Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Rapid Capitalist Development in China

First Published: Unite!, February 15, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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When Kissinger undertook his secret mission to Peking in 1969, no Great Wall separated the ambitions of U.S. imperialism and Chinese revisionism. Behind their common aim of defeating the heroic struggle of the Indochinese people, breathed a two-headed dragon with grander ambitions. One head was filled with visions of vast new markets and profits for U.S. imperialism. The other was filled with visions of a China transformed into an imperialist superpower.

Toward these ends this dragon walked a single road – the defeat of the Chinese revolution and the transformation of China into a fill-fledged capitalist country.

Today, capitalism reaps a big harvest in China. Over the last decade, reaching a peak in 1979, the rapid import of capital into China has been combined with numerous structural transformations in the Chinese economy designed to give full play to capitalist accumulation and bourgeois profit-taking.

An indication of the road ahead was visible the year before Kissinger’s secret visit to Peking. As early as 1968, the First National Bank of Chicago began its offensive to penetrate China. From that point on, a series of developments evolved, which placed U.S. capital at the heart of capitalist construction and at the foundation of the U.S.-China Alliance which was to follow.

Among the most important cornerstones of the new capital accumulation in China are the much heralded arrangements for trade, the new joint venture schemes, the massive investment plans and the system of economic bonuses and incentives that are currently being employed.

Trade Turns a Corner in China

The recent decision by U.S. imperialism to grant China ’most favored nation’ trade status – and the recent EEC decision to do likewise – signals the growing penetration of consumer commodities and capital into China. It also signals the growing integration of China into the world imperialist market. Deng Xiaoping justifies this with the concept of new “economic Darwinism”, which means, quite simply, the survival of the fittest (the most aggressive, the most adaptable), which is at the center of the Chinese revisionists’ quest to make China a world superpower by the end of the century.

’Favored nation status’ will mean the lowering of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports from 34% to an average of 5.7% of their value. Patents and other protective measures will be granted to U.S. companies operating in China. And in addition, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation is in the process of receiving permission to operate in China. Delegations of manufacturers will reciprocally display their wares both in China and the U.S.

In line with these developments, China is now becoming a member of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. To join, China will allow the IMF and the World Bank to inventory and survey the Chinese economy annually.

To date China has already arranged for some $26 billion from capitalist banks and export credit agencies in commercial lines of credit, and is indebted a similar amount for past loans and credits. The Four Modernizations of the Chinese revisionist leadership will place China into long-term indebtedness to the major imperialist financial institutions and fully integrate China into the world imperialist market.

Profits Taken Out of China By Imperialist Powers

A second indication of the far-reaching development in the full-flung construction of capitalism in China was the much heralded May, 1979 Board of Directors meeting of the First National Bank of Chicago in Peking. The meeting was loudly applauded by both sides as the first time a foreign capitalist bank had conducted a board of directors meeting in China! Two months later, the offspring of this counter-revolutionary unity became clear. In July, China unveiled its Chinese-foreign joint equity venture law. Based on an agreement between the First National Bank of Chicago and the China International Trust and Investment Corporation, this law allows imperialist monopolies to invest directly in China for the first time.

The foreign interest in joint ventures will range anywhere from 25% up to 100% of the investment! Plus, these new “joint ventures” need not be negotiated through the central government, but can be established directly with a province or even a commune.

A representative of the First National Bank of Chicago bluntly explained its voracious interest in China. “The Chinese don’t have any preconceptions of what these joint ventures should look like. And while they, of course, want to make sure that they are getting a good deal, they also know that they must guarantee an environment in which a company can make a profit.” This profit, after minimal Chinese taxes, can largely be repatriated out of China by the foreign monopoly. The only other revisionist country to operate such “joint ventures” is Yugoslavia.

The large-scale transformation of the Chinese economy in recent years follows in the footsteps of the revisionist model of Yugoslav “worker self-management” and “self-administration.” Yugoslavia, though proclaiming itself “socialist” has never followed a Marxist-Leninist course, and from the outset, has rejected the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on the nature of the socialist state and socialist construction. The Yugoslav model rejects the necessity for state ownership as the most important form of socialist ownership. Instead, it preaches an anarchist line which places priority on individual ownership or small group ownership of private property and production. Allegedly, this insures “self-administration.” From the late 1960’s the Communist Party of China, led by Mao Tsetung, nourished relations with the revisionist League of Communists of Yugoslavia and began to consider the Yugoslav revisionist model as worthy of emulation in China.

Bonuses and Material Incentives in Command

A third indication of the rapid construction of capitalism in China has been the policy of material incentives and bonuses to Chinese workers and businesses. Bonus schemes are not new in China. But recent developments have more clearly stressed increased productivity than past policy. Even piece-work systems have been employed to intensify individual exploitation. Some such bonuses are estimated today as equivalent to half of the monthly earnings of the factory worker. Often workers are encouraged to use their bonus pay to establish private enterprise at home.

Lenin long ago pointed out how small production engenders capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously. The material incentive policy in China, as well as the “joint ventures” and intensifying integration into and dependence upon the imperialist world market all signify the capitalist road upon which China has set its course.

These and other measures will bear ripe fruit quickly, given that Mao Tsetung and the Communist Party of China never adopted the Marxist-Leninist program of struggle to eliminate the bourgeoisie as a class. As indicated by the four stars on the Chinese flag, representing four classes in Chinese society, the bourgeoisie was allowed to exist as a class and participate as a class in the state and in the Party. The dictatorship of the proletariat over the old exploiting classes was never fully established.

Lenin pointed out in Left Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder that, “It is a thousand times easier to vanquish the centralized big bourgeoisie than to ’vanquish’ the millions upon millions of small owners; yet they, by their ordinary, everyday, imperceptible, elusive, demoralizing activity, achieve the very results which the bourgeoisie needs and which tend to restore the bourgeoisie.” In China, the promotion of private production will rapidly strengthen the development of the big bourgeoisie.

The Signs of Capitalism Prevail

Numerous other policies have been implemented by the Chinese revisionists in their quest to make China a superpower. For example, China has established traditional, capitalist, special’ export-oriented zones, with authority to deal with foreign monopolies on even a municipal basis and with power to grant visas. China is now planning to export cheap Chinese labor to serve foreign monopolies. The China National Construction Corporation has proposed to furnish the Overseas Construction Association of Japan with Chinese workers to labor in the Middle East or northern Africa in order to return foreign exchange to China.

Domestically, the ills of the major imperialist states are prevalent in China. Defense spending is up 20%, with inflation running between 20 and 25%. Crime, prostitution and the black market are common. Among the 100 million urban workers, unemployment is estimated as approaching 20 million.

As if to make it clear that the gains made by the Chinese people since 1949 are all to be swept aside, Rung Yiren, a wealthy manufacturer prior to 1949, has been restored and placed in charge of securing foreign capital investment in China. Rung openly boasts that he is only one of nearly 100 millionaires who live in a style which competes with their western counterparts.

The economic base and the superstructure in China are acquiring all the features of capitalism, including the state, and serve as the internal basis for China’s increasingly aggressive international stand. The increasing reliance upon the profit motive at home sends Chinese imperialists abroad in quest of greater profits and a new carving up of the world market.

The rapidity of this development, the extremely aggressive quest for imperialist investment in China, and the political alliance with U.S. imperialism all point to the increasingly dangerous and war-mongering features which Chinese revisionism will aggravate in the future.

The secret Kissinger trip in 1969 and the First National Bank of Chicago discussions as early as 1968, and other facts indicate that China’s revisionist course was not charted only after the death of Mao Tsetung, but on the contrary, Mao planted poisonous seeds. In the last four years, as opposition to the Chinese bourgeoisie has been steadily defeated, these seeds have been amply watered and are today bearing their poisonous capitalist fruit.