Trade war with China: An opportunity for dividing workers

According to the bourgeoisie, China has become the new workshop of the world. The media are full of images of ‘Made in China’ shirts, trousers, shoes and other clothes arriving in Britain, Europe, or the USA. For the western bourgeoisies, it’s obviously necessary to put limits on this flood of Chinese textiles...

The condition of the working class: England 1844, China 2005

According to Engels, the coal miner endured an unenviable excess of evils. “In the whole British Empire there is no occupation in which a man may meet his end in so many diverse ways as in this one. The coal-mine is the scene of a multitude of the most terrifying calamities, and these come directly from the selfishness of the bourgeoisie.” (The Condition of the Working Class in England, ‘The Mining Proletariat’).

Squabble with China: the continuity of US policy in Asia

The 11-day stand-off between American and Chinese imperialism in April was the first international crisis weathered by the new Bush administration, and it gave a glimpse of what lies ahead for American imperialism. The crisis with China should not be seen as a surprise or anomaly. Just as the election of George Bush has set off alarms bells in European capitals (see Internationalism 116), so too the tensions with the Chinese bourgeoisie have been exacerbated, as both the Chinese and American regimes are feeling each other out now that a new foreign policy team is in place in the US. For the Chinese, the central foreign policy concerns at this juncture include continuation of the strategic partnership in Asia between the US and China brokered during the Clinton years, attempts to influence the US not to sell sophisticated weaponry to Taiwan, continued integration of China into the World Trade Organization, and maintenance of most favored nation trade status with the US. Once the accidental collision of the American spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter, it was inevitable that the Chinese would seek to test the mettle of the new Bush administration foreign policy team.

China: economic miracle or capitalist mirage?

For years the developed countries have been piling up huge budget deficits; levels of debt have increased at a constant and almost uncontrollable rate. The welfare state is being dismantled in numerous parts of the world, massive lay-offs are on the agenda, and all the promises of an imminent recovery prove to be without substance. And yet in the midst of this bleak situation we are being bombarded with propaganda about the 'Chinese economic miracle': economic growth in China, 'the triumph of Red Capitalism', is being interpreted as a sign of a new phase of development for the world capitalist system.


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