Monday, 29 December 2008

Socialism 2008: Review of China Seatshop of the World (2008)

Yes, the final Socialism 2008 post at last - only a matter of a month and a half after the event. But this wasn't a session at the event I'm reporting on (although as I said before it was pretty impressive seeing and hearing a Chinese Trotskyist speak at the main rally), it rather is a book I managed to get a hold of at the event.

The book is a collection of articles by two of the writers for, the CWI website for China. The majority of the articles are ones that have already appeared on the site over the last two years - however, they are some of the most interesting ones such as the one on Xinjiang province, the one on the Hong Kong Legco elections or the one on the Chinese coal industry. However, three of the articles were written especially for the book - one of which is on the Bejing olympics and it's green credentials and has also appeared on the site too, but the introductory chapter and closing chapters are both new for the book. The first examining low-paid sweatshop labour which seems to be the backbone of China's huge growth and the second examining all the points where struggle could erupt in China over the next few years.

I have to say, the more I read about China, the more interested I get. It is a huge country with a large portion of the world's population living there and what happens in China will be significant for people everywhere. And hence I recommend this book to people as a series of articles that will help you get a deeper understanding of the events in that country written by Chinese socialists. But it isn't all the material on China the CWI has been producing recently, for a start there is the excellent website with in depth analyses of events in China and the region as well as reports of workers struggles (the most recent one as I write this being a strike of airport workers in Hng Kong). Over the past year or two both the Socialist and especially Socialism Today have carried some really good articles on China too. It is worth getting much more interested in the issues in China and this book will certainly help with that.

(You can order the book from Socialist Books, - although it doesn't come up on the online bookshop)

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