60 years of Communism in China – a cause for celebration ?

China   156 dead, over 1000 injured and 1400 arrested in China’s deadliest crackdown  since Beijing’s Tianemen Sqaure in 1989. China’s no stranger to brutal clampdowns. Some say it throws doubt on China’s “ideological clue to Communism”

But something is working in China and it’s not surprising that the country is set to top government set GDP targets. Not many countries can say that this year. As China prepares to celebrate 60 years of Communism, has the regime paid off? Has Communism been a force for good?

Business is booming in the country. General Motors are drawing closer to striking a deal with Beijing Auto saying it is “impressed with Beijing Auto’s preparedness and professionalism and their ability to work through the issues quickly.” Fiat has also just signed a deal with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd. Do they have a point – can anyone fault China’s efficiency?

They are even attempting to internationalise their Yuan currency. And it’s robust growth should help Asia’s  sluggish economies by providing healthy competition . It’s even pitched to surpass the UK as the world’s 4th largest advertising market. And this is all in one week.

They seem to tick all the boxes, except one – human rights. But is this the price you pay for growth? Can we all learn something from China? Should we be thanking China for 60 years of Communism?

28 Responses to “60 years of Communism in China – a cause for celebration ?”

  1. 1 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 7, 2009 at 11:18

    Celebration my eye. I’m sure the chinese government believes that communism is working because of the financial success they have reaped without the requisite negative fallout of the financial crisis.

    Who cares about human rights as long as the money flows. The West is hypocritcal in its dealing with China as opposed to other countries that have purported incidents of human rights violations.


    • July 7, 2009 at 18:47

      FOREST GROVE OREGON I consider China one the major threats to the progress of human rights and the environment. They are an example of capitalism minus morality. One of the major mistakes the world’s major trade nations has made is becoming so dependent on China for finacing and labor.

  2. 3 Ramesh, India
    July 7, 2009 at 11:47

    What is prevailing in China is not communism. It is a country ruled by highly educated board of persons who hold doctoral degrees from the prestigious University of Dictatorship! The commendable thing about the board is that its members are not or less corrupt when compared to uneducated politicians from countries like, say, India. There I envy the chinese, not at the spectacular economic success they are enjoying. That is the one area Indians should research on – How to make people fear the consequences of corruption within a democratic setup, if possible.

  3. July 7, 2009 at 11:50

    Last year, I heard a comment in a discussion group worth repeating: As long as people are benefitting economically, they have little interests in their freedom or upholding it.

    As for communism… IT FAILED MISERABLY. Behind all the idealogical mumbojumbo from the party, party officials have already realized, that freeing it’s economy was the best thing to do. They’re clinging to it to keep their power over “the people”. … which brings me to my next point:

    They’re trying to keep the cohesion of the 55 or so peoples of china, Tibetians not being the least of them. If they even let one group trip out of line, it would create an initial example on how to do it and others would follow and in the long run, China would lose, among other things, competitiveness and its economic advantages. That’s why the Chinese are kept on a very short leash.

  4. 5 VictorK
    July 7, 2009 at 12:02

    The 40 million to 80 million civilians who died as a result of Communist party policies in China would beg to differ

    @Deryck: the Chinese violate human rights & ‘the West’ is to blame? The Communist dictatorship alone is responsible for what it does to its people. What it does in a conquered land – like Tibet – however, is a matter of international concern. The key question is whether Xinjiang is an historic part of China or another stolen & plundered land (it has oil and other mineral wealth, like Tibet).

    An interesting commentary on the Chinese dictatorship (& most references to ‘China’ are to the ruling oligarchs – not the 1.3 billion citizen-slaves) & its prospects
    If well-fed slavery is agreeable to most Chinese why should outsiders have a problem with it?

    If ‘good’ means ‘food ‘n’ gadgets”, then the Chinese regime today (not over 60 years) is a force for good. Define ‘good’ in terms of law, liberty, constitutionality, accountable government, cultural achievement, and spiritual & moral values, as well as prosperity, and the Beijing dictatorship is a blatant failure. But of course, we never really entertain such expectations about the non-West.

  5. 6 anu_D
    July 7, 2009 at 12:18

    Hello Krupa,

    You confuse your own question ( and not for the first time) between communism , human rights and economic growth….and paste a picture also that has nothing to do with communism or economic growth ( which is the title)

    Communism does not equate to or synonomous with human right violations.

    Seeing the state of Chinese economy, booming in mid single digits even in these dark ages…general prosperity for it’s denizens….it’s a no brainer…that their commercial and economic models have shown sustainable growth over a period of time…through the thick and thin.

    100s of thousands have been made poorer, many have gone bankrupt in US and millions have been affected worldwide with the burst of the American bubble of capitalism…leaving women, children familes economically and emotionally scarred.

    Prompting Obama to turn auto, banking, insurance and medicare into state run socialist public sector units.

    The debate to be is

    “100 Years of Capitalism–are there any causes left to celebrate”

    anu_D in Kuwait

  6. 7 Ibrahim in UK
    July 7, 2009 at 12:31

    Do Chinese people like the way they are ruled?
    Can they even ask that question?
    A booming economy may silence that question for the time being, but what happens when economic prosperity can no longer buy silence?

    China is not a monocultural block. If it is to succeed as a superpower, it has to grow out of it’s authoritarian nature and develop it’s own form of social cohesion and tolerance.

  7. 8 Mohammed Ali
    July 7, 2009 at 13:02

    If ‘communism’ is what is keeping China stable and its economy booming, then there is a cause for celebration. Is there another effecient way of controlling 1.3 billion people? I think the Chinese have done well.

    • 9 Ramesh, India
      July 7, 2009 at 15:15

      Controlling people? The phrase sounds like pointing at China as a large prison that needs a good jailer!!

  8. 10 Saut
    July 7, 2009 at 13:47

    The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) raison d’etre is to rule a united China for the next 10,000 years. As to what constitutes a united China could be somewhat nebulous. At its most amiable, there are the autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau. At its most brutal, complete suppression of autonomous and secessionist movements of Tibetans and Uighurs. Taiwan remains a special case, where her intellectual, militrary and pecunious capabilities can make any CPC’s adventurism a very costly exercise.
    CPC’s rule of China is just a political excuse for a centralised governance with modifications when and where practicable. There can be complete disregard of Communist ideals in individual wealth accumulation, but glorification of capitalism in the same said activity.
    China’s rulers’ succession is from the CPC membership and not from the exclusive biological DNA of royalty classes. Nor the endorsement of vox populi through electioneering. Is this facism in a more modern guise?

    July 7, 2009 at 13:55

    Call it demon, devil or what you like; China is nothing more than the ability of human faith and the ability of a people to liberate themselves. This was a finished country by the turn of the last century. By then it was the battle ground of nearly all military powers on the globe: Wester powers, Estern imperialists led by Japan — all rubbing the Chinese People the wrong way. Despite all that, the nation rose like a phoenix out of its ashes. Yes! They achieved so much out of a precarious situation that can befall a country.

    It is not easy to fashion a staggering 1.5 billion people into a nation leave alone feed them and make a provision of a central government. Believe me, Only the Chinese can show the world how this can be done. It can be achieved through people power and continous renewal of a people. They are not yet democratic in our sense, but what they have even if its madness, ITS WORKING.

  10. 12 Ramesh, India
    July 7, 2009 at 14:16

    Feeding people with one hand and denying them freedom may not be worthy of approval. If China progresses another 3 dceades like it has been doing for the past 3 decades, the hunger for food will disappear and new hunger for freedom emerge. At that time, the the ruling board of dictators may also start thinking about bringing democracy, but not at the expense of disintegrtion of China.Change is the buzzword of 21st century and nobody or country can prevent it. I sympathise with those chinese craving for freedom. They may not see that freedom in their life time. But their children will surely. No use in protesting in autocratic regimes.

  11. 13 Tom K in Mpls
    July 7, 2009 at 15:22

    The name you put on a political system is meaningless, it is how it is run. We currently have democracies with no freedom and happy healthy communisms. I think the best measure of the validity or success of a government is how often you see armed official groups facing politically motivated crowds. This still happens in the US and Britain.

  12. 14 Dennis Junior
    July 7, 2009 at 15:27

    NO….To celebrating the 60th anniversary of Communism in China…..
    ~Dennis Junior~

  13. 15 patti in cape coral
    July 7, 2009 at 15:42

    I would like to hear from people in China, are they happy with the current system? How do they feel about the protesters, whether they are right or wrong, or whether they are in agreement with the government’s heavy-handed approach.

  14. 16 Anthony
    July 7, 2009 at 15:56

    First of all, I know they are single party, but isn’t it more of a socialist country than a communist country?

    Second of all, they are growing, but if they were to have the same rights as those in America and Europe, they wouldn’t be able to keep growing the way they were. There are many people in China treated unfairly, and the bigger they grow, the more Chinese people see how unfair they are treated. Eventually, if they don’t take care of this, they will be having out bursts like this all over.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  15. 17 Gary Paudler
    July 7, 2009 at 16:24

    Yay communism! It’s a good thing those communists had a planet full of capitalists to buy all the stuff they make cheaper than everybody else with oppressed labor and no regard for the environment.

    Wikipedia: “Communism (from Latin: communis = “common”) is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of production and property in general.”

    There exists in China NO element of any communist ideal. What aspect remains of communist ideology to be celebrated or regarded as successful? As practiced by the Chinese government, communism is only a paper-thin veneer to control the people, not to any communal benefit but to the benefit of a crassly capitalistic commercial class. In the model of Chinese communism, the people are a resource to be exploited like bauxite or coal.

    I’d be the last to write a pean to capitalism as a social ideology to counter communism, but celebrating 60 years of communism is like throwing a birthday party for the Yeti; it doesn’t exist.

    Gary Paudler
    Summerland, California

  16. 18 Dennis Junior
    July 7, 2009 at 16:36

    To BBC WHYS:
    Could you send me a email, why, Have my comments have yet been moderated…

  17. 19 globalcomedy
    July 7, 2009 at 16:58

    Compare China to the past eight years in the States.
    Who has a stronger economy?
    Who continues to be a growing world power?
    Obama still hasn’t overturned any of the last guy’s Executive Orders. He can declare martial law to dea with “other circumstances”.
    Both societies censorand brutually crack down on dissent.

    Now tell me which one is worse?

  18. July 7, 2009 at 16:58

    I think the central power in China has much to celebrate. It has adapted to the times, corrected its own mistakes of the past, and is walking a tight rope to use capitalism to maintain its power without capitalism undermining it.

    I am fascinated by the Chinese experiment… not because I admire it, I do not… not because I would like to live under its regime, I would not, but because it is a centralized government working in the midst of de-centralizing technology. It has more problems (real and potential) than any other nation (except perhaps India and Russia), and every choice the government makes might buy it time in the short run while undermining their longevity in the long run. It is a chess game inside a country, not between countries… and it is fascinating.

    (To truly appreciate the forces at work in China as they relate to free speech, human rights, etc., one must know China’s history. It is not European or American or Indian. There are forces of history in China that manipulate the status quo as much as the government… a point of interest in this chess game is how much technology and economics might change the direction of that history.)

  19. 21 Anthony
    July 7, 2009 at 18:56

    I don’t think China has been in a useless war though, thats the main difference from the last 8 years.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  20. 22 Deryck/Trinidad
    July 7, 2009 at 22:49


    I didn’t mean the West was to blame for actual human rights violation, what I meant was that the West doesn’t censure China as it does others for human rights voilations e.g. Iran, Venezuela, Burma, etc. The reason being that the chinese market is a great contributor to the success of the West so they are willing to turn a blind eye when violations are committed.


  21. 23 Tan Boon Tee
    July 8, 2009 at 03:45

    Communism per se has lost its true meaning in China. Politically, the nation follows more on a socialism line, albeit Chinese style. Economically, it has the unique version of socialist-capitalism. The crucial part is both the isms work well for Chinese.

    But why question if China has a cause for celebration?

    60th birthday is a big occasion for any Chinese, so is for the nation. Does that answer the question?

  22. 24 Daniel
    July 8, 2009 at 10:08

    We now appear to have completely foregone the Cold War mentality of fighting Communism at any cost as America now begs China for more loans to support the capitalist economy. Maybe Marx’s prediction of the capitalist collapse and rise of socialism is coming true, with the current economic crisis and public response to government failings. Whether this is true or not, China will play a massive part in future world events, and so maybe we should start listening rather than continuing to demonize them for Tiananmen.

  23. 25 John LaGrua/New York
    July 10, 2009 at 17:14

    Ironically,a qualified ,yes.The corrupt nationalist government of Chang Kai Shek had to be displaysed..Given the horrific degradation of the people over centuries’ a powerful populist movement was needed to reform the country.Unfotunately, it was concurrent with the rise of Soviet imperalism creating a perceived threat of a world communism moving to overwhelm the West.The Korean war exacerbated the west’s concern and it was only after the split between Russia and China became clear that Nixon reestablished a working diplomatic relationship.The current phase ,capitalist economy and communist government is an evolutionary state toward a gadual move toward more democratic rule and a greater world role for China.The Communist period ,I believe ,will be seen in future as a necessary evil which laid the foundation of a China worthy of it’s former greatness as a world power and civilization

  24. 26 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    July 11, 2009 at 18:27

    60th years of Communism in China and 60 years of corruptions,dictatorship,lack of freedoms and oversea and home humanrights violations with one party rule ever since.When will democracy thrift there?…?

  25. July 15, 2009 at 16:51

    who’s the strongest country

  26. 28 Andy
    July 26, 2009 at 11:12

    I’d just like to bring up a couple of factual points:

    1. Since the founding of the PRC, it has never been a dictatorship. Mao desperately wanted to be the next dictator emperor, but he could never get around the fact that China is a huge nation and that the central government could never effectively threaten the provinces (states) as they had their own finances and Communist party government, and he couldn’t use the army (which saw Mao as dangerously ambitious and hugely disruptive to the stability and defence of the nation).

    Case example. Mao tried to purge Deng Xiaoping, but the army secretly flew him to Guangdong province where they provided him sanctuary against Mao’s orders.

    On the other hand, it is accurate to say that China has historically been a totalitarian state (since the first emperor codified and implemented laws to govern every aspect of life)

    2. On the case of totalitarinism, the economic, cultural and to a certain extent, the political spheres have opened up tremendously since the 1980s, but there is still a long way to go, and the government recognise that. Alas, they see themselves as riding the tiger, and hope to deliver prosperity to cement their legitimacy and power (ala how the Liberal Democratic Party (Japan) or Peoples Action Party (Singapore) have created rich states that are one-party democracies)

    Isn’t that an oxymoron in itself?

    3. China really isn’t communist anymore (in the true sense of the word). As an ideology, Communism was discarded in favour of sheer pragmatism after Deng. Indeed, I would argue that France is more communist as China has abolished free education, healthcare, etc and the French government controls even more of the economy than the Chinese do.

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