KERALA

China is on the road to Socialism: CPI delegation

THRISSUR SEPT. 21. The CPI secretary, V.V. Raghavan, MP, who has just led a five-member party delegation to China, has said that his party and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appear to be holding identical views on world affairs and issues confronting Asia today.

Talking to The Hindu here on his return after the week-long tour, Mr. Raghavan said the delegation was of the view that even after the much-debated reforms, ``China is on the road to Socialism according to Chinese characteristics''. He said that 80 per cent of the Chinese economy was still in the public sector and with this it could cushion off much of the adverse effects of its entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other reforms. Similarly, the entire land in the country is the property of the Chinese Government and peasants are given land for cultivation only on lease. No doubt, unemployment is becoming a big problem there with the launching of the `reconstruction packages' for industries. But the Government is making determined efforts to mitigate their woes by working out schemes for alternative employment. Those who were not able to find alternative jobs are given permanent unemployment allowances.

Mr. Raghavan said that one of the major achievements of the reforms programme in China was that it had unleashed the productive forces. This is one of the pre-conditions of socialist development. The agrarian economy of its villages is undergoing a sea change. Agriculture is 100 per cent mechanised. Tissue culture, biotechnology and genetic sciences are applied to boost agriculture production and quality. Agro-service centres are helping farmers in these modernising programmes. At the same time, agro-processing industries have been started on a large-scale to ensure that the farmers get remunerative prices for their produces. Value-added agro-products are sold in both internal and external markets.

He said that China's entry into the WTO had in fact helped it to get access to the international market. However, China has been able to resist the attempts of multinational companies to dump their products on its market. ``Chinese farmers told us that all these developments have helped them to have a four-fold increase in their income since 1978 when the reform programme began. They are also conscious that there could be some disparities in the income in the early phases of the programme. But they are taking welfare measurers to reduce such disparities,'' Mr. Raghavan said.

On the other side, China is aware of the adverse impact the WTO and globalisation programmes could bring in on the developing and underdeveloped countries. It has expressed its willingness to fight united with such countries against the attempts of big powers to impose their will on the underdeveloped countries.

The recently concluded WTO ministerial meeting at Cancun had witnessed such a joint by fight by China and developing countries like India and Brazil, the CPI leader said.

He said the CPI and the CCP had common views on international political issues like the U.S. invasion on Iraq.

P. Padmavathy (Tamil Nadu), E. Nageswara Rao (Andhra Pradesh), G.S. Patil (Karnataka) and Debendra Singh Ashi (Punjab) were the other members of the delegation.

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