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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 10, 1975

LETTER TO THE GDR COUNCIL OF MINISTERS, 'INFORMATION ABOUT RECENT ISSUES OF PRC DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY – DIRECTIVES FOR THE CODE OF CONDUCT OF GDR REPRESENTATIVES TOWARDS THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PR CHINA'

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    In the midst of China's apparent "struggle against Maoism," East German diplomats review Chinese foreign and domestic policies and the state of bilateral relations.
    "Letter to the GDR Council of Ministers, 'Information about Recent Issues of PRC Domestic and Foreign Policy – Directives for the Code of Conduct of GDR Representatives towards the Representatives of the PR China'," September 10, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Political Archive of the German Foreign Office (PA AA), C 295/73. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116934
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GDR Council of Ministers
GDR Foreign Ministry
Deputy Minister
Berlin, 10 September 1975

Dear Comrade

As an attachment I am sending you an “Information about Recent Issues of PRC Domestic and Foreign Policy – Directives for the Code of Conduct of GDR Representatives towards the Representatives of the PR China”.

The material contains information about the current domestic situation in the PR China. It provides an assessment of the Chinese leaders' foreign policy, in combination with a general orientation for the struggle against Maoism, as well as specific guidelines for the future development of relations between the GDR and the PR China.

The entire material is to serve as working directives with mandatory character for all GDR representations abroad. It is our objective to guarantee this way a uniform appearance of all comrades and [Foreign Ministry] employees towards the PR China and its representatives.

With strict observation of confidentiality, I am asking you to make the comrades of your representation familiar with the main content of these directives and explain to them [comrades] the tasks resulting from those directives.

Also, continue to send regular reports in the future about the policy of Chinese leaders vis-a-vis their respective host country, activities by the Chinese representatives, as well as about the positions and policies of their host countries vis-a-vis the PR China.

As far as your decisions on these issues are concerned, please also coordinate in the future with the Soviet comrades and the comrades of the other closely allied fraternal countries in order to guarantee this way a uniform and coordinated process of our countries.   

With socialist greetings
[signed]
[Ewald] Moldt

Attachment

 

Information about Recent Issues of PRC Domestic and Foreign Policy

Directives for the Code of Conduct of GDR Representatives towards the Representatives of the PR China

1. The situation in the People's Republic of China is characterized by the further development and deepening of the anti-socialist process. As a result of decisions by the X CCP Party Congress (August 1973) and the adoption of the PRC constitution (January 1975), the PR China is moving ever further away from socialism. Now Mao Zedong's anti-socialist policy is not only part of the CCP statutes, but it is now also legally enshrined in the PR China's constitution. Notwithstanding the existing antagonisms in Chinese society, and the crises and contradictions of the current course, the Maoist regime is consolidating. This regime is based on the Maoist doctrine prepared in the PR China for decades already. The Marxist-Leninist theory gets replaced by the social-chauvinistic “Thoughts of Mao Zedong” that were declared to be the only ideology of the nation. They have been anchored on all levels of party and state. Currently, a political campaign is conducted in China (“Criticize Lin Biao and Confucius” and the study of the “Theory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”). This campaign is directed towards the violent implementation of the military system of societal construction and the unconditional submission of the PR China's population under the top leadership and its hostile policy against the people.

Currently China is not ruled by a socialist state authority but by the military-bureaucratic dictatorship of the group around Mao Zedong. There are reasons for talking about a new phase of the Maoist regime. Its most important aspect is the solidification of the regime's positions in party and state. The following elements testify to that:

- Although China lost in its economic development up to two Five-Year-Plans, the economic potential of the country is further growing. According to assessments, the value of gross production in industry and agriculture grew in the PR China in 1974 by approximately 5 percent. Steel production reached 21 million tons, oil production amounted to 63 million tons (in 1973 it was at 25 million tons).

- The departure by the Maoist leadership from comprehensive economic cooperation with the socialist countries gets to a certain degree compensated through expansion of trade and economic relations with the developed capitalist countries. In those countries the PR China has ordered equipments for approximately 90 modern factories.

- The Maoist regime is guaranteeing the basic needs of the largest part of the population. For that reason it has certain societal support with the most backward but quantitatively largest part of the population, especially among the peasants.

- The manipulation of the country's population in the spirit of “Mao Thought” has increased. A major focus lies on Sino-centric, racist prejudices. The repressive apparatus, targeting with oppression all of Mao Zedong's opponents, got significantly expanded.

- There exists a lack of organized opposition against the Maoist regime due to the ideological disorientation of Chinese society, the camouflaging of Maoism with Marxism, the growth of repression, and the policy of incitement of certain groups of workers against each other. Singular actions by workers were in the past, and still are presently, localized and repressed.

With special concern one has to observe the growing total preparation for a war. Mao's thesis about the “Preparation for a War” has been elevated to official policy of party and state. The Chinese leaders are undertaking major efforts to strengthen their missile and nuclear weapons potential, in part with the support from developed capitalist countries. Almost half of all ground forces in the Chinese army (more than 60 divisions) and the major part of missile forces and the air force are concentrated in areas close to the PR China's borders with the Soviet Union and Mongolia. The campaign for mass relocation of young people from other parts of China to the country's border region in the North is continuing. The number of trained members of the “People's Militia” alone has reached 20 to 40 million people. During the last fifteen years, an entire generation of Chinese in the PR China got educated in a strongly chauvinist, anti-Soviet spirit.

In light of specific Chinese conditions and a strong repressive apparatus, we currently see this way a solidification of the Mao Group's regime of military-bureaucratic dictatorship. The latter originated during the counterrevolutionary coup and got completed during the course of the “cultural revolution”. It would be unrealistic to expect an immediate and automatic collapse of the current regime and substantial changes in its domestic and foreign policy just because of Mao Zedong's departure from the political stage, or as a result of one of two crises phenomena. The political crisis in the PR China is of permanent character.

2. According to the will of the group around Mao Zedong, the PR China follows in its foreign policy increasingly a course of breaking with the socialist countries and struggling against them. The Chinese are on a path of collusion, and of forming a bloc, with the most aggressive forces of the world's reactionaries. The Maoist leadership is pursuing a course aimed at provoking a world war. It is attempting to undermine the confidence of states into the socialist countries. It is inciting the most aggressive forces of imperialism to struggle against the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. It is raising territorial claims towards its neighbors.

On all important issues of global policy the Chinese leaders have openly moved toward positions held by the most reactionary representatives of imperialism. This finds respective expressions:

- in the anti-socialist tendency of Maoism's foreign policy concepts that align themselves with the imperialist doctrines;

- in the support for the imperialist military-political blocs (NATO and others) and for the policy of the extreme right wing of monopolist bourgeoisie;

- in attempts to undermine the policy of international detente, and to disrupt the implementation of the principles of peaceful coexistence between countries with different societal systems, the inviolability of borders, and the final consolidation of the results of World War II and post-war developments in the interest of peace and socialism;

- in efforts to antagonize the countries of the “Third World” vis-a-vis the socialist community of states and to undermine the anti-imperialist character of the Non-Aligned Movement;

- in the policy of the PR China aimed at rearranging international economic relations to the detriment of positions of the socialist community; and in attempts to use the closed economic groupings from the capitalist states for those purposes.

All that testifies to the fact that Beijing's foreign policy activities have as well entered a new stage. Among the peculiarities of this new stage is a broad campaign against all concrete steps to reduce international tensions. The Maoists not only advocate revisions of their own borders shared with neighbors but also the overall revision of World War II results, as well as the revision of territorial solutions achieved by the post-1945 order. They raise claims to the territory of the entire Mongolian People's Republic, towards the USSR (1.5 million square kilometers), Japan (Senkaku Island and others), towards Vietnam (islands of the Spratly and Paracel groups, and to some other Vietnamese territories on the mainland near the Chinese border). At the same time, the Chinese leadership demagogically acts as “defenders” of territorial claims raised by the most reckless revanchists from Japan and the FRG [West Germany.]

This way they declare their solidarity with the most reactionary and even neofascist forces in the FRG in their attempt to disrupt the process of growing international reputation of the GDR.

The Maoist leadership has moved from political and ideological confrontation with the Soviet Union and the countries of the socialist community towards a bilateral, global confrontation and a struggle in every direction while applying any possible methods against the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. The Maoists have shed any responsibility towards world socialism and have thus built themselves a “moral justification” for any kind of actions against socialism.

The Chinese leaders are continuing their efforts of differentiation towards the socialist countries. They are unrelenting in their divisive efforts towards the fraternal countries solidly standing their ground on Marxism-Leninism and internationalism. They continue in their efforts to divide the countries of the socialist community of states and contrast them with each other. For that purpose they are not only exploiting political and ideological methods, but also commercial, economic and scientific-technological channels.

Currently the Maoist leadership is eager to minimize the historic importance of the victory of the Vietnamese people and to thwart the formation of a united and strong Vietnam.

The Mongolian People's Republic is exposed to an unrelenting and continuously growing pressure by the Maoists through various channels.

The expansionism and adventurism of the Maoist leaders represents a particular danger for the PR China's neighboring states. In this context especially the Southeast Asian region is growing in importance. The Chinese chauvinists have always viewed this region as their sphere of influence.

The foreign policy activities of the current Chinese leaders after the X CCP Party Congress and the 1st session of the 4th National People's Congress have to be viewed as a new stage in the Maoists' struggle for hegemony and the undermining of socialism's international positions. It must be seen as the completion of the evolution towards renegade status, as well as a shift to positions of the alliance with the most reactionary circles of imperialism. Beijing's leaders have now moved from objective collusion with imperialism to an open political bloc with the imperialist and any kind of reactionary and nationalist forces. They hope to utilize those for the struggle against peace and socialism.    

  

3. Maoist China represents a dangerous adversary of the socialist states for a quite extended period of time. In addition, this adversary is growing in relative strength and continues its adventurist and militant course. The anti-socialist process is deepening in the People's Republic of China. It does not allow to hope for an improvement of relations with China, as long as it is ruled by the Maoist regime.

Giving those conditions, our tasks consist in
- protecting the interests of the socialist community of states also in the future;
- being continuously prepared for unexpected events caused by the Maoists;
- decisively thwarting any attacks on the cause of socialism and peace.

At the same time it is advisable to continue with keeping open options for a positive development of bilateral relations with the PR China. All activities towards the PR China have to be coordinated with other fraternal countries and a bilateral relationship with China must be used as a form of struggle against the policy and ideology of Maoism.

In the interest of an efficient struggle against the anti-socialist ideology of Maoism, and the unmasking of the Chinese leadership's hostile policy against detente and peace, it is necessary to strictly comply with the tasks as mandated by the [GDR] Foreign Ministry directive from 10 July 1974 (Confidential Document FO -186/74). Considering also the new aspects in the Chinese leaders' domestic and foreign policy, these tasks include in particular the following measures:

- On all practical matters of bilateral relations between GDR and PR China, the requirement continues to remain in effect to coordinate all actions with the Soviet Union and the socialist fraternal countries. We have to follow the principle of reciprocity vis-a-vis the Chinese side, whenever the measures intended conform in content and extent to those of the closely allied fraternal countries. This also especially applies to concrete steps in the fields of foreign trade and scientific and technological relations.

- We have to rebut decisively provocative attacks by the Chinese leadership against cooperation of the fraternal countries in the context of the Council for Economic Cooperation and the Warsaw Treaty organization. Here we have to unmask the Maoists' efforts to exploit these slanders for undermining the unity of the fraternal countries, as well as for creating a “smokescreen” to camouflage the increasing rapprochement of China with imperialism.

- Special consideration must be given to attempts by the Chinese leaders to “fill the vacuum” created by the withdrawal of the United States from Indochina. By any means support has to be provided to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to solidify its national independence and to increase its authority in Indochina and the world.

- In preparation and organization of the 5th Conference of the non-aligned states 1976 in Colombo we have to implement measures that were collaboratively agreed on. They are supposed to increase the influence of the socialist world system on the Non-Aligned Movement and to strengthen the latter as an anti-imperialist force. They have to counter Beijing's attempts to penetrate this movement and exploit it for its own great power objectives.

- In international organizations, including the United Nations, and in societal movements, there has to be a principled and convincing rejection of the hostile statements launched by Chinese representatives against the socialist states. The Beijing leaders' policy has to be actively unmasked in international organizations. Representatives from developing countries ought to be encouraged to criticize the destructive and anti-socialist positions held by Beijing.

- We have to unmask, and actively explain, the perniciousness of the Maoists' policy towards the developing countries as well as towards capitalist countries. The main focus has to lie on unmasking Maoist chauvinism, the hostility against foreigners incited in China, the expansionism of Maoist policy, the war preparations, and on Beijing's subversive efforts against its neighboring states. The points must be emphasized that Maoist China is dangerous for all states regardless of their societal systems, and that Maoism represents a danger of war.

- Those steps of Maoism need to be unmasked that are leading towards the gradual formation of a military-political alliance between China and leading imperialist powers, featuring anti-socialist and anti-Soviet objectives. Also to be unmasked are intentions and objectives behind the establishment of official relations between the PR China and the European Economic Community, as well as behind [Chinese] contacts with NATO. Further to unmask are China's activities in the context of preparations for a Chinese-Japanese treaty.

- We have to demonstrate to the developing countries the danger of Chinese policies for their national interests, as well as the actual objective behind this Chinese policy directed against the economic, social, and cultural progress of those countries. The speculative character of the PR China's economic aid has to be demonstrated (China is fulfilling its obligations to 35 and 40 percent only). Objectives of the Chinese leaders to gain the leadership of the “Third World” in order to turn the latter into an instrument of its hegemonist plans must be explained. We have to unmask Beijing's complicity with neocolonialism and the damage caused by the Maoists' attempts to disrupt the collaboration of the developing countries with the socialist world.

Reporting duties:

In order to work out according guidelines for our argumentation, it is required that all [GDR] state organs which are in contact with Chinese representatives continuously report about their contacts to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.