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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 27, 1973

NOTE ON THE MEETING WITH CPSU POLITBURO CANDIDATE AND CC SECRETARY, COMRADE B. N. PONOMAREV

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    A Russian view of Chinese Anti-Soviet attitudes and potential problems as a result of such views developing there.
    "Note on the Meeting with CPSU Politburo Candidate and CC Secretary, Comrade B. N. Ponomarev," February 27, 1973, 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 2/2.028, 55. Translated by Bernd Schaefer and David Wolff. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113667
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Comrade [Boris] Ponomarev opened the talk how he is happy to welcome the delegation led by [SED CC Secretary] Comrade [Hermann] Axen in Moscow. Comrade Axen briefly summarized the issues we want to consult on with the CC of the CPSU (following our concept). He congratulated Comrade Ponomarev to the great victory of the Vietnam Peace Agreement to which the Soviet Union has made major contributions. He thanked for the big support CPSU and Soviet Union provided to the GDR to break through the [diplomatic] international blockade.

Comrade Ponomarev made the following comments to questions posed by Comrade Axen:

[...]

On China:

This is a complicated issue. The Soviet Union has provided the GDR comrades with all necessary material.

The Chinese leaders' policy becomes ever more aggressive, anti-Soviet, and anti-communist. All that is objectively aiding imperialism. Their strategy is evident: They try to develop relations with all capitalist, Third World, and socialist countries -- but directed against the Soviet Union. For this purpose they exploit all opportunities, also through media. They broadcast ten hours daily into the Soviet Union. Though this obviously has no impact, overall Chinese policy represents a great danger. We have to think about joint measures by the entire community of socialist states. China is a country of 750 million people. All Soviet arguments and proposals are rejected by the Chinese leaders.

The situation in China itself is complex. Such experiments like the "Great Leap" and the "Cultural Revolution" have hampered the economy. Its low level of development is incomparable to development in other socialist countries. One must realize that China is living de facto for 20 years under conditions of peace. The socialist community of states is protecting China. Still there are few results. Economic development is one-sidedly focused on strengthening military potential. Here a new serious threat is on the rise.

We ought to think about how we can jointly fight against this threat.

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