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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.
About Chuang Journal
闯 Chuǎng: The image of a horse breaking through a gate. Meaning: To break free; To attack, charge; To break through, force one’s way in or out; To act impetuously. 闯关 (chuǎngguān): to run a blockade. 闯座 (chuǎngzuò): to attend a feast without being invited.
Over the past three decades, China has transformed from an isolated state-planned economy into an integrated hub of capitalist production. Waves of new investment are reshaping and deepening China’s contradictions, creating billionaires like Ma Yun while the millions below — those who farm, cook, clean, and assemble his electronic infrastructure — struggle to escape fates of endless grueling work. But as China’s wealthy feast ever more lavishly, the poor have begun to batter down the gates to the banquet hall. 闯 is the sudden movement when the gate is broken and the possibilities for a new world emerge beyond it.
闯 Chuǎng will publish a journal analyzing the ongoing development of capitalism in China, its historical roots, and the revolts of those crushed beneath it. Chuǎng is also a blog chronicling these developments in shorter and more immediate form, and will publish translations, reports, and comments on Chinese news of interest to those who want to break beyond the bounds of the slaughterhouse called capitalism.