At the recent 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, held on 18-24 October in Beijing, Xi Jinping took the opportunity to let the world know that China is a “mighty force” soon to reclaim its rightful position as the “Middle Kingdom”, i.e. the centre of humanity. Behind all the bluster, however, one could detect unease at the prospect of growing internal instability that flows from the impending crisis of capitalism.

On the afternoon of Thursday, June 15th local time, an explosion ravaged a nursery in XuZhou city, Jiangsu Province, causing massive deaths, injuries, and damages. The latest official police reports states that 8 people have died and 65 were injured, although many Chinese netizens suspect that this is an understated figure given the photos that were leaked to Chinese internet at the onset of the explosion, which were later removed at the direction of the government.

Less than a quarter of an hour after opening, the Chinese stock market was closed by an automatic shutdown. This was triggered twice last week by rapid falls of more than 7%. This "circuit-breaker" mechanism was imposed by the government only 5 months ago after equally dramatic losses. The government has now suspended this measure, not from new-found confidence, but as a further turn of panic.

From 1937-45, China became one of the main theatres of the Second World War. This entangling of China in World War II raised the country out of its subjugation on the world stage, such that at the War’s conclusion China was given a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Only 4 years later the immense Chinese revolution was finally completed, freeing China from imperialist domination. The war's violent dragging of China onto the world stage had effected a thoroughgoing internal transformation of China. In this article we examine the war and its effect on China, the role of the Chinese ruling class in the war, and the strategy and tactics of the Chinese Communist Party that led the revolution of 1949.

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