From a Marxist point of view the 1949 Chinese Revolution, in spite of its bureaucratic deformations, was the second most important event in human history after the Russian Revolution. It led to the abolition of landlordism and capitalism and the end of imperialist domination. Now, however, capitalism dominates in China. How did this happen? Here we present Part One of a document approved by this year’s world congress of the International Marxist Tendency which looks at events from the revolution up to the end of the Mao era.

The march towards capitalism is not a simple straightforward process. There are opposition voices within the bureaucracy, but more importantly capitalist development has created a massive working class and this is now being expressed in the growing level of strikes.

State planning has broken down in China, but the state still plays a key role in providing capital investment and in nurturing major Chinese corporations whose role is to compete with the foreign multinationals and guarantee that important economic interests remain in Chinese hands.

Nearly thirty years have passed since Deng first introduced his “market reforms”. What started as an attempt to stimulate growth within a planned economy has ended up by establishing capitalist relations in the Chinese economy. How did all this happen and where is China going today?

The dominant wing of the Chinese Communist Party has pushed through capitalist counter-reforms in the Chinese economy over the past couple of decades, achieving immense economic growth but also devastating effects on the conditions of the workers. Here we publish an interesting letter by an anonymous group of “veteran CCP members, veteran cadres, veteran military personnel and intellectuals” who are opposed to this course.

China’s headlong drive towards capitalism is beginning to meet resistance. Workers’ protests are growing. Opposition is even being voiced within the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party itself. It is merely a matter of time before the class struggle erupts on a grand scale.

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