On the Chinese regime – interview with Pierre Rousset

The following is an Interview with Pierre Rousset, veteran French Marxist, and China specialist, translated by Dave Kellaway.

This interview was conducted by the French Communist magazine Les Regards in March 2019 when the Chinese president made a state visit to France, its main points are still valid.  More recent and in-depth analysis is available online at the International Viewpoint website:

https://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article7216  On the Chinese revolution and the theory of Permanent revolution (8 July 21)

Resistance Books also has this by a Chinese revolutionary: Au Loong Yu, China’s Rise: Strength and Fragility, Resistance Books, IIRE & Merlin Press (London), 2012.

Further material by Pierre and other Asian Marxists is available in English at the Europe Solidaires Sans Frontieres(ESSF) site

On President Xi Jinping                                                                                                                                        

The Xi Jinping regime is a new regime, it is a different regime from the previous ones.

Before, there were three modes of governance in China that coexisted: the party apparatus, the administration, and the military. Everything has been brought together by Xi Jinping around a single-party leadership. And he became president for life.

You could call the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese Capitalist Party.

What is unique to China is the allocation of points: depending on your social credits as collected with video surveillance, you will be allowed to travel or not, etc.”

“The measures that used to be applied against dissident political activists, are applied on the whole population.”

 On China in the world

The whole world’s political situation is structured by the emergence and development of the new Chinese power against the power of the United States.

The American obsession is no longer to let China do what it wants without reacting, the Chinese obsession is not to let itself be cornered in its immediate space.”

If you try to hold back the Chinese economic development too much – as the US is trying to do – you open the crisis of global recession.

 On China and Europe

Xi Jinping’s policy is to make agreements with as many countries as possible that do not involve them leaving their alliance with the US.

The US wants a bloc of alliances against China as a closed political bloc.

Xi Jinping proposes multi-lateral alliances without setting leaving the Western camp as a precondition.

China’s political priority is not the European Union but the nation-states.

It is not through the European Union that China wants to impose its influence in Europe.

The big problem is that Europe does not exist as a world power.

 On China and international relations

50% of Chinese imports are made by transnationals.

The success of Chinese development is due to the fact that it is driven by a state. State capitalism is a traditional Asian model.

Xi Jinping will more or less open up access to services in China, but he has two trump cards: the Chinese market is too big, so there will always be compromise and trade-offs, and secondly, one of the problems is that the US doesn’t want China’s high tech sector to succeed. So it is contradictory.

We have entered a very indecisive phase: there are political blocs that are being re-assembled.

Xi Jinping’s strategy is intelligent: to counter the closed alliance blocs that the United States would like to see with flexible alliances without conditions that China is proposing to other countries

On inequality in China

As long as the Chinese think their children will live better, the system works.

The problem is that today the Chinese economy is in crisis and unemployment is starting to rise again.

If people start to think that their children will not live better, a social and political crisis may open up in China.

The Chinese economy is in crisis and the social and political balance is in question.

There is nothing communist about the Chinese model, which is run by billionaires.

The credibility of the regime is in question: many of the big Chinese families are sending some of their children abroad, which shows that they do not necessarily have confidence in the long-term future of the regime.

Xi Jinping wants to control everything and there are people inside and outside the party with a lot of grudges against him.

We may see the combination of a political and social crisis in China linked to the economic crisis.

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Dave Kellaway is on the Editorial Board of Anti*Capitalist Resistance, a member of Socialist Resistance, and Hackney and Stoke Newington Labour Party, a contributor to International Viewpoint and Europe Solidaire Sans Frontieres.

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