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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 29, 1958

CENTRAL COMMITTEE COMMENTS ON THE 'REPORT SEEKING INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING STRENGTHENING LEADERSHIP OVER FOREIGN ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL AID WORK' BY COMRADES CHEN YI AND LI FUCHUN

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    The Central Committee comments on a report completed by Chen Yi and Li Fuchun.
    "Central Committee Comments on the 'Report Seeking Instructions Concerning Strengthening Leadership over Foreign Economic and Technical Aid Work' by Comrades Chen Yi and Li Fuchun," October 29, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Shanghai Municipal Archives B134-1-11, 2. Obtained by Liang Zhi and translated by Neil Silver. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115924
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Chinese Communist Party Central Committee document

Central Committee Comments on the “Report Seeking Instructions Concerning Strengthening Leadership over Foreign Economic and Technical Aid  Work” by Comrades Chen Yi and Li Fuchun

All Central Committee department and committees, all State Council offices, all leading party Groups of ministries and commissions, all provincial, municipal and autonomous region party committees:

The Central Committee approves the “Report Seeking Instructions Concerning Strengthening Leadership over Foreign Economic and Technical Aid Work” by Comrades Chen Yi and Li Fuchun, and now forwards it to you all, requesting that all concerned regions and organizations study and carry it out.

The conscientious completion of foreign economic and technical assistance work is a serious political responsibility and is, furthermore, an international duty that the people of our country must carry out fully with respect to the peoples of fraternal countries and nationalist countries.  This is of tremendous significance in promoting the unity and prosperity of the socialist camp, in developing friendly relations between our country and nationalist countries, and in undermining the aggressive and expansionist activities of the imperialist camp led by the United States.  Along with the rise of our country’s economic and technical power and expansion of our international influence, our country’s responsibility [with regard to] foreign assistance is increasing day by day, and there are more and more departments and regions shouldering the responsibility for foreign assistance.  The Central Committee requires that all departments and regions shouldering the responsibility for foreign assistance must, in line with the spirit of the Great Leap Forward, complete the responsibility they are shouldering conscientiously, realistically and in a timely way, and certainly should not resort to the excuse of pressing domestic responsibilities in order to ease up on or even push aside foreign aid work.  This is because any mistakes in foreign aid work can lead to adverse political effects.  This point must receive the highest attention of throughout the party.

The important target of our foreign economic and technical aid  should be the insufficiently developed fraternal countries in the socialist camp and the peaceful and non-aligned countries in the Asia and Africa regions that have achieved independence or are now struggling for national independence.  With respect to these countries, we should provide appropriate aid and strengthen their economic power based on their requests and on our country’s economic and technical possibilities.  To enable the economic and technical aid  provided by our country to rapidly show results, our future foreign aid  work must help them build up their own industrial foundation in accordance with these countries’ specific conditions, adopting measures suitable to local conditions, and combining mainly medium and small-scale [measures] with native and foreign measures.  The goal of our aid to them is not to create their dependence on us, but rather to help and foster their own self-reliance.

Foreign aid  is difficult and arduous organizational work.  Every stage in the completion of every foreign aid mission not only touches on many domestic departments and regions, but is also intimately connected with the mobilization of the manpower and material resources in the country receiving the aid .  Only with unified domestic and overseas leadership over resolute and thorough foreign aid  work, and with the full exercise of the spirit of the division of responsibility and close cooperation, can we effectively and correctly ensure the completion of each and every foreign assistance mission.

As for the structure of our country’s foreign aid work, make adjustments now  based on the principles set forth in this report.  The existing Commission on Aid to Mongolia, the Commission on Aid to Cambodia, and all foreign aid leading small groups should, based on the situation with respect to aid work, be gradually shifted to concerned departments and committees and gradually abolished.

Central Committee

October 29, 1958