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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 13, 1960

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN ROMANIA, 'PRINCIPAL DIFFERENCES IN THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT SINCE THE BUCHAREST CONFERENCE AND A SERIES OF NEW MEASURES REGARDING ROMANIAN-CHINESE RELATIONS'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    The Chinese Embassy in Bucharest concludes that "Romania will agree with the USSR on major differences with China."
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Romania, 'Principal Differences in the Communist Movement since the Bucharest Conference and a Series of New Measures regarding Romanian-Chinese Relations'," October 13, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-01593-02, 26-29. Translated by Lu Sun. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120006
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Principal Differences in the Communist Movement since the Bucharest Conference [of 1960] and a Series of New Measures regarding Romanian-Chinese Relations

The Foreign Ministry and the International Department of the Central Committee of the CCP: (Secret)

(I) Ever since the Bucharest Conference, Romania has adopted a series of new measures regarding the current principal difference in the communist movement and Romanian-Chinese relations. It’s obvious and conspicuous that [they] organized a large-scale propaganda campaign which aimed to smear and to forcefully and intensively indoctrinate revisionist ideas in order to politically and ideologically consolidate its leadership domestically. It aimed to strengthen the restriction of and blockade toward China, as well as to prevent the influence of our right point of view, line, and achievements upon many comrades and the broad masses.

After the Bucharest Conference, Romania had already relayed the meeting briefs to top-level and perhaps middle-level comrades as well (of course not according to the facts), launching distorted attacks upon us. But it did not turn into a full-scale propaganda campaign until the Romanian Central Committee Plenum on August 1. The transmission and discussion of the 81st Central Committee Plenum Resolution among all the party members and the Report and Resolution of the Special Session of the Grand National Assembly among people across the country on August 30 and 31 constituted two mutually related components of the propaganda campaign. At present this campaign continues to develop, focusing on studying and discussing [Gheorghe] Gheorghiu-Dej’s speech in the United Nations General Assembly. In the meantime, public newspapers and periodicals quoted some Soviet articles with diametrically opposed views to us. For example, the July Labor Daily reprinted the article by [Victor] Grishin, Chairman of the Soviet [All-Union Central Council of] Trade Unions; the August Setareh and some local newspapers reprinted the Pravda article “Peaceful Coexistence—Essential to Life;” the September Class Struggle magazine reprinted The Communists article “The Current Times and Creatively Develop Marxism.” During this period, Reference Material and The Communist Press Digest reprinted some more undisguised anti-Chinese articles from the Soviet Union. In this campaign, the frequency of the meetings and studies of Romanian organizations and enterprises increased dramatically. Some institutions even devoted four mornings in a row to study and discussion among cadres at the rank of section chief. Some less politically involved people in some enterprises and institutions were also mobilized to participate in the study. To sum up, this campaign was a rarity in Romania in the areas of scale, depth, and consistency. We can also see that the Romanian government was eager to win adequate support from the masses and comrades with its Right opportunist line, as well as to smear us, deliberately and painstakingly counteracting our influence upon the comrades and masses.

In terms of strengthening restricting and blockading us, the primary target [for Romania] was our bulletin. The Romanian Foreign Ministry once formally raised objections to our bulletin three times, and set restrictions upon it. At the same time, it procrastinated printing the seventh and eighth bulletins. It is unknown whether our mimeographed temporary bulletins were successfully delivered to readers. Secondly, in news reporting, reports on China dwindled in the five central newspapers in Romania, from 100 pieces in June to 49 pieces in July, and 27 pieces in August. There was not even a single news article on China’s economic and cultural construction. In September, the Chinese government asked related Romanian departments and institutions whether they needed any celebratory articles and pieces for commemorating the eleventh anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. During our [national] holidays, none of the newspaper published weighty articles introducing Chinese construction achievements. Thirdly, they strengthened control over their comrades’ contacts with us. Even people who were more familiar with us tried to avoid contacts with us. They didn’t dare to talk more when they met us. They tried their best to restrict contact with the Chinese delegation visiting Romania as well. Everything pointed to the fact that Romania was scared for their comrades and masses to know our point of view, the truth of the difference, and our specific achievements, for fear that they would expose and counteract their distorted propaganda.

Moreover, Romania also arranged to monitor our activities. For example, the Romanian employees in the Chinese Embassy paid closer attention to our internal activities than before. Also, former commissionaires of the Chinese Embassy were transferred to the Albanian Embassy, the Polish Embassy and the Hungarian Embassy respectively. New commissionaires were sent to the Chinese Embassy.

(II) The open, direct attacks from Romania upon China were characterized in the foreign propaganda of the Central Committee Plenum Resolution of August, stating that China was “…sectionalist, and leftist dogmatism of underestimating the forces of peace and socialism, diluting them, misleading them, wrongly estimating the tasks that the Communist Party and the Labor Party are facing.” Afterward, in public newspapers and journals, Romania didn’t continue developing these themes openly, but in the internal transmission of the resolution, according to Romanian comrades influenced by us, [Romania has] launched numerous specific distorted and fabricated attacks by estimation. The content [of the attacks] at least touched upon the following points: (1) [They] said that we were against the Soviet “leadership,” destroying the Soviet prestige, competing with the Soviet Union; not following the Soviet path, but coming up with a new path, like Yugoslavia. (2) [They] said that we were conceited, arrogant, and ungrateful. The Soviets and Romanians once helped us selflessly; however, we had kicked Soviet experts [out of China]. (3) [They] said that we were militant and aggressive. All previous governments were militant. [They] said that we were against the relaxation of the international tension, against the peaceful coexistence, and carrying on the revolution by force. (4) [They] said that we intervened in internal affairs of Romania, distributing three articles and other propaganda materials behind its back. (5) [They] attacked our socialist construction, and said we were against Marxist path, and messed up the domestic construction. [They said that] the People’s Commune cut itself off from the masses. [They said that] People were forced to work. [They said that] the reason for “treating agriculture as foundation” was that there were disasters and famines in China, and people were starving.

(III) We anticipate that at the Moscow Conference Romania will agree with the USSR on major differences with China. Romania won’t disagree with the USSR. Besides it might attack us as follows: (1) [It might] say that we have launched public debate, destroyed unity; not humbly considered fraternal parties’ opinions, but resisted them and insisted on the wrong doings. (2) [It might] say that we have broken our promises, and undermined understandings. [It might also] untruthfully say that they have arrived at an agreement with our senior leaders. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has formally voiced objections, but we still continue printing articles dissenting from the Romanian point of view. Romania once emphasized that it was the individual party-state’s business to enthusiastically promote Marxism-Leninism. (3) [It might] accuse us of winning over political refugees in Romania behind the back of the Romanian [government]. In August, one Greek political refugee and one Yugoslavian refugee came to our Embassy and asked for bulletin, and our staff at the Embassy conversed with them. We were precautious against such visitors in advance, and did not give them evidence against us, but probably Romania will take advantage of it and slander us. The details of (2) (3) above have been reported to China by our Embassy. (4) [It might] attack us that we have messed up the socialist construction, and vilified that we didn’t care people’s lives.

Due to the significant and increasing presence of Romanian bourgeois ideas domestically, and the scare of imperialist war threat and nuclear blackmail across Romania, as well as the Soviet influence and pressure, the Romanian right opportunist mistakes may continue to develop. On the other hand, the public opinion of the Romanian newspaper and magazine, leaders, and the masses emphasize the solidarity of the socialist camp and the necessity of strengthening the solidarity. The masses also reflect the Sino-Soviet split and the division of the whole Socialist camp; [we] have to think about the consequence of the breakup, in the face of the enemy. Therefore, we estimate that Romania may have the following considerations: (1) [it will] continue to attack us at conferences along with other parties, exert pressure, and compel us to give in, pass a revisionist declaration, and legitimize their anti-Marxist views and even right opportunist line. They don’t even have much confidence in this move themselves. (2) [It will] isolate ourselves to a maximum, force us to admit some mistakes, and loose up the struggle against revisionism in order to reduce their political pressure and make efforts to pass a declaration which is a bigger alteration to the 1958 declaration. (3) [It will] force us to stop printing and distributing printed matter propagating our line, guiding principles, policies, as well as the printed matter promoting Marxism-Leninism and opposing revisionism. Their specific methods may include conniving and controlling the masses to gather material, employing both soft and hard tactics, and trimming their sails to the wind.

[Chinese] Embassy in Romania

13 October 1960