Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/278/24473

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 November 2002

Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics

THE SIXTEENTH Congress of the Chinese 'Communist' Party has reinforced the country's transition to capitalism. Party chief Jiang Zemin has stepped aside for Vice-President Hu Jintao, although Jiang, as military commander, retains a large degree of political power. Other 'younger' pro-market reformers were elevated to leading positions.

John Reid

The Congress opened the doors to party membership to capitalist billionaires. Jiang stated: "We must make sure market forces play an essential role in the allocation of resources... we must free our minds from a dogmatic interpretation of Marxism". In fact Jiang stands Marxism on its head by proclaiming the Communist Party's duty to represent not only workers and peasants but also the capitalist class!

Economic transformation

ON THE face of it China's economic success seems amazing; the economy has tripled in size since 1989. Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow by 8% this year, on top of 7.3% growth last year. The national economy will exceed 10 trillion Rmb, up 8% on the previous year following China's entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO). China is now the world's major exporter of many electrical goods.

However, the transition to capitalism may not be as smooth as the new Party clique hope. The banking system is creaking under the weight of bad debts (37% of GDP) as well as huge government debts (100% of GDP).

There's also the acute problem of soaring unemployment. The closure of state industries, which under the planned economy used to guarantee the jobs for life scheme (the "iron rice bowl"), has caused massive unemployment. Unemployed workers do not receive benefits.

Officially there is 4% urban unemployment, but the figure is probably nearer 8%. These figures do not include the 150-200 million unemployed and underemployed rural workers.

There have been massive workers' demonstrations over factory closures. These have been viciously dealt with by the authorities, jailing the leaders of independent trade unions.

An unemployed construction worker, Zhang Ke, says: "Chinese workers are struggling for money to feed their families while these leaders talk about welcoming capitalists into the Communist party - they might as well call it the Chinese capitalist party."

According to former tile factory worker, Huang Weibao: "We are worked like dogs and then are discarded when the factories close... Tensions are rising... It is only a matter of time before it explodes."

Since joining the WTO foreign investment is flowing into China at a rate of more than 30 billion a year. In Shanghai, more than 100 limited companies are set up every 24 hours. China is now the world's fourth largest industrial producer. It is the biggest exporter to the USA, knocking Japan into second place.

Many multinationals have moved large parts of their operations to China to produce goods for export (the home market is limited, with the workers on such low wages). National Presto, an American company, has closed two factories in the US states of New Mexico and Mississippi costing the loss of many jobs and has moved to China. China's vast pool of cheap labour is the attraction. Wages average 40 US cents an hour, six times cheaper than Mexican labour costs and just a fraction of US wages.

Wealth gap

THE NUMBER of private businesses has increased from 90,000 in 1989 to 2.3 million last year. State-owned industries are down from 102,300 in 1989 to 42,900 in July this year. The private sector is expected to overtake the state sector to control more than half the economy next year.

However, the ruling clique is still trying to manage the rapid transition to capitalism, for fear of provoking widespread social unrest. Chinese private companies are still restricted by the state. Of the Rmb30 billion (2.3 billion) in corporate bonds issued so far this year, none was launched by private companies.

Homegrown private companies are also less favoured than foreign companies. In China's five special economic zones, foreign investors pay 15% corporation tax, but domestic companies pay 33%.

China is on the road to complete capitalist restoration, but the ruling clique are attempting to do this gradually and by maintaining their repressive authoritarian grip. The effects on the working class and peasants have been devastating; the gap between rich and poor exceeds the wealth gap in the USA.

There is the potential for huge movements of the Chinese workers and peasants. A revolutionary party based on a clear socialist programme needs to be built to enable the Chinese people to sweep aside the rotten ruling caste and establish a genuine, democratic socialist society.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 22 November 2002:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Firefighters - Their Fight Is Our Fight

All Out To Win On London Allowance

Firefighters - A Decisive Struggle

Why Capitalism Brings Famine


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Top-Up Fees - Build A Mass Movement Of Action

Firefighters Strike "Nothing will ever be the same"

ISR - Fighting For Socialist Change


International socialist news

Capitalism With Chinese Characteristics


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 November 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

China:

triangleRapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: China today and the coronavirus

triangleCoronavirus: international cooperation needed, not capitalist competition

triangleCoronavirus crisis shakes Chinese regime

triangleCoronavirus exposes capitalism's weaknesses in healthcare and economy

Capitalism:

triangleThe Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Crisis, capitalism and class division - a discussion on perspectives for Britain

triangle'Victory in Europe' 75th anniversary: A resurgent workers' movement and the fight for socialism

Workers:

triangleBlack and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

International

International

20/5/20

US

Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

6/5/20

India

India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

6/5/20

Trump

Trump puts profit before safety (again)

6/5/20

US

US: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide

29/4/20

May Day

A CWI May Day 2020 statement

29/4/20

Ireland

Irish police use Covid-19 emergency powers to disperse Dublin shop workers' protest

22/4/20

USA

US private healthcare system in meltdown

14/4/20

Coronavirus

Rapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus

8/4/20

CWI

Coronavirus, capitalism and fighting for socialism worldwide

8/4/20

Amazon

Amazon workers threaten revolution!

18/3/20

France

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

18/3/20

Coronavirus

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

18/3/20

Coronavirus

'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

11/3/20

US

How can Trump be ousted from the White House?

11/3/20

Italy

Italy on lockdown: lack of resources and democracy causes panic

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999