US Attention Focuses On China


AT THIS moment all eyes are turned to China.

The US government, and worried US trade union leaders are currently talking to the Chinese Communist party leadership and to the CP-led state trade unions’ leaders.

The first set of talks in Washington are about trade agreements and revaluing the Chinese currency against the US dollar. The second set of talks in Beijing and Shanghai are about jobs, with the US union leaders seeking to staunch the flow of their members’ jobs to China, by urging the Stalinist trade unions to increase Chinese workers’ wages.

The Chinese Stalinist leadership, for its part, is now mightily impressed by how a part of the volume of the Chinese state’s capital can be used to invest even in private equity companies such as Blackstone, to make huge profits out of the crisis-ridden capitalist system, and the way that the private equity locusts super exploit the working class.

Part of these profits will no doubt be hived off to the different sections of the bureaucracy.

Meanwhile, the US capitalists are continuing to shift more and more of their industry from the mid-west of the USA to China’s Guandong Province, primarily to make big profits and destroy the US trade unions.

However, there are even bourgeois siren voices disturbing this allegedly great success story, of how Stalinist parasites, acting as gangmasters, and Imperialist capitalists can coalesce and enrich each other. One of these voices is that of the former US Federal Reserve Bank chief, Greenspan.

He is warning that China’s stockmarket has become ‘overvalued’ through an orgy of speculation, and is due for a ‘dramatic contraction’, ie a collapse.

This collapse will wipe out the local bourgeoisie, made up mainly of the sons and daughters of the Stalinist leadership. The good work will not stop there. It will blow like a whirlwind through the stockmarkets of Asia and then into the London, Paris, Frankfurt and Wall Street exchanges, collapsing share prices and paper currencies such as the pound and the dollar.

It will bring havoc to the already badly ailing US economy since the Chinese government finances the US’ gigantic budget deficit through its purchase of US treasury bonds. Already as the earthquake nears, it has begun buying gold with its surplus dollars.

The startling fact is that a collapse of the Chinese stockmarket can lead to the collapse of the US dollar and the bankrupting of the United States of America, in the process of which the Chinese Stalinists will get their fingers very badly burnt indeed.

However, what brings the US trade union leaders to China is the growing strength of the Chinese working class, which is insisting that there must be action to stop the super exploitation of Chinese workers by foreign capitalists.

The Stalinist bureaucracy has been forced to make Wal-Mart and its ilk accept CP branches and unions in their factories.

The Chinese working class has had enough of the bureaucracy’s attempts to restore capitalism.

The US trade union leaders think that higher wages in China will save some US jobs. Leaders who have not defended a single job in the US are looking to the Chinese workers to do it for them.

What is needed between the Chinese and US workers is a revolutionary alliance, not a trade union marriage of convenience. This means that US workers must stop their plants being closed and moved, with occupations and mass strike struggles, while the Chinese workers deal with the Stalinist bureaucracy and its Wal-Mart friends, with a political revolution to bring in rule through workers and peasants soviets, whose first action will be to nationalise all of the foreign capitalists’ holdings.

The alliance that is required is a revolutionary one between the US and Chinese workers, not a few understandings between Chinese Stalinist and US reformist trade union bureaucrats.

This revolutionary alliance requires the building of the Trotskyist movement, that is sections of the international Committee of the Fourth International, in both the US and China.