REPORT ON THE SECOND MEETING WITH THE CCP DELEGATION TO THE FOURTH CONGRESS OF THE ALBANIAN LABOR PARTYCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationThe conversation between Chinese head of the delegation to Albania, Li Xiannian, and the ALP CC First Secretary Enver Hoxha on the visit of the Chinese delegation to the Albanian Congress, the difficulties in the Soviet-Albanian relations, and the military and economic needs in Albania."Report on the Second Meeting with the CCP Delegation to the Fourth Congress of the Albanian Labor Party," February 25, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Tirana, AQPPSH-MPKK-V. 1961, L. 13, D. 4. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110529
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ON THE SECOND MEETING WITH THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA (CCP) DELEGATION THAT CAME TO OUR COUNTRY TO ATTEND THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE 4TH CONGRESS OF THE ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY (ALP) ON 25 FEBRUARY 1961
The meeting was held at the office of the First Secretary of the ALP CC Comrade Enver Hoxha at 10 AM and continued until 2 PM. From our side the member of the Politburo of the ALP CC and the head of the Council of the Ministers, Comrade Mehmet Shehu, was also present.
Attending from the Chinese side there were the head of the delegation, comrade [CCP CC Politburo member] Li Xiannian, comrade [blank],and the interpreter.
After the greetings and everyone was seated, the floor was taken by:
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We finished our party's congress with success. What did you think about our congress? How did your visit to our country go?
Comrade Li Xiannian: Well, we saw that your leadership and the masses of your party hold the same positions.
After the congress we visited a few cities like Kavaja, Lushnja, Berati, Fieri and Vlora and we noticed the great changes that had taken place in comparison to 1954, the last time I visited Albania. Your industry and agriculture have progressed far ahead and the Albanian people's living standards have improved considerably. Your people's enthusiasm is complete and visible everywhere. Your working masses love for your Party and for Comrade Enver Hoxha is extraordinary. You have progressed faster than us in these areas.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: No, you are further ahead than us. China is a very great country.
Comrade Li Xiannian: The ALP leadership and the CC with Comrade Enver Hoxha at its helm are fully on the right course. All I have seen in your country is an indication of your just party line.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We think that the 4th Congress of our Party went well and was successful. There the determined unity of our party and its just, consistent and Marxist-Leninist line was fully confirmed. This fact has us convinced that in the future our Party will successfully fulfill the promise it made to the people to execute fully the 3rd five-year plan and to resolutely defend Marxism-Leninism against all the internal and external deviators.
Some of the principal moments of the congress, where our whole party was represented, showed that our party is following the just course in these hard times that not only we, but the whole internationalist communist movement are going through. I want to say that the just reactions of the congress prove that our party is resolute in executing faithfully the Moscow Declaration. The party now understands who is on a just Marxist-Leninist course and who pursues an unjust, opportunist and revisionist one. The reaction of our congress showed that in these very delicate moments the party knows how to keep the balance between its love, friendship and fidelity to the Soviet Union and the Bolshevik Communist Party of Lenin and the group of persons who follow the Khrushchev line, who can be rightly called opportunist revisionists, along with the other groups and elements who are now in the leadership of the communist and workers' parties of the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. We would like to say that our congress knew how to maneuver smartly and handle justly the challenge it faced.
On the other hand, our congress knew how to manifest very well our faithfulness and friendship to the glorious Communist Parties of the Soviet Union, of China and all the other parties – but mainly to the communist and workers' parties of Asia who are consistent and firm in the defense of Marxism-Leninism – to their just line and to the defense of the Moscow Declaration. This was clearly shown by our congress.
Our congress also showed our full faith in the fact that we are a great power and will successfully resist and emerge victorious over the dangerous, revisionist tide that has initiated a savage attack against the international communist movement. This is very important to us. Obviously, as the leadership we understand its importance, but when the whole party understands it too, then the just position of our party and of our People's Republic is strengthened immensely.
We have kept our party in touch with issues and have done so in all situations. We notified our party immediately of the course of events in Bucharest. We told our party the good side and the bad, how they accused us in Bucharest and in Moscow and how the CCP defended us from those attacks. Hence, the delegates were prepared before they came to the Congress and had a well developed political sense. The party is also very well in touch with the contents of Comrade Deng Xiaoping's speech. Thus, not only the leadership, but the masses of the party as well know these issues and the situation very well.
The congress delegates did know what dirt the Czechoslovak delegation was cooking up at the congress's backstage, but their reaction was quite just. The congress delegates smelled their intentions and reacted very justly and politically.
You probably noticed this yourself, but we are of the opinion that both the Soviet and the Czechoslovak delegations had taken it upon themselves, in cooperation with many of the other delegations, to sabotage our congress. It was very clear that they had not come here with friendly intentions and to improve a bit the relations between our parties. The same could be said about the Polish, French, German, Italian, Bulgarian and Romanian delegations. Their intention was to attack our Party and through it the glorious CCP, to attack our just views and to try and find some reason to accuse us of deviating from the Moscow Declaration. These were our thoughts on the first issue, the international situation.
Secondly, their immediate intention was to create a schism in our congress, in order to separate the leadership from the congress (meaning, the party) and if unable to achieve this, to create such confusion in the congress as to be able to use this later in their subversive activities.
Third, they tried to stage provocations in the congress so as to cause some scandal that would allow them to leave.
We knew very well they would attempt this. It is of great importance that the congress understood the situation very well. It is of great satisfaction to our leadership that the situation did not influence the congress delegates. Their reaction was spontaneous, no internal directives were necessary.
The leader of this unfriendly activity was the Soviet delegation. But the main intriguer was Andropov.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: He is a snake. He is not human.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: But the role of the greatest and most open provocateur was played by Barak, the leader of the Czechoslovak delegation. He showed himself to be a dastardly provocateur. But they failed in their intentions. The congress gave them a punch and taught them a good lesson. It showed the steely unity of our party. There has never been seen such a unity within our party. This is supported by the fact that while in the previous elections there have been a few votes “against,” this time, as you saw first-hand, not one vote was “opposed,” there was perfect unity.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Our congress did this to spite Khrushchev and Barak. The congress delegates were furious with their subversive and provocative behavior, so all of them decided to vote without any objections.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: This was a terrible lesson for the revisionists. They saw that not only is it impossible to use intrigues and instill division, but that our party is tight and united when there are dangers threatening the Party, the people and the international communism. They, themselves attest to the cohesion of our party around the CCP, which carries high the unsoiled flag of Marxism-Leninism. They saw this tightness on an international scale.
We think that our party's congress gave the revisionists a good lesson in both the national and the international arena. During the first few days of the congress they would not even say ‘good morning' to us. But towards the end of Congress, when they saw the determined unity of our party, Pospielov and his people asked for a meeting with us. So we met with them.
Pospielov took out his notebook and – afraid of making a mistake – read out word for word what he had written, looking at Andropov from time to time. We think their coming here was an attempt to sabotage our congress. They did not mention our congress, nor the reports read there, nor the congress delegates' discussions or anything of the kind, as if nothing out of ordinary had been happening in Albania lately. (Comrade Li Xiannian laughs). But listen to this, according to them other more important events had taken place in the relationship between our countries. They claimed that one of our people while drinking raki in a restaurant had cursed Khrushchev next to a Soviet specialist. They also claimed that at the scene there were a few Soviets and one Czech as witnesses. Aside from that, they also brought up an issue claiming that we had searched the offices where Soviet geologists work. They also brought up some other issues that were so unimportant we don't even remember what they were. And after mentioning all these stories he concluded by saying that the friendship between our two sides and parties cannot be meaningful if Khrushchev is never mentioned and is completely set aside.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: He had a problem with the fact that we did not applaud in Khrushchev's honor at the congress.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: He did not say this.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: He did not say it, but he meant it.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We, clearly and in an amicable way, told them our views on how our party sees the sacred friendship with the Soviet Union and Lenin's communist party and that our congress attested to this. We told them exactly where our party stands on this issue. We said how our people and party love and will sincerely love the Soviet Union, that we would never wish evil on the Soviet Union, because whoever does that, is wishing evil upon their own people. We also told them that should something happen to the Soviet Union, the Albanians would be the first to jump to its defense. We reiterated that those are just not words, but that we have shown in practice and will always prove this in any situation that requires it.
We told them how there were people in the world that because we consistently defend Marxism-Leninism, call us anti-Soviet, while the true anti-Soviets now pose as defenders of the Soviet Union. Khrushchev himself told me how Gomulka acts like a fascist, and now Gomulka has become pro-Soviet and we have become anti-Soviet? But this does not split us. We know how much the people and the CPSU love us.
We reiterated that Albanians never break their promise and that we would continually strengthen and temper our friendship with the Soviet Union. As to comrade Khrushchev, we did not interfere with the internal affairs of the CPSU. He is the leader of the CC of CPSU, elected by their congress. We see him as such and we do not meddle in the internal affairs of a friendly party and nation. But he cannot knock out our leadership either. We told them that this fact must be clear to them.
Our friendship with the Soviet Union is not simply symbolic. This friendship we must temper in close cooperation with each other, but always the Marxist-Leninist way. But with whom shall we do this? Certainly we must do this with the Soviet leadership, we said, with comrade Khrushchev, [Anastas I.] Mikoyan and the other Soviet leadership comrades, but on the basis of equality too. The Soviet Union is certainly much more powerful economically and militarily than we are, but both sides are Marxists, so the Soviet leadership should not think of us a small and poor people and seek to impose on us unjust views. This, we said to them, is how we understand cooperation, sincere, brotherly, in the Marxist-Leninist way.
They told us, and we agreed with them, that we have disagreements with the CPSU leadership, disagreements that are political, ideological and actual. To say that these disagreements could disappear with a stroke of the pen, we would be lying to ourselves. They can and should only be smoothed over gradually, with goodwill and the Marxist-Leninist way from both sides. They also say that we are in agreement on this course (Comrade Li Xiannian laughs).
As to the accusation that we have spoken ill of Khrushchev, we told them that those are slanderous accusations, and, in fact, their claims were discredited. We undertake office inspections two-three times a year everywhere because it serves to strengthen the care that our people put in the protection of state and party secrets. We do the same thing, two-three times every year, in the CC apparatus. We do it in the petrol administration where Soviet comrades work with ours. We even did it in their presence after we obtained permission from their manager before we started. We told them that they also did the same in the Soviet Union. In fact, we learned this practice from them.
It happens in our offices that people forget important documents lying about in desks. We performed inspections in the petrol administration because it was ascertained that some Soviet specialists had hung secret maps on the walls. Other Soviets, instead of fulfilling their appropriate state duties, made special maps that have nothing to do with their jobs, claiming that they have been asked to do so by Moscow. (Comrade Li Xiannian shows his surprise at this.)
Comrade : The Soviets have published special articles on the care that employees should pay for the protection of state and party secrets.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: But they used our measures as a reason to fulfill their intention, i.e. the recall of the Soviet petrol specialists from Albania. We told them to stop this activity, because should we start with such blame, we could provide long lists of activities against our party and leadership by the Soviet people in Albania and in the Soviet Union.
Then we reiterated that in order to strengthen our friendship, both sides must show good intentions, but the Soviets have only done the opposite. We also brought up the matter of loans. We asked why they sought to stop the loans and why they tried to tie their issuance in the future to a trip by me to Moscow. These loans were decided bilaterally at the highest levels and the appropriate documents have been signed. Mehmet and I traveled to Moscow in 1959 for this matter.
Then why are you revisiting this matter, we asked. Is it for ideological and political reasons, or for other objectives? They said that there were no ideological or political reasons, that for these matters we had the Moscow Declaration, and any political or ideological disagreements could be solved on the basis of the Declaration. Then we asked why we should visit Moscow for a matter for which we already had an agreement. “We know why you want us to visit Moscow,” we said. “You want us to kowtow.”
Comrade Li Xiannian: Their mentioning of the Moscow Declaration as a basis for solving political and ideological disagreements is a good thing.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Andropov said that a government was entitled to reconsider its prior agreements. We answered that the Soviet government could reconsider its agreements with the Yugoslav revisionists or the capitalist countries, but it should not do so for agreements it has with a socialist country like Albania and a Marxist-Leninist party like the ALP. Since you are eliminating the ideological and political disagreements, there is no reason why economic agreements signed from both sides should not be executed and the respective loans should not be granted.
We reiterated that though they might say that these were not the reasons for stopping the issuance of loans to us, we knew that in reality they were. We made it known that we would never trample on Marxism-Leninism. We would not go to Moscow to reconsider the agreements we have signed together. We consider them positively indisputable.
We also told them that we had never been and were not against meetings and dialogues at all levels, including high-level talks, and we were still ready to meet with whatever official, including comrade Khrushchev and other Soviet leadership comrades, but we would not meet about the matter of the loans for which we had already reached an agreement. We have openly said to comrade Khrushchev that, though we may end up without bread or shoes, we would never trample on the principles of Marxism-Leninism and the honor of our party and people as you were asking us to do. We told them that it would be a great crime against Albania and a very serious disservice to the international communist movement if the agreements were disregarded and Albania did not get the loans, because not only were they important economically for our country, but they also had great importance from an ideological and political standpoint for the whole international communist movement. We said that if the loans specified by the bilateral agreements were to be issued accordingly, we would consider this a first sign of their goodwill for improving relations with our party and state. This is how we laid down the issue.
Comrade Li Xiannian: You have acted the right way.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We told them how our CC and government has written four, five letters to them on these issues and they have never answered. Is this normal, we asked? We told them that this was a sign of disdain by their government and the CC of their party. Andropov interrupted saying that they had answered our letters. I told him that these answers he spoke of had to have been held back in some drawer somewhere, because our CC had never received any.
Then we mentioned how we had written to them on the issue of the problems with armaments deliveries described in our military agreements.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We are talking about the credit that the Soviet Union has not delivered for a while now on this area. After [the] Bucharest [conference] all the military deliveries have been stopped and all the bilateral agreements have also been suspended.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We told them that this was a serious matter, because we are a member state of the Warsaw Pact, because we were a small country surrounded by enemy states, because many conspiracies were at work against our country, and that at precisely these hard conditions they were suspending deliveries. This was a serious matter for us and for them.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We also pointed out to them the fact that when the Indonesian marshall, [General Abdul Haris] Nasution, visited Moscow as of late, within a week the Soviet Union conferred a loan of one million rubles for military equipment, etc. While the Albanians who had signed agreements with the Soviet Union and were members of the Warsaw Pact, had stopped receiving deliveries.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: It is precisely so. Hence, we told them that these issues should be taken into account as soon as possible by the CC of the CPSU and the Soviet government. The unfair treatment should cease and action should be taken so that we would receive what should be fairly given to us.
We told them that they ought not think that since China was also helping us, we did not need them anymore and they should not give to us. We reiterated that China has done her eminent internationalist duty toward us in these hard times, but that does not mean that you should not give to us. At this point we told them that China had given us a loan of 500 million rubles.
They had no answer to our arguments, so the conversation later steered to laughter and jokes. At the end I told them to give my regards to Comrade Khrushchev when they returned to Moscow. When I said this, Pospelov rose and said, “How could I possible send him your regards?” He could not believe his ears. “Yes,” I said. “Give him my regards.” Then Mehmet asked that he give him regards too and Comrade [Member of the Politburo of the ALP CC and Secretary of the CC] Hysni [Kapo] asked for same as well. “I will make a note of it,” said Pospelov.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: They saw this act as something extraordinary and unbelievable, as a success that they succeeded in wrestling greetings for Khrushchev from Enver Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu (Comrade Li Xiannian laughs.) In other words the end of the discussion was a bit more light-hearted.
After they left Albania and as soon as they arrived in Budapest, based on the information we have received from our people, Pospelov told the Hungarian comrades that they had achieved more than they thought they would in Albania, while the Czech comrade said, “We're finally away from all that noise.” Andropov added that the Budapest fog was better than the Tirana sun. He truly is a man of fog.
You, Comrade Li Xiannian, already had a good idea of our party's stance, but now, after the congress, have a much better picture of the strong and healthy situation of our party and people, their determined unity and their resolution in defending Marxism-Leninism and the freedom and independence of Albania.
Comrade Li Xiannian: (Nodding in affirmation). They are bound like flesh and bone.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Before the Congress they were already bound like flesh and bone, but the hostile behavior of these provocateurs made them one, in other words the party and the people have merged into one.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Our determination to defend Marxism-Leninism, to progress on the road laid by the Moscow Declaration, to strengthen and temper our friendship with the Soviet Union, the PRC, their glorious parties and all the countries of the socialist camp is unshaken. The matter of our unity is of great importance, and it is crucial to all of us. We will fight for the strengthening of our unity with all our might.
Our party's CC and party itself will never give the revisionists a leg to stand on so that they may fight against us. We will never take an unmeasured step which they could use against us. They are so uncouth that they could make a male donkey pregnant, meaning that they make things up.
We have been and will always be united for the defense of this important cause with the glorious CCP, with our dear friend Mao Zedong, for whom our party has very great love and respect, and we say this with all our hearts. We are proud of this relationship and have unshaken faith that in these very hard moments for international communism, together with the great CCP, with Comrade Mao Zedong at its helm, we are holding high the unsoiled flag of Marxism-Leninism, something that is of life-saving importance to the international communist movement and the humanity as a whole.
We briefly presented our point of view in this matter. It is the opinion of the CC of our party that international communism is going through an enormously grave crisis. A very strong revisionist current is pervading the international communist movement, creating grave and serious dangers. Tito's renegade, revisionist group is one of the main enemies of communism, and while he has been unmasked, he has not yet been destroyed. (Comrade Li Xiannian nods affirmatively.) But the N. S. Khrushchev revisionist group is much more dangerous. He poses a greater threat to the international communist movement because he has not been unmasked yet. His course not only breeds disunity, but is also a great danger to the peace and the international communist movement.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: To the peace, of course, because the more disunited the socialist countries appear, the more courage and hopes are instilled in the imperialists, especially the Americans, to attack the Soviet Union, or at the very least, China.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: That is why we think that, first of all, the Soviet Union itself is in great danger, because there the revisionist Khrushchev group is at the helm. His plans are to weaken and ultimately liquidate the socialist camp, starting with the great Marxist-Leninist China, which is the foremost obstacle to revisionists and the unbending and resolute defender of Marxism-Leninism.
This is the reason why, besides considering this as our party's national duty, we consider it a great international task to save our socialist camp and international communism from the subversive and rabid activities of Nikita Khrushchev and, at the same time, to save the Soviet Union by gathering around that strong party that carries high the flag of Marxism-Leninism, the glorious CCP. This should be the internationalist duty of all parties that are consistent in their defense of Marxism-Leninism. (Comrade Li Xiannian nods in approval.) We should all be clear on this point. To us Albanians, to the CC of our party, this point is perfectly clear and not even cannons could budge us from it, as we say in our language. But how could we achieve our objectives? By interfering in the internal affairs of Soviet Union and the other socialist countries, whose leadership has slipped away from the Marxist-Leninist course? Absolutely not! Only through our unrelenting stand for the defense of Marxism-Leninism, our political position against imperialism and modern and Yugoslav revisionism, and gathered as a perfect group around the CCP would we shed light on the eyes of those who have fell in darkness. As for those like N. S. Khrushchev who are enemies to Marxism-Leninism we harbor no hope of recovery.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We have lost all hope in N. S. Khrushchev and W. Gomulka, just like we had lost it long ago with regard to Tito.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We, as I said before, will keep our poise and work strategically with them. Our party is in full agreement with all the positions of the CCP in ideological matters and in all the wider international matters. But your Party's CC and Comrade Mao Zedong should be certain that we Albanians will always fight to the end for this great cause. But we are a drop in the ocean. It is our opinion that the great and glorious task of the great Chinese people, of your party and its CC, with Comrade Mao Zedong at its helm, in this very difficult situation that international communism is passing through, is to gather around itself all the other Marxist-Leninist parties in the struggle against the dividers [and] in defense of Marxism-Leninism. This is how we view this issue.
Our party's CC is aware that this issue cannot be solved quickly. This will be long and complex, hard and knotty, and can be solved neither in a day, nor a year, nor 5 years.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Comrade Mao Zedong has foreseen it will take 10 years.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The renegade Tito has been in power for 13 years and he continues there even though he has no missiles or hydrogen bombs, or a large economic potential, or the great international authority that the CPSU has and in whose shadow Nikita Khrushchev operates. That is why we are fully in agreement with Comrade Mao Zedong's view that this will take a long time.
But you understand how difficult our country's situation is under these conditions. We are now surrounded not only by capitalist countries, but also by a second encirclement of friendly socialist countries, led temporarily by revisionist leaderships. The imperialists have struggled now for 17 years to destroy our party and fatherland. They will not give up their weapons and will continue their economic efforts with intensity, but to their ranks is now added the enemy activity of N. Khrushchev and his followers.
We know we are not alone. We have a faithful and resolute friend in the PRC, in all the Marxist-Leninist parties, and in the fraternal people of Asia. We have the support of the fraternal people of the Soviet Union and all the other socialist countries. All these are important factors in the defense of our country. But, practically, we are as Comrade Mehmet said; we dance before the mouth of the wolf. Hence, the policy of our CC will be such that the wolf will not be able to close his mouth. We will achieve this by always being vigilant and ready militarily, politically, ideologically and economically, to destroy the plans of the capitalist countries and the hidden plans of the revisionist groups. Our party's CC will be always vigilant in defense of our country and in the policies and strategies that we will follow in the current situation.
We will leave no tactical opportunity unexploited, but our strategy will not be exactly the same as Great China's strategy. Great China is a big country, very powerful. The enemies will certainly try to hurt it too, but they better think it over well, because she is a continent in itself. So before they start something, the imperialists and the revisionists better think it over. China cannot be hurt easily. Our party's CC understands and finds it logical that the strategy and policy of the CC of CCP in many issues is to lay a wide net. It does this because the great economical and political power of China allows it to do so, while our country does not have the same capacity.
I am trying to say that the CCP should understand us when our Party's strategy is stricter, curter, and tougher.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: This happens when the situation warrants it, and our strategy would be in line with your party's general policies and not in contradiction to it.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Thinking that Albania is a small and lonely country, the imperialists will openly try to liquidate us, while the revisionist groups in the leaderships of the European socialist states, like those in the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and the German DR, will do it secretly.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Their immediate objective is to liquidate Albania, not China.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Hence, influenced by the[se] conditions, our strategies will be rougher, more resolute. In the current situation, the enemies that are trying to eliminate Albania also take into account the great potential of China's aid to Albania, especially its political and ideological help, despite its geographical distance from Albania. Our enemies cannot but take this powerful help into account in this important situation for the international communist movement and peace. It is support of the greatest importance to us.
Now let us not talk of the imperialists that have surrounded us, especially the American imperialists and the Yugoslav revisionists, but let us turn our attention to Nikita Khrushchev's revisionist group and the other revisionist groups that stand at the helm of the European people's democractic nations. They have initiated and are waging a intense ideological and political war against our party and leadership. The Soviet press, led by the newspaper “Pravda,” has stopped talking about Albania and its economic problems since the Bucharest meeting. In other words, they are politically isolating us in this field. On the other hand, ideologically, after the Moscow conference, people within their parties are slandering us and inventing all kinds of things about our leadership. We know what Gomulka has said and have information that the Polish press has also received orders to be silent on Albania.
Comrade Li Xiannian: At the Moscow conference, Gomulka invented a lot of slanderous things about the ALP.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: And now he has ordered his press to stop talking about Albania. The same is happening in the German DR, in Czechoslovakia, and in Romania. In Bulgaria, also led by a revisionist group which is in fact N. S. Khrushchev's faithful lackey, the Bulgarian press mentions Albania here and there due to the friendly relations that exist between the Albanian and Bulgarian peoples and the strong pressure from the base.
Comrade Li Xiannian: It seems to me that among the greetings by the communist and workers' parties of the European socialist countries, the ones by the Bulgarians and the Hungarians differed somewhat from the others.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We think that in Hungary the situation is different. The Hungarian party and state leadership behaves well toward us. In Moscow, Kadar did not attack China and us like the others. We noticed this. When we returned home from Moscow, Comrade Mehmet and I passed through Hungary. The Hungarian leadership comrades displayed closeness and friendship toward us and we thanked them for it. Later, the situation became more favorable. In a reception of our ambassador to Budapest by the Hungarian Prime Minister, the Prime Minister said [that], “[the] Albanian leadership's tone in Moscow was necessary and indispensable.”
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: When talking about the Moscow conference, the Hungarian prime minister, Ferenc Münnich, said that the Albanians' tone was indispensable in some cases.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Then we had our 28 and 29 November holidays. The entire Hungarian press spoke of our country's successes. Meetings were held in every Hungarian city with the communists and the people. Many other indications of sympathy have been displayed by important Hungarian cadres toward our comrades. They have said to our people, “your line is just and we have great respect for your leadership. The Soviets also pressure us like they do Albania, but we have now learned from you how to stand fast.” There is something happening in Hungary now. We are not sure what it is yet, but we are exploiting it.
The situation between the communist and workers' parties is an issue of great and grave ideological and political implications. [East German Communist Leader] Walter Ulbricht has openly said that the Albanians are dogmatic and sectarian. Hence, we know that from now on the ideological war against our party will get even tougher. This is what we forecast, even though in their press their propaganda talks about the “friendship” with China, etc. We think that the intention is to distance us from China, to isolate us, and to give the impression that while they do not want any disagreements, the Albanians are unreasonable people. This tactic is meant to deceive their parties by showing that the disagreements with China have been repaired, while with the Albanians this is impossible.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Before I came to Albania, the member of the Political Bureau of the United Socialist Party of Germany, [Hermann] Matern, visited China. In a conversation with Comrade Zhou Enlai they had a dispute over the Germans' slandering of Albania. Obviously, they also spoke of economic matters between the two countries, but the Germans' behavior is not pleasant in this area either. They had such a dispute that day that Comrade Zhou Enlai had become happy [possibly meaning “got drunk”] out of exasperation, something he does not usually do. (Laughter)
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The do use such pressure.
We have information from our people in the Soviet Union who meet with various Soviet employees. It seems that the majority of them shake hands with our people telling them that we are following a just course, that in party organizations the Soviet leadership is telling them that they have mended relations with China, that the Chinese comrades have understood their mistaken ways, but that the same is not happening with the Albanians. It seems that N. Khrushchev is looking to profit from the situation and gain time so that he may strengthen his revisionist position.
We think that Khrushchev, his revisionist group, and all the other revisionist groups at the helm of some of the parties are now in the first stage, the stage of strengthening of their position. They are waging a war to purge their ranks of undesirable elements. The second stage will be that of attack to liquidate all signs of Marxism-Leninism from their parties, the stage of liquidating all healthy Marxist elements. In this stage they will even resort to terror. In the third stage they will use provocations just like Tito does now. This is our CC's forecast of the roadmap these revisionist groups will follow.
Comrade Li Xiannian: We have experienced the Soviet military provocations at our border. On our border with the Soviet Union more or less the same things [happen that] you describe, Comrade Enver, but we never made them an issue.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The Soviet leaders will start an ideological campaign against us. But they will find a wall of steel in us. They saw the ideological and political unity of our party at our congress. Despite that, they will not back off, but will progress with their plans and will try to create diversions. But our party will not pull back one millimeter.
Now we will talk about the economic blockade that we foresee they will put in place against us. Seeing that they will never be able to break our party ideologically and politically, they will try to wage economic war against us, diversionary acts aside. They will try to damage our party and our people's republic through this course, hiding sometimes behind the mask of reciprocal help between socialist countries.
The fulfillment of our third five-year plan takes in these conditions a crucial importance for our party. The fulfillment of this plan represents to us not only an economic imperative, but a political and ideological one as well. But as you well know, our plan is supported through the loans that are given to us by the PRC and the other socialist countries of Europe.
Our third five-year plan is a concrete, dense plan, but one which is well thought-out and based on our current capabilities. If conditions would develop normally, this plan would not only be faced and fulfilled successfully, but we could even exceed its requirements. In other words, this could happen if the loans accorded by the socialist countries were given to us without impediments. We have signed agreements for this matter with all the countries and we have even specified the objects to be built in detail from the start of the project to the end of construction. Every detail has been included in these agreements, the necessary materials, the precise usage of the loan monies, etc. As I said before we have signed such agreements with all the European socialist countries, but the situation with the Soviet Union stands as we have already described to you.
Now a question arises: will these agreements be carried out or not? This depends on the relations we have with these countries and, obviously, the international situation. But we are certain that the leadership at the helm of the Soviet Union and the other European socialist countries, especially N. S. Khrushchev, will either freeze the loans or sabotage the process. We can only hope that they will not freeze the loans, because, as to sabotage, we are sure that is going to happen. Our hope stems from the political situation, which could force political opportunists to avoid freezing the loans. One such case that could aid us is the enormous help accorded us by the PRC.
As far as we are concerned we will never give them a reason to act against us. Hence, if the loans are frozen, they could only do this arbitrarily. China has helped us in the past and continues to do so. This will put them in a difficult situation and will uncover them if they cut the aid to us. This factor could force them to not cut aid to us. In any case they will sabotage us. We know that the Soviets will sabotage us further. The Czechs will do this after the Soviets because they have an interest in trading with us and need our chrome, copper and other minerals, and they are also better [at commerce]. Then the others will follow suit, though their loans are smaller and matter less.
The Central Committee of our party is prepared for what could arise. Hence, not only are we doing a lot of work in maintaining enthusiasm for the accomplishment of tasks, we are also preparing to overcome the difficulties. Our Central Committee is of the opinion that our just behavior will force them to give us the loans agreed upon.
As comrade [First Vice-Chairman of the Ministerial Council and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Spiro Koleka has told you, the loans we have been accorded are imperative for our five-year plan. We will fight with all our might to fulfill this plan and will successfully face all tricks that these groups will throw at us.
The most important objectives in this plan, which we think should receive attention and be achieved at any cost during this 5-year plan are:
First is agriculture. In this area, as you know, we have progressed much and we will place more importance on it, especially in [land] reclamation, irrigation, new land reclamation, etc.
Comrade Li Xiannian: As we traveled we saw a lot of new land you had reclaimed.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The main task of our agriculture is the production of bread in-country. That is why we agree completely on this issue with comrade Zhou Enlai and the other Chinese leader comrades. We must produce our bread in-country completely at any cost, because the national and international situations are such that they make fulfilling this task imperative as soon as possible. Our party's CC has been continually preoccupied with this problem in other five-year plans as well, and we returned to studying it more closely on the current one. Nonetheless, despite our effort and desire, it is impossible to achieve producing bread completely in-country during this period. The Chinese comrades have given us considerable help, first, by delivering great amounts of grains in the first months, and, second, by doing it at great promptness. This action has been life-saving for our people. Our party and people will always be grateful to you for this brotherly and internationalist action.
Comrade Li Xiannian: This support is mutual. You also help us politically.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Our people say, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
Comrade Li Xiannian: The situation should first be looked at from the point of Albania's being surrounded by capitalism.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Your [promised] help with grain deliveries in 1961 is immensely great. We fully understand the sacrifices that the Chinese leadership is making, especially taking into account the difficult agricultural year you also had. We have secured our bread for 1961 because of you.
For the next four years, 1962-1965 we will still be forced to import our bread. We have made the necessary plans to have in stock goods which will allow us to import about 315 thousand tons of grain using the clearing option.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We have sought to secure this amount of grains through the Soviet Union using clearing, but until now we have received no answer from them.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We have also sought to do this from the other socialist countries, but if they will not come through with it, we also have barter [credits] at our disposal for importing it.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Comrade Spiro Koleka spoke to me about this problem the last time he visited China.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Because we foresee different dangers ahead, we will need 400 [thousand?] tons of grains for the period of 1962-65. For example, if you had not helped us this year, there would be a great famine in our country. But we managed to overcome it.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We only had bread for 15 days.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: This is how our bread situation stands. In this area the increase of efficiency of agricultural crop production is imperative for the development of agriculture in our country. Since we do not have much new land at our disposal, this is the only way for us to produce our bread in-country. This forces us to build new chemical fertilizer factories. We have signed an agreement with the Soviet Union to help us build a factory of nitrogen fertilizer along with a thermal power station slated for construction in the city of Fier. The Soviets know well that this is a key and vital problem for the development of agriculture for our country, so we foresee that they will either sabotage the project or not give it to us altogether.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: For example, they could postpone the delivery of machinery to 1968.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: I will give you an example. When we did a refitting of the cement factory in Vlora last year, they dragged their feet in the delivery of a suitcase of electrical equipment (50 kg), causing us to not utilize the factory for 8 consecutive months.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: According to the contract, this factory should have been operational by June 1, but they held back those few materials on purpose after the meetings of Bucharest and Moscow. They finally delivered them at the end of December. Thus, our economy lost the considerable amount of 30 thousand tons of cement.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Think what they could do with the chemical fertilizer factory. We plan to construct these factories. We will have them operational by 1965, but they might try to postpone them until 1968 or 1970. So that we would not be able to secure our bread even in the fourth five-year plan. This is one objective.
Another objective is that we plan to build a cement factory. If we do not build this factory, all the construction required by our third five-year plan will not be achieved. They sabotaged us for 8 months with one suitcase of equipment, and by causing this very important project to not be carried out, they will sabotage all the construction plans.
We have made an agreement with the Czechs to build a metallurgical plant for ferro-chrome production containing one super-phosphate factory with a capacity of 180 thousand tons of phosphate fertilizer per year. In the current situation they could also sabotage us, though the Czechs look to their own interest and could [sabotage] us at the same time. It is possible that they will also sabotage us. Nonetheless, we can very well hope that the construction of this project by the Czechs will happen.
Another matter we had is the construction of a smelting factory for iron-nickel, which would produce 30 thousand tons of processed metal a year. This object is not included in our five-year plan, but we see its construction as very necessary, because the European socialist countries will hold back metal article deliveries for which we have great need on this five-year plan. The usual parties from where we get these articles told us that they do not have them for us. So we have nowhere else to get them. This is why we think that this project's construction, though not in the plan, is necessary. It is imposed by the current situation.
Our party's CC asks you that, whether or not the European countries with which we have signed agreements give us these key objects for our third five-year plan, you deliver to the CC of CCP and the Chinese people our request that within the loan you have accorded us, the PRC help us in constructing these objects. This means, first of all, the construction of a factory for the production of nitrogen fertilizers with the attached thermal power station and a capacity of 110 tons of fertilizer a year, as well as the other objects I mentioned earlier. In fact, if the Soviets do not evade responsibilities, we could build two nitrogen fertilizer plants, one with your help and one from the Soviets'. But the one thing that is very important is that we can assure the building of one factory of chemical fertilizers even if the Soviets sabotage us. You use coal for these factories, but we plan to use petrol or natural gas. That is why we ask from the Chinese comrades that they help us procure this factory under these conditions whether or not the Soviets build it as they have promised.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We ask this of you independently of the answer the Soviets may give us and without waiting for their answer.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We value your help. This would be an enormous sacrifice for the Chinese comrades and we would be very grateful to you for it. If you cannot build this for us, since you do not build such factories that use petrol or natural gas in China, then we request that you mediate with the Soviets or the Czechs for a purchase or even with the European capitalist countries, such as Italy, which is close to us.
It is possible that the Soviets will come through and build this factory without any obstacles. In that case we would have surplus chemical fertilizers and we would have to export part of the production. Then through the profit from the export we would return to the Chinese comrades the funds used for the factory's construction.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: If the Soviets will keep their side of the deal, economically for us it would be much more advantageous to process our petrol into chemical fertilizers and then export it, rather than just exporting it as petrol. So it is of great interest to us to build two nitrogen fertilizer factories even if [this occurred] at the same time.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: As to the necessary workforce and internal financing for these plants, we have the capability to cover it even though they would be outside the plan. The question is how to cover these large plants if our workforce is already slated to go elsewhere. We could do this because we have the workforce needed, but if we are hard pressed, we could even slow down the building of one of these objects. For example, we could slow down the one that the Soviet Union would give us and finish it in 1966 or 1967. But one of them must absolutely be finished by 1965.
As to the phosphor factory for the production of super-phosphates, we ask that –within the loans you have granted us – that you help us build two, three units with a capacity of 20-30 thousand tons each a year, for a total [production] of 30-70 thousand tons of super-phosphates per year. This way we would be prepared for any dangers posed by a potential Czech sabotage, even though this amount would be only one-third of the phosphor fertilizers that we plan to produce in 1965 with the factory that the Czechs will build for us.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: These factories can produce sulfuric acid in addition to the super-phosphates, while the apatite we need to import from you using [the] clearing [arrangement].
Comrade Enver Hoxha: For the factory that the Czechs will help us build we have agreed that the Soviet Union will provide us with apetite.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Always provided that they do not sabotage us.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The third factory that we need your help to build is one for cement [production]. We hereby also request that the Chinese comrades help us build a cement factory with an initial capacity of 100 thousand tons per year and a future production of 200 thousand [tons].
The fourth object is the construction of a factory for iron-nickel smelting with a capacity of 30 thousand tons of processed metal per year. While this will cause us to lose a [certain] amount of nickel for some time, we will accept this loss because no one is delivering any processed metal articles to us now. Even during the second five-year plan we have suffered numerous difficulties with the European socialist countries in the area of deliveries of processed metal articles.
Another great problem of ours is that of mechanization of agriculture. Within the 100 million rubles loan that you have granted us, we request that you look at the possibility of tractor deliveries for our agricultural needs.
We ask that all these projects we are requesting be included in the loan of 500 million rubles you have granted to us. Along this [line of] requests, we would also like to receive a few smaller factories, such as a paper mill, a few repair shops, etc. The specifics of those requests can be decided upon by the planning commissions of our countries. The five specific problems that we laid out above are vital for our country's economy and for overcoming the difficult situation in which the Soviets and the other European socialist countries have put us.
Finally, I also wanted to familiarize you with our military needs. The difficulties of equipping the military stand as I already notified you on our first meeting. The Soviets have suspended deliveries to our military. We have taken some measures to revise drilling and exercise plans, have scaled back the planning for fuel and spare parts usage, have reduced the quotas for using munitions, etc. Now our party is mobilizing the military so that it may fulfill all duties given as efficiently as possible.
Even in this very vital area the Soviets are trying to exert pressure on us creating a very difficult situation for our army and military cadres. They seek to create discontent among our officers and to weaken our military's strength as a result.
We have agreements with the Soviets for an appropriate furnishing of our military with armaments and equipment, but they have suspended all deliveries. On this matter our government has sent a letter to the Soviet government. Yesterday we also sent a letter to Marshall Grechko, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Member Nations of the Warsaw Pact, in which comrade [First Vice-Chairman of the Ministerial Council, Minister of People's Defense and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Beqir Balluku makes the required annual report that we have sent every year as a member nation of this military organization, showing the moral-political and military readiness of our army. The letter also shows the armament situation in our country and the needs of our military. We point out in that report how the Soviet government has suspended military deliveries to our country's army. The report calls on Marshall Grechko, as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Member Nations of the Warsaw Pact, to mediate with the Soviet government to find a solution to this problem.
Now, Chinese Comrades, you understand the great importance of this matter to us. Our party's CC puts forward before the CC of CCP and comrade Mao Zedong our military's urgent needs for its infantry and artillery and the great importance that this matter has for our country's defense. We can take on the matter of planes, tanks, etc. later, but the matter of procurements of necessary equipment for the light armament of infantry and artillery units is, we think, of an urgent nature for any eventuality, for any danger posed from outside our borders, so that we may put in place a long resistance both as a regular army or as partisan units.
You mentioned that you think the Chinese comrades might mediate with the Soviets in this matter. Our party's CC thinks that this might not be a bad idea, in fact, it might be a good one, but we think that this should be done after we get an answer, be it positive or negative, from the Soviets. In the case that they do not give us one, then we will officially approach you through a letter in which we will state that we have sent the Soviet comrades a letter and that they have answered [to the effect] that they will not supply us with armaments, and that hence we are asking the Chinese government to furnish us these materials. In this case the Chinese comrades would say to the Soviet comrades that the Albanians are requesting to be furnished with armaments and ask why they were not doing it. If you are not going to do it, then we will furnish them [with the requested materials]. The Chinese comrades will have a good reason to tell [the Soviets] that we should help defend Albania and that if they were not going to give them the weapons, we would.
Comrade Li Xiannian: When comrade Liu Shaoqi went to Moscow, he said to the Soviets that in the event that they did not help Albania, we would denounce them. When the Soviets told comrade Liu Shaoqi that they would not help Albania, Khrushchev also added that they would give the Albanians everything for which there is a signed contract.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Khrushchev has lied to comrade Liu Shaoqi. He should not be trusted because he lies a lot. As soon as he said goodbye to comrade Liu Shaoqi, he immediately suspended all military aid. That is why we can have no trust in such military aid.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We thought that they would step back if they took China into account. Were it not for the help that the PRC gives us, we should have been preparing for the mountains [partisan warfare].
Comrade Li Xiannian: We see your cause as our cause.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We thank you very much. That is what we wanted to say to you, comrade Li Xiannian. We have been asked by our CC to speak openly to you about these matters and we ask you to personally transmit our requests to comrade Mao Zedong.
Comrade Li Xiannian: All that you have told me, Comrade Enver, I will personally transmit to comrades Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and the other comrades of our CC.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Also transmit to comrades Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and the other comrades of the CC of CCP that they have a faithful friend for life in the mold of the Marxist-Leninist way in the ALP and the Albanian people. Tell your leadership comrades of your party that the comrades of the Chinese delegation, with comrade Li Xiannian at their head, gave our party and congress immense help. The presence of the CCP delegation has contributed enormously to the great strength manifested by our congress and all our people. This has instilled in our party and people great faith that we are not alone and that Marxism-Leninism is unconquerable.
We always believe, particularly now, that the unity within our camp and especially the determined unity between our two parties, the ALP and CCP, is one of the most important necessities for little Albania's freedom and independence and in the interest of the socialist camp.
Comrade Li Xiannian: It is one of the most important necessities for the defense of the international communist movement.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We also see this matter in this way.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Communism in Asia is a huge block around the CCP that walks in the Marxist-Leninist path, while in the ocean of European revisionism Albania is just a small rock facing huge waves.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: But we will never give in.
Comrade Li Xiannian: On your island the red flag flies pristinely.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: This is why the relations between this Marxist continent and our little, lonely island are so important for our country, as comrade Enver pointed out. We know, as comrade Enver said, that we are not the ones to decide the fate of Marxism-Leninism. This is your prerogative, that of the CCP and the great PRC. That is why your help to our country is crucial. On this subject we have another request and we have been asked by our party's CC to deliver it to you: Protect your leadership. Protect comrade Mao Zedong and the other comrades.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Do not worry. Our party [leadership], just like yours, is closely linked with the party rank-and-file, as is the whole party with the people. But even if some renegade appears as has happened before, he will not be able to damage the party leadership at all.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: It is precisely so.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: The revisionists' hopes rest with people like Tuk Jakova, Liri Belishova and Ping De Housh and company.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The parties now led by revisionist groups will not tolerate them for much longer. We know, for example, what goes on in Bulgaria. When the Moscow Declaration was publicized for analysis by the masses, the party CC ordered that no communist should discuss its contents and, furthermore, no questions should be asked. But an entire party can never be silent and forget such activities, never! (Comrade Li Xiannian laughs).
After returning from the Moscow conference, the party leaders in Bulgaria did not dare say one bad word about your party. And in party meetings, despite orders that no discussion or questions take place, turmoil ensued. And, according to information we have, in the Party activity in February in the city of Ren, or some other area, a general rose and asked for clarifications about the situation with China, “because,” he said, “after Bucharest you told us that much is going wrong.” The party delegate to the meeting said that all is well now with China. “But you told us that in China they were building a cult of Mao,” said the general. “It is true,” said the delegate, “They do have a cult of Mao Zedong in China.” (Comrade Li Xiannian laughs). The general pointed out that while Mao had previously been both the party chairman and president of the Republic, he was now only the First Secretary of the CC. He asked, “And where is this cult of personality of Mao when Khrushchev, who was previously only a First Secretary of the CC, later also became prime minister?”
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: He has even tried to become president. (Comrade Li Xiannian laughs).
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Then another attendee rose and asked whether the party stood by the opinion that Stalin had had no leadership skills and that he had in fact not been the one to lead the Soviet Union during WWII. The delegate not knowing what to say had answered that while they could not say that Stalin was completely devoid of leadership skills, he had had an array of marshals and CC members to lead the war and had managed the war issues together with all of them. Then the person who asked the question said, “And then where is Stalin's cult of personality if he had led so democratically and managed the most pressing issues for the people consulting with a group of cadres?”
I want to point out by this that our cause is just and that we have faith that the other parties will not tolerate these revisionist groups at their helm for too long. And we ask that you communicate the points of view we have laid out before you to comrade Mao Zedong. We have spoken openly to you. There may be issues which we do not see clearly and correctly, but we ask that you help us to see them appropriately. Comrade Mao Zedong is one of the greatest comrades of the international communist movement, one of the comrades with the widest of revolutionary and party leadership experience, so we are eternally ready to take his criticism and advice and look them over and study them with the greatest care. He should never hesitate to confront us with these criticisms.
Comrade Li Xiannian: In a friendly way, of course.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Yes, in a friendly way. We will keep in regular contact with the comrades of the Chinese Embassy here in our country so that they can be fully in touch with our problems and situation. We will keep close contact with them. Furthermore, when possible, please keep in mind the establishment of an aerial direct route Tirana-Cairo-New Delhi-Rangoon- Manton-Beijing.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Obviously, we mean: whenever you see it possible. We understand that this is not so easy to do.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We would like to have such a direct route.
Comrade Li Xiannian: At the moment this is not possible. (They laugh). Do you have anything else to add?
Comrade Enver Hoxha: No, that was it.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Neither does comrade Mehmet Shehu?
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Nothing further from what comrade Enver Hoxha brought forth.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Then I would like to say a few words.
This time I came here with the task of greeting your steadfast, Marxist-Leninist party's 4th Congress. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the warm reception extended to us everywhere we went. I deeply thank all the comrades, especially Comrade Enver Hoxha, for the high praise of our party and comrade Mao Zedong.
It is surely my duty to transmit faithfully your words and the results of your congress to comrades Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and the other comrades of our party's CC. Our people and the entire party understand and know well your party and CC, with Comrade Enver Hoxha at its helm, as a strongly Marxist-Leninist party. Our party and the entire Chinese people fully support your people and party in these extremely difficult conditions, surrounded from all four sides by enemies, this country of small people and size who continue to fight a dedicated and resolute struggle against the imperialism and revisionism represented by the Titoist clique.
We were extremely happy when we saw with our own eyes how the proceedings of your 4th Congress were held in high spirit. The relationship between the leadership and the party rank-and-file and that between the party and the people were manifested to be close and unbreakable in the Congress. So we have to come to the conclusion that Marxism can be defended not only in a big country, but in a small one as well. We saw this very clearly during this visit to your country.
Your people, led by the party, hold high the flag of Marxism-Leninism – a flag that is perfectly red – on the eastern shores of the Adriatic. Not only the Chinese people, but the peoples of the entire world should defend this same flag you defend.
As to the relations between the countries of the socialist camp, Sino-Soviet relations and the Albanian-Soviet relations, the question that arises is, “Have these relations improved after the discussions of the Moscow Conference?” Our desire is that they improve, but the objective state of the facts does not allow us to see this issue as we desire. Comrade Enver was right when he said that this struggle was long, complex and difficult. This is also the conclusion that our party has drawn. For these relations to improve considerably three or five years might not be enough. Maybe more are needed. Obviously, our desire is that there be no quarrels in our large family, but the principles of Marxism-Leninism must be defended stubbornly. Our strategies might be different, but the principles we defend are the same.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: I agree. It is precisely so.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Just as you pointed out, Comrade Enver, just as your party says, Marxism-Leninism cannot be traded for goods. It is the ultimate truth. It is the ultimate science. Hence, we must fight with all our might to defend it despite the sacrifices we might be required to make. On the other hand, we must raise high our flag of unity in the struggle against imperialism, the flag of unity of all the parties of the socialist camp. In particular, we must raise high the flag of unity with the Soviet Union, the people and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
The defense of Marxist-Leninist principles is our highest priority. The strengthening of the unity between our countries is also a high priority, because this unity is a defining factor for the socialist camp, for the entire international communist movement, and for the vital interests of humanity. Nonetheless, this unity must be based in the principles of Marxism-Leninism. For this, all the nations of the socialist camp need to be treated as equals. The principle of mutual, fraternal help needs to be applied amongst them, be it between the large countries or between the large and the small ones, be it between the parties that have already gained the seat of power and between those that have yet to achieve this.
Comrade Mao Zedong has said that there is no help without benefit; that everyone's pitching in is mutually beneficial. The ALP has raised the flag of Marxism-Leninism high in the resolute struggle against imperialism and modern revisionism. This is why this struggle is very important for the peoples of the socialist camp and the entire world. This is also very important for your party, for your CC, with Comrade Enver at the helm, and for your people. Your fighting spirit was clearly apparent during your congress.
When we spoke about you during the dinner held by the Soviet leaders, Kozlov and Suslov, for our delegation through Moscow, I was thinking about this issue and understood that the dinner they held was an unusual one. This is why when the CPSU delegation of the CPSU spoke at your congress we listened attentively and with interest, but saw that not a word was spoken about the just leadership of the ALP CC with comrade Enver Hoxha at its helm. We are very sorry for this fact. We do not understand which party's congress they came to attend.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: They, Chinese Comrades, came to our Congress with one intention in mind, to bring down our leadership. They came to buy hair and left clean-shaven [Albanian proverb meaning to fail at something and lose more in the process] (laughter).
Comrade Li Xiannian: Now, I would like to say a few words about Sino-Soviet relations. Our greatest desire is to improve these relations. As I said before the improvement of these relations does not depend solely on us, but we want to show our friendship to the Soviet people and communists.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: You are right.
Comrade Li Xiannian: In our hearts we know well what those leading the CPSU today are. They are people of the kind that never fulfill their obligations to agreements they have made with us. Our approach is to ask them to fulfill their obligations. At the same time, we are prepared to go forward even without their help should it not be forthcoming. On the other hand, not to ask for their help would not be prudent on our part. Now, should they not give us their help, what should we do? We must always follow the just course. For example, comrade Deng Xiaoping, when the Soviet leaders ordered the departure of Soviet specialists from China, comrade Deng Xiaoping said that we should accept this, but this Soviet action caused a lot of damage to our economy. Nonetheless, we fought resolutely for the defense of our principles and for the conservation of our unity. After the Moscow Conference we called the plenum of our party's CC and decided on this course of action.
I also wanted to say a few words on the economic relations between our two countries. Comrade Spiro Koleka spoke at length on this matter to me when I was still in Beijing. Comrade Zhou Enlai has expressed his opinion on your requests. We have a lot of interest in the matter of your agriculture's production of bread in-country. On this matter we also weigh your country's situation. If the situation changes for the worse, we will not be able to send you grains even if we have them. What, then, should be done about this issue? We must seriously think about solving this problem.
Before we left Beijing, comrades Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai told me to communicate to you the opinion that the industry in your country be built on the basis of small and medium objects, since for your country's conditions and capabilities this course would be the easiest and with the fastest effect for your economy. Such an industrial policy would give a great advantage to your economy. Obviously, this is just a suggestion. You know your situation better than us. Our country's experience in the past eight years has shown that small and medium objects can be built and produce profitably faster than large ones. Nonetheless, this is an internal matter of yours.
Comrade Mao Zedong directed and requested me to tell our Albanian comrades openly that we will fulfill your requests and help you with everything we can. In case our technical means do not allow [us to do so], we will openly tell you that we cannot help you. Should our technical means allow [us to assist you], we will make every effort to fulfill your needs. This is what the chairman of our party's CC told me. We know that the Soviet Union is much more technologically advanced. We still have a lot of deficiencies in comparison, but if, for example, next year we will have the technical means of assisting you in building an object, we will not hesitate to extend our help.
Now, let us come to the specific objects that comrade Enver spoke about. I have brought an economist with me with the specific intention of consulting him. You want to build a nitrogen fertilizer factory that uses petrol or natural gas. Very well, but we do not have such plants and cannot help you with the construction of such an object. But we could help you with the construction of the thermal power station. The comrade economist that has come along says that Albania has coal, though not of high quality. Can this factory use coal instead?
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: The use of coal is not advantageous for us. It costs too much. The advantage of using petrol is, however, bigger.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Your point of view on this matter is very reasonable and we understand it, so we will analyze this matter and give you an answer.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: If we would build this fertilizer factory to work with petrol or natural gas rather than coal, we would be independent from others. From Gomulka, for example, from whom we would have to get coal. This way we could solve the bread problem. If we don't build these two fertilizer factories, we would not be able to produce our bread in-country in the fourth five-year plan or even in the fifth.
Comrade Li Xiannian: A comrade from your State Planning Commission told us that you have lignite and our economist took a look at it and said that it may be utilized, but this is a matter we should study. We are still not very clear on the quality of your coal.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We think that the PRC could get such a factory for us by buying it in the western capitalist countries like Italy, France or England, and it may cost around $25-30 million. I think that Czechoslovakia or East Germany are also willing to build it for us with dollars. The countries of people's democracies and even the Soviet Union buy chemical factories from Italy. Getting this object would be life-saving for us. Chemical fertilizers are vital to us for the production of bread in-country.
The conclusion of your party's CC that we should build economically viable small and medium objects in our country is right, but this particular object is vital to the production of bread. Our agriculture cannot progress without it. We have all the necessary conditions for the production of bread, except for two conditions on which we are dependent from abroad: chemical fertilizers and agriculture mechanization. The fulfillment of these two conditions, meaning on the fourth five-year plan, will truly allow us to think of producing bread in-country. This is why we placed such importance on this matter and, as comrade Enver said earlier, why we ask you to review this matter carefully.
Comrade Li Xiannian: At the moment, our technological capability does not allow us to help you with the construction of a factory that uses petrol or natural gas. We have plans to build a small experimental factory that uses petrol or natural gas. We can look more closely at your proposal of buying such a factory from Italy.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Buying from Italy is very advantageous to us, because it is very close.
Comrade Li Xiannian: I cannot say a word about this matter, but I will inform our CC and we will give you an answer.
We are able to build the second factory for the production of super-phosphates for you. We are also capable of building the sulfuric acid section of this factory. The problem for you will be in securing the raw material for this factory, apatite. This matter should be considered carefully. But we could look at comrade Enver's idea of securing apatite from Morocco more closely. We have very good relations with Morocco. They have offered us apatite, but we do not need it, because we have enough of our own. If we import some amount of apatite from Morocco, we are only doing it because we are doing it in the interest of the national-liberation movement in Africa.
We will also not have any problems with our support for the construction of a cement factory. You said that you are looking to build one with a capacity of 200 thousand tons and want to build it in two phases. My opinion is that you should instead build a series of smaller factories with a total capacity of 200 thousand tons.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: OK. We will study the economic advantages of this [suggestion] and give you our opinion.
Comrade Li Xiannian: You can study it, but know that this is my personal opinion.
We are also capable of building for you a factory for iron smelting with a maximum capacity of 30 thousand tons per year. During our travels in the south, comrade Spiro Koleka and I exchanged an array of ideas, because he and I are specialists in the same field. Comrade Koleka emphasized that the main problem with such an undertaking will be finding the necessary supplies of coke. When I asked him where you would find coke, he said that you would have to import it from Poland or secure it from other countries. I told him that we can look at the possibility of building such an object with our help.
At the same time, I proposed comrade Spiro Koleka the matter of building an electric oven for residual iron smelting.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We now export these iron residuals, but if we would build the iron-smelting factory, it would be advantageous to build in this factory an additional section for iron residual smelting as well. Then this job could also be done in-country.
Comrade Li Xiannian: We have the necessary technical means to help you with mineral extraction, mineral enrichment, iron smelting and metal foliation. The only big problem for you is finding the coke.
Regarding the military matters you brought up, we will notify our CC immediately. Comrade Spiro Koleka has handed us the appropriate lists of military deliveries. A part of those needs we will fulfill for you through clearing [arrangements]. Though using clearing [arrangements] does not mean we will be able to fulfill all military delivery needs. We have told comrade Spiro Koleka that we do not have some of the military materials contained in your list, so we will not be able to deliver them to you. We are able to deliver to you ammunition and clothes, but as to fighter planes and other such equipment, we do not yet have them.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Supplying our infantry with ammunition is a more urgent need for us.
Comrade Li Xiannian: As to what you said, that we should approach the Soviet Union for these matters, we will do as you ask.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We have asked for grain from the Soviet Union and have yet to get an answer. We have asked for a total of 300 thousand tons of grain from the socialist camp nations through clearing [arrangements], while for an additional 100 thousand tons of grains we do not satisfy the clearing requirements. In that case, if we do not get all the grain supplies we need, could we rely on you to secure all the bread necessary for the four years from 1961 to 1965?
Comrade Li Xiannian: It is possible, but Comrade Spiro Koleka made a request for only 300 thousand tons of grains. And now you are asking for 100 thousand more. Personally, I think that there should not be any hurdles to delivering this additional amount, but before we can give you a definitive answer, I must inform our CC about this request. As you well know, we are also having difficulties with grain, but we also keep in mind that the Albanian comrades are heroically fighting the struggle for the defense of Marxism-Leninism against imperialism and revisionism without thinking of the hardships this may cause, so our duty is to help you.
You mentioned that you would use our foreign currency to buy chemical fertilizers in the West?
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We did not exactly say that. It would not be prudent to buy chemical fertilizers in the West with your foreign currency. This currency would only be used to buy the machinery needed for the construction of a factory for nitrogen fertilizers that utilizes petrol or natural gas from the West in case you could not build it for us. We would not buy chemical fertilizers from the Soviet Union or Czechoslovakia using foreign currency, let alone buying it from the West. We would like to build a nitrogen fertilizer factory using the foreign currency you have given us through the accorded loan. We could buy this factory from Italy or from some other capitalist country in the West.
Comrade Li Xiannian: We will study this issue and if we are able to do it, we will send you an answer.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: If at all possible, look at this issue favorably because this concerns our bread.
Comrade Li Xiannian: I also wanted to talk about issues relating to technical-scientific cooperation. Two of our economists who came with me here visited the knitwear factory in Korca and seeing that this factory's products were of low quality, suggested to me that we should help you. So, if you so desire we could send some specialists that could immensely help your people to increase immediately the quality of your product there.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We agree that specialists can come here for our tricot needs, and would also like to ask if you could take a look at the possibility of doing the same for our petrol and geology needs. You, a large country, certainly have very large needs for geological activities and petrol. We, on the other hand, have no such specialists to help in these areas so necessary for us. We should at least have some Chinese specialist comrades help us with the inspection of the machinery and the accompanying documentation we will receive from European countries.
Comrade Li Xiannian: We do not have much experience in the field of petrol, but as to tricot our experience is broad.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Then, please, send the tricot specialists immediately.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Before I set off for Albania comrade Zhou Enlai told me that the signing of economic agreements with Albania is the first step. Now the most important matter is how these agreements will be carried out because the geographical distance between our countries is very large. This will require that we communicate through numerous telegrams. This is not bad in itself, but for the sake of carrying out these agreements faster, would it be possible to have a few Chinese economists working in our embassy in Albania?
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Please send them whenever you wish. In fact we have even asked for such a thing.
Comrade Li Xiannian: You could also send a group of economists to Beijing or a delegation of your State Planning Commission employees to meet and have talks with comrades at our State Planning Commission and the appropriate departments to decide how to proceed with the delivery of the loan.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: This is a very prudent proposal and we are in full agreement with you on this issue also.
Comrade Li Xiannian: We do not think that it is necessary that this delegation contain a supervisor comrade. It will be sufficient that the comrades that come with the delegation be State Planning Commission employees.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: As to the matter of the economic specialists you will send to your embassy, I think you could also send an additional good person or two specializing in petrol or geological research. In our country a number of large Soviet teams of about 120 people have been working for the past two, three years. But we have noticed that at all the points they have told us to drill for petrol, we have found none, while the ones to which our specialists have directed us have yielded petrol. We have spent hundreds of millions [of rubles] in this field and have had no results. We have also raised this concern with the Soviet government. Please read again the report of our party's CC that I presented at the congress, at the section concerning our petrol efforts. There we allude to this matter and blame these teams. This is why we consider your sending one or two such able people from you as indispensable to us.
We have indirectly learned that our country also possesses radioactive minerals. We will now see the report we will receive from the Soviet teams. This is why we also sent the samples to Beijing so that you may analyze them for us. You understand the importance of finding such minerals would have for our country. Bringing such people to your embassy here is not objectionable to the Soviets either, so appearances are kept.
Comrade Li Xiannian: I thank you for the information you have given me.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We also thank you in the name of our CC.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: When can we send these people to Beijing?
Comrade Li Xiannian: Whenever you decide to [do so]. We speak as between brothers.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: I had another matter. We are having a dinner for the Chinese comrades tonight. What do you think, should we publicize this meeting in the press or only the dinner?
Comrade Li Xiannian: We are of the opinion of only making the dinner public. I wanted to say to you that this time it was my duty to return the visit to comrade [Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC and Secretary of the CC] Hysni Kapo who came to China last year. We were busy and I was late in doing it, but now that duty is fulfilled. Now, by the order of the CC I must depart from here on 28 February.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We are sorry you are leaving so early.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Now it is possible to come here more often.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: You should come for vacation.
Comrade Li Xiannian: I told comrade Spiro Koleka that this time I came with three tasks: First, to attend your congress, second, to return comrade Hysni Kapo's visit, and third, for a vacation.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: The vacation task was not fulfilled.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We do not record the vacation part and keep this case open. (Happy and sincere laughter).
Comrade Li Xiannian: I have not reached an agreement with comrade Spiro Koleka on this matter.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Comrade Spiro is right. You should come again to Albania and should even send other comrades here to rest and to get to know our country.
Comrade Li Xiannian: This is also what comrade Spiro Koleka said to me, that I should rest. I said to him, “You and I are both economists and we must get to know each-other's country well, so you should come to visit us too.” But he only remained silent.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: He was displaying such behavior because he did not agree with you not resting a bit while here in Albania.
Comrade Li Xiannian: Now comrade Enver Hoxha does not accept that I have fulfilled my third task either.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: You have fulfilled your first two tasks, and marvelously so, but the third is completely undone.
(After these last words there is plenty of laughter and happiness. That was the end of the meeting.)