ln our second issue we turn our focus to the frontiers of crisis and capital in China. We expand our conceptual framework here, digging more deeply into some of our central theoretical concerns while also providing coherent narratives of historical events and contemporary faultlines. As always, we include interviews and translations alongside our own original work. This issue also contains, for the first time, two commissioned articles by authors outside of Chuǎng, each a regional specialist focusing on some portion of China’s borderlands.

We take these borders as our starting point. This issue therefore begins with the expanding frontier of capital itself, with our second long-form article on the economic history of China, “Red Dust: The Transition to Capitalism in China,” detailing the process by which the socialist developmental regime was dismantled and incorporated into the capitalist economy. We then move on to China’s literal frontiers, our two intakes exploring tensions in Xinjiang and Vietnam. Finally, we include a series of pieces exploring the frontiers of struggle and repression within Chinese industry.

Print copies of issue 2 are available to order from AK-UK (best if ordering within Europe), Light Logistics (if ordering within Asia), and AK-US (if ordering within the Americas). They are also available for purchase at Gleebooks and Jura (Sydney), New International (Melbourne), HK Reader (Hong Kong) and 56a Infoshop (London).

A low-resolution PDF of the full issue may now be downloaded here. Below are the contents for online reading. 

We offer a simple hypothesis: that the very polarity of contemporary China can be used to triangulate, however distantly, a path that leads to a world beyond the black smog, red dust and cold, glittering cities of this one.

Within the material community of capital, there can be no true hermit kingdom. All is encircled by capitalist accumulation—the red dust of living death—and all who attempt to flee are returned to it, in the end. Future communist prospects, then, will find no hope in reclusion. The only emancipatory politics is one that grows within and against the red dust of the material community of capital.

The data so meticulously compiled by Lu and Li, dangerous enough to cast them into prison, is equally threatening to conventional theories of the Chinese “labor movement.” From this data, it is clear that strikes by workers at industrial facilities, aimed at fighting for better wages and working conditions, do not seem to be gaining the momentum required to become the core of a broader mass movement.

The work consisted mainly of putting the smaller parts on a tray and getting them to the assembly line so that people on posts further down the line could install them. This was considered quite tiring for girls. When I started it felt new and exciting, but it didn’t take long for me to lose the initial sense of satisfaction and grow bored with constantly repeating the same tasks over and over again. Lin Xiaocao

Society has not yet settled into a condition where everything follows rules that people regard as natural and unassailable. I think this is the reason that China has a special, perhaps unique value for the class struggle. Lao Xie

Today Uyghurs speak often of the brokenness they feel as a people. They say they have no words for how they feel. They say they can’t reconcile what is happening and who they are as human beings. Adam Hunerven

Soon after the North Vietnamese tanks rolled triumphantly into Saigon in 1975, strained relations between Beijing and Hanoi developed into an outright war that re-politicized the distant and recent Sino-Vietnamese past. J Frank Parnell