China

The enormity of China’s environmental nightmare is well-known. However, its root causes — especially the part played by First World capital — is less widely understood. One example is the massive dumping in China of First World “e-waste” — electronic and electrical waste.
Concerned about the health effects of a chemical plant proposed to be built in the coastal city of Xiamen by a Taiwanese capitalist, up to 2000 protesters took to the city’s streets on June 1 and 2 seeking to have the project scrapped.
On June 4, China’s National Development and Reform Commission issued a 62-page climate change “action plan” that seeks to reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. The plan seeks to realise by 2010 three goals under the UN climate change convention — to reduce the country’s energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20%, to increase its renewable energy’s share in the country’s primary energy mix to 10% (up from its existing share of 7%, and to increase forest coverage to 20% (up from its existing 18%).
As of 2004, foreign capital controlled 76.6% of Chinese industry, a study produced by academics from Beijing’s Communication University has found. The findings of the report, which was released in March, are consistent with a November 2006 report by the Development Research Centre of the State Council, China’s cabinet.
Greedy property developers and corrupt government officials have forcibly driven tens of thousands of people across China from their homes. Most of these homeowners weren’t in a position to resist the developers’ strong-arm tactics.
Police clashed with protesters in a May Day demonstration in the Chinese territory of Macau. Around 2000 protesters demonstrated against state corruption and lack of jobs for local workers, which they blame on the use of foreign labour. They were
Beijing’s drive since the early 1990s to pursue the restoration of capitalism in China received a boost on March 16, with the introduction of the controversial Property Law. Ironically, the law will take effect on October 1 — exactly 58 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The law will safeguard the property of China’s burgeoning capitalist class, giving private property the same protection as state-owned assets. This includes the large number of formerly state-owned assets converted to private property in sleazy and underhand deals.
On the eve of China’s annual parliamentary session — the National People’s Congress (NPC) — on March 5-16, Beijing announced plans to increase its military spending for 2007 by 17.8% to 350 billion yuan (US$45 billion), provoking immediate concern from Washington.
China’s much increased economic activities in Africa in recent years — investments in energy and natural resources extraction and loans to African governments — have provoked accusations that it is becoming a new neocolonial power in the continent.
Last November, Hu Deping, the deputy chief of the united front department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) central committee, called for a halt to the popular campaign that seeks to force mainland China’s new class of capitalists, most of whom acquired their initial wealth from embezzling the state sector, to return their ill-gotten gains for the public benefit.
On December 29, 2006, the 176-member standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC — China’s law-making body) lent its support to the draft of the proposed Property Law. Many fear this controversial law will help launder the enormous state wealth already appropriated illegitimately by corrupt Communist Party officials and their hangers-on, as well as encourage more such activities.
On November 6, quoting the Ministry of Public Security, the official Xinhua News Agency proudly announced there were only 17,900 “mass incidents” — Beijing’s term for mass protests — in the first nine months of 2006. Xinhua said it represented a drop of 22% from the same period last year.

More mass actions and workers' protests have erupted in China, releasing pent-up anger over further erosion of the workers' and peasants' living conditions. And the government has responded with severe repression. Up to 100,000 peasants

Four years ago the Chinese government sent in soldiers to clear Tiananmen Square of students, workers and other citizens who were demanding democratic reform. While the students and citizens sang the "Internationale", the army attacked. Hundreds

For increasing numbers of Chinese, Li Ning, a former Olympic gold medal gymnast and current business entrepreneur, stands as a symbol of China's new "enterprise culture". Together with other select sports stars, pop

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