Research and study of ideologies of social and national emancipation and their application to conditions within imperialist society

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Chinese socialism offers a profound guideline as to how diverse countries might open the road to socialism. Speech to the Symposium on “The Communist Party of China and the Building of a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind”, hosted by the Chinese Embassy in London.

22 August 2023.


Your Excellency Ambassador Zheng Zeguang,

Dear Comrades,

First, on behalf of Friends of Socialist China, and the three of us attending today, allow me to thank you and the other comrades from the Chinese Embassy for your presentations and remarks, as well as for your invitation and kind hospitality, along with our best wishes to all friends of China here today.

Allow me also to take this opportunity to pay tribute to and remember our dear friend and comrade Isabel Crook, who passed away in Beijing on Sunday at the remarkable age of 107. Personally honoured by President Xi Jinping in September 2019 with China’s highest award for foreign citizens, Isabel devoted her life to China’s revolution and socialist construction, to the development of China’s foreign language teaching in particular, and to the cause of the international communist movement. We have lost a truly remarkable person.

Following as it does our recent visit to China at the invitation of the party International Department, today’s symposium is another step in deepening our understanding and appreciation of the great strides being made in Chinese socialism under the banner of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for the New Era and with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core of the Central Committee and the entire party.

Delivering the report to the 19th National Congress of the Party on October 18, 2017, Comrade Xi pointed out:

“China champions the development of a community with a shared future for humanity and has encouraged the evolution of the global governance system. With this we have seen a further rise in China’s international influence, ability to inspire, and power to shape; and China has made great new contributions to global peace and development.”

On October 16, 2022, delivering the report to the 20th Congress, he noted:

“We have taken a clear-cut stance against hegemonism and power politics in all their forms, and we have never wavered in our opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying of any kind. We have improved China’s overall diplomatic agenda and worked actively to build a global network of partnerships and foster a new type of international relations… All this has seen us win widespread international recognition. China’s international influence, appeal, and power to shape have risen markedly.”

The successive development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative are the building blocks and manifestation of this approach. They embody and represent the building of the party as the world’s leading force for peace and progress, remaining true to its original aspiration, summing up both theory and practice, and forging ahead in the new era.

Indeed, there is one leader and one statesman in the contemporary world who is clearly advocating a comprehensive and holistic programme embodying such common human values as peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom.

On March 15 this year, I, along with other comrades here, was privileged to participate in the online ‘CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting’ and to hear President Xi Jinping unveil the Global Civilization Initiative, the latest of his programmatic initiatives designed to realize a community of shared future for humanity.

As President Xi noted:

“All civilizations created by human society are splendid. They are where each country’s modernization drive draws its strength and where its unique features come from. They, transcending time and space, have jointly made important contributions to humanity’s modernization process. Chinese modernization, as a new form of human advancement, will draw upon the merits of other civilizations and make the garden of world civilizations more vibrant.”

Countries, the Chinese President explains, need to keep an open mind in appreciating the values of different civilizations and they should refrain from imposing their own values or models on others and from stoking ideological confrontation.

This represents a fundamentally different concept and approach from that practiced by the various colonial and now neocolonial powers for the last more than 500 years, up to and including the present. However, it fully accords with the sentiments and interests of the vast mass of developing countries and their peoples, who constitute the overwhelming majority of humanity, and who are the inheritors of great, ancient and time-honoured civilizations.

Moreover, it also accords with the objective interests of the great majority of the population in every country, including our own, whether developing or developed.

Such existential threats to humanity as impending climate catastrophe, zoonotic pandemics, and nuclear annihilation, along with numerous other challenges cannot be solved simply behind national barriers or with a ‘beggar my neighbour’, ‘winner takes all’ or ‘zero sum’ mentality. Nor can all peoples’ need for peace and development be realised in this way.

As Comrade Xi Jinping pointed out, from the 19th party congress onwards, socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new option for those countries that wish to rapidly develop their economies while maintaining their independence. This is an important example of the contribution of Chinese wisdom and Chinese experience to the quest for sustainable solutions to the problems facing humanity and it offers a profound guideline as to how diverse countries might open the road to socialism.

Thank you for your attention.

Writings of John Smith




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Embracing the Year of the Dragon. Article published in China Today. 9 February 2024.


Chinese people, and people throughout the world, are looking forward to welcoming the Year of the Dragon, which falls on February 10, 2024. The Dragon is considered the most auspicious of the 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac and this year is specifically the Year of the Wood Dragon, the first since 1964. According to Lifestyle Asia, “Wood Dragons enjoy fulfilling careers. They’re likely to materialize all their ambitions into actions, coming up with truly revolutionary ideas.”

In the run up to the Chinese people’s greatest holiday, there has already been some good news. On December 22, 2023, the 78th United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by consensus that, as from 2024, the Chinese, or Lunar, New Year shall be designated as a UN “floating holiday,” to be taken into consideration when drafting the world body’s calendar of conferences and meetings.

This might be best understood as a welcome and quite possibly overdue recognition of reality. The Lunar New Year has long since ceased to be solely a great festival for all Chinese people; for other countries and peoples in East Asia sharing a cultural heritage and numerous neighborly bonds with China; and for overseas Chinese and people of Chinese heritage on the five continents and across the four seas. It has increasingly become a common festival of people throughout the world.

In my country, Britain, it is, of course, a special occasion for our Chinese community and for all those of us with a connection to China. This naturally especially applies to Chinatowns, such as those in London, Liverpool (the oldest in Europe), Manchester and elsewhere.

The London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), one of the U.K.’s most important Chinese organizations, long led by the indefatigable Chu Ting Tang, proprietor of the Imperial China restaurant, works hard throughout each year to stage one of the greatest and most spectacular Chinese New Year celebrations outside Asia, which attracts tens of thousands of people – not just Chinese people, but Londoners from every background in this most multicultural and multinational of cities, joined, too, by visitors and tourists from all over.

This great celebration had long since outgrown the crowded pavements of Gerard Street, Lisle Street, Wardour Street, Newport Place, and others in the heart of Chinatown, when Ken Livingstone, the progressive mayor of London, brought it to the heart of the capital in nearby Trafalgar Square.

This was a key part of Ken’s ambitious program to recognize and celebrate the city’s great diversity, from Ireland’s national Saint Patrick’s Day, to the Notting Hill Carnival (originally inspired by Claudia Jones, a communist of Trinidadian origin, who met Chairman Mao and is now buried to the left of Karl Marx), to the Eid, Diwali, Vaisakhi, and Hannukah festivals of the Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Jewish faiths.

None of this would have been possible without the devoted and tireless work of two great friends of China, who were mainstays of the mayor’s office and administration. Redmond O’Neill and Jude Woodward, socialists, Marxists, and internationalists, left us far too early, but we remember them not least at Chinese New Year. Its central place in London life is thanks in great part to them.

The Chinese New Year is also a focus for all in the business community with an interest in China and the Chinese market. This is now marked by an ever-increasing number of dinners and receptions, but the flagship event has long been the “Icebreakers” Chinese New Year Dinner, customarily held in the ballroom of the iconic Dorchester Hotel, home also to the China Tang Restaurant, founded by the late Sir David Tang, on Park Lane, and organized by the 48 Group Club. Originally hosted by the London Export Corporation (LEC), the first U.K. company to trade with the new China following the establishment of the People’s Republic, and founded by the late Jack Perry, it is now joined by the China Britain Business Council (CBBC) and the China Chamber of Commerce in the U.K. (CCCUK), and features keynote speeches by the Chinese ambassador and other VIPs, both British and Chinese. It has even received letters and messages of greetings from President Xi Jinping and other top Chinese leaders.

For the last couple of decades, the Chinese affiliates, and China interest groups, of the Conservative, Labor and Liberal Democrat parties have all also hosted celebratory dinners, although these have now been somewhat negatively impacted by the new Cold War mentality and the rise of neo-McCarthyism. My personal highpoint from these events – although they have also been attended by a number of serving prime ministers and receptions have been held at 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence – was when former Chinese Ambassador to the U.K. Liu Xiaoming joined Jeremy Corbyn, the first socialist leader of the Labor Party in at least eight decades, to celebrate at the Phoenix Palace, one of London’s most outstanding Cantonese restaurants, as well as brought the traditional lion dance to life at Labor’s headquarters.

But, as mentioned, Chinese New Year in the U.K. has now gone well beyond those with a specific China interest. It is, for example, marked with special projects and lessons in many of our primary schools up and down the country.

China’s late Premier Zhou Enlai, in my view the greatest diplomat of the 20th century, stressed that China’s diplomacy rested on a tripod of state-to-state, party-to-party, and people-to-people relations.

President Xi Jinping has often stressed that good people-to-people bonds are the foundation for sound state-to-state relations.

British people from all walks of life and backgrounds have been increasingly taking Chinese New Year to their hearts. It has become part of our culture and calendar. This is one more reminder that Cold War hostility and bellicosity do not represent the interests of the people of any country and are therefore destined to fail.

Happy New Year of the Wood Dragon!

Writings of Keith Bennett




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