When the Sino-Japanese war began in 1937, the CCP had already been an exclusively rural party for almost ten years. As we pointed out previously, this was an improvisation born out of the party’s confusion at Chiang’s power grab. By 1935, when Mao became the undisputed leader of the party, this improvisation and temporary retreat had been transformed into the party’s raison d’être.

The PIA workers’ strike has entered its 7th day. Following the murder of three workers by security forces in Karachi last Tuesday, when the workers’ peaceful protest against privatization was brutally attacked, the intensity of the strike has peaked.

The ongoing process of privatising Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the resistance of pilots and workers has suddenly taken a sharp turn with the eruption of protests and a countrywide strike. The strike and protests are continuing despite government attacks and the vacillations of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) leadership, formed of representatives from the various linked PIA unions, from the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) to the ruling PML-N on the one hand and the PPP on the other.

For twenty two years after 1927 the comrades of the CCP knew of no state other than constant war. Physically liquidated from the cities in 1927-8, they fled to the countryside, where they suffered one extermination campaign after another by the Guomindang, forcing them to embark on the Long March in 1934. This exhausting state of affairs brought the party to near extinction (it certainly was enough to destroy its Marxist programme), a big factor in its forging an alliance with Chiang Kai Shek in 1936 to gain breathing space. And yet no sooner had this truce been signed when Japan launched an all out war with China, a war whose secondary motivation for the Japanese (after the exploitation of Chinese industry and raw materials) was the extermination of the communist threat.

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