BBC’s flawed understanding of China’s history leads to confusion

In the first of a three-part look at ‘China’s changing role in the world’, the BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonnell looks at the CPC’s recent moves to tackle income disparity and intervene in social and cultural behaviour. But approaching these with the shallow misunderstandings of pre- and post-reform China typical of Western mainstream commentators, he is unable to answer the questions he sets himself.

The notion that the Cultural Revolution was a ‘disastrous quagmire’ out of which China needed to be dragged is one of these misunderstandings.

It is not hard to look at the data – none other than the Financial Times has laid out in no uncertain terms the progress that took place in Mao’s China: life expectancy nearly doubling, adult illiteracy falling from 80% to just 23%, and the achievement of gender equality in elementary education. Contrary to being a quagmire that China needed dragged from kicking and screaming, the FT states that “Without these, the rapid growth after the 1979 opening and reforms would not have been possible.” (Lessons from the first 70 years of the People’s Republic of China by David Daokui Li) Continue reading “BBC’s flawed understanding of China’s history leads to confusion”

Author Sean McMeekin and his book Stalin's War

Sympathy for the devil: Another bourgeois historian prefers fascism

Dominic Sandbrook reviewed a book (Stalin’s War by Sean McMeekin) in the Sunday Times 21 March 2021 that was anti-Soviet, anti-Stalin and pro-Nazi in the extreme but, unlike the usual book reviews of such literary offal he disagrees with the book and finishes the review with the words;- “his book reads less like a serious scholarly history than a provocative thought experiment that has got completely out of hand.” If that was all he had said all would be well and good, but, alas, his ire is reserved only for McMeekin’s criticism of British and US imperialism and their policies, you know the type, we should have joined Hitler against the USSR, we should have done a deal with Japan to let them carry on the well documented slaughter of Chinese civilians (not that the UK and US did anything to stop that anyway).

Having ridiculed McMeekin for his attacks on western imperialism, though not his obvious preference for fascism, Sandbrook accepts every anti-Stalin slur without question, so, we thought, perhaps we should ask for some evidence, perhaps we should point out the stupidity that McMeekin (backed up by Sandbrook) is asking us to believe. Continue reading “Sympathy for the devil: Another bourgeois historian prefers fascism”

Ai Weiwei: freedom to bow to Capitalist Ideology

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist of the con type that is usually idolised by the capitalist market as a ‘dissident’ voice, has recently been interviewed in his luxury villa in Portugal about his latest work of art, a statue of Mikhail Gorbachev, which was commissioned in Berlin for the 30th anniversary of the “reunification” of Germany. Some would replace the reunification of Germany with “the end of the USSR” or more laughably still “the end of history”, which is more often what these types of people celebrate; and what Gorbachev is despised for – aside from the humiliating Pizza Hutt ad he starred in. (https://news.artnet.com/art-world/ai-weiwei-monument-mikhail-gorbachev-1949978). Continue reading “Ai Weiwei: freedom to bow to Capitalist Ideology”

Happy 99th Birthday To The Communist Party Of China!

In celebration this week of the 99th birthday of the Communist Party of China, we send our warmest comradely greetings to the cadres working hard to drive China forward to a moderately prosperous socialist society, the task entrusted to them through the programme of the party.

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.” Continue reading “Happy 99th Birthday To The Communist Party Of China!”