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Issue #1875      July 3, 2019

Editorial

China in the world

In October the people of China will mark the 70th anniversary of the declaration of the Peoples’ Republic of China, part of the ongoing emergence of China from a long history of colonial occupation and division, as a single, sovereign nation state. This is in large part the cause of the protests in Hong Kong at the moment and the ongoing attempts to demean and attack China’s policies and its emergence under the Communist Party of China as the next global economic power, soon to surpass the USA.

In this there is the question: what is the main contradiction in the world today? We would answer – the contradiction between imperialism and socialism. And it is here where the dilemma for imperialism resides: in its continual drive for ever higher profits it must seek and dominate more markets and wipe out all competitors.

China, unlike the Soviet Union and the other European socialist countries, cannot be blockaded, sanctioned, wounded with economic embargoes or surrounded by military force. China’s economy is fully integrated into the world economy.

For decades following WW2 the western powers, led by the US, tried in vain to exclude this entity – with the world’s biggest labour force and consumer base – from officially entering the community of nations, including blocking its membership of the United Nations.

Nonetheless, the gains made by China are both fundamental and substantial. By 2010, the entire population was covered by medical insurance, assuring real medical care provided by doctors with medical degrees. Housing construction proceeds on an unprecedented scale. Peasant incomes, which have greatly lagged behind urban incomes, have been rising faster than urban incomes.

The nations in the Asia-Pacific region recognise and acknowledge China’s growth and role in the world. At last month’s Shangri La Dialogue, Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong, stated: “Countries have to accept that China will continue to grow and strengthen, and that it is neither possible nor wise for them to prevent this from happening.”

Economically, the high rate of development is leading to a comparable expansion of its domestic market, which, in turn, continues to attract domestic and foreign capital investments with the latest technologies in joint ventures with enterprises in the state and capitalist sectors. The increase in the productivity of the Chinese labour force as a result of the introduction of modern technologies is necessary to continue to attract capital investment in China despite the rising wage levels.

The reality today is that the USA is economically dependent on China. China holds billions of dollars in US government bonds and other investments. If China were to pull the plug on the US, it would bring the world’s leading economic power to its knees. It has no desire to do this. China is working cooperatively with other nations to bring about recovery. China’s trade and investments are based on mutual benefit, as many poorer nations can attest.

China is one of the largest creditor nations in the world, one of only a few larger economies still experiencing growth and with the ready cash that banks are refusing to supply businesses.

On several occasions the banks have put Australia’s mining companies on their at-risk list, citing the plunge in commodity prices and rapid decline in their profits. A number of foreign banks pulled out of Australia refusing to renew loans as they came due. Some companies have already folded.

The key question is not the nationality of money or investment capital. There is an alternative to private investment. Australia’s key resources should be owned and controlled by government. Public ownership and control opens the way for planned and environmentally sound mining and use, including control of export prices and processing in Australia.

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