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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

More on China

Another very interesting article on the rising social unrest in China, this time from the New York Times. There are now regular largescale strikes and mass protests taking on the character of uprisings against China's increasingly unequal society. The article really gives the sense of a society reaching boiling point. However, as the author points out, the Chinese working class has no organisations of its own comparable to Solidarnosc in 80s Poland (or for that matter working class organisations that have arisen in numerous dictatorial regimes like Apartheid South Africa).

Conveniently enough, at the China Labour Bulletin website there is an article on the possibility of workers reclaiming from below the All China Federation of Trade Unions. Somehow I have my doubts about this - trade union bureaucrats seem to be bad enough even when they're elected by the membership so I don't see a state-controlled union bureaucracy giving way to workers too easily.


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