China class 4: Is China capitalist?

Jun 14, 2020

Class description: This week’s class discusses the development and status of China’s economy. The first part begins by clarifying the debate over China’s economy and emphasizing the historical, material, and international contexts in which it’s developed. It covers the debates between Mao Tse-Tung and Deng Xiaoping–how they played out during the “Gang of Four” trial and how the manifested in actual policy decisions–before turning to the period under Xiaoping’s leadership, including the Four Modernizations, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, poverty reduction campaigns, and the Tiananmen Square protests. The second part of the class focuses on Xi Jinping’s leadership, efforts to address corruption and urban-rural inequality, the role of state-owned enterprises, and the health system (especially in response to SARS and COVID-19). It specifically responds to imperialist propaganda campaigns against China, clarifying the “one-child policy,” China’s environmental record, the political and economic role of unions, and the general status of labor. Further, it examines the appearances and realities of the U.S.-led trade war against China.

Course description: As China’s global rise rivals U.S. hegemony, the number one priority of U.S. foreign policy is to wage a demonization campaign against China. Since the Obama administration announced the Pivot to Asia, the U.S. has spent countless military dollars in the Pacific to encircle China. While the demonization and propaganda campaign against China has been at an all time high, the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the anti-China narrative.

As the outrageous demonization campaign against China continues to grow amidst this crisis, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, in partnership with the Qiao Collective, is holding a five-part class series on China. The course will examine the construction of modern day China in the context of global imperialism, starting from the very first Opium war between China and Britain in the early 1800s. Imperial China, which was one of the most advanced civilizations of the world, quickly became a country looted and torn apart by many imperialist nations who wanted a piece of the pie. The course will examine China’s century-long national liberation struggle and the construction of socialism. The purpose of the class is to provide the necessary context for understanding modern China today, especially under the weight of U.S. imperialism.

Return to the course page here.