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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:42 pm

What the Media Is Getting Wrong about China, Uyghurs and Conflict in Xinjiang
Posted on January 13, 2019 by theforgenews
By Kimberly Miller

It was April 1990. Reports of violence and rioting in China’s northwestern most region of Xinjiang (near the Afghanistan border), had rocked American media from Newsweek to the Chicago Tribune. Headlines such as “China’s Ethnic Turks May Wage Holy War,” “The Children of Tamerlane and Attila the Hun” are on a “rampage,” and “Uyghur Rebellion Against the Chinese State” began widely circulating as western press salivated over the opportunity to depict conflict in China, in a particularly sensational way. Fast-forward to today, headlines that boldly assert “1 million Muslims Forced into Chinese Internment Camps,” as well as “Show Communist Loyalty by Eating Pork, Beijing Tells Muslim Uyghurs,” have emblazoned well-respected media outlets from The Guardian, The Times, NPR, to Al Jazeera-despite specious sourcing and incendiary framing.

Such “reports” have even incentivized American neoconservative hawks like Senator Marco Rubio to call on more aggressive policies against the People’s Republic of China. Rubio has advocated for sanctions and other economic measures in order to combat China’s “efforts to strip [Uyghurs] of their identity [and] faith.” The irony of islamophobic US politicians expressing concern for the well-being of Muslims internationally aside, these de-contextualized narratives are also being exploited by click-bait media. This is only compounded by heightened tensions of trade war with China. Unfortunately, these hyperbolic headlines are informing much of the Western left’s general perception of China and the Communist Party of China’s treatment toward ethno-religious minorities, in a reductive and orientalist way. By utilizing scholarship from prominent social anthropologists of Xinjiang as well as researchers of Islam in China, this article provides a more holistic representation of the complexities, history, and factors fueling this ongoing conflict.

Who are the Uyghurs?

In its modern ethnic context, the designation of “Uyghurs” to describe the Turkish-dialect speaking Muslim population of oasis dwellers in Xinjiang, is a relatively recent phenomenon. The term “Uyghur” has had varied meanings throughout history. Around 744-840 C.E., the term was used to describe a Turkic, steppe, and nomadic society in Mongolia. Between 844-932, it became the name for a sedentary, oasis Buddhist, Manichaean, and Nestorian Christian society centered in Turpan Basin, located in the East of Xinjiang. By 1450, “Uyghur” was used to denote an elite Buddhist, Turkic society in Turpan which was called “Uyghuristan” with the sole purpose of distinguishing it from Islamic Turks living to the west of them. For the next 500 years, the term was virtually in disuse as Buddhist ‘Uyghurs’ converted to Islam in the 15th century. Several scholars on Uyghurs have argued the re-emergence of the label as an accepted modern ethnonym derived from Central Asian Soviet advisors in Xinjiang from their experience with official designations of Central Asian populations. At a 1921 conference in the capital of Uzbekistan, “Uyghur” was proposed to identify all the groups who had previously been known by the localities from where they lived such as Kashgarlikhs, Aksuliks, Lobniks, etc. This proposal was generally adopted in 1934 by the Sinkiang provisional government-Thus, the ethnogenesis of Uyghurs, or development of “Uyghurs” as an ethnic group, has been largely influenced by the evolving politics of the Chinese nation-state.

The PRC, Changing Demographics of Xinjiang and Ethnic Conflict

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, there has been massive sociopolitical integration of Xinjiang into the Chinese nation-state. In 1955 the PRC officially recognized Uyghurs as one of 55 ethnic minority nationalities in China. Uyghurs were categorized as a formerly self-identified oasis peoples, along with 13 designated autonomous areas for non-Uyghur native groups to the region. While there has been ongoing migration to the northern region of Xinjiang since the 18th century, the CPC under Mao Zedong’s leadership played a direct role in orchestrating massive population movement of (largely) Han but also Hui migrants to Xinjiang.

Before 1953, 75% of the region’s population lived in the Tarim Basin (southern province). The Chinese Communist Party attempted to prioritize Uyghur autonomy by settling Han migrants into sparsely populated northern areas so as to not disturb the already existing Uyghur communities largely in the southern region. Through the creation of an economic and paramilitary organization-Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in 1954, the Chinese state sought to promote economic development, healthcare, education, farms and eventually strong border defense during heightened Sino-Soviet tensions, to the region. The XPCC oversaw an influx of “skilled” Han migrants to develop Xinjiang’s infrastructure and natural resource extraction industries such as oil and cotton, altering the ethnic composition and geographic distribution of population for the region. The Uyghur population in Xinjiang benefitted from some of these policies like improved medical care and preferential treatment in China’s family planning program leading to a decline in their infant-mortality rate and population growth from 4 million in the early 1960’s to 8 million by 2001.

Since the economic reforms of the Deng Xiaoping era, Han and non-Han migration to autonomous regions like Xinjiang for employment opportunities have been increasingly self-initiated, as opposed to the state strategy associated with the Mao era. Within Xinjiang, characterizations of Han migration as furthering Han-Uyghur socioeconomic divide, has been a dominant source of ethnic tensions and separatist violence over the last several decades. Uyghur migrants emigrating from less economically developed rural southern regions, to the more Han populated urban north, are typically concentrated in lower-paying service sector jobs but underrepresented in Xinjiang’s “high skilled” technical and administrative positions.

Ugyhurs and Han Chinese are also socially segregated and perceptions have arisen that Han migrants are exploiting minorities and attempting to monopolize Xinjiang’s natural resources, despite Han Chinese playing a significant role in the economic development of the region. Moreover, competition with Han migrants for scarce resources in a tighter labor market has culminated in several Uyghur uprisings and violent clashes. This depicts the spatial and income inequality fostered by inequitable regional development in Xinjiang and the struggle for the “ethnic harmony” the CPC originally outlined. While programs have been initiated by the CPC to resolve regional inequality in autonomous areas through investing in infrastructure, expanding job opportunities, and accelerating economic development, inequality still persists. The push to use economic tools to address ethnic separatism conveys the Chinese government’s belief that people ultimately want good economic life for themselves and their families.

The CPC and Religion

While the Chinese Communist Party gave preferential considerations to ethnic/religious minorities, during the first ten years of Communist Party rule in China, there was an orientation toward secularization culminating in the chaotic extremes of the Cultural Revolution to denounce “old customs, old cultures, old habits, and old thinking.” Regions like Tibet and Xinjiang were particularly affected. However, the 1978 economic liberalizing reforms under Deng Xiaoping, also saw the loosening up of religious restrictions and emphasis on cultural vitality for ethnic minorities unseen in previous decades. Document 19 which outlines the CPC’s 1982 religion policy states that while conventional religious beliefs and practices are permitted, religion will not be allowed to regain feudal power/privileges:

“…we communists are atheists and must unremittingly propagate atheism, and yet at the same time, we must understand that it will be fruitless and extremely harmful to use simple coercion in dealing with people’s ideological and spiritual questions, and this includes religious question.”

What is missing from the one-dimensional narrative that “China represses Muslims” is the overarching context of CPC’s varied approach in targeting regional separatism and how that overlaps with religion, as opposed to targeting the religion itself. When looking at the history of evolving policies adopted on religious freedoms toward Muslim Uyghurs in Turpan (eastern Xinjiang) vs Uyghurs in Kashgar (southwest Xinjiang), these nuances become clearer. Despite CPC’s restrictions on religious education, following 1978 reforms, Islamic schools were permitted for Uyghur children in Turpan and Islamic celebrations and the Hajj were encouraged for Uyghur communist party members. In fact, 350 mosques were built in Turpan between 1979-89 and large mosques were built with government assistance in Xinjiang’s capital of Ürümqi, improving perceptions of the Chinese government by some Uyghur Muslims, especially in Turpan.

However, areas of Xinjiang with greater proximity to externally funded movements for secessionist violence like in Kashgar faced more regulated and stringent policies on religious expression. These complexities are also highlighted in the 1989 Uyghur led student protest against distribution of a book deemed offensive toward China’s Muslim populations. Dubbed the ‘Salmon Rushdie protests’ of Beijing, it called on the banning of the book Sexual Customs (Xing Fengsu) for its islamophobic and vulgar depictions of Islam. In support of Muslim solidarity, representatives from 4 of the 10 Muslim nationalities in China, including a Uyghur, Hui, Kirghiz, and Kazakh formed a list of demands to the state. The Chinese government strongly supported the demonstration and met all the demands of the Muslim protesters, banning the book and allowing its burning in the main square of Lanzhou city, arresting the authors, and closing the Shanghai Cultural Publishing House where the book was distributed. Additionally, Chinese authorities provided police escort and transportation for many of the protesters. However in the aftermath, the state has been accused of showing less punitive measures toward Hui Muslim participants than Uyghurs who faced disproportionate jail time in some of protest’s violent clashes.

China’s largest population of Muslims, the Hui people are more integrated in mainstream China and share greater cultural proximity to Han citizens. The Hui have generally experienced less scrutiny from the Chinese state and in recent years even a “faith revival” with newly built mosques and Sufi shrines in Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture, along with increased pilgrimage to Mecca. The Chinese state has greater caution of Turkic unrest on its northwest border with Post-Soviet Central Asia, than amongst its more internal and domestic Hui Muslims. While there are multiple avenues of “unfettered religious expression in China,” explains Dr. Dru Gladney who studies Islam in China, “when you cross these often nebulous and shifting boundaries of what the state regards as political,” you enter shaky territory, and that is a fair takeaway on the state’s differing approach to Hui and Uyghur Muslims. Despite this, Hui migrants to Xinjiang have long expressed frustrations that their People’s Government (largely staffed with Turkic Muslims) is too accommodating to its Uyghur population both linguistically and culturally. Ethnic tensions remain.

While the legitimate perception that Muslim minorities are treated differently persists, ethno-religious plurality has remained the official line of the Chinese Communist Party. Socio-culturally, the last several decades have seen gains in the self-representation of China’s Muslims, aiming to combat the exoticized depiction that has often dominated state-sponsored media of the nation’s national minorities. The China Islamic Association along with Muslim writers, artists, and photographers from Xinjiang to Beijing, have published pictorials and novels representing Muslims as studious, devout people, dedicated to their family and societies while highlighting Islamic architecture, art and scholarship.

Separatist violence in Xinjiang, Extremism, and Chinese State Response

Back to April 1990 and the story that rocked Western media. The Baren Township riot is acknowledged as a “turning point” in heightened relations between Beijing and Xinjiang. Akto county, the westernmost region of China, bordering Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan saw a violent uprising of 200 Uyghur militants led by the East Turkistan Islamic Party, an extremist separatist organization with funding and training from Afghan militias. Causes for the unrest are varied, but protesters called on the immediate halt of Han migrants to the region, suggesting ethnic in nature. The Afghan forces are believed to have encouraged Uyghurs in Xinjiang to create an independent Uyghur Islamic state to be led by the ETIP. Mass arrests and crackdowns followed.

Two years later the capital of Xinjiang was rocked with four bombings on public transportation by separatists resulting in the death of three civilians and dozens injured. These events caused the Chinese state to adopt a “strike hard” approach toward separatist activities in Xinjiang, causing additional protests, dynamics only to be exacerbated post-9/11. In 2002, the Chinese State Council issued a report stating from 1990-2001, various separatist groups were responsible for over 200 terrorist incidents in Xinjiang that resulted in the deaths of 162 people and injuries of over 440 others. In 2004 Chinese President Hu Jintao stressed that unrest and terrorism in Xinjiang “is not automatically related to certain ethnic groups or religions” and that the cause for regional conflict and separatism was primarily economic in nature, aiming to enhance the material conditions of Uyghurs as a deterrent to extremism.

While the Western Development project pledged to combat regional inequality in autonomous areas like Xinjiang, and has brought infrastructure and greater economic activity, political unrest has not been completely resolved. Incidents of terror attacks against provincial government structures, police and Han and Uyghur residents, in addition to the Syrian civil war, has furthered recruitment for extremist/separatist violence in the region. However as of October 2018, Shohrat Zakir-the Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region stated that in the last 21 months, “no violent terrorist attacks have occurred and the number of criminal cases…has dropped significantly.” According to Zakir, Xinjiang has sought educational assistance as a preventative measure in addressing petty crime that makes young Uyghur men more vulnerable to extremism and separatist violence. Moreover, in attempting to tackle the perceived economic nature of the conflict, vocational training programs have been undertaken in the four prefectures of southern Xinjiang with employment as its key initiative for areas most prone to extremist violence. These vocational centers are being labeled “re-education/indoctrination camps” by Western media, but involve departments of teaching, management, medical care, legal knowledge, and multi-skilled training to help diversify Uyghur representation in the job market.

While international calls for an “independent Turkestan” persist from some Human Rights advocates located in the West and Uyghur nationalists in the diaspora, views on Uyghur separatism in Xinjiang along religious and ethnic lines are quite varied as expected. China’s 9 other official Muslim minorities do not generally support Uyghur separatism. Few Hui Muslims support an independent Xinjiang and the over 1.3 million Kazakhs living in the autonomous region are also ambivalent on what a separate ‘Uyghuristan’ would mean for them. Many local activists are instead calling for increased attention to environmental degradation, nuclear testing, recent limits imposed on childbearing, religious freedoms, and over-taxation. Many are advocating for the “full autonomy” outlined by Chinese law for its five autonomous regions instead of separation from the Chinese state entirely. Balancing cultural autonomy for ethnic minorities in China’s borderlands as well as forging a sense of community with the Chinese state needs further scrutiny given prevailing feelings of Han chauvinism and Uyghur Otherization. However, this nuance and historical context are largely missing from our increasingly sensational Western media diet about these ongoing developments in Xinjiang.

Kimberly Miller is a Marxist-Leninist researcher studying black aesthetic consumer choices, and the impact on global political economy and geopolitics.


Elizabeth Van, Wie Davis- “Uyghur Separatism in Xinjiang China” Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 2008.

Gladney, Dru C. Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities, and Other Subaltern Subjects. London, University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Rudelson, Justin Oasis Identities: Uyghur Nationalism Along China’s Silk Road. Columbia University Press, 1997.

Anthony Howell and Cindy Fan- “Migration and Inequality in Xinjiang: A Survey of Han and Uyghur Migrants in Urumqi” Eurasian Geography and Economics, Bellweather Publishing, 2011.

Kunal Mukherjee- “The Uyghur Question in Contemporary China” Strategic Analysis Vol. 34, 2010. ... hur-islam/ ... 535821.htm ... -xinjiang/
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:32 pm

New village loudspeaker campaign aims to spread ideological message
By Chen Qingqing in Zhengding Source:Global Times Published: 2019/1/31 18:07:29

Villagers listen to radio programs through loudspeakers installed at Beiwang village, North China's Hebei Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT

While working the farmland in North China's Hebei Province on a sunny Wednesday morning, a local farmer surnamed Li listens to a radio program being broadcast from Beiwang village, about 5 kilometers away from his greenhouse where he grows grapes.

Li told the Global Times that this allows him to find out what is going on in local communities without having to browse the internet on his smartphone. The four loudspeakers on wire poles installed in the village spread messages over a certain area, evoking nostalgic memories among rural residents in China, as loudspeakers were a common sight in villages decades ago.

Some locals still remember those days in the 1970s and 1980s when loudspeakers spread important announcements or told villagers to gather for community meetings. And now they are coming back to convey a new message.

Xu Yinsheng, who is in charge of the radio station's control room in the village, stands in front of a console and a microphone, checking to see if the equipment is functioning properly. This room is the center of the so-called New Village Loudspeaker Project, a Party-led campaign that has so far covered 3,760 villages with 4,200 radio stations in Shijiazhuang, capital city of the province.

The project was first launched in Zhengding, a county in southwest Hebei, in December 2016. A group of producers and anchors at local radio and television stations in Shijiazhuang record programs every morning, which are later distributed to each village in the region and played three times a day, Gao Wei, program director of the station, told the Global Times.

Local residents in Tayuan village of Zhengding, where Chinese President Xi Jinping used to work as the county Party chief, are proud of the project's launch event. It played an important role in conveying the voice of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the spirit of the 19th National Congress, as shown by the banners hanging in the office building of the local government.

Xu, 58, does not have to monitor broadcasting operations at the local station, as all the programs have been uploaded to cloud services and are played simultaneously. "There are different programs every day, including the Good Voice of the Communist Party of China, Policies of Our Party and Agricultural Technology," he told the Global Times.

Those born in the 1950s and 1960s in Chinese villages are familiar with the presence of loudspeakers, as they played a key role in community life when there were no other entertainment activities.

"In the old days, production teams used loudspeakers to make important announcements," said a 78-year-old villager surnamed Gao, referring to them as a symbol of China's rural life.

Although TVs and smartphones have become the main tools for rural residents to obtain information today, local authorities see these programs played automatically through loudspeakers as being necessary for delivering information, news, and, more importantly, government policies.

Zhao Yuanhui, chief of a local radio station at Dongbai village in Hebei, checks a microphone. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Access for all

A 20-minute radio program begins every morning, noon and evening with the sentence "The Party's good voice singing in the new countryside," followed by a short piece of background music that introduces a local news briefing.

Whatever they are doing in the village, local residents can all listen to these programs. "We usually have lunch at noon when the program is being broadcast. I can listen to it from my home," a local resident told the Global Times.

This top-level design project is aimed at improving the ideological and political consciousness of local farmers, which is also in line with their living and working routines. As many rural areas still lack access to information and communication, local authorities use these loudspeakers to air national news, local news and some practical information, Gao said.

"More and more villagers now own smartphones, which may have negative side effects, and some internet content needs to be cleaned up," he added.

As the person in charge of radio programs distributed to the local villages every day, Gao is extremely selective about content, and focuses on how to interpret government policies in a straightforward way that every villager can understand.

At around 5pm, groups of villagers in Muzhuang village, about 15 kilometers away from Beiwang village, gather at a playground in the village center, chatting with each other. A few minutes later, the evening radio program is aired.

Since the 19th National Congress of the CPC in October 2017, the loudspeakers have been conveying the spirit of the Party as part of efforts to strengthen the leadership of the Party in rural ideological work.

"To draw in more listeners in the village, we have to avoid political terms and jargons in the programs," Gao said. For example, they should avoid saying "supply-side reform" as not many people really understand what it is. "But if we talk about how to transfer their farmland to ensure more efficient agriculture, that will be welcomed by the public," he said.

Four loudspeakers on wire poles installed in the village spread messages over a certain area. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Sustainability issues

One resident of Muzhuang, who sells vegetables at the playground, welcomes these loudspeakers, as they help him stay up to date on the news and weather, he told the Global Times.

"I think it's related to our lives," he said.

Over 40 years ago, China's zhiqing generation - men and women who were "sent down" to the countryside - used to live with these old-style loudspeakers every day during their years in villages. "When I see them coming back to villages today, I think they have vitality," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times.


Local authorities in Shijiazhuang are considering expanding the project to more villages nationwide in 2019. As of the end of December 2018, over 200 cities and counties nationwide in provinces such as East China's Shandong, Northeast China's Heilongjiang, and East China's Zhejiang, have signed deals to launch loudspeaker projects.

"Starting trial runs in some villages may not be difficult. Whether it can be sustained is still in question," Su said.

"Farmers, who are also the main audience, should become more involved in the programs," he added.


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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:27 pm

Why I am in favour of brainwashing
5 february, 2019 by stalinsmoustache, posted in another world is possible, mao zedong
Every now and then, I need to address an audience with brains that have been saturated with all types of liberal and bourgeois rubbish. So I have decided to begin my talks as follows:

I am in favour of brainwashing … it is a very, very good practice.

As Mao Zedong said in 1957 to a group of students:

Some foreigners say that our ideological reform is brainwashing. As I see it, they are correct in what they say. It is washing brains, that’s what it is! This brain of mine was washed to become what it is. After I joined the revolution, [my brain] slowly washed, washed for several decades. What I received before was all bourgeois education, and even some feudal education … At that time, none of us knew anything about how the Chinese revolution was to be promoted!

So I ask you to take a moment to wash your brains, as far as possible. Identify all of the liberal, bourgeois assumptions you might have, especially concerning communism. Only in this way can you begin to understand what socialism with Chinese characteristics is. ... inwashing/
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:28 pm

‘Red culture’ lessons launched in Jiangxi schools, kindergartens included
By Ji Yuqiao Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/26 22:23:41

Students of a primary school in Hengfeng county, East China's Jiangxi Province visit a historic revoluntionary site in the county and observe lanterns the Red Army used. Photo: VCG

Schools in East China's Jiangxi Province, from kindergartens to universities, launched lessons about red culture this past semester, to spread revolutionary culture and socialist core values to students.

The red culture lesson contains a six-series textbook aimed at students in kindergarten, primary school, junior and senior high school as well as university, which is the first systematic relevant textbook in China to promote red culture, Jiangxi Daily reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the textbook was written by the National Center for Education Development Research administrated by the Ministry of Education and the education departments of Jiangxi Province.

The report said that schools in Jiangxi will carry out reform of moral education courses during the nine-year period of compulsory education, establishing practice bases for revolutionary traditional education.

"The lesson can put moral education in the classroom and develop students' moral character, and improve their understanding of core socialist values," Chu Zhaohui, a research fellow at the National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"The textbook needs to be audited before being put into use," he added.

Besides, the provincial education department organized and launched red culture themed contests, as well as show tours which display revolutionary soldiers' letters to their families and tell stories about heroes and martyrs, in order to instill an advanced revolutionary spirit and spread red culture to students.

The show tour has already been held 12 times and has been seen by millions of teachers and students in Jiangxi Province, the report noted.

Jiangxi Province is rich in cultural resources and carries a distinct heritage of the Chinese Revolution.

The Communist Party of China members' harsh journey of founding of the New China in 1949 still exists in places like Jinggangshan, Ruijin and Nanchang.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:17 pm

a twitter thread with some food for thought:

now this isn't necessarily what I want to happen, but it looks like the world is shaping up to see the following:
1. massive stock market plunge some time next spring to the bottom for this cycle, leading to
8:58 AM · Mar 14, 2019 · Twitter Web App

2. social democratic candidates taking hold in the anglo-american centers of empire (corbyn/sanders or their proteges) with a win in the democratic primary and/or elections in the UK which means they start a policy of

3. MMT - the centers of empire finally capitulate that they can't contain China and have to fight China on even ground else China would use the current currency regime to vacuum up even more industry and hard assets from the west which leads to

4. those hard assets and metals exploding in value demarcated in USD/massive USD depreciation.
This is the only way that they can force industry back to the west.

5. As part of this, they will sprinkle in some social democratic reforms/Green New Deal in order to compete with China in international relations
And there we have it, Cold War 2 officially begins?

6. If they don't do this, and continue this strong dollar policy, China will just suck everything out of the west. It's like China found the correct contradiction and just put their foot to the floor on the accelerator to the destruction of capitalism.

Courtesy J__Klein • יעקב @J__Klein

WWMD - What would Mao do?

I think he'd applaud.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:19 pm

Chinese envoy pledges continued cooperation with Venezuela
Source: Xinhua | 2019-04-11 03:59:37 | Editor: huaxia

Chinese aids are unloaded from a plane at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia in the state of Vargas, Venezuela, on March 29, 2019. (Xinhua/Marcos Salgado)

UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday pledged continued cooperation with Venezuela.

"China will continue its cooperation with Venezuela based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit for the greater well-being of the two peoples," Ma Zhaoxu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, told a UN Security Council meeting on situation in Venezuela.

To help its people overcome temporary difficulties, China has decided to provide emergency supplies for livelihood to Venezuela, said Ma.

The relevant supplies are on their way to Venezuela in batches. On March 29, the first batch of medicines and medical supplies were delivered to the Venezuelan government, he said.

China's assistance to Venezuela is in keeping with its long-held principles for foreign aid. It is intended to help Venezuelan people overcome negative impacts caused by external interferences and sanctions with no political conditions attached, said the Chinese ambassador. ... 966441.htm

Dastardly imperialists....
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:36 pm

Is China capitalist? Interview with Rémy Herrera

private tests"Is China capitalist?" This is the title of the new book by Rémy Herrera (French Marxist economist, researcher at the CNRS and the Sorbonne, Paris) and Zhiming Long (Chinese Marxist economist of the School of Marxism at Tsinghua University, Beijing), released in March for the Éditions Critiques . The authors intend to deny stereotypes and misunderstandings about the People's Republic of China, retracing the history of the economic development of the country from 1950 to today. The interview that we transcribe was carried out by Le Média , a new alternative media linked to the French left.


Yours is a counter-current book. It presents a rather rare point of view in France, which deserves to be reported and discussed. First of all, as you point out, when we talk about the Chinese economy we often do it through a Western prism, using data produced by Westerners: according to you, this falsifies the vision we have of Chinese success.

Exactly, and it is a fundamental point. In fact, everyone has an opinion on China, but that may not necessarily be well founded. This is due, in our opinion, to the difficulties represented by language and geographical distance. Difficulties that make some of the internal debates in China somehow inaccessible and which make it necessary to pass through this western prism. An external view that in practice occupies the totality of our perception of China. And this is a problem, it is due primarily to a difficulty in accessing data, but certainly not because Chinese statistics are hidden - on the contrary, they exist, they are very numerous and widespread. However, in most cases they are in Chinese, which makes them difficult to use. These statistics are, contrary to common opinion, quite serious, well built and relatively reliable and this has been for a long time - thanks to the National Statistics Office which has existed since 1952. However, they may be incomplete, for us who needed a certain number of indicators that did not exist or, where they existed, were not free from imperfections. In particular, regarding the time series of capital stocks, much more complex than the Gross Domestic Product; [...] or about what the dominant neoliberal or neoclassical economy calls "human capital". Well, we were looking for indicators a little more "human", so to speak, a little better built than those that already existed in the databases of international organizations or Western researchers.

For these reasons we have carried out a preparatory work, which lasted several years, of reconstruction and sometimes the construction of historical series from scratch , in order to first of all maintain a conceptual coherence in relation to the theory underlying our work - we are Marxists, then We attach great importance to the consistency between the statistics and the concepts and theories used upstream - but also to know exactly and correctly manipulate all scientific production. [ ...] We have reconstructed the data starting from those of international organizations, which, very problematic, are almost always dominated by Western powers. You see, what we tried to do is an effort to escape a sort of Eurocentrism. Because we really need to make an effort to consider China for what it is: an immense country in terms of size and demography, its history and the depth of its culture and civilization. There is also a complexity that must be respected, it is not permissible to reach hasty conclusions about its economy or even more about its society. Yet often the dominant media have an interest in wanting to hurriedly conclude, up to the point of making us consider it as a completely obvious thing, the fact that China would be capitalist, without even seriously discussing it.

You are in breaking, you are diverging, with the other classical economists on the fact that there would be an overall development strategy, elaborated immediately on the long term, which set the conditions for today's economic success.

Absolutely. There are many extremely interesting studies published on China that have sparked debates. I am thinking, for example, of the works of Michel Aglietta, with Chinese coauthors often, who establishes a continuity between contemporary China and the imperial past, a continuity that would be found until the CCP's direction and function. All this is interesting, but I do not think it is sufficient, since the true continuity is precisely that which is linked to the elaboration and putting into practice of this development strategy that welds two periods in the history of the Chinese economy that tends to put in opposition diametrically and brutally: that is the Maoist - or communist, socialist period, let's call it what we want, in short, the period that precedes the great reforms of 1978 -and the following years, the post Mao period . Today's China is the product of this socialist past.

However, the dominant thought is very clever, and has managed to make us believe that the rate of economic growth of the country has gone from stagnation, from 0 of the "horrors of communism" during the Mao period, to exponential, miraculous growth, for magic, as soon as capitalism was adopted, as soon as China converted to capitalism. This is absolutely false, the figures say otherwise. The statistics of the World Bank show that China, as far as the economy is concerned, has known very quickly and in every sector a strong growth: agriculture, of course, industry, services (although they are considered as a traditionally dysfunctional sector in China). China has known very soon - just past the turbulence of the years that followed the triumph of the revolution,

So according to your thesis was it not Mao's death that triggered China's economic take-off?

Certainly not. The years 1977-78 are undoubtedly years of change, which mark an "opening", but it is not a change of development strategy, it is indeed, in a sense, the redefinition of socialist planning in order to make it more performing . A way to ensure the survival and prolongation of this long-term development strategy.

Concretely, you say that economic growth in Maoist China was very high. But how was this possible? What efforts have been made under socialism to allow it; which development strategy was implemented concretely at the time?

First of all, this development strategy - which was outlined many years before the seizure of power (I remember that the triumph of the revolution in 1949 is preceded by more than 30 years of civil war and against imperialist occupations) - put an end to a long century of chaos, wars and submission to foreign forces, which had characterized China's history since the Opium War.

So are we actually talking about the strategy of taking power rather than in economic terms?

I mean that the first element of cohesion and rebirth brought by the development strategy developed under Mao, was to put an end to the disintegration and the subjugation of the country. The first effort was to unify the national territory. Then, to lay the foundations, the sine qua non conditions of development: that is social progress, through the great social achievements such as education, health, the extension of basic infrastructures.

So there have been investments in education, research and development?

Yes, we have invested immediately in this field, patiently but solidly, because attention, a research and development system is not built in a moment, we need to build a national education system, and that is what was done quickly. And already after 10/15 years the first results in terms of research and development had been achieved. Then clearly there was a colossal economic effort: on the one hand thanks to the agrarian reform , perhaps even today the most precious legacy of the Maoist revolution , which brought access to land for the peasants. Something that perhaps we do not measure correctly the size, but it is perhaps the key to Chinese success, although often passed over in silence. The peasants' contribution to the growth effort is too often forgotten, but also their contribution to the effort in transferring resources from agriculture to industry. In fact, thanks to the collectivization of agriculture - which was carried out in an extremely prudent manner, producing very positive results both on the level of production and on that of labor productivity - resources were transferred to the industry and the process of industrialization was conducted from the beginning. First of all in heavy industry, then gradually towards light industries and consumer goods. The effort also involvedthe control of money, banking and finance, which is one of the major features of the current Chinese system .

All this should question us, in France, in Europe, where the destinies of our European peoples escape their control, are in the hands of bureaucracies in Brussels themselves subjected to a globalized financial oligarchy: in our area we have renounced the control of sovereignty monetary. In short, there are many points of reflection for us today. Of course, it is not a question of taking this country as a model, it would not make sense in the first place because China is not claimed as a model and because situations are difficult to compare. However, in terms of economic policy, in terms of opening up the debate, in terms of breaking taboos, China certainly has some things to teach us. Provided you have the modesty of wanting to learn.

I would like to return to the major land reforms, which you think are the key. Is the collective ownership of land in rural areas still the dominant model today?

Yes, this is largely the currently dominant model, and it is an element of continuity between 1949 and today. Certainly, it is not a question of denying the problems that exist: for example, the transfer of land by regional governments for different reasons, such as that of feeding the coffers of local budgets , therefore conflicts with often important masses of peasants expelled from their lands , or the problems of migrants. We are certainly not here idealizing the situation in China, rather we try to preserve a certain lucidity, a certain objectivity, a certain optimism. What is certain is that there is state ownership at the national, and collective level at the local level, of the earth. This guarantees access to land for farmers. This is the primary claim of the immense majority of peasants on earth, whether they are in India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia; it is perhaps the most important claim. Well, this can only be done through an agrarian reform conducted to the end. That is, to say it clearly and briefly, inserted into a socialist revolution. China did it, others did (like Vietnam). In my opinion this is the key to the whole building, given that China has been an agricultural country for a very long time. Today it is certainly a little less, but the peasants' place is absolutely central and we cannot underestimate this aspect.

Moreover, when the systemic crisis of globalized capitalism in 2007-2008, also hit China in 2009 and then above all from 2012, the Chinese leaders had answers to this crisis diametrically opposed to those of our financial oligarchies and ours bureaucracies . This means that they have not embarked on a regressive and destructive spiral of wage reduction, austerity, reduction of public expenses, privatization. This did not happen in China, on the contrary they did the opposite: wages were extraordinarily increased, in terms of purchasing power, in real terms. Farmers' incomes have grown much faster than those of urban workers. There has also been a considerable increase in public infrastructure spending, which has allowed the national economic territory to be rebalanced and restructured. As well as to develop medium-sized urban and economic centers in the country's hinterland.

Let's deepen then the polemical nucleus, so to speak, of your reflection: "is China capitalist?" But before answering: would entry into capitalism be an upheaval, an accelerator of progress, as liberals say, or not?

It would be a catastrophe for China. For a fundamental reason: the declared and claimed adoption of the capitalist option by the ruling elites of the Chinese communist party and the social bloc on which they rely - mainly the local Chinese capitalists and the middle classes who take advantage of economic dynamism - would risk to break the existing relations between this power block and the great majority of the peasant and workers masses. In short, the adoption of capitalism would lead to catastrophe in China, to be clear, because it would risk calling into question this alliance, these win-win relationships linked to the positive effects of economic growth . What it means?It means that there would be no other way out in reality to prolong the economic success that China has been experiencing for some decades now - and that makes it the first world economy, or at least about to oust the United States as the first world power - if not in reorienting its economic policies towards a new social compromise, developing social policies to the maximum.

So, to remove any ambiguity, do you think it is a capitalist country? Because you talk about "state capitalism", "capitalism without capitalists" or "a non-capitalist country but with capitalists", you also talk about "market socialism" or "socialism with market mechanisms" ... In the end, is it a capitalist country?

Perhaps you think so, we are much more cautious. We say that there are many capitalists, this is certain, and many capitalist market mechanisms.

Would there be an internal struggle in the country between socialism and capitalism, between elements of both?

This is the least we can say, the class struggle is particularly violent and massive, perhaps and above all in the upper reaches of the state. We make a distinction between holders of economic power and holders of political power ; that is, it is indispensable for placing the current situation in China with respect to its history, a story that goes back to its war years which led to the Revolution, but also before, to its tout-court history .We think that the holders of economic power are not exactly the holders of political power in China. In other words, the ruling classes are not exactly the ruling classes. In other words, the Chinese capitalists, who are very numerous and powerful, with billionaires among them, despite their efforts and despite the international support of the great foreign capital, have failed to take control of the state .

Would there be two powers in China: a capitalist economic power and a socialist political power?

With a hierarchy between the two. That would be the politician above the economic . Mao himself , in the areas that were freed from the guerrilla, from the Red Army of the time - included in the Soviet republic of China that was directed by Mao for a time - and the communist leadership never tried to completely take over all the activities economic . They never tried to economically expropriate the Chinese capitalists. Do you understand? But often, not systematically but often, they kept them in their dynamism and activity, in their business we say, so as to allow to favor the effectiveness of the new collective institutional forms that had been created by the communist power - even to put them in competition in certain cases and in certain sectors - but always maintaining a political protection over their head . But this does not only concern the socialist economy, it is a characteristic that we also find in the distant past of the country. It must be realized that China was for many centuries the first world economy [..] until the British aggression of the Opium war; China was the first world economy without being a capitalist, although capitalism already existed in the West.

So you say that the capitalists, in the era of socialism, never disappeared from China, even in the revolutionary era?

Absolutely. Their perimeter of activity has been extraordinarily restricted, this is the least we can say; but it is a completely unique characteristic of the Chinese process, there was a desire to expropriate the local bourgeoisie politically, but not to expropriate it economically .

But today it is strengthened, one can ask if it is not dominant.

Certainly it is strengthened, of course we can ask ourselves if it is not dominant, nevertheless we need to really question ourselves, concretely, about what is happening. For example, we have heard a lot about anti-corruption campaigns . Well, we ask ourselves to know what could hide, in terms of defense of this political protection of the State on local capitalists, what could therefore represent this fight against corruption. And we seem to be able to interpret these anti-corruption campaigns - which are very powerful and relatively effective, as well as very popular, it must be recognized (they have strengthened the legitimacy not only of the President and the Chinese ruling classes but of the Chinese Communist Party itself) - as a concern of the central political power in the face of increasingly open, established, institutionalized sometimes even alliances between the Chinese capitalists and the great foreign capital. That is mainly the large banking and financial establishments, the great oligopolies of US globalized finance. Alliances that have also established themselves thanks to the recent "liberalization" process of the Chinese financial sector.

Struggling against corruption is also trying to break ever clearer ties between these Chinese capitalists and foreign capital - Chinese capitalists who have perfectly understood the power of the CCP, but also what could bring them an alliance with the great international financial capital. These struggles against corruption are also to be read as a revival of political power over economic power . This is our hypothesis, in our book we are certainly not trying to affirm our truth, let us try instead to reopen a space of debate between us, in the left, so as not to accept to be totally on the defensive and totally crushed by a single thought under packaging, ready for consumption, imposed by the dominant media.

And yet this socialism, if it is still dominant, does not make us dream, inequalities are strengthened in China, one of the countries where there are more billionaires in the world ...

It is not surprising to witness the ethical and moral rhetoric (which is not only empty rhetoric though) on egalitarianism and the need to reduce inequalities - to return to the front of the scene, in speeches and political debates in China.

To talk a little about China's "new left" policy, of which we know little here in France, we have little information, and perhaps you can tell us more: do you count on the "new left" to keep the country on the socialist path?

We have little information because we do not provide the means to search for this information that exists. We could have more, not only on the new left, that is, the wing faithful to the Maoist legacy inside [of the CCP ndt] ...

Are there still Maoists in China?

Certainly, certainly even much more outside the CCP than inside. There are "self-organized" organizations, so to speak, autonomous, outside the communist party. Especially peasant organizations.

Legal organizations?

Certainly. There is only one union, and this is obviously a limitation, only one party [ actually in China there are 8 parties representing the People's Assembly, but probably here Herrera means "only one leading party" ], but for example most of the struggles for the maintenance of collective land ownership, which is obviously disputed, are brought by self-organized peasants outside the CCP. Mass organizations, social movements, which take different forms.

So are there many movements in China? We know very little ...

There are so many. And my hypothesis is that if the collective ownership of the land has remained so solid for so long it is largely thanks to these self-organized peasant struggles.

So is there a class struggle today, are there social movements that maintain a balance of power in the country?

Absolutely, even obviously in the workers' world, in the industrial sectors, the great social struggles, which will probably grow in importance, will intensify and become more acute. We need to understand that the horizon of this socialist transition project that the Chinese have is far away, the future is largely open, indeterminate . We are very insistent on this point, we do not try to assert psychedeluity, because everything depends on the class struggle and its results , the future is absolutely open. But what we say is that the future of socialism is not irreparably compromised with the fall of the Soviet Union . We contest this consensus, we intend to break this taboounder whose rubble, those of the fall of the Wall and the USSR, the European, Western and radical left is still buried. We have not yet come out of it: not only have we not yet taken stock of it, but above all these taboos prevent us from putting the need for socialism at the center of the reconstruction of alternatives . In essence, this is what we lack. [...] Socialism returns to the debate, but it took time.

With this book we not only want to make an appeal to respect what China represents and its complexity, but also to respect its revolutionary history, with the aim of rehabilitating some truths, some facts, provable and proven by us, to believe order to make it clear that China is not an enemy. Because now the media campaigns are getting very hard. [...] China is increasingly presented as a competitor, vis-à-vis the West in general, but they frighten us at the idea that China intends to dominate the world, to enslave us. Something disturbing. But it is not true, China is not an enemy.

Isn't it a threat?

Does it depend on what you mean by "threat"?

For France, for European economies, the northern economies?

Certainly it is a competitor that can also bend the first world economy.

But when we designate, at least on the left, the great imperialist powers, we include China, however.

I don't think China has an imperialist behavior or nature, despite being presented in this way.

Yet in Africa it develops economic activities, is expanding, or even in Asia, in the Pacific. Aren't we in an imperialist economy?

Imperialist? No, I don't think so. [ here follows a brief passage in which the interviewer asks if he and Zhiming Long are by chance the "Maoists". Herrera says that they are just humble Marxist economists ndt ]

Instead, I think it is extremely important to restore optimism to the left, to pull it out of a certain complacency in dividing, in getting confused, in not occupying the debates that are yours, even the theme of socialism . For this reason, we have made this book, questioning ourselves from this somewhat unexpected angle.

But then why does this image, even to the left, of China as a threat? Is there racism, synophobia, the denial of Chinese history?

There is a bit of this in fact, and there are above all the financial oligopolies, the big banking and financial groups - which are certainly not a homogeneous entity, nor free from contradictions - but globalized finance, mainly from the United States, Anglo - United States, marching in the direction of an increasingly direct, increasingly aggressive, I would say war against China. And China's answer, which does not seem to be an aggressive or imperialist response, was this opening of a new "Silk Road". Which is a response to the aggressive encirclement by US or Anglo-US high finance in the country .

But isn't the situation in a relaxing phase in the region? We see North Korea and the United States talking ...

In the region without a doubt, and China contributes a lot to it. But the confrontation between the United States and China is not close to a détente. ... y-herrera/

Google Translator

Rémy Herrera is a pretty smart cookie. His interviewer is a funking cunt.
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Mon May 13, 2019 1:20 pm

Chinese lessons on the financial crisis

xiA financial crisis generally begins with the massive sale of shares (or the sovereign currency stock , or public debt securities) held by those market operators that have the adequate tonnage to handle large quantities of capital. This capital outflow causes the price of the assets to collapse suddenly and leads to substantial losses of capitalization on the Stock Exchange: losses that ruin the holders of the devalued securities.

This dynamic is followed by speculation , and enriches the most skilled and best equipped speculators, supported by investment funds and international investment banks in the sale.

The stock market crisis weakens the national economy, throwing governments and populations into panic. Meanwhile, the bourgeois press spreads alarmism and apocalyptic forecasts, while capital leaks push the public authorities to apply measures aimed at giving "confidence to the markets". That is, bend to the will of the speculators, in all respects similar to a blackmail: the choice is between the application of monetary measures likely to enhance the financial portfolio of investors, or the persistence of the stock market crash.

This is the rule of a capitalist economy with a high rate of financialization, a strategy to increase short-term profits. A striking example of such speculative behavior, and of the varied connected dynamics, is the terrible Asian economic crisis that brought much of the continent to its knees in '97. Or the organized attack against Great Britain and other European countries in '92. These practices have the effect, depending on the context, of the loss of credibility of the country-system against the attacks of financial conglomerates, semi-colonization due to the loans contracted to stem the crisis, the generalization of poverty, the privatization of resources national.

The Chinese model

This is the scenario that capital had planned for China in the past few months (1). If it were not that the rules do not make it the "free market", but the communist party. China is known to let develop some of the productive forces on a capitalist basis, while controlling the most important and strategic layers of the economy. This is vital to fuel the development phase that plans to turn China into an average 2020 country. In fact, 300 million people still live in the countryside in China, and although extreme poverty has significantly decreased and illiteracy is been uprooted, the road is still long to bring a uniform development over the whole country.

The path identified by Deng - the opening reforms in a framework of relative non-belligerency with the capitalist West - brought in those capital from 1979, which, well controlled and organized, allowed China to pass from the unenviable status of the most important country poor of the world in 1949 to that of the second world economy.

The party calls this phase "Socialism with Chinese characteristics". A managerial market economy, where the state controls half of the strategic productive apparatus, while letting capitalism develop all around. A gigantic NEP, as Domenico Losurdo defined it (2), a fundamental step to reach that degree of development that allows the transition from the current People's Republic to the future Socialist Republic.

Neither the ultra-sectarian communists nor the left-wing bourgeois radicals will ever be able to understand the meaning of Chinese development, if they remain nailed to the litanies - aprioristic - on a China that would have definitively abandoned socialism to embrace a more backward and authoritarian capitalism. These are the same arguments without a construct that the bourgeois press regularly shows off, completely misunderstanding the Chinese development model because they are unable to frame it in a broader and more dynamic historical horizon.

The truth is that despite having allowed the partial development of capitalist relations of production, the CCP - which we remember has the support of the Chinese people, no matter what the international press says, always prey to hysteria against bad communists - has politically expropriated the bourgeoisie of affairs, which in fact has no say in the government of China.

This development model, in these historical conditions, inevitably provides for a partial freedom of capital and the organization of corporate financing also on the basis of the buying and selling of shares. Hence the existence of a Chinese stock exchange, with all the associated dangers. One of these dangers is the speculative attack organized by international (ie Western) capital of the type described above, which can bring a country to its knees and bind it hands and feet to international institutions in order to block its autonomous development.

Socialist management of a capitalist crisis

The Chinese government has foiled an attack of this kind, through economic measures that we would consider heretical (3):

Lowering interest rates, contrary to IMF prescriptions, in order not to stifle business activity
Stock nationalization , with a public purchase fund of 9000 billion, a real bazooka, buyer in the last instance of the undersold securities in order to stop the collapse of prices, and therefore of the Stock Exchange.
Prohibition to state companies to sell and buy shares for 6 months, in order to block the movement of capital
Arrest of brokers, speculators and alarmists, whoever was taking advantage of the situation
These measures - hateful both for the delicate progressive bourgeoisie that reads the Republic and the Manifesto and for the international business circles that can be recognized in the Wall Street Journal and in the Financial Times - have blocked the announced land registry, and prevented the "free market "threw hundreds of millions of people into poverty, asking for a blood tribute to the popular classes of the largest and most developed anti-imperialist Asian countries.

And ultimately the reaction of the Chinese authorities has prevented political forces linked to Western circles - our men in Beijing - from taking advantage of the popular discontent that a crisis would inevitably generate, to favor a change of capitalist and pro-Western regime. The attempted and disadvantaged colored revolution in Hong Kong proves it.

Above all, these measures have prevented investors from carrying out their tried and tested profit-taking and destabilization maneuvers, so they have made the bourgeois press scream in scandal, accustomed to seeing governments bend their heads contrite under the force of capital and apply without speak of the measures prescribed by international financial institutions.

Foolish with rage at the failed coup, the capitalists now shout from their gazettes against a China that they consider irresponsible and immature, because it has not left the markets the chance to do the damage they do when they trigger speculative attacks on countries under the capitalist regime. And therefore they conclude that China is not reliable: and with good reason. China is not reliable for international capital , since it follows its own model of reform without flexing from socialist principles and objectives.

If a lesson we must therefore draw from these events, it is that the workers 'power can leave room for market forces, but an authentic workers' power will never allow, whatever the cost, the market forces to take the political upper hand and undermine the guide of the country.

Developing the productive forces with a partial use of capitalism generates risks, of which the Chinese leadership is perfectly conscious, but a party coherent with its own principles and clear on the objectives learns to manage them to prepare the future on the basis of the successes and errors of a serious government experience.

1) ... ia-cinese/

2) To deepen and understand the Chinese development model, an interview with Domenico Losurdo: ... co-losurdo -first-parte.html #

3) ... a/1996610/ ... nanziaria/

Google Translator

As with the financial crisis so with the tariff crisis, a socialist government with a strong economy can mitigate these external pressures in ways that capitalists cannot/will not leaving said capitalists to wail & gnash their teeth. China's tactics in this post-Soviet era are probably the only ones that would and have worked
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat May 25, 2019 1:18 pm

Tiananmen: The Massacre that Wasn’t
By Brian BeckerJun 13, 2014
Tiananmen: The Massacre that Wasn’t
An armored vehicle in flames during the June 4, 1989 protests in Beijing

Twenty-five years ago today, every U.S. media outlet, along with then President Bush and the U.S. Congress were whipping up a full scale frenzied hysteria and attack against the Chinese government for what was described as the cold-blooded massacre of many thousands of non-violent “pro-democracy” students who had occupied Tiananmen Square for seven weeks.

The hysteria generated about the Tiananmen Square “massacre” was based on a fictitious narrative about what actually happened when the Chinese government finally cleared the square of protestors on June 4, 1989.

The demonization of China was highly effective. Nearly all sectors of U.S. society, including most of the “left,” accepted the imperialist presentation of what happened.

At the time the Chinese government’s official account of the events was immediately dismissed out of hand as false propaganda. China reported that about 300 people had died in clashes on June 4 and that many of the dead were soldiers of the Peoples Liberation Army. China insisted that there was no massacre of students in Tiananmen Square and in fact the soldiers cleared Tiananmen Square of demonstrators without any shooting.i

The Chinese government also asserted that unarmed soldiers who had entered Tiananmen Square in the two days prior to June 4 were set on fire and lynched with their corpses hung from buses. Other soldiers were incinerated when army vehicles were torched with soldiers unable to evacuate and many others were badly beaten by violent mob attacks.

These accounts were true and well documented. It would not be difficult to imagine how violently the Pentagon and U.S. law enforcement agencies would have reacted if the Occupy movement, for instance, had similarly set soldiers and police on fire, taken their weapons and lynched them when the government was attempting to clear them from public spaces.

In an article on June 5, 1989, the Washington Post described how anti-government fighters had been organized into formations of 100-150 people. They were armed with Molotov cocktails and iron clubs, to meet the PLA who were still unarmed in the days prior to June 4.

What happened in China, what took the lives of government opponents and of soldiers on June 4, was not a massacre of peaceful students but a battle between PLA soldiers and armed detachments from the so-called pro-democracy movement.

On one avenue in western Beijing, demonstrators torched an entire military convoy of more than 100 trucks and armored vehicles. Aerial pictures of conflagration and columns of smoke have powerfully bolstered the [Chinese] government’s arguments that the troops were victims, not executioners. Other scenes show soldiers’ corpses and demonstrators stripping automatic rifles off unresisting soldiers,” admitted the Washington Post in a story that was favorable to anti-government opposition on June 12, 1989.ii

The Wall Street Journal, the leading voice of anti-communism, served as a vociferous cheerleader for the “pro-democracy” movement. Yet, their coverage right after June 4 acknowledged that many “radicalized protesters, some now armed with guns and vehicles commandeered in clashes with the military” were preparing for larger armed struggles. The Wall Street Journal report on the events of June 4 portrays a vivid picture:

As columns of tanks and tens of thousands soldiers approached Tiananmen many troops were set on by angry mobs … [D]ozens of soldiers were pulled from trucks, severely beaten and left for dead. At an intersection west of the square, the body of a young soldier, who had beaten to death, was stripped naked and hung from the side of a bus. Another soldier’s corpse was strung at an intersection east of the square.”iii

The massacre that wasn’t

In the days immediately after June 4, 1989, the New York Times headlines, articles and editorials used the figure that “thousands” of peaceful activists had been massacred when the army sent tanks and soldiers into the Square. The number that the Times was using as an estimate of dead was 2,600. That figure was used as the go-to number of student activists who were mowed down in Tiananmen. Almost every U.S. media outlet reported “many thousands” killed. Many media outlets said as many 8,000 had been slaughtered.

Tim Russert, NBC’s Washington Bureau Chief, appearing later on Meet the Press said “tens of thousands” died in Tiananmen Square.iv

The fictionalized version of the “massacre” was later corrected in some very small measure by Western reporters who had participated in the fabrications and who were keen to touch up the record so that they could say they made “corrections.” But by then it was too late and they knew that too. Public consciousness had been shaped. The false narrative became the dominant narrative. They had successfully massacred the facts to fit the political needs of the U.S. government.

“Most of the hundreds of foreign journalists that night, including me, were in other parts of the city or were removed from the square so that they could not witness the final chapter of the student story. Those who tried to remain close filed dramatic accounts that, in some cases, buttressed the myth of a student massacre,” wrote Jay Mathews, the Washington Post’s first Bureau Chief in Beijing, in a 1998 article in the Columbia Journalism Review.

Mathews’ article, which includes his own admissions to using the terminology of the Tiananmen Square massacre, came nine years after the fact and he acknowledged that corrections later had little impact. “The facts of Tiananmen have been known for a long time. When Clinton visited the square this June, both The Washington Post and The New York Times explained that no one died there [in Tiananmen Square] during the 1989 crackdown. But these were short explanations at the end of long articles. I doubt that they did much to kill the myth.”v

At the time all of the reports about the massacre of the students said basically the same thing and thus it seemed that they must be true. But these reports were not based on eyewitness testimony.

What really happened

For seven weeks leading up to June 4, the Chinese government was extraordinarily restrained in not confronting those who paralyzed the center of China’s central capital area. The Prime Minister met directly with protest leaders and the meeting was broadcast on national television. This did not defuse the situation but rather emboldened the protest leaders who knew that they had the full backing of the United States.

The protest leaders erected a huge statue that resembled the United States’ Statue of Liberty in the middle of Tiananmen Square. They were signaling to the entire world that their political sympathies were with the capitalist countries and the United States in particular. They proclaimed that they would continue the protests until the government was ousted.

With no end in sight the Chinese leadership decided to end the protests by clearing Tiananmen Square. Troops came into the Square without weapons on June 2 and many soldiers were beaten, some were killed and army vehicles were torched.

On June 4, the PLA re-entered the Square with weapons. According to the U.S. media accounts of the time that is when machine gun toting PLA soldiers mowed down peaceful student protests in a massacre of thousands.

China said that reports of the “massacre” in Tiananmen Square were a fabrication created both by Western media and by the protest leaders who used a willing Western media as a platform for an international propaganda campaign in their interests.

On June 12, 1989, eight days after the confrontation, the New York Times published an “exhaustive” but in fact fully fabricated eyewitness report of the Tiananmen Massacre by a student, Wen Wei Po. It was full of detailed accounts of brutality, mass murder, and heroic street battles. It recounted PLA machine gunners on the roof of Revolutionary Museum overlooking the Square and students being mowed down in the Square. This report was picked up by media throughout the

Although treated as gospel and irrefutable proof that China was lying, the June 12 “eyewitness” report by Wen Wei Po was so over the top and would so likely discredit the New York Times in China that the Times correspondent in Beijing, Nicholas Kristof, who had served as a mouthpiece for the protestors, took exception to the main points in the article.

Kristof wrote in a June 13, 1989 article,

“The question of where the shootings occurred has significance because of the Government’s claim that no one was shot on Tiananmen Square. State television has even shown film of students marching peacefully away from the square shortly after dawn as proof that they were not slaughtered. …

The central scene in the [eyewitness] article is of troops beating and machine-gunning unarmed students clustered around the Monument to the People’s Heroes in the middle of Tiananmen Square. Several other witnesses, both Chinese and foreign, say this did not happen. …

There is also no evidence of machine-gun emplacements on the roof of the history museum that were reported in the Wen Wei Po article. This reporter was directly north of the museum and saw no machine guns there. Other reporters and witnesses in the vicinity also failed to see them. …

“The central theme of the Wen Wei Po article was that troops subsequently beat and machine-gunned students in the area around the monument and that a line of armored vehicles cut off their retreat. But the witnesses say that armored vehicles did not surround the monument – they stayed at the north end of the square – and that troops did not attack students clustered around the monument. Several other foreign journalists were near the monument that night as well and none are known to have reported that students were attacked around the monument.”vii

The Chinese government’s account acknowledges that street fighting and armed clashes occurred in nearby neighborhoods. They say that approximately three hundred died that night including many soldiers who died from gunfire, Molotov cocktails and beatings. But they have insisted that there was no massacre.

Kristof too says that there were clashes on several streets but refutes the “eyewitness” report about a massacre of students in Tiananmen Square: “the students and a pop singer, Hou Dejian, were negotiating with the troops and decided to leave at dawn, between 5 A.M. and 6 A.M. The students all filed out together. Chinese television has shown scenes of the students leaving and of the apparently empty square as troops moved in as the students left.”

Attempted counter-revolution in China

In fact, the U.S. government was actively involved in promoting the “pro-democracy” protests through an extensive, well-funded, internationally coordinated propaganda machine that pumped out rumors, half-truths and lies from the moment the protests started in mid-April 1989.

The goal of the U.S. government was to carry out regime change in China and overthrow the Communist Party of China which had been the ruling party since the 1949 revolution. Since many activists in today’s progressive movement were not alive or were young children at the time of the Tiananmen incident in 1989, the best recent example of how such an imperialist destabilization/regime change operation works is revealed in the recent overthrow of the Ukrainian government. Peaceful protests in the downtown square receive international backing, financing and media support from the United States and Western powers; they eventually come under the leadership of armed groups who are hailed as freedom fighters by the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and other media; and finally the government targeted for overthrow by the CIA is fully demonized if it uses police or military forces.

In the case of the “pro-democracy” protests in China in 1989 the U.S. government was attempting to create a civil war. The Voice of America increased its Chinese language broadcasts to 11 hours each day and targeted the broadcast “directly to about 2,000 satellite dishes in China operated mostly by the Peoples Liberation Army.”viii

The Voice of America broadcasts to PLA units were filled with reports that some PLA units were firing on others and different units were loyal to the protestors and others with the government.

The Voice of America and U.S. media outlets tried to create confusion and panic among government supporters. Just prior to June 4 they reported that China’s Prime Minister Li Peng had been shot and that Deng Xiaoping was near death.

Most in the U.S. government and in the media expected the Chinese government to be toppled by pro-Western political forces as was starting to happening with the overthrow of socialist governments throughout Eastern and Central Europe at the time (1988-1991) following the introduction of pro-capitalist reforms by Gorbachev in the Soviet Union in 1991.

In China, the “pro-democracy” protest movement was led by privileged, well-connected students from elite universities who were explicitly calling for the replacement of socialism with capitalism. The leaders were particularly connected to the United States. Of course, thousands of other students who participated in the protests were in the Square because they had grievances against the government.

But the imperialist-connected leadership of the movement had an explicit plan to topple the government. Chai Ling, who was recognized as the top leader of the students, gave an interview to Western reporters on the eve of June 4 in which she acknowledged that the goal of the leadership was to lead the population in a struggle to topple the Communist Party of China, which she explained would only be possible if they could successfully provoke the government into violently attacking the demonstrations. That interview was aired in the film the “Gate of Heavenly Peace.” Chai Ling also explained why they couldn’t tell the rank and file student protestors about the leaders’ real plans.

“The pursuit of wealth is part of the impetus for democracy,” explained another top student leader Wang Dan, in an interview with the Washington Post in 1993, on the fourth anniversary of the incident. Wang Dan was in all the U.S. media before and after the Tiananmen incident. He was famous for explaining why the elitist student leaders didn’t want Chinese workers joining their movement. He stated “the movement is not ready for worker participation because democracy must first be absorbed by the students and intellectuals before they can spread it to others.”ix

Twenty-five years later – U.S. still seeks regime change and counter-revolution in China

The action by the Chinese government to disperse the so-called pro-democracy movement in 1989 was met with bitter frustration within the United States political establishment.

The U.S. imposed economic sanctions on China at first, but their impact was minimal and both the Washington political establishment and the Wall Street banks realized that U.S. corporations and banks would be the big losers in the 1990’s if they tried to completely isolate China when China was further opening its vast domestic labor and commodities market to the direct investment from Western corporations. The biggest banks and corporations put their own profit margins first and the Washington politicians took their cue from the billionaire class on this question.

But the issue of counter-revolution in China will rear its head again. The economic reforms that were inaugurated after the death of Mao opened the country to foreign investment. This development strategy was designed to rapidly overcome the legacy of poverty and under-development by the import of foreign technology. In exchange the Western corporations received mega profits. The post-Mao leadership in the Communist Party calculated that the strategy would benefit China by virtue of a rapid technology transfer from the imperialist world to China. And indeed China has made great economic strides. But in addition to economic development there has also developed a larger capitalist class inside of China and a significant portion of that class and their children are being wooed by all types of institutions financed by the U.S. government, U.S. financial institutions and U.S. academic centers.

The Communist Party of China is also divided into pro-U.S. and pro-socialist factions and tendencies.

Today, the United States government is applying ever greater military pressure on China. It is accelerating the struggle against China’s rise by cementing new military and strategic alliances with other Asian countries. It is also hoping that with enough pressure some in the Chinese leadership who favor abandoning North Korea will get the upper hand.

If counter-revolution were to succeed in China the consequences would be catastrophic for the Chinese people and for China. China would in all likelihood splinter as a nation as happened to the Soviet Union when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was toppled. The same fate befell the former Yugoslavia. Counter-revolution and dismemberment would hurtle China backwards. It would put the brakes on China’s spectacular peaceful rise out of under-development. For decades there has been a serious discussion within the U.S. foreign policy establishment about the dismemberment of China which would weaken China as a nation and allow the United States and Western powers to seize its most lucrative parts. This is precisely the scenario that cast China into its century of humiliation when Western capitalist powers dominated the country.x

The Chinese Revolution has gone through many stages, victories, retreats and setbacks. Its contradictions are innumerable. But still it stands. In the confrontation between world imperialism and the Peoples Republic of China, progressive people should know where they stand – it is not on the sidelines.


i Jim Abrams, “Rival military units battle in Beijing,” Associated Press, June 6, 1989.

ii John Burgess, “Images Vilify Protesters; Chinese Launch Propaganda Campaign,” Washington Post, June 12, 1989

iii James P. Sterba, Adi Ignatius and Robert S. Greenberger, “Class Struggle: China’s Harsh Actions Threaten to Set Back 10-Year Reform Drive — Suspicions of Westernization Are Ascendant, and Army Has a Political Role Again — A Movement Unlikely to Die,” Wall Street Journal, June 5, 1989

iv Jay Mathews, “The Myth of Tiananmen and the Price of a Passive Press,” Columbia Journalism Review September/October 1998

v Mathews, ibid.

vi Wen Wei Po, “Turmoil in China; Student Tells the Tiananmen Story: And Then, ‘Machine Guns Erupted’” New York Times, June 12, 1989

vii Nicholas Kristof, “Turmoil in China; Tiananmen Crackdown: Student’s Account Questioned on Major Points,” New York Times, June 13, 1989

viii “Voice of America Beams TV Signals to China,” New York Times, June 9, 1989

ix Lena Sun, “A Radical Transformation 4 Years After Tiananmen,” Washington Post, June 6, 1993.

x “PSL Resolution: For the defense of China against counterrevolution, imperialist intervention and dismemberment,” China: Revolution and counterrevolution, PSL Publications, 2008. Read online at ... china.html

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Mostly good, though the last section concerning China's bourgeoisie is a bit bleak. Whadda ya expect from a party that can't decide if it's still Trotskyist or not? Firstly, I seriously doubt that there is a 'pro-US faction' within the CCP. Second, the Chinese booj have & continue to serve as 'bait' for US capital. Capitalists always see the potential profit & downplay complications. Anyone who has worked for an entrepreneur knows this. And they know they've only touched the tip of the Chinese economic iceberg, and that keeps them hanging on. In fact, the US investors in China effectively form a 'pro_China' faction within US capital. "Don't fuck with our income stream!" has undoubtedly had a major effect upon US political relations with China. This has bought China invaluable time to develop it's means of production. Sure, the transplanted factories, technology & investment was a boost in the beginning but the time was pure gold. Which is not to say there is no danger in this path. Truth is that after the dissolution of the USSR there were no good options.But so far, so good.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Mon May 27, 2019 10:42 pm

China is indicating it’ll never give in to US demands to change its state-run economy
Evelyn Cheng

A commentary piece published this weekend by state news agency Xinhua says U.S. requests for China to address economic issues is an infringement on Beijing’s core interests.
The term “core interests” has usually been used by China to refer to Beijing’s territorial claims — such as those on Taiwan.
The escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China has focused on Washington’s complaints about state-owned enterprises, allegations of the coerced surrender of proprietary technology, and the trampling of intellectual property rights.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stands by national flags.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

As trade talks between the U.S. and China increasingly center on Chinese treatment of foreign companies, Beijing says major American complaints about structural aspects of its economy are running up against “core interests.”

The implication: Those matters are not up for negotiation.

Previously, the vague “core interest” term was generally understood as referring to Beijing’s territorial claims, such as those on Taiwan. But a commentary piece published this weekend by state news agency Xinhua emphasized that China will not yield on its prerogative about how to manage its economy.

The Chinese-language article published Saturday claimed there were five ways in which the U.S. is harming the growth of the global economy by launching a trade war with the Asian giant.

“At the negotiating table, the U.S. government has made many arrogant requests, including restricting the development of state-owned enterprises,” the commentary said, according to a CNBC translation. “Obviously, this is beyond the field and scope of trade negotiations, (and) touches upon China’s fundamental economic system.”

“This demonstrates, that behind the trade war the U.S. has launched against China, there is an attempt to violate China’s economic sovereignty, (and) compel China to damage its own core interests,“ the article said.

China’s giant state-owned enterprises control strategic industries such as energy, telecommunications and defense. Since those companies benefit from favorable policies and subsidies, foreign companies complain of an unfair advantage. The escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China has focused on allegations of the coerced surrender of proprietary technology and the trampling of intellectual property rights.

Critics say China has been able to benefit economically from joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 without following through on commitments to reduce state control. For its part, Beijing has made some effort to increase the role of the market in its economy and allow foreign companies greater access — but many outside observers say it’s too little, too slowly.

Core interests
The government has also tended to point to gradual progress in economic areas, while drawing a hard line in geopolitical matters. That has led some to read this weekend’s commentary piece as a major expansion in policy to include technology and economics.

In January 2018, Xinhua published an English-language commentary piece that said: “Territorial integrity is China’s core interests. Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Tibet are all indispensable parts of China. These facts are beyond doubt and challenge.” The article criticized Marriott’s listing them as separate countries in a questionnaire.

Public statements from China’s Foreign Ministry have echoed the same concept.

However, some analysts pointed out the Chinese government has previously said economic development is among the country’s core interests.

In September 2011, when Hu Jintao was president of China, the government released a white paper on “China’s Peaceful Development.” The document, according to a CNBC translation, said China’s core interests include: “national sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity, national unity, the stability of the national political system and society at large as established by the Chinese Constitution and the basic guarantee of sustainable economic and social development.”

Beijing also has a track record of being loose with English terminology. The common phrase for President Xi Jinping’s plan to build out regional infrastructure and trade routes used to be “One Belt, One Road,” which implied to many that China wanted to use the program to increase its global dominance. In the last few years, the term “Belt and Road Initiative” has emerged, implying a concept wherein China is leading but not dominating.

But the country has remained opaque on what the program specifically covers. Analysts noted that this year’s Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing made it clear that the China-led program is looking beyond infrastructure development to influencing technology and global governance. ... onomy.html
"We ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror."

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