‘Friends of Socialist China’

Friends of Socialist China (FoSC) is one of many websites, podcasts, and video channels devoted to praising the capitalist regime that rules China. Most of the praise is set against criticism of US imperialism. They reason that if US imperialism does something evil– which it most certainly does–then the rising monopoly capitalist power in China must be doing good things. FoSC’s almost daily posts use this illogic over and over.

So FoSC publishes titles like, “Campaigning against the New Cold War is crucial for all who value peace and justice” and “The Western left must reject anti-China propaganda and join the progressive global trend.” Talk of a New Cold War casts the US as the instigating power eager for a clash. The actual situation is a growing, unavoidable contradiction between expanding Chinese monopoly capitalism and established, decaying US monopoly capitalism.

One FoSC article of special interest is “A community of shared future is the only viable option for humanity,” by Keith Bennett, published July 12, 2023. Bennett is a co-editor of FoSC. He calls himself a “researcher and consultant on China’s international relations.”

In line with his consultancy, Bennett Associates, Bennett promotes Chinese trade and investment to British businessmen. “The economic and commercial relationship with China is intrinsic to the economic health of the UK and the economic well-being of the British people. … Business people, civil society, and others [but no mention of the working class] all have their roles to play.”Apparently, Bennett does not care what de-industrialisation does to British workers following the export of capital.

Bennett is also vice-chair of the 48 Club, a London-based group of more than 600 businessmen, parliamentarians, government bureaucrats and diplomats. According to a statement once posted on its website, “The Club offers an important – and often key – network of contacts for those active in building relations [with China] through any field from commerce to culture.”

In his post of July 12, Bennett took direction from recent PRC propaganda emphasis on the notion of civilisation. He wrote:

“Humanity has a history of civilisation dating back millennia. Civilisations arose and developed on different continents and at different times. But they prospered and innovated through mutual exchanges and mutual learning. The ancient Silk Road, which began in China, is one of the greatest examples of this.”

“Countries, the Chinese President [Xi] explains, need to keep an open mind in appreciating the values of different civilisations and they should refrain from imposing their own values or models on others and from stoking ideological confrontation.”

“Socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new option for those countries that wish to rapidly develop their economies while maintaining their independence.”

No, China’s rapid industrialisation was capitalist industrialisation. Deng Xiaoping and crew pushed two hundred million people onto the market for labour power. Driven from their families, they were on their own to migrate in search of work in construction, Foxconn and other sweatshops, and high-pressure, piece-rate delivery work. Their toil enriched a new class of billionaires and millionaires, including the family of Xi Jinping. Today, the Gini index of income inequality in China is close to that of the US. This industriali-sation was the opposite of Soviet socialist industrialisation in the 1930s.

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Vol 56, No. 6, Aug 6 - 12, 2023