.

RT: Several world leaders have come to Beijing to take part in this big anniversary, but the event is being widely ignored by Western leaders. What's the reason for the neglect?

Pepe Escobar: It is much more serious than neglect, it is fear as well, because the May 9th parade in Moscow and now this parade in China - it is a glaring graphic demonstration of the Russia-China strategic partnership. It is sending multiple messages to Asia and to the West, as well, in terms of “no bullying – we won’t accept that anymore. Yes we have a historical memory because we are honoring people who died in a fight against the fascism and Nazism in Asia and across Eurasia.” [It is] very, very important. And that is directly linked to the future as well, to let’s say the building union of the New Silk Roads – China-led, and the Eurasian Economic Union – Russia-led.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy soldiers on their armoured vehicles carrying ship-to-air missiles roll to Tiananmen Square during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. © Damir Sagolj

So there’re multiple geopolitical messages, and they include a future of co-prosperity in fact, a future of Eurasian integration. It is not militaristic at all - the fact that China for the first time is showing their state of the art weapons is to say: “Look, the fact that we have now arrived, we are the second biggest economy in the world, so we are going to be the first. It is also implies that we know how to defend ourselves.” And if the usual suspects come up with their pivoting, whatever that may mean at the moment, “we are ready to defend our interests as well.” So it is much more settled than the usual spin in Western mainstream media.

RT: Xi Jinping came to Moscow for the May 9 Parade; the Western leaders didn’t attend the celebrations. And now Russian leader Vladimir Putin returned the favor in Beijing. You have the picture here of people taking sides at the time when there should be solidarity...

PE: Exactly. And look, the battle ground for the next few years and decades is very, very clear, and it is extremely worrying. Some of the best Russian analysts and some of the realists in the US – they do exist in fact - are worried that the Cold War 2.0 is a goal, and that is what is going to be for the near future. When the Pentagon’s military doctrine was released a few weeks ago, Russia and China are not only [called] competitors, but they are even identified as threats by the Pentagon, which is completely absurd.

Instead of having a concert of nations - the US, powers in the EU and Eurasian powers - sitting together and trying to organize how the post-Cold War world is going to evolve, we have clearly on one side NATO which includes the US, Canada and the most important EU powers, and on the other side we have Russia, China, and Eurasian integration. ... There was a lot of pressure by the US over the Europeans not to come, and especially on South Korea. The President of South Korea said: “Look, we were as victimized during WWII in Asia, as China was, we have to be there.” This is the main thing of the parade – to honor the people who died during WWII. So South Korea had to be in Beijing.

RT: Eighteen months ago Washington said Russia was the biggest threat in the world, then they said it was ISIS, then global warming; now it’s China, etc... At what point do you take that seriously?

PE: No, you cannot take them seriously anymore. Especially because the Pentagon and think tanks that are inside or in the orbit of the Pentagon are filled, crammed with neocons. And all of these neocons still have a Cold War mentality - obviously, [first it was] the Soviets, now it’s the Russians, and “the Russians are coming - they invaded Ukraine; the Russians are coming – they invaded Syria.” This is on Google this week, which is an absolutely false report.

The Russians had to say: “No that is absolutely ridiculous, we are sending advisors, we are not invading Syria and we are not fighting in Syria.” It is a propaganda war and it is a war from the American side; it is based on fear. The signs are so graphic all over: Russia – China integration, New Silk Roads, Eurasian Economic Union; Russia is trying to broker peace in Syria; Russia is a very important element in configuring the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran; Russia is well-aligned with Iran; Iran, Russia and China are well-aligned within themselves. So the way this is read in Washington is with extreme, unbounded paranoia.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.