Middle East – ‘Revolutionary tide sees new friends for China’

21st February 2011 Socialist Action 0

One of the important international economic developments in recent years has been the increasing trade and cooperation of China with Latin America and with Africa – two of the continents most oppressed by imperialism. This has given an important extra room for manoeuvre for these countries in providing an economic alternative to simply trade with the US and other countries. The economic ties of China with Brazil and South Africa, for example, are strongly growing in importance. The following article, which originally appeared in China’s Global Times, makes an assessment of the recent revolutions in the Middle East from this angle. It is also interesting in characterising clearly the hypocrisy of the US and European powers in propping up Arab dictators to the very last minute.

Photo: Global Times

Interview on ‘the China path’ and ‘superiorities of the socialist system’

21st February 2011 Socialist Action 0

China’s media carries a wide range of different views. A significant part of this is pro-capitalist. It is therefore of interest that Global Times, one of China’s main English language papers, has just carried an interview stating the ‘superiorities of the socialist system’, seeing the international financial crisis as ‘an unprecedented crisis of capitalism’, and concluding that ‘the China path… is not only a brand new one that has never been seen before but also a path that is becoming more and more successful.’ The interview was with Hu Angang, Director of the Center for China Studies of Tsinghua University, Beijing. Extracts from the interview are below and the full interview may be read in Global Times here.

photo: 3arabawy

Egypt demonstrates how US ‘economic stabilisation’ produces world political destabilisation

29th January 2011 Socialist Action 0

By Andrew Brown

The uprising of the people of Egypt, following the revolution in Tunisia, is one of those truly inspiring political events. For several decades US administrations believed they could trample on the Arab peoples with impunity. Buttressed by its client state in Israel, US imperialism believed that while peoples in other parts of the world might revolt, a series of quisling regimes, such as the Saudi and Egyptian dictatorships, together with the increasingly compliant Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, would be sufficient to prevent this happening in the Arab world.

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Cuba moves closer to China’s economic model

20th September 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Brian George

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Photo hoyasmeg/James Emery

There has been extensive coverage of the news that Cuba is to reduce state sector employment by half a million and transfer these workers to the non-state, including the private, sectors. Some of this comment, for example in the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, interprets this as a move towards capitalism and free markets. More accurate and sophisticated analysis has been given by Latin American specialists. (Also see previous articles on this website here and here.)

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China and the death penalty

24th May 2006 Socialist Action 0

First published: 24 May 2006

An earlier article (‘The US Gulag’ – 22 May) pointed out that in terms of the relative size of their populations the US has six times as many people in prison as China, and that it is clear from the statistics of ethnic composition of those imprisoned that this greater rate of imprisonment in the US specifically hits racial minorities. In short the US has not only an extremely large scale but also a racist gulag. Knowledge of such data is obviously extremely relevant to judging the lack of credibility to be given to US government protestations concerning its supposed commitment to human rights, as opposed to economic and military self-interest, in criticising China.

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10 years after 1989

1st December 1999 Socialist Action 0

First published: December 1999

Ten years after 1989, the consequences of the re-introduction of capitalism into Eastern Europe are clear and acknowledged even by some of the international agencies which sponsored the process.

The World Bank reports in its 1999 World Development Indicators: ‘In 1989 about 14 million people in the transition economies were living under a poverty line of $4 a day. By the mid-1990s that number was about 147 million, one person in three. The distribution of income in the communist period was relatively egalitarian, primarily because of a relatively flat wage distribution, but also because of the virtual absence of income from property and the redistribution of income through social transfers… Today, some eight years later, income distribution has worsened sharply, particularly in the former Soviet Union… the stress is showing in the declining or stagnating life expectancy and sharply worsening adult mortality. Today, for example, the probability that a 15-year-old Ukrainian male will survive until his sixtieth birthday is a mere 65 per cent, down from 72 per cent in 1980. The Europe and Central Asia region is the only part of the developing world with rising adult mortality rates. Even Sub-Saharan Africa, with its AIDS epidemic, is seeing a reduction in adult mortality.’