What does it exactly mean to say that China is a communist country?

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22/01/2015 by socialistfight

'Deformed workers State'my arse!"

Answer by A Quora admin:

To say China is a communist country either means you are out-of-date, misinformed, or trying to maintain justification for your right to govern China by the continuation of a political and historical narrative.

The CCP still has a singular grip on power but this does not make it "communist," but authoritarian.

Outside my apartment at this very moment, tens of migrant Chinese workers are toiling to make repairs on the road while BMWs, Mercedes and Audis drive by, honking wildly.

The "Chinese Communist Party" rules the country, yes, but its policies have been less and less communistic since 1978, when Deng Xiaopeng took over after Mao's death and started liberalizing the economy as fast as he could starting by opening up several "Special Economic Zones."


Contemporary Chinese society would probably make Mao red with anger (pun intended!).  It could not be more opposite:

1) The wealth gap here is astounding.

To be "Chinese poor" beats the hell out of being "American poor," yet China still has 128 of the world's billionaires.  I've seen more luxury cars on the roads on Beijing than any city I've seen in the world.  Many of them are driven by government officials but just as many if not more are driven by business people.


The average monthly salary of a Beijing local is around $400 a month. Many rural Chinese who flock to the cities looking for work live in underground dorm-like bunkers where the air is so dirty and stale that you get a cough and a sore throat just from being in there for an afternoon nap (I say this from personal experience). The sad thing is, compared to the hard farm life they left they probably have it much better there.

2) The Market is everywhere.

Anyone who has never been to China before would be shocked by the sheer amount of storefronts, many even spilling out into the street.  Walk down a busy section of downtown and you are sure to be accosted by a number of Chinese selling watches, iPhones, socks, trinkets, belts or anything you can imagine.  They will follow you down the road as you try to get away from them, shouting lower and lower prices at you in an attempt to get your business.

Go to a market and haggle like you have never haggled before.  The famed Silk Market in Beijing probably holds the world record for most polyglots in one place. I've heard merchants speaking Spanish, German, Russian and even Hebrew to potential customers.  They are aggressive, smart, tough and sometimes downright nasty.  They won't hesitate to call you names if they think they can goad you into a sale.

3) Cash rules everything.

Bribery here is so commonplace that you'd think it's a protocol taught at business schools.  You don't just bribe someone here to get an "extra edge" or try to sway someone who isn't playing ball.  Bribery pretty much happens all the time, for everything.  For example, if you want the doctor who is about to perform surgery on you to not "slip," you'd better slip him a few hundreds.  I'm not joking.


4) It just simply isn't by definition.

There are definite class divisions here.  Means of production are not collectivized. You have to pay for school…elementary school.  Lots of people don't have health insurance.  State owned enterprises do not distribute profits amongst the people. People work for wages.  Private property exists (although it does become property of the state after 70 years, however, again this is not really communist but rather authoritarian because that property isn't collectivized).

I want to point out that this is not a smear on China.  I am not saying China is bad; China has actually done a lot of good for their poverty problem and the average lot of the Chinese has improved tremendously.  I am merely saying China is no longer "communist" by definition and has been headed away from that direction for some time.

What does it exactly mean to say that China is a communist country?

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