Most books about China focus on its seemingly unstoppable export machine and turbo-charged economic growth. But what are conditions really like for China's 1.3 billion inhabitants? Millions work in vast sweatshops for long hours and extremely low pay. Pollution and industrial accidents, contaminated food and milk, overpriced and chronically under-funded schools and hospitals - this is the other side of the story. Capitalist 'market reforms' have brought absolutely no progress in the sphere of democratic rights or a lessening of authoritarian control.
How long can the one-party state of the misnamed Communist Party survive? Despite repression, nationalistic propaganda, and the Beijing Olympics, social unrest is rising dramatically. Not since the 1920s has China experienced such a wave of strikes, rural uprisings and street protests as today.
As China's economic 'miracle' falters in the midst of a deep crisis for the global capitalist system, the future looks stormy. This book explores the perspectives for the Chinese economy, society and government, and makes the case for independent workers' organisations as a crucial step towards a democratic socialist alternative to capitalism and authoritarianism.
- From back cover