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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 02, 1977

INFORMATIONAL NOTE FROM THE CONFERENCE OF SECRETARIES OF CENTRAL COMMITTEES OF FRATERNAL PARTIES IN SOFIA

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    Secretaries CC CPSU Konstantin Katushev and B. Ponomarov provide information on the situation in China that is discussed during a confidential meeting of CC secretaries. Addressed are issues related to the fact "that Maoism failed ideologically, caused great harm to the Chinese nation, and did an enormous devastation in the areas of economy, culture, science, and social life," and ways the new Chinese government may behave.
    "Informational Note from the Conference of Secretaries of Central Committees of Fraternal Parties in Sofia," March 02, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polish Central Archives of Modern Records (AAN), KC PZPR, XIA/615. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Malgorzata K. Gnoinska. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113209
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Secret

Informational Note from the conference of Secretaries of Central Committees of fraternal parties in Sofia on March 2-3, 1977

[…]

The day before the conference devoted to ideological issues, a confidential meeting of CC secretaries of fraternal countries of 6 countries – Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the GDR, Hungary, and the USSR, was held to assess the situation in Western European communist movement. The information provided by Secretary CC CPSU, Comrade B. Ponomarov, served as the basis for the exchange of information. In addition, Secretary of the CC CPSU, Comrade K. Katushev, provided information regarding the propaganda issue toward China.

[…]

Comrade K. Katushev discussed current propaganda problem related to the developing situation in the PRC…The current situation unequivocally shows that Maoism failed ideologically, caused great harm to the Chinese nation, and did an enormous devastation in the areas of economy, culture, science, and social life. After Mao's death, the social and political revival of the masses, which are demanding a higher standard of living, is on the rise. There are certain positive elements of the policies of China's new leadership:

- in contrast to Mao, who hailed the concept of continuous revolution and constant social upheavals, [the Chairman of the Communist Chinese Party] Hua [Guofeng] proclaims a concept of social stability;

- in contrast to Mao, who practiced voluntarism and did not respect economic rules, Hua proclaims the concept of economic stimuli, central planning…

- in contrast to Mao, who led to the destruction of China's cultural and scientific life, as well as to primitivism, Hua wishes to revive science and culture…

The new leadership refers to the concept of Zhou Enlai [which called for] economic progress and development, as well as making China as great power by the end of the century. The problem arises: what path will the new leadership follow to reach this goal?

The new leadership continues to emphatically conduct the anti-Soviet and anti-socialist course in its propaganda against the USSR and socialist countries.

China's new leadership wishes to implement the course of differentiation toward socialist countries by pitting them against one another and against the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union continues to adhere to the positions defined in the XXV CPSU Congress regarding the USSR's state relations and party relations based on Marxism-Leninism and peaceful coexistence. We should think that unless the new leadership becomes stronger in China, nothing will change in its foreign policy and its attitude toward the USSR and socialist countries. Here, Comrade Katushev informed that the CC CPSU Politburo and Secretariat adopted a special resolution regarding their current propaganda toward China. This document recommends restraint from harsher assessments and public polemics on Chinese matters in the radio and television. Instead, the press, in particular, is fend off the PRC's brutal attacks against the political line of the CPSU and the USSR. According to Comrade Katushev, China's open statements and pronouncements, which claim that there is inequality in economic relations among the socialist countries and which accuse the USSR for allegedly oppressing the socialist countries, should be especially fended off by socialist countries. The socialist countries' rebuttals will be used in the Soviet press.

The CPSU document recommends conducting an extensive propaganda campaign within the party, the party active, as well as state and social organs. They are going to prepare special informational materials for the basic party organizations…

The document also recommends making propaganda efforts to explain the China question to the Third World countries...to gain their leaders' understanding so they could have a positive influence on constructive changes in the new Chinese leadership…The new leadership in China does not have the same international prestige as before and could be influenced by other [i.e. Third World] countries.

[…]

Comrade Katushev stressed the need for coordination and joint statements of socialist countries regarding China, as well as for patient and calm responses to the Chinese propaganda. Given China's dangerous political course, we now especially need to manifest the unity of socialist countries on the China issue, [including the actions of] its new leadership. Comrade Katushev proposed to convene, as soon as possible, traditional meetings of the representatives from six socialist countries devoted to discussing the joint propaganda actions of our countries against China.