The rise of China is not only a hope for the Asian people but also inspires working class people all over the world. It instils hopes that there is an alternative to predatory capitalism of the west. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) played a major role in transforming China as a major world power while uplifting many Chinese from poverty, hunger and homelessness. The Chinese state capitalism or socialism with Chinese character under the leadership of CCP has managed its economy, politics and culture in a progressive manner. The Chinese achievements are potential alternatives to western capitalism. However, there are many issues that is confronting China today that limits the working-class politics. There is falling ideological appeal of the CCP among Chinese youth due to its top down approach. There is growing disillusionment among the CCP members because of the growing gap between theory and ideological practice among the top leadership within the CCP hierarchy. There is huge growth of economic inequality among Chinese population. The growing gap between rich and poor shows the failures of the CCP in developing egalitarian economic policies. The gap between rural and urban China is another concern that CCP ignores in practice. Many of these problems are self-inflicted by the arrogance and dominance of the CCP. It is making the same blunders that USSR made and collapsed. These self-inflicted harms are avoidable for the sake of China, Chinese people in particular and working-class people across the globe.

The internal issues of discontent in Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan and fear among the Uighur Muslims reflect democratic distrusts between Chinese government, party and people living within China. It demands democratisation politics and decentralisation governance within the democratic traditions of communist ideology. The CCP led Chinese government has failed to overcome the trust deficit within different regions and provinces in China. The trust deficit of China is accelerated by its aggressive postures in its neighbourhood foreign policy.  China and India are two civilizational postcolonial states. These two countries share more than 3,440km (2,100 miles) long border and have overlapping claims. These two nuclear armed countries can solve their border disputes with debates, discussions and diplomacy. The military confrontation between two diminishes their role both in regional and global forums. It sends wrong signals to regional and world peace. Both the countries need to focus on their own economic development and cooperate with each other for human welfare. China, Nepal and Pakistan are all weather friends. This is how neighbours should be in relationships but there is distrust of Beijing in Kathmandu and Islamabad. Vietnam, Philippines, Sri Lanka and east Asian countries are also good friends with China but scepticisms are growing in these countries because of the highhandedness of Beijing. There is local resistance against Chinese investment and Chinese takeover of their natural and strategic resources. Similar trends are visible in African continent against neo-colonial modes of Chinese investments. The Chinese aggressive postures diminish the good will for China in different regions.

The ruling elites need to understand that these issues are serious liabilities in long run. The sustainability of CCP and the rise of China depends on the good will it generates among people within its effective foreign policy praxis in dealing with neighbours and other friendly nations. The CCP can solve all these issues with a clear, coherent and democratic approach by developing uninterrupted trust between China and other neighbouring countries. It can solve its internal disputes and discontents with an open, honest, progressive and democratic manner. It needs political resolve that can further strengthen China within and outside its territory. But the Chinese aggressive behaviours diminish China and all its potentials. China is making the same mistakes as Soviet Russia has made, which led to its disintegration. It was a major loss to the working-class people of the world. Similarly, the failures of China will further weaken the working-class politics in the world.  In this context, the CCP led China need to take responsibility and initiative for peace and development and transform itself within changing requirements of time.

The organisational, ideological and structural transformation of the CCP, Chinese state and government depends on various factors. These factors are local, regional, national and international.  The understandings of these factors are central to the initiation of reform processes. The CCP’s dominance and monopoly over Chinese politics and state needs serious reflection by which CCP can accommodate different political, cultural, social and intellectual voices within and outside China.  The China is no more solely an agrarian economy. There are different sectors emerged in China during the post 1985 reform period. The Chinese party state need to develop capabilities to engage with different professional classes and negotiate with their requirements.  It would be political suicide to ignore the new class formations in China. The CCP, Chinese state and government can manage all these challenges and uncertainties if it engages with it in an open and democratic manner. The Chinese communists have nothing to hide but need to reform the way it functions.

China is a part of the global capitalist production and distribution networks. China is using these networks for its own national interests. But the national interests should not be the only criteria for a communist party state to determine its future course of actions in geopolitics. The national interests are not free from the interests of Chinese people and their Asian neighbours.  If the CCP looks at its national interest only, it would be very difficult to sustain the Chinese model of economic growth and development. There is growing local resistance movements against special economic zones, industrial and technological parks due to the perilous working conditions and precarity of Chinese workers. In this way, China faces these uphill tasks and challenges during these uncertain times. The Chinese story can survive if Chinese ruling classes can transform themselves by reflecting on their aggressive, neoliberal governance within the country, and poor public relations management, and bullying behaviour with neighbouring and friendly countries.

Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Coventry University, UK


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