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.

The introduction of the “market economy”, i.e. capitalism, in China is provoking massive social contradictions: extreme poverty at one end, extreme wealth at the other. But a gigantic proletariat is also being created, the “gravediggers” of capitalism, as Marx used to say.

We are publishing a letter we recently received from a reader in China, who considers himself a Marxist. Although we would not necessarily agree with every point he makes, the letter does give a very interesting insight into what is happening in Chinese society.

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