China

Ho Jun-bo sends us this update on the situation in China. The massive protests of the oil and steel workers are continuing in the face of provocation by the state. The state claims it has arrested six leaders, and is enforcing a media blackout.

Across north-east China there have been massive protests of oil workers, particularly in Diqing where an estimated 50,000 workers are on strike. And in Liaoyang where steel, textile and poor farmers are also striking. Not since the struggles of the workers, youth and students of the 1987-9 period has China witnessed this level of worker, youth, poor farmer and poor peasant and migrant worker unrest. The recent struggles have demonstrated the enormous potential existing amongst the Chinese working class to resist capitalist restoration and carry through the political revolution against the parasitic bureaucracy to establish genuine workers' democracy in China. In...

In January Wang Fanxi died in Leeds, England. He was one of the few remaining links to the early Chinese Trotskyist movement. It was after the defeat of the 1926 Chinese revolution that, together with hundreds of other members of the Chinese Communist Party, he began to question the policies of the leadership and joined Trotsky’s Left Opposition.

The migrant workers of Hong Kong - who have developed an independent group of unions and achieved almost 100% membership of unions, social and political groups, churches and agencies - have won a major victory in their militant action to prevent any further pay cuts. What remains are the demands to defeat any proposed changes in working conditions, fees and number caps and the new demands raised in a young movement that has now tasted first blood.

"Solidarity of the migrant workers of Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka demonstrated with PTUDC. Hong Kong Unions join the fray. Call for a party of labour wings support - notion to be sent to the labour movement of Hong Kong and Macao. Labour Ministers of Indonesia and Philippines rushing to Hong Kong to mediate the struggle." These are the headings of an article we have received from Marxists in Hong Kong about the recent migrant workers struggle and their intervention in the movement.

("A city of life" is the slogan of the HK Tourist Authority, but "a city of struggle" has become a regular by-line in the South China Morning Post). This article we have received from a group of Marxists in Hong Kong describes the political, economical and social situation in the city. There have been a number of strikes and demonstrations by different groups of workers in the last period, particularly the immigrant workers. The article also explains the strategy of the Marxists in their intervention.

The clash between China and the USA over the crashed spy plane has thrown into sharp relief the tensions between the great powers in Asia. The incident in itself was an accident. But dialectics explains that necessity can be expressed through accident. Underlying the immediate incident lie fundamental contradictions between China and the USA.

Phil Mitichinson reviews the increasing difficulties in the road to capitalism in China, the recent workers' uprisings and concludes that "in the next period internationalcapital will feel the ground quake under the impact of millions of Chinese workers on the move".

Outraged by the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia, almost a million people took to the streets on the mainland. The Chinese Vice Premier Hu Jintao announced on TV that although NATO attacked China's embassy, "reform and opening up will continue". Voices questioning the pro-capitalist path have grown louder, gaining a base amongst CCP members, lower levels of the bureaucracy, the workers and youth.

The death of Deng Xiaoping opens up a new chapter for China. Over the last 20 years since the death of Mao, the shift towards opening up the economy to capitalist interests has intensified the contradictions of Chinese society.

The following article was originally published in the British Socialist Appeal in 1992, it provides background material on the processes and forces shaping modern Chinese society today. It looked at the growing influence within the state apparatus of the pro-capitalist elements, a process that has continued and intensified to this day.

This article was written at a time (Autumn of 1976) when many on the left had big illusions that Maoist China was somehow a genuine socialist regime. Alan Woods was able to see beyond the fog of the Maoist propaganda and see what was really happening in China. This article provides interesting background information for anyone who wants to know the truth about the nature of the Chinese bureaucracy, that same bureaucracy that is now pushing China more and more towards capitalism.

This article, written in May 1965 by Ted Grant, shows how genuine Marxism was able to see the real processes going on in China and not be fooled by the words of the Chinese leaders. Then as now Marxism was a tool that allowed one to see through the fog of seemingly contradictory and incomprehensible events.