Taking notes 36: Is China communist?


Example of a ‘communist’ country nowadays.

Philosophers for Change


by Roland Boer

This is a question I am asked reasonably often in China: do you think China is communist? Many would not hesitate to say ‘no’. Not only do you find this position among the bland liberal commentators around the globe, but some quarters of the Left have bought into this position as well – either China was communist at some point in the past, or it never really was at all.

So my answer: not yet, but it also depends on what you mean by ‘communist’?

At least three points can be made, and usually form the opening of my response. The first two can be dealt with briefly. To begin with, the government is the Communist Party of China, for whom the official ideology is ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’. No matter how much some may froth at the mouth and say that it is an empty shell…

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