In the 1960s, it seemed to many leftists that China under Mao was much more radical than the Soviet Union. Yet by the early 1970s Mao had done a deal with the United States at the expense the Soviet Union and Third World struggles.
Later China became a key location for transnational corporations producing for the world market.
On the other hand, the rapid recovery of China after the 2008 world economic crisis has given some socialists a more favourable impression of China.
For those interested in Marxist theory, the question of whether China today is a workers’ state or a capitalist state has been a source of controversy.
Despite the partial reversal of some neoliberal policies, China remains a highly unequal society, where workers are ruthlessly exploited and lack job security. The state remains capitalist. It represses the resistance of the workers to capitalist exploitation.
The air and water are extremely polluted. Despite significant investment in renewable energy, the use of fossil fuels continues to expand, and China is now the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases. Minorities such as the Tibetans and Uighurs continue to be oppressed. Freedom of speech continues to be restricted.
A struggle for genuine socialism still remains necessary.