China

The drive to consolidate capitalism in China has provoked deep industrial unrest amongst the country’s working class. In the last few weeks we have witnessed violent workers’ struggles against the privatisation of two steel mills.

It is a fact that in 1989 the majority from Beijing to Berlin were in favour of creating a new socialist democracy to be supervised and controlled by the masses, this was not a utopian dream. This idea remains, a now hidden, now open force, capable of gripping the minds of the masses and shaping the future of the planet.

The idea that China could somehow escape the effects of the worldwide crisis of capitalism - i.e. decoupling ‑ was an illusion that some leaders in China had fostered. Now we see how the integration of the Chinese economy into the world market brings with it all the contradictions of capitalism, first among them recession and growing unemployment.

China's urbanization process has reached a critical juncture, inequality between town and country is producing explosive revolts surrounding the cities. The problem of how to contain these revolts is at the core of policy making and is reflected in conflicts inside the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

From a situation where there was universal healthcare for the whole population, China has become one of the most unequal countries in the world when it come to access to healthcare. The answer to the growing healthcare problems that the leaders of the so-called Communist Party have come up with is more private healthcare!

The scandal of adulterated milk in China continues to spread. Initially they tried to say it was one company and one top manager, and then they discovered that 22 companies were applying the same criminal practices. At least four babies have died as a result and 50,000 made ill. It is not this or that individual that is to blame. It is the profit motive!

The recent tainted milk scandal in China is widening, as more and more irregularities are uncovered. With the introduction of the market come “market methods”, even if this means putting at risk children’s lives.

Millions of workers in China are "illegal" in their own country; they are the migrant workers without a permit to leave the rural areas. But the poverty of their condition forces them into the cities where they are terribly exploited.

A brief comment on the different historical periods China has been through since the early 20th Century, from the founding of the Chinese Communist Party by genuine Marxists to the present-day transition to capitalism.

Western bourgeois commentators have shed crocodile tears over the plight of the Tibetan people. But interestingly apart from a lot of talk they are doing very little. China is too important a trading partner to upset the cart too much. Here we look at the historical background to the situation in Tibet and how it relates to the growing contradictions within Chinese society as a whole.

Tibet erupted in ethnic based rioting over the past few days. Undoubtedly there is some outside interference, but this alone cannot explain what is going on. At the root of the problem is the uneven spread of wealth, which has been made worse by the introduction of market economics, compounding the feeling of national oppression of the Tibetans.

The largest human migration in the world gets under way every Chinese New Year, as China's 120 million strong army of migrant workers make their annual trip home. This year heavy snows led to railways and roads being overburdened and transport bottlenecks wreaked sudden nationwide chaos.

Although the dismantling of the old state owned planned economy was an enormous reactionary step backwards and Marxists are utterly opposed to it, there is one positive element in the process: the creation of the largest proletariat in the world. The development of capitalism in China brings with it class contradictions that are preparing a new revolutionary upheaval in Chinese society. Once this massive Chinese proletariat moves decisively it will shake the whole world.