Notes on People’s Republic of China today
This Book was born as a double issue of the magazine “MarxVentuno”. It intends to provide – with the help of historians, philosophers, Marxist economists – some elements for documentation and study of the most populous country in the world and its extraordinary – for masses of people involved and for intensity and speed of processes – transformations.
It reconstructs the route taken after the turn of “reform and opening” in 1978; the economic and social policies adopted to tackle the big global financial crisis of 2007-2008, which led to a further powerful development; the choices of international politics, which has to deal with the “antichinese pivot” promoted by the USA. But also the lively political and ideological debate – most of which is ignored in the West, except for a small group of specialists – on the hot issues of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”; the “mixed economy”, with the leading role of public enterprises; the “socialist state of law”; the battle against the historical nihilism (which would get rid of the founding fathers of modern China independent and in transition to socialism: Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping) and for the foundation of a new culture and a new civilization, a system of socialist values in dialectical relationship with the rich and ancient Chinese tradition.
Marx has been in China, in the political-cultural debate, in comparison of political positions, in the emergence of long-term strategies.
This book also presents a very important essay by two eminent members of the Academy of Marxist Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Cheng Enfu and Li Wei, published in the journal “Marxist Studies in China”, on the role of Marxism-Leninism in the democratic and anti-imperialist revolution, and for socialist transition of the new China. And an essay, that also comes from the Marxist Academy, on major political-ideological agenda.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Marx in China today
Cheng Enfu, Li Wei
Study of Two Selected Works of Marxism-Leninism.Marxism-Leninism is the Scientific Method and the Guide to Recognize and Transform the World
Diego Angelo Bertozzi
China’s reforms: a historical-ideological path
Ten thorny ideological issues of 2014
Five points on the Chinese political debate
Notes on International Policy of China
Neo-colonial counterrevolution and «pivot» against China
From reflation wage post-2008 crisis to the world projection of China. 7 years of Chinese economic policy
Know China. Paths of reading
Marx in China today
This “Notebook” was conceived as a double issue of the journal MarxVentuno, and it was prepared also to tie in with the international meeting promoted by Marx XXI (both the journal and the association) together with the Marxist Academy, a department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences(CASS). For the second year in a row, in the framework of this meeting, a numerous delegation of scholars headed by the academy’s chairman Deng Chundong has visited Western Europe’s major centres (Germany, France, Italy) to discuss with their European colleagues on “Socialism with Chinese characteristics”: politics, ideology, economy of the People’s Republic of China seven years after the breakout of the global crisis of capitalism of 2007-2008, which was centred in the USA and later spread to the other areas of the “imperialistic triad” (Japan and the EU). For these past few years China has continued to grow at a surprising pace, officially becoming (in terms of GDP) the second biggest economy in the world and a political power whose extent has reached a global scale.
The “notebook” tries to provide an interpretation, thanks to the common effort of Marxist historians, philosophers and economists, of the distance covered by China since the 1978 “reform and opening” turning point (Diego Angelo Bertozzi tries here to reconstruct its fundamental moments): the anti-deflation policies (the opposite of what has been done by the German-led Eurozone) adopted by Beijing after the explosion of the 2007-2009 crisis (see what Pasquale Cicalese writes about it); the complex choices of China’s foreign policy (Fausto Sorini reconstructs here a long story which is not afraid of dealing with the intricate issue of Beijing’s relations with the USSR). Domenico Losurdo’s text reveals, in a documented and careful way, the ideological deceptions and the practices of the neo-colonial counter-revolution promoted by US-led Western imperialism, which has as its main strategic enemy (the anti-Chinese “pivot”) the country which realized the greatest anti-colonial revolution for national independence in world history and against which it foments secession movements (Tibet, Xinjiang) and “coloured revolutions”, from Tienanmen in 1989 to “Occupy Central” in Hong Kong in 2014.
An important part is devoted here to the lively political and ideological debate (which, except for a tiny number of experts, is almost completely ignored in the West) on the burning issues of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”, of China’s social-economic structure (a “mixed economy” as the economy of socialist transition, with a leading role assigned to public enterprises and social co-operatives), of “socialist rule of law”, which is both formally and substantially different from its conception and practice in Western liberal-democratic states, because it maintains the “people’s democratic dictatorship” – as stated by the fundamental Preamble of the Chinese constitution – and the leading role (which does not mean the managing or administrative role) of the Communist Party. An object of debate are also the fundamental philosophical-ideological questions in the battle of ideas against historical nihilism (which intends to get rid of the inheritance of the founding fathers of modern independent, socialist-oriented China, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping) and for the founding of a new culture and civilization, the system of socialist values in the concrete historical and cultural reality of China, rich of an ancient tradition that Chinese Marxists do not intend to cross out with a stroke of the pen, but wish instead to improve, not in order to look at the past as conservatives do, but in order to build the future. These themes are developed by the Francesco Maringiò’s and Ma Xueke’s contributions (the latter having been recently published in English on the Marxist Academy’s website).
Finally, there is a useful series of non-trivial and not pre-conceived readings of books on the extraordinary transformation China is going through provided by Marco Pondrelli.
Marx in China essentially owes its title to the important essay which opens this special issue of our journal (also in its book format); its title may seem “retrò” or nostalgic”: Study of Two Selected Works of Marxism-Leninism.Marxism-Leninism is the Scientific Method and the Guide to Recognize and Transform the World. Written by two major representatives of the CASS’s Marxist Academy, Cheng Enfu and Li Wei, it tied in with the publication in China of a huge anthology of Marx’s, Engels’s and Lenin’s works in several volumes, and it appeared in the 2011 issue of Marxist Studies in China, an English-language yearly publication that selects and translates essays from the monthly Chinese-language review Marxist Studies (but we could also translate it as Marxist Critique), published by the Marxism Faculty of the CASS and by the Chinese Institute of Marxism, in order to “help foreign scholars and friends to better understand the work of Marxist theoretical research in China” [from the postscriptum of the editor of the 2010 yearly issue]. Marxist Studies in China has among its advisors Wang Weiguang, president of the CASS (Marx Ventuno published in its 1-2 issue of 2014 his introduction to the IV Socialism World Forum, which was held in October 2013 in Beijing), Li Shenming (our journal published in its 1/2015 issue an article of his on how to evaluate correctly the two historical periods before and after the “reform and opening”), Wu Yin and Zhu Jiamu, while its chief editor are Cheng Enfu (to whom I express my gratitude for introducing me to the journal in Beijing) and Hou Huiquin.
Cheng and Li’s essay, which we have translated and presented to Italian readers, is rich in textual references (which we have carefully listed in the Italian editions of the works of “our classic authors”) but is not at all a “scholastic” text, nor is it repetitive or to be taken for granted. Through the lens of Marx and Marxism, it thinks back over the fundamental moments of the Chinese Revolution as an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist revolution of socialist transition.
Particularly interesting is the way they – together with the Third International – highlight the passage from the slogan “Proletarians of all countries, unite” to the slogan “Proletarians and oppressed peoples of the whole world, unite”. This way Lenin brilliantly went beyond all the positions present in the Second International that did not contrast colonialism and saw the export of “Western civilization” among “backward” peoples as a necessary stage in social evolution and closely connected the “West” and the “East”, the class struggle in imperialist capitalistic countries and the anti-imperialist class struggle for national liberation. It was thanks to the fact that the international communist movement provided the theoretical and political lever for the most powerful redemption of the “century of humiliations” that Marxism, which till the October Revolution had remained essentially alien to Chinese culture and to China’s intellectual élites (there had not been in China a working-class movement taking part in the First and Second International) was “translated” into Chinese and became an essential part of the culture of modern China. That was the beginning of Marxism’s “Sinicization” – i.e. the application of the Marxist method to the concrete conditions of the Chinese social-economic formation. A Marxism that was a far cry from being “bookish” (Mao wrote in his youth an article, often referred to in present-day debates, against “bookish mentality”), in the same way as Lenin’s Marxism was far from being “bookish”, as it was well understood by the young Gramsci in his now famous article on the “revolution against the Capital”: this Marxism was instead well into the contradictions of Chinese society – both in its internal and international context.
Such was Marxism’s “Sinicization”, its transformation into the compass that was able to orient the analysis of classes and of the structure and superstructure of Chinese society and indicate the tools, stages and timing to translate that analysis into political action: the united front policy, the new democracy’s anti-imperialist revolution and the path towards a socialist society.
A path that was, as the history of the XX century has taught us, extremely difficult, winding, complex, contradictory and indelibly marked by the catastrophic defeat of 1989-1991, when the Soviet Union and Central and Eastern European “popular democracies” fell apart. Chinese Marxists and Communists have not ceased to interrogate themselves and inquire on that defeat, and certainly do not approach it as a detached object of study, but in order to understand the deep roots of the mistakes that were made and learn from them, knowing that what happened was not an inevitable destiny.
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the USSR, for example, the Social Sciences Academic Press (China) published, also in Russian, a thick volume of studies entitled On This History Reflects and edited by Li Shenming. It is a volume that is worth knowing. Great attention is devoted to the causes of the decomposition of the CPSU, its loss of hegemony in society and its ideological failures. The fundamental importance of the struggle on the cultural and philosophical fields is underlined also in the present essay by Cheng and Li.
The Chinese Communists have assimilated Marxism in a non-dogmatic way, they have managed to grasp its essence of dialectic thought. A good instance is the concept of transition to socialism. In the Preamble to the current Chinese Constitution (adopted in 1982 and amended several times up to 2004), which is an authentic political and ideological manifesto, it is written that “China will be for a long time still in the primary stage of socialism”. This statement implies a conception of the transition to socialism as a long-term, complex and contrasted process, and not the idea of a substitution that lasts just one day, or a short-term change implemented by decrees in which a new, ready-made social-economic structure replaces the old one. The latter is a simplified and elementary view of the transition which is opposed to the spirit of Marxism and of dialectic.
The new society cannot be set up from scratch. Its basis is historically determined. After all, Marxism itself was a product, as Lenin wrote (Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism, 1913) of the most advanced culture of its time (the French political thought of the Enlightenment, German classical philosophy and English political economy). Marxism is historicist. This means that it calls national culture and civilization to account: it does not cross them out in any way, nor does it not annul them (Marxism is the antithesis of nihilism), but it preserves and gets beyond them towards a richer culture and civilization. Those who try to destroy the cultural foundations of one’s own country from the top (or from abroad) in order to impose one’s worldview do a profoundly anti-Marxist action.
Communism based on Marxism is internationalist, but in order to be such it has to be profoundly rooted in national history and culture (as Gramsci acknowledged in Lenin and Stalin, opposing them to Trotsky in an important page of his Prison Notebooks).
That is why Chinese Communists, consistent with a Marxist formulation, deal with ancient China’s traditional culture and with its philosophies, and try to understand them within the framework of a Marxist view of national history. The construction of a new civilization covers a whole historical epoch. A revolutionary can effectively revolutionize if s/he is able to radicate his/her actions in the social and historical-cultural field in which s/he operates, not in order to preserve the past, but to transform the present.
The Chinese Communists have to face also these issues and deal with the problem of taking roots as Marxists in the cultural environment of their own country, building on this basis a system of socialist values.
Today China is undergoing a social revolution which has no precedents in history: in few decades, it has accomplished those changes that took centuries in the West: one just has to think of the biggest (both in quantitative and qualitative terms) migration from the countryside to the cities in world history.
Chinese Marxism has to play a very important role: on the one hand, it has to oppose the force of its dialectical thought and its founding principles to the tendency to historical nihilism, which questions the liberation course and the construction of a new China pursued under the direction of the Communist Party since 1921; on the other, it has to contrast the offensive of a neo-liberal culture that looks at the West as an economic, juridical, constitutional and cultural model and which calls for the dismissal of the public sector in the economy, wants to put aside the Communist Party as the leading force and refuses Marxism as the constitutive culture of new China.
The most recent debates on these issues on the pages of newspapers and journals and on the web in China are an index of the dialectic currently under way. Ultimately, the main issue is precisely the major theme of the transition to socialism as a long and complex historical process, characterized by class struggle in all fields, and the ideological-cultural one, as the bitter experience of Gorbachev’s catastrophic perestrojka taught us, is definitely not the least important one. The question of Kto pobedit? (Who will win?), posed in a clear way by Lenin in the early 1920s, when he was beginning the elaboration of a conception of transition to socialism that witnessed a long and closely-fought period of struggle and confrontation between capitalism and socialism, remains open for a whole historical epoch. And in order to understand the tendencies and processes that are under way in present-day China, Lenin’s reflections remain a fundamental reference both for those “leftist-leftist” interpretations that see China as irrevocably lost to capitalism and for those, indeed there are not many of them here, that uncritically approve every act and decision of the Chinese government. In China, and it could not be otherwise in a society in transition, there is a lively dialectic going on in the political, juridical, economic and ideological-cultural domain: in short, as it is normal in a society in transition, a class struggle, as the Chinese Constitution reminds us in its Preamble: “The exploiting classes as such are abolished in our country. However, the class struggle will still continue to exist, within certain limits, for a long period of time. The Chinese people has to fight against those forces and elements who, both at home and abroad, are hostile to the Chinese socialist system and try to undermine it”.
Unfortunately, a significant part of the Italian Left, the “absent Left”, as Domenico Losurdo (who devotes a lot of attention to China) defines it in the title of his book, seems scarcely interested in these themes because of a prejudiced condemnation of the whole course of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
We think that, on the contrary, these themes are of direct relevance for us in the West, also because we, for grave mistakes and subjective limitations, are undergoing a heavy capitalistic offensive not only on the economic, social and political level, but also on the cultural one.
The destiny of the most populated country in the world concerns us directly as working-class movement. China is today a huge economic and political force set against US imperialism and its war system and it calls for a multi-polar world and an anti-hegemonic policy based on a mutually advantageous approach and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. The Chinese Marxists and Communists for the past few years have been intensifying their relations and meetings with foreign Marxists and the world Left, with open discussions on the great themes that are on today’s agenda, like the analysis of the capitalist world crisis and the role of the working-class and communist movement, the refusal of hegemonism and imperialism and the construction of a multi-polar world. Among these, world forums are not the least important ones: they are now held every autumn in Beijing and are organized by the World Socialism Research Center of the Academy of Social Sciences, together with other departments. In 2014 the theme was “neoliberal globalization” to which a “socialist globalization” has to be opposed. Last year’s theme was that of “coloured revolutions” and of hegemony in Gramsci’s sense.
Our journal, together with its website (marx21.it), will continue to follow with great interest and attention the political and economic developments of Chinese society and will make an effort, as far as its forces and possibilities allow it, to make Marxist studies in China known to the Western public.
Cheng Enfu, Li Wei
Study of Two Selected Works of Marxism-Leninism.Marxism-Leninism is the Scientific Method and the Guide to Recognize and Transform the World
The text by Cheng Enfu and Li Wei is a basic summary of the theoretical contribution of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping to the cause of world proletariat. The start point is Mao’s assertion: the theoretical base of Chinese political thought is Marxism-Leninism. This means that a deep knowledge of philosophy and especially of historical-dialectical materialism is a prerequisite for leading the Party and the State. Theoretical knowledge is fundamental, but the example of Marx and Engels always must be borne in mind: theory can’t go disjoint from social practice and struggle. To renounce putting into practice Marxism-Leninism means confining it in the academic environment, causing its obsolescence and failure. The combination of theory and practice not only makes Marx and Engel’s thought be effective, but also gives a new impulse to philosophic development and to socialism progress. The main error would be considering historical-dialectical materialism as a inert gospel. Actually it is a handbook for the action and a mean to knowledge. A shallow or lacking knowledge of this mean can lead to drifts similar to the revisionism of the Second International, which Lenin fought properly on a philosophical ground. Moreover, a deep knowledge of Marx’s though is useful to not lose identity nor forget the real purpose of communism, which distinguishes it from other social movements: abolition of private property, of social classes and of exploitation.
The text focuses on the slogan “Working men and oppressed peoples of all countries, unite!” and shows that it is a genuine political program. In fact, we see in it class struggle linked with the struggle for emancipation of Third World countries, in a time in which the polarization of worldwide capitalism opposes few rich exploiter nations against many poor and exploited nations. Leninism is the most powerful ideological weapon in order to get the oppressed peoples emancipation, and an important role in this process is assigned to the huge masses of peasants in the poorest countries.
Deng Xiaoping summarize the essence of socialism in this: making the productive forces develop, abolishing exploitation and class polarization, getting prosperity for all. All the elements mentioned by Deng are equally essential, because interpreting wrongly these words (for example, skipping the abolition of exploitation and social classes) means to produce a surrogate of socialism able to please even oppressor classes and nations.
The role of communist Party is fundamental: it must lead and organize the class. It must be ruled by the principle of democratic centralism and must never forget Mao Zedong’s important warning: it is necessary dealing with philosophy.
Diego Angelo Bertozzi
China’s reforms: a historical-ideological path
Bertozzi’s essay has the purpose to recall the political and ideological milestones of the so-called “social pact”, at the base of the development of People’s Republic of China in last forty years.
In the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward, the need of an adjustment emerges: the main social contradiction is no more between bourgeoisie and proletariat, but between people’s needs and the underdevelopment of productive forces. China has undertaken a new economical development involving a truly national bourgeoisie. Especially, Deng Xiaoping has launched a new deal, called as “a big revolution”, to overcome technological and economical backwardness of the country, consolidating at once the guide of the Communist Party. Since the late Seventies, China has undertaken an experimental process of development, summarized in the expression of “Four modernizations”: agriculture, industry, national defense and science.
Benefits have been remarkable and turned China into an economical power, giving it a major international influence. However, to obtain these results and renovate deeply the productive forces of the country, it has been necessary make allowances to the market. Deng Xiaoping’s theoretical contributions have explained ideologically the new leaning: it is not about acquiring the blemishes of a capitalistic system, but employing its methods and means to get a different purpose. The purpose lasts the development of socialism: it consists of GDP growth, rising of people’s standard of living, technological development to bridge the gap with capitalistic and imperialist powers. The opening to the market and to capitalistic culture has never been considered positively by Chinese leadership, but they have been considered as a necessary mean to achieve the aim of growth.
The economical achievements have been accompanied by a reinforcement of legal system and democracy: the Constitution has received an egalitarian turn with the cancellation of the “black categories” without political rights; the system of laojiao (reeducation through labor) has been abolished; the crimes punishable by death have been reduced; environmental and labor protections are still primary in order of making the country development be “harmonious”. Moreover, the economical achievements have led China to get a new place in international diplomatic relations. Chinese foreign policy, less ideological and more pragmatic, has as its cornerstone the using of peaceful means to solve international disputes.
Ten hot issues in 2014 ideology
The essay published on the website of the Institute of Marxism of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in June 2015 analyzes the major issues of policy, economy, culture, ideology that animate today the political and ideological debate in China: 1. On the party’s leadership and the rule of law; 2. The theories about class struggle; 3.On the Hongkong illegal “Occupy Central” and Color Revolution”; 4. About the reform of mixed ownership and state-owned enterprise; 5. About the decisive role of the market; 6. An article on Liaoning Daily and the ideology safety in universities; 7. On the academic evaluation orientation and part of subject education westernization; 8. The discussion about the core socialist values; 9. How to treat Chinese traditional culture; 10. The New Features on Historical Nihilism.
This paper clearly shows the focal points of the debate and the critical opinions of the author against those positions, who would imitate the Western model of rule of law in the State institutions, or take off the leading role of large state-owned enterprises in economic development of the country. Equally important is the criticism to some settings of Chinese universities that end up penalizing researchers Marxists and promote the hegemony of liberal positions. The leitmotif of the whole essay is the maintenance of the bar in the socialist path of development of China, the rejection of Westernization and the invitation to build on the basis of Marxism and the historical experience of the Chinese revolution an autonomous culture that knows how to communicate successfully with the great traditional Chinese culture, rejecting all forms of historical nihilism.
Five points on the Chinese political debate
Maringiò’s essay deals with five issues related to Chinese political debate. Maringiò starts by noting an important foreword: often Western people is led to interpret China with concepts that are likely to be improper (for example, right and left, terms we have inherited from French revolution). Therefore, the preliminary urging is bearing in mind the differences between our cultural settings and political vocabularies in order to understand China without distorting it.
Having said this, the essay deals with the important question of fighting corruption ongoing in China. The trendiest interpretation in Western media describes it as a pretentious mean to get rid of not flawless political opponents. Actually, the issue of fighting corruption should be examined in depth, also as class struggle, it being aimed at avoiding outward transfers of capital and births of private potentates. Besides, to eliminate corruption inside the CCP contributes to strengthen its image.
The second issue discussed by Maringiò concerns the new kind of “war” in which China is involved: an exclusively economical war, aimed at reducing the dollar hegemony in Asia.
The third issue consists in the correlation between financial crisis caused by the so-called “dollar circle” and some popular discontents, like the color revolutions and independent movement in Tibet. These observations show how strong is foreign and Western pressure on party policy.
There is another example of this influence: the “rule of law”. Usually the West accuses China to be an autocratic nation guided by a party, which prevents reforms, and development (identified by Western with the acceptance of liberal democracy model). The supporters, in China and abroad, of adopting Western and liberal model press in order to get a radical reform of civil al political rights and of rights in matter of economical and productive activities. Their purpose is to “tie the autocrat’s hands”. Actually, it is necessary to make substantial remarks about the eventual development of a rule of law in a socialist country, instead of keep applying Western political concepts to the case of China.
In the end, Maringiò lingers in the meaning of class struggle in China, which is interpreted as a general theory of social conflict. For example, as applicable, struggle class overlaps national struggle for colonized peoples emancipation, or women struggle against “domestic slavery”. In conclusion, getting out of a too strict binary viewpoint can be helpful in order to understand and analyze the new forms of class struggle and phenomena like the construction of the United Front, which involves also people and personality outside of the party.
Notes on International Policy of China
Sorini’s essay recalls the changes in China’s foreign policy since PRC’s birth until today, with particular attention about its relation with the other great socialist power in last decades, USSR. First of all, Sorini identifies some long lasting guidelines, which have remained constant in spite of changes: the will to unify the country, recovering the sovereignty on Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan; the attempt to strengthen identity of China as a socialist and independent country; the target to pursue economical growth and modernization. Since the beginning, also China’s national feeling have remained constant, linked to the primary need of national liberation, after a past of colonial oppression.
Regardless of these constant attitudes, it is possible to periodize PRC’s foreign policy, splitting its history in six main phases.
The first one goes from PRC foundation to the rift with Khrushchev’s USSR; it is characterized by a strategic partnership between China and Stalin’s USSR.
The second phase goes to the last Fifties to the last Sixties and includes the period of Cultural Revolution (1966-69). In this phase, the defense of state security is linked to the search for a full autonomy from both superpowers, US and USSR, which for different reasons were not pleased about a strong and independent China, perhaps provided with nuclear weapons.
The third stage goes from the first Seventies to the first Eighties (from Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping). In this period, USSR is perceived as the main danger to China’s autonomy and full success in international field. For this reason, China establishes a preferential relationship with United States.
The fourth phase goes from the first Eighties to the end of USSR. It show a slow, progressive and nonlinear rapprochement between China and USSR, above all in order to rebalance the preferential relationship with US. In these years, Deng’s leadership gets stronger (until Jang Zemin).
In the fifth stage (the Nineties) China becomes a great economical power, in a frame which aimed to encourage a multipolar outlook comprehending US, EU, Japan, Latin America, Africa.
The sixth phase (from the end of the century to the present day) begins with Putin’s assumption of leadership of the country (January 2000). During this phase the strategic partnership between China and Russia gets stronger, China gets a growing role in the BRICS field and searches for a enhanced relationship with EU.
Neo-colonial counterrevolution and «pivot» against China
Domenico Losurdo starts with Tienanmen Square protests of 1989. In particular, his comments refer to the most famous frame, that of the young protester facing the tank. Losurdo shows how it has been used by Western media to discredit Deng’s government and generally CCP. The established strategy of Western media consists in a thoughtful selection of information to broadcast, by censoring inconvenient ones and exalting, sometimes exaggerating, specious ones in order to demonize the party leading China. But this Western strategy has older roots: before Deng, Mao has been and still is subject to media manipulation (especially as for the Great Leap Forward) which made him subject to criticism both from “right” and from a certain “left”.
The core of this strategy is the historical nihilism from which Deng has already warned Chinese people: the aim of the West is to stimulate the memory loss of China, so that everyone forgets the events of its history which are not useful to US economic interests. Actually, this strategy is integrated and functional to the so-called “pivot to China”, that is the attempt of US to move forward militarily in Asian region. This US claim is strictly linked to China colonial past and to its more recent history, which includes the overlapping of class struggle, national fight and anticolonial revolution. The birth of People’s Republic of China followed the resistance first against Japanese imperialism, after against US imperialism. Demonizing Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, discrediting their work, is a step on the way of concrete and economic achievements. The possibility for US to establish military and economic control on Asia would be favored by a scenario desired by many in West: the dismemberment of China. Indeed it is simpler destabilizing politically a country which has been dismembered, deprived of its historical memory and identity. Therefore, US intervention aim at getting rid of the “China Threat”, of the thorny presence of such a large socialist country, reactivating in a way a sort of colonial relationship between West and Asia.
From reflation wage post-2008 crisis to the world projection of China.
7 years of Chinese economic policy
On 25 October 2013, the Chinese currency comes to the historical record after twenty years against the dollar: 6.08, when in 2009 it was at 8.28, with the revaluation of 25%. A new international currency enters: the yuan. It is a long path begun in 2008: to the placing of monetary liquidity and quantitative easing of Western banks, the People’s Bank responds with monetary sterilization, rising interest rates, increases in the reserve requirement to 21% (as in the US is at a lowest 4%), restrictive policy. In return, highly expansionary fiscal policy and infrastructure plans aimed at increasing the productivity of factors of production. Bank of Italy speaks in his studies about a “massive internal market”. The revaluation of the currency was strongly supported in order to start a process of internationalization of the yuan: the fortification of this policy was given by the spectacular annual increase in productivity of 15% annually, who parried the blow of monetary inflation without affecting any losses of external competitiveness, despite wage increases of 20% annual average. Seven years of the monetary and fiscal policy, in front of the Western upheaval, lead the Chinese leadership to openly address the fundamental issue of world monetary system centered on the predominance of the dollar and its seigniorage, which causes Financial crisis almost unresolved: the last: American debt crisis. The Chinese leadership applies a mix of Smith, Marx and Schumpeter, an original blend aimed ultimately to a massive growth of total factor production, an endless walk to reach the Western levels now declining,. They applied to the workforce, the immense industrial conglomerates public, cooperatives, public administration. Now is the time for the other two sectors, agriculture and finance.
The currency war was provoked by Western central banks. The response of China (soft devaluation of the yuan) is merely an adjustment to market value, also useful for the yuan to become an international reserve currency. The slumping stock market in recent months of the Shanghai Stock Exchange shall be read as leakage of capital gains to markets in Africa, Latin America and Western.
To know China. A path of reading
China is near. It seems real, judging by Italian bookshelves and magazine articles. Unfortunately, not always the quality of publications is corresponding to their quantity.
In homegrown publications it is frequent to read “inaccuracies”, both due to bad faith and lacking knowledge of the matter. It is not simple to orientate in this host of publications, and an even bigger obstacle is represented by the difficulty of language, which impedes to Italian readers to know directly Chinese debate and reality. In this regard, Stefano Cammelli points out in his book Ombre cinesi the difference between Chinese internal debate and English publications to use and consumption of the rest of the world. Often, Italian mass media stumble in this gap, because of their limited or absent capacity to deepen reality.
Obviously, it is impossible to suggest a complete bibliography, able to turn the reader in a expert sinologist, also due to the enormity of the argument. Marco Pondrelli suggests some books: although they can’t be exhaustive respect of the incredible amount of the book published until today, they can be useful to get some milestones from which start a deepening. Many interesting books, especially concerning the historical matter, haven’t been considered, not for a lacking quality but due to space limitations.
Among the authors of these books there are not many Marxists nor many communist militants. This makes even more objective and interesting their works: if the chairman of Goldman Sachs says that Beijing is not subject to a evil tyranny, no one can take this assertion as a communist propaganda!
The bibliography presented here covers a range of arguments: the transformations of Chinese civil society, the reforms and political changes in the last decades, some considerations about Mao Zedong actions; moreover, Loretta Napoleoni and Jim O’Neill’s represent a very accurate analysis of Chinese economy, while a book by an important Chinese intellectual, Wang Hui, treats Tibetan issue.
These books are not written by lined up scholars, while are marked by scientific precision and objectivity. Many ideas and thesis can be rejected by the lector, but originality and accuracy of these scholars cannot be questioned.
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