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Issue #1749      September 21, 2016

Editorial

Long march continues

As the US “pivot to Asia” unfolds, its agenda of undermining China, diplomatically, militarily and economically is becoming starkly apparent. Central to this objective is the working over of history by the hacks in the mass media rewrite rooms, exposing the “myths” of China’s revolutionary march.

Of great concern to the US and its allies is that China has become steadily stronger economically and politically and more influential, particularly among other Asian countries who are China’s neighbours.

On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China was founded. It was an event that culminated over two decades of Communist Party-led popular struggle.

What had begun as attempted worker insurrections in the port cities of Canton and Shanghai in the late 1920s, led to the Long March, which carried the working class ideas of Marxism into the impoverished countryside of feudal China.

From their deep rural bases the Chinese Communists and their people’s army led the national struggle against the Japanese militarist occupation – one of the most barbaric episodes of the Second World War.

The defeat of Japanese militarism, along with the defeat of Nazism and fascism, created favourable global conditions for popular forces around the world, including in the world’s most populous country, China.

The Chinese Revolution is one of the most significant and influential events of the 20th century.

Before 1949 the illiteracy rate in China was 80 percent, and life expectancy was a meagre 35 years. Now, illiteracy has declined to less than seven percent, and average life expectancy is more than 70 years.

Over these past decades into the 21st century the Chinese people have embarked on another heroic Long March. The Chinese Communist Party would be the first to admit that there have been confusions and errors on the way. In the late 1960s, a ruinous and misguided “Cultural Revolution” tore apart the fabric of society, and set back many of the advances made in the previous decade and a half.

But throughout these years, the Chinese Revolution has been guided by a number of admirable, core principles:

  • A commitment to building a socialist society, in which modernisation is balanced with social justice, redistribution and development;
  • A willingness to learn from international experience, but always to be prepared to chart a sovereign national course, based on the knowledge, customs, assets and special challenges of ones own society.

In 1978 a major economic reform process was unleashed, in which the PRC endeavoured to sustain the core principles of socialism while opening up to the market. In Western media we are told that the PRC has “embraced capitalism” – this is neither how the Chinese themselves understand what they are doing, nor is it the reality.

The public sector enterprises, and the rural socialist economy remain core pillars of Chinese socialism. There has, however, been a mix of partnerships, liberalisations and other market-related initiatives as well.

The Chinese reform process stands in stark contrast to the neo-liberal privatisation frenzy that is causing economic and social mayhem in countries around the world. The PRC’s ability to chart an effective course through the recent Asian crisis is also noteworthy.

Against this backdrop of global capitalist financial crisis China’s economy continues to advance, its power and influence clearly evident here in Australia. This was achieved, partly, through active state intervention to stimulate demand through wage increases in the public sector, and other measures.

In pursuing a policy of peace and stability China is creating the best situation for the continuation of its economic and social development, and for that of other countries as well. This has been made possible by the fact that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the people of China have embarked on the construction of a socialist society.

Next article – Forgotten men of Christmas Island

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