Asia

For the past few weeks, with the Lunar New Year approaching, the working class in China has been engaged in a wave of economic strikes, protests and demonstrations. Whilst these struggles vary in terms of scale and militancy, collectively they give a clear indication of the deepening socio-economic crisis, and of the courageous groundswell of class struggle that this is causing to rise up against the capitalist regime.

Since returning to power in 2021, the Taliban in Afghanistan have subjected women to a brutal regime of oppression, whilst the whole population has been plunged into an abyss of hunger, disease and misery. Now, women have been excluded from education, leading to renewed protests. Hundreds of brave women have taken to the streets of Kabul and other cities, fully in the knowledge of the risk to their lives in doing so. In this video, the comrades of the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA – the youth wing of the IMT in Pakistan) send their solidarity.

The current right-wing Modi regime in India won the assembly elections in Gujarat, which were seen as a rehearsal for the 2024 general elections. The reasons behind this victory are complex and must be explained, against the context of other state elections that produced different results.

On 7 December 2022, the Chinese state issued its ‘Ten New Measures’ – a hasty shift from its ‘Zero COVID’ policy towards what it called “accurate counter-measures”. In reality, this was a complete abandonment of previous hardline measures to contain COVID-19. According to the capitalist CCP regime, the ‘Ten Measures’ are aimed at improving “scientific accuracy” in

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Vizhinjam, a coastal town located two kilometres south of Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, is simmering with widespread protests against the construction of a private port by the richest person in India, Gautam Adani. The people living in this coastal town, mostly fishermen, are protesting against the Adani-led construction of Vizhinjam International seaport.

Progressive Youth Alliance, a countrywide organisation of revolutionary students and youth, held its third central youth convention on 8 December 2022 in Multan. More than 700 students, youth, workers and progressive political activists from across the country participated in the Central Youth Convention.

A week ago, China saw the rapid proliferation of protests against the regime’s harsh COVID-19 lockdown measures, many of which quickly acquired a political character challenging the entire capitalist regime of the CCP. Although individually the protests were small, the regime is clearly afraid of their potential to mobilise far larger layers. Now, whilst the regime is cracking down, they are also having to relent on its ‘zero COVID’ measures. But in doing so, they face even more instability in Chinese capitalism.

Barely a month after the CCP’s pompous 20th Party Congress, anger from below is bursting to the surface. Last week, the Foxconn mega-factory in Zhengzhou, Henan saw a violent confrontation between workers and the police over wage theft by management, and in the past two days, large and violent protests have been reported in many major cities, targeting the regime’s draconian lockdown measures, which have become a focal point for widespread discontent. As we have long predicted, the deep crisis of Chinese capitalism is beginning to spur the masses into action.

The crisis of the capitalist system in Pakistan is reaching unprecedented levels, reflecting the fact that it is one of the weakest links in the chain of world capitalism. Alongside the political and economic crises, the crisis of the state is unravelling to a degree never seen before, leading the whole society into an abyss of misery and wretchedness.

On 11 November 2022, the Halla Bol (“Raise Hell”) youth convention was organised by Progressive Youth Alliance Karachi at the Sindh Scouts Club. Hundreds of students, workers and political activists participated in the convention, which represented a declaration of war against unemployment, inflation, sexual harassment, expensive education, national oppression and capitalism. 

The 20th Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) has further consolidated the power of the party-state over society, with President Xi Jinping at its head. Xi has formally inaugurated his third term as supreme leader of the country – a feat only matched by Mao in the history of the People’s Republic of China. The senior leadership of the CCP is now entirely staffed by Xi’s trusted lieutenants. The heavily-stressed theme of this Congress was the necessity of the party-state’s leadership as the country enters the coming period.

After weeks of speculation, the rumour that a fuel price hike was coming was finally confirmed. The working class was hit with a 30-percent price rise. Starting on Saturday 3 September, the price of petrol shot up from 51 cent to 67 cents per litre, and diesel fuel from 35 cents to 46 cents per litre.

Pakistan has been ravaged by floods and torrential rains, while the ruling class continues to loot and plunder the impoverished masses at this time of distress and disaster. According to reports, around one third of the country has been devastated by the floods and rains of the last three months, while 33 million people have been affected. Around 1,400 have died, and around 4,000 injuries have been reported according to official figures. According to the recent reports 482,030 people have been displaced while 372,823 buildings have been destroyed.

A two-day Marxist School was held in Rawlakot, Kashmir on 6-7 August. It was the most successful Marxist School ever organised by the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), with more than 200 students, youth, workers and political activists participating from Karachi to Peshawar, and Baluchistan to Kashmir.

As we have previously reported, for the past month the regime of Ranil Wickremesinghe in Sri Lanka has unleashed repression against trade unionists and left-wing activists. Now the regime has escalated its repression, using the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to detain activists for long periods without trial. On Sunday 28 August there will be protests outside the UN Human Rights Council office in Geneva, and at Sri Lankan embassies around the world at 2pm local time.

Just over a month ago, on 9 July, the insurrectionary masses of Sri Lanka stormed the Colombo residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. This was the culmination of island-wide protests that had been ongoing since March. They had already brought down three government cabinets, the governor of the Central Bank, and Gota’s own brothers: the Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, and the powerful then-Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who was forced to resign on 9 May.

On 2 August 2022, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, in an act of clear and reactionary provocation towards China. Far from furthering the cause of democracy as Pelosi claimed, her trip has the potential to destabilise the entire Indo-Pacific region. In this podcast episode produced by the Canadian section of the IMT, Fightback, Daniel Morley, writer for In Defence of Marxism, discusses the U.S. and Chinese saber rattling over Taiwan.

A wave of class struggle, rising all over the world, is approaching Vietnam. Under increasing financial pressure, sections of the Vietnamese working class have engaged in furious wildcat struggles. The rising tension is also reflected in the actions of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (VCP), which is now led by its most powerful leader in decades. While making a show of proactively addressing corruption in Vietnamese society in an effort to appease the masses, it has simultaneously increased repression.

The trip by Speaker of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan has placed the Taiwanese national question at the forefront of world politics. Though Taiwan is, de facto, an independent state, the Chinese government has always maintained that the island is part of its territory. Meanwhile, the United States has maintained a deliberately ambiguous stance on the question for decades. Pelosi’s trip is yet another nail in the coffin of this delicate balance which, if upended, could threaten the stability of the whole region.