EAST GERMAN REPORT ON THE FOURTH INTERKIT MEETING IN SOFIA, FEBRUARY 1971CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationReport from the East German representatives on the Interkit meeting held in Sofia in February 1971. Reports on recent changes in Chinese foreign policy and international political strategies."East German Report on the Fourth Interkit Meeting in Sofia, February 1971," February 24, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Foundation Archives of Parties and Mass Organisations of the GDR in the Federal Archives (SAPMO-BA) DY 30, IV A 2/20/1152. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113298
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Berlin, 24 February 1971
R e p o r t
About an Internal Meeting of Delegations from the International Departments of Central Committees of CPSU, BCP, MPRP, PUWP, SED and HSWP in Sofia.
Following an invitation by the BCP Central Committee, between 15 and 18 February 1971 the fourth internal meeting of delegations from the International Departments of Central Committees of fraternal parties was held on current issues concerning the policy of the Chinese leadership under Mao Zedong and the situation in the PR China.
About Tasks and Results of the Meeting
1. The meeting was scheduled to analyze the policy of the Chinese leadership and developments in the PR China at the current stage. It was based on the presumption that a couple of new elements have surfaced in the Chinese leadership's policy during the past year. Especially the Soviet comrades put great emphasis on working out a joint assessment at the eve of a couple of upcoming party congresses of fraternal parties.
2. The development of the situation in the PR China, and its basic tendencies in the Chinese leadership‘s domestic and foreign policy, underscore the validity and actuality of assessments and conclusions made in the joint material emanating from the third meeting “The Chinese Problem after the IX CCP Congress” [Interkit in Warsaw 1970—trans.]. Despite all its new maneuvers the Chinese leaders are still pursuing their old strategic goals. They continue the political line of the IX CCP Congress without any change. We figured out that the Soviet Union and the entire socialist community remains the main enemy of the Maoist leadership.
New elements in Chinese leaders' national and international policy are exclusively tactical changes, modifications of political slogans, new means and methods to realize the old great-power chauvinist hegemonic and anti-socialist goals.
It cannot be excluded that contradictory tendencies in Chinese policy reflect also certain conflicts within the Chinese leadership.
The main tactical changes in international policy are as follows:
- In 1970 Chinese leaders backed off from unpopular war slogans and shifted the tactical focus to “revolution.” Using the Maoist thesis “Maturing of the Revolution”, the Chinese leaders place, even more so than in the past, the following patterns in the center of their policy: Support for any forces working toward the overthrow of the existing order in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries; undiminished instigation of tensions at the hot spots of international class struggle; and the adventurist promotion of numerous armed conflicts and local wars in particular in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
- The new Maoist thesis of “both superpowers” is a reflection of hegemonic intentions to stitch together a bloc to fight the two “superpowers” under Beijing's leadership. The main focus of this policy is directed against the Soviet Union.
- The Chinese leadership is willing to work toward a certain objectification of relations with the states of the socialist community on the basis of peaceful coexistence. Exploiting the interest of fraternal parties to normalize their relations with the PR China, this variant first wants to “neutralize” the socialist countries in their confrontation with the Chinese leadership's policy (the Soviet delegation dubbed this as “Romanization”). At a minimum, China wants to separate them on this issue from the Soviet Union in order to finally draw them to Chinese positions (“Albanization”).
With this policy of differentiation, Chinese leaders also try at the same time to break up the ideological combat front against Maoism.
- Regarding the communist workers movement, and besides the previous strategy to establish pro-Maoist groups and trends in individual countries and parties, the Chinese leaders have shifted toward establishing official relations with individual parties (RCP, JCP, KWP, VWP, SCP [Romanian Communist Party, Japanese Communist Party, Korean Workers Party, Vietnamese Workers Party, Spanish Communist Party]). Their efforts are primarily oriented toward those parties that continue to propose a different position from the joint line espoused at the International Conference [of Communist and Workers Parties in Moscow] in 1969.
It can be expected that Chinese leaders will resume, with these intentions in mind, their activity in international democratic organizations.
3. During the meeting the following main causes for the Chinese leaders' changed tactics were identified:
a) Apparently the Chinese leadership is guided by an assessment according to which its rule in the country's interior was solidified through the “Cultural Revolution” and the IX Party Congress, to an extent allowing major activities in the field of international politics to unfold again. In spite of ongoing domestic problems and contradictions, a certain consolidation of the current power structure and the military-bureaucratic regime has occurred. This relative stabilization also allows the Mao Group more leverage for its international policy and more flexible tactics. In order to realize its great-power chauvinistic plans, the Mao Group now wants to break out from the international isolation it had moved itself into through its rudeness and any norms and customs violating methods of the “Cultural Revolution”.
b) The consequent repudiation and unmasking of the Chinese leadership's policy by the Soviet Union, by us socialist countries, by the communist world movement, and by large parts of the anti-imperialist movement, have induced the Chinese leaders to adopt new tactical means.
The decisive, and for the Chinese leaders painful, repudiation of their border provocations by Soviet forces had made them think twice.
c) The development of international events and the correlation of forces in the world confirmed the correctness of the common line from the International Conference of 1969. The latter did not turn out favorably for the Mao Group and disqualified its policy of stirring up international tensions.
- In Europe a significant movement of correlation of forces in favor of socialism has occurred as a result of consequent and unified efforts by the states from the socialist community. Speculative Maoist hopes to aggravate tensions up to a military confrontation in Europe remained unfulfilled.
- In the Middle East the alliance between progressive Arab states and the Soviet Union and other socialist states has been strengthened. The “permanent people's war” propagated and instigated by China has been thwarted.
Apparently the Chinese leaders, too, have learned how Soviet positions in Europe and in the Middle East are so strong that the United States does not dare to launch a direct military conflict with the Soviet Union.
- With expansion of U.S. aggression into Laos and Cambodia the situation in the Southeast Asian region also becomes more complicated for the Chinese leadership. This expansion of aggression increasingly affects Chinese security directly. The question arises for the Mao Group with heightened urgency whether to intervene directly in this conflict in order not to lose credibility given Chinese assurances to support the revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle of Asian peoples. Yet this would also lead to the feared direct confrontation with the United States.
Recent agreements between the U.S and Japan bolster the latter's function as the first ally of U.S. imperialism in East and Southeast Asia, i.e. right in front of China's doors.
This affects a “doctrine” of Chinese policy, namely to avoid under all circumstances a closer alliance between Japan and the U.S. as it will obviously be directed against the PR China.
Speculative hopes on the side of the Chinese leaders to replace losses, incurred through the dismantling of economic relations with the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, by expanding trade with the developed capitalist countries remained unfulfilled.
4. At the meeting the necessity was stressed to work continuously toward an objectification and normalization of state relations with the PR China in the interest of common anti-imperialist struggle. At the same time, ideological confrontation between Marxist-Leninist parties and theory and practice of Maoism must increase. The Soviet comrades referred to an undiminished anti-Soviet campaign within the PR China. They expressed concern that new provocations by the Chinese leaders before the 24th [CPSU] Party Congress better not be excluded.
With satisfaction the meeting recognized the progress made in scientific-academic cooperation to research current features of the China problem.
It was agreed to convene another meeting of representatives from the seven fraternal parties for fall this year in Prague to work out new joint material on the Chinese leadership's policy and developments in the PR China.
As a special contribution, the Soviet delegation informed about developments in Soviet- Chinese relations.
There was also a discussion of the situation in the PR Albania and the policy of the Albanian leadership.
On Presentations by Delegations
The CPSU delegation contributed the bulk of efforts for preparation and performance of the meeting. Its contributions and material demonstrated high expert knowledge. They analyzed developments scientific-theoretically and carved out relevant patterns and trends of current Chinese policy.
Contributions by other delegations, with the exception of the HSWP, completely agreed with positions of the CPSU delegation and added a couple of detailed issues to the Soviet material.
The HSWP delegation demonstrated its underrating of the danger represented by current Chinese policy. In its contribution, the Hungarian delegation one-sidedly focused on a maximum development of bilateral relations without undertaking a basic assessment of the Chinese leadership's policy or outlining the concrete tasks for ideological confrontation.
The delegation from the SED International Relations Department dealt in its contribution with current problems of the Chinese leaders' international policy. It proved in concrete terms how there is no change whatsoever in the Mao Zedong Group's foreign policy strategy but just some new variants of tactical moves. Furthermore, we did provide to the other delegations material on recent domestic developments in the PR China.
1. The material from the meeting will be thoroughly analyzed and used as a basis for future research on current problems of developments in China.
Commissioned: Working Group China at the Chair International Workers Movement in the Institute of Social Sciences at the SED Central Committee
2. Based on the meeting's materials, internal party information about the situation in the PR China and about the Mao Zedong Group's domestic and foreign policy will be prepared for SED base organizations in preparation of the VIII [SED] Party Congress.
Commissioned: Department of International Relations
Department of Agitation
3. Based on the material of the meeting, an article on current issues of the Chinese leaders' foreign policy will be published in the weekly paper “Horizont”.
Commissioned: Editor-in-chief “Horizont”
Department of International Relations
Date: March 1971
4. The books “A Survey History of the CCP” and “PR China” (survey of developments in the PR China's economy, state and culture), produced by the Far Eastern Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, will be distributed as internal material of the SED.