Books for changing the world
China in Global Capitalism
Building International Solidarity Against Imperial Rivalry

As the rivalry between the US and China enters a dangerous new phase, reaffirming the politics of anti-imperialism is a task more important than ever.

From trade wars and pandemic politics to rioting workers, intercontinental balloons, and battles over TikTok, the US media tends to present contemporary China—when it’s discussed at all—in sensationalist terms. This portrayal has only intensified as China’s relationship with the United States has grown increasingly hostile. Whether in the form of overtly racist rhetoric and aggressive trade actions, or the more buttoned down but equally antagonistic efforts to oppose Chinese interests abroad, the US has made clear that it has no interest in giving up its position as global hegemon. This seemingly endless cycle of nationalism, jingoism, and reactionary politics on both sides of the Pacific suggests a downward spiral that could plausibly result in catastrophic military confrontation.

China in Global Capitalism forcefully makes the case that workers and socially marginalized people in both the US and China must oppose our rulers’ claims that they have our best interests in mind as they ratchet up their rivalry. Rather, if we’re to avert nuclear calamity, we must oppose imperialism in all its forms, and regardless of its source and rhetoric.

Through snapshots of China’s growing social movements—from its labor struggles to feminist campaigns, and more—Lin, Liu, Friedman, and Smith provide some of the building blocks we’ll need to construct a movement that centers international solidarity across borders.

  • “Friedman, Lin, Liu, and Smith are strong builders of the international left. China in Global Capitalism—uncensored by imperial states of Beijing, Washington, and the like—should reach out to a new generation of allies standing in solidarity with the people.”
    —Jenny Chan, coauthor of Dying for an iPhone

    “China in Global Capitalism is a gripping, in depth examination of contemporary China and its evolution from its revolutionary, egalitarian roots to what can only be called, at best, "market socialism," and its integration into global capitalism. Through deep examination, the authors explore class, class struggle, nationality struggles, struggles in connection with sex and gender, as well as the environment, in each case attempting to create a framework to understand the trajectory of the CPC-led capitalist project.  Even where I found myself in disagreement with the authors I felt compelled and excited to continue to explore the information, analysis, and the challenges the authors place before the readers.  Like me, this book will leave any honest reader much upon which to reflect."
    —Bill Fletcher, Jr., writer/activist, author of Solidarity Divided, "They're Bankrupting Us" - And Twenty Other Myths about Union

    "In the past four decades China's GDP has doubled every eight years, fundamentally changing China in every aspect. However, due to censorship and everything happening so fast, it is not easy to grasp the picture in full. In this context, this book is particularly relevant -- it tells China’s story comprehensively and concisely, enabling readers to grasp the terrible cost of China's rise and how it necessarily provokes more, not less, imperialist rivalry. This has been forcing all the stakeholders in China, from the Chinese people to the biosphere, to resist on every front. For anyone who wishes to position themselves in these multiple contests, this book is a must read."

    —Au Loong-yu, author Hong Kong in Revolt

    “A much-awaited blueprint for internationalist, autonomous grassroots resistance against capitalist empires of our time.”

    —Ho-fung Hung, author City on the Edge

    “China’s rise as a major world power is one of the defining features of the 21st century, and understanding that rise poses huge challenges to the left internationally. China in Global Capitalism is an invaluable contribution to thinking through the many contradictions involved, which roots both opposition to Western aggression and support for those fighting back in China in a genuine internationalism that sees imperialism as a world system to be overthrown.”
    —Charlie Hore, author The Road to Tiananmen Square

    “This is an altogether necessary book. Mixing lucid writing with analytical rigor, the authors intervene intelligently in a number of current debates now raging on the global left about how to think and link up with China's progressive elements to contest and oppose the global capitalist system in which we are all ensnared and implicated. Evading ready-made traps defined by narrow positions, the authors' proposals about activists and intellectuals are expansive, inclusive, and important. A must-read for anyone interested in China, in leftist activism, in global politics.”
    —Rebecca E Karl, Professor of History, New York University

    “Rivalry between the US and its allies on one side and China on the other is increasingly affecting politics everywhere and will likely get more intense. The left really needs to figure out how to relate to this conflict in a way that'll advance the interests of the global working class and oppressed people, avoiding various political pitfalls. The analysis in this informative and accessible book is an excellent basis for doing so. Highly recommended!”
    —David Camfield, host of the podcast Victor's Children and author of Future on Fire: Capitalism and the Politics of Climate Change

    “A brilliant and incisive exploration of the U.S.-China inter-imperial rivalry, revealing contradictions deeply embedded in a shared commitment to maintaining the capitalist world order. As the authors of China In Global Capitalism show so powerfully, today’s intensifying antagonisms and instability are no mere repeat of the Cold War, but rather mark a new period in an ongoing global crisis. This book offers a crucial analysis of the nature of this conflict, while providing a road map for urgently-needed cross-border international solidarity between workers and the oppressed.”
    —Lee Wengraf, author, Extracting Profit: Imperialism, Neoliberalism and the New Scramble for Africa

    “The global left today is deeply divided over the place and role of the People’s Republic of China in global politics and economics. Many still insist that China represents an alternative to neo-liberal capitalism and deserves the support of the left in its struggles against both domestic “reaction” and the western imperial powers. China in Global Capitalism provides a powerful alternative to these claims. The authors document the Chinese transition to capitalism and its subsequent emergence as an economic and political-military competitor with the more established imperialist powers. As a result, China has been rocked by the same class, social and national struggles that mark the rest of the capitalist world, and pursue their imperial ambitions in much the same way as US, European or Japanese imperialism. For the authors, the left must  reject alliances with either imperialist camp, and pursue the politics of solidarity from below—with working and oppressed people around the world.”
    —Charles Post, member of the editorial board of Spectre: A Marxist Journal

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