Organize and mobilize against the looming counter-revolutionary onslaught by the Stalinist-Capitalist regime!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 23 May 2020, www.thecommunists.net
1. The Stalinist-Capitalist regime in Beijing submitted a bill on the opening day of China’s national legislative session to “change the long-lasting situation of defenselessness in the national security affairs in Hong Kong.” (Wang Chen, Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress [NPC]). This law, which is expected to be adopted at the end of the Congress’s session next week, will authorize its Standing Committee to make relevant laws in order to “prevent, frustrate and punish any secessionist or subversive activity, the organising of terrorist acts, and other acts that seriously threaten national security, as well as activities of foreign and external interference in Hong Kong.” To enact this law, “relevant national security organs of the Central People’s Government will set up agencies” in Hong Kong.
2. There can be no doubts about the real meaning of this bill. The whole purpose of it is to provide a legal basis for the regime’s repression apparatus to invade Hong Kong and to brutally crush the pro-democracy popular movement. Throughout the second half of 2019, the workers and youth of Hong Kong have staged regular mass demonstrations and the occupation of universities, provoking a kind of local dual power situation. The Stalinist-Capitalist dictatorship is determined to launch a bloody crackdown against this mass movement which it had repeatedly denounced in recent months as “subversive”, “terrorist”, and “directed by foreign forces”.
3. In fact, the ruling class does not attempt to disguise their plans. An editorial article of Global Times – the English-language mouthpiece of the regime in Beijing – stated: “Take a look at what the internal and external opposition forces have done to HK by manipulating security loopholes. For the year of 2019, HK did not enjoy a single peaceful day. It was like a city in an undeveloped country engulfed in turmoil. Stores and subway stations were damaged, roads were blocked, and innocent people were attacked and burned. College students were prevented from attending classes. Due to the chaos, HK fell sharply in the global rankings. Now is the time to put an end to it all.” The editorial goes on to explain that such a counter-revolutionary assault is in the interest of capitalism: “The extra layer of protection would also make it increasingly difficult for some "ambitious" HK politicians to poison the city's atmosphere. HK capitalism would begin to reveal the common traits it shares with developed societies rather than underdeveloped ones. Therein lies is the main interest of all Hong Kong people.” (Global Times: National security legislation offers overdue remedy for HK, 22 May 2020) And another article of Global Times laments: “The unrest seriously damaged the unification of the country and harbored separatist activities. Radical protesters bluntly desecrated the national flag, defaced national emblem, and ignited anti-mainland, anti-Party sentiments in Hong Kong.” (Chen Qingqing: Draft decision on HK national security law submitted to top legislature, stresses zero tolerance to secessionism, foreign interference, Global Times, 22 May 2020)
4. Unsurprisingly, the proposed bill has provoked wide-spread outcry among the opposition forces in Hong Kong. Local pro-democracy lawmakers denounced the plans as “the end of Hong Kong”. Lee Cheuk-yan, a former opposition lawmaker, said at a news briefing by opposition parties and activists that the move shows Beijing is “directly taking control. (…) Xi Jinping has torn away the whole pretense of ‘one country, two systems.’ (…) They’re trying to ban every organization in Hong Kong who dares to speak out against the Communist Party.” Numerous groups have already called for a large protest rally on 24 May.
5. This demonstration will necessarily break the so-called “social distancing rules” of the regime which allow only gatherings of up to eight people in public places. This demonstrates once more that the whole lockdown policy – in Hong Kong as well as globally – represents a counter-revolutionary offensive of the ruling class, aimed at suppressing democratic rights under the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since late March, 547 protestors had been fined in Hong Kong for violation of such “social distancing rules”.
6. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) reiterates its condemnation of the reactionary lockdown policy of the global capitalist class. Forcing people to stay home and suppressing the right to assemble and demonstrate does not serve the interests of public health but rather the purpose of consolidating the power of the bourgeoisie in the midst of a Triple Crisis. As we have elaborated, this crisis is characterized by the worst economic slump since 1929, the acceleration of Great Power rivalry, a shift of the ruling class towards expanding state bonapartism as it faced a global wave of popular uprisings in late 2019, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. Equally unsurprising is the fact that the U.S., China’s main great-power rival, hypercritically denounces the new bill. Already in the past, it has expressed verbal sympathy for the pro-democracy movement. Throughout history, Great Powers have always tried to exploit unrest within the spheres of influence of their rivals. Today, the U.S. “supports” (in words) the people in Hong Kong as well as the Muslim Uyghurs against Beijing, while China lends tacit support to the regimes of Iran and Venezuela which are facing Western aggression. The RCIT calls pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong to place no trust whatsoever in the corrupt and reactionary Trump Administration. Any statement in sympathy for the U.S. or any call for support can only discredit the opposition in the eyes of the popular masses in China and other countries. Socialists denounce both imperialist Great Powers – the U.S. as well as China – and refuse to side with either.
8. The RCIT unreservedly supports the struggle of the popular movement in Hong Kong for democratic rights. The National Security Law represents a massive counter-revolutionary danger which could open the path to a bloody annihilation of the popular resistance. It is crucial to organize mass demonstration and, in particular, a general strike. Likewise, we call to organize mass democratic assemblies in the workplaces, neighborhoods, and universities to allow for a discussion of the demands and tactics of the struggle and to elect delegates for a coordinating body of the entire movement. Furthermore, workers and youth need an independent political body, i.e. a Workers Party, that is independent of the native as well as any foreign capitalist class. This is all the more urgent, since the official opposition forces are dominated by pro-capitalist bourgeois democrats.
9. The way forward is neither to look for an institutional solution within the pro-regime “one country, two systems” arrangement nor to advocate independent statehood of Hong Kong. The RCIT calls activists in Hong Kong to link the defense of local democratic rights with the struggle for the interests of the workers and poor peasants in mainland China. These brothers and sisters face oppression and exploitation by the Beijing regime and its capitalist corporations. The protests in Wuhan city in summer 2019 and the mass riots in late March 2020 in Hubei show that the Chinese workers and poor peasants are not the “patriotic admirers of President Xi”, as the regime media like to present them. As we stated in the RCIT Call to revolutionary activists in China: “The goal must be to organize for the overthrow of the pseudo-“communist“ capitalist dictatorship via a socialist revolution of the workers and oppressed!”
10. Furthermore, we urge the international workers and popular organizations to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Hong Kong! We strongly denounce the Stalinists and fake-leftists who side with Chinese imperialism and slander the protests in Hong Kong as “CIA plots”. Naturally, any international solidarity movement must also oppose the anti-Chinese chauvinism of Western rivals.
11. The RCIT calls on activists to join us in building a revolutionary party, both in China and globally, based on an international and socialist perspective!
* Defeat the National Security Law!
* Down with the Pseudo-“Communist“ Capitalist Dictatorship in Beijing!
* Neither Washington nor Beijing! Against all imperialist Great Powers!
* For a Workers and Poor Peasants Republic in China! For a Socialist Federation in East Asia as a first step to a socialist world!
* Long live the international solidarity of the working class and the oppressed!
International Bureau of the RCIT
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The RCIT has published a number of booklets, statements, and articles on China that can be accessed on our website at https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/ as well as at https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/. In particular we refer to:
RCIT statements: China: Solidarity with the General Strike in Hong Kong! For an international solidarity movement as the Stalinist-Capitalist regime in Beijing prepares a brutal crackdown! 01 August 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/solidarity-with-the-general-strike-in-hong-kong/
RCIT: China: Solidarity with the Mass Protests in Hubei! Thousands of Chinese workers clash with the police in protest against the state repression under the cover of COVID-19, 28 March 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/china-solidarity-with-the-mass-protests-in-hubei/
RCIT: China: Down with the Pseudo-“Communist“ Capitalist Dictatorship! No to any imperialist Great Power – U.S., China, Japan, Russia or the European Union! For a Workers and Poor Peasants Republic! https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/call-to-revolutionary-activists-in-china/
Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/anti-imperialism-in-the-age-of-great-power-rivalry/