Wave of anti-Asian racism fuelled by the New Cold War

We are pleased to publish below the text of the speech by an activist from the Goldsmiths Anti-Imperialist Society, given on 17 December at the second of two online seminars on the theme ‘The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its World Significance’, organised jointly by Friends of Socialist China and the International Department of the Communist Party of China.

The speech focuses on the problems faced by minority communities in Britain, particularly people of Chinese descent in the context of a rising New Cold War, linking the recent rise in anti-Asian racism to the ‘yellow peril’ narrative pioneered in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries – part of a campaign of demonisation connected to Britain’s attempts to impose colonial domination on China. Today’s anti-Asian racism represents “the imperialist legacy of the Yellow Peril in the 21st century, propagated by the New Cold War.” In spite of these problems, the speech concludes on an optimistic note, observing that there is a “growing number of young people who are fighting back against the propaganda that seeks to divide us and isolate us from each other”. This generation is building a united front based on opposing racism, imperialism and capitalism, and stands “in solidarity with our Chinese comrades and all our siblings in the Global South in self-determining and working together to create a fairer, multilateral world.”

I would like to use this opportunity to thank Friends of Socialist China and the Communist Party of China for hosting this meeting here today. My speech is from the perspective of an activist in anti-racist collectives. When I refer to the term ‘black’ in this speech it is used as an umbrella term referring to African, Asian, Arab, Caribbean and all non-white communities.

As a member of the Chinese diaspora, a British Born Chinese, it brings me great joy to speak with you all, though the topics of what I will be sharing will not be so joyous. In sharing my lived experience and material analysis of the current socio-political environment, I hope to share insight on what it is like to live as a Chinese in Britain and the impact of anti-China rhetoric on Asian communities.

After the murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movements that emerged around the world highlighted the institutional racism embedded in every aspect of western society, from how the media portrays Black children in negative, stereotypical ways to how the police brutalise Black people. Institutional racism towards Asian communities is perhaps not as overt as it is towards our African and Caribbean siblings but it is equally as insidious.

Racism against Asian communities has relied on the same vestiges of Yellow Peril that never left British shores after it arrived on the coattails of the Opium Wars almost two centuries’ ago. This “Yellow Peril” is the fear of the East – the anxiety that the so-called Orient was coming to colonise and conquer the West in the same way it has done. Historically, the Yellow Peril was enshrined in law such as the Chinese Exclusion Act in the US and Home Office policies that led to the deportation of Chinese seamen in Liverpool, UK. How many of us here know that 6 Chinese seamen survived the sinking of Titanic? Now Chinatowns are bustling hubs of culture and commerce. But there was a time when some Chinatowns were formed as self-contained protective enclaves against the tides of white supremacists intent on driving Asian immigrants out of their jobs.

For a while, the concept of the “model minority myth” has acted in counter to the yellow peril: quelling fears of Asian world domination with stereotypes of the typical Asian being smart but submissive, adept at assimilating, unthreatening to the white worker. Though it may seem harmless at first glance, Asians have been required to fulfil the role of the quiet, unassuming worker in order to be accepted as legitimate citizens. But this acceptance has been conditional. The Asian diaspora lives in the duality of being the Yellow Peril or the Model Minority. When the Asian diaspora has fought back or challenged anti-China, anti-Asian rhetoric, they – we – are no longer seen as friends but foes. Spies, saboteurs, traitors to the state.

When the Covid pandemic hit in 2020, this awoke the dormant beast of Yellow Peril once more. It became acceptable to spread vitriol, fake news, and disinformation as long as the precedent was set that there was no blame to be placed on the British state or the UK government for mismanagement of the pandemic.

Instead of reflecting inwards on how it could have handled the pandemic better, the British state opted to blame China for its failure to curb the early waves and with the mainstream media’s help, made China culpable for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in the UK. This was internalised by the general public.

“China” became synonymous with Asian which became synonymous with everything bad in the world. The novel coronavirus wasn’t just associated with China or Chinese people; Chinese people were seen as the virus itself. Everyone who looked Chinese became a sitting target for abuse and hatred; it did not matter their ethnicity nor place of birth.

Continue reading Wave of anti-Asian racism fuelled by the New Cold War

2023 New Year Address by President Xi Jinping

The following is the full text of President Xi Jinping’s New Year Address for 2023, which he delivered on New Year’s Eve.

In his remarks, President Xi noted that in 2022, despite challenges, the country’s economy continued to enjoy sound development, including reaping a bumper harvest and consolidating the gains made in poverty elimination and rural revitalization. Surveying the country, he noted how innovation is thriving in the coastal areas, development is gathering pace in the central and western regions, the traditional industrial area of the northeast is being revitalized, and the border regions are also developing and becoming more affluent.

He addressed China’s record in tackling Covid-19, where “we have put the people first and put life first all along.” Referring to the recent adjustments in policy, he continued: “With extraordinary efforts, we have prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges, and it has not been an easy journey for anyone. We have now entered a new phase of COVID response where tough challenges remain. Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us.”

Having referred to last October’s 20th National Congress of the Communist Party at the start of his address, President Xi later referred to the post-Congress visit that he and his senior colleagues made to the old revolutionary base area of Yan’an. “We were there to relive the inspiring episode in which the Party’s central leadership overcame extraordinary difficulties in the 1930s and 1940s, and to draw on the spiritual strength of the older generation of CPC members,” he said.

Echoing the sentiments expressed by Comrade Mao Zedong in his closing speech to the Seventh National Congress of the CPC, held in Yan’an in June 1945, which is published under the title, ‘The foolish old man who removed the mountains’, Xi Jinping reflected:

“Long as the journey is, we will reach our destination if we stay the course; difficult as the task is, we will get the job done if we keep working at it. As long as we have the resolve to move mountains and the perseverance to plod on, as long as we keep our feet on the ground and forge ahead with our journey by making steady progress, we will turn our grand goals into reality.”

Reflecting on the goal of national reunification, among other issues, Xi noted: “Ours is a big country. It is only natural for different people to have different concerns or hold different views on the same issue. What matters is that we build consensus through communication and consultation. When the 1.4 billion Chinese work with one heart and one mind, and stand in unity with a strong will, no task will be impossible and no difficulty insurmountable.”

The below text was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Greetings to you all. The year 2023 is approaching. From Beijing, I extend my best New Year wishes to all of you.

In 2022, we successfully convened the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, sounding a clarion call of the times for us forging ahead on a new journey.

The Chinese economy has remained the second largest in the world and enjoyed sound development. GDP for the whole year is expected to exceed 120 trillion yuan. Despite a global food crisis, we have secured a bumper harvest for the 19th year in a row, putting us in a stronger position to ensure the food supply of the Chinese people. We have consolidated our gains in poverty elimination and advanced rural revitalization across the board. We have introduced tax and fee cuts and other measures to ease the burden on businesses, and made active efforts to solve the most pressing difficulties of high concern to the people.

Since COVID-19 struck, we have put the people first and put life first all along. Following a science-based and targeted approach, we have adapted our COVID response in light of the evolving situation to protect the life and health of the people to the greatest extent possible. Officials and the general public, particularly medical professionals and community workers, have bravely stuck to their posts through it all. With extraordinary efforts, we have prevailed over unprecedented difficulties and challenges, and it has not been an easy journey for anyone. We have now entered a new phase of COVID response where tough challenges remain. Everyone is holding on with great fortitude, and the light of hope is right in front of us. Let’s make an extra effort to pull through, as perseverance and solidarity mean victory.

Comrade Jiang Zemin passed away in 2022. We pay high tribute to his towering achievements and noble demeanor, and cherish the great legacy he left behind. We will honor his last wishes and advance the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Wave upon wave, the mighty river of history surges forward. With the persistent efforts of one generation after another, we have taken China to where it is today.

Today’s China is a country where dreams become reality. The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluded with a resounding success. Chinese winter sports athletes gave their all and achieved extraordinary results. Shenzhou-13, Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 soared into the heavens. China’s space station was fully completed and our “home in space” is roving in the deep-blue sky. The people’s armed forces marked the 95th birthday and all service members are marching confidently on the great journey of building a strong military. China’s third aircraft carrier Fujian was launched. C919, China’s first large passenger aircraft, was delivered. And the Baihetan hydropower station went into full operation… None of these achievements would have been possible without the sweat and toil of the numerous Chinese people. Sparks of talent are coming together, and they are the strength of China!

Continue reading 2023 New Year Address by President Xi Jinping

China stands on the right side of history and on the side of human progress

We are honored to publish below the text of the speech by Ms Wang Yingchun, Deputy Director-General of the Bureau for North American, Oceanian and Nordic Affairs, International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), given on 17 December at the second of two online seminars on the theme ‘The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its World Significance’, organised jointly by Friends of Socialist China and IDCPC.

Comrade Wang Yingchun’s speech provides an inspiring summary of the major decisions, themes and achievements of the 20th Congress, and outlines the CPC’s positions on issues of global importance – particularly the pursuit of world peace and security, and putting sustainable, sovereign development at the center of the international agenda. The decisions of the Congress reflect the CPC’s resolute opposition to hegemonism and Cold War, and its commitment to respectful and mutually-beneficial relations on the basis of international law and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China seeks “to be a pillar of global progressive forces and inject strong positive energy into safeguarding world peace on its new journey to fully build a modern socialist country.”

Good morning! I’m delighted to join you in this webinar. As old friends of China and experts on China, all of you have been following China and the CPC for a long time. I believe you’ve had deep understanding of the 20th CPC National Congress. Last weekend, I attended your online exchanges with Professor Liu Genfa of CELAP and Professor Qu Bo of China Foreign Affairs University. It is inspirational.

The significance of the 20th CPC National Congress is self-evident. My colleagues and I are still in the process of studying. I think it can be understood from the following perspectives:

From the history of the CPC, the Congress was held at a crucial moment when our Party has successfully completed its century-long struggle and embarked on another journey to take new tests. For the CPC, the largest Marxist party of government in the world, moving from one century to the new one is a very important historical juncture.

From the course of the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Congress was convened at an important moment as the first decade of the new era came to an end and the second has begun. It has outlined the strategic plan for building China into a great modern socialist country. All the Party members and the Chinese people have high expectations and high hopes from the Congress.

From the perspective of adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times, the Congress elaborated in depth on major issues such as breaking new grounds for adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of the times and Chinese modernization. Xi Jinping Thought of socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the Marxism of contemporary China and the Marxism of the 21st century. The great changes in the new era over the past decade have fully demonstrated how true and practical this scientific theory is. So it greatly strengthened the conviction of the CPC and the Chinese people in upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Internationally, the Congress takes place at a critical time when the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century and the international situation is becoming more volatile. How our Party responds to the situation, creates new opportunities and breaks new grounds will not only have bearings on China’s reform and development in the future, but also on world peace and development.

Next, I would like to share some of my observations around the theme of this event, “The 20th CPC National Congress and its world significance”.

The Congress has provided strong positive energy for safeguarding world peace

People all over the world long for peace, so does the Chinese nation for more than 5000 years. When Zheng He led what was then the world’s largest fleet to make seven maritime expeditions going as far as the South Seas and across the Indian Ocean (the Western seas) more than 600 years ago, he brought silk, tea and porcelain instead of war, colonization and plunder. China always believes that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, developed or otherwise, should uphold and promote peace.

General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative, stressing that security is the prerequisite for development and mankind is an inseparable security community. He calls for a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We advocate that all sides should adhere to mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing, bridge differences through dialogue and resolve disputes through negotiation. We oppose hegemonism and power politics in all forms. We have decided our position on the merits of matters, pushed for the political settlement of hotspot issues, be it the Iranian nuclear issue, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue or Afghanistan issue. And we have been playing a constructive role in the Ukrainian crisis in our own way. We stand firmly on the right side of history and on the side of human progress. China has actively promoted international security cooperation and sent more than 50,000 personnel to UN peacekeeping operations. China is the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping and the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The report of the Congress solemnly declares that China firmly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and that “taking the road of peaceful development” is one of the five features of Chinese modernization. I believe comrades here will agree that China’s development is a growing force for world peace. China has always been a builder of world peace and will never seek hegemony or expansion. This is the solemn political commitment of the CPC. We are confident that China, the world’s second largest economy with a population of over 1.4 billion, will continue to be a pillar of global progressive forces and inject strong positive energy into safeguarding world peace on its new journey to fully build a modern socialist country.

The Congress has offered new opportunities for common development

Development is the eternal theme of human society and the top priority of the CPC in governance and in rejuvenating the nation. In the new era, we have continued to promote all-round material abundance as well as people’s well-rounded development, and created two miracles, namely rapid economic growth and long-term social stability. Over the past decade, China’s GDP has grown from 54 trillion yuan to 114 trillion yuan, contributing about 30 percent to global growth on average annually, more than the combined contribution of the G7 countries. Thus, China becomes the primary driving force for world economic growth. We have built the world’s largest education, social security, and healthcare systems, and Chinese average life expectancy has risen to 78.2 years. We have won the battle against poverty, lifting nearly 100 million people out of absolute poverty and contributing 70 percent of the global poverty reduction.

We have worked hard to put development at the center of the international agenda. General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve stronger, greener and healthier global development. We have promoted high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and signed cooperation documents with 149 countries and 32 international organizations. The Belt and Road Initiative has become a popular international public good and a platform for international cooperation, providing a strong driving force for global development. More importantly, the great achievements China has made in economic and social development over the past 10 years have successfully promoted and expanded the Chinese modernization, created a new form of human advancement, provided other developing countries with valuable experience and set a successful example, and offered humanity a new choice for achieving modernization. The Congress has outlined an ambitious blueprint for advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. We will adhere to the fundamental national policy of opening-up and adopt high-quality opening-up to help create a new development pattern and achieve high-quality development. China will provide new opportunities for the world with its own development. We will input more resource for global development cooperation, remain committed to narrowing the North-South gap, and firmly support and help other developing countries accelerate their own development.

The Congress has injected new impetus to win-win cooperation

As we meet, the world has entered a new phase of instability and transformation, with geopolitical tensions overlapping with the evolving economic dynamics. The COVID-19 pandemic keeps resurging. The global economy faces mounting downward pressure and growing risk of recession. Food, energy and debt crises are emerging together. The Cold War mentality, hegemonism, unilateralism and protectionism are mounting. Human society is facing unprecedented challenges, when no country can stand alone. This requires all countries to pull together in times of difficulty, replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation and exclusion with inclusiveness, accommodate the legitimate concerns of others while pursuing their own interests, and promote common development of all countries while pursuing their own development.

China is committed to the belief that the future of the world lies in the hands of all countries that international rules be written by all countries, that global affairs be managed by all countries, and that the fruits of development be shared by all countries. China is both a strong voice and practitioner of win-win cooperation. Over the past decade, we have worked hard to build a community with a shared future for mankind, firmly upheld international fairness and justice, advocated and practiced true multilateralism, and unequivocally opposed all hegemonism and power politics, and all acts of unilateralism, protectionism and bullying. As a responsible major country, we have taken an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system, and carried out comprehensive international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, which has won widespread international acclaim.

Since the 20th CPC National Congress, the world has witnessed a wave of China’s “head of state diplomacy”. General Secretary Xi Jinping met with many visiting leaders of foreign countries and international organizations, and attended the G20 Summit, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the first China-Arab States Summit, and the first China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit. He has been vigorously promoting global governance, setting comprehensive vision for regional cooperation, and ushering in a new era of comprehensively deepening bilateral and multilateral relations. This fully demonstrates China’s strategic choice and firm confidence in working with other countries to meet global challenges and strengthen solidarity and coordination. On its new journey, the CPC will strengthen exchanges and cooperation with political parties and organizations of other countries on the basis of the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. China will continue to develop friendly cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, promote the building of a new type of international relations, deepen and expand global partnerships of equality, openness and cooperation, and strive to expand converging interests with other countries.

China has been and will always be a defender of the international order. We stand ready to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other progressive forces in the world and jointly create a better future for mankind.

Comrades and Friends,

The 20th CPC National Congress has outlined an ambitious blueprint for China’s future development. On the new journey, we will unswervingly continue to uphold and strengthen the overall leadership of the Party, adhere to Marxism and follow the path of socialism based on our national conditions, so as to safeguard and deliver the fundamental interests of the people and make new and greater contribution to the noble cause of peace and development of mankind. A China that continues to modernize itself will provide more opportunities for the world, inject greater impetus into international cooperation and the world socialist movement, and make greater contribution to the progress of mankind!

On the journey ahead, we are also ready to maintain exchanges and cooperation with you, true friends of China, Chinese people and the CPC.

Thank you!

Carlos Martinez: China and the Future of Socialism

The video embedded below is of a presentation and extended question and answer session with Carlos Martinez, co-editor of Friends of Socialist China, on assorted topics connected to socialism in China. The session took place at the Critical Theory Workshop‘s Summer School in Paris, on 18 July 2022. The themes covered include: is China socialist? What is the specific importance of China in terms of global politics? Is China ‘authoritarian’? What is the basis of China’s foreign policy? How can we assess the overall record of actually existing socialism? What’s the nature of the New Cold War?

Telling the truth about China, and learning from China’s example

We are pleased to publish the text of a speech by Eben Williams, a Glasgow-based member of the International Committee of the Young Communist League (Britain), given on 17 December at the second of two online seminars on the theme ‘The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its World Significance’, organised jointly by Friends of Socialist China and IDCPC.

Eben discusses the significance of the 20th Congress, in particular its relevance to young communists in Britain, contrasting Xi Jinping’s work report with the political pronouncements of Britain’s political leaders. The work of the CPC Congress reflects a profound orientation towards, and dedication to, meeting the needs of the masses of the people. The CPC’s adherence to the mass line couldn’t be more different to British parliamentary politics under the dictatorship of capital.

Eben calls on the progressive movement in Britain to learn from China’s experiences, to tell the truth about China, to take inspiration from the achievements of the Chinese people, to unite with Chinese people in the global struggle against imperialism, and to “redouble our efforts to strengthen the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist resistance here at home.”

First of all, a warm hello to our comrades from the International Department of the Communist Party of China and a big thank you to Carlos and Keith and all of our comrades at Friends of Socialist China for the invitation to join this important discussion on the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its world significance. I hope to give a few of my own thoughts from watching the congress, the perspective of young communists in Britain that have grown up watching the rise of China, and a small call to practical action.

As communists, our work is obviously very broad, and we do all kinds of different things to help build power for the working class where we live, but one of the areas of our work that I’m most interested in is our work building relationships with other working class and communist organisations around the world through our membership of the World Federation of Democratic Youth and through our International Department. This includes both the Communist Party of China and its youth wing, the Communist Youth League.

Recently, comrades from the CYL invited us to watch the opening ceremony of the 20th National Congress online, together with them and other comrades from around the world. Many of our members are inspired by the Chinese socialist project and this was an exciting opportunity to say the least, like staying up until 3am to watch some kind of communist Superbowl of historic importance.

I was astounded by the scale of it, with more than 2,200 party delegates, representing over 96 million party members, representing over 1.4 billion Chinese citizens, all gathering together at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to chart out the country’s future in one of the most advanced democratic exercises in the world.

I was moved by the Party’s commitment to ceremony and to its history, honouring the fallen martyrs of the revolution in a minute’s silence, including comrades Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, Zhu De, and Chen Yun.

Continue reading Telling the truth about China, and learning from China’s example

On the work of young communists in China

We are pleased to publish here the text of a speech by Ms Li Na, Communist Youth League branch secretary of Bureau VII of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), given on 17 December at the second of two online seminars on the theme ‘The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its World Significance’, organised jointly by Friends of Socialist China and IDCPC.

Li Na’s speech gave a fascinating insight into the workings of the Communist Youth League at a branch level, including the league’s role in organizing study of Marxist theory and recruiting young members – “as the Party’s development needs new blood.”

I am Li Na from the Bureau for North American, Oceanian and Nordic Affairs of IDCPC. I am very honored and grateful to have this opportunity to speak here with you all.

The successful convocation of the 20th CPC National Congress marks a milestone in our Party’s history, as the whole Party and the entire nation embark on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects, and advance toward the Second Centenary Goal. As one of the youngest Party member of our Bureau’s Party branch and the Secretary of the Communist Youth League branch of our Bureau, today I want to share with you the CPC’s operation at primary-level and the Party’s youth work basing on our own practice.

I. Primary-level CPC organization

As is pointed out in the Report to the 20th CPC National Congress, “the Party’s advantage and strength lie in its close-knit organizational system”. As world’s largest political party of government with over 96 million members, the CPC attaches great importance to strengthening its over 4 million primary-level Party organizations, including those in Party and government offices and public institutions. Today I want to focus on 3 major functions of primary-level CPC organization, taking our Bureau’s Party branch as an example.

Continue reading On the work of young communists in China

On the application of Xi Jinping Thought in an imperialist country

On 10 December, the first of two online seminars on the theme ‘The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its World Significance’, organised jointly by Friends of Socialist China and the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, was held. We are pleased to publish below the contribution by Dr Hugh Goodacre, Managing Director of the Institute for Independence Studies and lecturer in the History of Economic Thought at University College London. Hugh’s speech provides a profound and thought-provoking analysis of the global relevance of Chinese socialism, situating the new developments in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era within the overall and ongoing 170-year evolution of Marxism. He observes: “Xi Jinping Thought is deeply grounded in the scientific socialist tradition, standing in direct continuity with the work of its founders, and is indeed the Marxism of today.”

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this Seminar on the world significance of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China. This was indeed an event of historic significance, in particular for its having firmly established the core position of Comrade Xi Jinping in the Central Committee and the Party as a whole, as well as of Xi Jinping Thought.

As the Resolution on the Party Constitution amendment noted: “The Congress unanimously agrees that the new developments in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era since the Party’s 19th National Congress should be incorporated into the Party Constitution, so as to better reflect the major contributions made by the Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core to advancing the Party’s theoretical, practical, and institutional innovations.”

As a contribution to the assessment of its significance, my following comments aim to establish three interlinked points:

First, Xi Jinping Thought, the guiding ideology of socialism with Chinese characteristics, epitomises the outstanding features of socialism in the world today.

Secondly, Xi Jinping Thought is deeply grounded in the scientific socialist tradition, standing in direct continuity with the work of its founders, and is indeed the Marxism of today.

Thirdly, Xi Jinping Thought provides the basis for substantial steps forward in our work in this country to forge a socialist ideology and political line, on the basis of which we can build a genuinely socialist movement in this, the oldest imperialist country.

Continue reading On the application of Xi Jinping Thought in an imperialist country

Jenny Clegg on the complex and evolving US-China relationship

On the proposal of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), Friends of Socialist China (FoSC) and the IDCPC jointly organised two online seminars, with participation by invitation, on the theme of, ‘The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its World Significance’, on December 10th and 17th.

A total of 36 supporters and friends of FoSC from England, Scotland, Wales and the north of Ireland, from various nationalities and walks of life, and from a broad range of progressive organisations and areas of struggle, participated, the majority of them in both events.

The first seminar focused on expert presentations, with the speakers being:

  • Liu Genfa, Deputy Director, Department of International Exchange, Training and Development of the China Executive Leadership Academy, Pudong;
  • Qu Bo, Associate Professor and Director, Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University;
  • Dr Hugh Goodacre, Managing Director of the Institute for Independence Studies and Lecturer in the History of Economic Thought at University College London(UCL);
  • Dr Jenny Clegg, China specialist and former Senior Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).

The second seminar concentrated more on an exchange of views and experiences, with younger comrades taking the lead. The speakers were:

  • Ms Wang Yingchun, Deputy Director General of Bureau VII of the IDCPC;
  • Ms Li Na, Communist Youth League Branch Secretary of Bureau VII of the IDCPC;
  • Eben Williams, Member of the International Committee and Chair of the Glasgow branch of the Young Communist League;
  • Fiona Sim, Organiser with Goldsmiths Anti-Imperialist Society

We plan to publish those of the papers for which we have the text on our website in the coming period and hope to organise more such joint activities with our comrades in the IDCPC in the new year.

Below is the speech given by Jenny Clegg at the session on December 10th. Jenny’s presentation explores in some detail the complex and evolving relationship between the US and China, as well as providing an overview of (and raising some questions for discussion in relation to) China’s socialist modernisation.

My contribution comes in two parts – firstly I focus on the US-China relationship with a view to making some assessment, at the current international conjuncture, of the recent Xi-Biden meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Bali summit.  Secondly I raise some issues about China’s last stages of socialist modernisation.

The US-China relationship: the background

The US China relationship has become the dominant influence on the overall dynamics of international relations.

China’s rise counters US hegemonism; it challenges the system of imperialist rule-making; at the same time China’s socialist orientation shows there is an alternative to capitalism.

These three intertwined contradictions are fundamentally antagonistic but as Mao suggested antagonistic contradictions can also be handled in a non antagonistic way – of course depending on the circumstances. Today it is amidst the increasingly complex context of polycrises – of climate change, the pandemic, debt and economic recession, and now the Ukraine war – that we see the US and China engaged in a sharpening trial of strength. 

Continue reading Jenny Clegg on the complex and evolving US-China relationship

Xi Jinping: global solidarity is the only way to protect biodiversity

The following speech by Xi Jinping, delivered at COP15 (the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity), details China’s progress over the past decade in biodiversity protection, including the establishment of a system of conservation red lines, a system of national parks, and the successful protection of a large array of rare and endangered species. Xi makes it clear that China is strongly committed to improving biodiversity and will continue to work hard on ecological protection.

The speech also highlights the importance of international cooperation; that “solidarity and cooperation is the only effective way to address global challenges” such as biodiversity protection and the Covid19 pandemic. Xi calls for greater support to be given to developing countries to allow them to build capacity in dealing with climate change and biodiversity. This is a salutary reminder, at a time when the major imperialist powers are promoting “decoupling” and adopting aggressive geopolitical stances – promoting their own narrow, hegemonic interests over the wellbeing and long-term viability of humanity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Good morning.

On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and also in my own name, I would like to extend warm congratulations to the convening of today’s meeting.

Humanity lives in a community with a shared future. Be it in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, or in enhancing biodiversity protection and achieving sustainable development globally, solidarity and cooperation is the only effective way to address global challenges. A sound ecosystem is essential for the prosperity of civilization. We must work together to promote harmonious co-existence between man and Nature, build a community of all life on the Earth, and create a clean and beautiful world for us all.

— We need to build global consensus on biodiversity protection, jointly work for the conclusion of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and identify targets and pathways for global biodiversity protection.

— We need to push forward the global process of biodiversity protection, turn ambitions into action, support developing countries in capacity-building, and coordinate efforts to address climate change, biodiversity loss and other global challenges.

— We need to promote green development through biodiversity protection, speed up the green transition of development modes and lifestyle, and leverage the Global Development Initiative (GDI) to deliver greater benefits to people of all countries.

— We need to uphold a fair and equitable global order on biodiversity protection, firmly defend true multilateralism, firmly support the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, and form strong synergy for protecting the Earth, our common homeland.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: global solidarity is the only way to protect biodiversity

Xi Jinping: Working together to meet the challenges of our times and build a better future

We are pleased to republish below the English translation of President Xi Jinping’s speech at the first session of the 17th summit of the G20, delivered on 15 November 2022.

Xi begins by highlighting some of the extremely serious problems currently faced by humanity: “The COVID-19 pandemic still drags on with cases surging here and there. The world economy is getting more fragile. The geopolitical environment remains tense. Global governance is seriously inadequate. Food and energy crises are compounded with one another. All this poses formidable challenges to our development.”

In order to face such challenges, it is essential for all countries to “replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness. All countries should join hands together to answer the question of our times – what is wrong with this world, what we should do about it – so as to tide over difficulties and create a better future together.”

It’s noteworthy that the G20 summit takes place at the same time as COP27 in Egypt, where developing countries are loudly raising their demands for climate justice. In his speech to the G20, Xi Jinping added his voice to those demands, reiterating the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities – a principle enshrined in international law, under which the advanced countries must provide funding, technology and support for climate change mitigation and renewable energy transition in the developing world.

Although China is still a developing country, the reality is that it’s China rather than the advanced western countries that’s providing key leadership on environmental issues. China is already working with a large number of Global South countries on green development projects, including in Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Argentina and Cuba.

Xi spoke up for solidarity and common development, and called on the advanced countries to do more to assist developing countries. “Prosperity and stability cannot be possible in a world where the rich become richer while the poor are made poorer.” Further, he reiterated China’s support for the African Union joining the G20 (China was the first country to publicly do so, as noted by Senegalese President Macky Sall in his bilateral discussion with Xi Jinping the previous day).

The speech is a concise reflection of China’s consistent, enduring and whole-hearted commitment to peace, common prosperity, sustainable development, and global friendship and cooperation.

Your Excellency President Joko Widodo,

Colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to attend the G20 Bali Summit. At the outset, I wish to thank President Joko Widodo and the Indonesian government for making these thoughtful arrangements for the Summit. I also salute the Indonesian presidency for its important role in promoting G20 cooperation.

We meet at a time of momentous changes unseen in a century, changes that are consequential to the world, to our times, and to history. The COVID-19 pandemic still drags on with cases surging here and there. The world economy is getting more fragile. The geopolitical environment remains tense. Global governance is seriously inadequate. Food and energy crises are compounded with one another. All this poses formidable challenges to our development.

Faced with these challenges, it is imperative that all countries embrace the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, and advocate peace, development, and win-win cooperation. All countries should replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness. All countries should join hands together to answer the question of our times — “what is wrong with this world, what we should do about it” — so as to tide over difficulties and create a better future together.

All G20 members should take the responsibility inherent in being major international and regional players, and should lead by example in promoting development of all nations, improving the well-being for the whole mankind, and advancing progress of the entire world.

We should make global development more inclusive. Solidarity is strength, but division leads nowhere. Living in the same global village, we should stand with each other in the face of risks and challenges. Drawing ideological lines or promoting group politics and bloc confrontation will only divide the world, and hinder global development and human progress. With human civilization already in the 21st century, the Cold-War mentality has long been outdated. What we need to do is to join hands together and elevate our win-win cooperation to a new height.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: Working together to meet the challenges of our times and build a better future

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”

Keith Bennett: Join hands in the struggle for socialism and against imperialist war

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 Keith Bennett made a speech assessing geopolitical developments since the launch of the manifesto. Keith observes that imperialism’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan has flowed into escalating aggression against both Russia and China, noting that both “NATO’s proxy war against Russia, which it seems determined to fight to the last Ukrainian” and the new Cold War against China have only intensified under the Biden administration.

Keith further states that the international left – albeit in a partial and contradictory way – is embarked on a process of realignment that has significant parallels to the realignment that took place a century ago, when the lines were drawn between those willing to fight against imperialism and those choosing the path of class collaboration. The questions our movement is asking itself are: “Whether to oppose imperialist war wherever it is waged; whether to support all those who fight imperialism, no matter the banner under which that struggle is waged; and whether to give resolute, wholehearted and unqualified support to any and every country, no matter where and no matter how, where our class, the working class, takes power, and sets out on the long and difficult road of building a new society, a socialist society.”

The late British Prime Minister Harold Wilson reputedly said that a week is a long time in politics. Certainly that might seem to be the case for former UK Chancellor Kwesi Kwarteng. The one who turned up in Washington for the annual meeting of the IMF, declaring he wasn’t going anywhere, only to have to leave early to return home for the dubious pleasure of being sacked.

But if a week is a long time in politics, it’s already one year since we launched our Manifesto, Through Pluripolarity to Socialism. Of course, in the broad sweep of human history, a year is far less than a blink of an eye. But perhaps we should reflect more on Lenin’s famous observation that there are periods of years when nothing seems to happen and then there come days into which years are compressed. We seem to be headed more in that direction.

Two things occupied particular attention when we were drafting the Manifesto. One was the global Covid-19 pandemic, the variegated response to it, the contradictions that it had bought to the surface and exacerbated, and the social, economic and political crises it had triggered. The other was the chaotic US, British and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and the ignominious collapse of the puppet regime they had sought to leave behind.

We noted that the response to Covid-19 on the part of the socialist countries had been exemplary. And that has continued to be the case, whether in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, despite the fact that the last two named countries have laboured for decades under crippling and asphyxiating sanctions and blockades. China, Vietnam and Cuba have not only carried out exemplary policies at home. They have been providers of much-needed aid, primarily to developing countries, but also to developed countries, in the finest traditions of working-class international solidarity. By being the very first country to introduce lockdown measures, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea registered not a single case of Covid for over two years, and then, thanks to a huge nationwide mobilization, rapidly suppressed the virus when it finally entered the country. As the Manifesto stated:

“No wonder, the ruling Communist Party of China celebrated a proud centenary in July 2021.”

As we meet today, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has opened in Beijing. It will not only set the scene for the next five years of China’s socialist development, but also map out more generically the route from the achievement of a moderately prosperous society and the complete elimination of extreme poverty, achieved just before the first centenary, that of the party, to the realisation of a modern, powerful and prosperous socialist country in all respects by the time the nation marks its second great centenary, that of the founding of the People’s Republic in 2049.

Continue reading Keith Bennett: Join hands in the struggle for socialism and against imperialist war

Xi Jinping: Hold high the great banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects

We are pleased to reproduce below the full text of the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, given by General Secretary Xi Jinping on 16 October 2022. At nearly 25,000 words, it is a long document but deserves careful reading, as it sets out in detail the CPC’s vision for the coming period. You can also read a summary, written by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett.

The English translation of the report was originally published in Xinhua.

Comrades,

On behalf of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), I will now deliver a report to the 20th National Congress.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is a meeting of great importance. It takes place at a critical time as the entire Party and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups embark on a new journey to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and advance toward the Second Centenary Goal.

The theme of this Congress is holding high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implementing the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carrying forward the great founding spirit of the Party, staying confident and building strength, upholding fundamental principles and breaking new ground, forging ahead with enterprise and fortitude, and striving in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts.

Since its founding a century ago, the Communist Party of China has taken a remarkable journey. Our Party has dedicated itself to achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation and committed itself to the noble cause of peace and development for humanity. Our responsibility is unmatched in importance, and our mission is glorious beyond compare. It is imperative that all of us in the Party never forget our original aspiration and founding mission, that we always stay modest, prudent, and hard-working, and that we have the courage and ability to carry on our fight. We must remain confident in our history, exhibit greater historical initiative, and write an even more magnificent chapter for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

I. The Work of the Past Five Years and
the Great Changes in the First Decade of the New Era

The five years since the 19th National Congress have been truly momentous and extraordinary. The Party Central Committee has pursued a strategy of national rejuvenation amid global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century. It has convened seven plenary sessions, at which it adopted decisions and resolutions on major issues such as revising China’s Constitution, deepening reform of Party and state institutions, upholding and improving the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernizing China’s system and capacity for governance, formulating the 14th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives through the Year 2035, and conducting a thorough review of the Party’s major achievements and historical experience over the past century. At these sessions, major strategic plans were also made for advancing the cause of the Party and the country. The Central Committee has brought together the entire Party, the military, and the Chinese people and led them in effectively responding to grave, intricate international developments and a series of immense risks and challenges. With great effort and determination, we have steadily advanced socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: Hold high the great banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and strive in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects

Cheng Enfu: The new pattern of international economy and politics is conducive to the development of world socialism

The International Manifesto Group (IMG), a discussion group of academics and activists in which Friends of Socialist China participates, held an online symposium on Sunday October 16 to mark one year since the launch of its manifesto, Through Pluripolarity to Socialism.

Joining an impressive line-up of speakers, Professor Cheng Enfu, a leading academician at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and President of the World Association of Political Economy (WAPE), lauded the Manifesto for its “clear theme, profound ideas and magnificent momentum” in appraising the past, present and future of socialism.

According to Professor Cheng, the response to Covid and the Ukraine conflict have both served to expose imperialism and led more people in the world to support socialism. 

Faced with imperialist aggression, the close relationship between China and Russia objectively constitutes the core of the world progressive forces today, he argues.

According to Professor Cheng, the Soviet Union did not collapse due to any failure of socialism, but rather to the treachery of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin leading groups combined with the long imperialist encirclement.

We are pleased to publish Professor Cheng’s speech below.

In September 2021, I spoke at the launch meeting of the Manifesto: Through Pluripolarity to Socialism. The Manifesto has a clear theme, profound ideas, magnificent momentum, and clearly articulated the history of world socialism, its present status quo and future. The international situation over the past year has continued to confirm the fundamental point of the Manifesto. In the following I would like to share with you a few points of mine on the development of socialism in the world, for the sake of discussion.

First, the severe situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in the West has led more people around the world to realize the advantages of the socialist system and its way of governance. So far Russia has exposed dozens of US biological labs in Ukraine, scientists from various countries have revealed that the coronavirus originated in the United States, and the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry has also raised questions about whether the coronavirus originated in the United States. The United States has evaded all these questions. It is now the third year of the pandemic, and no one knows how long it is going to last. As the Manifesto rightly says, “As ramshackle capitalisms responded to the pandemic inevitably shambolically, matters nosedived. Whether they denied it or falsely pitted lives against livelihoods—the capitalist class’s euphemism for profits—their response to the pandemic amounted to the social murder of millions and induced economic crises of historic proportions.”

More and more people around the world are realizing that the developed capitalist countries in the West are responsible for the pandemic and the high mortality rate. The class position and prejudice of Francis Fukuyama, Joseph Nye, etc. lead them to defend the Western system, claiming that the difference between governments of Western countries such as the US and that of China is only the capacity of governance. Such defense is futile. In contrast to the situation in the West, socialist countries like China, Vietnam, Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea follow the human rights principle that prioritizes people’s life and health and have achieved the dual goal of epidemic prevention and control and economic development.

Continue reading Cheng Enfu: The new pattern of international economy and politics is conducive to the development of world socialism

Red Salute to Dr DS Kotnis on the 110th anniversary of his birth

October 10 sees the 110th birthday of Dr. Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis, Indian surgeon, internationalist fighter, and member of the Communist Party of China.

Dr. Kotnis was one of a team of five Indian doctors, one of whom had previously served with the International Brigades in Spain, who were sent to help the Chinese people in their war of resistance against Japan by India’s Congress party, then led by Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose, after China’s Red Army leader Zhu De had written a request to Nehru on the suggestion of Agnes Smedley, the American internationalist who maintained deep ties with the freedom movements in both countries.

The team were seen off from Calcutta (today’s Kolkata) by Congress leaders Bose and Sarojini Naidu, who, at the conclusion of a mass meeting in Jinnah Hall, said: “You are sent to the war-stricken people of China as messengers of goodwill and sympathy.  One or some of you may not return home.” Dr. Kotnis is the one who did not return.

In the spirit of the great Canadian communist, Dr. Norman Bethune, who the team had gone to replace following his death from sepsis incurred while operating behind enemy lines, Dr. Kotnis worked tirelessly, sometimes for 72 hours without sleep. He refused any special treatment, taught himself fluent Chinese, and passed on his knowledge by writing two textbooks on surgery (one uncompleted, he was actually struck by a fatal seizure as he was writing), and becoming a teacher and then the head of the Bethune Medical School.

It was while teaching at the school that he met, fell in love with and married Guo Qinglan, a nurse and nursing teacher. Their son, Yinhua, whose name means India-China was born just four months before Dr. Kotnis’s death.

Participation in the Chinese revolution had a profound effect on Dr. Kotnis. In an April 1, 1942 letter to his fellow team member, Dr. BK Basu, he wrote: “You know very well how backward I was before reaching Yan’an, my brain full of bourgeois ideas, and though full of national sentiments, hazy ideas of revolutionary methods. During over one year’s stay here, living the life of an Eighth Route Army man, ever receiving criticism from comrades, both during meetings and personal talks, I have myself been experiencing a good deal of transformation in my character, ideas etc.”

In July that year, Dr. Kotnis was admitted to membership of the Communist Party of China. When a student graduated from the Bethune School, Kotnis would write them the following words of encouragement: “Study hard for the sake of the liberation of the oppressed mankind” in English, and “Victory in the war of resistance against Japan” in Chinese.

In Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, the Ke Dihua (Kotnis’s Chinese name) Medical Science Secondary Specialized School, was founded in 1992. More than 45,000 medical professionals have graduated from it. Each of the new students and staff must swear in front of a statue of Kotnis that they will work like him.

Continue reading Red Salute to Dr DS Kotnis on the 110th anniversary of his birth

Xi Jinping: Enhance solidarity and cooperation to embrace a better future

From September 14-16, 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan’s historic Silk Road city, and paid state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Attending nearly 30 multilateral and bilateral events in 48 hours, this was the Chinese leader’s first foreign visit since the onset of the global pandemic.

Below, we publish two important articles – the full text of Xi Jinping’s speech to the SCO summit, reproduced from the website of the Xinhua News Agency, and the briefing on the visit, given to accompanying journalists by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at its conclusion, reproduced from the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

In his speech, President Xi identified a number of positives to be drawn on in the SCO’s practice:

  • Political Trust: “We respect each other’s core interests and choice of development path and support each other in achieving peace, stability, development, and rejuvenation.
  • Win-win cooperation.
  • Equality between nations: “We reject the practice of the strong bullying the weak or the big bullying the small.”
  • Openness and inclusiveness.
  • Equity and justice: “We are committed to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter…and oppose the pursuit of one’s own agenda at the expense of other countries’ legitimate rights and interests.”

He went on to outline what the organization needed to do:

  • We need to enhance mutual support: “We should guard against attempts by external forces to instigate ‘color revolution,’ jointly oppose interference in other countries’ internal affairs under any pretext and hold our future firmly in our own hands.”
  • We need to expand security cooperation.
  • We need to deepen practical cooperation. “To deliver a better life for people of all countries in the region is our shared goal.” SCO member states should “expand shares of local currency settlement, better develop the system for cross-border payment and settlement in local currencies, work for the establishment of an SCO development bank, and thus speed up regional economic integration… China stands ready to carry out space cooperation with all other parties and provide satellite data service to support them in agricultural development, connectivity and disaster mitigation and relief.”
  • We need to enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
  • We need to uphold multilateralism.

Xi Jinping noted that: “In recent years, an increasing number of countries have applied to join our SCO family. This fully demonstrates the power of SCO’s vision and the widely shared confidence in its future.” Elaborating in his briefing, Wang Yi said:

“At the summit, the SCO accepted Iran as a member state, supported the starting of the procedure for the accession of Belarus, granted Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar the status of SCO dialogue partners, and reached agreement on admitting Bahrain, the Maldives, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Myanmar as new dialogue partners…It helps consolidate the standing and influence of the SCO as an organization for regional cooperation with the largest population and the largest landmass in the world, and…also fully shows that the SCO is not an isolated and exclusive ‘small circle’, but an open and inclusive ‘big family’.”

Regarding President Xi’s diplomatic work, Wang Yi noted that besides the summit meetings held during his state visits to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Chinese leader held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Belarus, Pakistan, Mongolia, Türkiye and Azerbaijan, as well as a trilateral meeting together with Russia and Mongolia. Together with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Xi issued a joint statement, unanimously deciding to upgrade China-Belarus relations to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership.

Wang Yi observed that international commentary had described the President’s tour as, “a strategic step China has taken to unite with its SCO friends in order to penetrate the attempted encirclement by the United States.”

Ride on the Trend of the Times and Enhance Solidarity and Cooperation to Embrace a Better Future

Statement by Xi Jinping at the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Samarkand, Sept. 16, 2022

Your Excellency President Shavkat Mirziyoyev,

Colleagues,

I am delighted to attend the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). I would like to thank you, President Mirziyoyev, for your warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangements. I salute Uzbekistan for the great job it has done to promote SCO cooperation in various fields during its presidency over the past year.

Samarkand, renowned as the pearl on the Silk Road, witnessed the glory of the ancient Silk Road, a route that greatly boosted the flow of goods, spread of science and technology, interaction of ideas, and integration of diverse cultures on the Eurasian continent. Indeed, the ancient Silk Road has remained a historical source of inspiration for us SCO member states as we pursue peace and development.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: Enhance solidarity and cooperation to embrace a better future

Wang Yi: Making every effort for peace and development and shouldering the responsibility for solidarity and progress

China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Comrade Wang Yi attended the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month.

Besides delivering his address to the assembly on September 24, Wang Yi had a packed programme, which saw him:

  • Hold tens of bilateral meetings with other national leaders, both from countries friendly to China as well as those not so friendly, along with senior UN officials and leaders of international organizations
  • Meet with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
  • Meet jointly with representatives of the National Committee on US-China Relations, US-China Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce
  • Chair the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI), attended by senior leaders from more than 40 countries
  • Address the Informal Leaders’ Roundtable on Climate Action
  • Attend the Security Council Foreign Ministers’ meeting on the Ukraine issue
  • Deliver a major speech on the prospects for China-US relations to the Asia Society
  • Participate in the meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers

Delivering his September 24 speech, Wang began by noting that humanity was facing various challenges, including the continued resurfacing of the Covid-19 pandemic, uncertain global security, and fragile and unsteady global recovery. “The world has entered a new phase of turbulence and transformation…But we are also at a time full of hope. The world continues to move towards multipolarity…Around the world, the people’s call for progress and cooperation is getting louder than ever before.”

Posing the question of how to “ride on the trend of history to build a community with a shared future for mankind”, he explained that “China’s answer is firm and clear”:

  • We must uphold peace and oppose war and turbulence. “Turbulence and war can only open Pandora’s box, and he who instigates a proxy war can easily burn his own hands.”
  • We must pursue development and eliminate poverty, upholding all countries’ legitimate right to development.
  • We must remain open and oppose exclusion – “decoupling and supply chain disruption will hurt both those who practice them and others.”
  • We must stay engaged in cooperation and oppose confrontation. “Our biggest strength will come from solidarity; our best strategy is to stick together through thick and thin; and the brightest prospect is win-win cooperation.”
  • We must strengthen solidarity and oppose division. “Peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom are common values of humanity.”
  • We must uphold equity and oppose bullying.  “International rules should be drawn up by all countries together. No country is above others, and no country should abuse its power to bully other sovereign countries.”

Affirming that China will “pursue the shared interests of the vast majority of countries”, Wang went on to note that:

  • China has been a builder of world peace and is “the only one among the five Nuclear-Weapon States that is committed to no-first-use of nuclear weapons.” (Note: Wang Yi refers here to the five recognised nuclear powers under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The DPRK, India, Pakistan and Israel also possess nuclear weapons.)
  • China has been a contributor to global development. “Contributing about 30 percent of annual global growth, China is the biggest engine driving the global economy. China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction… It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.”
  • China has been a defender of the international order. By this, Wang refers to “the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law”, which, it should be noted, is very different from the so-called ‘rules based international order’, constantly touted by a handful of countries, principally the United States and Great Britain, which is nothing but a flimsy cover for the attempted maintenance of imperial diktat. “As a member of the developing world, China will forever stand together with other developing countries. We are heartened to see the rapid progress achieved by the developing world in recent years, and we will continue to speak up for other developing countries…Developing countries are no longer the ‘silent majority’ in international and multilateral processes. With stronger solidarity among ourselves, we China and other developing countries have spoken out for justice, and we have become a pillar of promoting development cooperation and safeguarding equity and justice.”
  • China has been a provider of public goods. “We have done our best to provide anti-pandemic supplies and shared our practices on combating the virus. China is among the first to promise making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and to support waiving intellectual property rights on the vaccines. China has provided over 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations…In response to climate change, China is committed to pursuing a development path that puts ecological conservation first, one of green and low-carbon growth…China accounts for one-fourth of all the trees planted globally. We have been making unremitting efforts to foster a community of life for man and Nature… This year, we have provided over 15,000 tons of emergency humanitarian food assistance to other developing countries in need.”
  • China has been a mediator of hotspot issues. “While adhering to the principle of non-interference in others’ domestic affairs and respecting the will and needs of the countries concerned, China has endeavoured to help settle hotspot issues in a constructive way…China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis…The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Justice is already late in coming, but it must not be absent… China firmly supports the Cuban people in their just struggle to defend their sovereignty and oppose external interference and blockade.”

Turning to the Taiwan issue, Wang Yi noted that: “Fifty-one years ago, right in this august hall, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority, which decided to restore the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN and to expel the ‘representatives’ of the Taiwan authorities from the place which they had unlawfully occupied. The so-called ‘dual representation’ proposal put forth by the United States and a few other countries to keep Taiwan’s seat in the UN became a piece of waste paper…When entering into diplomatic relations with China, 181 countries all recognized and accepted that there is but one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China, and that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. By firmly upholding the one-China principle, China is not only upholding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also truly safeguarding peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and non-interference in others’ internal affairs, a basic norm of international relations that is of vital importance to the large number of developing countries.”

Coming to the conclusion of his speech, Wang Yi declared: “As China has one-fifth of the global population, its march toward modernization has important, far-reaching significance for the world. The path that China pursues is one of peace and development, not one of plunder and colonialism; it is a path of win-win cooperation, not one of zero-sum game; and it is one of harmony between man and Nature, not one of destructive exploitation of resources.”

We reprint below the full text of Comrade Wang Yi’s speech, which was originally carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. In a subsequent post, we will present some highlights from the minister’s New York meetings with the representatives of a number of friendly, progressive and developing countries.

Mr. President, 
Dear Colleagues,

We are at a time fraught with challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept resurfacing. Global security faces uncertainty. Global economic recovery is fragile and unsteady, and various risks and crises are emerging. The world has entered a new phase of turbulence and transformation. Changes unseen in a century are accelerating. 

Continue reading Wang Yi: Making every effort for peace and development and shouldering the responsibility for solidarity and progress

Xi Jinping: Consistently develop and uphold Socialism with Chinese characteristics

With the Twentieth National Congress of the Communist Party of China scheduled to open on October 16, the party’s leading theoretical journal, Qiushi, has recently published an extract from an extremely important speech made by General Secretary Xi Jinping on January 5, 2018, at a seminar for new central committee members and other leading cadres. 

Echoing the opening of Comrade Mao Zedong’s famous article, ‘Where do correct ideas come from?’, Comrade Xi asserts that, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics did not fall from the sky”, but rather is deeply rooted not simply in the four decades of ‘reform and opening up’, but in the whole history of the Chinese revolution and in the inheritance of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. 

He goes on to explain that the socialist revolution constituted, “the most extensive and profound social transformation in the history of the Chinese nation.” After the establishment of the basic socialist system, the Party has, “made a long-term exploration of how to build socialism in China and has made important achievements as well as experienced serious twists and turns. The main problem here is that building socialism in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society like ours is an unprecedented undertaking, and there is no ready-made model to follow.”

Engels, he points out, noted that “‘the so-called ‘socialist society’ is not something that is set in stone, but should be seen, like any other social system, as a society that changes and reforms frequently.'” Socialism with Chinese characteristics has to be grasped, “in the course of the evolution of socialism in the world,” from Marx and Engels who turned socialism from an ideal into a science, to the October Revolution, which saw scientific socialism develop from theory to practice. Furthermore: “After the end of the Second World War, a number of socialist countries were born, especially our Party led the people to establish New China and the socialist system, which led scientific socialism from practice in one country to development in many countries. At that time, the socialist camp was flourishing, and together with the anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist struggles of Asian, African and Latin American countries, it formed a basically evenly matched pattern with the capitalist world, which is why Comrade Mao Zedong said that ‘the east wind overwhelmed the west wind.'”

However, historical development is full of twists and turns. Events in the late 1980s and early 1990s not only led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the East European socialist countries, they also, “brought a serious impact on the vast number of developing countries that aspired to socialism, and many of them were forced to take the path of copying the Western system.”

Noting that the previous year had seen the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, Comrade Xi explained, “I mentioned this major historical event at the beginning of the second part of the 19th Party Congress report in order to declare the historical impact of the October Revolution on the birth and development of the Chinese Communist Party. As Lenin profoundly pointed out in commemorating the fourth anniversary of the October Revolution, ‘this first victory is not yet final,’ but ‘we have already begun this enterprise. It does not matter when and for what period the proletarians of which country will carry this cause to its conclusion. What is important is that the ice has been broken, the voyage has been opened, the way has been shown.'”

Therefore, Xi notes, “The success of scientific socialism in China is of great significance to Marxism and scientific socialism, and to socialism in the world.” It is conceivable, he continues, that if the leadership of the CPC and China’s socialist system had also collapsed, then the cause of socialism as a whole could have been plunged into darkness. As it is, “Socialism with Chinese characteristics is becoming the banner for the development of scientific socialism in the 21st century and the mainstay for the revitalization of socialism in the world.”

The Chinese leader also addresses the question of the CPC being both a “ruling party” and a “revolutionary party”. He explains that those who assert that the party has transitioned from a revolutionary party to a ruling party are mistaken. They are not two distinct things. “We are communists and revolutionaries and should not lose our revolutionary spirit,” Comrade Xi notes, and continues: “Our Party is a Marxist ruling party, but at the same time it is a Marxist revolutionary party, and we must maintain the same vigor, revolutionary enthusiasm, and desperate spirit as in the past during the revolutionary war and carry out the revolutionary work to the end.”

This document has yet to be officially published in English translation. What follows is a machine translation from the Chinese original, received from the Dongsheng news group. As a result, it may contain some minor inaccuracies and should not be considered definitive. However, we are reprinting it on account of its great importance, rich content and timeliness.

When I met with Chinese and foreign journalists after the First Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, I said that practice has proved that our Party is able to lead the people not only in a great social revolution, but also in a great self-revolution of the whole Party. Let me first make some comments from the perspective of social revolution.

Socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era is the fruit of the great social revolution led by our Party and the continuation of the great social revolution led by our Party, and must be carried out consistently.

Both history and reality tell us that a social revolution often requires a long historical process to achieve ultimate victory. Only by looking back at the road taken, comparing the road of others, looking far ahead of the road, to figure out where we came from, where to go, many issues to see deep, accurate.

Continue reading Xi Jinping: Consistently develop and uphold Socialism with Chinese characteristics

Xi Jinping: Steadfastly following the Chinese path to promote further progress in human rights

We are very pleased to publish below the full text of Comrade Xi Jinping’s important speech on human rights. Comrade Xi delivered this speech to a group study session of the Communist Party of China’s Political Bureau, held on February 25 this year, which took as its theme the Chinese path of advancing human rights.

In his comprehensive exposition, the Chinese communist leader notes how the concept of respect and caring for others is deeply rooted in Chinese history and culture and that during the Western bourgeois revolution, Enlightenment thinkers advanced the concept of “natural rights”. Marx and Engels, he goes on to note, endorsed the historical value of such bourgeois theories, but “firmly refuted the theory’s denial of the social, historical, and class-based nature of human rights. ‘The individual,’ Marx pointed out, ‘is a social being.’… They envisioned that ‘In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.’”

Throughout its century of struggle, therefore, the CPC has always fought for the genuine human rights of the Chinese people. As a result, absolute poverty has been eliminated and a system of whole-process people’s democracy gradually developed, along with the world’s largest education, social security and health care systems. Human rights, Xi observes, “are not special privileges bestowed on some people or a small minority but universal rights to be enjoyed by all the people.” Moreover, “The advancement of human rights is a common undertaking of all humanity. In protecting human rights, all of us can always do better.”

In this context, he calls out the hypocrisy of the major capitalist countries, noting that, “Political polarization, wealth disparities, and racial tensions have all intensified, while racism, populism, and xenophobia have become rife, thus bringing human rights issues to the fore. Yet, these countries still use slogans like ‘universal human rights’ and ‘human rights over sovereignty’ as a pretext for forcing Western conceptions and systems of democracy and human rights on others and for meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. This has only served to cause recurrent military conflict, ongoing unrest, and the displacement of many from their homes in a number of countries.”

The speech was originally published in Chinese in issue 12 (2022) of Qiushi Journal, the CPC’s main theoretical organ. We reproduce it from issue 4 (2022) of Qiushi Journal’s English language edition.

Today, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee is holding its 37th group study session, the focus of which is the Chinese path of advancing human rights. The goals of this session are to review our country’s human rights achievements, both theoretical and practical, in the new era, assess the international struggle in the sphere of human rights, and maintain steadfast commitment to the Chinese path to promote further progress in human rights.

It is the pursuit of all societies to protect the life, value, and dignity of every person and ensure their entitlement to human rights. Chinese culture has always stressed the importance of respecting and caring for others. From Confucius who declared that “benevolence has been the greatest priority of governance since ancient times” to Mencius who said, “Finding talents for the country is what benevolence is all about,” to Xunzi who believed that people were “most valuable” and Mozi who called on us to “love others as we do ourselves regardless of social status or wealth”—each of these great thinkers stressed the intrinsic value of the person. Our forebears also put forward other similar axioms: “Of all things in the world, people are most precious”; “To accomplish great feats, one must put the people first”; “In the matters of governance, the people should come first.” During the Western bourgeois revolution, the thinkers of the Enlightenment put forward the concept of “natural rights,” which holds that all men are created equal and possess inalienable rights, a concept that helped propel forward revolutions in Britain, America, France and other countries.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels endorsed the historical value of the bourgeois theory of human rights, meanwhile they firmly refuted the theory’s denial of the social, historical, and class-based nature of human rights. “The individual,” Marx pointed out, “is a social being.” He also argued that “Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.” Marx and Engels made the point that in a capitalist society “man has ceased to be the slave of men and has become the slave of things.” They envisioned that “In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” 

Continue reading Xi Jinping: Steadfastly following the Chinese path to promote further progress in human rights

My Impression: the CPC in the new era – report

On Wednesday May 25th, the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China organised an online meeting with comrades in Britain around the theme ‘My Impression: the CPC in the new era’.

According to the letter of invitation: “In 2021, the Communist Party of China (CPC) solemnly celebrated its centenary and convened the Sixth Plenary Session of its 19th Central Committee, through which we took stock of the major achievements and historical experience of the Party’s endeavours over the past century… In 2022, the CPC will hold its 20th National Congress, which is a major political event for both the Party and the country. As the changes of the times combine with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the international landscape is evolving at a faster pace, and the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation. As far as China itself is concerned, we are committed to upholding the CPC leadership, putting people first and sticking to the new path to modernisation of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In this process we look forward to strengthening communications and dialogues… and to understanding your take on China’s development as well as your expectations on China and the CPC in the new era and the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress.”

A delegation from Friends of Socialist China participated in the meeting, where the keynote address was given by Comrade Guo Yezhou, Vice-Minister of the CPC International Department.

Co-Editors of Friends of Socialist China, Keith Bennett and Carlos Martinez both delivered speeches, which we publish below.

Speeches were also made by Comrades Robert Griffiths, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Ella Rule, Chair of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGBML), Andy Brooks, General Secretary of the New Communist Party of Britain (NCPB), and Jacob Maseyk of the Young Communist League (YCL) of Britain.

The CPC International Department carried the following report on its website: International Department Central Committee of CPC (idcpc.org.cn)

Also embedded below is a short video produced by the International Department featuring clips from different ‘My Impression: the CPC in the new era’ meetings held with comrades in various countries. The video includes clips of the speeches made by Friends of Socialist China co-editors Keith Bennett and Carlos Martinez, as well as advisory group member (and Communist Party of Britain General Secretary) Robert Griffiths.

Speech by Keith Bennett

Dear Comrades

First, on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, I would like to thank the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China for their kind invitation and express our full support for this meeting. We are very pleased to join with all the other comrades participating here.

In the time available to me, I am choosing to focus on one of your suggested themes, namely important and most memorable moments of your interactions with the CPC and China. We are talking about several decades so I can only touch on a few aspects.

I suppose that my first contact with China was at the age of about 12 or 13, when I rang on the bell of the Chinese Embassy in London and asked to be given a copy of the Red Book and a badge with Chairman Mao’s portrait – which they were pleased to do.

Probably my first formal interaction with the CPC was around the 11th National Congress of the Party in August 1977. I proposed to the National Committee of the organisation I was a member of at that time that we send greetings to the congress, which I then drafted. Considering that I had celebrated my 19th birthday just days before, and considering that then, as now, I considered the CPC to be the most important party of the world communist movement, I was so thrilled when I saw the message printed in full in the Daily Bulletin of the Xinhua News Agency.

Since that time, although generally not sent in my own name, I have drafted messages of greetings to most, if not all, of the subsequent congresses. For the last, 19th Congress, I wrote my draft in the port of Gwadar, where I was able to see for myself how the China Pakistan Economic Corridor has the potential to transform not just Pakistan but the wider region as a flagship of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.

From the 11th Congress to the eve of the 20th is a long road. So much has changed in China, Britain and the world. But one thing that has remained constant is my friendship with the Communist Party of China and my support for socialist China. That is why I believe it is fair and accurate to describe ours as an all-weather friendship and as a relationship of good friends, good comrades and good brothers and sisters, united by the same ideals and beliefs and committed to the same cause, although the concrete circumstances of our struggles differ radically.

My first visit to China was made in April and May 1981, with the last week being as a guest of your department. In those days, from the centre of Beijing one had to drive through quite a bit of countryside to reach your guest house. I had travelled quite extensively in China before reaching Beijing, including seeing the early days of the household responsibility system in Anhui province. To reach Beijing we made a long train journey from Nanjing. The days when China would be covered by the world’s biggest network of high-speed rail seemed far off. I was still only 22 and this was my first time in Asia, so my memories of that visit are abiding ones. It was a time of taking pride in China’s immense achievements since Liberation, but also of summing up mistakes, rectifying errors, learning everything that was useful and charting a new course. One could sense the people’s aspirations for a better life and felt that China was on the cusp of great change. But still one could not have imagined how far and how fast China would develop in the ensuing decades.

The most abiding impression I took away with me, from which I have never wavered, is that whatever the obstacles they might face, and whatever the twists and turns, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, will succeed in their goal of building a strong, modernised and prosperous socialist country and in making a greater contribution to humanity.

Another very memorable aspect of that visit is that it was a time for reassessment, not only with regard to China’s socialist development, but also with regard to the international communist movement and the international work of the party more generally. Naturally this was reflected in our discussions and I still recall the following words of one of your comrades:

“We deeply feel that the question of how to make a revolution in the countries of Western Europe remains an unanswered one.”

I am sure that he was trying to give me a message in a very polite, diplomatic and comradely fashion. I hope that it has been well received.

As part of this reassessment, the CPC was starting to move away from the policy it had hitherto followed for some years of overwhelmingly confining its relations to what were then termed the “genuine Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations”. One of the first developments was the resumption of relations with mass communist parties in Europe that displayed a degree of independence. Indeed, shortly before my own visit, Comrade Enrico Berlinguer had led the delegation of the Italian Communist Party, then well over a million strong and a very major participant in national political life. This was followed by the resumption or establishment of relations and exchanges with communist parties of various kinds, revolutionary democratic, national democratic and national liberation parties and movements throughout the Global South, socialist and social democratic parties, and then significant political parties without regard to ideology or differences in view. The culmination of this process has seen the CPC come to play an indispensable part in China’s overall diplomacy and external work and in global political affairs generally, as well as in steadily strengthening the unity, cohesion  and effectiveness of the world communist movement, of which today’s meeting is but one example. I am so proud to have accompanied you on that journey, enjoying and benefiting from our friendship at every step.

In November 1989, speaking with Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, Comrade Deng Xiaoping said: “So long as socialism does not collapse in China, it will always hold its ground in the world.”

Today, under the bold and wise leadership of Comrade Xi Jinping, socialist China is steadily marching towards the centre of the world stage.  As Comrade Xi  said at the 19th Party Congress, the new era will be one “that sees China moving closer to centre stage and making greater contributions to humanity.” Socialism with Chinese characteristics, he further pointed out, “offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing humanity.”

It is in this spirit and against this background that a small group of us formed Friends of Socialist China a year ago this month. We did so for two distinct reasons that together form an integrated whole: To support and defend the People’s Republic, especially in the context of the new Cold War being waged by the USA, Britain and other imperialist countries against China and other socialist and independent countries; and also to promote understanding of Chinese socialism, because, in the words of our founding statement:

“The global advance to socialism is indispensable if humanity is to survive and to flourish; humanity needs socialism in order to prevent climate breakdown, end poverty, establish global peace and work towards dismantling structural discrimination and oppression.”

We applaud Comrade Xi Jinping’s resolute opposition to historical nihilism with our statement that: “We believe that the record of the socialist countries is overwhelmingly positive; that socialism has been able to – or has the potential to – solve many of humanity’s most burning issues; that the most impressive advances in people’s living conditions have occurred under socialist systems; that socialist states and movements played the decisive role in the defeat of European fascism and Japanese militarism; that the socialist world was pivotal to the dismantling of colonialism; that the socialist states have made historic strides in tackling discrimination based on race, ethnicity and gender.”

The gains made by working people in the capitalist countries, for example our National Health Service, have always been inseparable from the strength, example and inspiration of the socialist countries. Equally, it is no coincidence that the setbacks encountered by global socialism, particularly around 1989-91, fuelled neoliberalism and savage attacks on working people everywhere that the socialist system did not exist. China’s historic elimination of extreme poverty, its advance to the front ranks of the world economy, its building of an ecological civilisation, its transition to a high income country, and the building of a China that is, in Comrade Xi’s words, “a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful” is decisive not only for the destiny of the Chinese people but also for that of global socialism and therefore humanity.

We need to study, disseminate and apply Xi Jinping Thought as 21st century Marxism and continue the long march with our Chinese comrades towards a bright socialist future for the whole of humanity.

Thank you once again for your initiative in organising this meeting and for inviting us. We wish every success to the 20th National Congress of the great Communist Party of China!


Speech by Carlos Martinez

China’s progress over the last decade has been truly inspirational.

At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the Two Centenary goals: to achieve a “moderately well-off” society by 2021, and a “great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful” by 2049.

In pursuit of the first centenary goal, millions of cadres were mobilised in a targeted poverty alleviation campaign, with the goal of eliminating extreme poverty. At the start of that campaign, eight years ago, just under 100 million people were identified as living below the poverty line. By late 2020, the number was zero.

And it’s important to note that rising out of poverty in China means more than just surpassing an income threshold. It also means having assured access to adequate food and clothing, along with guaranteed access to medical services, safe housing with drinking water and electricity, and nine years of free education.

Meanwhile, the land ownership system in China means that the rural poor have rent-free access to land and housing – putting them in an entirely different category to the rural poor elsewhere in the world.

As Xi Jinping has observed, “thanks to the sustained efforts of the Chinese people from generation to generation, those who once lived in poverty no longer have to worry about food or clothing or access to education, housing and medical insurance.”

To eradicate extreme poverty in a developing country of 1.4 billion people, which at the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was one of the poorest countries in the world – characterised by widespread malnutrition, illiteracy, foreign domination and technological backwardness – is a truly extraordinary achievement, and it’s an achievement of socialism. It is possible because of the leading position of the working class and peasantry.

As Deng Xiaoping put it in 1987, “only the socialist system can eradicate poverty.”

Poverty alleviation is part of the DNA of the Communist Party of China. It’s a thread that runs throughout the history of the Chinese Revolution, starting with the land reform measures in the liberated areas before 1949, and continuing with the dismantling of the feudal system after the founding of the People’s Republic, then Reform and Opening Up, and now the targeted poverty alleviation program.

Meanwhile in the West, where the bourgeoisie is the ruling class – and where neoliberal economic theory has dominated for several decades – the last ten years have witnessed an alarming rise in poverty and inequality.

In 2019, I visited two important cities for the first time: Beijing and New York. New York is unquestionably a wonderful city in many respects, but the levels of deprivation and inequality, the widespread homelessness, along with the crumbling infrastructure and simmering social tensions, are quite stark – certainly when compared with Beijing, which stands out as a very modern, harmonious, well-organised city, in which the problems of homelessness and extreme poverty have been solved.

Another key area in which China has made outstanding progress in the last decade is in the fight against climate breakdown and in promoting biodiversity, clean air and clean water.

In 2017, Xi Jinping introduced the concept of ‘ecological civilisation’, putting environmental sustainability at the heart of Chinese policy-making. And in 2021, China committed to reaching peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, and has already developed systematic programs for reaching these goals.

China is already by far the world leader in renewable energy, with a total capacity greater than the US, the EU, Japan and Britain combined. China’s forest coverage has doubled in the last four decades. Meanwhile it also leads the world in the production and use of electric cars, trains and buses.

China has led the way in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Its dynamic Zero Covid strategy has saved millions of lives in China. Furthermore China has provided extensive assistance to countries around the world, particularly in the Global South, supplying enormous quantities of medical supplies, as well as more than 2 billion vaccine doses.

The Belt and Road Initiative, first advanced in 2013, has transformed the global investment landscape for infrastructure and connectivity, particularly in the developing world. Over 140 of the world’s 195 countries have formally affiliated to the Belt and Road, assisting them in addressing their substantial needs in terms of physical infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, and energy production and transmission.

Meanwhile China is playing a crucial role in international organisations, promoting peace, dialogue, multilateralism and multipolarity.

American politicians sometimes refer to the US as “the indispensable nation”. But if we look at what country is contributing the most to poverty alleviation, to global development, to the construction of a more peaceful world, to the fight against the pandemic, to the fight against climate breakdown; and if we contrast that with the US’s record of non-stop war, unilateral sanctions, destabilisation and bullying; we would have to conclude that China is much closer to meeting the definition of “indispensable” than the US is.

Looking to the future, with the first centenary goal now achieved, the second goal is coming into sharp focus. Building a great modern socialist country in all respects implies taking on relative poverty, improving per capita GDP, reducing inequality between regions and groups, and developing in an ecologically sustainable manner.

Common prosperity will be a key theme: reducing inequality, increasing the size of the middle income population, and improving the lives of the least affluent.

The CPC and the government it leads are not in the habit of making empty promises, and significant progress has already been made on tackling the disorderly expansion of private capital, housing speculation, extreme income inequality, and excessive power of tech companies and private education providers.

In the coming years and decades, Chinese people will increasingly come to enjoy a standard of living and quality of life comparable to, or indeed ahead of, working people in the advanced capitalist countries. And unlike in the advanced capitalist countries, this shared wealth won’t have its origins in historic colonialism and ongoing hegemonism, but in the hard work of the people and the sustained wise leadership of the CPC.

China’s successes since the founding of the PRC, and the successes it will surely achieve on the path to becoming a great modern socialist country in all respects, should serve to inspire working people around the world as to what can be achieved under socialism.

And for this reason, the Western ruling classes are working round the clock to ensure that ordinary people know nothing about China’s progress. The mass media barely mentions China’s successes in poverty alleviation. Rather than commending China for its handling of the pandemic, newspaper headlines talk about how “oppressive” and “authoritarian” the dynamic Zero Covid strategy is. Politicians and journalists accept that millions of lives have been saved as a result of China’s Covid suppression efforts, but they never fail to ask: “but at what cost?” As if human life had a quantifiable cost, and as if millions of deaths might have been “worth it” for the sake of smoother-running supply chains and corporate profits.

In order to pull the wool over people’s eyes, the West is waging a systematic propaganda war against China. Consuming mainstream media in Britain or the US, what you hear about China is that a “cultural genocide” is happening in Xinjiang; that pro-democracy students are being attacked by the Hong Kong police; that China is trapping African, Asian, Latin American, Caribbean and South Pacific countries in “debt traps”.

This web of lies is serving to keep people ignorant about the reality of Chinese socialism, and therefore it is extremely important to debunk these fabrications.

The slander that there is a “genocide” or “cultural genocide” against Uyghur Muslims, or that there are “concentration camps” in Xinjiang, has been repeated a thousand times. And yet, anyone visiting Xinjiang can see the total falsehood – indeed the utter absurdity – of this slander.

I personally went to Ürümqi in January 2020, with a group of friends. We walked around freely and certainly didn’t see any evidence of religious persecution or ethnic oppression. In fact we saw hundreds of Uyghur Muslims, wearing Uyghur clothing, going about their normal lives and practising their culture, religion and traditions.

We ate in Uyghur restaurants, where the food was halal and where alcohol wasn’t available. We heard the Uyghur language being spoken everywhere. All road signs have both Uyghur and Chinese writing. You see Uyghur language newspapers and magazines everywhere.

It’s notable how many mosques there are. Indeed Xinjiang has one of the highest concentrations of mosques in the world. And this is what the Western media calls a “cultural genocide”!

One of the reasons we formed Friends of Socialist China, just over a year ago, was to systematically oppose this propaganda war – a propaganda war that serves the interests of the imperialist ruling classes, and that runs directly counter to the interests of the working classes and oppressed communities.

As Marxists, as communists, as people working to popularise and promote socialism, we consider it crucial to spread an understanding of the remarkable successes of socialist China.

We deeply value our relationship with the CPC International Department, and we look forward to expanding our work together with you and with the other organisations represented here today.