China: From Revolution to Reaction

By the early twentieth century China, once the richest society in the world, had been reduced to a state of destitution.  Most of its people lived in extreme poverty.  This had been brought about by exploitative landlords and the domination of foreign imperialist powers such as Britain and Japan.

From the early 1920s onwards the newly-formed Communist Party of China came to win leadership of the revolutionary struggle against internal reaction and external imperialism.  Eventually led by Mao Tse-tung, the CPC finally defeated the reactionary forces in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed.


Under CPC leadership the Chinese peasants and workers embarked on programmes of agricultural and industrial development so as to raise their abysmally low living standards. Despite some setbacks, an average economic growth rate of around ten per cent per year was achieved.

Life expectancy greatly increased, mass education was introduced, health services were developed and the position of women greatly improved.  By 1976, when Mao died, the population had grown from 400 million to 800 million.


Some of the leaders of the CPC came to oppose a socialist path of development and wanted China to take the capitalist road, as was happening in the Soviet Union following the death of Stalin.  The main leaders of this counter-revolutionary trend were Liu Shao-chi (President of the PRC) and Teng Hsiao-ping (General Secretary of the CPC).


In 1966, fearing the growing strength of the capitalist roaders within the CPC, Mao called upon the students to rise up and oppose reactionary tendencies within the education system.  Then the revolutionary movement spread to the workers and peasants to depose capitalist roaders in the Communist Party, agriculture and industry.  A mighty revolutionary upsurge swept throughout China.

Despite this very sharp class struggle, the capitalist roaders remained strong.  As early as 1963 Mao had warned that unless the capitalist roaders were defeated then the Communist Party “would undoubtedly become a revisionist party or a fascist party, and the whole of China would change its colour.”  Following the death of Mao in 1976 the capitalist roaders, led by Teng Hsiao-ping, staged a reactionary coup d’etat.


In 1976 China was the most equal society in the world whereas today it is the most unequal with the “Communist Party” led by billionaires.  The workers and peasants have been losing many of the economic rights and social benefits they gained during the socialist period.  Workers face job insecurity and loss of pensions.  Peasants are having their land stolen from them by corrupt officials. From being an anti-imperialist country China has become an imperialist power.  Its Belt and Road initiative is a plan to economically dominate Asia and Africa.  The Chinese leaders are in contention to displace the USA as the major imperialism in the world.


Since the rise of Xi Jinping  as President of China and supreme leader China has been steadily heading towards a state of full-blown fascism.  XI has been effectively proclaimed president for life and his pronouncements must be unconditionally obeyed.  Any sort of criticism of or dissent from  the ruling regime is being crushed. The most advanced information technology is being used to monitor and control the Chinese people.  And yet as Mao said, “Wherever there is oppression, there is resistance.”  There is growing opposition in China to the Xi Jinping capitalist dictatorship.