By James Moules
JEREMY Corbyn has expressed fear that US and UK foreign policy could lead to military escalation across Asia.
Redaction Politics previously covered a Stop the War meeting in which the former Labour leader cautioned of the risk of war between China and the United States.
Speaking at another Stop the War event over the weekend, Corbyn reiterated this stark warning.
He said: “I am terrified of the idea that the US builds up this anti-China rhetoric and builds up more and more armaments in the Asia-Pacific region, that we join in by sending aircraft carriers to the Chinese coast and we end up with either a direct confrontation between the US and China or, more likely, sort of wars by proxy over an island, over a border – something all around that region.”
The Islington North MP also pointed to the Middle East as a potential zone of devastating conflict and called for a more peaceful foreign policy approach to the region.
“I’m also terrified that the pumping of arms into Saudi Arabia and the Middle East region and deliberately stoking up a conflict between Iran and other countries is in danger of spilling over into a war,” he said.
“We need to address the human rights issues that exist in Iran, yes, and in Saudi Arabia, and every other country across the region.”
He called for a policy based on sustainability and human rights, saying: “the strategic defence review that’s now going on gives us the opportunity of making that case.”
During the event, Mr Corbyn also decried the rising levels of anti-Chinese racism in UK society during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The levels of anti-Chinese racism in our society are quite horrendous.”
He said that when he visited Chinatown in Manchester shortly before the lockdown, local business owners reported severe losses.
“They told me that business had more than halved in a week during the time that the corona crisis was becoming apparent and that the WHO had reported that it had first been identified in Wuhan,” he said.
“It became a sort of anti-Chinese racism that somehow or other if you went to a Chinese restaurant you would get coronavirus.
“Completely ridiculous obviously. But it was that horrible form of racism that was being stoked at that time and is there all the time.”
Former Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who was also at the event, said: “We’re now faced with an American president who almost every day tries to stoke enmity with the rest of the world and China. He makes a point of calling Covid a Chinese infection.”
Corbyn also reminisced about the beginnings of the Stop the War movement.
He said: “I remember the day like it was yesterday when we stood against the trend and against the tide and said the answer to 9/11 wasn’t a war with Afghanistan – the answer was to search for peace and to eliminate the causes of war rather than go to war itself.”
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