Readings: Is China Socialist?

Reading Guide on China

This document exists as a guide for those who would like to learn more about the political economy of the People’s Republic of China. This document will be updated as new developments arise. Prepared by Ajit.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents1

The Nature of China4

China: Capitalist or Socialist?4

Chauvinism of Western Left towards China5

The role of the state in China6

What is a socialist society?6

The socialist state’s firm control over “bourgeois elements”6

State-owned enterprises6

Relationship with private corporations7

Control over foreign trade7

Relationship with NGOs7

Comparisons between China and capitalist states8

Comparison with formerly socialist countries8

Comparison with India8

Economic growth and development9

Environment9

Quality of life and social services10

Police and prisons10

Human rights10

Popularity of government and economic system10

Social Issues11

Poverty reduction11

Workers’ struggles, wages and inequality11

Healthcare11

Anti-corruption campaign12

Legal system12

Popularity of government and economic system12

Ideology13

Communist Party and Marxism13

Marxist education in society13

Anti-imperialism and solidarity14

Struggles against patriarchy and anti-LGBTQ bigotry14

China and the environment15

China and Imperialism17

Imperialist aggression faced by China17

Imperialist narratives about China17

Mao Zedong17

Famine and the Great Leap Forward17

Tibet18

Taiwan18

Hong Kong18

Tiananmen Square18

China’s International Relations19

General19

Belt and Road Initiative19

Africa19

General19

Angola21

Cote d’Ivoire21

Djibouti21

Ethiopia21

Gambia21

Kenya21

Mozambique22

South Africa22

Tunisia22

West Africa and Ebola22

Zimbabwe22

Latin America and the Caribbean22

Bolivia22

Cuba22

Ecuador23

Haiti23

Venezuela23

West Asia (Middle East)23

General23

Iran23

Syria24

South Asia24

India24

Pakistan24

East Asia24

Malaysia24

Myanmar24

North Korea25

South China Sea25

Vietnam25


The Nature of China

China: Capitalist or Socialist?

  • “Chapter 2: What is a Socialist Society”, Is the Red Flag Flying? The Political Economy of the Soviet Union by Albert Szymanski, pages 13-35.
  • Chinese Revolution: Evaluating the 60 Years
  • Lessons of Chinese Revolution
  • Socialist Democracy with Chinese Characteristics
  • Is China Communist?
  • “Has China Turned to Capitalism?—Reflections on the Transition from Capitalism to Socialism” by Domenico Losurdo, International Critical Thought, 2017, Volume 7, Issue Number 1, pages 15–31
  • [Interview includes excerpts on China] Domenico Losurdo: ‘Liberalism, the fiercest enemy to our right to live free from want’
  • China 2013
  • Fidel Castro speaks about socialism and China in an interview, dated 2 January 1994, with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa
  • China’s path to a socialist democracy
  • China: A Revolutionary Present
  • China & Market Socialism: A Question of State & Revolution
  • From the Chinese Marxist viewpoint: an interview with Professor Deng Chundong
  • A Theory of China’s ‘Miracle’: Eight Principles of Contemporary Chinese Political Economy
  • Is China Socialist?
  • For the Defense of China Against Counterrevolution, Imperialist Intervention and Dismemberment
  • Chinese Socialism and the Legacy of Maoism
  • “So Called” Communist China
  • Why China may not be ‘capitalist’: the Role of the State in Chinese Economic Development
  • The Myth of Chinese Capitalism
  • The Class Nature of the Chinese State A critique of “China’s Long March to Capitalism”
  • Why China is not a capitalist country
  • China: a weird beast

Chauvinism of Western Left towards China

  • It’s not China that should be feared, it’s the West
  • The Irrational, Racist Fear of China
  • Before October: The Unbearable Romanticism of Western Marxism
  • Counterpoint: Debunking Myths About China

The role of the state in China

  • What is a socialist society?

  • “Chapter 2: What is a Socialist Society”, Is the Red Flag Flying? The Political Economy of the Soviet Union by Albert Szymanski, pages 13-35.
  • The socialist state’s firm control over “bourgeois elements”

  • Held Hostage: Entrepreneurs Uneasy Over Chinese Government Inaction
  • Why Do Chinese Billionaires Keep Ending Up in Prison?
  • Some of China’s richest and most powerful men have mysteriously vanished
  • Chinese entrepreneurs, unsettled, speak out for reform
  • China sends its billionaires a chilling message
  • Chinese billionaires and CEOs keep disappearing in ‘state-sanctioned abductions’
  • State-owned enterprises

  • China state-owned enterprises chiefs face 50% salary cuts
  • China’s state enterprises are not retreating but advancing
  • Reform of China’s ailing state-owned firms is emboldening them
  • China’s Communist party writes itself into company law
  • China’s Communist party seeks company control before reform
  • Communist Party asserts control over China Inc.
  • Relationship with private corporations

  • China’s Special Economic Zones
  • American genius is under attack from China
  • In China, Public-Private Partnerships are really Public-Public
  • Nationalizing China
  • China bans for-profit private schools in compulsory education program
  • Communist Party asserts control over China Inc.
  • Control over foreign trade

  • China’s crackdown on its own companies has nothing to do with their financial health, economist says
  • Chinese crackdown on dealmakers reflects Xi power play
  • American genius under attack from China
  • China codifies crackdown on ‘irrational’ outbound investment
  • China to curb ‘irrational’ overseas Belt and Road investment
  • Xi Jinping to China’s Private Sector: Go Home, The New Silk Road Is Not For You
  • Relationship with NGOs

  • China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
  • International NGOs’ China operations hit by registration delays under new law

Comparisons between China and capitalist states

  • Comparison with formerly socialist countries

  • Following overthrow of socialism in eastern Europe and central Asia, capitalism was restored which lead to millions of premature deaths due to the severe drop in living standards. If capitalism was indeed restored in China, we would expect to see a similar phenomenon. How does China compare with the regions that formerly part of the Soviet Union?
  • Eastern Europe has the largest population loss in modern history
  • Full text: China’s Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights
  • China’s achievement is literally the greatest in world economic history
  • Comparison with India

  • India and China share similar histories of imperialist oppression and underdevelopment, population size, and conditions. India won its independence in 1947 and has pursued capitalist development; the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949 and has pursued socialist development. Given the similarities between these two countries, it is illustrative to examine how they compare:
  • India and China: Rivals or potential partners in liberation?
  • Quality of life: India vs. China
  • China and India – 13 charts that show how the countries compare
  • World Bank: Poverty and Equity – India
  • World Bank: Poverty and Equity – China
  • Economic growth and development

  • China’s socialist model outperforms capitalism
  • Data shows China’s ‘socialist development model’ outperformed capitalist development strategies
  • Why did China, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia grow so fast?
  • China is leaving Donald Trump’s America behind
  • China spends more on infrastructure than U.S. and Europe combined
  • Visiting China shattered my biases about developing nations
  • What China can teach developing nations about building power
  • Environment

  • China, U.S., and Global Warming (Four Part Series)
  • Part 1: Global warming, nuclear power and China
  • Part 2: China moves decisively on global warming
  • Part 3: Coal miners in crisis
  • Part 4: What can be done about rising sea levels
  • Global Warming, Trump and China
  • European smog could be 27 times more toxic than air pollution in China
  • Renewable energy employment: How China and the U.S. measure up [infographic]
  • One city in China has more electric buses than all of America’s biggest cities have buses
  • Quality of life and social services

  • U.S. vs. China: Whose income inequality is worse?
  • China bans for-profit private schools in compulsory education program
  • China says health care access is a “basic human right”
  • Police and prisons

  • China encourages civilians to film police to curb abuses
  • Incarceration: U.S. incarcerates 5.87 times more people than China; U.S. prison population, (2.217 million) is over 500,000 greater than China’s which is (1.657 million), despite China having a total population over 5 times greater than the U.S.
  • 2016 World Prison Population List, Institute for Criminal Policy Research, University of London:
  • Human rights

  • China issues report on US human rights
  • Popularity of government and economic system

  • Highlights:
  • 85% satisfied with direction of country (31% satisfied in U.S.)
  • 88% think current economic situation is good (33% in U.S.)
  • 82% say children will be better off than parents (33% in U.S.)
  • China leads world in optimism [87% see country headed in right direction]
  • In U.S. only 43% see country headed in right direction
  • Other nations view China more favorably than the U.S., survey shows

Economic Growth and Development

  • Economy
  • China to overtake US economy by 2032
  • Who has the world’s No. 1 economy? Not the U.S.
  • National development, infrastructure
  • Visiting China shattered my biases about developing nations
  • What China can teach developing nations about building power
  • China’s Brain Drain is Ending
  • Technology, science, and innovation

Social Issues

  • Poverty reduction

  • Full text: China’s Progress in Poverty Reduction and Human Rights
  • China’s achievement is literally the greatest in world economic history
  • Last two decades see rising life expectancy in every province of China
  • Urbanization in China prevents 450,000 premature deaths since 1980: study
  • Chinese graduate volunteers go west
  • China to strengthen social support in poverty alleviation
  • Xi Jinping’s targeted war on poverty
  • China fights for final victory over poverty
  • Workers’ struggles, wages and inequality

  • China: Rising Wages and Worker Militancy
  • Chinese wages now higher than in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico
  • China’s income inequality improving
  • Recent changes in China’s income inequality
  • Chinese wage levels equal to or surpass parts of Europe
  • Held Hostage: Entrepreneurs uneasy over Chinese government inaction
  • Healthcare

  • Universal health insurance coverage for 1.3 billion people: What accounts for China’s success?
  • China to have universal healthcare by 2020
  • A dramatic decline in suicides
  • China says health care access is a “basic human right”
  • Elderly services to address aging population
  • Anti-corruption campaign

  • Seven facts of China’s anti-corruption campaign
  • Legal system

  • Five years on: How law rules in the country
  • China to push for free legal aid system for suspects: MOJ
  • Juvenile justice system advances
  • Recidivism rate for young offenders drops
  • China encourages civilians to film police to curb abuses
  • Incarceration: U.S. incarcerates 5.87 times more people than China; U.S. prison population, (2.217 million) is over 500,000 greater than China’s which is (1.657 million), despite China having a total population over 5 times greater than the U.S.
  • 2016 World Prison Population List, Institute for Criminal Policy Research, University of London:
  • Popularity of government and economic system

  • Highlights:
  • 85% satisfied with direction of country (31% satisfied in U.S.)
  • 88% think current economic situation is good (33% in U.S.)
  • 82% say children will be better off than parents (33% in U.S.)

Ideology

  • Communist Party and Marxism

  • Xi Jinping: No Reformer After All
  • Xi stresses development of Marxist economic philosophy
  • Examining Xi Jinping’s speech on the method of Karl Marx
  • China pushes forward Marxist training camp, attracts 1 million students
  • Xi calls for Maoist indoctrination for the younger generation
  • From the Chinese Marxist viewpoint: an interview with Professor Deng Chundong
  • The best form of government is the one that serves its people
  • Party committees study Mao’s books ahead of 19th congress
  • 19th CPC National Congress delegates feature more workers, women
  • Xi calls for profound understanding of Marxism
  • China holds workshop to mark 100th anniversary of Bolshevik Revolution
  • CPC leadership stressed in philosophy, social sciences
  • Marxist education in society

  • China has new standards on Marxist schools for ideological understanding
  • China organizes 7th World Socialism Forum, annual conference bringing together Marxist scholars from around world
  • China’s broadcast regulator, tightening control of content, promotes “core socialist values”, “forcefully oppose” content that celebrates money worship hedonism, radical individualism and feudal thought
  • China teaches core socialist values knowledge in primary, middle schools
  • Colleges set up Party committee teacher departments
  • China to adopt new textbooks emphasizing sovereignty education
  • Anti-imperialism and solidarity

  • China issues report on US human rights
  • China takes aim at Western ideas
  • History, people to remember Fidel Castro: Chinese President
  • Interview with China’s Ambassador in Lebanon [Speaks about China’s foreign policy, particularly in Middle East, including Palestine, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran]
  • Fidel Castro in the eyes of the Chinese people
  • Struggles against patriarchy and anti-LGBTQ bigotry

  • Raising social awareness key to curbing improper behaviour against women in public
  • Hardy traditions inform baby gender crisis
  • Public calls for harsher sexual harassment penalties
  • China introduces surprisingly progressive sex education curriculum for kids
  • Communist Youth League: “Being Gay is No Disorder!”
  • Man Wins Lawsuit in China Over Forced Gay Conversion Therapy
  • Culture
  • “People’s Cinema Line” launched to highlight core socialist values

China and the environment

  • China, U.S., and Global Warming (Four Part Series)
  • Part 1: Global warming, nuclear power and China
  • Part 2: China moves decisively on global warming
  • Part 3: Coal miners in crisis
  • Part 4: What can be done about rising sea levels
  • Global Warming, Trump and China
  • China leads world in solar power production
  • How China, Not Obama, Waged the War on Coal
  • China ties officials’ promotions to saving the environment
  • China now the largest installer of clean energy
  • China tops the world in renewable energy production: BP report
  • How China Beats the US at Clean-Air Progress
  • Renewable energy employment: How China and the U.S. measure up [infographic]
  • China Announces That It Will Cover Nearly A Quarter Of The Country In Forest By 2020
  • China just ran an entire region on 100% renewable energy for 7 days
  • China is building the world’s first forest city
  • China launches 8000 water clean-up projects worth $100 billion in first half of 2017
  • China to tackle urban smog this year with ‘zero tolerance’ environmental enforcement
  • Following damage caused by economic rise, China tackles ambitious conservation experiment
  • China diverts 10 billion cubic meters of water to arid north in massive project
  • China’s “sponge cities” aim to re-use 70% of rainwater
  • Experts assess that all cars in China will be electric by 2030
  • China is to ban petrol and diesel cars, state media reports
  • China is leading the world’s boom in electric vehicles
  • China strengthens climate pledge as White House creates confusion
  • International environmental lawyer, James Thornton: “My job is to clean up the environment, China really wants to do that”
  • One city in China has more electric buses than all of America’s biggest cities have buses
  • Satellite images show China going green
  • China is winning its war on air pollution, at least in Beijing
  • China reassigns 60,000 soldiers to plant trees in bid to fight pollution
  • China builds floating solar farm on a former coal mine
  • A Blue Sky in Beijing? It’s Not a Fluke, Says Greenpeace
  • China builds ‘world’s biggest air purifier’ (and it seems to be working)
  • China on track to lead in renewables as US retreats, report says
  • China to plant forest the size of Ireland in bid to become world leader in conservation
  • China is building a solar power highway
  • Pollution levels in China’s three metropolitan areas dropped nearly 40%
  • China spent $100 billion on reforestation. So why does it have ‘green deserts’?
  • China goes all in on the transit revolution
  • China has launched the world’s first electric zero-emissions cargo ship
  • China could teach India how to clean its toxic air
  • Small, surprising dip in world’s carbon emissions traced to China
  • World’s first hydrogen tram begins operation in China
  • China shuts down tens of thousands of factories in unprecedented pollution crackdown
  • While US moves toward coal, China bets big on solar
  • China is showing the world what renewable energy dominance looks like

China and Imperialism

Imperialist aggression faced by China

  • Encircling China: origins of ‘Asia Pivot’
  • US and Japanese imperialism threaten China
  • U.S. threats in South China Sea
  • Korea: the facts please
  • North Korea missile test a response to U.S. provocations, not the other way around
  • Is Poverty Reduction the Real Reason Why the US Seeks War with China?
  • John Pilger: The Coming War on China
  • Top U.S. General: China to be “greatest threat” by 2025

Imperialist narratives about China

  • Mao Zedong

  • Monster or liberator? On the legacy of Mao Zedong
  • Did Mao really kill millions in the Great Leap Forward?
  • Revisiting alleged 30 million famine deaths during China’s Great Leap
  • Famine and the Great Leap Forward

  • Revisiting alleged 30 million famine deaths during China’s Great Leap
  • Did Mao really kill millions in the Great Leap Forward?
  • Tibet

  • Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth
  • Tibet, imperialism and the right of self-determination
  • Taiwan

  • Washington fuels conflict by pumping weapons into Taiwan
  • Trump Taiwan phone call a signal of aggression to come
  • Hong Kong

  • How Britain Stole Hong Kong from China
  • With Brits out, it’s Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
  • Educational background material on Hong Kong crisis prepared by PSL
  • Hong Kong crisis analyzed
  • Tiananmen Square

  • Tiananmen: The Massacre that Wasn’t
  • PSL response to ISO on China and Tiananmen
  • Looking back at Tiananmen Square, the defeat of counter-revolution in China

China’s International Relations

  • General

  • Russia and China are not imperialist
  • China’s Book review of “China’s Global Strategy – Towards a Multipolar World” by Jenny Clegg
  • China is canceling the debt of the world’s most impoverished nations
  • China Receives Majority Positive Ratings from Global Publics [notably more popular in Africa, Asia, and Latin America versus North America and Western Europe]
  • Chinese FM says China “anchor for world peace”
  • Xi calls for solidarity in South-South cooperation, sustainable development and greater representation for developing nations in global governance
  • Other nations view China more favorably than the US, survey shows
  • Belt and Road Initiative

  • How China is Building the Post-Western World [Belt and Road initiative]
  • China builds new type of globalization [Belt and Road initiative]
  • Xi Jinping to China’s Private Sector: Go Home, The New Silk Road Is Not For You
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
  • Africa

  • General

  • Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism in Africa
  • China in Africa: ‘Imperial power’ or ‘altruist’?
  • China not neocolonialist
  • Here’s what Africans think about China’s influence in their countries
  • China colonizing Africa? MOFA urges EU parliament chief to ‘learn basic facts’
  • 5 Myths About Chinese Investment in Africa – Deborah Brautigam
  • China will not take path of “Western colonists” in Africa – foreign minister
  • Abayomi Azikiwe: China and its foreign policy in relation to the African Continent
  • The real story behind China’s alleged conquest of African farmland
  • Demonising China: pundits get its role in Africa wrong
  • Chinese investment in Africa is more diverse and welcome than you think
  • China by far the largest investor in African infrastructure
  • China’s direct investment in Africa: Reality versus myth
  • China to expand skills programme to Africa
  • Chinese train producer makes Africa’s fastest trains
  • China’s growing health aid to Africa encouraged
  • China is training Africa’s next generation of transport and aviation experts
  • China has overtaken the US and UK as the top destination for anglophone African students
  • Angola

  • Chinese firm contracted to build massive hydropower plant in Angola
  • Cote d’Ivoire

  • Djibouti

  • What’s Behind the Opening of China’s First Overseas Military Base (Djibouti)? [Radio interview]
  • Ethiopia

  • Chinese railway projects saves lives in Ethiopia
  • Interview: Ethiopian minister calls for further strengthening ties with China
  • Interview: Ethiopia, Africa highly benefiting from Chinese engagement
  • Gambia

  • China to cancel Gambia’s debt, give zero-interest loans
  • Kenya

  • Chinese-built modern railway unleashes huge benefits in Kenya – Official
  • Kenya says China-built dual carriageway a game changer in urban transport
  • China helps boost technical vocational training in Kenya
  • China’s Huawei debuts cheaper smartphones in Kenya
  • Mozambique

  • China forgives $5 million of Mozambique’s debt
  • South Africa

  • Zuma: China can free Africa from ‘colonial shackles’
  • Zuma lashes out at slander of “Chinese colonialism” in Africa
  • Tunisia

  • China plays important role in promoting stability development of Africa: Tunisian FM
  • West Africa and Ebola

  • Chinese aid contributes to West Africa’s fight against Ebola
  • Zimbabwe

  • Zimbabwe says China to cancel $40m debt, increase yuan use
  • China donates 12 500 tons of rice
  • Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Bolivia

  • Morales hails China’s cooperation, investment in Bolivia
  • Bolivia says China to lend $7 billion for energy, transport, and infrastructure
  • Cuba

  • Speech delivered by Fidel Castro at ceremony awarding “Jose Marti” order to Hu Jintao, President of China [translate to English]
  • Cuba-China relations at all-time high
  • Cuba doesn’t trust U.S., instead goes to China for investment
  • China-Cuba strengthen relations, invest in direct flights
  • Xi Jinping Visits Revolutionary Leader Fidel Castro of Cuba
  • Communist Party of China’s 95th anniversary celebrated in Havana
  • Fidel Castro in the eyes of the Chinese people
  • Ecuador

  • Ecuador and China Bolster Ties with Xi Jinping Visit
  • Haiti

  • China Extends Her Silk Road to Haiti
  • Venezuela

  • Venezuela and China Sign New $2.7 Billion Development Deal
  • 57 Countries, including China, back Venezuela at UN Human Rights Council
  • Interview: Venezuela’s new international pay system “indispensable”, says expert
  • China offers support for strife-torn Venezuela at UN
  • Chinese Culture on show in Venezuela with ‘Red October’ exhibit commemorating Chinese socialist revolution
  • West Asia (Middle East)

  • General

  • Interview with China’s Ambassador in Lebanon [Speaks about China’s foreign policy, particularly in Middle East, including Palestine, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran]
  • Iran

  • China calls for support for Iran nuclear deal
  • China provides $10b credit line to Iran to finance water, energy, transport projects
  • Syria

  • While the US drops bombs, China invests $2 billion in rebuilding Syria
  • China helps prevent Syria’s division with “balanced” role in resolving Syrian crisis: experts
  • China: “We oppose attempts to divide Syria”
  • Chinese firms to enjoy priority in reconstruction: Syrian Ambassador
  • South Asia

  • India

  • India and China: Rivals or potential partners in liberation
  • British forgery at the heart of India and China’s border dispute
  • Pakistan

  • China brokers Pak-Afghan crisis mechanism
  • With Chinese support, Pakistan can ignore Trump on Afghanistan
  • After Trump’s Afghan policy statement, China reaffirms support to Pakistan
  • East Asia

  • Malaysia

  • ‘China can make an offer and you can always say no’
  • Myanmar

  • China donates more than 100 tons of aid to Rohingya refugees
  • The plight of the Rohingya: sorting through the propaganda
  • North Korea

  • Chinese paper says China should stay neutral if North Korea attacks first
  • North Korea factories humming with ‘Made in China’ clothes, traders say
  • Chinese paper says China should stay neutral if North Korea attacks first; defend North Korea if US attacks first
  • China urges peaceful, diplomatic resolution to North Korea tensions
  • West failing to manipulate China over North Korea issue
  • China’s food exports to North Korea surge
  • South China Sea

  • U.S. threats in South China Sea
  • Vietnam

  • China-Vietnam ties greatly improved with expanded border meeting
  • China-U.S. relations
  • President Xi’s New Year speech offers hope instead of fear

 

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