- Created: Friday, 01 December 2017 12:03
- Written by Jonathan Cohen
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 87 June 1989
China and the world have been shaken by the massive demonstrations in China. The death on 15 April of veteran Communist leader Hu Yaobang came close on the heels of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Incident of April 1976, a rally against the hated ‘Gang of Four’ which was suppressed with much bloodshed. It was closely followed by the 70th anniversary of the great anti-imperialist May 4 Movement of 1919, as well as 1 May, Labour Day, and the historic visit to China of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The coming together of these important events allowed the memorial rallies for Hu Yaobang to develop quickly into massive demonstrations, as hundreds of thousands of people poured onto the streets of Beijing and other cities calling for democracy, a proper legal system and press freedom, denouncing corruption and demanding the resignation of China’s top leaders. As we prepare for publication, columns of troops have been turned back by the millions of demonstrators occupying Beijing, leaving the streets out of government control. With the loyalty of the police, army and much of the Party and state apparatus in doubt, China’s leaders face a severe crisis. Deep splits in the Party, Government and armed forces seem to be on the cards. The developing events in China are of enormous importance for the communist movement internationally. FRFI opens a discussion and debate with this article by JONATHAN COHEN
China is a socialist country ̶ but it is one which remains very backward in its development of democracy and legality.
It is a feature of our imperialist era that socialist revolutions are occurring not in the advanced capitalist countries where the proletariat ̶ the working class ̶ is most numerous, but in oppressed countries where capitalism is relatively undeveloped and the working class, the guarantor of socialist democracy, is relatively small in number.