A brief comment on the different historical periods China has been through since the early 20th Century, from the founding of the Chinese Communist Party by genuine Marxists to the present-day transition to capitalism.

Western bourgeois commentators have shed crocodile tears over the plight of the Tibetan people. But interestingly apart from a lot of talk they are doing very little. China is too important a trading partner to upset the cart too much. Here we look at the historical background to the situation in Tibet and how it relates to the growing contradictions within Chinese society as a whole.

Tibet erupted in ethnic based rioting over the past few days. Undoubtedly there is some outside interference, but this alone cannot explain what is going on. At the root of the problem is the uneven spread of wealth, which has been made worse by the introduction of market economics, compounding the feeling of national oppression of the Tibetans.