The Hezhe people and the protection of national minorities in China

The below article is republished from China Daily. Its particular interest lies in its depiction of the life of the Hezhe people who live in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province. (The Hezhe people also live in Russia’s Siberia where they are known as Nanai.)

The Hezhe are described as one of the smallest ethnic groups in China. According to the 2020 national census, they numbered just 5,373 people. Yet, despite the despicable calumnies spread about the supposed oppression of minority nationalities in China, rightly derided as the ‘lie of the century’, the fact that even a nationality of just a few thousand people has its national rights, culture and way of life fully guaranteed (including with representation in the National People’s Congress) shows the extensive democracy practiced by China, as with other socialist countries, when it comes to the national question. The contrast with the long history of suppression and oppression practiced over centuries by the British state against the languages and cultures of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man, by the French state towards Breton, Basque, Corsican and Occitan, and with the genocide of indigenous peoples by settler colonists in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, or of the Ainu and Ryukyu peoples at the hands of the Japanese state, could scarcely be clearer.

Wearing traditional grand ethnic costumes, You Mingfen and her fellow villagers watched a live broadcast of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in the early hours of Sunday, the opening day of the ongoing event.

“We were encouraged to hear the achievements mentioned by Xi Jinping and felt proud of the great changes in our hometown in the past decade,” said You, 57, owner of a rural homestay in Bacha village of Bacha Hezhe township in Tongjiang, Heilongjiang province.

“It also resonated with me when he said the Party must ensure and improve the people’s well-being in the course of pursuing development and encourage everyone to work hard together to meet the people’s aspirations for a better life.”

Bacha, a distinctive village with ethnic minority elements, has a population of 513, including 364 Hezhe people.

The Hezhe people are one of the smallest ethnic groups in China, numbering just 5,373, according to the 2020 national census.

They mainly live in several counties by the Songhua, Heilong and Wusuli rivers in Heilongjiang, where they have long depended on fish for survival.

Since 2016, the tourism industry in Bacha village has been booming, with annual per capita income increasing from about 16,100 yuan ($2,200) to 25,600 yuan. The village has received more than 60,000 tourists, bringing its net tourism revenue to 3 million yuan.

Tourists can feast on a variety of fish and buy unique ornaments made from fish skin and bones.

“The Hezhe people are hospitable, and we usually offer the talaha (grilled raw fish) to our distinguished guests,” said You.

“Fresh fish is grilled medium-rare and then cut into thin slices. People eat it dipped in salt,” she said. “The dish can only be made from wild carp.”

The family also has a fishing boat, with which You’s husband can get the freshest wild fish.

You and her husband started their business in 2018 in their two-story house, providing three rooms and distinguished Hezhe catering for guests from across the country.

“The busiest season lasts from May to October, which can bring us more than 50,000 yuan a year,” she said. “In the winter, we can stay in a warm room enjoying the leisure time that was unimaginable before.”

The better life has inspired more young villagers to return to their hometown, including You Hao.

You Hao (not related to You Mingfen), 32, became a civil servant in Tongjiang after graduating from Harbin University of Commerce in 2013.

“I am a Hezhe native born in Bacha, and I was really happy to see the great change in my hometown,” he said. “When I knew the village urgently needed young talent to support the development of its tourism industry, I decided to return in August 2018.”

He was appointed deputy village Party secretary in charge of the establishment and management of the village’s collective tourism company.

“We are striving to improve infrastructure to better serve tourists,” he said. “Tourists can experience the most original rural life and flavor, which has attracted visitors from different cities in the province, as well as from the provinces of Guangdong, Sichuan and Hebei.”

With government support, Bacha made efforts to change its appearance, including renovating roads, greening and installing street lamps. So far, there are 33 homestays and three restaurants in the village.

In 2018, the company attracted an investment of 11 million yuan from a Beijing company for two sightseeing cruises.

“Tourists from all over the country came and stayed here longer,” said You Hao. “Around 200 villagers are directly involved in the tourism industry, bringing them more income.”

In late 2016, a cooperative was founded in the village, focusing on Hezhe ethnic fish-skin artwork, including paintings and various ornaments, and now has attracted 53 members from the village as well as nearby villages.

“We invited experienced folk craftsmen to give lessons to all the members, helping them create unique ornaments as well as pass on our cultural heritage,” said Wang Haizhu, 45, president of the cooperative. “The ornaments are welcomed by tourists, bringing us an annual income of more than 100,000 yuan.”

Wang and her members also tried to promote their ornaments via livestreaming, which also boosted sales volume and cultural promotion.

“We have so much intangible cultural heritage to be proud of,” she said. “It is the responsibility of all Hezhe people to keep the culture booming in future generations.”

Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein: Socialism is alive in China

This article by Sergio Rodriguez Gelfestein, former director of international relations in Venezuela’s presidential office and former ambassador to Nicaragua, discusses the recent 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, situating it within the broader process of socialist construction in both China and the world.

The author connects Socialism with Chinese Characteristics to the overall Marxist tradition stretching back to the first works of scientific socialism of the 1840s. Although the global socialist movement suffered a terrible blow with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the European people’s democracies, the CPC has now “shouldered the responsibility and has the confidence and ability to contribute to the development of scientific socialism.”

As such, the emerging US-led New Cold War is not simply a matter of economic competition, or even “inter-imperialist rivalry” as some in the Western left believe; rather it occurs “within a framework of systemic confrontation between development models that emerge from antagonistic ideological proposals.”

The English translation of this article was published by Workers World.

Many important issues were discussed at the recently concluded 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Chinese and foreign analysts have written extensively on the subject. As almost always when giving an opinion about China, the analyses mostly deal with state issues that — in this case — were discussed at the event.

But if I were asked what was the highlight of this event, I would have no hesitation in affirming that the great event of the Chinese Communist Party had a keen orientation toward the internal strengthening of the organization, so that it can play its role as leader of the Chinese society on its way to socialism.

CPC part of a long process

In this context, it seems necessary to highlight the strong ideological content of the debates in this Congress. It continued discussions held in the past and in previous similar events, and has presented a solid vindication of Marxism-Leninism as part of the support that has allowed the Communist Party of China “to comprehensively dominate the great struggle, the great work, the great cause and the great dream” . . . that “has culminated in the historic task of completing the comprehensive construction of a society modestly well-off and the consequent fulfillment of the objective of struggle established for the first centenary (year 2021) and has undertaken the new expedition of the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist country toward the objective of struggle set for the second.” (2049)

Continue reading Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein: Socialism is alive in China

Ideological work in the new era of socialism in China

We are pleased to publish this important and well-researched article by Gabriel Martinez on ideological work and struggle in China since the beginning of ‘reform and opening up’ at the end of the 1970s. Gabriel is a postgraduate student from Brazil, currently finishing his studies in Marxist Philosophy at Beijing Normal University. He has lived in China for the last five years.

He notes that the important changes in the country’s economic sphere have been accompanied by a series of ideological changes, with both positive and negative aspects and bringing new challenges for the development of socialism in China. Noting the emergence of a trend of bourgeois liberalization, the author stresses that this has always been opposed by successive generations of Chinese leaders. “However, while recognizing that the Party has always called attention to the need to strengthen ideological work, one cannot fail to recognize that Xi Jinping’s coming to power represents a turning point in the Communist Party of China’s political line… Xi Jinping has been paying close attention to this problem, aiming to restore and consolidate the authority and leading role occupied by Marxism as the theoretical basis guiding socialist construction and modernization in China.”

Analyzing the effects of the existence of capitalist relations of production in the primary stage of socialism on the ideological sphere, Gabriel notes that “it is necessary, therefore, to differentiate between what are the positive effects that capitalist private property can create for the development of the productive forces, from what is the ideology it inevitably produces, and the negative effects generated by capitalist relations of production in the most varied domains of social life.”

A great deal of other important material is covered in the article, which we consider well worth careful study and discussion. It was previously published in Chinese on the website of Kunlunce, a Chinese think tank that publishes articles by Marxist professors and researchers, and in Portuguese on the website Resistencia, which is associated with the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB).

The Reform and Opening policy, initiated by the Communist Party of China in 1978, has produced important transformations in the economic sphere of the country. The transformation in the structure of property, little by little, caused the basic structure of property relations in the country to change to a system where the state public economy was considered its backbone, but coexisting with multiple forms of property, which exist and develop together (including domestic and foreign private property). These transformations were accompanied by a series of ideological changes, changes that have an influence on the most varied sectors of social life. This influence can be seen in the way of life of the population, in the economy, in culture, in the arts, and also in politics. Chinese society, from an ideological point of view, has become more “diversified”, and such diversification, obviously, not only has positive aspects, but also produces negative consequences and brings new challenges for the development of socialism in China. In this article I will try to outline some aspects of the formulations of the Communist Party of China on ideological work and how this work is acquiring a new role in China led by Xi Jinping.

The struggle against bourgeois liberalization in the new era of socialism

After the beginning of the reforms, an ideological trend emerged in China called “bourgeois liberalization. The phenomenon of bourgeois liberalization, to this day, exerts a pernicious influence on China’s development process and the building of a socialist culture. How does the Communist Party define this liberalization? According to Deng Xiaoping:

Since the fall of the Gang of Four an ideological trend that we call bourgeois liberalization has emerged. Its exponents idolize the “democracy” and “freedom” of Western capitalist countries and reject socialism. This cannot be tolerated. China must modernize, but she must not promote liberalization or take the capitalist path, as Western countries have done. [1]

Deng Xiaoping’s quotation clearly shows us that, from the very beginning, the problem of bourgeois liberalization has always been the object of attention by the leaders of the Communist Party of China. Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, etc., dealt with this problem several times. However, it is not wrong to say that over the years, far from being solved, it still exists and exerts considerable influence. Faced with the new political line approved after the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CCP held in 1978, which established a break with the previous line of “taking class struggle as the main link,” placing economic construction and socialist modernization at the center of the Party’s activity, a very active political tendency arose, which defended the idea that besides reforms in the economic sphere, it was also necessary to carry out reforms of a political nature, calling for more “democracy” and “freedom. This ideological current became quite politically active, especially from the 1980s onwards, seeking to divert the Reform and Opening from its original path and direction of perfecting the socialist system, to the path of restoring capitalism and the bourgeois-type political system, as happened in the Soviet Union.

At first, especially among intellectual circles, an anti-Mao Zedong wave swept the country, leading to an open contestation of the resolutions presented by the CCP in its historic document On Some Problems in the History of Our Party from the Founding of the PRC to the Present Day in 1981. The document, while stating that Mao Zedong made some mistakes at the end of his life, is quite clear in its recognition and exaltation of the Chinese leader’s historical role in the history of Party and Republic building. The document clearly states that Mao Zedong’s successes far outweigh his mistakes. Says the resolution:

Continue reading Ideological work in the new era of socialism in China

Former First Minister condemns UK government attack on Confucius Institutes in Scotland

Alex Salmond, former First Minister of Scotland and currently the Leader of the Alba Party, has condemned the British government’s announced intention to close Confucius Institutes, describing it as, “the sort of Cold War mentality on display in Westminster which ends in hot wars.”

Salmond added his condemnation to that expressed by his party’s Westminster Leader Neale Hanvey MP. Hanvey noted that: “Westminster’s feud with China undermines and will deeply damage over a century of Sino-Scottish educational relations.”

The first known student from China to study in the UK enrolled to study medicine at Edinburgh University in the 1860s.

Alex Salmond strongly supported friendship and cooperation with China throughout his time as Scotland’s First Minister, 2007-2014. The March 2014 edition of Voice of Friendship, the magazine of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, reported on his November 2013 visit to Beijing, describing him as, “an old friend who visited China successively in the years from 2009-2011.” 

On that occasion, Salmond presented State Councillor Yang Jiechi with his government’s document, ‘Scotland’s Strategy for Stronger Engagement with China’. 

Reporting his visit to the Confucius Institute Headquarters, Voice of Friendship noted: “Since he took office, Mr. Salmond has attached great importance to carrying out cultural exchanges with China. Right now, Confucius Institutes have been set up in four universities and Confucius Classrooms in 13 primary and secondary schools in Scotland, with a total of 150 schools and institutions teaching Mandarin.”

Mr. Salmond and the Alba party are to be congratulated for sticking to their principled stand in favour of positive and constructive relations with China. We reprint their statement below.

ALBA Party Leader and Former First Minister Alex Salmond has added his condemnation to the UK Government’s attack on Confucius Institutes in Scotland. 

Commenting Alex Salmond said: 

“This is the sort of Cold War mentality on display by Westminster which ends in hot wars. The Scottish Government should defend these valuable cultural exchanges and oppose any attempts by the UK Government to close them down. We have nothing to fear from talking and exchanging culture. The real danger is from those who wish to divide the world into armed camps and who wish to shut Scotland out from the international community.”

Earlier ALBA Westminster Leader Neale Hanvey MP also reacted to Minister of State for Security Tom Tugendhat MPs announcement that Confucius Institutes in the UK are to close. He said: 

“Scotland’s educational links with China have long presented opportunities to increase trade and secure Chinese investment in industry and infrastructure. 

“The Confucius programme helps promote Scotland’s innovative and creative sector through cultural exchanges and sporting links with China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. These links also promote Scotland as a destination of choice for Chinese tourists – something which pre pandemic delivered 172,000 visits to Scotland from China bringing £142M into the Scottish economy. 

“While the Confucius scheme invests £3M in Scotland to foster these bonds between our two countries, this modest investment has generated a fee income of £790 million for our world class Scottish Universities. 

“Westminster’s unilateral decision to block this programme takes no account of Scotland and China’s cultural links and will have a devastating impact on the entire Scottish Higher Education system. 

“Westminster’s feud with China undermines and will deeply damage over a century of Sino-Scottish educational relations”

China’s socialist modernisation is a contribution to human progress

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez was invited by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China to make a contribution at the thematic symposium on Chinese Governance and Multiple Paths of Modernization at the 5th Hongqiao International Economic Forum, held in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November, 2022.

What follows is the transcript of his remarks, in which he reviews the imperialist countries’ process of modernisation – characterised by colonial violence and plunder – and contrasts this with China’s evolving modernisation path, which is peaceful, sustainable, and based on common prosperity.

All countries have a right to modernisation. Modernisation is a process that enables higher living standards for the masses of the people. It enables common prosperity. With modernised industry, production technique, communication methods, transport systems, energy systems and healthcare methods, humanity has the potential to provide a healthy, meaningful and dignified life to everybody.

A life where each individual has reliable access to a healthy diet, to decent housing, to clothing, to education, to healthcare, to a vibrant cultural, social and intellectual life, to interesting work. In short, modernisation makes it possible to attend to people’s fundamental human rights.

And furthermore, these days it is possible to modernise in a way that doesn’t damage the planet, in a way that doesn’t compromise the sustainability of human existence on Earth.

What China has shown the world is that there is more than one path to modernisation.

For a long time, the predominant ideology – particularly in the West – has affirmed that the only path to modernisation is the one laid down by the imperialist powers.

And what does that path look like? Countries such as the United States and Britain claim that the secret of their success was the combination of free-market capitalism and a system of Western-style parliamentary democracy.

However, there are plenty of countries in the developing world that have attempted to apply that formula and that have achieved little more than chaos.

Indeed, the reality of the West’s path to modernisation looks profoundly different to the picture that has been painted. The industrial revolution, carried out first in Britain, was built to a significant degree on the profits of colonial plunder and the slave trade.

Britain accumulated extraordinary wealth from its colonial ventures in Ireland, India, the Caribbean, the Americas, Africa and elsewhere – not to mention the profits from forcing opium on China, a project so lucrative that Britain went to war multiple times in order to protect it.

It was British, Spanish, Portuguese and French ships that took captured African slaves to the Americas to be worked to death in the plantations, producing sugar, cotton and tobacco for the world market.

Karl Marx famously wrote in Volume 1 of Capital: “The discovery of gold and silver in America, the enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalled the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.”

This is the ugly truth of European modernisation. And the story is not so different in the United States. The so-called founding fathers of that country were slave-owners, and they established a slave-owners’ society. They went to war against the indigenous tribes and against Mexico in order to expand their territory.

In the 20th century, having established their domination over the Americas, they constructed a neocolonial global system that is still in place to a significant degree, imposing American hegemony on the world.

A network of 800 foreign military bases. NATO. An enormous nuclear arsenal. Genocidal wars waged on Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. Systems of economic coercion and unilateral sanctions. Proxy wars, coups, regime change projects, destabilisation.

This is the global system of violence that has facilitated and accompanied imperialist modernisation.

Furthermore, the benefits of this modernisation have been distributed vastly unequally. The wealthy in the US, Britain and elsewhere live an incredibly ‘modern’ life, but there are hundreds of thousands of homeless people; tens of millions that will have to choose between heating and eating this winter; tens of millions that don’t have access to healthcare.

China has also been modernising. China’s modernisation starts in 1949 with the founding of The People’s Republic, the early construction of socialist industry, nationalisation of the land, and the provision of education and healthcare services to the whole population.

In 1963, Premier Zhou Enlai first raised the question of the Four Modernisations: of agriculture, industry, defence, and science and technology. With the launch of reform and opening up in 1978, China accelerated its pursuit of those goals, and ushered in an era of rapid development of the productive forces and improvement in the people’s living standards.

China’s journey of modernisation has evolved again in recent years with the pursuit of the second centenary goal: of building a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by 2049.

China’s modernisation, however, is a socialist modernisation. It’s distinct from the capitalist model of in several important ways:

  1. It is built on the efforts of the Chinese people rather than on war, colonialism and slavery.
  2. Its fruits are to be shared by everybody, not dominated by the wealthy. As General Secretary Xi Jinping said in his work report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, China’s modernisation is “the modernisation of common prosperity for all.”
  3. It is becoming a green modernisation, fuelled by clean energy, careful not to destroy the planet that sustains us. Again quoting Xi Jinping’s work report, “it is the modernisation of harmony between humanity and nature.”

This evolving, peaceful, sustainable and fair modernisation constitutes a valuable contribution to our collective human understanding, and shows that there is more than one path to modernisation.

But this did not come about by accident.

China’s achievements, its commitment to common prosperity, its commitment to ending poverty and underdevelopment, its commitment to preventing climate collapse and its commitment to peace are a function of China’s political system, its revolutionary history, and the leadership of the CPC.

While democracy turns out not to have been the essential ingredient in the West’s modernisation, socialist democracy is certainly an essential ingredient of China’s modernisation. Because of China’s revolution and the party’s adherence to the Four Cardinal Principles, power in China is exercised by, and on behalf of, the people – not a small group of wealthy people that own and deploy capital. As such, China’s modernisation serves the people.

China’s ongoing process of socialist modernisation is therefore an inspiration and a valuable lesson to progressive and peace-loving people the world over.

China forges bonds of friendship as it builds a modern socialist country

Co-editor of Friends of Socialist China Danny Haiphong places the historic meeting between Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), and Chinese President and CPC general secretary Xi Jinping in the context of the US’s ongoing trajectory of decline. He argues that while China is forging deep bonds of solidarity with socialist countries, the US is committing errors that will only strengthen China’s model of cooperation as a global alternative for oppressed nations.

This article originally appeared in CGTN.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded its 20th National Congress in late October, marking a landmark period for China’s development. CPC delegates reviewed achievements, voted for top leadership and deliberated on China’s path forward to becoming a modern socialist country by 2050.

Among the most heralded of China’s achievements over the past five years since the 19th CPC National Congress has been the eradication of extreme poverty and the successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the world’s largest economy, the United States, the overall picture is far less hopeful. While China is making history, the U.S. appears doomed to repeat it.

Nowhere is this more definitive than in the differences between China’s and the U.S.’s approaches to foreign policy and global cooperation. The first political leader to visit China following the 20th CPC Congress was Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). Despite numerous efforts of the U.S. to mobilize Vietnam and the broader Asia Pacific against China, the visit sent a strong message of regional unity.

Continue reading China forges bonds of friendship as it builds a modern socialist country

President Hassan’s visit reflects long-standing special relationship between China and Tanzania

As part of its post-Congress diplomacy, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the East African country’s first female head of state, was one of four foreign leaders to visit China last week and the first from Africa to visit after the conclusion of the 20th Congress. This fully reflects the long-standing special relationship and solidarity between the two countries, forged by Tanzania’s founding President Julius Nyerere and successive generations of Chinese leaders, including Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. Tanzania was also one of the four countries visited by Xi Jinping in his first overseas visit on being elected President of China in 2013. 

Symbolic of this history, among the 15 agreements signed during President Hassan’s visit was one to upgrade the Tazara railway, built by China between 1970-75 to allow landlocked Zambia to export its goods via Tanzanian ports at a time when the country was blockaded by the white racist regimes then in power in ‘Rhodesia’ (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa.

In its coverage of the state visit, China’s Global Times noted: “Running some 1,870 kilometers, the railway is sometimes regarded as the greatest engineering effort of its kind since World War II. The railway took only five years to build and was finished ahead of schedule in 1975.”

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post wrote: “China’s involvement in the Tazara railway began in the 1970s under the leadership of Mao Zedong and then premier Zhou Enlai, when the country was facing its own financial difficulties. Lusaka was desperate for a railway link to the Tanzanian coast. Neighbouring white-controlled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) had cut landlocked Zambia’s only outlet to the sea for its main export copper, in response to its support of African nationalist guerrillas fighting for the transfer of power to the Rhodesian black majority. China stepped in after the US and Russia refused to fund a new railway, on the grounds it did not make economic sense, and the Tazara was built for about a billion yuan – billions of US dollars at today’s rates – in interest-free loans. The 1,860km (1,155 miles) of track stretching from Zambia’s copper belt to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean was built between 1970 and 1975 with the help of 50,000 Chinese workers.”

Reporting on Xi Jinping’s meeting with his Tanzanian counterpart, the Xinhua News Agency wrote that the Chinese leader pointed out both the CPC and the Tanzanian Revolutionary Party (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) shoulder the historical mission of strengthening themselves and the country they govern, adding that the CPC will expand exchanges and cooperation with the CCM and support the curriculum and operation of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School. Xi stressed that China views its relations with Tanzania from a strategic perspective and will always be a trustworthy friend of the country.

The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School was built by China in Tanzania as a joint cadre training school for the progressive ruling parties in that country, along with those of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Angola, all of whom led the liberation struggle in their respective countries. 

Referring to the Tazara Railway, Xi said that it marks a milestone in China-Tanzania and China-Africa friendship. Even when China was poor, it tightened its belt to help its African brothers build this railway. “Now that China is more developed, it is better placed to act on the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, help our African friends achieve common development, and build a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.”

The following reports were first carried by the Xinhua News Agency and the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi holds talks with Tanzanian president

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Beijing on Thursday. The two presidents announced the elevation of the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Noting that President Hassan is the first African head of state China has received after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi said it speaks volumes about the two countries’ close ties and the important position of China-Africa relations on China’s diplomatic agenda.

Xi recalled putting forth, while visiting Tanzania in 2013, the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith to guide China’s cooperation with African countries. It has now become the basic policy guiding China’s solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries.

Continue reading President Hassan’s visit reflects long-standing special relationship between China and Tanzania

Tribute to Avtar Singh Jouhl, 1937-2022

In our contribution to the Fifteenth Forum of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE), hosted by China’s Shanghai International Studies University last December, Friends of Socialist China surveyed the history of support for the Chinese revolution in the working-class movements in the United States and Britain and noted:

“As in the United States, it was again the political representatives of oppressed peoples who came to play an outstanding role in supporting and defending the People’s Republic, be it on the part of the outstanding Trinidadian communist Claudia Jones or of such organisations as the Indian Workers’ Association, its equivalent bodies among Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Kashmiri workers, the Black Unity and Freedom Party, the Black Panther Movement and many others. Very often out of the sight and hearing of much of the predominantly white left, they collectively constituted the mass proletarian base for China friendship and solidarity in Britain, from the early 1960s onwards.”

The working-class movement lost one of the true giants of that movement with the death on October 7th of Avtar Singh Jouhl at the age of 84. Avtar came to Britain in 1958 and joined the Indian Workers’ Association (IWA GB) the same year. He came intending to study at the London School of Economics (LSE) but instead found himself working in a foundry in the West Midlands for many years. His son Jagwant was quoted by the BBC as observing: “Most people think the streets were paved with gold, but the reality was they were paved with soot from the foundries.” 

In 1965, Avtar invited Malcom X to Smethwick, near Birmingham, to see the type and extent of racism and the ‘colour bar’ then prevalent in the area, just weeks before the African-American revolutionary leader was assassinated.

Becoming National President of the IWA, Avtar played a very full role in the life of the community, the struggle against racism, the trade union movement, and the struggles of the working class in Britain, along with mobilising support for the revolutionary struggle in India, for anti-imperialist struggles throughout the world, and in support of the socialist countries.

Besides the IWA, Avtar played a leading role in the Association of Indian Communists in Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (AICML), which guided the work of the tens of thousands strong IWA, and was at various times a member of different parties in the British working-class movement. 

Avtar followed the Marxist-Leninist line of “uniting all those who can be united” and this was reflected in the hundreds of people who attended his funeral, which was widely reported by the BBC and others, as well as in the tributes paid by trade unions like Unite and in the press of a number of left-wing parties, including the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP).

Whilst sincere and affectionate, most of these tributes left out something that was central to Avtar’s politics. He was not simply a Marxist, but specifically an adherent of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. Under the guidance of Avtar and a number of his comrades, especially the late Jagmohan Joshi and Teja Singh Sahota, the IWA and the AIC were staunch supporters of the Chinese revolution and friends of China, maintaining close comradely connections with the country, particularly through the 1960s and 1970s. When the Britain-based editors of Friends of Socialist China initiated the Hands off China! campaign in response to the attacks on China in the run up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Avtar was one of the first people to offer his support, joining veteran communist Isabel Crook and Ghanaian diplomat Kojo Amoo Gottfried as a patron of the campaign. Avtar also gave strong support to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba and other socialist countries.

A year ago, Avtar’s son Jagwant recorded a long series of interviews in which his father recalled his life of struggle. We reproduce below two interviews devoted to China as well as a tribute carried in the Morning Star, written by Avtar’s friend Paul Mackney, the former General Secretary of NATFHE/UCU, the trade union for teachers in further and higher education.

We will remember Avtar as a great comrade and as a kind and sincere friend and extend our condolences to his family and all his many comrades and friends.

Avtar Singh Jouhl 1937 – 2022

Paul Mackney, former general secretary of NATFHE/UCU, remembers a beloved comrade, lifelong socialist and union man who once brought Malcolm X to the West Midlands during the fight against racial segregation.

ON Tuesday morning, October 10, a large and loud gathering of UCU strike pickets, outside South and City College Birmingham, stopped their singing, chanting, blowing of whistles and vuvuzela playing to observe a minute’s silence.

Continue reading Tribute to Avtar Singh Jouhl, 1937-2022

Nguyen Phu Trong visit signals important advance in China-Vietnam relations

Following closely on from the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China, last week saw a flurry of diplomatic activity in China, with the successive visits of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the President of Tanzania, and the Chancellor of Germany.

The visit by the Vietnamese General Secretary Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong was marked by exceptional warmth, signaling a qualitative advance in the relations between the two neighboring socialist countries. Besides being the first foreign leader to visit China after the Congress, it was Trong’s first overseas trip since his own re-election as general secretary at his party’s 13th National Congress in early 2021. At that time, he promised that his first visit would be to China, reciprocating Xi Jinping’s first overseas visit being to Hanoi after the CPC’s 19th Congress in 2017.

Leading Chinese newspaper Global Times commented: “China and Vietnam are two socialist countries and the ruling parties of the two countries have deep and long-standing relations with revolutionary tradition built in the era they fought side by side against foreign invaders and colonialists, so the bilateral ties of the two countries are always guided by the inter-party relations between the CPC and the CPV… For some time, some Western media and observers have tried to hype the disputes and competition between China and Vietnam. The US in the past few years has also tried to rope in Vietnam to join the US strategy to contain China, but Nguyen’s visit just once again proves that the West has failed to understand and interpret the ties between China and its neighbor.”

Besides paying attention to diverse areas of bilateral cooperation – with 13 cooperation documents signed by the two sides – along with regional and international issues, the visit was notable for the strong emphasis placed by both sides on the importance of their joint commitment to the defense and promotion of the cause of socialism.

At their meeting, Xi Jinping noted that the development of human progress is a long and tortuous process, while the development of socialist countries is facing a very complicated international environment and severe risks and challenges. He called on the CPC and the CPV to strive for the happiness of the people and the progress of humanity, make every effort to advance socialist modernization, and never allow anyone to interfere with their progress or any force to shake the institutional foundation of their development.

On further developing China-Vietnam relations, Xi stressed that the two sides should adhere to the direction of socialism. “For the cause of socialism and China-Vietnam relations, adhering to the correct political direction is paramount.”

Xi Jinping also awarded his Vietnamese counterpart with the Friendship Medal, China’s highest decoration for foreigners. In doing so, he hailed Trong as a staunch Marxist, and a close comrade and sincere friend of the CPC. The medal represents the friendly feelings of the CPC and the Chinese people toward Trong and the Vietnamese people, symbolizes the profound friendship between China and Vietnam as “comrades and brothers”, and embodies the ardent hope of the two parties and the two peoples for a better future together, said Xi.

Noting China and Vietnam are good neighbors and friends “connected by mountains and rivers, as close as lips and teeth,” Xi said the two countries are like-minded comrades and partners with a shared future committed to the cause of peace and progress of humanity.

On the journey of promoting socialist modernization of the two countries, the CPC is willing to work with the CPV led by Trong to inherit the traditional friendship created and carefully cultivated by Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh and other older-generation leaders of the two parties and two countries, and to jointly lead China-Vietnam relations to achieve greater development.

In a joint statement released by the two countries at the conclusion of the visit, the two sides again agreed that the traditional friendship of being both comrades and brothers, which has been built and cultivated by President Ho Chi Minh, Chairman Mao Zedong and other senior leaders, is a valuable asset of the two peoples, which should be further inherited, protected and promoted well. It further noted the importance of the consistent and creative application and development of Marxism-Leninism in promoting the cause of Party building and socialism, so as to constantly develop and make efforts for the cause of peace and progress of humanity.

The following articles were originally carried on the website of China’s State Council and by the Xinhua News Agency and the Vietnamese party newspaper Nhân Dân.

Xi holds talks with Vietnam’s communist party chief

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, held talks on Oct 31 with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee.

The two sides agreed to consolidate the traditional friendship, strengthen strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust, and properly manage differences, so as to push the China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era to a new level.

Xi warmly welcomed Trong’s official visit to China following the 20th CPC National Congress, noting that he has maintained close communication with Trong in various ways and reached many important consensuses on guiding the development of China-Vietnam relations in recent years. “These consensuses have been fully implemented and remarkable results have been achieved,” he said.

Continue reading Nguyen Phu Trong visit signals important advance in China-Vietnam relations

Listening to our CPC comrades on the nature of China’s socialist path

We are very pleased to republish this instructive article by Professor Roland Boer, which was first carried by the Australian Marxist Review (AMR), journal of the Communist Party of Australia. 

The article considers three main points, namely “what our comrades in the Communist Party of China say about their own system; what insights the Marxist-Leninist method provides; and how Chinese communists see the economic development of China from 1949 through to today,” and is based not least on the author’s last 12 years of engagement with China, living there for up to six months of the year and learning the language. 

Roland locates the background to how the Chinese communists approach, assess and analyse issues arising in their development within the basic framework of Marxism-Leninism, including that the seizure of power by the proletariat is not the end, but rather the beginning of a long and complex struggle to actually build a socialist society. He further analyses the three main stages in the development of New China, from 1949-1978, 1978-2012 and 2012-, noting the achievements scored in each, the problems that arose, and how they were addressed, particularly in the subsequent stage. 

In his conclusion he notes: “I suggest that it is important to listen to what our CPC comrades think about their own system, based upon immense amounts of research on the concrete reality in China, and not let bourgeois criticisms and Western imperialist assumptions set the agenda.” We agree!

This article formed part of a special May 2022 edition of AMR, devoted to China, and containing many interesting articles. It may be read in full here

I would like to make a small contribution to a topic of discussion and debate in a number of Communist parties in the world today, including the CPA. It concerns the nature of socialism in China, or what is also known as Socialism with Chinese Characteristics – better translated as ‘socialism in light of China’s conditions’. My contribution arises from more than a dozen years of experience in China. I would like to do so in three main parts: what our comrades in the Communist Party of China say about their own system; what insights the Marxist-Leninist method provides; and how Chinese communists see the economic development of China from 1949 through to today. The assumption in what follows is that inner-party discussions such as this are undertaken in a comradely manner. I hope that what is provided here can aid our discussion in some ways.

Listening to Our CPC Comrades

The CPC is a fraternal party with the CPA, so it would be helpful to listen carefully to what our CPC comrades say about the nature of their system. There are a number of ways we can do so. As for me, I prefer engaging in person-to-person discussion with members of the CPC. This has meant that over the last 12 years of my engagement with China (living and working there for up to 6 months a years), I have learnt the language and researched in depth Chinese Marxism and its socio-economic system. I have spoken with CPC cadres at many levels of the party, in the city and in the countryside, at major meetings and at local party branches. We have discussed many, many topics concerning the Marxist method and the difficult tasks of constructing socialism.

Another approach is to keep up with the many developments via CPC sources. Given the size of the party and its close involvement at all levels of Chinese society, there are very many of these sources. The following comprise only a small sample: the Central Committee journal Qiushi,[1] which comes out twice a month ( – note that English translations lag by a few months ( and not all of the articles on the Chinese site are translated into English; Red Flag (;CPC news (; the party history site (; the party’s newspaper, ‘Renmin Ribao’ (, and so on. If you need to use an online translator, it would better to use more reliable ones, such as or (google translate is not reliable). Of course, there are even more local party sites and social media apps for local branch members. After all, the CPC has 92 million members.

Continue reading Listening to our CPC comrades on the nature of China’s socialist path

China’s path to socialist modernization

The following article by Vijay Prashad and Tings Chak discusses some of the important policies and ideas emerging from the recently-held 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Disregarding the Western media’s “wild speculations about the deliberations in the party”, the authors explore the concept of socialist modernization, as well as detailing China’s ongoing fight against corruption and its successes in poverty alleviation and environmental action.

Vijay and Tings note that per capita GDP has doubled in the last decade and that, in the same period, the CPC has worked relentlessly to tackle corruption, adhere to the mass line, and re-center itself in the grassroots. Furthermore, “China’s interest in tackling the climate catastrophe is evidenced by its planting of a quarter of the world’s new forests over the past decade and in becoming a world leader in renewable energy investment and electric vehicle production.”

The authors also point out that China’s development has been extraordinarily peaceful, quoting Xi Jinping’s work report to the Congress: “In pursuing modernization, China will not tread the old path of war, colonization, and plunder taken by some countries. That brutal and blood-stained path of enrichment at the expense of others caused great suffering for the people of developing countries. We will stand firmly on the right side of history and on the side of human progress.”

As China becomes richer, it is also becoming fairer and greener, and its modernization is based on its own efforts, not on imperialism and aggression. Such is the meaning of China’s socialist modernization, which is a great inspiration for progressive forces globally.

This article was produced by Globetrotter.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 20th National Congress from October 16 to October 22, 2022. Every five years, the delegates of the CPC’s 96 million members meet to elect its top leaders and to set the future direction for the party. One of the main themes of the congress this year was “rejuvenation” of the country through “a Chinese path to modernization.” In his report to the congress, Xi Jinping, the CPC’s general secretary, sketched out the way forward to build China “into a modern socialist country.”

Most of the Western media commentary about the congress ignored the actual words that were said in Beijing, opting instead to make wild speculations about the deliberations in the party (including about the sudden departure of former Chinese President Hu Jintao from the Great Hall of the People during the closing session of the congress, who left because he was feeling ill). Much could have been gained from listening to what people said during the National Congress instead of putting words in their mouths.

Socialist modernization

When the Communist Party took power in China in 1949, the country was the 11th poorest country in the world. For the first time since the “century of humiliation” that began with the British wars on China from 1839 onward, China has developed into a major power with the social situation of the Chinese people having greatly improved from their condition in 1949. A short walk away from the Great Hall of the People, where the congress was held, is the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall, which reminds people of the immense achievement of the Chinese Revolution of 1949 and its impact on Chinese society.

Continue reading China’s path to socialist modernization

The people need a Green New Deal, but imperialism opts for “Better dead than red”

At the recent webinar marking the first anniversary of the International Manifesto Group’s document ‘Through Pluripolarity to Socialism’, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez made a contribution about the ecological crises faced by humanity, comparing the progress (or lack thereof) tackling global warming in the West with that made by China.

Carlos observes that, in spite of the Biden administration’s oft-stated commitment to seriously reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, the US-led proxy war against Russia is having a disastrous environmental impact, leading to an increase in fracking and coal consumption. Meanwhile China is leading the world in renewable energy, electric vehicles and afforestation; and instead of cooperating with China and finding common solutions to common problems, the West instead imposes sanctions on Chinese products that are crucial to green energy supply chains. So, while people in the West might want a Green New Deal, but what they’re actually getting is “better dead than red.”

What I’m going to address in these brief remarks is the question of climate change; how it’s covered in the Manifesto, and the developments that have taken place in the last year since the Manifesto was released.

The Manifesto talks of “an ecological emergency of climate warming, pollution and biodiversity loss, rendering our planet increasingly uninhabitable.” And it points the blame for this situation at neoliberal capitalism, which has “turned everything the earth offers humanity gratis into plunder and profit.”

In terms of what neoliberal capitalism is doing, this analysis – very sad to say – still holds true. Indeed the situation is in many ways worse than it was a year ago, in spite of a great deal of rhetoric and the passing into US law, two months ago, of the Inflation Reduction Act, including climate commitments that Joe Biden considers to be a landmark success of his presidency to date.

It is, unquestionably, the US’s must important set of climate commitments thus far. Unfortunately, that’s not saying very much. It’s still nowhere near the type of unprecedented action the world needs from the US – which, of the major countries, has the highest per capita emissions in the world, and which has contributed a full quarter to global cumulative carbon emissions, in spite of having just four percent of the world’s population.

Even if the US meets its targets under the Inflation Reduction Act – which is doubtful enough – then in five years time it will still be generating significantly less renewable energy than China will generate this year.

But anyway, it’s more fruitful to look at what the US and its allies are actually doing, as opposed to what they say they’re doing or will do.

Most obviously, the US is driving NATO’s proxy war against Russia, which is nothing short of disastrous in environmental terms.

Continue reading The people need a Green New Deal, but imperialism opts for “Better dead than red”

The left should resist the propaganda war against Beijing

The following Morning Star editorial highlights how absurd it is for ordinary people in Britain to blindly accept the dominant anti-China narrative, pointing to the impressive progress China has made in improving people’s lives at a time when Britain has been suffering under a brutal austerity and neoliberal free-market fundamentalism.

For example, while wages have consistently fallen in real terms over the last decade in Britain, in China they have been increasing at a rate of 10 percent per year. Meanwhile, while “China is developing mass rapid transit systems and leading the world in green technology,” Britain is “actively degrading its transport network and subsidising fossil fuel profits.”

The purpose of this relentless propaganda against China is to build public support for the New Cold War. The article concludes: “It is time socialists adopted greater scepticism towards our rulers’ claims about China. They are aimed at enrolling us in the defence of US and British imperialism — and undermining our systemic challenge to capitalism at home.”

Rising prices, falling living standards, a government in turmoil although united around its anti-union, anti-democratic and anti-environment agenda — but at least we don’t live in China.

That’s been the message of an amplifying propaganda discourse against Beijing in the run-up to its 20th Communist Party congress, which opened today.

Read Martin Wolf or Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times, and China’s economic policies are disastrous, even if they have delivered (as Rachman notes) “thousands of miles of new motorways and high-speed rail over the past 20 years” and made “Western executives sigh in envy at China’s ability to plan for the long term.”

British workers, who have endured more than a decade of falling pay, might envy China’s record (average wages have risen at over 10 per cent a year since 2010, leading the median wage to rise from 37,147 yuan in 2010 to 97,379 in 2020, a 162 per cent increase).

Of course, it is from a poorer base. But China’s GDP grew by 120 per cent between 2010 and 2020. So wages have outpaced GDP growth in China, while in Britain wages flatlined even while the economy was growing.

Continue reading The left should resist the propaganda war against Beijing

Xi congratulates Lula da Silva on his election as Brazilian president

The victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known universally as Lula, in the Brazilian presidential run-off, on Sunday October 30, has been warmly greeted in China. When he previously served as President, as well as when his fellow Workers’ Party (PT) comrade Dilma Rousseff was head of state, relations between the two countries were at their best ever. In contrast, while economic ties remained strong, outgoing far-right President Jair Bolsonaro strained political relations on a number of occasions and generally weakened Brazil’s independent diplomacy and contribution to the development of a multipolar world .

With Lula having been instrumental in the formation and development of BRICS, along with China, Russia, India and later South Africa, and being passionately committed to South-South cooperation in general, along with independent national development, poverty alleviation, and the elimination of hunger, relations with the Asian socialist giant can be expected to radically improve and develop with his return to office.

In an October 31 article, leading Chinese newspaper, Global Times reported:

‘For Lula, the development of the economy and people’s livelihood will largely determine the stability of his Partido dos Trabalhadores’s rule… Brazil is likely to look more actively to the Asia-Pacific region to tap the potential of the Chinese market and attract Chinese investment,’ Zhou Zhiwei, an expert on Latin American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday. 

According to Zhou, Lula’s return is likely to bring back a smoother China-Brazil relationship, which will help both sides find more space and reap dividends of economic and trade cooperation, especially in agriculture and infrastructure construction.

‘Brazil may also seek to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) under Lula,’ Zhou said. Brazil’s left-wing ruled neighbor Argentina announced its decision to join the BRI in February. 

Given that Lula was instrumental in the establishment and launch of the BRICS mechanism during his last stint in office, analysts believe that he will continue to be active and positive about BRICS.

‘Lula is likely to place a high priority on cooperation between emerging powers, including BRICS. This means that cooperation among BRICS countries and communication on international hotspot issues and global affairs will be smoother and more stable than under Bolsonaro,’ Zhou said.

Lula’s victory was greeted ecstatically by the progressive forces in Latin America, reflecting the renewed tide of anti-imperialism and socialist orientation on the continent. Venezuela’s Telsesur reported:

‘Congratulations brother Lula, president-elect of Brazil! Your victory strengthens democracy and Latin American integration. We are sure that you will lead the Brazilian people on the path of peace, progress, and social justice, Jallalla Brasil!’, said the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, through the social network [Twitter].

Meanwhile, the Cuban head of state, Miguel Díaz Canel, also via Twitter congratulated the leader of the Workers’ Party (PT): ‘Dear brother Lula, I congratulate you on behalf of the Cuban government and people, who celebrate your great victory in favor of unity, peace and Latin American and Caribbean integration. You can always count on Cuba.’

The Cuban President added: ‘Cuba congratulates you, dear comrade. They delayed your victory with atrocious methods but could not prevent you from winning with the people’s vote. Lula returns, the PT returns, social justice will return. We embrace you brother President Lula.’

Venezuelan President  Nicolás Maduro said on Twitter: ‘We celebrate the victory of the Brazilian people, who this October 30 elected Lula as their new President. Long live the people determined to be free, sovereign, and independent! Today in Brazil, democracy triumphed; congratulations Lula, a big hug.’

This was rapidly followed up by warm telephone calls between Lula and Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, while Argentinian President Alberto Fernández rushed to the Brazilian city of São Paulo for a personal meeting. 

In his message, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that he stands ready to work with President-elect Lula, from a strategic height and long-term perspective, to jointly plan and lift China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level so as to benefit the two countries and their people.

The following report on President Xi’s message was originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday sent a congratulatory message to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his election as president of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

In his message, Xi pointed out that China and Brazil, both major developing countries and important emerging nations, share broad common interests and responsibilities.

Since China and Brazil established diplomatic ties 48 years ago, with the joint efforts of the two countries’ successive governments and all sectors of their societies, bilateral relations have witnessed long-term development, with cooperation in various fields yielding fruitful results.

Noting that China and Brazil enjoy long-term friendship, Xi said to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and their people, and is conducive to maintaining regional and world peace and stability and promoting common development and prosperity.

Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of China-Brazil relations and stands ready to work with President-elect Lula, from a strategic height and long-term perspective, to jointly plan and lift China-Brazil comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level so as to benefit to the two countries and their people.

What is “new” about the new path of Chinese-style modernisation?

We are pleased to publish this paper by Hong Xiaonan, Dean of the School of Marxism at China’s Dalian University of Technology (DUT), part of our occasional series of selected presentations from the Cloud International Workshop on ‘New forms of human civilization from a world perspective’, held by the School, October 29-31, 2021.

In his paper, Professor Hong argues that Chinese-style modernization is new in five aspects. It is mega-scale; is one where the entire population enjoys common prosperity; where material and spiritual civilization are in harmony; where humanity and nature co-exist in harmony; and that follows the path of peaceful development. In a few words, it is socialist modernization and modernization for developing countries.

Professor Hong outlines the stages of modernization theory, through the paradigm of “America First”, the emergence of capitalist and socialist camps headed respectively by the United States and the Soviet Union, the wave of decolonization and national liberation movements, through to the emergence of Chinese-style modernization.

The author notes that General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that China’s modernization means that more Chinese people than the population of all developed countries combined would enter the ranks of modernization. By way of comparison, the pre-18th century rise of the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, with a combined population of about one million, was at best equivalent to the rise of a county in China today.

He compares China’s modernization, aimed at “the all-round development of human beings”, to the western model, which is “entirely oriented towards the logic of capital, with the market economy as the only driving mechanism. This inevitably leads to an ever-greater division between rich and poor… Western capitalist modernization was constructed on the foundation of primitive accumulation, in terms of blood-soaked colonial plunder external to capitalist countries and ruthless exploitation of the people within these countries. As Marx observed… ‘capital comes [into the world] dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.’… The British ‘Enclosure Movement,’ the United States’ ‘Westward Movement,’ and the criminal slave trade are all examples of the ‘original sin’ of Western capitalist modernization.”

In contrast, Professor Hong echoes Xi Jinping’s words in his report to the 19th Party Congress, in pointing out that China’s modernization, “offers a completely new option for those countries and peoples in the world that want to accelerate development while maintaining their independence.”

Once again, we are grateful to the DUT translation team and to Professor Roland Boer for their work to make this important paper available in English.

Abstract: The new path of Chinese-style modernisation is “new” in that it is different from the Western path of modernisation. The “new” characteristic has five aspects: 1) modernisation on a mega-scale; 2) modernisation in which the entire population enjoys common prosperity; 3) modernisation in which material and spiritual civilisation are in harmony; 4) modernisation in which humanity and nature coexist in harmony; 5) and modernisation that follows the path of peaceful development. Chinese-style modernisation is socialist modernisation, with unique characteristics that are different from capitalist modernisation. Chinese-style modernisation has changed the long-standing dominance of the model of Western modernisation and the power of its discourse monopoly. It has broken the stereotype and “beautiful myth” that “globalisation = Westernisation,” that “westernisation = modernisation,” and that “modernisation = marketisation.” It has overcome the inherent and innate defects of capitalist modernisation, and provided a completely new option for modernisation, thereby showing a promising prospect for the modernisation of human society. Chinese-style modernisation is a modernisation for developing countries, opening up a completely new path towards modernisation for late-developing countries.

Keywords: New path of Chinese-style modernisation; Western modernisation; new forms of human civilisation.

The new path of Chinese-style modernisation is “new” in that it is different from the Western path of modernisation

Modernisation as a world historical process reflects the tremendous changes that human society has undergone from traditional agricultural societies to modern industrial societies. This process began in Western Europe, expanded across North America and the rest of Europe, and spread to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The study of the theory of modernisation emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, with the main academic fronts in the United States, West Germany, Japan, and other countries. The object of this research concerned the newly independent post-war countries, that is, the developing countries of the Third World. The task was to examine the new paths, strategies, and models for the development of these new countries. Generally speaking, Western research on modernisation began as a sub-discipline, mainly using theories and methods from different Western disciplines such as sociology, economics, political science, and psychology to construct theoretical frameworks so as to analyse and compare the modernisation of non-Western developing countries and to conduct field research.

After the Second World War, the new scientific and technological revolution in the Western capitalist world brought about rapid development of the productive forces and rapid growth of the capitalist economy, which not only quickly healed the wounds of war in the capitalist world, but also strengthened the confidence in Western civilisation, which had for a time been lost as a result of the economic crisis and war. In particular, through the Second World War, the United States leapt ahead to become the centre and leader of the Western capitalist world. Many Western scholars, including some in the United States, were filled with a sense of novelty and admiration for the United States, creating the illusion of “America first” and arguing theoretically for the superiority and rationality of the Western capitalist system. In terms of this background, research on the emergence of modern society began to flourish in a number of universities in the United States, and from this research the so-called “modernisation theory” – or to be precise, “Western modernisation theory” – gradually took shape.

Continue reading What is “new” about the new path of Chinese-style modernisation?