Coronavirus, China and the blame game

Published on: Sun, 05/04/2020 - 18:39

Statement from the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign

Anti-Chinese xenophobia has tainted some responses to the pandemic

Amidst the pandemic crisis, we have seen propaganda efforts by states, politicians and press to promote their own image and scapegoat others. The Chinese government and its press and supporters boast that they are leading the world against the virus. Other governments, especially in the UK and US, are deflecting blame for their own shortcomings onto China.

The Chinese state’s censorship and brittle authoritarianism do appear to have obstructed good handling of the outbreak, especially in the crucial early stages - for instance,

Big brands profit from Uyghur forced labour

Published on: Wed, 11/03/2020 - 06:57

Ben Tausz

Uyghur Solidarity Campaign protesters invaded flagship Oxford Street stores on 5 March, demanding that global corporations – including Nike, H&M and Microsoft – cut ties with factories using Chinese-state-directed ethnic forced labour programmes.

Workers’ Liberty activists have played a central role in building UK labour movement solidarity with the Uyghur people and other Turkic minorities in the north-western Xinjiang province (known to the Uyghurs as East Turkestan). The Chinese state has targeted them with brutal, industrial-scale persecution: it has locked more than a million in

Hong Kong: “Resist tyranny, join a union”

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:28

Chen Ying

A notable feature so far of the eight-month political protest in Hong Kong has been the absence of industrial action. However, the five day strike by health workers at the start of February promises to dramatically change that perception.

The strike was not about wages or job cuts. At first glance it appeared to be xenophobic, as its main demand was shutting Hong Kong’s borders with China to keep out carriers of the new coronavirus from the mainland.

Strikers however saw themselves as trying to protect their working conditions and to save Hong Kong and its under-resourced health service from

“The system will track your death”

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:56

Jim Denham

Would coronavirus demonstrate the superiority of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" when it comes to dealing with a major crisis?

The Morning Star (and Communist Party of Britain) certainly thought so in late January/early February. And for a while it looked as though they might have a point.

In a piece entitled "The Planned economy vs the coronavirus" (30 Jan, republished from the US Stalinist paper People’s World), C J Atkins noted: “The World Health Organisation is praising the Chinese government’s quick response to the crisis… The scale of that commitment is now ramping up in a

Coronavirus and climate change

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:58

Angela Driver

The novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan (2019-nCoV) is a zoonotic disease. It is an infection that has passed from animals to humans.

Humans have not developed immunity to such infections. That in turn means they are often more deadly, and spread rapidly.

According to the World Health Organisation, new zoonotic infections are becoming more frequent because of climate change and other human behaviour.

Zoonotic diseases are more likely to occur when populations of animals and humans that do not normally interact come into contact with each other. Climate change makes this more likely in a

Health workers strike in Hong Kong

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 13:08

Chen Ying

Today, 3 February, over 2,000 health workers went on strike, after an overwhelming ballot held over the weekend in favour of action to press their two demands, and after the Government refused to meet with them:

1) The HKSAR Government must close its border with China to prevent more and more people infected with the Wuhan novel-coronavirus from coming in.
2) The HKSAR Government must secure sufficient masks, clothing and other equipment to enable hospital staff to carry out their work with sufficient protection against the virus.

With more health workers ready to join the strike tomorrow, the

Wuhan: a new coronavirus

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 10:50

Les Hearn


People visiting a seafood and wild animal market a few weeks ago almost certainly picked up a species of virus from live wild animals on sale. This virus, a member of the Coronavirus family, causes fever, a cough and sometimes pneumonia.

It seems to be relatively easy to transmit between people and identified cases have risen sharply to well over 10,000 in a few weeks, most in the city of Wuhan with a few (so far) in other towns and countries.

Each infected individual is estimated to be infecting about three others. This rate needs to be reduced to near zero to

Hong Kong protesters call for joining unions

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 12:59

Chen Ying

The New Year started in Hong Kong with a million strong march, organised by the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF).

The huge turnout and strength of feeling of the protest marchers, from age 12 to people over 80, was a clear signal to the authorities that the protest movement still has plenty of fight and determination, despite the many thousand arrests since last June.

On the march there were many calls on people to join their trade union, which is a very positive development. So far in the six month protest, the only significant successful industrial action has been taken by air traffic

China steps up coal

Published on: Wed, 18/12/2019 - 13:07

Misha Zubrowski

A study published this November by “End Coal” ( demonstrates the extent to which China is driving the continued growth of the world’s coal fleet.

2018, they note, marked the first time in decades that the coal fleet outside of China shrank; a decrease in capacity of 8.1 gigawatts (GW) over an 18 month period. This is due to an ongoing decline in commissioning of new coal power plants, coupled with steady retirements.

However, over the same period, China increased its coal fleet by 42.9 GW, five times the magnitude of the net decrease beyond China.

Much of this growth is a brief

Landslide election in Hong Kong

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:37

Chen Ying

The pan-democratic camp won control of 17 out of 18 District Councils in Hong Kong’s 24 November elections, almost wiping out the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB).

The only council held by the pro-establishment camp was the Islands district, where 8 out of 18 seats were automatically assigned to pro-establishment village heads.

2.94 million (71.2% of eligible voters) voted in the Pan-Democrats and other independent democrats in nearly 400 out of 452 seats, with the DAB winning only 58 seats. Four years ago, the pan-democrats failed to win

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