Delegation report: On the path of China’s modernisation

We are pleased to republish below a detailed report by Rob Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, of a recent delegation to China organised by the CPC’s International Department. Rob was the leader of the delegation, which included three delegates from Friends of Socialist China.

Originally published in four parts in the Morning Star, the report is republished here in full. It adds some valuable detail to our report, elaborating in particular on the themes of common prosperity and China’s path to socialist modernisation.

Rob mentions the delegation’s field trips to KingMed Diagnostics and Guangzhou Automobile Company (GAC) in Guangzhou, and reflects on what the delegates learned in relation to people-centred development and the relationship between the private and state sectors of the economy. He notes that KingMed, although a private company, works symbiotically with the state; this was evident in the struggle against Covid-19, with KingMed establishing 670 testing facilities in remote countryside areas. GAC is focusing increasingly on the design and production of electric cars, in line with the country’s overall orientation towards sustainable development. “Its operations in China illustrate how industry is pursuing the course of socialist modernisation set by President Xi Jinping and the CPC, based on consumer-driven, high-quality and eco-friendly development.”

Rob also recalls the delegation’s visit to the National Big Data Exchange and Experience Centre in Guiyang, Guizhou – “just one of several ultra-modern, hi-tech projects that demonstrate the CPC’s commitment to balanced development across China.” Guizhou has long been one of the poorest provinces of China, but it is experiencing rapid advances since being selected to take the lead on big data and artificial intelligence. Rob writes that the centre “indicates how cutting-edge technology can be used to improve traffic flows, protect the environment, enhance the distribution of medicines and even make tax collection more efficient.”

Writing about the delegation’s exchange with the All-China Federation of Trades Unions (ACFTU), Rob describes the role played by the ACFTU in organising 300 million workers across various sectors: “its roles include collective bargaining, workers’ rights protection, lobbying, and offering financial and skill-training support to members.” He mentions that the union has successfully lobbied for a number of important policy changes, including improving rights of migrant workers and supporting those workers negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The author recalls that, at the CPC Central Committee Party School in Beijing, he asked Professor Guo Qiang a question about the absence of women in the top leadership of the CPC – “only 10 of 205 central committee members elected at the 20th party congress last October are women, although they comprise almost one-third of the CPC membership.” Professor Guo responded that this deficit is a topic of discussion inside the party. “Many in the CPC leadership are over 60 and attended university 40 years ago when there were very few female students — itself the result of bad and reactionary elements in traditional Chinese culture, he explained. Huge changes are under way in education, with women filling more than half of all university and college places.”

The delegation was hugely valuable and memorable, and served to significantly deepen delegates’ understanding of the progress of Chinese socialism in the 21st century.

On the path of China’s modernisation

Morning Star, 5 August 2023

FROM June 24 until July 4, the international department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) hosted a delegation representing 11 communist parties and a friendship society from Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the US, Canada and Australia.

I had the honour of leading the delegation at the invitation of the CPC as we visited the provinces of Guangdong and Guizhou as well as the capital city, Beijing.

Our hosts’ intention was to explain China’s path of “socialist modernisation” and demonstrate the achievements of their country’s system of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Guangdong borders Hong Kong and is China’s most populous province with more than 127 million inhabitants.

Situated at the delta of the Pearl River, the provincial capital Guangzhou was the starting point of the famous maritime “Silk Road.”

Its working class and intelligentsia played a major part in the national democratic revolution of 1911, led by Sun Yat Sen, who remains a revered figure for the Chinese people and the CPC.

Today, this city of 16 million people is a major international port and trading centre, having pioneered China’s “reform and opening up” strategy initiated by former CPC leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978.

Continue reading Delegation report: On the path of China’s modernisation

Trade unions in the ‘new economy’

In his report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, held in October, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that China would do more to protect the rights and interests of those in flexible and new forms of employment. The following short article, which we reprint from Global Times, illustrates one way in which this is happening. It reports that all of China’s top 100 internet companies have formed trade unions and explains:

“In response to the diverse needs of the employees of internet enterprises, labor unions at all levels should actively implement targeted services, such as building special rooms for nursing mothers, providing childcare services, arranging matchmaking and dating events, sponsoring psychological lectures, and offering healing activities to take care of employees’ social lives and physical and mental wellbeing.”

It notes that with the rapid development of the platform economy, the number of workers engaged in new forms of employment, such as online-hailing cab drivers and internet marketing, has greatly increased.

All of the top 100 Chinese internet companies, including Meituan, and NetEase, have formed labor unions, a move aimed at protecting the legitimate rights and interests of internet industry workers and promoting the high-quality development of the industry, according to the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU).

The ACFTU has demanded that internet companies build the labor unions into the “homes of employees” that focus on protecting the most direct and realistic interests of the employees of internet enterprises.

The ACFTU urged the labor unions to take the initiative to participate in dispute mediation and settlement involving overtime payments and other labor issues, and guide and urge internet enterprises to further standardize employment management.

Continue reading Trade unions in the ‘new economy’

RMT passes resolution opposing war and wasteful military spending

Recently, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), and its General Secretary Mick Lynch, have captured the imagination and support of a huge number of people in Britain with their ongoing industrial action for a pay rise in line with the surging rate of inflation, for no compulsory redundancies, and against changes to working conditions, that would not only be to the detriment of the rail workers, but also not simply inconvenience but endanger the safety of members of the public, particularly from among the most vulnerable members of society. The RMT has a fine record as a class struggle trade union, which has not hesitated not only to take militant action in defence of its members, but also to take progressive stands on major issues of domestic and international politics. It has, for example, long been a strong and active supporter of socialist Cuba.

In this context, it is extremely significant that, at its Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Birmingham in July, the RMT voted to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition and passed a resolution entitled Peace is Union Business. The resolution draws attention to the bellicose stands taken by NATO at its Madrid Summit in late June and notes its increased attention to the Global South, US President Biden’s further military build up in Europe, and British Prime Minister Johnson’s announcement of increased military spending at a time when wages are being held below the rate of inflation and energy prices are soaring.

The resolution then notes that these moves follow last September’s conclusion of the AUKUS pact between the governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, noting how the sister Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) had drawn attention to the way AUKUS will impact on the dumping of nuclear waste on First Nations land, increase the likelihood of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war.

The resolution then states very clearly: “Workers have no interest in war with China, Russia, or any other country. Every effort should be made to pursue peaceful relations between countries through negotiations and disarmament.”

The stand taken by the RMT is in the best traditions of the British working class movement, from the East London dockers, who in 1920 refused to load munitions onto the ‘Jolly George’ as they were to be used against the fledgling Soviet workers state, to the Rolls Royce workers in Scotland, who in 1974 refused to load air force jet engines that were to be sent back to the murderous Pinochet regime in Chile following repair, a struggle depicted in the 2018 documentary ‘Nae Pasaran’.

The text of the RMT Resolution, which we reproduce below, was originally carried on the website of the Stop the War Coalition.


“That this AGM notes with grave concern the NATO summit meeting in Madrid (28-30 June 2022) confirmed an escalation of military spending, troop build-ups and further expansion of this nuclear-armed bloc with a seemingly endless supply of money poured into weapons development and procurement including:

• expanding the numbers of NATO troops from 40,000 to well over 300,000;

• expanding NATO’s role at the request of the Spanish government to include the global south, including control over migration from sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel region (north Africa) following the tragic deaths last week of 23 African migrants entering Melilla, Spain’s colonial enclave in north Africa;

• US President Biden’s announcement that the US would establish a permanent
military base in Poland, a brigade in Romania, air missile systems in Italy and Germany and two additional F-35 squadrons based in the UK;

• British PM, Johnson’s announcement on 30 June 2022, that UK defence spending will increase from 2.3% of GDP in 2022 to 2.5% of GDP in 2030 when wages are being held below inflation with taxes and energy prices rocketing contributing to a cost-of- living crisis.

These latest announcements of military escalation follow the announcement in September 2021 by the governments of Australia, the UK and US of the so-called AUKUS pact, which provides nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as part of a military alliance with the US and UK.

RMT’s sister union, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has warned these submarines use highly enriched uranium ideal for nuclear weapons. The Australian government has repeatedly tried to set up nuclear waste dumps on First Nations land. This will intensify that pressure. The AUKUS pact also contributes significantly to the likelihood of nuclear proliferation and the threat of nuclear war.

Workers have no interest in war with China, Russia, or any other country. Every effort should be made to pursue peaceful relations between countries through negotiations and disarmament.

RMT stands in solidarity with trade unionists and workers in all countries opposing war and wasteful, environmentally harmful, military spending. We pledge our opposition to development of nuclear submarines in Australia, to NATO expansion and to Boris Johnson’s disastrous pledge to further increase military spending by the UK government instead of addressing growing poverty, homelessness and hunger in Britain.”