Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Socialist Action: Left Should not be “taken in” by “US Lies” about Uighurs in China.

with 9 comments

Seeking ways to tell 'My China Story'[2]- Chinadaily.com.cn

John Ross, “China has a real understanding of human rights”.

Socialist Action is a small left wing organisation, visible largely only through its web site.  It originated in the International Marxist Group (IMG).

Its best known member is John Ross, who led a Tendency (‘B’) in the IMG and was effectively the group’s leader  untright through to the creation of the Socialist League or  Socialist Action.

Others will add their own fond memories of Ross, and the Rossites, their ability to cite Lenin, at length.  Plans to ‘Bolshevise’ the organisation by schemes such as creating a ‘cell’ based structure, and later the “turn to industry”

You can read more about the IMG and related history on the excellent site, Red Mole Rising including this section, Discussing the Turn to Industry- a 1980 perspective and (more significantly, as the role of John Ross is discussed): On the Turn to Industry, the American SWP and other questions of IMG history

There were serious splits in the 1980s. The Ross faction retained the name Socialist Action and by the end of the 1980s had moved away from the Fourth International (there is no picture of Trotsky on their site) . Some of its key members, such as  Redmond O’Neill, went on to become key members of London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s inner team  after his victory in the election of 2000. Ross himself was Policy Director of Economic and Business Policy.

Not a great deal has been heard of them since the end of the first decade of the new millenium.

John Ross, apparently, ” better known in China under his Chinese name Luo Siyi  (罗思义) is a  senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. 

Ross has vocally defended the Chinese government’s policies, and the Chinese Communist Party’s record on human rights,  for some time.

Here is an example from this year.

China’s human rights record is keeping people alive: British scholar

China’s human rights record is keeping people alive, said John Ross, a British senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, when talking about China’s anti-coronavirus efforts in an interview with RT.

“All the misrepresentation and nonsense which has just come now will fade away and people will understand that China is the only country that got the virus under control,” he added.

He has tweeted.

Ross appears on Chinese official televison.

Now his helpers have sprung into action:


The left should not be taken in by ‘US WMD lies’ – this time about Uyghurs


Sometimes it is necessary to wait years before the lies of US of US intelligence agencies are definitively revealed. The following outstanding piece of investigative journalism by Max Blumenthal, editor of the US website the Grayzone, is therefore extremely valuable because it catches the latest case of such US intelligence services lying in the act – this time about the Uyghurs. It shows in detail, in Blumenthal’s words, ‘the micro socio-political relationships’ in how the US security services lies about the Uyghurs were constructed and propagated. Blumenthal’s account does not need amplification and needs simply to be read in full by anyone taken in by the US intelligence services lies.

All that needs to be added here is the ‘macro’ aspect of the situation – that is why the US had to resort to the lying and falsification Blumenthal so meticulously exposes? It is because any look at the situation reveals that the US was lying.

Take the claim that there are a million Uyghurs in concentration camps in Xinjiang. If that were true there would be a mass of satellite photos that would reveal what would be the massive number of such camps and the US would be displaying them all the time. They don’t and there is only one explanation – because they don’t have such photos because the camps don’t exist. They are a fabrication of right-wing fantasist, ‘sent by God’, Adrian Zenz who Blumenthal reveals the character of in detail.

Take also the claims that ‘genocide’ is taking place against the Uyghers in Xinjiang. Take the facts.

The Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew from 5.55 million to 11.68 million in the 40 years 1978-2018 – i.e. it more than doubled. But in that period the total population of China grew by 46% while the Uyghur population grew by 110% – that is the Uyghur population grew more than twice as fast as the overall, majority Han, population of China. A very strange ‘genocide’ in which the population against which it is supposedly being carried is growing in size twice as fast as the rest of the population. We fail to recall that the Jews under the Nazis grew in population twice as fast as other Germans.

Why did this more rapid growth of the Uygur population of China than the majority Han population take place? Because under the one child policy in China, which only recently ended, Han Chinese were only permitted one child., but ethnic minorities, specifically including Uyghurs, were allowed two. This was probably precisely because China did not want to, and did not want to be seen, as discriminating against ethnic minorities. Given this situation of course the Uyghur population increased much more rapidly than the Han population. Again, it is very strange form of ‘genocide’ in which the Uyghur families were permitted to have more children than the Han Chinese. Perhaps someone will  point to which of Hitler’s laws specifically permitted Jews to have more children than other Germans?

In short, the ‘macro’ facts clearly prove that the US claims about the Uyghurs are simply lies. But Max Blumenthal has done the inestimable service of ‘catching the thief with their hand in the till’ – that is showing in detail how these lies were invented and the nature and means used by right wing fanatics, the US security services, and the US media to fabricate them. They are simply the methods that were used to invent the lies about WMD in Iraq and the non-existent attack by North Vietnam on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin. And they were invented for the same reasons – to launch US aggression.

And what should the left do about this? They should not get caught up in spreading the same type of lies as those about WMD that were used to justify the Iraq war, and the lies that were used about the Gulf of Tonkin to launch the Vietnam war.

These are very serious claims, ones disputed by nearly everybody, including the left – with the exception of the daily Morning Star.

In the Trotskyist movement only Sam Marcey (1911 – 1998) was marked by such a turn away from workers’ democracy and towards the Chinese state.

The assertions of Socialist Action are stomach-churning.


Written by Andrew Coates

August 13, 2020 at 12:57 pm

9 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure if John Ross can access “left” social media inside the protective PRC firewall, but if he can, he should look at this site from the Investigative Human Rights group Web.Coda, and which shows how Uyghurs are now seen by the state as a literal “industrial reserve army” used en masse to plug the gaps in the mega factories of Eastern China. As an old trot, he’ll know the song used in the locally produced videos showing the barracks they are living in, and the blacked out trains taking them out of their native province. Spanning the centuries and continents, it’s a Chinese language version of “Bella Ciao”.


    david walsh

    August 13, 2020 at 4:03 pm

  2. Utterly despicable!

    Jim Denham

    August 13, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    • It is hardly believable that given the weight of evidence – they do not have the 1930s excuses about not knowing of the existence of the Stalin Gulag – they can come out with this, on this basis of the writings of Max Blumenthal – I suppose he’s a fucking expert on China now, after Venezuela, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Russia, Iraq and the US.

      “In September 2019, Blumenthal visited Damascus as part of an American delegation to take part in an Assad-backed trade union convention which announced it stood “against the economic blockade, imperialist interventions and terrorism.” Assad’s government does not allow independent labor unions and strikes are illegal. Americans in general were otherwise not receiving travel visas to Syria at this time.[96][97][98][99] Also part of the same delegation, were individuals Idrees Ahmad described for Al Jazeera as “other pro-Assad conspiracy theorists”, including Rania Khalek, Paul Larudee of the Syrian Solidarity Movement, Ajamu Baraka and former RT producer Anya Parampil.[96][98] The delegation visited government-held areas and, according to Idrees Ahmad, were accompanied by a minder from the Assad government. ”


      Here’s this intellectual tout.

      Andrew Coates

      August 13, 2020 at 5:07 pm

  3. They’ll be citing Vanessa Bealie as a “reliable source”, next …

    Jim Denham

    August 13, 2020 at 5:11 pm

  4. It should be possible to oppose both the appalling behaviour of the Chinese leadership to the Uighur and the moves to a trade/cold/potential hot war. Sadly some cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

    Julian Atkinson

    August 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm

  5. 2014: “No other country in the world has achievements remotely matching these for the real well-being of humanity, Ross said.

    British scholar defends China’s human rights.

    “BEIJING – British scholar John Ross has recently defended China’s human rights situation in an opinion piece and hailed the achievements China has made in this regard.

    John Ross is senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He used to be director of Economic and Business Policy for the Mayor of London..”


    Andrew Coates

    August 13, 2020 at 7:45 pm

  6. What is it about these Trots that they go off to support every kind of dictator? Look at Rees and German for instance.

    Dave Roberts

    August 13, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    • An odd observation given that the comments and post (see John McDonnell tweet) are full of ‘trots’, leftists, attacking dictatorship.

      Andrew Coates

      August 14, 2020 at 6:44 am

  7. I am soooo reminded of George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” when I read this blog!


    August 16, 2020 at 12:16 am

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