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War in the East Capitalists Preparing a new Slaughter. World war has begun. The slaughter of 1914-18 is to be repeated on a still wider scale, with still more abominable methods of mass murder. China is to be partitioned by the imperialist robbers. The Soviet Union, where 160 millions of free people are building a new life, is to be attacked by the armed hordes of the capitalist Powers. The working people of every land are to be again butchered in the struggle for new sources of profit for the capitalists. That is the meaning of the events in the Far East. The shots being fired towards the Soviet border by the Japanese troops who have conquered Manchuria, the bombs drobbed by the Japanese air force into the crowded streets of Chinese Shanghai, are the first shots and bombs of a world conflict that will inevitably spread to the West. The fall of Shanghai, betrayed by the Kuomintang, (the Chinese capitalists and landlords Government) marks a further success for Japanese imperialism, which is intent upon seizing and colonizing the whole North of China. The despatch of the entire United States fleet to the Pacific clearly shows that the U.S.A. intends to challenge the Japanese. The continuous despatch of British troops and warships is evidence of the intention of the British imperialists to share in the partition of China. In the north of the seating of the ex-Emperor of China as Emperor of the so called "State" of Manchuria, supported by Japanese bayonets, and the mobiliration and financing of 100,000 White Guard Russians (the former capitalists and landlords who were chased away after the revolution in 1917) in Harbin, shows that the Japanese plans to attack the Soviets are going forward. New Alliances among the Imperialists. What are the groupings of the imperialist Powers, and how do the events in the East threaten the British and European workers with new conscription, with all the horrors, slaughter, and misery of modern war? Since the Versailles Peace Treaty, and the defeat of the intervention war on the Soviet Republic, the imperialist Powers have maintained an armed peace between themselves on the basis of an understanding to share in the robbery of Germany, of the colonies, and of China, and of preparation for a new war on the land where the workers are building Socialism. The economic crisis has shattered the basis of this agreement and sharpened all the antagonisms of the imperialist Powers. The factors of this understanding were:— (1) A basic agreement between England, France, and the United States on the basis of the robbery of Germany. This has now been shattered by the development of the economic crisis. (2) The agreement between England, the United States, and Japan on the basis of political and economic exploitation of spheres of influence in China—Japan in the North, Britain in Shanghai, and United States in the South. This has also been shattered, first, by the growth of the Chinese revolution and extension of the Soviet Districts, and, secondly, by the Japanese invasion, undertaken with the support of France, both these Powers taking advantage of the difficulties of the United States and England caused by the crisis. 4 (3) The agreement between England, the United States, and France to concentrate upon the robbery of their own colonies. This is now undermined; there is a clash between England and the United States in South America, Canada, and Egypt; a clash between England and Japan in India; between France and Italy in the Mediterranean and North Africa. (4) The preparation of war against the Soviet Union. In this, while the other bases of agreement have been undermined, all the Powers are united. They are also united on the principle of the partition of China, but, when it comes to the actual partition, the antagonisms again sharpen. The Japanese attack on China sharpens all these differences, especially between Japan and the United States, and between Japan and Britain, which regards the Yangtse Valley as its own sphere. At the same time the contradictions sharpen on all other questions—war debts, Customs and tariffs, gold, disarmament, colonies, the Pacific, and the German question. [[image]] [[caption]] Help the Chinese Workers Break their Imperialist Chains. [[/caption]] At present the French system, which, set up at Versailles, included the Eastern countries of Europe, has now been extended to include Japan. The agreement between France and Japan, which was quite definite, is on the following basis: France supports Japan on all questions in the East and Japan supports France on all questions in Europe and the United States. Britain is negotiating with France on the basis of no debt payments; such an agreement would be directed against the United States. Britain is also negotiating with Japan to re-establish the old alliance. This would mean that the United States endeavours to turn the point of the forces directed against it towards the Soviet Union; is trying to push Japan into war with the Soviet Union in order to make a favourable position for the United States; Japan would be exhausted by such a war, and the way would then be clear for the United States to step in. The breakdown of the three bases for agreement indicated above increases the tendency for all the Powers to push one another into war with the Soviet Union. It is not necessary to have a united front between all the Powers before the war can commence. Such a united front can come about in the process of the war. 5
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