The picture of the Chinese economy painted by commentators in the West is often one of strength; an economy dominated by exports, with unstoppable growth and development; in short, a model to emulate. Recent figures released by the International Monetary Fund, however, describe a very different situation; a situation where contradictions are intensifying below the surface; a situation that is pregnant with crisis and revolutionary consequences.

"For a revolution to take place it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise the impossibility of living in the old way, and demand changes; for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only when the ’lower classes’ do not want to live in the old way and the ’upper classes’ cannot carry on in the old way that the revolution can triumph” (Lenin, ‘Left-Wing’ Communism, an Infantile Disorder).

After overtaking Japan, this year China became the second largest economy in the world. Some experts have even predicted that by the end of this decade China may become the largest economy bypassing the United States. However, that is based on a mechanical, empirical approach that sees China maintaining its present levels of growth uninterruptedly for years to come. In the past Japan was also supposed to keep on growing, but then its apparent meteoric rise was cut across by a long period of stagnation.

The bourgeoisie has never, anywhere, been able to find the key to unlock the mysteries of their own economic system. The only way to understand capitalism is to accept and to explain its contradictory, crisis-ridden nature. It cannot be perfected; its riddle will never be solved from within its confines. Precisely because the apologists of capitalism can never accept this fact, they are forever shifting from one side of the problem to the other.

Had the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) leadership been fully conscious of what their conquest in Shanghai in 1927 really meant, there would have been no stopping them. The example of Shanghai being taken by the organised working class, rather than the military forces of the Guomindang, could have been spread around the country through the CCP party structures and their network of commanders in the Northern Expedition from Guangzhou up to Wuhan, Nanchang, Nanjing and Shanghai.

On March 20th, 1926, another event similar to the assassination of Liao Zhongkai took place. It laid the basis for the violent coup of Chiang Kai-shek in Guangzhou, when his mask of democratic revolution slipped. The uneasy tension between the Guomindang right wing and the CCP comrades inside the Guomindang broke out into the open.

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