People's Republic of China

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People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
Flag of People's Republic of China
National Emblem of People's Republic of China
National Emblem
Location of People's Republic of China
Largest cityChongqing
Official languagesMandarin
Mode of productionSocialism
GovernmentUnitary Marxist-Leninist people's republic
• President and General Secretary
Xi Jinping
• Vice President
Wang Qishan
• Premier
Li Keqiang
• Unification of China by Qin Shi Huang
221 BCE
• Founding of the Yuan Dynasty
1271 November 5
• Establishment of the People's Republic of China
1949 October 1
• 2020 estimate
• Labour force
784 million[1]
• Labour force participation
• Occupation
53.3% services
39.4% industry
7.3% agriculture[2]
• Unemployment rate

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a socialist country in East Asia.[3] It is the world's most populous country with a population of around 1.4 billion in 2019. It is led by the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The Chinese constitution states that the PRC "is a socialist state under the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants" and that the state organs "apply the principle of democratic centralism."[4] Over 95% of the Chinese population supports its government.[5]

The People's Republic of China is one of only five socialist states in the world today (alongside Cuba, Laos, People's Korea and Vietnam). Over the last few years it has emerged as the world's leading economic power, and as a result has been subjected to near-constant demonization from Western media and propaganda outlets.[6][7]


In accordance with historical materialism, Chinese history can be divided into primitive, slave, and feudal eras. Modern Chinese historians do not, however, use the terms "capitalist era" or "socialist era." This is because the capitalist period of Chinese history fits into the broader New-Democratic Revolution period (1919–1949). The socialist era, which began in 1956, is likewise not considered an era of Chinese history but instead is considered part of the People's Republic period (1949–).[8]

Early history


China's recorded history goes back more than 3,200 years. Before the unification of China under the Qin and Han dynasties, a class of warriors controlled the land and collected tribute. Most economic activity was self-sufficient but there was some high-value trade organized by royal courts. Literate administrative officials were awarded with land grants that became hereditary property. The monarch retained ultimate ownership of all land.[9]

Imperial China

China transitioned from slavery to feudalism under the Zhou and Qin dynasties, when government officials built up large land holdings. Under feudalism, almost all land was owned by the emperor, nobility, and landlords. Peasants had to give half or more of their crop to the landowners and landlords could abuse or kill peasants at will. Small landholders who farmed land distributed to them by the emperor also existed in this period. Exchange did not have an important role in the economy during this period.[10] The number and location of markets were restricted and they were strictly controlled by the emperor.

In imperial China, government officials were recruited based on recommendations from serving officials, allowing aristocratic families to stay in power for generations. The Han dynasty collapsed in 220 CE and China was reunified under the Sui and Tang dynasties. The An Lushan rebellion from 755 to 763 weakened the Tang dynasty and reduced restrictions on markets. Peasants attacked estates and burned papers documenting the status of aristocrats. In 907, the Tang dynasty collapsed and several small states fought for power until the Zhao brothers established the Song dynasty in 960.

Under the Song dynasty, a landed gentry emerged that outnumbered the nobility working for the emperor. Markets expanded and connected China to global trade networks. In the 12th century, the Jurchen invaded northern China and established their own dynasty, while the Song continued to rule in the south. The Mongol Empire invaded China in the 13th century and established the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Mongols engaged in international trade, but their anti-commercial policies reduced domestic commerce.

The Yuan dynasty was overthrown in 1368 after being weakened by disease and rebellions and the Ming dynasty was founded. The first Ming emperor opposed the merchants and promoted a society based on agriculture and self-sufficiency. In 1644, the Manchus overthrew the Ming dynasty and established the Qing dynasty. In 1793, the British sent a diplomatic mission to China to establish trade relations. The Qianlong emperor agreed to open a port for the British at Guangzhou but refused to give them access to all of China's ports.[9]

Semi-colonial and semi-feudal society (1840–1949)

The era of semi-colonial and semi-feudal society was divided into two parts: The Old Democratic Revolution, which began with the First Opium War in 1840 and ended with the May 4th Movement in 1919, and the New Democratic Revolution, which lasted until the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. This 109-year period is also know as the "century of humiliation".[8]

Old Democratic Revolution period (1840–1919)

Depiction of Chinese and British forces fighting in the First Opium War

The Old Democratic Revolution was a period of establishing western "democracy" and dismantling feudalism, which is where it gets its name from. Rather than being a revolutionary movement by the people of China, it was a revolutionary change caused by the invasion and occupation of China by western powers. It began with the First Opium War when the feudal Qing dynasty tried to restrict the drug trade of opium in China. The United Kingdom, and later the United States of America, responded by declaring war on China.[8]

The conditions during this occupation were terrible. Notably in the British settlement of Shanghai, signboards were hung up outside parks prohibiting Chinese and dogs inside. The occupying powers forced local Chinese to carry them from place to place, and they also engaged in foot-binding.[8]

New Democratic Revolution period (1919–1949)

The New Democratic Revolution was a revolution by the people of China against the weak Qing dynasty and the occupying Western powers. It is known as a democratic revolution because it still accepted the basic ideology of Western capitalism, but it was different in that it rejected colonialism and was fought by the people themselves. This revolution successfully brought down the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China, but this state was even weaker than the Qing dynasty and most of the country was now ruled by warlords.[8]

At that time, China was one of the poorest societies in the world, plagued by starvation and feudal oppression. The vast majority of the population was engaged in subsistence agriculture, and a survey on the causes of death conducted in 1929-31 revealed that more than half of all deaths were caused by infectious diseases.[11] Famines were widespread and severe periods of hunger were lived by many Chinese peasants. During this period, China also suffered from illiteracy and high inequality. Estimates from this period suggest that, landlords and rich peasants taken together typically owned upward of half the land even though their share in the population typically did not exceed 10 percent. Poor peasants and agricultural labourers who owned little to no land formed the majority of the population.[12]

Educational standards during this period were terrible, if not inexistent. In 1949, more than 80 per cent of China's population was illiterate. Enrollment rates in primary and middle schools were abysmal: 20 and 6 per cent, respectively.[13] In addition, women's rights were highly curtailed and patriarchal norms were widespread, and this culture kept growing as Kuomintang rule took root in the Taiwan province.[14]

In 1925, the Empire of Japan and the U.K. sent troops to assist warlords in northern China. In 1926, the Northern Expeditionary Army of the CPC and Kuomintang defeated the warlords in Hebei province. On 1927 March 27, workers established a commune in Shanghai, which was crushed by Chiang Kai-shek when the Kuomintang turned against the CPC. At this point, the CPC organized an uprising of 30,000 led by Zhou Enlai and Zhu De against the nationalist forces. In October 1927, Mao was sent to Hunan and organized the first revolutionary base in the Jinggang Mountains. Zhu De joined Mao's forces and they repelled three attacks from the Kuomintang between 1928 and 1931. The Chinese Red Army soon grew to 100,000 people.[15]

On 1931 September 18, Japanese forces attacked the northeastern city of Shenyang. The Kuomintang's army withdrew from the area and did not resist the Japanese. In 1932, a nationalist army of 500,000 was defeated by the Red Army. In October 1933, Chiang Kai-shek mustered a force of a million troops, forcing the CPC and Red Army to flee west to Zunyi in the Long March. At the party conference in Zunyi in 1935, Mao's military line was established and opportunists were removed from power. By the end of the Long March, the Red Army's forces had dropped from 300,000 to 30,000.[15]

First Generation (1949–1976)

"Build a new China and make a great effort to forge ahead."

The first generation of leadership covers the extent of time that Zhou Enlai was the premier of the PRC. Mao Zedong was extremely influential in Chinese politics at this time, but he held the office Chairman of the PRC for only 9 years. For the rest of this 27 year long period, Mao Zedong was the General Secretary of the CPC. This generation was mainly characterized by Mao Zedong's political theory now known as Mao Zedong Thought.[16]

The first generation marks the founding of the People's Republic of China, an event captured on film.[17] The newly victorious socialist government promoted remarkable changes in Chinese society: establishing land reform, providing equal rights for women, seeing through campaigns for disease prevention and decreasing infant mortality.[11] During this period, China's growth in life expectancy ranks as among the most rapid sustained increases in documented global history,[13][18] mainly because of the socialist government's radical commitment to the elimination of poverty and to improving living conditions of the people; an effort which has brought the elimination of widespread hunger, illiteracy, and ill health, remarkable reduction in chronic undernourishment and child mortality, and a dramatic expansion of longevity.[19] Systematic efforts to vaccinate the population against polio, measles, diphtheria, whooping cough, scarlet fever, cholera and other diseases were rapid and reputedly successful, virtually eradicating smallpox within the span of only three years.[13]

The land reforms led to the destruction of feudal relations of production in agriculture, leading to virtually universal access to land and a dramatic reduction in poverty and hunger.[12] Education also improved dramatically in this period. During the 1950s, investments in primary and secondary school infrastructure increased considerably, and dramatic increases in attendance followed. Primary school enrollment rates rose to 80% by 1958 and to 97% by 1975, and secondary school rates increased to 46% by 1977.[13]

Even though China achieved many positive changes in society, the first generation has experienced problems in their governance, most notably during the Great Leap Forward, which was a colossal failure, contributing to the Great Chinese Famine, which had major long-term effects on health and economic development in China, leading to reduced population height, and having a negative impact on labor supply and earnings of famine survivors.[20] Another campaign, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution resulted in overzealous local cadres taking the situation out of control, destroying sites of heritage and recklessly denouncing people in their community.[citation needed]

Second Generation (1976–1992)

The second generation of leadership covers the extent of time that Deng Xiaoping was influential in Chinese politics. Deng Xiaoping only held two positions of power during this time: Chair of the Central Military Commission of the PRC for 4 years, and Chair of the Central Military Commission of the CPC for 8 years. For the rest of this 16 year long period, Deng Xiaoping held no positions of power but was still considered the most influential figure in Chinese politics. This generation was mainly characterized by the development of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.[21]

The reform programs introduced in this period produced impressive results. The Chinese economy saw a rapid expansion in both investment and consumption, rapid rises in both productivity and the wage rate, and rapid increases in job creation, which provided the necessary material conditions for broader social development, including the reconstruction of a publicly-funded healthcare system and acceleration of the process of urbanization.[22]

Inspired by Gorbachyov in the Soviet Union, Zhao Ziyang and his right-opportunist clique attempted to restore capitalism in the late 1980s.[23] The CIA and its cut-out, the NED, attempted a color revolution in 1989 and lynched unarmed PLA soldiers before being defeated.[24][25][26]

Third Generation (1992–2002)

The third generation of leadership covers the extent of time that Jiang Zemin was president of the PRC.[27] It was mainly characterized by Jiang Zemin's political theory known as the Three Represents.[28]

The Three Represents theory refers to the following:

  1. Representing the development trend of China’s advanced productive forces.
  2. Representing the orientation of China's advanced culture.
  3. Representing the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.

Fourth Generation (2002–2012)

The fourth generation of leadership covers the extent of time when Hu Jintao was the president of the PRC and Wen Jiabo was premier. It was mainly characterized by Hu Jintao's political theory known as the scientific outlook on development.

Fifth Generation (2012–present)

The fifth generation of leadership covers the extent of time that Xi Jinping has been the president of the PRC, and that Li Keqiang has been the premier.[29] A key component of Xi's leadership is his administration's ongoing crackdown and cleaning out of CIA and other capitalist orgs penetration of the CPC and wider Chinese society. [30]

The biggest project of the fifth generation of leadership has been the Belt and Road Initiative. Other endeavors made during this generation include the Chinese Space Station, the Two Centennial Goals, and Green Development.

The main political contribution made during the fifth generation has been Xi Jinping Thought but other contributions have been made such as the Core Socialist Values and the Chinese Dream.

Administrative divisions

Map of China with its administrative divisions at a province-level.

China has 34 province-level divisions: 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the Central Government, and 2 special administrative region.[31]

Name Seat of Government Area (100,000 km2) Population (100,000)
Beijing Municipality Beijing 0.168 125.7
Tianjin Municipality Tianjin 0.113 95.9
Hebei Province Shijiazhuang 1.900 661.4
Shanxi Province Taiyuan 1.560 320.4
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Hohhot 11.830 236.2
Liaoning Province Shenyang 1.457 417.1
Jilin Province Changchun 1.870 265.8
Heilongjiang Province Harbin 4.690 379.2
Shanghai Municipality Shanghai 0.062 147.4
Jiangsu Province Nanjing 1.026 721.3
Zhejiang Province Hangzhou 1.018 447.5
Anhui Province Hefei 1.390 623.7
Fujian Province Fuzhou 1.200 331.6
Jiangxi Province Nanchang 1.666 423.1
Shandong Province Jinan 1.530 888.3
Henan Province Zhengzhou 1.670 938.7
Hubei Province Wuhan 1.874 593.8
Hunan Province Changsha 2.100 653.2
Guangdong Province Guangzhou 1.860 727.0
Guangxi Autonomous Region Nanning 2.363 471.3
Hainan Province Haikou 0.340 76.2
Chongqing Municipality Chongqing 0.820 307.5
Sichuan Province Chengdu 4.880 855.0
Guizhou Province Guiyang 1.700 371.0
Yunnan Province Kunming 3.940 419.2
Tibet Autonomous Region Lhasa 12.200 25.6
Shaanxi Province Xi'an 2.050 361.8
Gansu Province Lanzhou 4.500 254.3
Qinghai Province Xining 7.200 51.0
Ningxia Autonomous Region Yinchuan 0.664 54.3
Xinjiang Autonomous Region Urumqi 16.000 177.4
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Hong Kong 0.01092 68.4
Macao Special Administrative Region Macao 0.00024 4.3
Taiwan Province Taipei (occupied by US imperialists) 0.360 217.4


While this section is under development, here are a few sources for us to take a look:[32]

China operates what they call Socialism with Chinese Characteristics often referred to as the Socialist Market Economy by Chinese leaders. In this system, China maintains state ownership of large industries and those that they deem vital to China's security while facilitating a market driven development of medium and small enterprises. Firms that would otherwise be monopolies in China are ran as what is called a State Owned Enterprise (SOE). SOE's often participate in markets and sometimes function much like a private firm with the key difference being China controls strategic resources such as rare earth minerals as well as silicon chips, which are both valuable to high-technology industries.[33] The employess of the SOEs are also able to join worker councils, which grant them limited democratic control over their workplace.[34][35]

However, China also has a vibrant worker co-operative model of ownership. Worker co-operatives are trading enterprises, owned and run by the people who work in them, who have an equal say in what the business does, and an equitable share in the wealth created from the products and services they provide. With 48% of all rural households in China being apart of a Co-operative. [36] In 2017, there were 30,281 primary (village-level) supply and marketing cooperatives (SMCs), 2,402 country-level federations of SMCs, 342 city-level federations of SMCs, 32 provincial-level federations of SMCs, 21,852 cooperative enterprises and 280 cooperative institutes represented by ACFSMC (All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives). There were 3.4 million employees in all SMCs represented by ACFSMC.[37] About 95% of towns and villages have a SMC as of 2019, compared to 50% a mere 6 years ago.[38]

China also has great democratic management in the workplace, with positive associations with workers' hourly wages, fringe benefits, and firms' labor productivity on average, suggesting that it is not merely ‘window-dressing’ as perceived by conventional wisdom.[39] Chinese workers have also had higher wage increases, doubling between 2008 and 2019, compared to emerging G20 countries with a 3.5-4.5% annual growth. And in advanced G20 countries with 0.4-0.9% annual growth. [40] Chinese workers having greater rights even extend to the killing of executives who threaten to lay off workers.[41] And the ability to imprison their own boss in his office, with the police intervening on behalf of the workers.[42]

As of January 2023 The People's Republic of China has an overall historic unemployment rate of around 4-5%. [43]Compared to the Statesian historic unemployment rate of around 5-6%.[44]This is high in comparison to the economy of, for example, the USSR, which generally had stable employment opportunities for young workers, and also had an unemployment rate of about 1%.[45]

Although GDP growth was at its peak in the 1960s, China experiences consistent GDP growth, and China outpaces the US in terms of GDP growth.[46]

Mode of production

Currently China is in the primary stage of socialism. This is a stage which is expected to last until the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, and this stage is intended to develop the productive forces of China to the point where socialism is superior in terms of productivity in contrast to the capitalist mode of production.[47]



In the Mao period, China built one of the developing world's most robust public healthcare systems, based on rural primary care, barefoot doctors, and regular mass campaigns, known as "patriotic health campaigns." Since the beginning of the reform period, China's healthcare system has gone through a number of phases. After an unfortunate period of regression and privatization, China has spent the last decade making rapid progress towards a new universal healthcare system. A 2020 study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) summarizes many of the goals and programs of China's recent health reforms:

Priority was given to expanding the scope and health service package of the basic insurance coverage, improving provider payment mechanisms, as well as increasing the financing level, fiscal subsidies and reimbursement rates. [...] The government has increased investment in primary care, with initiatives that include strengthening the infrastructure of primary healthcare (PHC) facilities, expanding human resources for primary care through incentives and supporting projects, establishing a general practitioner system and improving the capacity of PHC personnel through training and education, such as general practice training and continuous medical education programmes. [...] The ‘equalization of basic public health services’ policy implemented the national BPHS programme and the crucial public health service (CPHS) programme. [...] This policy seeks to achieve universal availability and promote a more equitable provision of basic health services to all urban and rural citizens.[48]

The study goes on to note that China has made significant progress towards meeting its reform goals, and building a developed and equitable universal healthcare system:

During the past 10 years since the latest round of healthcare reform, China made steady progress in achieving the reform goals and UHC [i.e. universal health coverage].

Another paper, also from the BMJ, summarizes the recent improvements in China's health outcomes, as well as access to, and cost of, healthcare:

The results include the following: out-of-pocket expenditures as a percentage of current health expenditures in China have dropped dramatically from 60.13% in 2000 to 35.91% in 2016; the health insurance coverage of the total population jumped from 22.1% in 2003 to 95.1% in 2013; the average life expectancy increased from 72.0 to 76.4, maternal mortality dropped from 59 to 29 per 100 000 live births, the under-5 mortality rate dropped from 36.8 to 9.3 per 1000 live births, and neonatal mortality dropped from 21.4 to 4.7 per 1000 live births between 2000 and 2017; and so on.[49]

In short, while China's healthcare system is not perfect, it is certainly moving in the right direction. As with many other aspects of China's socialist construction, this provides a model for other developing nations; according to the aforementioned BMJ study:

The lessons learnt from China could help other nations improve UHC in sustainable and adaptive ways, including continued political support, increased health financing and a strong PHC system as basis. The experience of the rapid development of UHC in China can provide a valuable mode for countries (mainly LMICs) planning their own path further on in the UHC journey.

This is another benefit of China's rise to prominence on the world stage. China demonstrates to the world that it is possible for a desperately poor country to rise from poverty, develop its economy, and meet the needs of its people.

Democracy and popular opinion

Polls conducted by Western researchers have consistently found that the Chinese people have a high level of support for their government, and for the Communist Party. A 2020 analysis by the China Data Lab (based at UC San Diego) found that support for the government has been increasing as of late.[50] Similar results were found in a 2016 survey done by Harvard University's Ash Center:

The survey team found that compared to public opinion patterns in the U.S., in China there was very high satisfaction with the central government. In 2016, the last year the survey was conducted, 95.5 percent of respondents were either “relatively satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with Beijing. In contrast to these findings, Gallup reported in January of this year that their latest polling on U.S. citizen satisfaction with the American federal government revealed only 38 percent of respondents were satisfied with the federal government.[51]

It is worth noting that the Chinese people are significantly less satisfied with local government than they are with the central government. Still, these results disprove the common notion that the Chinese people are ruled by an iron fisted regime that they do not want. Indeed, one official from the Ash Center noted that their findings "run counter to the general idea that these people are marginalized and disfavored by policies." As he states:

We tend to forget that for many in China, and in their lived experience of the past four decades, each day was better than the next.

In addition, most Chinese people are satisfied with the level of democracy in the PRC. A 2018 study in the International Political Science Review notes that "surveys suggest that the majority of Chinese people feel satisfied with the level of democracy in China." However, the study notes that "people who hold liberal democratic values" are more likely to be dissatisfied with the state of democracy in China. By contrast, those who hold a "substantive" view of democracy (i.e. one based on the idea that the state should focus on providing for the material needs of the people) are more satisfied.[52]

While the Chinese government contains authoritarian elements, it also has elements of genuine democracy. An example of this may be found in the National People's Congress, China's primary legislative body. While Western media has typically labeled the NPC as a simple rubberstamping body for the Central Committee, the facts indicate that this is not entirely true. A 2016 study in the Journal of Legislative Studies found that the NPC "is no longer a minimal or ‘rubber-stamp’ legislature," noting that "the NPC does play an important role in the whole political system, especially in legislation, though the NPC has typically been under the control of China's Communist Party."[53]

Many of the other claims surrounding authoritarianism in China are highly overblown, to say the least. For instance, an article in Foreign Policy (the most orthodox of liberal policy journals) notes that the Chinese social credit system was massively exaggerated and distorted in Western media. An article in the publication Wired discusses how many of these overblown perceptions came to be. None of this is to suggest that China is a perfect democracy, with zero flaws; it certainly has issues relating to transparency, treatment of prisoners, etc. That being said, it is far from the totalitarian nightmare that imperialist media generally depicts it as being.

Public ownership

Contrary to the popular perception that China's growth has been the result of a transition to capitalism, the evidence shows that public ownership continues to play a key growth-driving role in the PRC's economy. According to the aforementioned 2020 study in the Review of Radical Political Economics, "strategic industries, which Lenin called 'the commanding heights of economy,' are still state-owned and have played a very important role in China’s economic development."[54] The author notes that "after decades of market reform, China’s state sector, rather than disappearing or being marginalized, has become a leader in strategic sectors and the driver of its investment-led growth." To learn more, we would recommend the book The Basic Economic System of China, which goes into this issue in much more depth.[55]

Even after the economic reforms, China's public ownership sector remained great, according to the paper "China’s Collective and Private Enterprises: Growth and Its Financing" by Shahid Yusuf, during 1985-1991, on average only around 7.1 % of the Industrial Sector was actually private (started by entrepreneurs and foreign businesses).[56] And during 1991, the national industrial sector only had around 11.41% being truly private.[57]

Growth and poverty reduction

According to a 2019 report from Philip Alston (UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights):

China’s achievements in alleviating extreme poverty in recent years, and in meeting highly ambitious targets for improving social well-being, have been extraordinary. [...] Over the past three decades, and with particular speed in recent years, China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. This is a staggering achievement and is a credit to those responsible.[58]

Similarly, a 2020 study in the China Economic Review notes that income growth has been "widely shared nationwide," resulting in "substantial, ongoing rural poverty reduction" throughout the country. A major milestone was reached with the recent announcement (acknowledged in Western media outlets, such as CNN) that the last poverty-stricken counties in China have been delisted, "leaving no county in a state of absolute poverty countrywide."[59]

Malnutrition has continued to decline massively in China over the last several decades. According to the University of Oxford's Our World in Data project, China now has a lower rate of death from malnutrition than the United States,[60] as well as a lower rate of extreme poverty, despite having a significantly lower GDP-per-capita.[61]

Economic growth has also increased dramatically. According to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, "reforms yielded a significant growth and structural transformation differential. GDP growth is 4.2 percentage points higher and the share of the labor force in agriculture is 23.9 percentage points lower compared with the continuation of the pre-1978 policies."[62]

Foreign relations

In 2021, China signed a 25-year cooperation agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.[5]


Bourgeois influence in trade unions

The main trade union federation in China, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), up until 2011 historically attended to the interests of capital.[63] In 2006, Wal-Mart decided to allow workers to unionize in China. The company's spokesman declared that "The [ACFTU] is fundamentally different from unions in the West... The union has made it clear that its goal is to work with employers, not promote confrontation."[64]

Debunking myths

"Imperialism" and the Belt and Road Initiative

China is often accused of being an "imperialist" state, due primarily to its investments in Africa, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. These critics ignore the actual views of the African people themselves, who overwhelmingly approve of China's role in their economic development.[65] In addition, the extent of Chinese involvement in Africa is smaller than often believed; according to a 2019 paper from the Center for Economic Policy Research, "China’s influence in Africa is much smaller than is generally believed, though its engagement on the continent is increasing. Chinese investment in Africa, while less extensive than often assumed, has the potential to generate jobs and development on the continent."[66]

A 2018 study in the Review of Development Finance also found that Chinese investment in Africa raises incomes in the African nations that receive the investment, in a similar way to foreign investments by other nations. The author state that these results "suggest that the win-win deal China claims when investing in Africa may hold, and Chinese investment contributes to growth in Africa. Put differently, Chinese investment is mutually beneficial for both China and Africa."[67]

Despite the Western media accusing China of "debt trap diplomacy," China gives loans at low interest rates and often allows countries to restructure or even never repay loans, unlike the neocolonial IMF.[68] China has forgiven tens of billions of dollars of debt held by African countries.[69] It has also forgiven 23 interest-free loans to 17 different countries.[68]

The economist Yanis Varoufakis discussed the topic in a recent lecture given at the Cambridge forum. He helpfully debunks a number of myths on the matter.

Censorship and the Great Firewall

Facebook was allowed in China up until the deadly 2009 riots in Xinjiang. [70] In the bigger picture, this is a response to the terroristic behavior of the NED.[71] Much like how communists are censored in the west, China is defending itself against the common imperialism tactic of color revolution.

Abandoning of Marxism

A poster in Beijing that reads "Never forget our roots. Marxism was here in China's early days"

In 2020, Xi Jinping gave a speech to the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, in which he made clear the continued importance that the CPC places on Marxist political economy. To quote:

Marxist political economy is an important component of Marxism, and required learning for our efforts to uphold and develop Marxism. [...] There are people who believe Marxist political economy and Das Kapital are obsolete, but this is an arbitrary and erroneous judgment. Setting aside more distant events and looking at just the period since the global financial crisis, we can see that many capitalist countries have remained in an economic slump, with serious unemployment problems, intensifying polarization, and deepening social divides. The facts tell us that the contradictions between the socialization of production and the private possession of the means of production still exist, but they are manifested in ways and show characteristics that are somewhat different.[72]

He goes on to list a number of principles guiding the implementation of Marxist political economy in the PRC:

First, we must uphold a people-centered approach to development. Development is for the people; this is the fundamental position of Marxist political economy. [...] Second, we must uphold the new development philosophy. Third, we must uphold and improve our basic socialist economic system. According to Marxist political economy, ownership of the means of production is the core of the relations of production, and this determines a society's fundamental nature and the orientation of its development. Since reform and opening up... we have stressed the importance of continuing to make public ownership the mainstay while allowing ownership of other forms to develop side by side, and made it clear that both the public and non-public sectors are important components of the socialist market economy as well as crucial foundations for our nation's economic and social development. [...] Fourth, we must uphold and improve our basic socialist distribution system. [...] Fifth, we must uphold reforms to develop the socialist market economy. [...] Sixth, we must uphold the fundamental national policy of opening up.

From this, it should be quite clear that Marxism (specifically Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought) retains a dominant role in the People's Republic of China, serving as the guiding ideology of the Communist Party.

LGBT rights

See also: LGBT rights and issues in AES countries#People's Republic of China

Same-sex relationships are legal in China, although same-sex marriage and adoption are not currently legal. Same-sex couple married overseas can be named as each other’s “legal guardians”, a status considered fairly similar to a civil union.[73] Transgender individuals are legally allowed to receive healthcare and may legally change their gender marker after receiving sexual reassignment surgery. In recent years, transgender treatment facilities have become more available in China, including the opening of a clinic for the treatment of transgender minors in 2021, with both psychological help and hormone treatment available.[74]

Professor Li Yinhe of the Institute of Sociology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was quoted in a CGTN article as saying that the biggest challenge for the LGBT community in China is not anything imposed by law, but rather family pressure stemming from the "deep-rooted culture" that places high priority on family values and especially an emphasis on carrying on the family line.[75]

According to a 2020 report published in BMC Public Health, "For member of the Chinese LGBT community, the greatest source of pressure to conform to societal norms of sexuality and identity comes from family members—particularly parents." The report also found that "a higher level of economic development in provinces was associated with a decrease in discrimination, and we identified that every 100 thousand RMB increase in per capita GDP lead to a 6.4% decrease in discriminatory events perpetrated by heterosexuals" and that "The prevalence of this discrimination is associated with the economic development of the province in which it occurs."[76]

The 2021 short documentary film "A Day of Trans" (Chinese: 跨越性别的一天) explores the lived experiences of four Chinese transgender individuals across three generations, exploring their professional career paths, community involvement, social barriers, and their unique approaches to life as transgender individuals across the generations. It is directed by Yennefer Fang, a Chinese transgender independent filmmaker. It follows Liu Peilin, who was born in 1956, and started identify as a woman in her 40s. It also follows Mr. C, a 35-year-old transgender man, who became the public face in the fight for job equality in China in 2016 and who won a court case against his employer for discrimination for his gender identity. Finally, it follows two transgender artists who grew up during China's rapid economic growth. Fang said that she tries to observe the status of transgender people from an internal perspective and tries to dispel misconceptions through the documentary, including the perception that "transgenderism" is a contemporary, white, or bourgeois term.[77][78]


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