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Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Comrades, it is an honour to stand before you today, representing the Communist Party of Kenya (CPK) and the Pan African Socialist Alliance (PASA). I extend my deepest gratitude to the Friends of Socialist China (FSC), particularly Comrade Keith Bennett, for their steadfast support and for granting me this forum to address such a significant topic.

 

Gathered here in the Karl Marx Memorial Library, we are reminded of the enduring influence of Marx's ideas, which continue to guide us in our struggle for a just and egalitarian society. It is the ideal place as we embark on a discussion that not only holds relevance but also holds the key to shaping the future of the Global South: "China and the Rise of the Global South."

 

Comrades, today I represent the Communist Party of Kenya, a party that has undergone a split resulting in the formation of two factions: the majority faction, which I am part of, and a minority faction that has entered into a strategic alliance with the current kleptocratic regime and serves as a puppet of US interests in Nairobi. While this split can be seen as both fortunate and unfortunate, it underscores the complex dynamics within our party.

It is fortunate in the sense that a united Communist Party of Kenya based on opportunism would serve no purpose for the Kenyan working class. However, it is unfortunate because a united party would undoubtedly be stronger and more effective in advancing the interests of the working class. Yet, such is the nature of development—just as in the human body, where cells divide and multiply to maintain health, our party undergoes transformations to adapt to changing circumstances. I proudly represent the majority faction of the Communist Party of Kenya, which stands in staunch opposition to the comprador ruling class in Nairobi.

 

As for the Pan-African Socialist Alliance (PASA), it is a revolutionary movement that unites Pan-Africanist organizations in Kenya and beyond. Dedicated to achieving African liberation and unity on a global scale, PASA vehemently opposes imperialism in all its manifestations, including colonialism, settler-colonialism, Zionism, and neo-colonialism. Moreover, PASA advocates against social oppressions rooted in gender, class, or nationality.

 

Aligned with genuine Pan-African forces worldwide, PASA advocates for a unified socialist and non-capitalist path to development in Africa and the African diaspora. It stands in solidarity with oppressed peoples fighting against labour exploitation and land exploitation, striving for a future where all Africans can thrive free from oppression and exploitation.

 

In 2023, I had the privilege of visiting China twice, where I witnessed first-hand the remarkable achievements of Chinese Socialist Construction. These visits filled me with a renewed sense of hope and convinced me of the superiority of the Chinese socio-economic and political system over the liberal Western model often imposed on African nations wholesale. Contrary to Western rhetoric, I found a nation and its people in harmony with nature, dispelling the myth that Chinese socialist development wreaks ecological havoc.

 

Despite potential language barriers, I was pleasantly surprised to find that many young Chinese individuals in the streets of Beijing were proficient in English and engaged in lively debates. Unlike the institutionalized racism prevalent in the United States, China actively discourages and punishes racist behaviour—a stark contrast to the US, where racial privilege persists. It became evident to me that Western media propagates falsehoods far too often, obscuring the realities of Chinese society and governance.

 

Allow me to revisit my 2017 commentary on the Africa-China relationship. The partnership between China and Kenya, as well as Africa at large, has not only spurred remarkable infrastructural development but has also fostered a genuine cultural exchange between Chinese and African communities. It has provided Africans with first-hand insights into Chinese culture, dispelling the half-truths and misinformation perpetuated against China and its people, often propagated globally by western media outlets like CNN, BBC, Fox News et al.

 

Moreover, this relationship has highlighted an alternative approach to engaging with development partners and international capital. Unlike the United States and Western nations, which have historically imposed detrimental policies on African nations through institutions like the IMF and World Bank—such as the infamous Structural Adjustment Plan—China has adopted a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries. This shift has spared African nations from the suffering and hardships inflicted by such destructive policies.

 

Another notable aspect is the efficiency with which projects are executed. Previously, bureaucratic red tape and exorbitant costs often prolonged project timelines, sometimes spanning several years before ground activities commenced. However, with the influx of Chinese investment, we have witnessed a swift turnaround. Projects are now executed promptly, delivering high-quality results. This stands in stark contrast to the portrayal by Western media, which often dismisses products and projects from China and Russia as inferior before their arrival. These words remain true today even though the attitude of the ruling class in the global north towards the Chinese socialist experiment remains unchanged, more than five years later.

 

The challenges facing the Global South are vast, encompassing a myriad of socio-economic and political issues rooted in colonial and neo-colonial histories. From underdevelopment to disease, violence, and exploitation, these afflictions persist. Yet, amidst these struggles, it is essential to recognize the shared responsibility between the global North and South.

 

While geopolitical unrest and interventions ravage countless lives worldwide, there is a glimmer of hope. The vulnerability of imperialism is laid bare in places like Gaza, where Western hegemony faces daily erosion, and in conflicts like the NATO-led proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, which exposes fractures in imperialist stability. Recent events in the Congo underscore the diminishing influence of Western imperialism.

 

In the Sahel region, including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, French imperialism falters on a daily basis. In the North, Libya stands in history and in the present as the perfect example of imperialist violence and failure. Southwards, Somalia’s position since the Black Hawk Down incident highlights the pitfalls of US interventions. The Sudanese people have remained strong in their continued resistance against imperialism since the war broke out in Sudan.

 

Eritrea, often likened to the "Cuba of Africa," bears the brunt of punitive unilateral actions and economic sanctions imposed by the United States. Its perceived transgression? Embracing self-reliant economic strategies. This exemplifies the treatment meted out by the US towards African nations daring to diverge from the neoliberal norms dictated by the West. Such brazen arrogance of the US begs the question: How can such dominance prevail on a global scale? The inevitable outcome is not progress but rather a descent into chaos, perpetuating a cycle of disorder and instability similar to what has now become of Libya.

 

And every day, the escalating Cold War tensions with China further shake the foundations of the fragile imperialist economy. Overall, the emerging picture reveals that the decline of the US empire mirrors historical patterns, signalling the dawn of a new era where empires inevitably fall.

 

Why do we in the global south admire China?

The United States and the rest of the West have used exploitation and force to impose their will for far too long. But after decades of resistance against this undue burden, the geopolitical environment has fundamentally changed, with the Global South emerging as a major actor in world affairs. And it is amidst this shift that China has emerged as a beacon of hope for the oppressed and exploited.

 

China on the commencement of the 20th Congress, the Chinese leadership unequivocally articulated their disinterest in succumbing to the Thucydides Trap, a geopolitical theory that posits an inevitable conflict between a rising power and an established one. Moreover, the CPC underscored their steadfast commitment to eschewing any ventures into expansionist warfare. This declaration not only underscores China's dedication to fostering stability and cooperation in the global arena but also reflects a strategic approach rooted in diplomacy, economic collaboration, and mutual understanding.

 

 By rejecting the notion of expansionist wars, the Chinese leadership signals a paradigm shift towards a more nuanced and inclusive approach to international relations, one that prioritizes dialogue, negotiation, and peaceful coexistence. This stance not only serves China's national interests but also contributes to the broader goal of cultivating a harmonious and prosperous global community based on mutual respect and shared prosperity. This is in direct opposition to the US empire that thrives on war and the military-industrial complex.

 

Today, China stands as a counterforce, presenting an alternative path founded on mutual respect and cooperation. Its ascent without the subjugation of other nations sets it apart from the West, which amassed its wealth at the expense of the Global South. China's policy of non-interference starkly opposes Western interventionism, whose legacies of looting and colonialism still haunt and define regions like Africa.

 

China's engagement with Africa has indeed become a hallmark of the new era. An era characterized by strategic partnerships and mutual cooperation. Through initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative, China challenges Western finance capital dominance in Africa, offering much-needed and sustainable alternatives for development. China’s solidarity with the liberation movements across the continent echoes Africa's spirit of resistance during the anti-colonial struggle. Its contributions to the global south, from infrastructure to technology, signify the changing tides of globalization.

 

As China champions a new and just international order through socialist ideals with Chinese characteristics, it uplifts billions out of poverty and fosters national development. In contrast to Western hypocrisy on human rights, China emphasizes economic rights and sovereignty as hallmarks of true equality.

 

In Western liberal democracies, concepts like freedom and human rights often remain mere rhetoric. While individuals may discuss these ideals freely, the prevailing circumstances often fall short of granting citizens full enjoyment of these rights. The Communist Party of China (CPC), under the leadership of Xi Jinping, approaches the concept of human rights from a perspective rooted in Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and national conditions. The CPC emphasizes the importance of economic, social, and cultural rights, viewing them as fundamental to improving people's livelihoods and promoting human dignity. Within this framework, the CPC prioritizes poverty alleviation, education, healthcare, and access to basic necessities as essential components of human rights. The CPC underscores the significance of political stability and social harmony in safeguarding human rights, advocating for a governance model that prioritizes social stability and economic development as prerequisites for the realization of human rights.

 

While weak leadership in Africa is blamed for the continent's issues, the exploitative relationship with the global North bears the main responsibility. Historically, Africa has prioritized treating symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause. The implementation of neoliberal policies imposed by the West is the fundamental cause of Africa's troubles. By implementing these policies, African leaders worsen the existing problems of colonialism and neo-colonial exploitation, trapping their countries in a cycle of dependency and vulnerability to external forces.

 

The Communist Party of China (CPC) comprehends the concept of Centre-Periphery Dependency through the lens of historical materialism and Marxist theory. Within this framework, the CPC acknowledges the unequal power dynamics between the centre, typically representing the developed and dominant regions, and the periphery, often comprising less developed or marginalized areas. The CPC recognises rightly that this dependency is a product of capitalist exploitation and imperialist domination, where the centre extracts resources and wealth from the periphery to sustain its own growth and prosperity. This correct understanding aligns with the CPC's commitment to socialism, which seeks to dismantle such unequal relations by empowering peripheral regions through economic development, social welfare, and equitable resource distribution. In practice, China's policies such as the Belt and Road Initiative exemplify efforts to bridge the gap between the centre and periphery by promoting infrastructure investment, trade cooperation, and mutual benefit among participating nations. By addressing centre-periphery dependency, the CPC aims to foster a more balanced and inclusive global order based on solidarity, cooperation and shared development.

 

The racist and cynical attacks on China are intolerable. At this critical moment, revolutionary and progressive forces and their allies must direct their focus towards the primary enemy of the people, namely US imperialism, in whose ruins a new society shall be birthed. Labelling China as an imperial power is both ridiculous and reactionary. While it's valid to critique China, it must not be done in a racist or cynical manner as desired by imperialistic agendas. Racism stands as a global disease, a crime against humanity that demands our unwavering efforts to combat and overcome it. The ongoing anti-China campaign serves a clear agenda, with Africans once again being used as mere pawns in a larger imperialistic chess game.

 

You may have heard of the absurd accusation of China's "debt trap" strategy towards African countries, which is entirely unfounded. The bulk of the African debts stem from institutions like the Paris Club, World Bank, and IMF. China has demonstrated a willingness to renegotiate loan terms with poorer nations and has even forgiven debts owed by some of the most impoverished countries—an act unlikely to be replicated by the US or the so-called civilized West.

 

We reject the notion of Chinese imperialism. Having experienced direct and indirect imperialist interventions in Africa, we have witnessed the devastating consequences of imperialist wars and interventions. We've lived through an era of coloured revolutions sponsored by imperialist nations, and none of these experiences align with the accusations against China. However, even if China were an imperialist country as they wrongfully say, we must analyse the contradictions between emerging and classic imperialist powers, identifying the primary enemy of the global majority as US imperialism, in whose ruins a new society shall blossom.

 

It is even more laughable to call China a dictatorship. From our perspective, we see the US political system as a dictatorship of the rich, a dictatorship of the filthy billionaires—this is not democracy but rather a serious perversion of it. The Communist Party of China (CPC) views democracy as a means of ensuring the active participation of the people in decision-making processes, particularly at the grassroots level. This socialist democracy emphasizes collective decision-making, consensus-building, and people's democracy, where citizens have a say in governance through mechanisms such as the selection of representatives in local People's Congresses and village committees.

 

The CPC prioritizes the principle of consultative democracy, fostering dialogue and consultation among various stakeholders to reach a consensus on policies and initiatives. Additionally, the CPC emphasizes the importance of meritocracy, selecting leaders based on their competence, dedication to serving the people, and adherence to the party's principles. While the CPC acknowledges the value of political plurality and diversity of opinions, it also emphasizes the need for political stability and social harmony as prerequisites for sustainable development. Unlike in the United States, where any rogue billionaire or bigot can become a politician, China's system is designed to ensure the representation of the people's interests and the advancement of the nation as a whole.

 

Despite the West's attempts at global enslavement, other Global South countries, most notably China, have faced similar challenges to those confronting Africa. That is why China's success is such an inspiring and relevant lesson in growth, wealth, and the concept of constructing a new world of shared future and cooperation.

 

 China and Africa’s Solidarity in the New Era

China's rise and leadership in the Global South offer a cornerstone to counter imperialist pressures and foster collaboration among developing countries. Initiatives such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative demonstrate China's commitment to Africa's development strategy, which is consistent with China Africa Vision 2035 and Africa Union Strategy 2063. These frameworks prioritize people-to-people interactions, infrastructure connectivity, economic development, and the building of a community with a shared future.

 

AU Agenda 2063 and China Africa Vision 2035 outline respective visions for Africa's future. The AU Agenda emphasizes transformative change and inclusive development, with respect to the sovereignty of all countries. It stresses partnerships, including with China, for a prosperous continent. China's Vision 2035 commits to a mutually beneficial partnership with Africa, focusing on economic development, infrastructure, and people-to-people exchanges to support Africa's self-reliance and sustainable growth. These initiatives have been sabotaged at the United Nations General Assembly by none other than the United States.

 

China's commitment to promoting a new model of global governance, as outlined in "A Global Community of Shared Future," complements Africa's aspirations for self-reliance and sustainable growth. By advocating for a multipolar world order, China ensures the voices of the Global South, including Africa, are heard and respected. And its actions in fostering a comprehensive partnership with Africa exemplify this commitment and the ongoing stronger South-to-South cooperation and solidarity.

 

Collaboration between Africa and China presents significant opportunities for shared growth and prosperity. Leveraging China's resources and expertise, Africa can accelerate its development and address important issues such as infrastructural deficiencies, industrialization, and poverty. Furthermore, China's emphasis on cultural exchange promotes better understanding and solidarity between Africa and China, laying the groundwork for meaningful collaboration.

 

In conclusion, the fight for a new global order is ongoing. The voices of the Global South demand respect and sovereignty, challenging the hegemony of the West. Amidst the rise of the Global South, we welcome China's engagement with Africa in this new era of collaboration. We acknowledge that initiatives like China Africa Vision 2035, AU Agenda 2063, and proposals for a Global Community of Shared Future showcase China's dedication to mutual development and cooperation.

 

Therefore, as Africa pursues prosperity and integration, China's support presents valuable opportunities for shared growth and prosperity in the future. Through solidarity and perseverance, we can build a world free from oppression and exploitation.

 

Long live Socialism!

Long live the Friends of Socialist China!

Long live the Communist Party of Kenya!

 

Booker Ngesa Omole, The National Vice Chairperson and National Organising Secretary of the Central Organising Committee of the Communist Party of Kenya.

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