Joint Statement of the International Secretariat of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Revolutionary Workers Organization (Pakistani Section of the RCIT), 22.1.2017, www.thecommunists.net
1. The so-called China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a massive investment project which includes the construction of highways, railways, pipelines, etc currently under construction at a cost of $54 billion. It is part of imperialist China’s major economic project called One Belt, One Road which shall serve Beijing’s plan to significantly expand its global economic sphere of influence. Its economic significance is clear from the fact that if all the planned projects will be implemented, their combined value would be equal to all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970!
2. Among the most prominent projects of CPEC is the construction of highways and railways linking the city of Gwadar in Balochistan – a nationally oppressed region in southwestern Pakistan – with the city of Kashgar in East-Turkmenistan (called Xinjiang by China, a nationally oppressed region in northwestern China). Another important project is the construction of a network of pipelines to transport liquefied natural gas and oil.
3. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Revolutionary Workers Organization (Pakistani Section of the RCIT) unconditionally oppose the CPEC as an expansionist project of Chinese imperialism. To make historic analogies, one can compare CPEC with initiatives of US imperialism in the past like the so-called Marshall Plan in Europe after World War II or the so-called Alliance for Progress initiated by US President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Both projects were economic initiatives which primarily served the expansion of the sphere of influence of US imperialism.
4. The RCIT reaffirms its analysis of China as an emerging imperialist power. As we have noted in numerous documents, China – together with the US – is today home of the greatest number of globally active capitalist corporations as well as of the world’s super-rich elite. It is a leading foreign investor in, as well as a trading partner with, Pakistan and the whole Asian continent. Finally, China has become a leading military power – albeit still substantially behind the US. In short, China is a leading imperialist Great Power which challenges the global and regional hegemony of US imperialism. It is characteristic for the bankruptcy of various reformists and centrists that they are incapable of recognizing the imperialist character of China.*
5. In particular we oppose those projects which serve – under the pretext of economic progress – the intensification of national subjugation of oppressed nations. This is particularly relevant for the oppressed Baloch people which constitutes more than 69% of the population in the southwestern province of Pakistan. The Baloch people have underlined their wish for independence in four major armed insurgencies in 1948, 1958–59, 1962–63 and 1973–77 as well as in permanent mass protests and an ongoing guerilla struggle. It is hardly accidental that the leading forces of the national liberation struggle of the Baloch people – various petty-bourgeois nationalist parties and guerilla groups – oppose the CPEC project, seeing it as an instrument to intensify their own national oppression by the Pakistani state with the assistance of Beijing.
6. We reemphasize our unconditional support for the national liberation struggle of the Baloch people for independence and combine this with a socialist perspective calling for an independent workers’ and peasant republic of Balochistan. Likewise, we repeat our support for the national liberation struggle of the Uyghur people who have been suppressed for many decades by the dominant Han people of China.
7. Of course, as Marxists we are not opposed to economic projects and investments as such. However we oppose the CPEC project since it primarily serves the interests of Chinese monopoly capital and the small Pakistani comprador bourgeoisie – and not the interest of the people of Pakistan and China. In particular, we oppose those projects which will directly increase the oppression of the Baloch and other national minorities.
8. The RCIT calls for the nationalization of all Chinese (as well as the US and other foreign imperialist) investments in Pakistan. These economic resources should be utilized for a plan under the control of the working class, the poor peasants and the national minorities, so that it serves their interests and not that of the capitalists.
9. We strongly condemn those reformists and centrists like the Awami Workers Party or the Communist Party of Pakistan which support the CPEC. They falsely present CPEC as a project of “economic progress” which supposedly serves the interests of the Pakistani people. In the 1940s and 1950s the social democratic bureaucracy in Europe – supporting the Marshall Plan – served as social-imperialist agents of Washington. Various “progressive” populists in Latin America played a similar role when they supported the Alliance for Progress in the 1960s. Today, the AWP, the CPP and similar forces unmask themselves as pro-Chinese social-imperialists. All authentic socialists should break with these parties and join the revolutionary forces!
10. The interests of the Pakistani workers and oppressed as well as their Chinese brothers and sisters are not served by the economic projects of their bosses, but rather by their independent class struggle against these bosses and by their own mutual international solidarity. Only the overthrow of the ruling class and a socialist revolution will open the road to freedom and welfare for all oppressed!
Down with the CPEC!
Support for the national liberation struggle of the Baloch people in Pakistan as well as of the Uyghur people in China!
For a workers’ and peasant government in Pakistan! For a workers’ and peasant government in China!
Forward to the international class struggle!
For a federation of workers and peasants republics in South Asia as well throughout all Asia!
* In the original version of this statement we criticized the IMT that it does not characterize China as an imperialist state. However, we have been contacted by comrade Jorge Martin, a leading member of the IMT, who pointed out – with references to past IMT articles – that this criticism is unjustified and that the IMT does characterize China as imperialist. Therefore we apologize for this wrong criticism and withdraw it.
For our analysis of Pakistan we refer readers to the “Action Program for Socialist Revolution” issued by the Revolutionary Workers Organisation:
For more articles on Pakistan see the Asia section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/asia/
For our analysis of China as an emerging imperialist country we refer readers to various documents:
China‘s transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power, in: Revolutionary Communism (English-language Journal of the RCIT) No. 4, http://www.thecommunists.net/publications/revcom-number-4;
Russia and China as Great Imperialist Powers. A Summary of the RCIT’s Analysis, 28 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 22, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-china-and-russia/;
The China Question and the Marxist Theory of Imperialism. Again on China as an imperialist Power. Reply to a Polemic from CSR (Venezuela) and PCO (Argentina), December 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 32, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/reply-to-csr-pco-on-china/