I HAVE been watching CCTV’s (China Television) coverage of the 18th Communist Party of China’s congress.

Senior members of the party said that they "no longer follow the ideology of (Karl) Marx", but believed, following Deng Xiaoping, that the "truth comes from facts".

It also emerged that 80% of the economy is in the private market economy.

So Communist Party of China is a name only, not a policy. The party amended its constitution to highlight that "it must be guided by science as supreme", and it added a clause on environmental protection.

Departing general secretary Hu Jintao warned delegates that corruption was extensive and would destroy the party if not curtailed.

In a discussion with Chinese and western analysts, it was agreed a multiparty system with a free press was needed to expose and reduce corruption.

But the party insisted on retaining a "one party" state.

This is so different from the Marxism and destruction of the market economy advocated by the South African Communist Party and some members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions.

They seem to think China is an economic success because it is communist. They are so wrong.

John Joslin

Via e-mail