Asia

In the past few months, discontent among Chinese youth is increasingly bursting to the surface, both online and on campuses, in defiance of state censorship and repression. A widespread proliferation of anti-capitalist memes and open dissent against the regime online speak to a general undercurrent of rage and resentment, which has also seen university students launching struggles across two provinces.

June 4th marks the 32nd anniversary of the brutal crushing of the Tiananmen Square movement in China in 1989. This year, like every year, we will no doubt see many bourgeois commentators producing articles that use the tragic events of 1989, not to explain what the movement was actually about, but to denounce “communism/socialism” as a failure. They will paint it as a system that cannot work, and present capitalism as the only viable system available to humanity. The media in the west present it as a movement for bourgeois parliamentary democracy and for capitalist restoration in China.

Serious protests are ongoing in Georgia against the building of a dam in Namakhvani, which poses the risk of massive job losses, energy price hikes and environmental destruction. This protest grew from a handful of people in Lechkhumi in the West into a national demonstration, which culminated on 14 March in a 22,000-strong protest in Kutaisi. This was the largest environmental demonstration in recent memory. Daily protests and encampments continue to this day.

As the second wave of COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the country, the plight of the working class in Bangladesh is worsening. The situation has not yet reached the proportions seen in India just yet, it could soon get to such levels as the ruling class hasn’t taken any measures to provide basic health facilities and vaccines to the millions of workers who live in poverty.

Nepal is no exception as the world faces a new surge of COVID-19. With new cases increasing daily, Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population claims that the total number of infections stands at 343,418, while reporting 3,362 deaths. For the last several days, 8,000 cases have been reported daily.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has plummeted. Yet while the rest of the world seems to be on fire, China appears to have remained safe from the extreme economic decline, being the one of the few economies to grow in 2020. China registered a 1% increase in GDP due to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) strict lockdown measures and the endeavour of frontline workers. To the outside world, the Chinese state continues to appear strong, proudly brandishing the slogan of ‘Socialism with Chinese Characteristics’.

Talk of a potential military confrontation between China, the United States, and Japan over the question of Taiwan have escalated recently. The Biden administration is continuing the Trump administration’s policy of confrontation with China over the issue, with Japan following in tow. Meanwhile, China is rapidly expanding its military activity across the Taiwan Strait. The lives of people in Taiwan and the entire region are relegated to the chess pieces of the feuding powers. Why is this happening now? Where will it lead? And what is the way out?

A number of activists, including members of Perhimpunan Sosialis Revolusioner (PSR), the Indonesian section of IMT, were arrested as they gathered to protest the arrival of Myanmar coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing in Jakarta for the ASEAN summit this Saturday. While Indonesian President Jokowi preached democracy to the Myanmar General, he ordered his own police forces to silence protesters. 

COVID-19 is ravaging India with a brutal second wave, which Modi is using as a pretext to cut across on-going farmer and worker struggles, despite failing to undertake effective measures to protect people from the virus. The battle against Modi’s reactionary anti-farmer and worker laws must be combined with a struggle for a people’s lockdown: providing adequate support and resources to millions of households crushed by poverty, disease and death. Worker and farmer solidarity is the only answer to Modi’s rotten regime! For a joint struggle to win a decent existence! Build for an indefinite general strike!

On 7 April 2021, voters in South Korea’s capital Seoul, and the key port city of Busan, delivered a stunning rebuke against the ruling Democratic Party (Minjoo). Although the conservative People Power Party (PPP) took hold of these two key cities, the election was regarded by the South Korean masses as a referendum on both President Moon Jae-in and the political establishment as a whole. As in many countries in the world, a socialist, working-class political alternative is sorely needed.

The ruling class in Bangladesh announced a nationwide lockdown following 10 days of Independence Day celebrations, in which they cosied up to the reactionary Modi regime of India. Meanwhile, workers are facing death and infection on a massive scale, and the health sector is in a parlous state. Anger beneath the surface is building towards an eruption.

The ongoing elections in five Indian states, with a total population of close to 250 million, provide a snapshot of the situation facing the working class across India. A common feature is the weakness of the left and its insistence on forming alliances with various bourgeois parties. The Indian working class is thus denied an independent voice. The various Communist parties should break with their ideas of class collaboration and build a united front of the Indian workers.

The mass movement of March 2014 that became known as the ‘Sunflower Movement’ was a pivotal event in Taiwan's recent political history. Its impact continues to be felt today. From 18 March to 10 April 2014, students took over and occupied the country’s legislature, while tens of thousands of workers supported them in the streets for 24 days.

A revolution is underway in Myanmar. The masses are showing immense courage in the face of brutal violence by the military junta. Workers and youth are preparing to defend themselves and allying with the organisations of oppressed ethnic groups. An armed workers' uprising and an all-out, continuous general strike must be organised to topple the murderous junta!