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Jack Weber

March of Events

The Plundering of China
Germany – Rearmed

(9 February 1935)

From The New Militant, Vol. I No. 9, 9 February 1935, p. 3.
Transcribed & bmarked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Plundering of China

The sequence of events in the East makes perfectly clear that the denunciation of the Washington naval truce by Japan was merely a way of serving notice to the imperialists that the militarists of Japan intended to go forward more rapidly in their plundering of China. The attack on Chahar is a further step in the encirclement of China and advances the Japanese army closer to Inner Mongolia and the caravan route along which China might secure help from the Soviet Union. Following the brazen assault on Chahar, there come the “conversations” in Nanking between Japanese Minister Ariyoshi and Chiang Kai-Shek. The demands made on the Chinese hangman of the proletariat are exact, repetitious of some of the notorious twenty-one demands made in 1915 with the purpose of reducing China to the status of a Japanese colony. China must withdraw from the League of Nations (so that it cannot appeal for help to the other powers), she must substitute Japanese advisers in place of the American and European military, economic and engineering advisers, the Chinese army must be “remodeled” and all military equipment bought from Japan, Manchukuo must be recognized, and the Chinese must accept a new railroad loan from Japan. These are the demands made public. In addition it is required that China see “eye to eye”, with the Japanese militarists in regard to the international situation in the Far East. The coming war against the Soviet Union is too close at hand for the Nippon generals not to seek in advance to guarantee themselves against attack from the rear. Every move made in China thus takes on the character of preparation for the war against the workers’ state.

A Victory for Hitler

It was a foregone conclusion that with the coming to power of Hitler in Germany, the fascists would commence a program of rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty. For fascism, the outright and most violent form of the dictatorship of finance capital, can only retain power nationally by waging war internationally so as to expand its markets and thereby preserve the decaying national capitalism.

The protests of the powers victorious in the last war fell on deaf ears while Hitler proceeded with the program of militarism in Germany. At first, quite hidden, the war preparations became more and more an open diplomatic “secret” that created consternation in the chancelleries of France and Britain. The meeting in London between the premiers of these two countries has resulted in a substantial victory for Hitler. Flandin has agreed with the British to abrogate the arms clauses of the Versailles Treaty, except that which calls for the demilitarization of the left bank of the Rhine. Germany will have to rejoin the League for this forced concession, a meaningless gesture which Hitler will not find difficult to make. Hitler can now devote his sole attention to the preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union.

What effect all this will have on the relations between Soviet Russia and imperialist France remains to be seen. All the great diplomatic victories of Litvinov – at the expense of the world proletariat – may soon crumble to ashes.

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Last updated: 13 November 2014