Wow. Was that a complex conspiracy theory, the bleeding obvious, or just plain bollocks? Blind Freddie could tell you the place hasn’t been controlled by communists since Mao died. There was a power struggle. Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four lost. The capitalists won.

The new lads didn’t get to the top by gossiping, and it is not the Chinese way to publicly crow. They didn’t bother to tell anybody they weren’t really communists any more, but the secret has gradually slipped out. Some years later there was another power struggle. The Democrats lost that one, but what do you expect to happen when you demonstrate in front of the Gates of Heavenly Peace?

The government now appears to view itself as a plutocracy. Who knows, maybe it is. A few years ago a chap in Shanghai applied to register a company under the name The Capitalist Trading Company. The application was rejected. It was deemed to be an inappropriate name. The guy told the press he would heed the advice and choose a different name for his company. That’s China.

Greens hate China for lots of reasons. The fact that the place is just another fairly well run dictatorship is one. Greens do tend to hate anything America supports, and vice versa, which confuses the issue with some third world dictatorships. Greens are mostly pinko protectionists who dislike underpaid foreign workers nicking overpaid Australian jobs. That is another reason for the Greens to hate China.

The fact that most Greens love the Dali Lama is another big factor. China controls Tibet for the same reasons the English tried to control Somalia 100 years ago. They seem to think it’s their role to raise the consciousness of backward peoples. The English imagined they needed Somalia for a Pan African Railroad, but really, they just had a strange love of desolate places, and didn’t know when to stop.

Most Westerners find the Chinese desire to control Tibet mystifying. Strategic importance? Minerals? None so far. The Journey West – in all it’s manifestations – bypasses Tibet. Control of Tibet is just dumb Chinese cultural imperialism, and if there is one thing any self-respecting progressive hates it’s Cultural Imperialism. It’s a good phrase, and a useful concept. Don’t reject it just because the class warriors of a generation ago abused it to death.

A Chinese government hell-bent on building its own version of 19th century English industrialism, complete with dead coalminers, flamboyantly wealthy corrupt speculators, and landless urban poor, certainly affronts some latte liberals.

But lastly – oddly to those who see everything in economic terms – the Greens are actually – sometimes – GREEN. And on that score China is in the dark ages with the three Gorges Dam, the crappiest oldest dirtiest coal-fired power stations on earth and smog which will soon do Dickensian London proud. Beijing, in parts of the year, is windless and is increasingly gridlocked. The local government is no worse than NSW, but it is no better. From a purely environmentalist viewpoint there is much to dislike.

China is rapidly industrialising, exerting its influence in the world, and b*ggering its remaining natural environment at a breakneck rate. Hating the Chinese government is futile, and self-indulgent – but it’s still fair game.