|Ambassador Liu opens the seminar|
by New Worker correspondent
NEW COMMUNIST Party leader Andy Brooks took part in a seminar with other communists, academics and labour movement leaders at the Chinese embassy in London last week, held to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai in 1921.
Around the theme of Marxism in China, the participants discussed the historic links between the British and Chinese people and the role of the Communist Party of China in liberating the country and leading the people’s republic into the 21st century.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming opened the seminar with a keynote speech in which he said “Marxism became the choice of the Chinese people following a painstaking journey of exploration and perseverance since the second half of the 19th century,” in an opening that swept across the struggle of the Chinese communist movement over the decades to achieve liberation and practice and develop Marxism following the establishment of the people’s government in 1949.
“In 1921 the CPC started with 50 members,” he said. “Today, 90 years after its birth the CPC has become the world's largest ruling party with over 80 million members. Over the same period, China has been utterly transformed. In 1921 China was a poor, weak and underdeveloped country. Today, 90 years on, China is the second largest global economy. The Chinese people, once on the verge of crisis, are well on the path toward a great rejuvenation.”
Ambassador Liu was followed by openings from a panel that included historian and Labour MP Tristram Hunt, John Callow from the Marx Memorial Library, Graham Stevenson, who is president of the European Transport Workers’ Federation, Communist Party of Britain general secretary Robert Griffiths and Keith Bennett from the 48 Group Club, established in the early 1950s by progressive British businessmen to promote trade with the People’s Republic.
The efforts of the communist leadership to represent the advanced productive forces, the advanced culture and the interests of the broad masses to build a harmonious society were an underlying theme of most of the contributions to the discussion.
When the people’s government was established in 1949 China had the lowest standard of living in the world. Today China can now not only feed, cloth and educate its people but also provide consumer goods and living standards for working people unimaginable before liberation. China has a modern expanding economy that has withstood much of the current global capitalist crisis.
Feudal China was once the workshop of the world – a position it lost when it was exploited and plundered by the modern imperialists.
|NCP leader Andy Brooks|
But as Andy Brooks pointed out: “In the 13th century China was ahead of Europe in per capita income terms. China accounted for one third of the world’s GDP in 1820. It was a global economic power during 18 of the past 20 centuries and it is only regaining the ground it lost because of the interference of imperialism during the 100 years from the mid 19th century”.
Other participants included Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, Prof John Ross, a former advisor to the Livingstone administration in London, Dr Jenny Clegg, a China specialist at the University of Central Lancashire and former Respect MP George Galloway.