SACP Salutes Chinese People and the CCP

NAda802074 at NAda802074 at
Mon Oct 4 18:14:16 MDT 1999

SACP Press Statement
50th Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution

Exactly fifty years ago, on the 1st October 1949, the People’s Republic of
China was founded. It was an event that culminated over two decades of
Communist Party led popular struggle. What had begun as attempted worker
insurrections in the port cities of Canton and Shanghai in the late 1920s,
led to the Long March, which carried the working class ideas of Marxism into
the deep and impoverished countryside of feudal China.

>From their deep rural bases the Chinese Communists and their people’s army
led the national struggle against the Japanese militarist occupation ­ one of
the most barbaric episodes of the Second World War. The defeat of Japanese
militarism, along with the defeat of nazism and fascism, created favourable
global conditions for popular forces around the world, including in the
world’s most populous country, China.

The Chinese Revolution is one of the most significant and influential events
of our century. Before 1949 the illiteracy rate in China was 80 percent, and
life expectancy was a meagre 35 years. Now, 50 years later illiteracy has
declined to less than 7 percent, and average life expectancy is more than 70

Over these past 50 years the Chinese people have embarked on another heroic
Long March. The Chinese Communist Party would be the first to admit that
there have been confusions and errors on the way. In the late 1960s, a
ruinous and misguided “Cultural Revolution” tore apart the fabric of society,
and set back many of the advances made in the previous decade and a half. But
throughout these fifty years, the Chinese Revolution has been guided by a
number of admirable, core principles:

* A commitment to building a socialist society, in which modernisation is
balanced with social justice, redistribution and development
* A willingness to learn from international experience, but always to be
prepared to chart a sovereign national course, based on the knowledge,
customs, assets and special challenges of one’s own society.

In 1978 a major economic reform process was unleashed, in which the PRC
endeavoured to sustain the core principles of socialism while opening up to
the market. In most Western media, we are constantly told that the PRC has
“embraced capitalism” ­ this is neither how the Chinese themselves understand
what they are doing, nor is it the reality. The public sector enterprises,
and the rural socialist economy remain core pillars of Chinese socialism.
There have, however, been an imaginative mix of partnerships, liberalisations
and other market-related initiatives as well. The Chinese reform process
stands in stark contrast to the neo-liberal privatisation frenzy that has
reduced the former Soviet Union into a third world status.
The PRC’s ability to chart an effective course through the recent Asian
crisis is also noteworthy. Against the backdrop of the Asian financial crisis
(and catastrophic domestic floods) China’s GDP still grew 7,8 percent last
year. This was achieved, partly, through active state intervention to
stimulate demand through wage increases in the public sector, and other

On the occasion of this 50th anniversary, the SACP salutes the Chinese
Communist Party and the people of China.

1st October, 1999

Issued by:
SACP Dept. of Information & Publicity
<sacp1 at>
South African Communist Party
Head Office
No. 1 Leyds Street - 7th Floor
Braamfontein 2001
Republic of South Africa
(Tel: 27 11 339-3621/2)
(Fax: 27 11 339-4244)

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