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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 28, 1969


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    An overview is provided of past efforts to meet and discuss the "China question," as well as a proposal for a similarly focused meeting in October 1969.
    "Note to Comrade Kliszko regarding the meeting of International Departments of 7 parties on the China Question," July 28, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polish Central Archives of Modern Records (AAN), KC PZPR 237/XXII – 1732. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Malgorzata K. Gnoinska.
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To Comrade Zenon Kliszko
Secretary CC PUWP

Enclosed please find a note regarding the meeting of International Departments of 7 parties on the China question. Please accept the proposals contained in this note.

B. Lewandowski

Warsaw, July 28, 1969


The International Department proposes to organize a meeting regarding the China question to be held on October 6 – 11 of this year in Warsaw and which would include the representatives of International Department of Central Committees of the Bulgarian Communist Party, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party, the German Socialist Party of Unity, the Hungarian Socialist and Workers' Party, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and our party.

1. The first such meeting was organized by Soviet comrades in December 1967 in Moscow with the participation of the above mentioned parties. The result of this meeting was a confidential material that was jointly worked and entitled “About the Situation in China,” and which was presented by the participants of the meeting to their heads of parties as working material to be used as they saw fit. This material, according to the authors themselves, served as background and [to explain] the nature of events in China in the years of the so-called cultural revolution as well as a critical analysis of domestic and foreign policies of the CCP. The text of this material, along with the report of our delegation that participated in the meeting was presented by the International Department of the CC PUWP to our leadership.

The next meeting in the same composition was organized by the SED International Department in January 1969 in Berlin. The material worked out at the meeting, “The Situation in China and the policy of Mao Zedong's policy during the Current Stage,” was primarily concerned with the events in 1968. It was also presented to the leaderships of the seven parties.

2. It was decided in Berlin that the next meeting would take place at the end of this year. The representatives of the participating International Departments suggested that it take place in Warsaw. It was also agreed that in addition to the exchange of information, the following issues should be discussed at the meeting:

- the nature of the social and economic processes in China after the Ninth CCP Congress

- new forms of anti-Marxist essence of Maoism

- coordination of the efforts of fraternal countries and fraternal parties in the struggle against diversionary activity of Mao Zedong's group on the international arena, especially toward socialist countries and developing nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, as well as toward democratic international organizations.

3. Based on the issues discussed in Berlin that will be presented at the next meeting, it is clear that the main purpose of this meeting will be to discuss and work out a joint assessment of the IX CCP Congress. In connection with the fact that it took place in April this year (at the time of the Berlin meeting the date for the Congress was not yet known and this is why we planned the next meeting of International Departments at the end of this year) the representatives of the International Department of the CPSU in the conversations with our Department proposed to accelerate this meeting. This is connected with the fact that most likely they want to discuss this year's incidents on the Sino-Soviet border, as well as the current state of relations with China, especially in light of the June International Conference, as well as intensified pleas from the United States and other Western countries to activate their policies toward China.

4. All of the International Departments, which participated in the meeting in Moscow in December 1967, presented their assessments of the events in China in a written form. At the meeting in Berlin in January 1969, such materials were presented only by the International Departments of the CPSU, SED, and our party. During both of the meetings the base for a joint material was adopted from the Soviet texts. In both cases, despite the fact that the Soviet comrades in their own pronouncements emphasized the nature of the meeting based on a mutual discussion of their materials, then during the editorial work they continued to defend quite unyieldingly their every thesis and interpretation of individual facts. Most of the discussion that took place in the editorial group was caused by the assessments and interpretations of the events [presented] in the Soviet material, which completely looked over the objective factors in the development of the situation in China and only looked at the shaping of this development in Mao's group's purely subjective moves. It is worth noting that there were no small differences of opinion among the Soviet experts during these meetings.

Despite this fact, the delegations, which had earlier prepared their own material, had a better opportunity to provide a constructive contribution to work out joint theses. This is why, taking into consideration the next meeting, our International Department is working on a large material regarding the situation in China following the Ninth CCP Congress. In addition, one can find information about the methods and content of the Chinese propaganda against the socialist countries on the international arena and toward its own society. A small number of our specialists at the moment and the lack of information about China itself limits our possibilities to work out these important problems. In the process of preparations for the next meeting of the International Departments we will suggest that also other participants of the meeting work on particular topics.

5. One can assume that the work method and formal results of the proposed meeting in Warsaw will not depart from the two previous meetings. However, it would be desirable to undertake the attempts to work out at the meeting the assessments regarding the prospects for China's domestic an foreign policies. This is warranted by a certain internal stabilization as well as China's intensified international activity which we have been observing since the Ninth CCP Congress. This issue would require, however, a previous consultation with the Soviet comrades.

6. At previous meetings, the delegations participated at the levels of the heads of International Departments or their deputies. At the end of such works, the delegations were received: in Moscow – by Comrade Suslov, while in Berlin by Comrade Axene.

In the beginning of each meeting an editorial group was formed with the participation of all delegations which was headed by a member of the Soviet delegation and prepared a joint material in parallel with the ongoing discussion and exchange of information at “plenary” sessions. The hosts of the meetings assured that the minutes of “plenary” sessions would be done in one's own language. Besides adopting a joint material prepared by the editorial group, the participants approved a short formal “protocol note” which talked about the date, place, participants and issues discussed at the meeting, as well as organizational issues that were agreed upon for future meetings. All of the materials of the meeting were of confidential and working nature, that is, without formally signing them by the participants…

7. The International Department proposes that the representative of our Department conducts talks in the International Department of the CPSU to agree upon the time of the meeting, discuss issues connected with the preparations and consultations on the form and content of joint materials. Such a consultation could take place in the first half of August. Similar consultation should take place at the later date with the SED International Department – the hosts of the latest meeting, including organizational issues in particular.

We'd like you to accept the above proposals.

The International Department

Remark: (in handwritten text): Comrade Kliszko accepted these propositions. However, the meeting did not happened on the proposed dates, [because] Soviet comrades suggested that it take place at a later dates.