Asia

Whilst hundreds of delegates from 37 countries were participating in the fifth day of the founding congress of the Revolutionary Communist International (RCI), we received the shocking news that a government crackdown was underway in Pakistan-held Kashmir against the leaders of the movement that had scored victory against the regime in the fight against electricity and flour price hikes. The delegates, outraged by this news, passed the following motion in condemnation of the government and solidarity with the movement and its persecuted leaders in a unanimous vote.

The recent general elections in India have exposed the rottenness of the whole political edifice in the country. Almost all the parties involved have been revealed as bankrupt, with diminishing authority, and having nothing to offer the toiling masses. But Modi’s ruling BJP, which was once considered invincible, came out the biggest loser.

The Morning Star, the political mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Britain, is praising and promoting two new books analysing China, China’s Great Roadby John Ross, and The East is Still Redby Carlos Martinez. As you can tell from the titles, both books present the modern day Chinese economy and Communist Party as genuinely Marxist, which in their eyes obliges all communists to actively support them. Both books argue that China is blazing a trail towards socialism and ultimately communism. 

On 13 May, more than 500,000 people gathered in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled, so-called ‘Azad’ (‘Free’) Kashmir, to demand cheaper electricity and wheat flour. The ruling class of ‘Azad’ Kashmir and Pakistan, despite having brutally attacked the protestors previously, have now partially accepted the masses’ demands. This is a huge victory for the masses in this part of Kashmir, where people have been protesting for more than a year for these demands. This victory has sent shockwaves through the halls of power.

2023 saw the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, and the man at the heart of the state today. The anniversary was marked by a torrent of remembrances of the figure once described by Henry Kissinger as “one of the asymmetries of history.” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (Lee Kuan Yew’s son) is stepping down on 15 May and passing the baton to a new generation of leadership unrelated to the Lee family. The continuation of Lee’s People’s Action Party and the entire edifice of the Singaporean state hangs in the balance.

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Like workers all over the world, the working class of Pakistan also celebrated May Day 2024 in a period of unprecedented crisis of global capitalism. Already weak and backward, capitalism in Pakistan is in a deepening crisis. The ruling class and the state are becoming ever-more vicious and are conducting an economic massacre of the Pakistani working masses at the behest of global imperialist lending institutions like the IMF.

Elections to India’s parliament are starting on 19 April. The reactionary BJP-led Modi government has been in power for two terms, in which time it has failed to meet any of its promises to the masses; it has sold swathes of public property to multinationals; stirred up chauvinist hatred towards minorities and women; and backed Israel’s war of slaughter in Gaza.

Since the collapse of Chinese real estate conglomerate Evergrande, the second-biggest economy in the world entered a slow-motion crisis that has expanded into other sectors. This crisis has now reached the sphere where the debts are issued: the banks.

“The darkness will pass, the red dawn is coming!” This fiery chant in Urdu rang out repeatedly from the hundreds of voices of Pakistani communists who assembled in Lahore on 2-3 March to participate in the congress of Lal Salaam. It was a weekend that combined joyous revolutionary optimism with intense fervour and solemn preparation for a new stage in the class war.

On 14 February, 200 million Indonesians took to the polls to vote for a new leader. Official results are due in March, but the latest counts project that Prabowo will become Indonesia’s next president in October. In an election that many pundits have deemed the dirtiest ever, the ex-general garnered 58 percent of the vote in just one round, defeating his two other rivals – Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo – by more than 30 percent. Prabowo ran as the direct successor to Jokowi and promised to continue his policy. In fact, he would not have won the election without the support of Jokowi, who had his eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming, as vice-presidential running mate.

Chinese New Year was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but this year, despite the lights and festivities, it was cold and gloomy, given the economic crisis eating into the living conditions of the working class. But amidst the melancholy, there was also a wave of workers' wage protests that are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Thousands of Indian dockworkers are refusing to assist in the transporting of Israeli arms. This tremendous example of working-class solidarity must be repeated across the world to effectively resist Israel’s slaughter!

The following is the preface to the 2023 Indonesian edition of the Manifesto of the Communist Party. The last Indonesian translation of the Manifesto was made in 1948, but unfortunately the quality of that edition is far from what this important document deserves. Furthermore, the 1948 edition was written in an Old Indonesian style. Meanwhile, the Indonesian language itself has developed a lot in the past 75 years. Therefore, there is a pressing need for a new translation that can explain more clearly the ideas contained in this brilliant work for the new generation of Communists. The new edition can be accessed at the ...

What is the role of China today? While some on the left have celebrated China’s ambitions as a counterweight to the United States, Jorge Martín explains that capitalism has long been restored in China, and today it has all the features of a rising imperialist power. ‘Multipolarity’ will not benefit the workers of the world, who must trust solely in their own strength to throw off the chains of imperialism and capitalism internationally.

With general elections planned on 8 February, the crisis and splits of Pakistan’s ruling class and state are intensifying, while attacks on workers, under the dictates of the IMF, are continuing and unemployment and inflation are rising at an unprecedented level. No political party participating in the coming general elections has solutions to any of the problems in this country, and all of the political parties represent merely different factions of the ruling class. 

It has been over two months since the Northern Alliance – which is made up of armed ethnic organisations, as well as the armed wing of the Burmese Communist Party – launched ‘Operation 1027’ in northern Shan State in Burma. Other resistance forces have also attacked junta bases in the states of Karenni, Rakhine, Chin, Karen, Sagaing Region and Bago Region. As events are unfolding rapidly in Burma, this article can only provide the latest verifiable information. However, all signs point towards one clear outcome: the end of General Min Aung Hliang’s government.

The world’s so-called “super election year”, in which over 50 countries are scheduled to go to the polls, has been inaugurated in Taiwan with a consequential presidential and legislative election. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate William Lai Ching-te prevailed, but the party lost its legislative majority and a significant amount of support. Against this backdrop, a new era of instability lies ahead for Taiwan and the security situation around East Asia.

The year 2023 is coming to an end. This year was by no means a good one for the working class in China. However, it has also been a year in which we’ve seen new hopes springing up as workers have moved towards class struggle.

On 2-3 December 2023, a nationwide Workers’ Socialist School was organised by the Red Workers’ Front (RWF) in Landhi Industrial Area, Karachi. A large number of workers from both the public and private sector industries, in Karachi and across the country, took part in this historic occasion.