China’s record of imperialism

BRAVO TO Todd Chretien's article outlining the different perspectives of the International Socialist Organization and the Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL) on the Chinese regime and the 1989 movement ("Tiananmen Square: Which side are you on?"). I'd like to add a further elaboration to Todd's criticism of the PSL's support for the Chinese regime's "anti-imperialism."

Let's recall that for almost the last two decades of the Cold War, China brought itself into a de facto alliance with the U.S. against the Soviet Union on a number of foreign policy questions.

To list the foreign policy positions that this so-called socialist country took is a chronicle of horrors that would warm any neoconservatives' heart. It supported the right-wing government's crushing of rebels in Sri Lanka in 1971 and opposed independence of Bangladesh in 1972. It supported the strengthening of NATO. During the Portuguese Revolution, it supported the Western-backed Socialist Party that led the counterrevolution against the left.

In Angola, during the revolutions against the former Portuguese colonial regime, the Chinese backed the FNLA and UNITA--U.S./South Africa-backed guerrilla forces--against the main popular liberation force, the MPLA. China consistently supported the Shah of Iran.

And when the Chilean military overthrew the Allende government in 1973, the Chinese regime was among the first to extend diplomatic recognition to the dictatorship and to deny refuge in its embassy from leftists fleeing repression. When fascist Spanish dictator General Franco died, the Chinese regime sent condolences and representatives to his funeral.

I suppose that a defender of the Chinese regime has elaborate justifications for China's invasions of Tibet and Vietnam, the two examples that Todd gives to illustrate China's imperialist policies. These would, of course, be spurious. But justifying support for the apartheid regime and General Franco? That would require linguistic gymnastics I'm not sure I can conceive.
Lance Selfa, Chicago