China

Activist agenda

Safe and Equal is producing a new leaflet soon for door-to-door distribution, and developing a call on other campaigning groups which have backed better isolation pay to organise a united front on the issue. Bell Ribiero-Addy MP has been working with the campaign to investigate the employment practices of companies working under the Track and Trace banner. Frontline workers at test centres indicate that many are employed on zero-hours contracts, without isolation pay. A number of activists are now lobbying their councils trying to ensure all care providers pay full sick pay. Unison activists...

Clampdown forces Hong Kong union to disband

On 15 January 2021, the Hong Kong Civil Service Bureau (CSB), undoubtedly acting under the instruction of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her Chinese Communist Party masters, issued a circular to all government departments All 180,000 workers in these departments will be required to take an oath of loyalty to the government and its “basic law”. If they take that oath and are later seen to be acting “disloyally”, they can face immediate disciplinary action. Monitoring of their activities might also feed into their prosecution under the National Security Law. Many civil service workers, including...

Chinese policy is eugenics, not liberation

Twitter has removed a tweet by a Chinese embassy account spreading “violent propaganda” about the alleged sterilisation of Uyghur Muslim women after receiving several complaints. The embassy shared an article from state-run media China Daily, which claimed the “eradication of extremism” in Xinjiang, an area of China with a large Uyghur population, has given women “more autonomy”. It said: “Study shows that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and gender equality and reproductive health were promoted, making them no longer baby-making...

Mass arrests in Hong Kong

Prominent trade union leaders were amongst the 53 activists arrested in Hong Kong on the early morning of Wednesday 6 January 2021. Carol Ng, the chair of the HKCTU and Winnie Yu, chair of the most vibrant new health workers' union, the HAEA, were amongst them.

"Whataboutery" on China and the Uyghurs

“Whataboutery” is an old trick much favoured by Stalinists whenever difficult questions about human rights under “socialist” regimes are raised. Apparently the correct term is “tu quoque” — a debating technique based upon the perceived hypocrisy of the opponent rather than the merits of their argument. Some of the most blatant cases you’ll come across involve the Morning Star and its increasingly desperate efforts to deny or justify the Chinese state’s treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang. This began with a number of articles earlier this year, attacking the findings of Adrian Zenz, a...

Kino Eye: China's coal mines

October 1 was the anniversary of the founding of the “People’s Republic” of China. Regular readers of the Morning Star should turn away now. Blind Shaft (2003, director Li Yang), a film set in a coal mining region of China, depicts the appalling conditions underground and corruption among officials. In 2003 there were 6,700 fatalities (official figures) in Chinese mines. Two con-men persuade a young lad to join them in the mine, posing as their nephew. After a few weeks they kill him while underground and the mine manager, afraid of an investigation, pays them a large bribe. The next time they...

Uyghurs suppressed? But the US has racist cops!

During the Cold War the cry "but America lynches blacks" was a favourite Stalinist riposte to any criticism of the USSR's human rights record. This is known as a Tu Quoque — a form of debating trick based upon the perceived hypocrisy of the opponent rather than the merits of their argument. Last weekend's Morning Star (19-20 Sep) carried a classic example of this with an article by Fiona Edwards entitled "The left must oppose the US cold war on China and not sit on the fence". Ms Edwards examines "the reality of the contrasting approaches of the US and China on the major issues facing humanity...

How I got 100 people out to back the Uyghurs

Sade Sawyers, who organised a protest for the Uyghurs at the Chinese embassy in London on 11 September, spoke to Sacha Ismail from Solidarity. I watch a lot of political videos on YouTube, and about a month ago I came across one about the Uyghurs. Before that I hadn't actually heard about the issue, even though I'm pretty up to date with current events. I was shocked — I actually ended up crying, which I wouldn't normally. I started tweeting about it and got into discussion with a friend, decided to organise a protest and it went from there. I didn't expect such a good response — I thought it...

China and the Uyghurs

The Morning Star has a problem. How does a newspaper claiming to stand for “Peace and Socialism” defend a regime that denies basic democratic rights and has incarcerated an estimated million Muslims in what look very much like concentration camps? An article by one Carlos Martinez (MS July 14) denounced “increasingly hysterical and absurd” criticisms of China, citing “four main lines of attack being pushed on a daily basis by the US and British ruling classes”: That the newly introduced National Security Law is an attack on the basic freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and violates China’s...

Who's lying about the Uyghurs? Socialist Action covers for repression in China

The Socialist Action group has republished an article by Max Blumenthal, a US “left-wing” conspiracy theorist and apologist for Stalinism, seeking to undermine the idea the Chinese state is committing human rights abuses against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang/East Turkestan. They praise Blumenthal and his article in an introductory article which is itself quite extensive. Socialist Action is small but has a certain influence in the Labour left. It is also well-entrenched in the offices of various influential people. Its origins are Trotskyist but nowadays its politics are crudely Stalinist. In...

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