China

The recent agreement between Australia, the UK and the US has caused a crisis in international relations. With France temporarily recalling its ambassador from Washington and China issuing a protest, the new agreement has upset feelings across the board. This deal, however, merely constituted one more step in a wider realignment among the imperialist powers.

Three northeastern provinces of China have endured weeks of power usage restrictions. This policy is set to continue, and has started to be applied elsewhere, though it remains most severe in the northeast. These provinces are the former industrial centres of China, which were ravaged by unemployment after the transition to capitalism. Now, they are being subjected to power restrictions that are wreaking havoc with public services and households alike.

In the past two months, the regime of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken drastic measures that have shocked society and have triggered widespread speculation. The state has disciplined a number of large private corporations while instituting wide-ranging regulations on the entertainment industry. The motivation behind these measures was eerily summed up by an obscure blog post that was promoted by all major state media outlets, proclaiming that “everyone can feel that a profound transformation is underway!” But is the CCP state actually

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In the past few months, discontent among Chinese youth is increasingly bursting to the surface, both online and on campuses, in defiance of state censorship and repression. A widespread proliferation of anti-capitalist memes and open dissent against the regime online speak to a general undercurrent of rage and resentment, which has also seen university students launching struggles across two provinces.

June 4th marks the 32nd anniversary of the brutal crushing of the Tiananmen Square movement in China in 1989. This year, like every year, we will no doubt see many bourgeois commentators producing articles that use the tragic events of 1989, not to explain what the movement was actually about, but to denounce “communism/socialism” as a failure. They will paint it as a system that cannot work, and present capitalism as the only viable system available to humanity. The media in the west present it as a movement for bourgeois parliamentary democracy and for capitalist restoration in China.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has plummeted. Yet while the rest of the world seems to be on fire, China appears to have remained safe from the extreme economic decline, being the one of the few economies to grow in 2020. China registered a 1% increase in GDP due to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strict lockdown measures and the endeavour of frontline workers. To the outside world, the Chinese state continues to appear strong, proudly brandishing the slogan of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’.

On 28 February, China Digital Times reported that a food delivery workers’ mutual aid network organiser (Xiong Yan, also known as Chen Sheng) might have been taken into police custody in Beijing. On 1 March, an informant from within the Ele.me, the online platform from which Xiong Yan gets his delivery orders, confirmed that he and some other members of his network were indeed arrested. At the time of writing, Xiong Yan’s whereabouts and status remain unknown, and speculation abounds. This news has garnered widespread attention.

47 arrested oppositionist political figures in Hong Kong appeared in court in recent days on charges of “subverting state power.” These arrests came after a slew of measures taken by the Hong Kong government to implement the new National Security Laws, imposed upon the autonomous city by the Chinese Communist Party regime last summer. This is part of repressing the Hong Kong masses since they rose up to fight for democratic rights in 2019. Only a class analysis can help us understand what is going on and what is to be done.

Around 21 January 2021, a young worker who operated a small channel on the popular Chinese video-sharing platform Bilibili died in destitution amidst family discord, disease, and conflict with his employer. He starved to death in his rental apartment, and his body was only discovered days later by the landlord.

In the past few months, many have been speculating on the sudden disappearance of Chinese tycoon Jack Ma from the limelight from early October 2020 to late January 2021. The flamboyant multi-billionaire, CEO of Alibaba, and member of the Chinese Communist Party suddenly found his ambitions dashed and businesses investigated. What does this all mean?

Recently, it was brought to the attention of the In Defence of Marxism Editorial Board that some individuals have been interacting with others on the Chinese internet in the name of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), even soliciting translations and articles in the name of our organisation and promising fees in return. We wish to make it absolutely clear here to all our readers that our organisation has never accepted any contributions from such individuals, nor do we pay for articles or translations. 

A string of bond defaults by hitherto top–rated Chinese state owned companies in November has cast a shadow over China’s relatively firm economic recovery from the downturn set off by the COVID–19 pandemic. This shows that the Chinese state is fundamentally unable to avoid the organic crisis of the capitalist system.

We have received the following report of events taking place on Chinese internet fora and social media. It shows that, despite the CCP’s totalitarian regime, the crisis of capitalism is still radicalising Chinese youth, who express their discontent online in creative ways. We believe it is valuable to publish this for our international readers, showing a process which is not readily visible through official statistics and reporting.

Both the US and British governments have recently launched a barrage of criticism against China’s treatment of the Uyghurs. The US has gone as far as imposing sanctions on top Chinese state officials responsible for Xinjiang, and the oppression of the Uyghurs by the Chinese state is now regularly featured in the news in the West. According to reports by the capitalist press, hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are being detained in prison camps, whilst others face extremely repressive conditions. But why only now have western imperialists hypocritically taken up the plight of the Uyghurs?

Note: We are republishing this article, written by Ji Han (吉汉) and published 28 May 2019 by Initium Media (Hong Kong) because we believe it provides some interesting insights into what happened in China in 1989. Of particular interest is what it describes taking place within the Chinese working class at the time. However, we do not agree with the pessimism about today’s situation expressed towards the end. 

In the past week, university students all over China have been openly struggling against their school administrations for effectively confining them on campus in the name of complying with the government’s coronavirus safety instructions. These protests have been spreading like wildfire, from the capital Beijing to Fujian in the south, to Inner Mongolia in the north and beyond, engulfing thousands of campuses.

Since late August, protests in Inner Mongolia, a province under the state of the People’s Republic of China, have been reported in multiple cities, including Tongliao, Hulunbuir, Provincial Capital Hohhot, and many prefectures and smaller towns. These protests erupted in response to a new language education policy that the Provisional Government has announced over the summer, which would lower the proportion of instructions in the Mongolian and Korean languages in favour of Mandarin Chinese to a level that many ethnic Mongols view as unacceptable.

On 21 May, China’s National People’s Congress passed a National Security Law for Hong Kong, bypassing the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and imposing a number of anti-democratic legislations from the central government. This move was immediately seized upon by Donald Trump, desperate to distract attention from his crisis-ridden regime. The US ruling class is in no position to lecture anyone about democratic rights as it witnesses a nationwide uprising against police murder, racism and inequality. In truth, the real reason Trump wants to bash China is to strengthen himself by promoting US nationalism, the very same political and social base that stands against the mass movement in

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