Socialist and anti-imperialist states have always been subjected to slanders and accusations by the imperialist press and academia. The endless clamour about ‘human rights abuses’ is a tired old technique for deceiving people. As Malcolm X once said: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
Here we present five important facts about New China.
Life in China is better since the revolution
The Chinese Revolution (1949) and the birth of New China marked the end of feudal backwardness and over a hundred years of brutal semi-colonial domination and humiliation.
• Life expectancy used to be 35 years. Now it’s over 73.
• The literacy rate in China before the revolution was under 20%. Now it is over 91%, and for young people (aged 15 to 24) it is 99%. Every child in China receives nine years’ free education, and 21 % of Chinese youth go to university.
• In feudal China, women suffered intolerable cruelty and oppression – illiterate, with bound feet, and condemned to domestic slavery. The revolution is bringing about equality for women. Barbaric and oppressive practices are not tolerated, and women account for 46% of workers and 47% of school pupils.
• Infant deaths have dropped from 300 to 23 per 1,000.
• Unemployment has dropped from over 25% to 4% (significantly lower than in Britain, and with a developing social security system which seeks to ensure that the unemployed are properly supported).
China is wiping out poverty
• The UN says that China’s poverty alleviation strategy over the last two decades is “the most rapid decline in absolute poverty ever witnessed”.
• Since 1980, China has accounted for 75 percent of poverty reduction in the developing world. In that time, over 400 million (especially rural) Chinese have been lifted out of poverty. During the same time period in Britain, poverty levels have been rising steadily.
China supports developing countries
The People’s Republic of China leads the world in standing up to imperialist bullying. It has always been a crucial support for third-world countries trying to develop. Unlike the imperialist countries, it does not impose unfair trade terms, monopolise markets, create debt traps or force production of cash crops. It is smashing the pernicious clutch of western imperialism over Africa and Latin America.
• China provides a guaranteed market for such diverse commodities as Chilean copper, Argentinean wheat, Brazilian soy, Bolivian natural gas and Venezuelan oil. It is not perpetrating fraud or using bribery to foist disadvantageous contracts on any country.
• China has had aid projects all over Africa for decades.
• China actively supported the national-liberation movements against imperialism, colonialism and apartheid.
• China offers cheap and unconditional loans, as well as undertaking infrastructure projects at bargain prices.
China is focussed on ecologically sustainable development
Much is made of the fact that China has overtaken the US as the world’s leading carbon emitter, but people forget that China’s population is four times the US’s and many of China’s emissions result from foreign enterprises producing goods for export. Moreover, China’s industrial expansion is essentially geared to meeting its people’s needs, not to imperialist parasitism and waste. Nonetheless, China is committed to sustainable development and is becoming a world leader in environmental protection.
• The Climate Group says that China is the world’s leading renewable energy producer, with tremendous investments in solar, wind and biomass technologies.
• China’s wind energy capacity has doubled every year for three years and will be the world’s biggest by 2010.
• China is a world leader in solar technology.
China is a socialist country
• China has introduced certain elements of capitalist economy in order to foment quick growth; however, this is seen as a way of strengthening the material base for further developing socialism (similar to Lenin’s New Economic Policy).
• The Chinese state represents the working class in alliance with the peasantry. The Chinese working class is the ruling class of the country. The Communist Party of China’s policy remains to “rely wholeheartedly on the working class”.
• The labour unions and other mass organisations in China are tremendously powerful. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions is the largest trade union in the world, with 134 million members in 1.7m trade-union branches.
• The mobilisation in response to the Sichuan earthquake amply demonstrates the superiority of socialism. Huge numbers of aid workers, soldiers, officials and volunteers are still working tirelessly to provide food, clean water, accommodation, medicine and health care for the survivors; more than 140,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army were deployed; and there was an outpouring of support from every part of the country. All this stands in stark contrast to the US state’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
• “We must uphold the viewpoint of historical materialism that it is the people who make history, remain committed to serving the people wholeheartedly and adhere to the mass line.” - President Hu Jintao