Don't blame China
Published Mar 16, 2005 3:54 PM
There is a growing anti-China undercurrent in the big-business media focusing
on the increase in Chinese exports to the U.S. These increases follow the
removal of 40-year-old textile quotas by the World Trade Organization at the end
of 2004. This anti-China campaign aims to pit workers in the U.S. against China,
based upon the alleged concern over job losses.
In the first place, the
capitalist media’s expressed concern over U.S. textile job losses has
nothing to do with concern for workers. The primary concern is the loss of
profitable markets and the fear of growing Chinese economic strength that can
challenge U.S. capitalists for global markets.
China has already begun to
export its own automobiles. It is signing trade agreements on mutually favorable
terms in Latin America, the Middle East, and other spheres that U.S. imperialism
and the European and Japanese capitalist powers regard as their territory. This
gives developing countries an alternative to the harsh terms of trade the
imperialist powers impose.
In the second place, it is pure hypocrisy for
the U.S. capitalist establishment to cover its profit-hungry goals under cover
of concern about workers’ jobs. Every boss seeks to cut wages, reduce or
eliminate benefits, use speed up, enforce overtime or put workers on part time
depending upon what is best for the bottom line. And every company, large or
small, always looks to introduce labor-saving devices that throw workers out of
If there were really concern for unemployed textile workers, the
corporations and the government would simply continue to pay the salaries of the
laid-off workers. Meanwhile they would retrain and place the workers in
decent-paying jobs—with benefits—conditions that every worker
deserves. This is the way it is done in socialist Cuba. With the U.S. $10
trillion economy, this is not much too ask.
Above all, no one should be
drawn into the false argument of blaming China for the economic problems of U.S.
capitalism, either the problems of the workers or of the bosses. China was
carved up and held down by the colonial powers in a state of underdevelopment
for close to two centuries. With one fourth of the human race, China was known
as “the land of hunger” up until the middle of the last century.
Only the socialist revolution of 1949 liberated it from colonial bondage and
made possible the conditions for economic development.
In its struggle to
overcome underdevelopment and poverty, China has shifted from its early emphasis
on socialist construction to an emphasis on capitalist development and foreign
concessions—but all under the control of the Chinese Communist Party.
China has every right as a formerly-oppressed country to use trade as a means of
development. While we have differences with the orientation of
and believe it endangers China’s development toward socialism, that is a
U.S. capitalists thought it was fine for them to take
advantage of economic concessions to invest in and profit from China. But as
China develops and enters the world economic arena to challenge the very
profiteering powers that once held China in colonial bondage, the anti-China
undercurrents here begin to rise to the surface. The working class in this
country should know that its enemy is not China but the anti-labor, exploiting
capitalist class that runs this country and has sweatshops here and all over the
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