In early June of this year, the workers of the Chinese welding equipment manufacturer Jasic Technologies in Shenzhen attempted to legally unionise to protect themselves from chronically poor working conditions and brutal treatment by the management.
As the Chinese Communist Party acts more confidently on the international stage than ever before, the Chinese working class is starting to chafe against the harsh realities of capitalism. Since May, there have been three high-profile, cross-country strikes started by crane operators, fast food delivery workers, and most recently truckers. Although the strikes were small in relation to the general working class, the workers’ ability to organize across several major cities indicates that a layer of the Chinese working class is being pushed into struggle.
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.