Book Launch: “The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century”


Discussion of ‘The East is Still Red’
August 13, 2023

Full discussion of the Program is available to watch on YouTube at:

Talk by Sara Flounders (below)

Book Launch: The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century

On Sunday 13 August 2023, the International Manifesto Group hosted a launch event for Carlos Martinez’s book The East is Still Red – Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century.

Author Carlos Martinez discussed the book with a panel of commentators.

This launch took place at 11AM US Eastern Time, 4PM London Time and 11PM Beijing time over Zoom and YouTube Live.

Please share widely!

This event was co-hosted by Friends of Socialist ChinaMidwestern Marx and the Critical Theory Workshop.



Author – Carlos Martinez is an independent researcher and political activist from London, Britain. He is the author of The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century (2023), No Great Wall: On the Continuities of the Chinese Revolution (2022) The End of the Beginning: Lessons of the Soviet Collapse (2019). His main area of research is the construction of socialist societies, past and present. He is a co-editor of Friends of Socialist China and co-founder of No Cold War.

Dan Kovalik graduated from Columbia Law School in 1993, and currently teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is the author of NICARAGUA: A History of US Intervention and Resistance (2023) and The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela: How the US Is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil (2019), which includes a Foreward by Oliver Stone. He served as in-house counsel for the United Steelworkers for 26 years. Kovalik has been traveling to Nicaragua since 1987 and has been a friend of Nicaragua and the Sandinista Revolution since that time. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post, Counterpunch and RT News, and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects.

Sara Flounders is a longstanding political activist and author based in New York City. She is a Contributing Editor of Workers World Newspaper and a leader of the United National Antiwar Coalition, the International Action Center and the SanctionsKill Campaign. She is the co-author and editor of numerous books, including Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China and the US (co-authored with Lee SiuHin) and recently released: SANCTIONS – A Wrecking Ball in a Global Economy.

Chen Weihua Chen Weihua is the EU bureau chief of China Daily, having previously served as chief Washington correspondent and deputy editor of the US edition of China Daily.

Amanda Yee is the host of Radio Free Amanda, a podcast focused on politics and media criticism from an anti-imperialist perspective.

Qiao Collective is a Chinese diaspora media collective that aims to challenge rising U.S. aggression towards the People’s Republic of China and to equip the U.S. anti-war movement with the tools and analysis to better combat the stoking of a New Cold War conflict with China.

Moderator – Radhika Desai is Professor at the Department of Political Studies. She is the Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the convenor of the International Manifesto Group. Her books include Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy (2023), Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire (2013), Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (2nd rev ed, 2004) and Intellectuals and Socialism: ‘Social Democrats’ and the Labour Party (1994), a New Statesman and Society Book of the Month.

About the book

China provides a powerful living example of what can be achieved with a socialist system; by a Marxist-led government firmly grounded among the people. The East is Still Red explains the escalating hostility by the imperialist powers towards China and clears up various popular misconceptions.

All available evidence indicates that not only is the Communist Party of China committed to Marxism, but it is a leading force for the development and enhancement of Marxism in the 21st century.

If the first century of human experience of building socialism teaches us anything, it is that the road from capitalism to socialism is a long and complicated one, and that ‘actually existing socialism’ varies enormously according to time, place and circumstances. China is building a form of socialism that suits its conditions, using the means it has at its disposal, in the extraordinarily challenging circumstances of global imperialist hegemony.

Carlos Martinez provides a concise, deeply researched and well argued account that China’s remarkable rise can only be understood by acknowledging its socialist past, present and future.

Sara Flounders, Director of the International Action Center: 

Sara Flounders: It is such an honor to participate in this discussion. Thank you, Carlos Martinez, for a real contribution to the political level of discussion among Marxists. Thank you also  for over 1,000 footnotes to back up every point you make.

There have been great reviews – it is such a valuable resource.

In a Workers World review of The East Is Still Red Carlos Martinez’s book is defined as a “A Necessary Read”.  The book is a contribution to the discussion regarding the class character of the People’s Republic of China.

In whose interests does the People’s Republic of China operate?   In the interests of the people of China, yes of course.

But China’s impact on the global working class is enormous. So it is in our class interests everywhere to defend China from the aggressive ideological attack and the economic attack and SANCTIONS and now military encirclement, all led by US imperialism.

Carlos reminds us of President Obama’s famous quote in describing the PIVOT to Asia. “To preserve US hegemony. we have to make sure that America writes the rules of the global economy or China will.”

What do the U.S and British imperialism and G7 imperialist countries FEAR? China’s State-Owned Enterprises / publicly owned banks, the largest source of profit, China’s regulations on private businesses. The Chinese State, the Chinese Communist Party directs the economy. Capitalists from around the world can invest. But they can’t just pull their equipment out. China owns it and Chinese staff must be trained to operate it. The imperialist corporations consider this restriction on foreign investments to be property theft.

China’s state owned industries do not need the extraction of profit that privately owned banks and industries do need. For imperialism this is the most essential requirement, their life blood.

China is a defining point for left forces globally. But especially in the United States today. Why? Because the U.S. war machine is directly targeting China.

The entire U.S. productive capacity is focused on how to disrupt China’s supply chain, even if it dislocates U.S. production and wreaks havoc on a world scale.

This is a New Cold War and a real danger of going much further.

U.S. aircraft carriers, nuclear subs through the Straits of Taiwan to the constant overflights in the South China Sea are now daily provocations.

All of this is justified with the most unrelenting media campaign, not seen in decades. A media / propaganda campaign so insidious, so all pervasive in every form of media, culture and sports and openly funded by NED National Endowment for Democracy.

I’ve had 2 incredible opportunities to visit the Peoples’ Republic of China. In particular XinJiang Uygur Autonomous Region – the Center of US Atrocity Myths.

Claims of slave labor. But as we found agriculture is entirely mechanized – tractors, planters, drones. Not one Islamic or Arab country has backed up US claims. Organized major fact finding delegations. False claims Entirely from G7 countries.

Whether visit China or not –

It is essential for left and progressive forces to be clear on What we defend in China, Why and what does Wall Street want to destroy in China.

We are in the midst of organizing discussion in a number of US cities on this topic

This is why The East Is Still Red is a “Necessary” read. We have to arm ourselves with political arguments. We need to be aware that this is NOT an abstract topic. It is a living challenge in the class struggle today.

We don’t get to choose our battles.

The US imperialist ruling class has pushed this topic of China to the TOP of our agenda.

 It is without dispute that China has pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty into a stable and secure life.  the greatest anti-poverty achievement in history!

Something no capitalist country has successfully achieved.

The big question for those who consider themselves to be on the side of socialist revolution is: What is the class character of People’s China?

Need to answer the vicious twists, ugly distortions, of crude U.S. propaganda and the polite academics and intellectuals who want to convince working class organizers that there is nothing worth defending in China. It is NO different than the US. They should just limit our attention to immediate bread and butter struggles.

In the class struggle you have to take sides on ALL the major issues.

As the title implies, Carlos makes a powerful case that China is still a socialist country and that anti-imperialists worldwide should step forward and DEFEND People’s China against U.S. and world imperialism.

CONSIDER: If imperialism prevailed and was able to halt China’s development that would be a historic defeat, not only for the workers and peasants of China. It would have a global impact.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, it was a terrible setback for the working class struggle globally. The capitalist class gained a huge advantage and set out to re-colonize whole parts of the world that had made huge gains. Eastern Europe reverted to its former semi-colonial status compared to Western Europe. In Africa and throughout the Arab world, US imperialism set out to unravel the gains of nationalist regimes.

Our tasks is to win over working class in Britain and the US

No imperialist War is in our class interests. Imperialist wars are for the immediate profit of a small handful of corporate giants. We pay! They benefit.

But in order to Defend China against the unrelenting corporate propaganda, the Left needs to consciously organize to stop imperialist wars and needs material to answer the attacks and propaganda.

Every page of Carlos’s book is concrete facts to answer the corporate media.

How about the charge that China is creating a DEBT TRAP for African countries? The corporate media claims repeatedly that China is a new imperialist power stealing Africa’s resources.

Carlos quotes the 2022 Debt Justice Report:

African Governments owe 3 times more debt to Western banks than China.

Only 12%of Africa’s external debt is owed to Chinese lenders.

China’s interest rates are one HALF those of Western loans,

China has built more infrastructure in Africa in 2 decades than the West has in centuries. This means Railroads, ports, water filtration plants, power stations.

China offers more scholarships to African students than the West’s combined scholarships.

Carlos always gives footnotes for each assertion.

China has much to teach the world movement. It is a progressive world formation and we defend it against the imperialist oppressor.

Among those who are for socialism how we understand China and really step forward to defend China is the immediate challenge. All the most powerful imperialist forces are aggressively mobilizing for war. It seems impossible, unbelievable.

Increasingly the imperialist state apparatus and their corporate media is determined to silence those explaining and defending China. People who write and explain China and its incredible accomplishments are being openly attacked. There is an increasing effort to silence.  The New York Times article is the latest example.

Carlos book is a real primer In basic arguments.

There are now 600 million workers in China, this is larger than the entire working class G7 imperialist countries.

There are nearly 100 million Communist Party members who are committed to defending socialist property rights. Even though a capitalist class has grown and there are great inequalities in wealth, the sheer size of a politically conscious, highly organized communist leadership is a powerful bulwark.

That China’s economy weathered the 2008 capitalist crisis that brought capitalist finances to the brink of collapse is proof that the billionaires are not driving decisions, The Capitalists of the West or the Chinese capitalists were not those who were bailed out in China.

State resources went into the biggest infrastructure building program in China history. Millions of Chinese workers who were suddenly laid off overnight when capitalist firms globally collapsed were immediately hired into Chinese programs.

This is “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Martinez convinces the reader to resolutely oppose the U.S.-led New Cold War on China,” this is a service to the worldwide movement for socialism.

Let’s remember that essential distinction:


Our task is to Defend People’s China