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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May, 1973

INFORMATIONAL NOTE REGARDING THE SIXTH MEETING OF THE DELEGATIONS OF THE CC INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENTS OF SEVEN FRATERNAL PARTIES ON THE CHINESE ISSUES (MOSCOW, MAY 16-18, 1973)

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    This offers an overview of the current state of Communism in China, as well as several “practical recommendations” regarding an approach to this struggle.
    "Informational Note regarding the Sixth Meeting of the Delegations of the CC International Departments of Seven Fraternal Parties on the Chinese Issues (Moscow, May 16-18, 1973) ," May, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Modern Records, Warsaw (AAN), KC PZPR, LXXVI-1027. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Malgorzata K. Gnoinska. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113669
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Informational Note regarding the Sixth Meeting of the Delegations of the CC International Departments of Seven Fraternal Parties on the Chinese issues (Moscow, May 16-18, 1973)

The latest Moscow meeting was of particular importance in the area of yearly consultations on the China issue, which have been conducted since 1967 between the International Departments of seven fraternal parties (CPSU, PUWP, SED, CPCz, HWSP, BCP, MPRP). This meeting, as emphasized by the CPSU delegation, opened a new stage in terms of quality regarding a joint and coordinated approach to the China issue and struggle with Maoism, both as far as the assessments and analysis, as well as practical recommendations.

The significance of the meeting results most of all from the fact that it took place in an important moment of implementing the Peace Plan adopted at the XXIV CPSU Congress, soon after the April Plenum of the CC CPSU during which the China issue was a major aspect discussed within the overall global foreign policy of the USSR. The documents presented by Soviet comrades and adopted at the meeting will serve as a direct reflection of the program of a policy toward China and Maoism which was formulated at the April plenum.

a) The assessment, analysis, and prognosis - this program is reflected in the document adopted at the meeting and entitled: “Joint Theses: ‘China in the beginning of the 1970s.'” It is noteworthy that during the last two meetings (Sofia – 1971, and Prague 1972) there was no such custom of adopting a broad and joint assessment in the form of a thesis; only a joint protocol transcript of the meeting was decided upon.

b) Practical recommendations – a joint document entitled a Protocol Transcript which contains conclusions in the area of consultations and coordination of the policy of 6 countries toward China and the coordination in the struggle with Maoism.

I. The assessment of the PRC's policy

1. When it comes to the general assessment, the Moscow meeting stressed, most of all, the very significance of the China issue and Maoism as one of the most important problem of the modern age, which should be a permanent and important subject of the attention of our parties and governments. Maoism, as currently assessed, is one of the most dangerous enemies which the international communist and revolutionary movement had to encounter. The struggle with Maoism is becoming an inseparable part of the ideological and political struggle for unity and solidarity of the socialist commonwealth and the international communist movement, as well as a significant front of the overall struggle of socialism for peace and progress.

2. The current stage in Beijing's policy is characterized by a serious shift to the right, toward an actual cooperation with imperialism against the socialist commonwealth. As the result of the factional course of the Maoists, the socialist construction in China became deformed: an anti-people's bureaucratic and military dictatorship, the removal of the role of the leading working class, and anti-socialist foreign policy had been formed. The base for socialist transformations has been seriously threatened in the country. According to the opinion of the Soviet comrades, China is currently “drifting” away from socialism and is approaching a critical point, since the amount of changes caused by subjective factors (the Maoist doctrine) can result in a fundamental retreat in the entire development of the country and losing all of the revolutionary achievements of the Chinese people.

3. The prognosis – until the departure of Mao we cannot count on any serious changes in Beijing. Zhou Enlai, the co-author of the current course despite his differences with Mao in the past, is a great-power chauvinist and the spokesperson for anti-Sovietism. There are divergences and tensions which are intensifying within the Beijing leadership (especially among the rightist nationalists and “pragmatists”, and leftist extremists), but there are no activists who are defending the true Marxist-Leninist and internationalist positions. The overall balance of power within the Chinese leadership is disadvantageous to China's return to the path of cooperation with the socialist commonwealth in the near future.

In light of unresolved social and economic problems, serious tensions and dissatisfaction of the masses can intensify in China. However, it would be an illusion to count on the automatic collapse of the Maoist regime. The struggle for socialist China – not to passively await the moment when once the Marxists and internationalists take the steering wheel, but to actively unmask the theory and practice of Maoism. We should not be indifferent to this struggle; neutral positions are playing into the hands of Maoists.

4. The documents of the Moscow meeting at the same time stress the need to dialectically approach the question of relations with China. Our stance toward China has two sides, dialectically bound with each other: on the one hand, a decisive and principled struggle with Maoism; on the other hand, a stance showing friendship toward the Chinese people and aspiring to normalize relations with the PRC. If we stress only one of the sides, then “we are witnesses to an unequal heart diagram of the ideological and political struggle with Maoism, combined with a simultaneous and unjustified circumstances of a series of initiatives in the development of relations with the PRC” (this excerpt is from the main statement of the Soviet delegation).

II. The coordination of the policy toward the PRC

The most important element of our joint struggle with Maoism and the policy toward China is a tight coordination of positions and actions. The Moscow meeting brought in this respect a series of new elements, which we can summarize as follows:

a) to further deepen coordination, to come out with practical recommendations beyond the sphere of the ideological and struggle and research studies on the cooperation and consultations in the area of the China issue also in other disciplines, such as the bilateral relations. The proposition to initiate direct consultations in this area between the ministers of foreign affairs of fraternal countries, just as the initiative to hold consultations of the ministries of foreign trade in March.

b) The formulation (mainly in the Protocol Transcript) of concrete and agreed upon tasks to counterattack Maoism and anti-socialist policy of Beijing on each stages of its international policy; this pertains in particular to the Third World territory, international organizations, and so on.

c) The particular stress should be placed on the effectiveness of coordination, strengthening the means to control fraternal parties to implement the agreed upon steps.

III. The participation of individual delegations

The Soviet comrades attached great attention to the meeting which is reflected in the efforts they put in its concrete preparations and organization. A special collective of the employees from the CC CPSU International Department and its experts had been preparing the materials for the meeting since November last year. The work on preparing the materials was coordinated with the work on the China issue at the April CC CPSU plenum.

The heads of all delegations were received by comrades Ponomarev and Katushev.

Alongside the main and final pronouncement of the head of the CPSU delegation, comrade Oleg Rakhmanin, and his energetic participation in the whole course of the meetings, the Soviet organizers presented 5 important pronouncements and papers: deputy head of the CC CPSU International Department, Professor R.A. Ulyanovskii, V.A. Medvedev - deputy head of the CC CPSU International Department, M.I. Sladkovsky – Director of the Far Eastern Institute, M. Kapitsa – a member of the editorial board, and I. T. Grishin – deputy foreign trade minister. In addition, they provided us with a large amount of confidential working materials regarding the China issue that were prepared along with the Institute of the Far East of the Academy of Sciences in the USSR and the “Novostii.”

As far as the participation of our delegation, its high level delegation was duly noted, which gave increasing importance to the meeting. In addition to Comrade Frelek, only the delegations of the CPCz and the MPRP were represented by the heads of the CC International Departments. The pronouncement of the head of our delegation, which followed right after that of the hosts, was, in accordance with the Soviet comrades, really important to provide a conducive atmosphere to the entire meeting and facilitated the work of the Editorial Board. The Polish delegation presented two statements (Comrade Frelek – his main pronouncement in point I of the daily agenda; Comrade Sujka – his pronouncement regarding the issue of coordinating activities in point II of the daily agenda), and handed out 3 working materials, as well as a list of polish publications on China.

The delegation of the SED was well prepared, especially when it comes to the amount of presented materials. German comrades skillfully used the Berlin Symposium (in April), which they treated as a “general rehearsal” before the Moscow meeting. The Center for Party Sinology, at the Department of the International Workers' Movement in the Institute of Social Studies of the CC SED, plays a big role in the work of the German comrades.

The participation of other delegations was relatively smaller (it was limited mainly to short statements of the two points in the daily agenda). The delegation of the BCP and the MPRP provided one document each (the Bulgarians talked about China's policy toward Third World, the Mongolians about the militarization of China). The Hungarians presented two publications in Hungarian. One could note a certain activation of the Mongolia delegation in the area of joint undertakings regarding Mongolia (a proposition to build a radio station; to expand the anti-Maoist propaganda on the Mongolian territory, etc.). These propositions were to be undertaken by other delegations.

Conclusions:

In addition to the recommendations presented in the Record of the Moscow Meeting, in light of the experiences of this meeting, we proposed the following:

1) to delegate to the CC International Department and the Foreign Ministry the implementation of the instructions contained in the Record of the Moscow Meeting;

2) to delegate to the CC International Department to jointly with the Department of Propaganda, Press and Publications, look through all of the informational materials to be used in the internal party propaganda, as well as for the publications if needed;

3) to send the concluding materials from the Moscow Meeting to the heads of the CC Departments, first secretaries of provincial party committees, the head editors of party publications, the Polish News Agency, radio and television, as well as to the heads in the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

4) To intensify the efforts to create a sinology center which is politically engaged and which would constitute provisional personnel and a research and study staff for our tasks regarding China;

5) To organize a conference consisting of responsible representatives in the media and publications in order to coordinate and appropriately direct the China issue in this area.

(Moscow, May 16-18, 1973)