Report on the Belfast launch of The East is Still Red by Carlos Martinez
09 October 2023
A book launch and discussion, which was hosted by the Communist Party of Ireland, took place on Thursday the 28th September at An Cultuirlann Belfast. Author Carlos Martinez spoke about his newly published book on the Peoples Republic of China, The East is Still Red. He was joined by Keith Bennett, co-founder (with Martinez) of the website Friends of Socialist China. The proceedings were chaired by John Pinkerton of the CPI. Around twenty people were in attendance at the event.
Martinez provided a useful corrective to the one-sided anti-Chinese propaganda of the hostile western media. He stated that it was an undeniable fact that there had been a massive alleviation of poverty accelerating in the last few decades of astonishing economic development in China. It was also a fact that China had also not fought any wars for about fifty years unlike the imperialist United States.
Martinez claimed that China was still a socialist state because the Communist Party, resting on the support on the working class, was in control. For this reason, socialists everywhere should be supportive of the Peoples Republic. He welcomed the expanding role of BRICS bloc and was positive about the movement towards a multipolar world as an alternative to US hegemony. Martinez claimed that China was different to the other great powers as it has historically seen itself, and will continue to see itself, as part of the global south. In response to questioning from the audience he conceded that there was a lack of democracy and workers control and that the one-party system had its limitations.
Carlos Martinez obviously
has a deep knowledge of the of the subject and can make a cogent case for
the Peoples Republic as an ongoing socialist project. It was refreshing
to hear such an unabashedly pro-Chinese position if only to counter the
hypocritically one-sided picture of China as a threat that is propagated
by the US and its allies. However, itís also clear that while we
could do with a more balanced view of China and its relations with imperialism
the Peoples Republic is far from an ideal of socialist democracy.