China

Deng’s early “reforms” initiated in the late 1970s were aimed at improving efficiency in the economy. But once the Chinese bureaucracy had embarked down the road of capitalist incentives the whole process had a logic of its own, sucking China more and more down the road of capitalist restoration. This did not happen all in one go. There were several key turning points which are analysed here.

From a Marxist point of view the 1949 Chinese Revolution, in spite of its bureaucratic deformations, was the second most important event in human history after the Russian Revolution. It led to the abolition of landlordism and capitalism and the end of imperialist domination. Now, however, capitalism dominates in China. How did this happen? Here we present Part One of a document approved by this year’s world congress of the International Marxist Tendency which looks at events from the revolution up to the end of the Mao era.

The march towards capitalism is not a simple straightforward process. There are opposition voices within the bureaucracy, but more importantly capitalist development has created a massive working class and this is now being expressed in the growing level of strikes.

State planning has broken down in China, but the state still plays a key role in providing capital investment and in nurturing major Chinese corporations whose role is to compete with the foreign multinationals and guarantee that important economic interests remain in Chinese hands.

Nearly thirty years have passed since Deng first introduced his “market reforms”. What started as an attempt to stimulate growth within a planned economy has ended up by establishing capitalist relations in the Chinese economy. How did all this happen and where is China going today?

The dominant wing of the Chinese Communist Party has pushed through capitalist counter-reforms in the Chinese economy over the past couple of decades, achieving immense economic growth but also devastating effects on the conditions of the workers. Here we publish an interesting letter by an anonymous group of “veteran CCP members, veteran cadres, veteran military personnel and intellectuals” who are opposed to this course.

China’s headlong drive towards capitalism is beginning to meet resistance. Workers’ protests are growing. Opposition is even being voiced within the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party itself. It is merely a matter of time before the class struggle erupts on a grand scale.

The widening income gap in China and the resulting social explosions, threatening the interests of the ruling bureaucracy and capitalists, is a top item on the agenda of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. In a bid to ease the revolt, the 11th five-year economic plan is nominally focusing on more equal distribution, but this cannot solve the contradictions created by the move towards capitalism.

On February 22, the Chinese government shut down the China Workers' Website and Discussion Lists, a website that allowed Chinese workers and farmers to discuss their struggles and the problems they face. The developments and changes in China are of extreme significance for workers and youth of the whole world and in this regard, this interview, conducted by Stephen Philion for the Monthly Review Magazine, is extremely interesting and important, and provides an insight into the conditions of the Chinese workers, youth and peasants.

We are publishing an exchange of letters between a Chinese Communist, RY, and Fred Weston of the Marxist.com Editorial Board. They give an insight to the problems that many genuine Chinese Communists are facing, as China moves further and further down the road of capitalism.

Since the era of Deng Xiaoping China has been moving ever closer to capitalism. What started as an attempt to use market criteria to push forward economic growth within the context of an economy still dominated by the public sector, took on a momentum of its own. Now we have capitalist relations dominating. This article was first published in Italian in the Marxist journal FalceMartello.

An interesting piece by Lenin in which he develops a Marxist approach to a predatory imperialist war on the part of Tsarist Russia against China, with many lessons that can be applied to today's situation. The Tsarist regime claimed it was fighting “barbarism” and “civilising” China. The war was presented as one between “cultures”. Over one hundred years later the same arguments are being used by Bush to justify his war in Iraq.

An interesting letter from a reader in China, who points out that the dominant mode of production in that country is now capitalism. He asks the question; “following the full market economy then how can we class the current leadership of China, what class are they supporting?”

Following on from the letter we published a few weeks ago, another reader in China has added his thoughts to the discussion. He highlights particularly the growing disparity between different social layers in Chinese society, a result of the development of capitalism, which is destroying all the gains of the past.