Asia

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. 

We were delighted to report on Monday that our comrade in Pakistan, Amar Fayaz, was returned safely after spending almost two months in captivity following his forced disappearance by the state. In this report, we initially neglected to include the efforts of our comrades in Argentina and Chile, who gathered a huge amount of support from leading members of the labour movement in those countries. We have now updated the article to reflect this: click here to skip to the new section.

On 19 December 2020, the Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), a revolutionary organisation struggling for the rights of students and youth in Pakistan, organised a nationwide protest, entitled “Students Day of Action” (covered by Pakistan's oldest English-language newspaper): for free education and the restoration of student unions; and against sexual harassment of women, state abductions and unemployment. Participants in all cities also raised slogans for the release of comrade Amar Fayaz, who was abducted by the state authorities last month. Still, his whereabouts are unknown.

The Progressive Youth Alliance (PYA), a revolutionary organisation struggling for the rights of students and youth in Pakistan, is organising a nationwide protest, entitled “Day of Action”: for free education and the restoration of student unions; and against sexual harassment of women, state abductions and unemployment on 19 December.

Farmers in India observed a national lockdown on 8 December – also called a Bharat Bandh – a day ahead of the scheduled sixth round of talks with the government, with five million taking part across 20,000 locations. Farmers blocked major roads from 11am to 3pm, predominantly in the agricultural states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. All commercial centres were closed. Protestors blocked railway tracks in West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. Many shops and commercial areas were also closed in Delhi in solidarity with the striking farmers. Despite a massive blockade of Delhi’s main highways, farmers are still receiving solidarity from the people living there.

Comrade Amar Fayaz was abducted on 8 November 2020 by state authorities in Jamshoro, Pakistan, a month ago, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Comrades all around the world are showing solidarity and putting pressure on the Pakistani state, demanding Amar’s release. An online petition has gathered more than 6,000 signatures from comrades and supporters globally.

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.

On November 26, nearly 250 million workers participated in a strike in urban and rural areas all over India. The strike, called by the ten central trade unions, was the fifth in the six years since Modi ascended to power.

A large part of the population in India is linked with the agriculture sector. This sector contributes 17 percent of the Indian GDP. But working conditions in the agriculture sector have not developed under capitalism and are worsening every passing day. The farmers are being pushed into further debt-traps because of the policies of liberalisation and privatisation under successive capitalist governments. There has been a general decline of living standards for farmers under the rotten capitalist system, with farmers being forced to live at the mercy of traders and multi–national corporations for their survival. The Farm Bills passed recently by the parliament are a big blow for the

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Hundreds and thousands of farmers and members from different supporting organisations from different part of India are marching towards Delhi to stage an indefinite sit-in strike. The march 'Delhi Chalo' started on 26 November 2020 towards Delhi. Their major demands include the repealing of three Farmers Bills passed by Modi's government. Currently, farmers are blocking five entry points to Delhi and have paralysed the highway traffic to the city. It is reported that farmers partially besieged the city. Police and paramilitary forces brutally attacked the marching farmers with baton charge, tear gas and water cannons

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