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By Noel Sales Barcelona
CBCP News Service

I am currently a correspondent of both and CBCP News service. I am currently writing about the "emerging" China, with some information gathered earlier through ABC News Desk - Peking senior producer Chito Sta. Romana.

He told the media that China has two-faces, Leninist in politics but capitalist in economy. I know that this is quite an "unusual" combination. China, before the leader of Deng Xiaoping, was a strong enemy of the capitalist system, especially US imperialism.

But now, as Mr. Sta. Romana is telling his stories about China, he said that "China is looking for a new model for democracy and is thinking of adopting the Japanese model of democracy and has no intention to go back to Mao (Zedong Thought).

Knowing your capabilities, professor, to analyze world political and economic events and one of the pioneers of the Maoist form of revolution here in the Philippines, I want to know your opinion on the following issues:

1. Is there such a thing as capitalist-Leninist China?

JMS: The expression "capitalist-Leninist" is an oxymoron. Indeed, China's economy is capitalist. But it is not Leninist in politics because state power is not in the hands of the working class.

2. How do you see the current relationship between China and the US both in economy and polity? Sta. Romana said, they're "tied on the hips."

JMS: In a sense, the two countries are "tied on the hips". They can gyrate together in the current global economic and financial crisis. China has become dependent on exports to the US, which are now hard hit by the contraction of US consumer demand. And the values of China's US dollar holdings, US treasury bills and bonds, US corporate bonds and securities are seriously undercut and damaged by the current crisis.

3. By 2010 or maybe, later, China will have almost or more than a US$3 trillion economy (as I recall, quoting Sta. Romana's statements), what will be its effect on the global economy and the capitalist system?

JMS: The current GDP of China is reportedly already USD 3.251 trillion. But China is a huge country with a huge population of 1.33 billion. With a per capita income of only around US 2700, China is still a very poor country, a far cry from the US per capita income of USD 46,000 in 2007. China and the Philippines have per capita incomes of nearly USD 2500 and USD 1500, respectively in 2007. Both of them are still ranked below the more than 100 countries with higher per capita income and are among the poor countries of the world.

4.Do you believe that China will become a superpower, in terms of economic and political power, while it is said to be "refusing to deploy its army the world over" unlike what US imperialism has done? Or is China now a superpower?

JMS: China has a weak economic base for becoming a superpower. Its military strength is limited to a defensive position. In fact, it is the object of military containment as well as economic engagement by the US.

5. How do you foresee the intent of the Chinese government with the Spratleys? Quoting Sta. Romana again, he said the Chinese government is now willing to buy it for US$2 billion or more.

JMS: The Chinese government seems to prefer the diplomatic approach within the ASEAN-China framework of constructive dialogue and cooperative relations regarding the Spratleys. However, the high bureaucrats and big compradors of China and the Philippines are constantly cooking up deals. The rulers of the Philippines are unprincipled and corrupt enough to sell Philippine interest in the Spratley islands to foreign buyers.

6. About the melamine-tainted milk scandal now hounding the two State sponsored Yili and Meniu milks, what do you think about this?

JMS: The most unscrupulous and worst kinds of capitalist criminals are bred in countries in which capitalism has emerged from the dismantling of socialism by corrupt bureaucrats and their partners in the so-called free market. The US food monopolies have seized the melamine incidents to discourage the purchase of Chinese products in the global market.

7. Please give your forecast on the global economic turmoil, the effect of the fast-growing Chinese economy to the Philippines and the Philippine revolution.

JMS: The global economic and financial crisis will worsen at least in the next two years and may extend to as long as 10 years. The Chinese economy will be adversely affected. But China has more capacity than the Philippines in coping with the crisis and will more than ever regard the Philippines as a profitable client in the vicinity. The worsening crisis generates conditions favorable to the advance of the Philippine revolution. ###

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