China

John McDonnell and Kate Osamor back Uyghur solidarity

John McDonnell MP and Kate Osamor MP spoke at a Uyghur Solidarity Campaign Zoom meeting on 5 July. John McDonnell said: I am sending solidarity to the Uyghur Solidarity meeting today, on the anniversary of the massacre. It is an opportune time to remind people of the suffering the Uyghur people have gone through, in recent years in particular. The savage repression by the Chinese state, the internment, the brutality meted out to the Uyghur people, the long sentences for those illegally imprisoned, and the whole attempt to wipe out the culture of the Uyghurs – it is appalling. We have to stand...

Hong Kong under the gun

The slogans of the long-running democracy movement in Hong Kong (above) are now declared to be crimes punishable by ten years or more in jail The Chinese National People’s Congress passed the Hong Kong National Security Act on 30 June. It was then gazetted and enacted as Annex 3 of the HKSAR Basic Law at 11 pm the same day. It came into effect on 1 July 1st, the day Hong Kong was handed over by the UK to China exactly 23 years ago. 1 July is a public holiday in Hong Kong, and the day when anti-Government demonstration marches are held. On 1 July, tens of thousands defied the new law and...

Abuse of Uyghur women

China is carrying out forced sterilisations of women of ethnic minority populations in the western Xinjiang region, according to research published on 29 June. More than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are imprisoned in re-education camps. Uyghur women and other ethnic minorities are being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas. Women have been involuntarily fitted with intrauterine contraceptives or coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries, even were they had fewer than the permitted two children...

Hong Kong: The Empire Strikes Back

A music teacher in Hong Kong has been sacked by her school, because she allowed one of her students to perform the song Glory to Hong Kong as part of an assessment task at school. Lau Ka-tung, a social worker, was accused of hindering officers from proceeding by standing in front of a cordon and using his body to strike a policeman's shield. He was sentenced to a year in jail, the first social worker to receive a jail sentence resulting from last year's protests. The defence applied for bail as they planned to file an appeal against the sentence, but the application was denied and he was sent...

Momentum Renewal and Islamophobia

For all its rhetoric about working-class politics, the conservative-left and Stalinist faction in Momentum’s national coordinating group election, Momentum Renewal, has had little to say about the huge crises confronting the working class in the real world. Despite having a large network of supporters, including many people working full-time for Labour politicians, unions and the like, its blog has had only three posts. Momentum Renewal’s candidates and organisers have, however, found plenty of time to spend attacking Workers’ Liberty – which sometimes seems to be virtually the main focus of...

Hong Kong defies ban on Tiananmen commemorations

On 4 June, the 31st anniversary of Tiananmen was remembered in a very different way here in Hong Kong. The Government had refused the organisers permission to hold the annual event in Victoria Park, insisting that no more than eight people can gather together because of the virus. The organisers responded by defying the ban and still gathered in their thousands in Victoria Park. They also for the first time initiated dozens of other gatherings in different parts of the city. In the past few years, some radical protestors have drifted away from the 4 June commemorations and criticised the...

Beijing clamps down on Hong Kong

China's National People’s Congress decided on 28 May to introduce a National Security Law in Hong Kong. It represents the most direct change of governance on Hong Kong, imposed by the People’s Republic of China, without any discussion with Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.

Forced labour

A giant Chinese company, BYD, known for employing Ugyhur forced labour has converted one of its factories into the world’s biggest respirator-mask factory, and has won big contracts in California. The BYD subsidiary which runs that factory is registered in the British Virgin Islands tax-haven. We want industry requisitioned to produce PPE — with union labour on union conditions! • More here

Testing: learn from Korea and Taiwan

Some trade-unionists have suggested swab-testing of all workers in each workplace before a return to work. The Tory government’s focus on the crude total of test numbers as the big thing has boosted this idea. Full isolation pay for those with symptoms, or identified as contacts of virus-sufferers, and social distancing plus PPE where necessary in the workplace, will help much more. So will regular (instant-result) temperature checks, widely used and effective (so far as we can tell) in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. More testing is surely needed for a “tracking and tracing” policy. When...

Karl Marx and Uyghur solidarity

On Tuesday 5 May the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign will coordinate a second wave of online protests against high-street companies whose suppliers used forced Uyghur labour in China. For those who don’t know, the Uyghurs are an ethnic group whose nation, East Turkestan, is held under Chinese control and ruled as ‘Xinjiang’ province (literally ‘New Frontier’). Last time the target of the protests was Apple – this time, Gap. 5 May is Karl Marx’s birthday (he would have been 202). If Marx was still around he would certainly have supported the Uyghur solidarity movement, for at least five reasons. 1...

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