Search in

Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 05, 1976


  • Citation

    get citation

    An overview of a conversation in which the East Germans and Soviets compared impressions of the situation in the PRC and China's attitude toward other socialist countries.
    "Notes about the Meeting in the Central Committee of the CPSU on 2 February 1976," February 05, 1976, 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 B 2/20/126. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.
  • share document


English HTML

Berlin, 5 February 1976

about the Meeting in the Central Committee of the CPSU on 2 February 1976

The meeting-–which I requested en route from Beijing to Berlin--was held with Comrade Kulik, Division Head for China in the CPSU CC Department [for International Relations];

Peskov, Staffer of this division; Titorenko, Consultant of this department.

After I reported about the accreditation of our new ambassador in the PR China and shared my impressions, the Soviet comrades informed about the following:

- According to unconfirmed reports, currently a meeting of the CCP CC is under way. Mao Zedong is not participating. Among others, speakers were Deng Xiaoping, Deputy Party Chairman and acting Prime Minister, on issues of the education revolution; and Zhang Chunqiao, Member of the Politburo Standing Committee and Deputy Prime Minister, on the requirement to defend the ”new things” of the “Cultural Revolution”. Deng referred in his remarks to the actual, very low level of education at universities after the “Cultural Revolution”.

- Soviet comrades proposed to hold the Ninth Internal China Meeting in Berlin maybe in June/July of 1976 already (I had suggested September/October).

As far as the agenda is concerned, the Soviet comrades have no ready-made proposals yet. Among else, the following topics are an option:

* 10 years of Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976)

* the bloc built between China and the imperialist powers

* China and the “Third World”

The comrades are interested to solicit our opinion. Our idea to put measures of the struggle against pro-Maoist groupings and tendencies on the agenda was welcomed, and the need to discuss this was confirmed.

- The book project “Basic Aspects of the Chinese Problem, 1967-1974” (which had been shared with the fraternal parties by the CPSU CC already two years ago) has now been delivered to the publisher Politizdat. Our request induced the [Soviet] comrades to take care of the delivery of the manuscript to the fraternal parties.

- In the Soviet Union one television and cinema production each on the Chinese problem have been just completed. The TV film “Behind a Wall of Fear” has meanwhile run on Moscow's First Program on 3 February 1976. The movie “Beware/Attention! Maoism” (directed, like “Night over China”, by Medvedkino) has already been commissioned with copies designated for the fraternal parties. The comrades will get in touch with GDR television to secure rapid forwarding of the TV program to stations of the fraternal countries.

- Developments of Chinese-Soviet trade for 1976 are not yet foreseeable, as we have just exchanged the lists of goods. In contrast to previous years, Soviet proposals to agree on long-term trade export agreements for certain goods received the response “we can think about this” (in the past such had been always strictly rejected).

- Regarding some issues of configuring relations vis-à-vis China, as raised in the [SED] internal memorandum to Comrade Axen from 2 February 1975, the [Soviet] comrades reacted with reluctance. Following an arrangement with Comrade Harry Ott, however, I told the Soviet comrades that Comrade Ott will further approach Comrade Rakhmanin on this.

* On the freedom of movement for embassies: We [GDR] have to approach this based on reciprocity. A general permission [for Chinese diplomats in Berlin] to go to Potsdam is acceptable if it would not be a unilateral concession. [The Soviets] expressed their opinion just to leave things as they are [i.e. limiting the movement of Chinese diplomats to Berlin, BS]. Our idea to expand the right to excursions to the PR China in the same way as it is granted to [Western] imperialist embassies in the GDR also did not encounter direct [Soviet] support (they said, imperialist states like Holland would by far not propagate such anti-socialist campaigns as the “socialist China”).

* Concerning relations of scientific-technological cooperation with China, issues submitted by the fraternal countries ought to be coordinated in such a manner that duplications are avoided. The community of socialist states should receive as many topics as it grants to China. My question about the Soviet concept for scientific-technological cooperation did not elicit a concrete answer. Apparently the Soviet comrades do not undertake any initiatives here.

* I also informed about the activities by the Polish consulate in Shanghai, and the suggestion of the Polish comrades to reopen the GDR General Consulate there. The Soviet Comrades replied that unfortunately the Soviet Union has closed all its General Consulates and Consulates while the GDR only temporarily suspended them. A resumption is possible in the interest of the community; one only has to find an appropriate moment (like e.g. in case of a decrease of anti-Soviet slander), and place excellently trained comrades there.