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Anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong

 

Lam Chi Leung

2019-7-10

 

Demonstrations started after Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’ Chief Executive announced a law on extradition to China, allowing the Chinese Communist Party to arrest Hong Kong activists considered to be a threat to “national security”. What are Lam’s and Hong Kong’s capitalists’ political goals behind the extradition law?

 

Lam: A characteristic of today’s event is the fact that Carrie Lam prioritizes on satisfying the demands of the CCP regime rather than those of the Hong Kong people, not even those of the Hong Kong capitalists. The capitalists in Hong Kong also fear being extradited to mainland China for getting on the wrong side of the CCP bureaucracy.

 

Carrie Lam opted to expedite the bill in order to gain the trust of Xi Jinping.

 

The CCP regime has two primary goals. First, to extradite the mainland Chinese corrupt tycoons and bureaucrats that fled to Hong Kong. In the past, the Chinese government has sent people to directly extract these elements back to the mainland, but such methods were criticized as Chinese Police overreaching its authority beyond its jurisdiction.

 

Secondly, this extradition bill is to be used against the political oppositionists against the CCP in Hong Kong. Those who openly and sharply criticize the Chinese government and leaders, or those Hong Kongers who helped Chinese democracy activists to flee to Hong Kong, would find themselves in grave danger should the extradition bill becomes the law.

 

Just as the extradition bill was about to be legislated, a Hong Kong bookstore owner who was incarcerated in mainland China for over eight months, Lam Wing-kee(林榮基), decided to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan in late April. Lam published books about the private life of Xi Jinping, which angered the CCP regime.

 

Moreover, the Hong Kong social activists who assist Chinese labor, human rights, or other social movement NGOs may also be charged with “subverting national security” by the Chinese regime and get extradited.

 

Although British colonialism in Hong Kong ended in 1997, and Hong Kong was titularly returned to China, the city still follows the “One Country, Two Systems” arrangement: Hong Kong maintains a political and legal system distinct from that of mainland China. The Hong Kongers have freedom of speech and assembly. They also tend to receive more protection from a (relatively) independent judiciary. As mainland China remains under a single party authoritarian rule, where the people lacks protection by the law, an extradition provision would open up a loophole where Hong Kongers could be sent to be tried unfairly inside mainland China at any time.

 

We can see that the movement is at a heightened level of frontal confrontation with the police and shows a solid level of self-organization. We all watched with admiration the taking of Hong Kong’s Parliament. Can you explain how the movement is structured, what are its ideological references and what organisations take part in it? What do you see as the movement’s shortcomings and what obstacles does it need to overcome to grow stronger?

 

Lam: The consecutive large demonstrations that took place from June to July were led by a united front organization known as the Civil Human Rights Front. It is composed of over 50 pan-democratic political parties and civil society groups, including unions, women’s rights organizations, community advocates, student activists and opposition parties. However, the two million people who joined the march not because of the Civil Human Rights Front’s own moral authority, but because of their identification with the anti-extradition cause.

 

The LegCo occupation attempt on July first and prior attempts at surrounding the police headquarters were organized by younger, more radical protesters via the Internet. They were not the result of any social or political organization’s leadership. In order to evade government persecution, the young protestors purposely refrained from establishing organizations, and instead opted for using Telegram or other softwares to spread information in short ranges. Hand signals were used for coordination at the site of the struggles, the effectiveness of which was enhanced by the strong camaraderie among the youth protesters.

 

Neither the citizens who joined the demonstration nor the youths who joined the besieging or occupation attempts uphold a definite ideology. Perhaps you can call them supporters of democracy I.e. against the authoritarianism of the SAR/CCP regime, and for the defense of Hong Kong’s human rights and freedoms as well as for democratic elections.

 

The far right “localists” who called for “Hong Kong First” had much influence during 2014’s Umbrella Movement and perhaps two years after that, but they have been significantly weakened in the run up to today’s anti-extradition movement in terms of ability to mobilize. Yet, they still have a certain hold on the youths ideologically. This is primarily expressed in a section of the youths’ nostalgia for British colonial rule, rejection of mainland Chinese people, or adventurist tendencies during actions.

 

The biggest weakness in today’s anti-extradition movement lies in its inability to transform into a platform of united struggle that is democratically and responsibly coordinated. This prevented protesters with different backgrounds and ideas from coordinating with each other effectively. They had to act on their own. The differences in tendency and strategy usually were expressed in one-sided internet exchanges rather than deep face-to-face discussions that could clarify many fundamental issues.

 

For example, since the movement erupted, some have proposed that a political strike as well as solidarity with the Wuhan citizens’ struggle against polluting incinerators and power stations. Proponents of this idea sought to win support for the Hong Kong movement from the people of mainland China. These extremely precious insights have not been seriously discussed.

 

On the contrary, certain activists utilized the G20 summit last month to call on Trump or other major world leaders to “Free Hong Kong.” Yet such a position can easily be interpreted as leaning on the US and EU government to pressure China, objectively placing the anti-extradition movement under the western powers’ cynical power politics. The movement thus would become a disposable pawn in the backdoor negotiations. This position also provides the CCP regime ammunition to slander the mass movement in Hong Kong, and divide the people of Hong Kong from those in mainland China.

 

Yet, these diverging strategies have not been able to be clarified via a united organization.

 

The movement in HK today grew on the shoulders of the “Umbrella Revolution” which demanded universal suffrage. Youth was very active in 2014 but the working class and its unions were blatantly lacking. What is the role of the working class in the movement today? Are there bonds being formed between students and the working class?

 

Lam: The labor movement in Hong Kong has a glorious past. The Seamen’s Strike in 1922 and the Canton–Hong Kong general strike in 1925-1926 shook British Imperialism, but the labor movement saw a decline since then. It will not be easy to launch a powerful strike that can shake society in the short term.

 

The teachers’ union and social workers’ union both have called for a strike on June 12th. There were even youth groups that voluntarily enter into commercial districts to open up a picket line. There is a university student organization named “Student Labour Action Coalition”(工學同行)which calls on the workers to join the fight against the extradition bill.

 

Although a strike wave has not materialized, but the idea of political strikes has generated a wave of discussions online. These phenomena mark a development from the political consciousness of 2014’s Umbrella Movement.

 

I believe that Hong Kong’s revolutionary socialists have a key responsibility. They can deepen the discussions around political strikes, and guide the strategic discussions towards a conclusion to establish organizations controlled by the masses themselves, as well as explaining why a struggle for civil or political democracy is inseparable from a struggle for economic equality.

 

Since the 2008 crisis, the executive power has been beefing up its repressive measures and anti-social policies. Beyond the demands for democratic rights, does the movement demand concrete measures for the betterment of life and working conditions of youth and the working class? Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s PM, announced a delay of the extradition law in the wake of a 2 million march (for a 7 million people country). Is this a victory for the movement? What are the demonstrators’ prospects? What about the demands for universal suffrage and democratic rights? Would you say that youth and the working class in HK and China are radicalizing? Does it have an impact on the influence of revolutionary, communist ideas and their organizations?

 

Lam: Today’s movement remains a single issue campaign, one that focuses on retracting the extradition bill and protect basic human rights. Yet, it recently has evolved into a movement that also demands democratic election. Whether it can also demand for improvement in worker and youths’ living and working conditions, will depend on the activists who base themselves on the working class’ perspective.

 

Although Carrie Lam is only pausing rather than terminating the legislation, I don’t anticipate a great possibility for her to re-propose the legislation within her term. In a way the movement has gained a partial victory, but to take it further towards bringing down Carrie Lam will not be easy.

 

Although calls for labor and school strikes did not materialize, the fresh idea of a political strike, its possibilities and implications, is already a part of the ongoing public discussions. It is making the masses think further. If the movement wants to gain more results, it needs to quickly abandon its lack of structure, and insists on its political independence.

 

I believe a socio-economic crisis as well as class contradictions are rapidly escalating in both Hong Kong and mainland China, with no signs of abating. Although the crisis may not immediately erupt, when it does I believe it will be extraordinarily acute.

 

As of now the youths in both Hong Kong and mainland China generally are not politicized, but a layer of them have clearly moved towards politicization and ponder on the fundamental solutions for society. Under Xi Jinping autocratic bureaucracy, it is dangerous for youths and workers to self-organize and openly communicate with each other. It’s almost impossible. However, spaces for private exchange of ideas still exist.

 

Further, there are some indications that progressive youths in mainland China are increasingly interested in the ideas of revolution and communism as they are seeking an alternative outside of bourgeois liberalism and Maoism (Chinese Stalinism) .There is even a minority that approves of the traditions of Trotskyism. The revolutionary socialists in Hong Kong have always utilized the city’s relative freedom to spread revolutionary ideas towards youths in mainland China. The most valuable work we can pursue at the moment is the fundamental task of spreading the ideas of classical Marxism to mainland China .

 

Lam Chi Leung is a revolutionary socialist based in Hong Kong. 

 

Interview of a Chinese Revolutionary Marxist on the recent political situation and the state of workers’ struggle

A1:The New York Times published an article recently about the radicalization of young chinese students. Do you witness the same trend ? How does it materialize for you locally ?

Ji Hengge:

First I should introduce the context of the article of New York Times. From May to July at 2018, As many as 89 workers who worked in Shenzhen Jasic(佳士) Technology Co., Ltd tried to established a Workers Union but not accepted by the official Pingshan(坪山) District Federation of Trade Unions, and most of them fired by the factory. These workers then protected in front of the gate of the Jasic and the police station in Pingshan, Shenzhen. And they also rush into the gate of Jasic factory and the police station, these activities let the event escalate and became a public event. Some workers arrested by the policeman. After that, some Maoist Left students and youth participated the protect and established a Solidarity Group to help these workers. Sometime there’s also people from other political tendencies participated in the solidarity active. From July to 23th August, these Maoist students and youth protected and lectured in street, communities, industrial areas, though the weather is so hot. In the morning of 24th August, all these Maoist students, youth and some workers in the Solidarity Group were arrested by the policeman, most of them were forced repatriation, but some of them, like Gu Jiayue(顾佳悦)(she were arrested in Beijing), Yue Xin(岳昕), Xu Zhongliang(徐忠良) and so on were imprisoned for trial. And before 24th August, an NGO named “Worker Empowerment”(劳动力) were closed down by the government and some member of this NGO were arrested because the government want to framed the movement as an event that support by the “overseas forces”, though they had no any real relationships with this event. Although there were not so many Maoist Left students (about 30-50 people) in the scene and most workers in Jasic factory were no action, it was so remarkable in the oppressive environment of China. So the Jasic event can reported by many foreign medias, and leads to discussions about the radicalization of young students in China.

For now it’s only sufficient to say that a small portion of young students have been radicalized, but young students as a whole haven’t. Some media have reported that young Chinese students are undergoing a widespread radicalization. Labor scholar Pun Ngai(潘毅) based in Hong Kong have also exaggerated the radicalization of young students recently when she talked about Jasic events. In China, the majority of young students are indifferent to politics, they care more about getting higher score at school, securing a job, and obtaining scholarship, and so on.

However, the authorities’ tightening authoritarianism on politics and culture, on one hand made more and more students disappointed, especially after they amended the Constitution in 2018, but the majority of students haven’t reached the degree of “radicalized”; on the other hand, it drove the polarization of the ideological trends of society:

One pole is students who oppose the establishment. Their number is gradually increasing. Leftist Maoist is their mainstream, and their number have grown ten times more comparing to 2012. (We call Maoists who support the CPC, see “the contradiction between Chinese nation and foreign imperialists” as main contradiction, or think today’s China is “still socialist”, rightist Maoists; and Maoists who oppose the authorities, and think of “contradiction of classes” as the main contradiction, leftist Maoists). The other pole includes nationalists, and most of liberals: they both oppose radical transformation. Although most liberals advocate the slogan, “against the establishment, for democracy”, but they are repelled by revolution more than autocracy. Their current goal is merely counting on the power struggle inside the authorities to promote “political reform”, and to defend market economy and private ownership.

Leftist Maoists in China have been growing since the 1990s, but they remained small before 2012. In 2012, the fall of Bo Xilai (薄熙来)devastated rightist Maoists. Many people at the upper levels chose to support the new leader, while many others went astray. During this time, the once small leftist Maoists carried out propaganda actively, made many rightist Maoists youth give up on believing in “reforms inside of the party”, and adopted the standpoint of opposing the Establishment. Those leftist Maoist took over many kinds of “Marxist academic society” (“马克思主义学会”)or public welfare college associations which mainly serve workers as their main channels to carry out their work. They even turned many rightist Maoist societies into leftist Maoist societies.

Since liberals firmly oppose radical transformation and holds hostility to workers’ participation in radical transformation, while leftist Maoists shout slogans like “democracy”, “freedom of speech”, “fight against bureaucratism”, “social equality”, “serve workers and peasants”, leftist Maoism became very attractive to radical youth who oppose autocracy and seek equality, and is drawing more and more youth who care about politics and the society. Some political events in recent years are related to those leftist Maoist youths, such as the Maoist book club incident of Guangdong University of Technology (广东工业大学)in December 2017. We can see their presence in the #MeToo Movement in 2018. The Jasic events which caught international attentions are essentially guided by those Maoist youths. Since September 2018, Maoist student organizations at Peking University(北京大学), Renmin University of China(中国人民大学), Nanjing University(南京大学) and some other universities have launched a movement to stop the university office shutting down and deregistering their societies. But in general, those leftist Maoist youth are still a very small portion of young students. Although they had caught more attentions because they took an active part in those public incidents, their activists won’t be more than a few hundred in the whole of China.

Trotskyism, despite being marginalized by Maoists, is getting more space for propaganda because of the tendency of a small portion of young people toward radicalization, and Trotskyists’ commitment to socialist democracy. In practical propaganda activity, Trotskyism can arouse young people’s sympathy more easily compare to Maoism, but due to Trotskyists’ small number and lack of strength, most radical Chinese youths do not have much chance to learn about Trotskyism. On the contrary, it’s easier to see articles written by Maoists that defame Trotskyism.

Besides, other ideological trends are also supported by radical youth, such as feminism, LGBT liberation, etc. These trends have broken through academia and became a radical political movement and turned around to push the radicalization of some youth. For example, the #MeToo movement got many students’ support and sympathy. But the main stream of these trends have a tendency to ignore class struggle, such as when most feminists’ emphasis on sexual difference and men’s original sin but overlook the question of class struggle.

A2: Do you see a radicalization within the workers movement as well ?

Ji Hengge:

The labor movement in the Mainland hasn’t shown tendencies of widespread radicalization for the time being. In general, most of strikes were spontaneous, fighting for pay rise, social security, worker’s compensation, and so on. As the economic crisis deepened from 2012 to 2016, many factories had gone bankrupt or moved to inland areas. Therefore, the number of strikes had gone up, but their demands were lowered comparing to the period before 2012. Most workers’ struggles was presented as fighting for economic demands like relocation compensation or social insurance contribution paid by the companies. It was hard to see the demand for a union. At that time, another feature was that many labor NGOs got involved in strikes. However, labor NGOs, especially those liberal ones, had fallen into the low tide after Zeng Feiyang(曾飞洋) got suppressed in 2016. Most of them reduced direct involvements in strikes, fell back and focused on community service. Some NGOs influenced by Maoism would advertise Maoism to active volunteers.

The real economy gradually recovered after 2016, so the workers’ demands also got higher. For that time, the most organized strike was the strikes of Walmart employees, which spread to a few provinces, lasted for months. In these Walmart strikes, the government worker unions wanted to calmed these strikes and the NGOs led and influenced by liberal labor scholars (although these scholars claimed they are “democratic socialists”, they firmly support a private ownership and have no any demands for nationalization and real welfare system) wanted to control these strikes that kept them away a radical struggle line, but many active workers had organized the Friendship Society(it like a miniature of independent worker union), these self-organized active workers even struggled with moderate liberal labor NGOs, mainstream labor scholars, and government unions.

But most of strikes hadn’t mentioned the demand for a union. The portion of strikes with the demand for a union or union democratization had become smaller comparing to 2009-2012. Even most of those unions founded during the strike waves of 2010 were hijacked by personnel from the government or the companies. During the strikes of tower crane operators in 2018, which spread across the whole country, strikers didn’t even know what a union is. Workers uses a Chinese online chat app called WeChat(微信) to do most of the organizing and communicating.

The struggle of Jasic workers in 2018 also brought up the demand for a union. Although advocates are the minorities of Jasic workers, those activists are still the few workers who have union consciousness in Mainland China. However, the majority of Jasic workers did not join in the struggle during the Jasic events. Only a few activists were fighting alone in the whole process. Hence, the company solved the problem by dismissing those activists. What’s more, after those activists were expelled, the company founded a union controlled by the government and the bosses through a formal voting procedure.

Beside the strikes of factory workers, shop assistants, couriers, tower crane operators, teamsters who are basically doing manual labor, and teachers’ strikes are relatively frequently seen in these years. That’s because of some local government has excessive fiscal debt, and unable to pay teachers’ salaries and welfare, or in some cases, teachers who was registered as casual laborer or contract laborer want to be enlisted into the civil servant system and get better treatment.

Other than that, the distribution of strikes as well as labor NGOs suggest that the coastal areas are hotter than inland areas. Cities like Shenzhen(深圳), Guangzhou(广州), and Dongguan(东莞) are the places where labor NGOs are located most densely, many strikes happen there. The city of Wuhan(武汉) in the central China has ten million population, with more than 5 million workers. It only has 1 labor NGO, which is operating poorly.

Overall, it’s not highly possible for workers to be radicalized in the near future. This has something to do with the tight totalitarian ruling approach adopted by the CPC. Since 2018, the authorities started once again to stress measures like Party organizations entering private enterprises or “union reform” in private enterprises. The goal is to take total control of workers’ activities in private enterprises, to cut off any possibility for other oppositions’ involvement of workers’ activities. Under this totalitarianism, most workers won’t be radicalized gradually. Instead, they may get radicalized rapidly in large scale when economic, political or military incidents occur. It also presented a significant challenge for revolutionary communists in China, i.e. it will be hard for us to get sufficient practical experience of labor movement in a long time.

A3: Do you see new links between the youth movement and the workers ?

Ji Hengge:

This kind of connections are mainly present in Maoist societies. Because they advocate the slogan “serve the people”, they emphasize the connections with underclass workers, especially industrial workers. The methods they chose to connect with workers are as varied as their factions.

One of the methods is to infiltrate into the All-China Federation of Trade Unions(中华全国总工会) and become one of its staff. But the outcome was not visible for the time being. And many Maoist activists were assimilated by the system, and became a bureaucrat of the establishment.

The second method is approaching underclass workers through public welfare activities such as voluntary medical consultation and voluntary art show, or labor research. Some would use labor NGOs as an intermediary, which is the most common method due to its convenience, but the propaganda and agitation effect among workers of this method is yet to be evaluated.

The third method is sending graduate groups to work in factories, immerse them into factories, so that they can introduce worker activists into their underground groups, and mobilize a strike to attract more workers. But this method doesn’t seek to establish a stable trade union or other kinds of worker organization. It’s a kind of guerrilla warfare: a group would move to another factory after the strike.

The recent Jasic events presented a new method, i.e. voicing support for protesting workers. There had been rightist Maoists voicing support for workers before. Although it had been rare to see leftist Maoists using this method, it did cause relatively bigger social influence this time. However, despite the determination and courage showed by those leftist Maoists youths who supported workers at the scene, their flaws are also exposed:

1) The characters of far-left adventurism, sectarianism, and bureaucratic ultimatism; For instance, they caused direct conflicts with the instrument of power like the police and state security without considering their own weakness: only a few dozen people participated in the action and then exposed their organization network. The CPC is very strict about organized political activities. Besides, they didn’t fall back when the sighs of suppression was shown, which is when the police had sent the supporters’ parents to persuade them, on the contrary, they still claimed to be “the victor”; If some participant had different opinion about the situation or strategy, they would criticize him or her for “not being supportive for the workers”, and even called them “spy” in some cases. They often refused leftist youth of other factions to join the voice support activities in the name of “safety concern”.

2) They put “strategy” above principle in their declarations. They wrote their declarations like oaths of loyalty to the CPC leadership hoping to reduce political risk and obtain support from rightist Maoists. They put the hope of defending workers’ right in the CPC leadership rather than workers themselves in those declarations, even though most participants of the support group do not support the CPC in their heart.

The above two points hindered their strength, and dispirited liberals and many other leftist youths. Even the majority of Jasic workers didn’t show their support for the protest. The result is that the protest failed, worker activists got heavier repression, and a labor NGO which didn’t have much to do with the protest was shut down.

The CPC had started to notice these links between students and workers, so they have smashed some leftist college societies. For example, they suppressed the Maoist society of Guangdong University of Technology in November 2017, and arrested their activists. They suppressed and interrogated Zhiyuan Society(致远社) of Nanjing Agricultural University (南京农业大学)in 2017. After the Jasic events of 2018, they hindered the annual registration of Maoist societies of Peking University, Renmin University of China and Nanjing University, and put their activists under surveillance. The CPC leadership would think that those leftist students may walk the path that they themselves had walked in the 1920s, and become a threat to the regime, so they hope to suffocate their program in the cradle.

A4: Do you see a new interest in the works of Trotsky ?

Ji Hengge:

Some writings of Trotsky have been published openly since 1990, such as Literature and Revolution; Stalin–An Appraisal of the Man and his Influence; My Life, which is the most widely published and sold one with many translation versions. In recent years, Trotsky on Chinese Revolution, Trotsky on Anti-Fascism, Trotsky Recounts the October Revolution, which collected and translated by Shi Yongqin(施用勤), and the History of the Russian Revolution translated by Ding Duben( 丁笃本) have been published. And Problems of Everyday Life translated by Shi Yongqin haven’t been published. Books like Selected Works of Trotsky and Selected Writings of Trotsky, collected and translated by official scholars, had been published during 2006-2012. Besides works of Trotsky’s, three-volume biography of Trotsky by Isaac Deutscher got published in 1992, and republished in 2013.

For the number of publications, biography was the best seller. The History of the Russian Revolution wasn’t so bad, but other political works were very hard to sell. It reflects the fact that most people are reading Trotsky’s works out of curiosity about Russian history rather than political causes. And some people bought them for academic purposes.

Besides publications, The Chinese Marxists Internet Archive (https://www.marxists.org/chinese)have organized translation projects for many writings of Trotsky’s. It helped to spread Trotsky’s works. But only those who were close to or already accepted Revolutionary Marxism would read them. Only a few people have interests in Trotsky’s works.

In Mainland China, Trotskyism is still on the margin of political trends of thought. “Anti-totalitarianism” such as The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System by Milovan Djilas, and George Orwell’s and Bukharin’s works were more popular. But the most welcomed are Friedrich August von Hayek’s works. In the eyes of official scholars and most intellectuals, the struggles between Trotsky and Stalin were just for supreme power. Most of them think that Trotsky and Stalin are both dictators inherently. “Socialist Democracy” that Trotsky talked about were just fancy words. He wouldn’t have been a lesser dictator than Stalin.

As for leftist Maoist youth, which are the mainstream of radical youth, most of them are still hostile to Trotskyism. They continued the utterance which the CPC used to criticize Trotskyism in the time of Stalin and Mao. Most radical youths accepted those slanders and misrepresentations, made by Maoists about Trotskyism, when they started to learn politics. This is a difficulty we have to face while doing propaganda.

A5: Is the youth organizing against oppression of minorities ?

Ji Hengge:

There is no sign of this for the time being. On the contrary, Islamophobia is very common among youth. It made many people acquiesced the authorities’ high-pressure policies in Xinjiang(新疆). Besides, many liberal youth oppose the national recognition policy adopted by the CPC. They even oppose nominal national autonomy, thinking that there should be only one “Chinese nation”. This is actually a kind of Han chauvinism(大汉族主义).

Ethnic minorities are rare to be seen in discussions of radical youths. Many leftist Maoist youth would sympathize with the Uyghurs(维吾尔族) under high pressure, but they seldom speak about it openly. There are two reasons: first, discussion about nationalitiesis strictly confined, it’s difficult to talk about them openly. Second, most Maoist youth do not support the right of self-determination, which is inherited from the time of Mao for there was no self-determination when he was in power.

Some religious Uyghur and Tibetan(藏族) people would hate Han Chinese(仇视汉族) for religious reasons or social polarization, but only a few people would like to start an independent nation. Among Uyghur and Tibetan intellectuals, those who support independence are usually in exile. Those who remain in China usually oppose independence. Many of them even support the CPC, for they think Xinjiang would be controlled by extreme Islamists while Tibet would return to unification of the state and the church easily without the CPC’s high-pressure policies. Some liberal intellectuals of those nations would advocate more autonomous and democratic rights for Xinjiang and Tibet.

Many young students even dare not to discuss politics due to high-pressure control in Xinjiang and Tibet, especially among Uyghur students, because snitches are so common that they would be persecuted or suppressed by the school or the government as soon as they talk about politics. For this reason, it’s hard to tell what’s on the minds of Uyghur and Tibetan youth.

Trotskyists are one of the few forces among radical leftists in China that supports the right of self-determination. We would strive to combat national oppression and Islamophobia, to promote solidarity of working class among all nations, at the same time, to propagate against extreme Islamism(极端伊斯兰主义), extreme Lamaism(极端喇嘛教主义) and discrimination against Han Chinese, despite the fact that few people accept these ideas in a China where Han chauvinism prevails. We hope for the chance to spread Revolutionary Marxism to those radical workers and youth of oppressed minorities. This is the important foundation of socialist movements in minorities like Uyghur and Tibetan.

November 15, 2018