cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgWorld Perspectives 2017: X. China: Strengthened as a Great Power but Before a Serious Recession

 

  1. As we have elaborated above as well as in past documents, Chinese imperialism has been able to substantially increase its global position. However, this doesn’t mean that it is free of internal contradictions. Quite the opposite. After the stock market crashed a year ago, the regime was only able to avoid a recession by resorting to a massive state-capitalist investment program. Furthermore, it has now imposed new restrictions on outbound foreign investments in an effort to curb capital outflows which put downward pressure on its currency, the Renminbi, and drains China’s foreign exchange reserves. [1]

 

  1. The rapid increase of social inequality and the deplorable working conditions for most workers have resulted in an exponential increase in the number of workers’ strikes. According to data from China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based rights group, there were 2,774 strikes and labor protests across the country in 2015 – more than the number which took place during the previous four years together. [2] As we have stated in the past, these struggles are focused on economic issues, the most common grievance in these protests has been unpaid wages. Naturally the Stalinist-capitalist regime tries to suppress this unrest as much as possible. One instrument for doing so is the ban of any independent trade union outside of the official All-China Federation of Trade Unions which is completely controlled by regime. Furthermore, there a number of clashes in smaller towns and villages have also taken place. For example, in the second half of 2016, repeated mass protests and street battles between villagers and the police occurred in Wukan, a village of 13,000 people, after a democratically elected local leader, Lin Zulian, was jailed by authorities on charges of corruption. [3]

 

  1. On the backdrop of a looming global Great Recession, which would have strong repercussions on China’s economy and the growing domestic class struggle, Xi Jinping, who is both the country’s president as well as the “Communist” Party’s general secretary, is increasing his efforts to consolidate his grip on power. Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has launched a massive anti-corruption campaign which led to the purge of numerous officials, military officers and state-sector business executives. He has also replaced a dozen provincial party chiefs with his own allies. [4]

 

  1. Xi’s efforts to bolster his position as the unquestioned Bonapartist leader met with success when, in the the latest meeting of the Central Committee in October 2016, he was officially endorsed as the “core of the party centre.” This will undoubtedly strengthen his position in the power struggle with Premier Li Keqiang. [5] While Xi is calling for “stronger, better, bigger” state corporations, with a central role for the Communist Party in their management, Li stresses the need to “slim down” state companies and to “follow market rules” in remaking them. [6] It is clear that the Stalinist-capitalist regime in Beijing is preparing for tough times ahead, including a slowing economy, mounting social and class tensions, and the accelerating rivalry with US imperialism.

 

  1. Revolutionaries in China must fight for working class independence. While work inside the official trade union may be legitimate for tactical reasons, the goal must be to build unions which are independent of the regime. While supporting all struggles for elementary economic demands, as well as fundamental democratic rights, revolutionaries should advocate a program to unite these struggles on the basis of a transitional program. This means integrating slogans against the ongoing privatizations as well as for worker control in workplace struggles and combining the struggle for democratic rights with slogans like the call for a constituent assembly. Likewise, revolutionaries support the struggle for national self-determination for East Turkestan (which the Han chauvinists call Xinjang) and Tibet. The goal must be to prepare the working class for the overthrow of the Stalinist-capitalist regime and the creation of a workers’ government. Such a workers’ government would renationalize the privatized sectors under workers’ control, expropriate the super-rich, and smash the entire state bureaucratic apparatus.

 

[1] See e.g. Financial Times: China to clamp down on outbound M&A in war on capital flight, 2016-11-29, https://www.ft.com/content/2511fa56-b5f8-11e6-ba85-95d1533d9a62

[2] See China Labour Bulletin: Strikes and protests by China’s workers soar to record heights in 2015, 07/01/2016, http://www.clb.org.hk/en/content/strikes-and-protests-china%E2%80%99s-workers-soar-record-heights-2015

[3] See Al-Jazeera: China: Wukan in lockdown as residents clash with police, 2016-09-13, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/09/china-wukan-lockdown-residents-clash-police-160913110034559.html

[4] See e.g. John Griffin, Clark Liu, Tao Shu: Is the Chinese Anti-Corruption Campaign Effective? February 15, 2016

[5] Wang Xiangwei: How Xi Jinping can use his new power as ‘core’ of China’s Communist Party, 28 Oct 2016, http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2040942/how-xi-jinping-can-use-his-new-power-core-chinas-communist-party

[6] Lingling Wei and Jeremy Page: Discord Between China’s Top Two Leaders Spills Into the Open, July 22, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/discord-between-chinas-top-two-leaders-spills-into-the-open-1469134110

 

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About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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