THE EVENTS in Hong Kong over the past month have seen thousands of people storming the Hong Kong parliament and raising the Union Jack flag – known as the ‘Butcher’s Apron’, a visible symbol of the former brutal occupation by British imperialism over China, that began with the notorious ‘Opium Wars’.
The demonstrations culminated this week in the airport being occupied and closed down, leading to the Chinese government denouncing the action as ‘near terrorist acts’.
The crisis that has erupted in Hong Kong can only be understood as a direct result of the Stalinist policies of the Chinese Stalinist bureaucracy and the counter-revolutionary role that Stalinism has played in China. This goes back to the very first Chinese workers’ revolution between 1925 and 1927, when the country was gripped by an intense period of strikes and uprisings by workers and peasants against imperialist domination.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was a powerful force but it was guided politically by the policy of the Communist International (CI) which, since the death of Lenin in 1924, was dominated by Stalin.
Stalin issued a thesis on China in which he contended that imperialist oppression of China had created conditions whereby the laws of the class struggle did not exist. Instead, he advanced the reactionary policy of the ‘bloc of four classes’ which held that the oppression by imperialism had dissolved class antagonisms, and that bourgeois, worker, peasant and intellectual were united in the nationalist revolution against imperialist domination.
Under orders from Stalin, the CCP was instructed to enter into the nationalist movement, the Kuomintang (KMT) led by Chiang Kai-shek, and completely subordinate the party to the bourgeois nationalists.
Indeed, the KMT were even granted ‘sympathiser’ status in the CI – only Trotsky voted against this proposal when it was put to the Politburo. In 1927, the KMT, scared by a mass strike movement, determined to smash the communists physically. A workers uprising in Shanghai was massacred by the KMT.
The disastrous policy forced on the CCP by Stalin strangled the Chinese revolution and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of workers, peasants and communists. The Party was forced to engage in the ‘Long March’ from the south to northern China to escape the Kuomintang armies and renew its strength in the struggle against the Japanese imperialist invaders.
After World War 2, the CCP, led by Mao Zedong, learning the bitter lessons of the first Chinese Revolution rejected alliances with the nationalist bourgeoisie and built a mass movement throughout the country culminating in the revolution of 1949 which established the People’s Republic of China and expelled the Kuomintang to Taiwan.
It then sought to go directly to Communism with the collectivisation of the land and the complete expropriation of the bourgeoisie.
In the 1960s, Mao launched the cultural revolution against the right wing of the CP and mobilised millions of youth in the fight to prevent a swing to the right. Mao put Deng and Co into dunce’s caps and warned the youth that they wanted restoration.
After Mao’s death in 1976, Deng once again emerged as a leader and led the way to a major right turn. The ‘One country, two systems’ formulated by Deng Xiaoping and adopted by the Stalinist bureaucracy established ‘administrative regions’ such as Hong Kong and Macau with their own economic and administrative bureaucracy, where capitalism was not only allowed to develop, but encouraged as the way that China could be reunited, with the Red Army being the final arbitrator.
What we see now in Hong Kong is the Chinese bourgeoisie re-emerging and beginning its challenge to overthrow the workers’ state and lead the bourgeois elements that one country two social systems has encouraged.
The only way forward for Chinese workers is to play their part in the victory of the world socialist revolution by organising direct rule through workers soviets, expropriating the bourgeoisie all over China, and forming a section in China of the Fourth International.