China has made impressive economic advances, thanks to Deng in no small part. I saw its advances first hand on two trips there. But socialism should be judged, first of all, by the degree to which its extends the boundaries of freedom, democracy, egalitarianism, and decision making to its citizens. Growth rates and technological development matter as do lifting people out of poverty and providing a first class education to the many, but they don’t constitute the essence of socialism nor represent the overarching aims of socialist society. If China is socialist, it is an authoritarian variety. And that should be a concern of socialists here. As for the relations between our country and theirs, the accent of our leaders should be on de-escalating tensions, cooperation and non-interference. Trump’s current heightening of tensions with China is a serious and potentially dangerous mistake. Finally, we’ve been battling authoritarian rule here for nearly 4 years and hopefully we will make a positive turn in this struggle in November. It seems too obvious to say, but China’s form of political rule wouldn’t sit well with millions of people here and rightly so. As the much maligned Michael Gorbachev correctly said. “More democracy, more socialism.”