Only One Socialism

There is so No Russian socialism, Vietnamese socialism or Cuban socialism. There is only one socialism—it is Marxist socialism. But the ‘Chinese Communists’ have developed a habit of popularising their brand of socialism as ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ at every available opportunity, both regionally and globally. It’s simply a misnomer. They are actually speaking about ‘sinified socialism’. In other words they hawk the notion of the ‘sinification’ of Marxism in China. It’s as absurd as anything else. The Chinese bankers and moneylenders, like their counterparts of America and Europe, are actually building capitalism, not socialism in third world countries. True, the Chinese don’t maintain military bases on foreign soil but the days are not far when they like Americans and Europeans, will have to maintain security forces in their client states to counter growing popular unrest against their presence. Their much publicised and yet less understood Road and Belt Initiative is actually a grand capitalist design to export capital in underdeveloped third world countries. The massive Chinese investments in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mayanmar are revealing the true nature of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’. They remain silent about Myanmar’s genocide of the Rohingyas, for the sake of ‘socialism with Chinese Characteristics’! China is Mayanmar’s firmest backer as it builds a road into Rakhine state under its Belt and Road Initiative. To allow genocide to proceed anywhere is to open the door to genocide everywhere. They support Pakistan’s tacit approval of terroristic activities against India because of China’s ‘socialist’ compulsion.

Gwadar in Baluchistan, is viewed by China and Pakistan as the future hub of the China-Pakistan economic corridor. It will be the strategic centre of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, to build a new ‘Silk Road’ of land and maritime trade routes, across more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Export-focused industries will ship goods worldwide from the planned Gwadar trans-shipment hub and mega-port, to be constructed alongside special economic zones. Gwadar will be connected to China’s western regions by a network of energy pipelines, roads and rail links. Three new cranes have been installed at the harbour and dredging is deepening the port depth to 20 metres, at five berths. Gwadar port trade is calculated to increase from 1.2 million tons in 2018, to about 13 million tons by 2022. USA and India view Gwadar as part of China’s future geo-strategic plans to challenge US naval dominance.

Baluchistan, is a mineral-rich province, that continues to be Pakistan’s poorest province. Gwadar has no access to drinking water and poor electricity supply. Insurgents threaten attacks against Chinese projects in Gwadar and the rest of Baluchistan. Chinese and other foreign visitors are driven around in convoys of soldiers and armed police. Indigenous Baluch fear an influx of other ethnic groups and foreigners. Pakistani officials promise urgent building of desalination plants and power stations. In the small fishing town, China has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about $500 million in grants for an airport, hospital, college and badly needed water infrastructure. Presently Gwadar is a dusty town, whose harbour juts out into the Arabian Sea. $230 million has been granted for a new international airport, one of the largest disbursements, China has made abroad.

Hambatonta port in Sri Lanka, is part of a network of harbours, Beijing is developing in Asia and Africa. The village of Hambatonta has been transformed into a port complex, but was saddled with Chinese debt. Mid-December 2017, Sri Lanka formally handed over operations to China on a 90-year lease, in exchange for lighter debt repayments. Many Sri Lankans view the move as an erosion of sovereignty, and there were numerous street protests in Sri Lanka. Pakistani officials assert that the Gwadar project has much less debt. Besides the airport in Gwadar, Chinese grants in Gwadar include $100 million to expand a hospital by 250 beds, $130 million towards upgrading water infrastructure, and $10 million for a technical and vocational college.

Strange it may seem, some leftist forces, rather communist forces in India continue to harbour illusion of seeing better days for the oppressed of India through the Chinese looking glass. Capitalist laws are not different for China. The hoax of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ demands exposure. The Chinese were fanatically nationalist in the yester years and they look more nationalistic than ever before in pursuing their global agenda of Belt and Road Initiative.

Vol. 50, No.31, Feb 4 - 10, 2017