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.

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