In August a strike broke out in the Hunan Coal Industry Group against demands the bosses were posing as part of the preparations for privatisation of the mines.

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.

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