The rising China has drawn lots of attentions from all kinds of people across the political spectrum. Especially for these people who are still holding the banner of Marxism and revolution, the question of the social nature of China is of great importance. Among comrades from different revolutionary parties, there are quite different views about China.
Some of them claim that China has become a capitalist country and the ruling party has become a capitalist party. Of course, China is not a typical capitalist country compared to US, but capitalism with Chinese characteristic is still capitalism.
Some comrades have even gone much further. They have noticed the explosively growing economic activities of China abroad. China has invested a lot in other third world countries which have rich raw materials. This is not only done by government, the private company also join this “going abroad” crusade. So, these comrades conclude that, China has become not just a capitalist country, but also an imperialist country. And by the logic of imperialism, wars between old powers and new powers will be inevitable.
Despite that many people have recognized that China has become a capitalist country, there are still some people who have faith in China, because the ruling party is still called herself communist, and the name of the county is still “peoples’ republic”. In their view, the opening and reform which was initiated in end of 1970s is definitely towards capitalism, but there have always been resistances from the working people and the good members in the party, whose struggles have prevented the color revolution from happening. Thus, the public sector in China is still much larger than its counterparts in the western countries, and the non-capitalist party is more capable of developing the economy than almost all the ruling parties in the world. So these comrades object the notion of capitalist China. They regard China as something between socialism and capitalism, something transitional. And the transition might be reversed by the people and the healthy part of the party.
Not just the comrades outside of China have different views about China, but also the comrades inside. In the past 20 years, the view of Chinese revolutionary leftists about China’s social nature has changed greatly. And we have realized that how devastating it could be when the leftist can not develop a correct understanding of the nature of the society economically and politically. In the beginning, they thought China would become the colony of western powers. So they decided to fight against the decision of joining WTO and try to persuade the leaders to “turn left”. Several years later, the economic crisis broke out. After that, a rising China and declining US made many leftist change their position closer to the nationalists. The so-called China model has been enthusiastically advocated by the leftist. In their view, the reason why China can cope the crisis so well and develop so fast is because of the socialist elements in China, which means that China is not a capitalist county, but a socialist country or at least a successful mixture of the two.
It is the Marxist analysis of the society that lays the foundation of the political line. Without a proper understanding of the contemporary Chinese society, the communist movement in China cannot grow and advance. In this special occasion, I want to share some of our thoughts about it with you.