China

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?

When China threw off imperialism

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The 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution will be marked by the customary orchestrated celebrations in Tiananmen Square. In the first of a short series on China, Charlie Hore looks at how the revolution came about and its impact on the world.

The years after the Second World War saw national liberation struggles spread rapidly across Asia and Africa, ousting the old colonial empires and weakening the power of imperialism. The 1949 revolution in China was the first, and biggest, of these struggles, and it was to provide an inspiration for many other battles against imperialism.

Letter from China

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The Beijing Olympics prompted attacks from many in the West over China's human rights record. But, argues Li Qiang, Western multinationals are central to the exploitation of Chinese workers

Adidas was one of the major sponsors of the Beijing Olympics. In China there are more than 200 factories employing over 250,000 workers that produce goods for Adidas.

No child's play - workers and the deadly toys

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Just as people are getting ready for Christmas shopping, tens of millions of toys have been found to pose a health hazard - not only to children in the West, but also to those producing them in China.

US toy maker Mattel - the largest toy company in the world - recalled 172,000 Fisher Price toys in November after several children choked on small detachable parts. The company has also, for the fourth time, recalled large quantities of toys due to high levels of lead in their paint. Mattel had already recalled nearly 20 million toys, and in September it withdrew 844,000 toys from its Barbie brand.

Mattel's toys are manufactured by companies such as the Chinese Sunyick Plastic Products company, which employs 5,000 people.

Markets' Republic of China

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Once it was seen as 'actually existing socialism'. Today China is capitalism's shining star. Sue Sparks surveys four recent books on its economy and those who make the profits.

Just as the Japanese economic "miracle" of the 1960s and 1970s spawned an explosion of books - many of them ill-informed punditry - so the "rise of China" is doing likewise. The books reviewed here seek, in their different ways, to chronicle and illuminate aspects of China's recent history. Three are by journalists, of which one is a translation of a work banned in China. Only one is by authors (two US economists) who would situate themselves in a Marxist tradition.

China: Workers' and Peasants' Revolt Leaps Forward

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China marked its third year as a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last month with many neoliberal commentators celebrating its economic modernisation as a model for other developing countries.

China's rapidly expanding economy has certainly transformed some parts of the country beyond recognition, improving the standard of life for many, but its economic development is riven with contradictions.

Will China Beat the US?

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China's embrace of the market is cited as evidence that this is the model for Third World countries. Chris Harman looks at the reality behind the hype.

China is suddenly at the centre of discussions over the development of the world economy. This is not surprising. It has been undergoing sustained economic growth for more than two decades, escaping the slump which hit the other 'newly industrialising' economies of East Asia in the late 1990s, and is now the world's biggest steel producer. Its exports have grown from about 1.2 percent of the world total in 1980 to about 5 percent today (about the same as Britain's).

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