China

Hong Kong: Spontaneity and the mass movement

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Hong Kong's Occupy movement has inspired and engaged vast numbers of young people. Au Loong Yu, a revolutionary socialist, assesses its strengths and weaknesses following pitched battles with the police.

The retaking of the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong by occupiers on 18 October relied on the courage of protesters, most of whom have never been a member of a political party. These new participants in the movement faced up to police violence with huge determination.

We've already won results

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Lam Chi Leung is a revolutionary socialist based in Hong Kong. He spoke to Sally Kincaid and Sally Campbell about the future of the Umbrella movement one month on.

Is the movement still going strong?
Today (28 October) marks exactly one month since the Umbrella movement broke out. The occupation of the streets continues, but the number of demonstrators has started to decrease from its peak of 200,000.

The People's Republic of Amnesia

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In the days and weeks leading up to the first week of June this year, Chinese internet censors were at their busiest, blocking any words or numbers which had any reference to 4 June 1989.

The attempt to wipe any discussion of the anniversary of Tiananmen does at times become surreal. Two years ago the censors tried to block references to the fact that the Shanghai stock exchange had fallen by 64.89 points because it sounded like 4 June 1989.

Exhibitions: Ai Weiwei in the Chapel

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Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Until 2 November

Some 25 years after the Tiananmen Square democracy protests, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is staging an exhibition by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. In his words, "Freedom of speech...is the very essence of human rights", and his work explores freedom and its restriction in capitalist societies.

The park is in the grounds of Bretton Hall, and this exhibition is showing in its newly restored 18th century chapel.

Taiwan: a people reborn

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A mass campaign has delayed moves to liberalise the island's economy in favour of Chinese capitalism. Socialist Review reports on the roots of the campaign and the challenges it faces.

On 18 March, in a direct challenge to the government of Taiwan, hundreds of activists stormed the main legislative chamber in the capital Taipai, the Legislative Yuan (the Taiwanese parliament). They were protesting at a trade agreement with the People's Republic of China (known as the Cross-strait Service Trade Agreement, or CSSTA).

Taiwan and China: promise and threat

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An island then of 6 million people, Taiwan was the last refuge to which the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) army and government fled after their defeat in the civil war by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. Today, it is an island state of 24 million that is economically, socially and technically on a par with the world's most advanced economies, and with a GDP per head of 41,500 dollars. It is the world's 20th largest economy.

Great leap forward in worker militancy

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One of the biggest strikes in recent Chinese history took place last month when up to 40,000 shoe manufacturing workers at the Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings plant in Dongguan City walked out. They were protesting at underpayments by the company to their social security and housing funds.

The Taiwanese owned multinational is the largest producer of branded footwear in the world. Its three factories in China's Guangdong province alone employ 60,000 workers (globally it employed a total of 423,000 people in 2012).

China playing ketchup

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To better understand the dynamics underlying the current economic crisis you wouldn't always think to start with tomatoes.

Yet in a landmark case last month the EU it was ruled that tomato puree grown and packaged in China could be labelled as "produced in Italy" on the proviso that Italian water or salt was added somewhere in Europe. The case became hugely controversial, partly as a debating point in the Italian elections, but mainly because of the meteoric rise of China's tomato industry.

China's scattered migrants

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China's booming economy has been built on the back of migrant workers. Hsiao-Hung Pai talked to Sally Kincaid and Charlie Hore about her new book and the lives of China's migrant population

Why did you choose the title Scattered Sand for your book?

The idea of Scattered Sand came originally from Sun Yatsen, the founding father of the Guomindang (Nationalist) Party - so it came from the Republican Revolution of 1911. The idea was when he was talking about the Chinese people as being scattered sands - not united as a nation against Western imperialism.

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