China

Getting China Wrong?

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Debates about China have often been focused on those who say its growth can go on for decades and those who predict imminent doom. Here Mike Haynes argues that neither approach is correct, but so far the Chinese leadership has been more adept at understanding its growth than outside commentators

If you have a mobile phone or a computer then there is a good chance that it has been made in China. This is where top Apple products come from - the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. These embody some of the cleverest ideas of modern technology and judged this way a lot of people think that China's growth is something completely unusual. Whereas a generation ago China was one of the world's poorest economies, today it is jumping stages to become one of the richest. This idea is causing consternation both among those who support global capitalism and those who oppose it.

The Ousting of Bo Xilai

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The very public demotion of Bo Xilai, former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) boss of the south western province of Chongqing, marks the biggest public split among China's rulers since 1989. Then a split in the top leadership helped spark a major nationwide revolt from below, inspired by the students in Tiananmen Square, that culminated in troops gunning down protesters in Beijing.

Over the last few years Bo had built up something of a personality cult around his nostalgic appeals to the egalitarian image of Mao's China - by implication a criticism of the corruption rampant among present-day officials. Later this year the CCP will choose a new collective central leadership of nine men (there are no female candidates in prospect). The assumption was that Bo was in line for one of these places.

China's migrant women

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Breakneck industrial expansion has transformed women's lives in China over the last generation. They live very different lives to their mothers and grandmothers but face enormous hardship in China's huge factories

If you are reading this article online the chances are that some part of the technology you are using will have been produced at one of the Foxconn factories in China.

This company made the international news last year due to a number of suicides among its workers. One of the largest Foxconn factories is in the city of Shenzhen in South East China. Between 300,000 and 450,000 workers are employed in this massive industrial park - a walled campus within Shenzhen dubbed "Foxconn city".

China: miracle and misery

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Last month David Cameron visited China in an effort to encourage trade with Britain, but barely mentioned the touchy issue of human rights. Hsiao-Hung Pai analyses the "miracle" of Chinese economic growth and the human suffering that underpins it.

Last month a huge British trade delegation led by David Cameron and four of his cabinet ministers, all wearing their Remembrance Day poppies, went on their Journey to the East to promote British business interests and sign trade deals for British capitalists.

Band of warring brothers

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The spending review comes at a time of high international tension, as governments around the world compete to escape economic ruin. Jane Hardy analyses the global "currency wars".

Financial pundits have given up scrabbling for the green shoots of recovery. New York professor Nouriel Roubini said on 14 October, "The growth rate is so low it's going to feel like a recession even if technically it's not a recession." On top of that he has predicted that there is a 35 to 40 percent chance of a double dip recession. The recovery in the US, the heartland of global capitalism, looked extremely fragile. In mid-October the dollar hit a 15-year low and unemployment increased, and 18 months into the so-called recovery jobs are still being shed.

Letter from China

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After the recent suicides of ten Foxconn workers, Li Qiang reports on conditions at the iPhone sweatshop.

Yet another Foxconn worker jumped to his death in June, bringing the total number of suicides at the company this year to ten. In the light of these events, some have denounced Foxconn, makers of Apple's iPad and iPhone, as a "sweatshop". Others argue that, compared to similar manufacturers, Foxconn can boast relatively humane management and fairly good benefits.

Google: Searching for profits

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"Google strikes a blow to China's Great Firewall." This gushing headline, from the Guardian, sums up recent press coverage of the internet search giant.

Google created a specific portal for China-based users in 2006, Google.cn, which complied with the country's censorship laws. So, for example, searching for "Tiananmen Square" via Google.cn would retrieve pretty photos of the square as it stands today, with the 1989 massacre stricken from the record.

But following a hack of Google's mail service, Gmail, apparently from somewhere in China, Google decided to stop playing ball, relaxing this censorship. Over the next few hours, thousands of search queries originating from China featured the query "Tiananmen Square 1989".

Will this be China's century?

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China is now widely tipped to challenge the power and dominance of the US in the next few decades. In the final part of our series on China, Charlie Hore assesses the global implications of China's economic growth and the impact of workers' struggles on the regime.

China since Mao is one of the great success stories of modern capitalism. Thirty years ago the Chinese economy was growing slower than China's population and accounted for less than 1 percent of world trade. Earlier this year China overtook Germany as the world's largest exporter, and the economy has continued to grow throughout the world recession - almost the only economy in the world to do so.

60th anniversary of the Chinese revolution: A great leap forward?

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Post-revolutionary China needed rapid industrialisation to meet the demands of the middle class and compete with other capitalist states, but it was the workers and peasants who paid the price. Simon Gilbert continues our series on the revolution's sixtieth anniversary

By the time of the 1949 revolution China had been dominated for over a hundred years by foreign powers. Its economic development had been held back and its corrupt political systems propped up. Not surprisingly, then, the twin objectives of national independence and modernisation (meaning industrialisation) were central to the ideas of the layer of frustrated middle class intellectuals who monopolised political thinking from the end of the 19th century.

Letter from China

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The 60th anniversary of the People's Republic has become a nationalistic festival of "ethnic harmony" manufactured to cover massive discontent, reports Hsiao-Hung Pai

When I entered China at the town of Manzhouli the border control officers insisted on a 40-minute search of my luggage. They opened each Word document on my laptop without explanation. Other rail passengers told me this is part of an anti-terrorist security check, primarily against the Uighur "splittists". Should I worry that I don't look Han Chinese enough?

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