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 a significant development the workers of north-east China have begun to generalise their struggle with the formation of independent organisations and trade unions.

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.

The sudden peace overtures sent out by Vajpayee on April 18 have stirred the political landscape of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Most sections of the intellectual and political elites of both India and Pakistan, and even far beyond, are astonished. Yet, if we take a quick look at the post partition history of the subcontinent it is not surprising at all.

On Wednesday, millions of workers in India went on a national strike protesting against government plans to privatise state-owned firms. The one-day stoppage heavily affected sectors such as banking, insurance, oil, power, coal mining, telecommunications, engineering and textiles.

In less than two weeks Hong Kong has been shaken to the foundations by three mass rallies demanding democratic change. Over 500,000 protested against the passage of "anti-subversion" laws; over 50,000 demonstrated outside of the Legislative Council halls July 9 to appeal for democratic reforms, and on Sunday, over 20,000 participated in a rally for universal suffrage.

The Indian film industry is the second largest in the world producing about 300 movies a year. Not more than 5 or six movies hit the box office. One wonders why people keep on investing in an apparently money losing business.

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