Archive for China

China and Socialism

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , on December 11, 2009 by Umer

Speech by the represeantative of the Communist Party of China on the Eleventh International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

Mr. Chairman, fellow delegates:

It’s an honor for me and my colleges to be delegated by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to attend this gathering of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.

First of all, allow me to convey to you the warm greetings and best wishes of our minister Wang Jiarui and his deputies in the department. This IMCWP is an important platform for communist parties across the world to share information, exchange ideas and hold discussion on certain issues. So far, 10 conferences have been held successfully and today, we are gathered here in New Delhi to witness the opening of the eleventh IMCWP conference.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on new development in China and recent endeavors of the CPC. The financial crisis originated from the United States last year has seriously affected the economy and the livelihood of countries in the world. Due to the bad impact of the crisis, the year 2009 has been the most difficult year for China’s economic development since the beginning of this century. In order to deal with this crisis and maintain the steady and rapid economic growth, the CPC and the Chinese government timely adjusted the macroeconomic policies by adopting a proactive fiscal policy and a moderately relaxed monetary policy, and formulated a package plan to expand domestic—demand and promote growth. A two-year investment plan with a total amount of 4 trillion Yuan is implemented involving greatly increased government spending to boost domestic demand and improve people’s livelihood. Structural tax relief policies were put in place bringing about several interest rate cuts to allow liquidity of the banking system and to stabilize external demand. A wide-ranging industrial restructuring and rejuvenation program was initiated to encourage innovation and enhance energy conservation, emission reduction and environment protection. Great efforts have been made to expand domestic market, especially the rural market, stabilize agricultural development and increase farmers’ income. Effective measures have been taken to reform the social security system to ensure access to basic medical service, free compulsory education as well as affordable housing for urban and rural residents so that they can be free of worries.

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Study of Marxism

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by Umer

by Imran Barlas

“According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life. Other than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase.”Engels

To derive a more accurate conclusion of whether the economic and philosophical theories of Marx can work or not, it would be beneficial to:

  • Study the economic theories themselves

We spend the entirety of our school, college, university years learning about capitalism. We cannot rely on a simple booklet which was never intended to form the basis of economic/philosophical theory anyway. On the contrary, we study in depth about subjects to arrive at truly accurate analyses about how the world works.

After all, something is clearly wrong with how the world works today. Today, we are in what is being termed as the Great Recession. Had the major capitalist economies not regulated or intervened through the state, it would have been quite likely that we would have entered a Depression. And that would have been even more disastrous.

Why is it then that despite having Ivy League graduates at the helm of businesses, top professionals from the highest ranking universities regarded as some of the smartest people in the world, that the interlinked economies were quite helpless in preventing the crisis? The answer is that the crisis is systemic. No matter how smart one is or how moral one is, the nature of the system is such that recessions and depressions, i.e. perpetual failures will continue to result due to the irreconcilable antagonism between labor and capital.

The effects on people of a recession are obvious. Hundreds of thousands are thrown out of their jobs. Those workers that remain begin to see reductions in their wages so that the owners/shareholders may continue to stay rich! The ‘symbiotic’ relationship between capitalists and workers that is so often claimed in university text books ends without a second thought. Resource based wars start brewing for the retention of profitability and economic vitality. And so on.

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Phenomenal Growth of China since Revolution

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , on September 2, 2009 by Umer

This is the graph of GDP growth of China in contrast with West Europe showing the phenomenal growth of China since the revolution. China is rapidly catching up with Western Europe. The incline in the growth in comparison to the rest of China’s own history is astounding. Even West Europe has not seen anything like this in its history. People who criticize the Communist Party of China should also acknowledge its unprecedented historical achievements.

Source: Angus Maddison, The World Economy, p. 42

 

Growth in China

Growth in China

Serfs’ emancipation day celebrated in Tibet

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , on April 3, 2009 by Umer

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following article from the New China News Agency on the celebration of Serfs Emancipation Day in Tibet.

Celebration for Serfs Emancipation Day starts in Tibet

A grand celebration to mark Tibet’s first Serfs Emancipation Day was held Saturday, March 28 morning at the square in front of the Potala Palace in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The meeting was presided over in both Tibetan and Mandarin by Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the regional government of Tibet, who was dressed in a traditional Tibetan robe. It was attended by about 13,280 people.

After the national flag was hoisted against the backdrop of the grand Potala Palace and snow-capped mountains in the distance, representatives of former serfs, soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and students delivered speeches.

LIFE CHANGES

Tsondre, a 69-year-old farmer from the suburbs of Lhasa, recalled changes in his life after democratic reform. “I was born to a serf’s family and was made a monk in the Sera Monastery when I was young,” said the old man, adding that he would never forget his tragedy. He cited a Tibetan adage to describe the misery of serfs: “All that I can take is my own shadow, all that I can leave are my footprints.” He was at the lowest level in the monastery, doing all kinds of chores throughout the year without getting enough to eat. “Due to hunger, many people like me went out to beg for food, but if we were discovered by high-level monks, we could be clubbed or whipped.”

Sun Huanxun, a PLA veteran who went to Tibet in 1950 and stayed there, recalled what he saw in Lhasa before the democratic reform. “Slaves wailed and begged from passers-by, some of whom had their legs chopped by the landlords, some have their eyes gouged out and some without hands,” he said. In contrast, the landlords were in luxurious dress, some riding on the backs of their slaves. “In their houses there hung whips, knives and shackles,” he added.

On March 28, 1959, the central government announced it would dissolve the aristocratic local government of Tibet and replace it with a preparatory committee for establishing the Tibet Autonomous Region. That meant the end of serfdom and the abolition of the hierarchic social system characterized by theocracy.

After democratic reform, serfs were given land, cattle and means of production. “New buildings mushroomed and our savings grew, a road was built to my home, television and telephone service came to my house, all children could receive an education … the change was dramatic,” Tsondre said.

“If some people want to separate our country and destroy our happiness, we would never agree,” he said.

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China’s State Enterprises

Posted in International Affairs with tags , , , , on August 22, 2008 by Umer

China is the center of the debate. With the brilliant show of Olympics at Beijing, the debate regarding the character of the Chinese state and society has also resurfaced. What is China? Socialist? People’s Democracy moving towards capitalism or socialism? Degenerated workers’ state? Capitalist? Imperialist? I argue that China was never a socialist state. Since its birth in 1949 in a very backward terrain, China continues to be a People’s Democracy moving towards socialism. With the advent of the period of Deng Xioping, revisionism took hold of Chinese ecnomics and society and the movement towards socialism was reversed. However, lately new information has been emerging from China which provides an interesting perspective, i.e., the reversal of the process of reversal. I am posting here an interesting article (I am not in agreement with the analysis, but the facts are interesting) that appeared in The Australian regarding the role played by the State Owned Enterprises in China:

China’s state enterprises aren’t dinosaurs

THE Olympic Games comprise China’s most prominent state-owned enterprise.

In some other countries, including Australia, the Olympics, and sport in general, are chiefly the realm of volunteers, of corporations, of a discrete professional world.

But there is no disguising that these Olympics are inseparable from China Inc.

This is a good time, then, to take a look at the realm of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), mostly set up under Mao Zedong, which a few years back some portrayed as dinosaurs about to pass into extinction.

Instead, as Barry Naughton, professor of Chinese economy at the University of California, San Diego, says in the latest edition of the influential China Economic Quarterly: “Since their low point in the mid-1990s, China’s SOEs have made a stunning return to profitability.”

In 1997 the entire state-owned industrial sector returned a net profit of just below 0.6 per cent of China’s gross domestic product.

Ten years later, the sector’s profits constituted 4.2 per cent of a much, much larger GDP, while the non-industrial SOEs scored a further 2 per cent of GDP in profits.

One of the reasons, Naughton points out, is that “the Government has been willing to subordinate other agendas such as privatisation to the quest for a robust state enterprise sector that was financially self-sufficient and able to contribute to the government revenue base as well”.

This quest began with the closure of thousands of loss-making SOEs, described by economists in the mid-1990s as “zombie firms”, the living dead, kept alive mainly because no one else could think what to do with the millions of workers they employed.

Crucially, the Government removed from SOEs the responsibility for providing social welfare for their workers, the old “iron rice bowl”. The process of reinstating adequate provision of such services outside the workplace remains an arduous one, barely begun, but that’s another story.

The number of industrial SOEs dived from 80,000 to 26,000 in 10 years.

This enabled the Government to concentrate on a number of strategic sectors, in which it intends to retain a firm — even monopolistic, but more commonly, oligopolistic — grip. They include energy, power, industrial raw materials, defence, large-scale machinery, transport and telecommunications. Financial services are state dominated.

In some areas, non-government competitors are banned. In others, says Naughton, “high capital requirements combine with discriminatory regulatory treatment to discourage non-state entrants even when they are theoretically allowed”.

The core 153 enterprises answer to their Chinese shareholders via the state-owned assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), which reports to the State Council led by Premier Wen Jiabao.

There are now three national oil companies, four telcos, and three airlines that carry 82 per cent of domestic passengers.

China’s 31 provinces, regions and municipalities also each operate a large number of local SOEs, though their numbers have been pruned and their efficiency raised in a parallel drive to that at the national level.

Overall, in 1995 China had 7.6 million SOEs, more than 80 per cent of all businesses, of which two-thirds were collective enterprises, the others traditional SOEs.

In 2006, PetroChina, Sinopec, China National Offshore Oil, China Mobile, China Telecom, Baosteel, Chinalco, Shenhua Energy and the state Electricity Grid produced 69 per cent of the profits of all 153 centrally owned SOEs.

In Australia, a misleading perception has emerged, that we have been the winners out of the commodity boom and China has been the chief victim, having to cough up for the inputs of its insatiable industrial machine.

But Naughton points out the situation on the ground in China is very different.

“Control of resource extraction and processing sectors by central SOEs has meant that they have profited handsomely from the global resource boom, which in turn is largely a result of the Chinese investment boom that SOE restructuring helped to create, and changed global relative prices massively in favour of raw materials.”

Chinese SOE resource companies are also expanding production overseas, as Australians know.

Treasurer Wayne Swan says that every nine days he has approved a Chinese bid to invest, with China’s investment here as a result tripling from $3.5 billion in 2006 to $10 billion last year and being set to triple again, to $30 billion, by the end of 2008.

It is China’s retail manufacturers that pay, in squeezed margins, for the commodities boom and they are being forced to pass their higher costs on to global consumers.

As long as this does not cause massive job losses or inflation driven by food and oil prices, China’s Government is prepared to stand back and watch the trend continue.

Because manufacturing in China, unlike the resource industry, is increasingly privately owned, and the export sector involves substantial foreign ownership, about 60 per cent of China’s exports come from sources fully or substantially foreign owned.

All SOEs have been corporatised to a large degree, with boards that include an outsider or two. Managers mostly operate under three-year contracts with a performance component. In 12 years, the debt-to-assets ratio of industrial SOEs has been reduced from 68 per cent to 57 per cent.

This year — the icing on the cake for the Government — Premier Wen has succeeded in forcing almost all sectors to pay the state dividends, rather than retain their profits to boost management and board perks, and to reinvest them, sometimes before the equities collapse this year in the share market, sometimes resulting in overcapitalised assets. Most are now paying 5 per cent of post-tax profits back to the Government.

But although SOEs mostly lack accountability to the holders of the minority stakes sold on share markets, pressure to perform continues, from the Government itself.

Only the top three businesses in each sector will survive, SASAC has warned.

Thus in some paddocks of China’s Animal Farm, it’s dog eat dog.

Naughton says that SASAC “encourages firm strategies organised around commercial, service or investment markets, not just traditional industrial production”.

Under dynamic chairman Huang Tianwen, Sinosteel, principally a provider of logistic and technological services to China’s steel industry, propelled its revenues to $US15 billion in 2007, placing it fairly firmly on high ground if and when SASAC starts its next cull. Every one of the 22 Chinese corporations on the Fortune 500 list is state owned, 16 by SASAC, five financial institutions and just one — Shanghai Automobile — by a local government. Arthur Kroeber, managing director of research firm Dragonomics, and Rosealea Yao, research manager, say: “Chinese policy makers have succeeded in the task they set themselves in 1995 to zhuada fangxiao (keep the big, lose the small)”.

It is the fast-growing private sector, flourishing in areas like retail and manufacturing, that has sucked up many of the jobs shed by downsizing SOEs.

From 1995-2006, the state sector of employment fell from 77 per cent to 35 per cent. The private share soared from 20 per cent to 60 per cent. But, Krober and Yao stress that “economic power remains firmly concentrated in the hands of the state”.

In 2006, the top 10 SOEs were eight times bigger than the top 10 private firms.

They point out that the state share of revenues in banking is 94 per cent and in insurance 97 per cent.

Jonathan Woetzel writes in the latest McKinsey Quarterly: “The line between SOEs and private companies has blurred. Over the next five years their ownership structure will matter much less than their degree of openness, their transparency and receptiveness to new ideas.”

This is true to a degree.

The Chinese central Government has proved itself an adaptable and subtle manager of its own assets. But ownership and control continue to count a great deal.

Is there a real prospect for change?

Chen Zhiwu, finance professor at Yale school of management, says privatising China’s assets would “unleash a wealth effect and boost domestic consumption”, transforming the growth model from the present drivers of investment and exports.

Unlike eastern Europe and Russia when they embarked on their convulsive privatisations, he believes “China is operationally ready” for a change of ownership. That makes sense. But don’t hold your breath.

Hands of China

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , on August 15, 2008 by Umer

While the attention of the world is on Beijing 2008, the Western Media can be found busy misleading their viewers about the ‘human-rights situation’ in China. Every few hours, news based on completely inaccurate evidence is played on the TV channels in order to feed the public against China. In this perspective, the campaign launched by Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) must be appreciated. The message on the launch-meeting of Hands of China said: “China has come a long way since its Liberation with a strong economy, peaceful development and a prosperous society.” The campaign has vowed to counter the “imperialist propaganda and set the record straight” with the campaign.

In a similar message, not directly related with the campaign, Ghali Hassan wrote about the hypocrisy and the ill-intent of the Western mainstream Media:

The current anti-Chinese propaganda, masquerading as anti-repression and pro-human rights protests is a classic Western hypocrisy and designed to advance U.S.-Western imperialist agenda. When did Western-based human rights organisations have seriously and impartially protested against Western-perpetuated human rights abuses and war crimes except the usual and confused rhetoric? They have become the West’s most useful tools deflecting attention from U.S./Israel criminal wars. The anti-Chinese protesters at the Olympics have missed great opportunity.

The Olympics must remain free of propaganda that aimed at diverting the public away from Western-perpetuated human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is time that European and international courts of justice commence criminal proceedings against past and present Western political and military leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The West can not digest China to enjoy the reputation that often goes along with the hosting of Olympics. Earlier this year, a virulent boycott campaign was launched against Beijing Olympics by citing Tibet as the pretext. As the whole campaign was based false facts and analyses (as I noticed in Tabet is China; a better exposition can be found in Ghali’s article), the central issue is not the “human rights” but the progressive role that China is playing the modern world that blatantly hampers the U.S. political and economic interests.

Tibet is China

Posted in International Affairs with tags , on March 22, 2008 by Umer

For those who support the movement of some Tibetans against China, here is some suggestions for you:

1. Know what you support. Before you jump into the bandwagon and sit with your legs crossed in quest of nirvana, stop for a while on Earth and see what Buddhist theocracy in Tibet was like. Admired by the German Nazis as an ideal system of government, know what Tibet was like before the reforms introduced by the People’s Republic of China. Under religious aristocracy. Tibet was a theocratic state where the people lived in slavery and literal physical bondage:

See this National Geographic video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I2bvs3uZ4c

Listen to what Michael Parenti has to say about the “friendly” Feudalism of Tibet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWGGjpJJCKE

2. Know your allies. The Tibetans have fought an armed struggle against the Chinese, with the help of CIA. Hence, a very good friend of yours when it comes to support the “Tibetans cause” is the CIA. Doubtful? Have a look at this 5-part documentary:

CIA in Tibet 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOhDBo6x2ZY

CIA in Tibet 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwu5qYosTo0

CIA in Tibet 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2iaIcoHBl4

CIA in Tibet 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJYamwYSe2M

CIA in Tibet 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FviSTNWRgHU

CIA in Tibet 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yMV0-KOY1k

3. Tibetans are living in good conditions. Therefore, start thinking about other pretexts for supporting the few agitating Tibetans. Although relatively shut off from the outside world by mountains, Tibetans today do not have to pay any tax to the Central Government in Beijing, enjoy free schooling up to university, free health care, and retain their traditional way of life.

See this documentation by the Discovery Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEJ11aIv7aQ

4. The government is not victimizing Tibetans. Yes, the Chinese Police are targeting some of the Tibetans who are trying to disrupt ethnic harmony and public peace (those who are attacking and killing innocent civilians). That being said, we all in Pakistan know that a good street agitation can be lacking of anything but good footages. If that is true, why does the Western media have to blatantly distort the pictures of protests in China:

See the true face of Western media; see protests from outside China being depicted as protests in Tibet:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uSQnK5FcKas

5. If this this is not enough, see the following videos for some more information about Tibet:

The Truth of Tibet
http://youtube.com/watch?v=e2vYB7fPHHw

Tibet WAS,IS,and ALWAYS WILL BE a part of China
http://youtube.com/watch?v=U7ayJABEax0

Free Tibet, you say?

Freedom for what? Slavery, bondage, illiteracy, and poverty?
Freedom for whom? The religious bigots, monarchs, and feudalism?

Whether you like it for not, the fact remains:

Tibet is Free!