The trade union of the City University of New York, the largest urban university in the country, has recently adopted a resolution opposing the US government’s “belligerence” toward China and calling on other labor bodies to build a movement against a cold war with China.
The resolution, titled “No Cold War with China”, was adopted this week by the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) of the university, also known as CUNY. It represents 30,000 faculty and staff at the school and the CUNY Research Foundation.
“The PSC opposes and rejects the steady build-up to war with China by the US government, and declares that as anti-war US trade unionists and educators it is our duty to join in solidarity with Chinese fellow-workers, educators and scholars to oppose US military spending for a Cold War in China, which leads to further racism at home,” read the resolution.
“We feel very strongly that the United States is spending far too much money on the military for war buildup with China and creating a new arms race against a country that is peaceful and has contributed to the reduction in poverty on a global level and within China itself as well,” Immanuel Ness, head of the international affairs committee of the PSC Union, told China Daily.
Last month, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, a bill designed to counter China. It proposes $655 million in foreign military financing funding for the Indo-Pacific region and $450 million for the Indo-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative and related programs.
The military spending recommended by the bill is “very dangerous”, and would “only lead to further conflict”, said Ness, who is also professor and chair of the political science department of Brooklyn College at CUNY.
“It’s a waste of spending when we could spend on peaceful projects such as healthcare, education, anti-poverty programs,” he said.
He also said that he saw no basis for the US being so hostile toward China when the country has contributed to the development of other countries.
“China fought fascism during World War II. I think we have to honor what the Chinese did in fighting against fascism. As the United States entered into the war, the Chinese people had played a very important role in that,” said Ness.
The resolution also said that “a Cold War with China harms students, researchers and educators in China and the US by erecting barriers to international academic collaboration and exchange”. And the “war on terror” tells the lesson that wars “abroad” often translate into wars at “home”, with the violent targeting of racialized communities, said the resolution.
“So these are very concerning times for people who care about peace,” said Ness. “We want to see collaboration; we want to see friendship; we want to see academic advancements. … I think there’s a mutual agreement amongst academics, and I hope the Chinese people feel the same way.”