Wednesday, 14 November 2012


President Hu Jintao at Communist Party Congress 2012

How will China confront next ten years of white imperialist onslaught?

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
14 Nov 2012

Here below we can see an overview of the Chinese Communist and State leadership handover by one of the more thinking but right-wing media outlets of the british white power structure.

The west in general on the one hand is not happy at all with outgoing President Hu Jintao leaving the leadership with a clear left-ward rhetoric and strategy:

In a valedictory state of the nation address after a decade in power - called "Firmly march on the path of Socialism" and delivered beneath a huge hammer and sickle - he insisted that "public ownership is the mainstay of the economic system" and warned that the party must "resolutely not follow Western political systems".

The language was peppered with anti-reform code words and pointed references to "Mao Zedong Thought", as well as a warning not to fall into "wicked ways".

And speculates as to the 'reformers' - meaning those who seek to take China in a direction of liberal and western style capitalist reforms (let's call it 'white capitalism', which is very different from East Asian capitalist countries mainly in the role of the state towards the economy) - are being sidelined:

Mr Hu’s speech reflects a complex power-struggle behind the scenes as hardliners - some linked to former leader Jiang Zemin - reassert control, forcing the outgoing leader to change his message.

The ideological manouvering have profound implications as 70pc of top cadres in the party and the Chinese military retire, the most sweeping hand-over of power since the revolution in 1949.

Reformers have been left in deep confusion. The incoming premier Li Keqiang - a Hu protegee - was a key sponsor of the World Bank/DRC report. He offered his "unwavering support" for the findings at the time. It is unclear where he now stands.

As delegates scrutinised the seating arrangements, they spotted at once that leading reformer Wang Yang had been banished to the margins.

President Hu Jintao at the Congress address makes it clear that western-style reforms will create fundamental dangers to anti-imperialist and socialist China. These are quite clear and forthright words from Hu on this issue, which is interesting, however it is far from decided which way the party and state leadership will take China, as the white capitalist oriented leaders have been getting a lot of space in the leadership with the world bank/China development research council, which called for further white capitalist reforms, getting air time in the leadership.

However, to a large extent whatever happens internally to China is not the business of anyone apart from the people of China. From an anti-imperialist internationalist point of view however, China turning towards white capitalism will and does endanger the very nature of he Chinese anti-imperialist state, and China falling in a Arab spring type white imperialist operation would be a major blow to the world struggle for independence against imperialism on a massive historic level.

This again is reported in this article and quotes President Hu on this regard:

Mr Hu - a self-effacing, austere figure known for his theme of "social harmony" - said the growing gap between rich and poor is leading to social contraditions" and warned than unchecked corruption had become a mortal threat.

"If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state. We must thus make unremitting efforts to combat corruption."

Plain words there.

President Hu has also stated previously and correctly that the offensive of white imperialist cultural attack on China is a major and fundamental arena of defending Chinese socialism and anti-imperialism:

"We should deeply understand the seriousness and complexity of the ideological struggle, always sound the alarms and remain vigilant and take forceful measures to be on guard and respond,"

China and allied countries who are under the same onslaught, an onslaught which is probably the most important issue for our peoples to confront, resist and defeat, could easily launch an international campaign and smash this genocidal cultural offensive of white imperialism. But there is no sign whatsoever of this, and one can only but be confused as to why the Chinese leadership would state such a correct thing as Hu has, but seems to do nothing and its own Chinese independence is whittled away every hour and every second by white imperialist cultural offensives.

Interestingly there is very little in terms of China's internationalist strategy apart from importantly quoting Hu in developing China's maritime capability to face white imperialism's "pivot to Asia" which is a military containment police against China:

For geo-strategists, the bombshell was his call to "build China into a maritime power" to match its economic clout. Even clearer was Wu Xiaoguang, a delegate at the congress and the chief designer of China’s first aricraft carrier the Liaoning.

"The number of aircraft carriers a country has is linked with the pursuit of its national interests. What I can tell you is that the Liaoning is only just the beginning," he said.

Hardly a "bomb shell", just a very basic and simple approach to national self defence against the most vicious and violent white imperialist world presence, especially with the usa armed bases developing around the world, nato, etc.

While China is gradually building up its defences, anti-imperialist internationalism is not raised much in the reporting on the Congress, and although China has finally taken elemental steps of anti-imperialism by blocking white imperialism at the united nations on Zimbabwe and now Syria, China along with the rest of the GlobalSouth seems to lack the political will to lead a en effective and victory oriented anti--imperialist approach. The nato operation on Libya and the subsequent brits, yanks, and french recolonisation drive on Africa, as as such the whole GlobalSouth, in indicative of the absence of anti-imperialist political leadership in China and in the general GlobalSouth.

But all in all, China remains perhaps the most important anti-imperialist as well as socialist country for internationalists to support, as not only is it an example of a former colonised country 'standing up' and a marvel to the whole world, but is also the most important, despite its limitations, anti-imperialist country and bulwark in the world.

All in all I would agree with the summation of this Congress and President Hu's leadership of the last ten years with the world of an old brother of mine:

Farewell to Hu Jintao. His decade as premier has seen the People's Republic grow beyond expectations, lives transformed, millions lifted from poverty and a rate of growth and modernisation that has astounded the world and confounded critics. But also many old problems persisted, some deepened, and new ones have developed.

The next generation of leaders have much to live up to, and many deep problems and contradictions of development still to resolve. But China continues of its forward march and Hu will be remembered in balance as a good leader who did good things and helped not only keep Chairman Mao's declaration on the founding of the PRC, that "The Chinese people have stood up" but overseen the Chinese people charging forward with confidence and pride.

And finally, of President Hu himself who said on thurs 08 Nov 2012:

"The Scientific Outlook on Development was proposed by the 16th CPC Central Committee in 2003, against the backdrop of rapid economic growth and a series of problems including excessive consumption of resources, serious environmental pollution and a widening gap between the rich and poor.

The concept has championed people's interests and advocated comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development. At the Party' s 17th National Congress, the concept was written into the CPC Constitution.

Over the past ten years, China's economy has risen from the sixth to the second place in the world. Its economic, scientific and technological strength have increased considerably. Its overall national strength and international competitiveness and influence have also been enhanced substantially.

Hu said these historic successes are attributable to the correct guidance of the Party's basic theory, line, program and experience.

The Scientific Outlook on Development was created by integrating Marxism with the reality of contemporary China and with the underlying features of our times, and it fully embodies the Marxist worldview on and methodology for development, he said."

Long live socialist and anti-imperialist China.

For China to play a more assertive socialist and anti-imperialist internationalist role in our world struggle.

related links:
Huey Newton on China
Malcolm X on China
Friends of China

Monday, 11 June 2012


Afghanistan being admitted into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as observers is a positive move for peace in the region. Afghanistan's only chance of any semblance of stability, territorial integrity and people-centred development is for it to escape the clutches of the imperialists and develop positive relations with its regional neighbours.

But this is exactly what nato fears, and nato is frantically trying to cajole and bribe and prepare the Taliban and other factions in Afghanistan for continued war against the SCO countries once nato draws down its occupation by 2014.

The negotiations with the Taliban and nato are, one can be sure, around exactly these issues. The fact that nato has opened a Taliban office in one of the most slavish statelets - Qatar (also host to the yanks biggest military base in the region) - shows the bribery that is taking place towards the Taliban.

It remains to be seen what splits will occur if any amongst the Taliban, perhaps some elements of the Taliban will not want to do the bidding of the west, but if the Arab revolts are anything to go by, one cannot be sure, but on the other hand perhaps the Afghan patriots can prove they are not slaves like so many Arab organisations currently in the nato-managed counterrevolution going on in Libya and Syria today.

At the same time, one can be sure that the SCO countries are also in negotiation with all sections of the Afghan political spectrum, including those who have and are fighting nato, and Russia like nato has a long history of involvement in Afghanistan, and will have learnt all manner of lessons in order to defend Afghanistan and itself for nato aggression and dirty tricks.

In the article below you can already see the imperialist reflex to divide and rule when the article plays up some wishful thinking divisions between the Russians and Chinese on Afghanistan:

"Moscow also has offered generous assistance to rehabilitate Soviet-era dams and power stations and is exploring natural gas exploitation and infrastructure contracts — putting it on a potential collision course with China."

There is no sign for the time being that China and Russia are on any kind of collision course about any issue of politics, let alone Afghanistan. But our side in the Global South should be constantly aware and assertively counteracting divide and rule strategy and tactics of our enemy.

Watch this space, as we may yet see a even more intense re-run of the war in Afghanistan if nato gets its way. On the other hand, one hopes that the SCO and other nations of the Global South can help Afghanistan to fend off the imperialists and finally start nation building.

Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm

Central Asia group admits Afghanistan as observer


BEIJING –  China, Russia and four Central Asian states granted Afghanistan observer status in their regional group Thursday, moving to consolidate ties with the impoverished, war-torn nation before most foreign combat troops depart by the end of 2014.

Chinese President Hu Jintao announced the plan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's annual summit in Beijing.

Russia and China have long seen the six-nation group as a way to counter U.S. influence in Central Asia, and hope to play a significant role in Afghanistan's future development, especially in economic reconstruction. Granting Afghanistan observer status will strengthen their contacts, something Beijing and Moscow hope will dilute U.S. influence and more closely align Kabul's policies with their own aims.

The SCO also recommitted itself to closer security and economic ties and to combating drug trafficking, extremism and terrorism.

"All the member states should implement the agreement on striking the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism," Hu told other leaders at a morning session. "We should establish and improve a system of cooperation in security and take coordinative actions to narrow the space of activities of the three forces, get rid of drug deals and other organized cross-border criminal activities."

Afghanistan, whose president, Hamid Karzai, attended the summit, joins India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as SCO observer states. The group also admitted Turkey as one of its three dialogue partners.

Granting observer status aims to strengthen "political, economic and civilian cooperation between the SCO states and Afghanistan," Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told reporters.

Underscoring China's growing economic dominance in Central Asia, Hu opened the summit by saying China would offer a $10 billion loan to support economic development and cooperation among SCO member states. No details were immediately given on how the money would be used.

Despite the warming political ties, the SCO has yet to declare a unified strategy on Afghanistan and shows little sign of filling the void left by the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign forces.

Already, Russia and fellow SCO member nations Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are doing their part to ensure an orderly NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, having agreed to allow the reverse transport of alliance equipment after Pakistan shut down southern supply routes six months ago.

The fourth Central Asian member of the SCO is Tajikistan.

The NATO pullout will also prompt the end of military operations out of Kyrgyzstan's Manas air base, fulfilling China and Russia's oft-stated opposition to a permanent U.S. presence in Central Asia.

While the SCO's security plans in Afghanistan remain unclear, economic outreach looks set to lead the way.

Firms from China — the world's second-largest economy — already have moved into Afghanistan, where officials hope that vast untapped mineral deposits will help offset the loss of foreign aid once foreign troops withdraw. China shares a small stretch of border with Afghanistan.

The U.S. Defense Department has estimated the value of Afghanistan's mineral reserves at $1 trillion. Other estimates have pegged it at $3 trillion or more.

In December, China's state-owned National Petroleum Corp. signed a deal allowing it to become the first foreign company to exploit Afghanistan's oil and natural gas reserves. That comes three years after the China Metallurgical Construction Co. signed a contract to develop the Aynak copper mine in Logar province. Beijing's $3.5 billion stake in the mine is the largest foreign investment in Afghanistan.

China's government has also helped train and equip some security units and government offices, invested in infrastructure, healthcare and education, and offered scholarships to Afghan students.

Russia, which lost nearly 15,000 troops in its disastrous 1979-1989 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, appears keen to recover some of its lost influence there. A key concern for Moscow is stemming the flow of heroin into Russia, to be met by increased intelligence work in the country and bolstered border security in surrounding states.

Moscow also has offered generous assistance to rehabilitate Soviet-era dams and power stations and is exploring natural gas exploitation and infrastructure contracts — putting it on a potential collision course with China.


China summit seen as counterpunch to US moves


BEIJING – Will an international summit hosted by China that includes major “movers and shakers” in Asia, including Iran, Russia, India and Afghanistan, lead to an eastern version of NATO?

“Absolutely not,” Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told NBC News.

Cheng was speaking at a media event as some 16 heads of state and top officials, representing more than half of the world’s population, have gathered as members, observers and dialogue partners of the innocuous-sounding Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an economic and anti-terrorist security bloc initiated by China and Russia in 2001.

The meeting comes as China’s rising profile has raised questions about a possible power struggle between the U.S. and Beijing, with the recent Asia tour of U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta highlighting America’s effort to strengthen military alliances and partnerships in the region.

And as a sign of efforts to dilute U.S. influence, the summit granted observer status to Afghanistan on Thursday, a move should position China and the bloc to cultivate ties and play a greater role in the impoverished war-torn country even before NATO ends its military mission by 2014.

Already, Chinese firms have moved into Afghanistan, with designs on the country’s untapped trillion-dollar mineral and energy resources.

Granting observer status and inviting Afghan President Hamid Karzai will help to strengthen “political, economic and civilian cooperation between the SCO states and Afghanistan,” said Cheng at the media event.

“No military alliance” but…

When NBC News asked Cheng if the Shanghai Cooperation Organization would become an “eastern NATO” or a military alliance in the future, he very firmly downplayed the possibility.

“The main purpose is politics, economics and security and under no circumstances will the SCO become a military organization,” he said..

“But I personally think that, as the international environment becomes more complex, the SCO should enhance its cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), for the sake of peace and stability in Central Asia,” he added.

It’s extremely rare for Chinese senior diplomats to offer their personal views to foreign media, and Cheng’s pronouncements may be China’s trial-balloon for new security thinking.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which China is not a member, is a defense alliance formed in 1992 by Russia and former Soviet Republics, which Russia has been trying to reinvigorate in recent years, with stronger military contingents to counter the “eastward expansion of NATO,” among other threats.

By using the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a vehicle to coordinate closely with the Collective Security Treaty Organization, China may be hoping to benefit from stronger military ties with Russia, while avoiding the pitfalls of a formal military alignment.

“It is my personal view,” Vice-Minister Cheng emphasized to NBC News, “but I will try to push for it."

“The peace and stability of Central Asia is related to China’s core interests, we will not allow the unrest in West Asia and North Africa to spread to Central Asia,” he said, referring to the threat of Arab-style upheavals.

America should not worry

“I don’t think America should worry about China’s Central Asia strategy,” said Professor Shi Yinhong, a leading international affairs expert at Renmin University, one of China’s top research institutions.

“There is no possibility for SCO to become a formal military alliance like NATO, but there can be greater security cooperation among SCO’s member-countries,” he told NBC News.

Nonetheless, Shi conceded there are “some elements" of counter-balancing strategy in China’s latest moves.

“China has neither the stomach nor the power to confront America’s strategic advantage in East
Asia, but China has the capability to improve cooperation in Central Asia,” he said.

“China’s difficulty in East Asia is a motivation for China to do good diplomacy in Central Asia, otherwise things will become very difficult for China,” he explained.


Chinese experts say India will not ally with US against Beijing


BEIJING: Chinese analysts say that US efforts to make India part of its alliance against China will not succeed India pursued independent foreign policy focusing on its national interests.

US defence secretary Leon Panetta's visit to New Delhi is as part of Washington's efforts to make it part of alliance against Beijing but India's interest lie with Beijing, Wang Dehua, a specialist on South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies said.

"It seems that the US is sparing no efforts in forging a semi-circle of alliance against China from the South" as Panetta has attended the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and afterward visited Vietnam and India, Wang, a specialist on South Asia told state-run Global Times which carried an article highlighting Panetta's visit to New Delhi.

"But India has its own agenda in the region," Wang said noting that India wants to be independent in making its own foreign policies while maximising its national interests.

"For example, India has refrained from becoming deeply involved in the South China Sea rows because it viewed any friction with China as being against its fundamental national interests," Wang said.

"India's interests lie in wider economic and cultural cooperation with China. This is China's opportunity to break up the US intention to contain China," Wang said.

Recent write-ups in the Chinese media were consistent with expectations that India would remain independent.

Another article in the Chinese version of the Global Times said that China should would work to improve bilateral ties with "clear goals" to strengthen friendship taking into consideration New Delhi's independent foreign policy and its recent decision to pull out of South China Sea oil blocks exploration.

"For a long time, India has not figured as an important centre of Chinese foreign policy and China has not decided on a clear goal in its India policy", the write up published in Huanqiu Shibao, the Chinese version of the hardline Global Times daily run by the ruling Communist Party of China, (CPC) said two days ago.

"Now, the activity of the Indian military in the Indian Ocean has increased and the Indian Navy is also sailing more and more towards the east, lack of mutual trust may lead to both sides adopting a mistaken strategy. China should have clear strategic goals towards India", it said.



Prior to his visit to Afghanistan, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was in India seeking a stronger defense partnership. India however has not obliged. Going with the non-alignment policy that the country has followed for decades, India says discussions are the only way forward.

When Leon Panetta call calling to New Delhi, everyone knew this won't be easy for India. With years of defense relationship, which has been mired by suspicion because of Pakistan, everyone wondered if India would bite the bullet of having a defense partnership with US in the Asia Pacific but that was not to be. Leon Panetta though made the reason for his visit to India very clear.

Leon Panetta, US Defense Secretary, said, "Today, we have growing economic, social and diplomatic ties that benefit both of our nations, but for this relationship to truly provide security for this region and for the world, we will need to deepen our defense and security cooperation. This is why I have come to India."

India was the last country on Leon Panetta's Asia trip. At the start of the trip he had promised to enhance US presence in the Asia Pacific region. The change in strategy is being seen as an effort by United States to counter China’s dominance in the region but India has long resisted any military cooperation. Even if US and India are on the way warmer than earlier, but India is not ready for an alliance.

India is part of United States strategic shift towards Asia Pacific but India is treading every step cautiously and sticking with its non-alignment policy. Despite no agreement on a defense alliance, Leon Panetta said India's role in security in Asia is important and this includes Afghanistan.

Leon Panetta also said, "I urge India's leaders to continue with additional support to Afghanistan through trade, investment, reconstruction and help for Afghan security forces"

Leon Panetta met the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan singh, National security adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and defense minister AK Antony. Talks include defense issues and also remain of US troops killed in air crashes over north-eastern India during World War II. It was last year when US president Barack Obama called Asia-pacific region a top priorirty in its security policy but this trip was putting that policy into practice.


The usa has made it publicly clear it is stepping up its containment and regime change war policies in relation to China for some months now. China is working on developing positive and mutually beneficial relations with its Asian neighbours, this is not however proceeding as well as it should in all places. Of particular concern are Sino-Vietnamese relations, although Vietnam has seen China being its historical coloniser, the socialist nature of both countries, and their shared experience of imperialist aggression should provide some of the basis for a strategic unity. This is not yet quite happening. The Phillipines on the other hand is an old reactionary ally of the usa, and important to its hegemonic strategy.

Sukant Chandan, Friends of China

Obama Expresses Support for Philippines in China Rift


WASHINGTON - A festering quarrel that began over rare coral, giant clams and sharks in a distant sea made its way to the Oval Office on Friday, as President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Philippines sought the backing of President Obama in a maritime dispute with China.

The Philippines and China have been locked in a tense standoff for two months over rights to a triangular cluster of reefs and rocks in the South China Sea known as Scarborough Shoal. While Mr. Aquino said he did not want to drag the United States into the conflict, he clearly hoped for Mr. Obama's diplomatic support.

And he got it, if obliquely, on Friday. Mr. Obama told reporters after the meeting with Mr. Aquino that the United States and the Philippines would "consult closely together" as part of "the announced pivot by the United States back to Asia," which he said should serve as a reminder that "in fact, the United States considers itself, and is, a Pacific power."

Mr. Obama did not mention China or the standoff at Scarborough Shoal, but he said that he and Mr. Aquino discussed the need for "a strong set of international norms and rules governing maritime disputes in the region."

Still, his message was aimed at China, which has asserted sweeping claims over the South China Sea, touching off disputes with several other countries that border the sea. The Obama administration has countered China's muscle-flexing by shoring up alliances with old partners like the Philippines and Australia and cultivating ties with new ones like Myanmar.

In the case of the Philippines, that has included American help in upgrading aging military equipment to improve its ability to defend itself, as well as a Philippine agreement to allow more American troops and ships to rotate through the country, though not to re-establish Americans bases there.

But critics of any United States' military presence said they feared the Friday meeting between Mr. Obama and Mr. Aquino would lead to the stationing of American forces in the Philippines without the formal opening of a base. "Aquino is single-handedly reversing the gains from the removal of the U.S. military bases 20 years ago," Renato Reyes, secretary general of the left-leaning group Bayan Muna, said in a statement on Friday. "His foreign policy allows the permanent and continuing presence of U.S. troops all over the country."

The last United States military base in the Philippines closed in 1992, but Walden Bello, a Philippines congressman, said the current military agreement between the two countries has a lot of loopholes. "The Americans are allowed joint exercises, but they are in a state of constant exercise," he said. "We have rotating American forces on a permanent basis."

Mr. Aquino also received an expression of support from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a lunch on Friday. She reiterated that the United States had an interest in the "maintenance of peace and stability" and "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea. She encouraged Mr. Aquino to resolve the dispute with Beijing peacefully, and she warned that the United States would oppose "the use of force or coercion."

After steering clear of the issue for years, the United States has recently urged China and its neighbors to work out a mechanism for resolving disputes over the sea. Beijing has rejected American involvement, saying, in the words of Gen. Ma Xiaotian, the deputy chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army, that "the South China issue is not America's business."

Mr. Aquino - the son of a former Philippine president, Corazon C. Aquino, and the slain opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr. - thanked Mr. Obama for his expression of support. On Thursday, Mr. Aquino told an audience that the Philippine government was engaged in a dialogue with China to find a way to resolve the dispute. "It is not our intention to embroil the United States in a military intervention in our region," he said.

The dispute could put the United States in an awkward position, because of the mutual defense treaty it has maintained with the Philippines for 60 years. But American officials said that neither side was likely to invoke the treaty in this case because Manila's confrontation with Beijing is over disputed territory.

Bonnie Glaser, an expert in Asian security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Philippine officials were not happy with the mixed signals they got from Washington in a recent meeting of the two countries' defense and foreign ministers.

Some experts said that whatever the legitimacy of its claims, the Philippines was to blame for provoking the standoff. It started when the Philippines sent a frigate to board Chinese fishing boats near the shoal, which is called Panatag in the Philippines and Huangyan in China. Philippine officials said they found illegally harvested corals, clams and live sharks on the boats. China then sent two surveillance ships.

"We could have a long-term problem with China in the South China Sea," said Jeffrey A. Bader, a former adviser to Mr. Obama on China policy. "The Filipinos did not contribute to solving the long-term problem by falling into a short-term confrontation with the Chinese, in a bid to quickly resolve an unresolvable territorial issue."

The immediate threat of conflict has ebbed with both sides pulling back their ships. Still, Mr. Aquino's visit was a reminder that countries in the region will increasingly turn to America to help them face down China.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who just returned from a tour of Southeast Asia, told reporters that the Philippine military needed help to defend the country's waters because it has been focused on fighting a radical insurgency. "We think that they need some of that, particularly in maritime security," he said.


... and I am very glad to hear it.

Bunch of imperialist sanctions should not at all stop our peoples from supporting each other - Sukant Chandan, Friends of China

Chinese firms breaking UN embargo on North Korea

Chinese firms are breaking a United Nations embargo by supplying North Korea with key components for ballistic missiles including launch vehicles, according to evidence provided by an intelligence agency in the region.

[full story]


Help wanted – China struggles to fill jobs


At the Tiger Lane Bridge recruitment centre in Beijing, a handful of men scan a board plastered with job ads. Waiters, cooks, teachers, security guards, welders, telephone operators and drivers are all in demand.

But the job seekers, – who are outnumbered roughly ten-to-one by the positions advertised – are in no great rush.

“Actually, I’ve got a job already. I just come here every now and again to see if I can find a job that pays better,” says Mr Liu, 40, a migrant from nearby Hebei province.

Mr Liu, who earns Rmb2000 ($314) a month, was upset when he did not get a 15 per cent pay raise this year – an annual increase that has become the norm for blue-collar workers in China.

The Chinese economy has been slowing – data due this weekend are expected to reveal that exports, investment and industrial production were all weak in May – but the labour market remains very tight.

From Beijing in north China to the southern manufacturing province of Guangdong, the main concern of workers is not finding jobs, but securing higher pay. In fact, companies say they are struggling to find and retain staff.

For the government, this is a significant argument against launching large-scale economic stimulus, as there is no need for a major spending boost to create jobs.

The central bank’s move to cut interest rates this week shows that Beijing is worried about slowing growth. But officials stress that there will no repeat of the massive stimulus package unveiled in late 2008 during the global financial crisis.

While Europe and the US struggle with rising unemployment, China’s labour problem is the opposite: it experienced a record shortfall of workers in the first quarter. The human resources ministry says that for every 108 employees sought by companies, only 100 people were looking for jobs – equating to a nationwide deficit of nearly 1m workers.

The reason China’s job market is tightening when the economy is slowing is simple: demographics.

The government introduced its one-child policy just over three decades ago to limit explosive population growth. Since then birth rates have declined steadily, with the proportion of the working-age population expanding at a slower rate in recent years. UBS estimates that China’s workforce will peak in about 2015, and then start to shrink.

At Polaris Jewellery in Guangzhou, Guangdong’s capital, the factory manager worries that China’s tight labour market will destroy the company’s apprentice programme, as young workers are no longer willing to commit to the two years of training.

Lee Hin-shing, who manages the factory of 440 workers, says the floor that used to house trainees is empty. Polaris has just one trainee, down from a couple of hundred more than a decade ago. “No one wants to join the industry,” he says ruefully. “In 2004 and 2005, we had more than 800 workers.”

This demographic landscape is likely to get worse. China’s ratio of workers to retirees is likely to “drop precipitously” from roughly 5:1 today to 2:1 in 2030, according to Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center in Beijing.

But while demographics are extremely powerful, if economic growth were to collapse, for example, unemployment in China would inevitably rise – and potentially quite sharply.

When the global financial crisis savaged the Chinese export sector in late 2008, more than 20m blue-collar workers lost their jobs virtually overnight. Concerns about social instability prompted the government to roll out a Rmb4tn mega-stimulus package, which helped propel the country back to double-digit growth.

Unemployment is considered to be a “lagging indicator”, meaning, an economic slowdown today may only lead to job losses a few months down the road.

There are, in fact, a couple of warning signs. Almost 8 per cent of respondents to a HSBC survey of the Chinese manufacturing sector said they cut jobs last month. The overall decline was modest, but it was also the steepest fall in 38 months, stemming from a decline in new orders. Moreover, the export sector is once again suffering sluggish growth, a bad omen for the employment situation.

But for the time being, job seekers are still spoiled for choice. At a leather factory in Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in Guangdong province, the owner David Liu says workers used to queue outside the factory and ask their friends for contacts.

“Now the factory owners are asking acquaintances for help recruiting workers,” says Mr Liu.

Friday, 4 May 2012


Isabel Crook, a 96-year-old Canadian anthropologist, a teacher and a social activist, devoted her whole life in learning and advocating rural China, the revolution base of the country's past and the crucial part for its current goal to build a modern harmonious society. She talked about life in China in the year 1949 during an interview with China Daily.

Canadian anthropologist devotes herself to teaching


The Canadian anthropologist talks happily with her old friends who gathered to celebrate a very special birthday.

Slender but energetic in appearance, Isabel Crook recently turned the grand age of 90, having spent most of her life living and working in China.

"I am so happy that so many friends could come to my birthday party," she said.

The anthropologist was born in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in China on December 15, 1915 but did not settle there then. She left the country only to return again in 1947 with her husband.

They came with the intention of carrying out research on land reform and co-operatives in Chinese villages and together wrote the "Ten Mile Inn: Mass Movement in a Chinese Village."

However, her greatest contribution was the development of English education in the country, where she went on to help set up the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute, which is now Beijing Foreign Studies University.

She made an irreplaceable effort to teach China's first batch of diplomats English and helped cultivate numerous English teachers for China.

Crook began her profession as an English teacher in 1948 in Nanhaishan School of Foreign Affairs in Shijiazhuang of Hebei Province, which was the predecessor of Beijing Foreign Languages Institute.

After helping to set up the institute in 1950 she went on to work as an English teacher there for 30 years.

"Isabel's legendary life is so closely related to China and the university," said Hao Ping, president of the university. "She is a pioneer of the country's English education cause. And she has played a precious and significant role in developing our school."

In the eyes of her colleagues and students, Crook is an easy-going, affectionate but strict and responsible teacher.

"Isabel is not like most foreign experts that come here," said Zhang Yun, who taught the same class with Isabel 40 years ago. "She tried to work and live like a common Chinese person. For example, she did not live in the Friendship Hotel, where most foreign experts stayed at that time. She chose to live in a dormitory within our university."

"We all feel close to her," Zhang said. "We've never called her professor, but comrade Isabel, or simply Isabel."

Liu Chengpei, now 83, attended Crook's first teaching class in 1950.

Liu still remembers Crook's unique English teaching method, which did not initially gain support from her fellow teachers. Crook took on a trial teaching programme, making use of her own individual teaching methods and materials in order to help others master the foreign language.

"We made untold improvements in learning English, demonstrating that her pilot programme was successful," Liu said.

But as Zhang Zailiang said, Crook's professionalism and ability to drive others to persevere should be attributed to her teaching success.

Once a student of Crook's, Zhang came from Ningbo in Zhejiang Province.

"I could gain the necessary five-points-score in all subjects except oral English because of my strong southern accent. Isabel consistently refused to award me with five points, which drove me on to work hard to correct my accent."

Wu Yi'an, another of Crook's students, and Zhang Zailiang regard Crook as a very considerate person.

"I learnt that my teacher's birthday is December 15 for the first time today, and I am ashamed that I never knew this before," Wu said. "Isabel kindly decided to arrange her birthday celebration on December 17, a weekend, for her guests' convenience."

"She is the kind of person that always puts others before herself," Wu said.

Talking about his parents, Isabel's second son Michael Crook said: "my parents not only witnessed China's take-off, but also played a role in this historical stage."

Though locked up as a suspected spy during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), Crook harbours no bitterness. She has shown great appreciation of the touching incidences of the ordinary life of ordinary people in China.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


China in no mood for usa war moves against it
Sukant Chandan,
Friends of China

A great and even militant anti-imperialist piece from the official Chinese news site Global Times on the renewed usa plans to encircle China under the pretence of a 'missile defence shield' against north Korea and Iran.

This article pulls few punches. It states clearly that China should assertively oppose these new aggressive plas, and that there will be grim consequences for those the usa and the nations supporting the missile plans.

The piece criticises "the pessimistic view" from those who state that China can do little against usa plans. While it makes clear that China does not want this escalation "but it will have to deal with it if the arms race happens." The kind of self-defensive fighting talk that inspired Malcolm X and the Black Panthers to see socialist China as a vanguard struggle against white supremacy and empire.

One can feel a moment of breathing space for the Global South after the veto at the UNSC by China and Russia on Syria. From the time of the no fly zone resolution against Libya at the UNSC a year ago the Global South has been subject to a massive offensive for recolonisation of the Global South, with provocations across the continents. With China and especially Russia making it clear to the empire that they will not allow Syria to fall, the western war machine has been forced to slow down for a short while.

Russia and China have allowed the Global South, including themselves, a bit of space to develop as fast as they can their defence capabilities against empire's provocations for the defence of themselves and each other. It should always be  remembered that until empire is a museum piece, there is only one language that empire truly understands, and that is force and strategies for defensive liberation war which will defeat it.

It is pieces like this from Global Times that helps to give leadership to oppose the empire's war plans for a major part of the planet. It is this type of open anti-imperialist defence approach which will raise peoples and nations militancy to a more effective strategy of defending them/ourselves. Russia has done relatively well to counter the usa's missile defence plans in europe against it, but all observers no well that it was the 2008 conflict with Georgia that was the most real and meaningful message to nato and the usa that Russia will not be treated like a fool. China is most likely getting lessons from our Russian friends on this score.

Like Russia, China is being forced into this situation also by the usa, and all those who believe in peace for our peoples will stand with China unconditionally in this confrontation.

US missile shield fosters Asian arms race 

Global Times

The US has announced that it is seeking to build a missile defense system in Asia and the Middle East, following a similar step in Europe.

This will no doubt create disturbance and tension in the region, as it has in Europe. Japan, South Korea and Australia, which are invited to join the system, must seriously ponder the consequences.

North Korea and Iran are named by Washington as the targets of the missile defense system, though it is clear the real targets are China and Russia. China should firmly oppose it.

This is not a fresh idea for the White House. The concept was raised during the Clinton administration. The impact it brings today is much worse than back then.

China needs to assess what long-term damage this system will impose on China's strategic security. The system will be deployed on the soil of Japan, South Korea and Australia. It is widely agreed that China has little chance to stop it. The pessimistic view holds that China can do nothing about it.

But China can balance out the system's impact. North Korea's plan to launch a satellite next month has been used by Washington to install a missile defense system. It is a wise move. China can copy it and upgrade its nuclear weapon capability due to the possible threats posed by the US system. Specifically, China can improve its nuclear weapons in both quantity and quality as well as develop offensive nuclear-powered submarines. China's ballistic missiles should be able to break the interception capability of the US system.

Among the nuclear powers, China has the smallest number of nuclear weapons. It is also the only country to make a 'no first use' commitment. Installing a missile defense system in Asia disrespects China's nuclear policy.

The US is seeking to shift the regional balance. A strong response from China should be expected. An overarching missile defense system would force China to change its long-held nuclear policy.

If Japan, South Korea and Australia join the system, a vicious arms race in Asia may follow.

It is not what China wants to see, but it will have to deal with it if the arms race happens.

The US is creating waves in Asia. The region may see more conflicts intensify in the future. China should make utmost efforts to prevent it, but prepare for the worst.


Sino-African trade develops, 'west losing out'

Sukant Chandan,
Friends of China

It has been a long standing complain of some that China is dumping its cheap consumer goods into other nations of the Global South, including Africa, and in so doing it is negatively impacting those economies. What perhaps those who make these criticisms may not understand is that China is itself a young modern nation, only since 1949 has it become independent from colonialism and feudalism, and only really since the late 1970s has it had a stable internal economic situation so as to be able to focus on developing the country.

However much the west especially want to treat China like a 'developed country' so as to push it into situations where the west think then they can trip up and slap China down. China resists this pressure, and likes to remind people that it remains a country that is still at least three decades away from achieving a standard of living approaching anything to western levels.

If China was importing cheap goods and there was a massive problem with that, then it is primarily the duty of those recipient governments and consumers to decide otherwise. China has not broken any laws in exporting its cheap goods, and any country in a similar position would do the same. The days of cheap Chinese goods is developing into something else gradually, and China's trade relationship with Africa is also changing as the article from the paper of the British financial elites makes clear below, and changing in a win-win direction for both China and Africa.

Some western media is trying to educate some of its people that China is not at all only a producer of cheap counterfeited consumer goods, although this aspect is still there. China is fast becoming a exporter of affordable electronic goods, vehicles and machinery. The improving and developing trade between China and Africa is also in tandem with improving political relations: "Low prices undoubtedly help, but improvements in product quality and better co-operation between Chinese and African companies in tandem with political ties have also been crucial."

The west of course are the big losers. While the monpolised much of the economic relations with Africa for over a century in this period it ensured that Africa was the most exploited region in the world, and the west's continued policy to Africa is to do all that it can to ensure the continent cannot stand on its own two feet economically and militarily. Keeping Africa weak and divided was one of the main aims of nato's war on Libya, knocking out one of the pioneering nations in Africa that was contributing more than any other to a Pan-African economic political, economic and military strategy. The war saw China's investments and 130,000 Chinese workers flee Libya from nato attack. Ever since, China and Russia have said many a time that they were tricked over Libya, and that they wont fall for it again. For the sake of the whole Global South, one really hopes this is the case.

The article below states that it is countries like Britain, Spain, Germany and Italy who are the losers from China's improving trade and political ties to Africa. The west has tried to ensure that Africa remains without a industrial base, without basic national and continental infrastructure. Sino-Africa relations is revolutionising this situation and Africa can see a future where it will achieve a basic level of industry and growth to enable it to stand up for itself.

Africa's development is in mortal danger from the west who have stepped up their destabilisation strategies such as those in central Africa and in the Sahel, recolonisation (as in the case of Libya and sending troops to Uganda) and continued white supremacist media campaign, most infamously recently with the Kony2012 campaign.

South Africa, DRC, Zimbabwe, Algeria are some of the states which are priorities for the west to conduct regime change on, and all of these countries know it very well. Will Africa manage to accomplish a minimum level of development for its people and defend itself from western sabotage in the process? This depends in the final analysis of the level of unity and political will of Africa and its allies in Asia and Latin America. In the meantime, China is providing the pole of attraction if Africa wants to be treated with mutual respect; unlike the west, China provided a incomparable relationship of respect, China will not destabilise African nations, will not put sanctions on Africa, will not got to war with Africa, rather China is the facilitator to Africa standing up.

China moves up value chain in Africa
Financial Times

28 March 2012

When cheap Chinese goods started flowing in big numbers to Africa a decade ago, consumers benefited from lower prices, but local producers such as textile mills saw their businesses suffer.

Now, with Chinese companies moving up the value chain, that trade-off is changing. African consumers are still lapping up Chinese products, but these are more sophisticated. From smartphones to farm threshers, they are elbowing aside foreign, not local, competitors.

Chinese exporters have more than tripled their market share in Africa since 2002, supplying 16.8 per cent of the continent’s total imports last year, according to a report published this month by Standard Bank. Over the past four years Chinese companies recorded their biggest gains in selling machinery, vehicles and electronics.

European and Japanese companies have been the losers. African imports from Italy, Spain, Germany, Britain and Japan were all lower last year than they were in 2008. Meanwhile, imports from China surged 38 per cent over that same period.

This data “confirm some of the mature economy fears” that they are losing ground to Chinese exporters in Africa, Standard Bank economists Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens say.

The success of Chinese companies is about more than being cheap. Low prices undoubtedly help, but improvements in product quality and better co-operation between Chinese and African companies in tandem with political ties have also been crucial.

The Ideos phone from Chinese electronics group Huawei is a prime example. Already billed as the world’s most affordable smartphone running Google’s Android system, it is subsidised in Kenya by Safaricom, a mobile network operator, to improve internet penetration.

At 8,000 Kenyan shillings – less than $100 – it is seven times cheaper than other similar smartphones.
“The features sell the phone,” says Martin Muraya, who owns a mobile phone stand in a chemist and has sold all his Ideos stock.

The Ideos was launched in 2010 and had a 45 per cent share of Kenya’s smartphone market less than a year later.

Shipments of Chinese goods to Africa have followed a path ploughed by Chinese money. Chinese companies have invested about $13bn in Africa, most since 2000, according to Standard Bank.
“It complements the competitiveness of Chinese firms in Africa,” the report says.

Zhenjiang Shenglong Machinery Manufacturing, a medium-sized maker of farming equipment in China’s Jiangsu province, gained exposure to Africa by contributing to aid missions.

“We were doing well in the Chinese market, but we realised that our products would die out domestically eventually. We had to break into other under-developed countries,” Luo Min, chairman of Zhenjiang Shenglong, says.

His company made about $3m in sales to Africa last year. For big purchases, Zhenjiang Shenglong sends trainers to teach farmers how to use and maintain the machines.

“Our competitors, some of which make better equipment, offer no training. No matter how good the machine is, without farmers knowing how to use it, it’s nothing but a waste,” Mr Luo says.

But even as Chinese companies fight to move up the value chain, the old guard of the country’s exporters – those making cheap and often shoddy goods – still cast a long shadow.

In Nairobi, Chinese-made goods fill market stands and shop shelves, but many are counterfeits, such as “Nokla” and “Sumsang” phones. So prolific are the imported fakes, locals give them the catch-all tag, “China phones”.

In One World Networks, an electronics shop in central Nairobi, staff say customers regularly return Chinese-made laptops and printers. Yet sales assistant Eunice says they have no choice but to keep buying them.

“The African market is Chinese. They help us because it’s the only one we can afford,” she says. “But they fail more. It works two days and fails the third.”

Thursday, 29 March 2012


The struggle in China: Capitalist crisis versus planning


The following is Part 2 of a series on the leadership struggle in China.

As contradictions mount in the global capitalist economy, they are reflected in China. The factional struggle in the Chinese leadership can only be understood as a struggle over which way to go forward and how to contain and resolve the mounting economic and social contradictions arising out of capitalist development.

The Chinese economy has been growing on a dual basis. First, it is based on centrally planned guidance designed to develop the productive forces and the material foundations for a society encompassing 1.3 billion people. However, since the victory of Deng Xiaoping and the “capitalist road” faction in 1978, planning has been increasingly based on the central government fostering and attempting to manage capitalism and the capitalist market as the means for national development.

The central government, through control of interest rates, credit, taxation and vast state-owned enterprises, both guides the economy toward broad economic and social goals and fosters capitalist development. The latter means class exploitation, inequality and corruption. The present political struggle is over which side of this contradiction to strengthen.

This complex subject will be discussed at length in subsequent articles. But suffice it to say that the so-called “reform” groupings in China — with the enthusiastic support of world imperialism and global finance capital — want to move away from state intervention, planning and central guidance and go further toward turning the fate of China over to the capitalist market, both internally and externally.

In our last article we covered the fact that Bo Xilai was summarily ousted from his post as Chinese Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing. This was a blow against the growing forces in the CCP and throughout China who want to combine the use of the capitalist market with social and economic planning and state intervention in order to deal with growing inequality and who emphasize the needs of the masses. In Bo’s case, this economic orientation was combined with a popular attempt to revive Maoist culture and socialist values.

In China today, the concept of planned guidance of the broad direction of the economy and its various sectors is a drastic modification from the direct economic planning initiated after the triumph of the great Chinese Revolution in 1949. At the same time, it is an attempt to retain the planning principle as the fundamental framework guiding the overall development of the Chinese economy.

Consider just some of the goals and objectives outlined by the 12th Five Year Plan for 2011-2015, and the antagonism between planning and the anarchy of the capitalist market becomes utterly transparent. This plan was developed beginning in October 2010 and was approved by the National People’s Congress in March 2011.

The government is planning to devote 4 trillion renminbi ($158.7 billion) to the development of seven Strategic Emerging Industries: biotechnology, new energy, high-end manufacturing equipment, energy conservation and environmental protection, clean-energy vehicles and next-generation internet technology. (APCO worldwide, Dec. 10, 2010)

An article in the March 4, 2011, New York Times detailed the plan’s goals, including:

* A 19.1 percent cut in the amount of energy used per unit of economic growth and a rapid expansion of the service economy.

* Building a national nanotechnology research center, 50 engineering centers, 32 national engineering laboratories and 56 other labs focusing on technologies like digital television and high-speed internet.

* Laying 621,000 miles of new fiber-optic cable and adding 35 million new broadband ports for a total of 223 million.

* A cap on total energy use, especially limiting the burning of coal.

* The development of well-equipped statistical and monitoring systems to gauge greenhouse gas emissions.

* Accelerated construction of sewage treatment plants, the retrofitting of coal-fired power plants with pollution controls, and the continuation of a pilot project to develop low-carbon cities.

In the previous period the state had opened 3,100 miles of new railroads and 74,600 miles of highways, completed 230,000 sports and fitness projects for rural residents, and built or renovated 891 hospitals and 1,228 health clinics.

In the realm of social welfare, the broad goals are to increase consumption from 35 percent of the gross domestic product to between 50 percent and 55 percent by increasing minimum wages, health care services and social welfare payments of various kinds.

Of course, it goes without saying that under a genuinely socialist government, workers would have their fundamental economic rights guaranteed as political rights. But those rights were largely overturned by the reforms that developed in China after 1978. Instead, in the environment of the capitalist market — with its mountains of corruption of government and party officials — the welfare of the workers and peasants has to be built up slowly and painfully through an uphill battle, which happens only through the intervention of the state. (More on this in future articles.)

Whether or not the government achieves the precise goals set out is not the issue. The point is that such sweeping social and economic goals could not possibly be handed over to profit-driven capitalists and the anarchy of the commodity market. The bosses would seek the highest rate of profit. They would never voluntarily raise wages, improve working conditions, build hospitals, clinics, rural fitness centers or anything that did not bring a profit.

China’s response to 2008-09 world capitalist crisis

To grasp the seriousness of the proposals to further limit planning and intervention by the state, it is only necessary to consider what happened during the world capitalist financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, when the global crisis of capitalist overproduction and the financial collapse invaded China.

More than 20 million workers lost their jobs, mainly in manufacturing and predominantly in coastal provinces such as Guangdong, where special economic zones had been set up so imperialist corporations, companies from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, and other exploiters could take advantage of low-wage migrant labor flooding in from the rural interior.

During this period production of world capitalism dropped more than it had in 70 years. Tens of millions of workers worldwide were thrown onto unemployment lines. Most of them are still there. Bankruptcy followed bankruptcy, and the capitalist system has still not recovered.

What happened in China? When the crisis hit, China’s central planners went into motion. Plans drafted as far back as 2003 to go into effect in future years were pushed forward and implemented.

Nicholas Lardy, a bourgeois China expert from the prestigious Peterson Institute for International Economics, describes how consumption in China actually grew during the crisis of 2008-09, wages went up, and the government created enough jobs to compensate for the layoffs caused by the global crisis:

“In a year in which GDP expansion [in China] was the slowest in almost a decade, how could consumption growth in 2009 have been so strong in relative terms? How could this happen at a time when employment in export-oriented industries was collapsing, with a survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture reporting the loss of 20 million jobs in export manufacturing centers along the southeast coast, notably in Guangdong Province? The relatively strong growth of consumption in 2009 is explained by several factors. First, the boom in investment, particularly in construction activities, appears to have generated additional employment sufficient to offset a very large portion of the job losses in the export sector. For the year as a whole the Chinese economy created 11.02 million jobs in urban areas, very nearly matching the 11.13 million urban jobs created in 2008.

“Second, while the growth of employment slowed slightly, wages continued to rise. In nominal terms wages in the formal sector rose 12 percent, a few percentage points below the average of the previous five years (National Bureau of Statistics of China 2010f, 131). In real terms the increase was almost 13 percent. Third, the government continued its programs of increasing payments to those drawing pensions and raising transfer payments to China's lowest-income residents. Monthly pension payments for enterprise retirees increased by RMB120, or 10 percent, in January 2009, substantially more than the 5.9 percent increase in consumer prices in 2008. This raised the total payments to retirees by about RMB75 billion. The Ministry of Civil Affairs raised transfer payments to about 70 million of China's lowest-income citizens by a third, for an increase of RMB20 billion in 2009 (Ministry of Civil Affairs 2010).” (“Sustaining China's Economic Growth after the Global Financial Crisis,” Kindle Locations 664-666, Peterson Institute for International Economics)

The Ministry of Railroads introduced eight specific plans, to be completed in 2020, to be implemented in the crisis. The World Bank called it “perhaps the biggest single planned program of passenger rail investment there has ever been in one country.” In addition, ultra-high-voltage grid projects were undertaken, among other advances.

The lesson is that while the anarchy of production of world capitalism invaded China, the rational and meticulously developed plans drawn up for social use overcame the anarchy of the capitalist market. This not only protected the masses from a protracted, massive unemployment crisis, but it actually continued the process of raising the standard of living during a time when hundreds of millions of workers throughout the entire capitalist world were left helpless and traumatized by the crisis of capitalist overproduction.

In Marxist terms the principle of planning, established by the Chinese socialist revolution of 1949 — even though it has been watered down to the practice of “guidance” — overcame what Marx called the law of labor value, the very law that governs the operation of capitalism itself. The Chinese leaders were compelled, and had the capability, to use rational planning based on satisfying human need to overcome the disaster brought about by their own policy of relying on the world capitalist market.

To be continued.

Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” (2008) and “Capitalism at a Dead End” (2012) published by World View Forum. Both books as well as his articles and speeches can be found at


'Chinese loans are funding many of the infrastructure projects changing the face of the continent'

This is an article from the left-liberal Guardian newspaper in Britain. It is an article about the economic developments in Mozambique, and is quite lengthy, I have produced just a clip of it below. For some reason the word 'basket-case' is often used by the west when they are talking about African states.

It's just a shame that writers like this don't also admit that the negative aspects of African states are in overwhelming large part to do with how the west has ensured that Africa does not unite, and does not develop itself for its people, and the most violent and obvious example of this attitude is their destruction through last year of the African state which has the highest human development index - Libya.

The writer sees rather reluctant to state in the article that it is thanks to the nature of relations with China that has resulted in Mozambique seeing some positive indicators to its economic development. What the article doesn't explore is the issue that if it is relations with China that is giving Africa a massive boost, why hasn't the same been the case with Africa's relations with the west? Going into that just wouldn't wash with the white man's burden types who run the newspaper.

A uniting and economically rising Africa is what the west fears, and the west will and is doing all it can to ensure this does not happen, and it is definitely alarmed that this is developing with a increasingly close partnership with China.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrkhan said in his latest speech that the usa is planning a war with China, but is already involved in a war on China, and cited the case of nato's war on Libya being also a war on China with the resultant departure of Chinese involvement in Libya and the 130,000 Chinese workers there.

Sukant Chandan, Friends of China

Boom time for Mozambique, once the basket case of Africa

The shells of stylish colonial-era buildings, like shipwrecks on the ocean floor, still give Maputo a distinct character. But the capital of Mozambique no longer feels like an urban museum. Amid the crumbling grandeur rumble cranes and mechanical diggers, carving out a different skyline.

A construction boom is under way here, concrete proof of the economic revolution in Mozambique. Growth hit 7.1% last year, accelerating to 8.1% in the final quarter. The country, riven by civil war for 15 years, is poised to become the world's biggest coal exporter within the next decade, while the recent discovery of two massive gas fields in its waters has turned the region into an energy hotspot, promising a £250bn bonanza.

The national currency was the best performing in the world against the dollar. Investment is pouring in on an unprecedented scale; as if to prove that history has a sense of irony, Portuguese feeling Europe's economic pain are flocking back to the former colony, scenting better prospects than at home. Increasingly this is the rule, not the exception in Africa, which has boasted six of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies in the past decade. The first oil discovery in Kenya was confirmed on Monday, while the British firm BG Group announced that one of its gas fields off the Tanzanian coast was bigger than expected and could lead to billions of pounds of investment. Bankers, analysts and politicians have never been so bullish about the continent, which barely 10 years ago was regarded as a basket case.

From Cape Town to Cairo, there are signs of a continent on the move: giant infrastructure projects, an expanding middle class, foreign equity scrambling for opportunities in telecoms, financial services and products aimed at a billion consumers. Growth is no magic bullet for reducing inequality or fostering democracy, but the stubborn truth that it is still the world's poorest continent has done little to dull the confidence and hype about the African renaissance.

Africa has 16 billionaires, topped by Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote with an estimated fortune of $10.1bn (£6.5bn), according to Forbes magazine. Economic growth across the continent will be 5.3% this year and 5.6% in 2013, the World Bank predicts, with some countries hitting double digits. "Africa could be on the brink of an economic take-off, much like China was 30 years ago and India 20 years ago," the bank says. Many of the African lions are already outpacing the Asian tigers.

Africa exports its natural resources with the price and demand for them determined by growth in China, whose bilateral trade with Africa has grown tenfold in a decade, eclipsing that of the United States.

In return, Chinese loans are funding many of the infrastructure projects changing the face of the continent.

There are an estimated 1 million Chinese in Africa: trading, investing, building, labouring, running micro-businesses and, critics say, exploiting its wealth of natural resources.

On a recent afternoon at the Southern Sun hotel in Maputo, overlooking the Indian Ocean, the arrival of a delegation of Chinese businessmen in smart suits surprised no one. Mozambique is now an immensely attractive prospect as it emerges from a traumatic past of colonialism and civil war.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012


The ouster of Bo
A critical moment in China


It is now world news that Bo Xilai, a high-ranking member of the 25-member Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, has been removed from his key post as Party Secretary of the important Chongqing branch of the CCP.

This move comes as the CCP is preparing to choose a new leadership this fall. Bo had been widely regarded as a clear candidate for the nine-member standing committee of the Politburo. That is now out. This is the first open breach in the Chinese CCP leadership in two decades.

Bo was known for trying to revive the culture of Mao Zedong through many public programs. He emphasized state intervention in the economy and advocated planning for massive low-income housing projects for migrant workers and others, as well as fighting to reduce inequality in general.

Bo has also been known for a fierce anti-corruption campaign in which the masses were encouraged to point out corrupt officials and gangsters. Several thousand people were arrested, among them business people, and many were sent to jail. The highest police official in Chongqing was executed during the anti-corruption campaign.

Bo was removed after an incident in which the subsequent police chief of Chongqing, Wang Lijun, who worked with Bo in a widely celebrated anti-corruption campaign, fled Chongqing on Feb. 6 to the U.S. Consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu and asked for political asylum.

According to Chinese government and party sources, Wang claimed to have documents incriminating Bo. Wang was taken from the consulate, and is now being held in Beijing.

There has been much speculation about Bo and Wang and what happened. Much has been alleged about Bo’s flamboyant personal style, his ambition, a factional struggle within the leadership for position and so on. Perhaps all these factors played some role in his ouster.

But one thing is clear. The imperialists have all taken a position against Bo, and are overjoyed to see his downfall.

To be sure, there is no evidence that Bo was trying to abandon the reliance on capitalism in China’s development that followed the death of Mao. On the contrary, his outlook is fully within the general framework of using capitalism and foreign investment to grow the economy in Chongqing. But within that framework, he emphasized the so-called “third hand,” the need for the state to play a significant role in the economy, to ensure the well-being of the masses and to reduce inequality as a matter of priority.

Effect of global capitalist crisis

It is important to put this struggle in the broader context of the global capitalist crisis and its effect on the Chinese economy and on the political and factional struggle inside China.

The economic crisis in the capitalist world has undermined in a very fundamental way the argument that China should bank its fate and future on capitalist development and the capitalist world market as a foundational strategy.

The collapse in 2007-2009 of the world capitalist financial system and the global market, the ensuing mass unemployment, the wild speculation, the overproduction, the economic dislocation, the flood of bankruptcies, the gyrations of the stock markets and the continuing threats on the horizon must haunt all of China’s leaders and give ammunition to all those who oppose the further unleashing of capitalism in China.

The imperialists and the more pro-capitalist forces in the CCP and the state know this. So they have rushed to fortify their position in the face of the monumental evidence of the failure of capitalism and its dangerous effects in China during 2008 and 2009.

They made their moves just as China’s legislative body was preparing to consider and approve various plans and when the subject of future leadership was under private discussion.

It is significant that the World Bank presented a 448-page document just in time for the 18th National People’s Congress last month, entitled “China 2030.” What makes the public presentation of this document so ominous is that it was co-authored by the Development Research Center of the State Council, the top executive body in China. Liu He, who worked on the document and who meets regularly with U.S. officials, is an adviser to the standing committee of the Politburo who has argued publicly that foreign pressure should be used to push capitalist reforms in China.

To underscore the collaborative nature of the document, the subtitle is “Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society.” The term “Harmonious Society” is the slogan of China’s present leaders, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

The world was treated to a video circulated online in February that showed Du Jianguo, editor of an environmental magazine in China, disrupting a press conference by World Bank President Robert Zoellick as Zoellick was unveiling his document. In front of the world press, Du stood up and denounced the document as “unconstitutional,” saying it would “subvert the basic economic system of socialism.” Before he was pushed off the platform by security, Du called the bankers’ document “poison” aimed at capturing China’s markets for international capitalists. (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23)

World Bank’s attempt to promote counterrevolution

This document is part of the background to the factional struggle in China. It represents a firmer and more dangerous nexus between imperialism and the so-called “reform” faction, the more aggressive pro-capitalist faction, in China.

The Executive Summary of the document reads:

“First, implement structural reforms to strengthen the foundations for a market based economy by redefining the role of government, reforming and restructuring state enterprises and banks, developing the private sector, promoting competition, and deepening reforms in the land, labor, and financial markets. As an economy approaches the technology frontier and exhausts the potential for acquiring and applying technology from abroad, the role of government and its relationship to markets and the private sector needs to change fundamentally. While providing relatively fewer ‘tangible’ public goods and services directly, the government will need to provide more intangible public goods and services like systems, rules, and policies, which increase production efficiency, promote competition, facilitate specialization, enhance the efficiency of resource allocation, protect the environment, and reduce risks and uncertainties.

“In the enterprise sector, the focus will need to be further reforms of state enterprises (including measures to recalibrate the role of public resources, introduce modern corporate governance practices including separating ownership from management, and implement gradual ownership diversification where necessary), private sector development and fewer barriers to entry and exit, and increased competition in all sectors, including in strategic and pillar industries. In the financial sector, it would require commercializing the banking system, gradually allowing interest rates to be set by market forces, deepening the capital market, and developing the legal and supervisory infrastructure to ensure financial stability and build the credible foundations for the internationalization of China’s financial sector.”

In other words, the World Bank, with the collaboration of the Development Research Center of the State Council, is recommending that state enterprises be reduced to dispensers of state services and advice, withdraw from the production of infrastructure, steel, energy and other “tangible goods,” and leave that to private capitalists. They further recommend that the banking system be integrated with world imperialist finance capital and that state planning be reduced to a nullity.

In short, they advocate the destruction of the very socialist structures that hold Chinese society together and that have enabled it to withstand the most severe capitalist crisis since World War II.

For a representative of the highest state body to help draft such a counterrevolutionary document, publicly associate his name with it and urge its adoption shows the degeneration of key sections of the highest leadership and, within the broader state apparatus, highlights the pernicious influence of unleashed capitalism in China.

This explains the urgent disruption of Zoellick’s press conference and the push-back that is coming from various quarters in China. This is not to say that the viewpoint represented by the World Bank document will be victorious. There are many forces in China, including the workers and peasants, who would strongly resist any attempt to fully implement this program.

Christine LaGarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, also chose the moment of the National People’s Congress to issue a statement in high praise of China’s economy. This was undoubtedly coordinated with the World Bank presentation of “China 2030.”

The severity of the struggle over the future of China also broke out in the open at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January.

“A group of Chinese speakers warned in stringent tones on Friday morning [Jan. 27] in Davos that the country’s free-market reform is stalled, and China is sliding backwards towards greater state control of the economy.

“Hu Shuli, editor of Caixin Magazine and widely recognized leader of China’s ‘reform’ faction, launched a breakfast forum by identifying delayed economic reform as one of the two key risks for the Chinese economy going forward, alongside the weakening exports in the wake of the euro-zone crisis.” (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27) Other Chinese participants agreed.

The world capitalist crisis has brought this struggle on at a crucial time of change in the Chinese leadership. The ouster and public humiliation of Bo, which brought this struggle to light, can best be understood in terms of a struggle over dangerously deepening capitalist reforms. With or without Bo, this serious struggle will continue.

For those who believe that there has been a complete restoration of capitalism in China, this whole matter may seem to be of little importance. But to the workers and peasants of China and to the rest of the world, the question of stopping the further advance of the counterrevolution is of supreme importance.

To be continued.

Monday, 5 March 2012


Top China paper criticizes Clinton over Syria

BEIJING (source) - China's main official newspaper Monday described U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's criticisms of Beijing's stance on Syria "super arrogant" and argued that, after the Iraq war, the United States has no right to speak for Arab people.

The People's Daily, the top newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, gave China's first public answer to Clinton's comments Friday, when she called the Chinese and Russian veto of a U.N. resolution on Syria "despicable.

China's response in the People's Daily was equally vehement.

"The United States' motive in parading as a 'protector' of the Arab peoples is not difficult to imagine. The problem is, what moral basis does it have for this patronizing and egotistical super-arrogance and self-confidence?," said a commentary in the paper that cited the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

"Even now, violence continues unabated in Iraq, and ordinary people enjoy no security. This alone is enough for us to draw a huge question mark over the sincerity and efficacy of U.S. policy," it said.

The spreading bloodshed in Syria, where government forces have been bombarding neighborhoods held by opposition forces, has turned into a broader test pitting Western powers against China and Russia over how forcefully the world should intervene in civil turmoil.

Beijing and Moscow are traditionally resistant to international intervention in domestic upheavals, and Russia has close ties with the Syrian government.

"They are setting themselves not only against the Syrian people but also the entire Arab awakening," Clinton said of China and Russia, which have resisted Western and Arab calls to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

On February 5, China and Russia used their veto power as permanent members of the U.N Security Council to stymie a proposed resolution backing an Arab plan pressing Assad to step down. As well, China and Russia both refused to attend a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Tunis Friday, when Western and Arab nations sought to escalate pressure on Assad.

The commentary in the People's Daily repeated China's argument that its unwillingness to take sides in Syria's conflict best reflected the interests of that country's people.

"It is disturbing that as it fully enters into Syria's domestic turmoil, the United States has never seriously considered how to end this calamity quickly and at a minimal cost to the Syrian people," said the newspaper.

"While U.S. foreign policy claims the moral high ground by trumpeting 'democracy' and 'freedom', Washington is also constantly flinging epithets at Russia and China," it said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also warned the West against backing military intervention in Syria. Clinton has indicated there is no enthusiasm in Washington for war.

The People's Daily commentary was published under the pen name "Zhong Sheng," meaning "Voice of China," which is often used to give the paper's view on foreign policy issues.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has yet to respond to Clinton's criticisms and the outcome of the meeting on Syria in Tunis, where powerful Gulf Arab countries demanded more forceful intervention against Assad.


China's achievement is literally the greatest in world economic history


Economic development’s purpose is to improve the conditions of human beings. Robert Lucas put it eloquently, in frequently quoted words, examining the consequences of different rates of economic growth: ‘I do not see how one can look at these figures without seeing them as possibilities. Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow… If so, what, exactly?… The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.’

In this framework it should be stated, soberly and with due consideration, that China’s economy since 1978 is the greatest economic achievement in world history. This article shows this in the prosaic language of statistics. But of course that is not the real issue. What really counts is the consequences of this for human beings – escape from poverty, improvement in life expectancy, improved health, expanded potential for education, improvement in the position of women, and many other dimensions. Economic statistics, such as GDP per capita, simply underpin this improvement in human conditions.

The scale of China’s economic achievement

A problem in assessing the true scale of China’s economic achievement is that partial statistics are frequently used to state it. Some of these, for example that China has become the world’s second largest economy, or that it has raised 620 million people out of internationally defined poverty, are extremely striking (Quah, 2010). But nevertheless, because they are partial, they do not capture the full scope of what has occurred. Only when systematic data is used does the full magnitude of China’s achievement become clear.

Again, even when systematic comparisons are attempted, the scale of China’s economic achievement is frequently underestimated because inappropriate measures are used. For example when comparing rates of economic growth, in calculating contributions to economic welfare, it is misleading to take individual countries as the unit of comparison, rather than the proportion of world population affected – rapid economic growth in a small country evidently contributes  less to human well being than rapid growth in a large country.

In order to give an initial systematic comparison, therefore, Table 1 shows the percentage of world population affected at the point when sustained rapid growth commenced in major economies. For example the first country to experience sustained rapid economic growth was the UK in the industrial revolution - which was in a country with 2.0 per cent of the world’s population. The sustained rapid US economic growth after the Civil War was in a country with 3.3 per cent of the world’s population.

There are, of course, arguments about some additional individual countries that might be included in the comparison – for example Italy from 1950 (1.9 per cent of the world’s population) or Spain from 1960 (1.0 per cent of the world’s population). But it is evident from the data that introducing such extra countries makes no difference to the essential situation.

No other economy starting sustained rapid economic growth even approaches the 22.3 per cent of the world’s population in China in 1978 at the beginning of its new economic policies. For comparison Japan’s rapid post-World War II growth was in a country with 3.3 per cent of the world’s population, and the growth of the four Asian ‘Tigers’ (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan) was in economies with only 1.4 per cent of the world’s population.

Only India’s sustained economic growth after the late 1980s, in a country with 16 per cent of the world’s population, even begins to approach China’s achievement in scale, but the percentage of the world population affected is still lower than China’s, as is India’s growth rate.

Table 1

Introducing the necessary correction of population size also makes clear that the method sometimes utilised of ranking by country size is misleading. To see why it need only be noted that, if current exchange rates are used, on the World Bank tables for 2010, the latest year for which comprehensive statistics are available, 87 of the countries for which data was available have a higher GDP per capita than China and 83 had a lower. This appears to place China about half way up the list of world rankings. As when the People’s Republic of China was created in 1949, or economic reform was launched in 1978, China was one of the world’s most economically underdeveloped countries this might appear a quite good performance, but it wholly understates China’s achievement.

The reason is that ranking by country takes no account of relative population. For example among the countries above China are the Seychelles, Palau, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda – all with a population of less than 100,000. If the real international position of China is to be assessed then, again, size of population must be taken into account. Figure 1 below, therefore, shows the percentages of world population living in countries with GDP per capita above and below China and shows the real proportions of China’s economic achievement.

In 1978 countries containing only 0.5 per cent of the world’s population had a GDP per capita below China’s, while 73.5 per cent had a higher one – China itself accounted for 25.9 per cent of the world’s population for which data was available. By 2010, using the same measure, the percentage of the world’s population living in countries with a higher GDP per capita than China was 31.3 per cent - given the speed of increase, it is clear that when 2011’s data is published it will show that less than 30 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries with a higher GDP per capita than China.

Figure 1

Therefore in only slightly over thirty years China, containing more than twenty per cent of the world’s population, has moved from being one of the world’s least economically developed countries, to a position where less than one third of the world’s population lives in countries with a higher GDP per capita, and where China’s position is rising rapidly.

Checking these current price statistics against international parity purchasing powers (PPPs), which takes into account different price levels in different countries, confirms the same result. Measured by PPPs in 1980, the first year for which World Bank data is available, only 1.3 per cent of the world’s population lived in countries with lower GDP per capita than China and 73.0 per cent in countries with a higher one. By 2010 only 31.5 per cent of the world’s population lived in countries with a higher GDP per capita than China.

Another way of measuring is to compare China to the rest of the world’s population. To do this, the best measure is not the average as, for well known statistical reasons, averages covering wide ranges are excessively affected by small numbers of extreme values. This is confirmed very clearly by world data. Only 25 per cent of the world’s population has a GDP per capita above the global average and 75 per cent have one below it. A better, and the standard, measure of incomes is to make a comparison to the median – the exact mid-point.

In 1978 China’s GDP per capita was only 42 per cent of the median for the rest of the world’s population. By 2010 China’s GDP per capita was 289 per cent of the median.

That since 1978 China, with more than one fifth of the world’s population, has moved from being one of the poorest countries in the world to a situation where less than one third of the world’s population has a higher GDP per capita is without historical precedent. Never before in human history has such a large proportion of the world’s population advanced so rapidly.

A number of conclusions clearly follow from the above data – in addition to the obvious one of simply recognising this as a fact of economic history. But for now it need simply be noted, soberly and with due measure, that China’s is quite literally the greatest economic achievement in world history.

*   *   *

An earlier and shorter version of this article appeared, in English and Chinese, in Global Times.


Quah, D. (2010, May). 'The Shifting Distribution of Global Economic Activity'. Retrieved January 2, 2012, from London School of Economics: