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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 22, 1969

STENOGRAPHIC RECORD OF MEETING OF KHABAROVSK REGIONAL AND CITY PARTY OFFICIALS

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Stenographic records of a meeting of Soviet Communist Party officials and activists in the regions bordering the People’s Republic of China. They respond to news of the meeting between Aleksei Kosygin and Zhou Enlai in Beijing on 11 September1969. Although they all applauded Kosygin’s meeting with Zhou, some speakers noted that little change in the border situation had been observed since their encounter eleven days before. Relations along the border remained tense with regular incursions from Chinese citizens into Soviet territory.
    "Stenographic Record of Meeting of Khabarovsk Regional and City Party Officials," September 22, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, State Archive of Khabarovskiy Kray, f. p-35, op. 96, d. 234, ll. 1-12; translation by Elizabeth Wishnick https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116972
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STENOGRAPHIC RECORD

of the meeting of the Khabarovsk regional and city party aktiv

22 September 1969

First Secretary of the Khabarovsk regional committee of the CPSU, comr. A.P. Shitikov, opened the meeting:

Comrades, we brought you together to familiarize you with the information of the Central Committee of the Communist party of the Soviet Union about the question of the visit by the Soviet party-governmental delegation to Hanoi and the discussion between comr. A.N Kosygin and Zhou Enlai.  Today I will acquaint you with the information. (Reads the information aloud).

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comrade Pasternak, secretary of the Khabarovsk city committee of the CPSU.

Comr. PASTERNAK

Comrades, the communists of the Khabarovsk city party organization and all the workers of the city of Khabarovsk directed particular attention to the report of the meeting in Beijing between the President of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the President of the State Council of the PRC Zhou Enlai.  It explains the increasingly tense situation between the PRC and the Soviet Union, which is the fault of the Chinese leaders.

Khabarovsk residents are well aware of the bandit-like character of the armed provocations, and therefore the mendacity of the Maoists’ propaganda, the malicious attacks on the policy of our party and government, the kindling of hatred towards the Soviet Union, and the direct call for war with the Soviet Union, were particularly clear to us.

All this requires our government to pursue a principled and consistent course vis-a-vis China.  We understand that the fundamental interests of the Soviet and Chinese peoples coincide and we support the policy of our government to resolve disputed issues at the negotiating table.

We view the meeting between comrade Kosygin and Zhou Enlai as just such an effort by our government to resolve these issues by peaceful means.  We support those principles which were proposed as fundamental groundwork for negotiations.   We are convinced that the resolution of the disputed issues will depend on the position of the Chinese side.

We are all the more vigilant since after the meeting the anti-Soviet propaganda, the anti-Soviet hysteria in Beijing has hardly decreased.  We fully support the principled position of our party, directed against the anti-Leninist position of the Mao Zedong clique.

We will direct all efforts, to mobilize the work of the enterprises to fulfill the socialist obligations in honor of the 100th anniversary of V.I. Lenin’s birth.

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comrade Sverdlov, the rector of the Khabarovsk Pedagogical Institute.

Comr. SVERDLOV

Comrades, the information we have been listening to clearly and convincingly demonstrates that our party and its decision-making nucleus, in the form of the Leninist Central Committee, persistently and consistently, in the spirit of the decisions of the Moscow Conference of Communist and Workers’ Parties, pursues a policy of  consolidating the international communist movement, of surmounting of problems and disagreements, temporarily arising in the contemporary revolutionary movement.

It is natural and understandable that the slightest positive shift in the development of Soviet-Chinese relations would be met with satisfaction by the Soviet people, and all the more by us, China’s immediate neighbors.

The information clearly outlined the Soviet Union’s proposals for stabilizing Soviet-Chinese relations.  These  proposals, which result from the situation at hand, are timely, reasonable, and fair, and are capable of fostering the correct resolution of intergovernmental disputes, certainly, once the other sides expresses the desire to facilitate an improvement in relations.  It is unlikely we will be able to say that about the Chinese leadership.

From the information we learned that Zhou Enlai, arbitrarily promised, just as Mao himself would have, to continue the ideological struggle against our party, and consequently, against the policy of all communist parties of the socialist countries, for another 10 thousand years.

This is not accidental and is evoked as a reserve option for the long-term anti-Soviet campaign, and it is impossible to overlook this.  Our party, proceeding from the principles of Marxism-Leninism, from the richest practice of its own and the international communist movement, considers a polemic about disputed issues to be fully achievable, but this polemic must lead to the interests of the peoples, the interests of the cohesion of the ranks of the communist parties, on the basis of deep scientific argumentation, without insults and abuse vis-a-vis another people and party.

We saw that on a number of occasions polemics were useful in the revolutionary movement.  In its time the CC of our party honestly, openly noted a series of erroneous views by the late respected Palmiro Togliatti.  There were polemics with other parties.  But such polemics do not have anything in common with the unrestrained policy of the Chinese leaders.

Therefore it is necessary for us to all the more steadfastly and firmly turn the ideological struggle against the Chinese revisionists.  Permit me to state in the name of the workers in higher education that we unanimously support the proposals and efforts to normalize Soviet-Chinese relations formulated by our party, and will not spare any effort to contribute to the consolidation of the strength and might of our great Motherland.

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comr. Kadochnikov, a milling cutter at the Khabarovsk heating equipment plant.

Comr. KADOCHNIKOV

Comrades, we, workers of the city of Khabarovsk, like the entire Soviet people, approve the initiative by the Central Committee of our party and the Soviet government, directed at the normalization of Soviet-Chinese relations.

We were all witnesses to the fact that, as the leadership of the CPC [Communist Party of China] loosened its links to our party, the Chinese leaders went so far as to stage military provocations on the Soviet-Chinese border.  It is strange for us workers and all the Soviet people to hear such gibberish from people calling themselves communists.

It is fully understandable that we cannot passively watch the train of events in China.  We approve the steadfast and principled line of our government for the settlement of disputed issues through negotiations and consider that our party and government will exert every effort so that normal relations with China can be achieved.

As far as we are concerned, we consider that it is necessary to strengthen the might of our Motherland through work.  Our workers work calmly, confident in their strength and in the durability of the Soviet borders.  I assure the regional committee of the party that the party can count on us workers, can be sure of our unreserved support for all its efforts to strengthen the international communist movement.

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comr. Shul’ga, secretary of the Komsomolsk-na-Amure city committee of the CPSU.

Comr. SHUL’GA

Comrades, the workers of the city of Komsomolsk  were satisfied with the contents of the report about the meeting between the President of the Council of Ministers of the USSR comr. Kosygin and the President of the State Council of the PRC Zhou Enlai, and hope that the initiative will be understood by the healthy forces among the Chinese people.

We know that the strengthening of friendly relations between the peoples of our countries is the basis for Soviet policy.  We provide assistance to many countries in the socialist camp.  Now, when the intrigues of imperialism are intensifying, it is especially incumbent upon us to stand on the forefront of those forces who are restraining the onslaught of the forces of reaction.  We could not do otherwise than go to the assistance of real communists, when a threat hung over the gains of socialism in Czechoslovakia.

It is pleasant for us Soviet communists to realize that we are the members of the party, which stands in the avant-garde of the international communist movement.  Evaluating the contemporary policy of the CPC from a principled position, we seek paths to normalize relations between our two states.  And it is not our fault that at a certain point the leaders of China broke off relations between the Soviet Union and China.  The results of this turned out to be deplorable.  It began with [China’s] isolation from absolutely the majority of the communist parties.  The people of China, who were only just liberated from feudalism, again found themselves in a difficult economic situation.

We approve the policy of the CC of our party to decide all disputed issues by peaceful means, not by armed provocations.  We fully understand that today a very difficult situation has been developing on the Far Eastern borders given the unleashing of anti-Soviet propaganda and anti-Soviet hysteria.  And we support the policy of our party to begin negotiations with China, to resolve all questions through peaceful means, particularly with a country which considers itself to be socialist.

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comr. Bokan’, the head of the political department of the Krasnoznamennyi Far Eastern border district.

Comr. BOKAN’

Comrades, the soldiers of the Krasnoznamennyi border district reacted to the report of the meeting between comr. Kosygin and Zhou Enlai concerning the stabilization of relations on the Soviet-Chinese border with a feeling of deep understanding, satisfaction, and approval.

In the report it is apparent that the improvement of relations along the Soviet-Chinese border was the central question at this meeting.  The border events attracted the attention not just of Soviet people but of people all over the world.  Incursions by Chinese citizens onto Soviet territory became a daily occurrence.

In this year alone in the area guarded by the forces of our district there were about 300 incidents of incursions by Chinese citizens onto our territory.  Ideological diversions on the Chinese border increased noticeably.

The personnel in the district thoroughly understand the situation and show courage and the ability to counter the provocations.  We feel the constant support of the people of Khabarovskiy Kray, the party, state, and youth organizations.

In the period since the meeting in Beijing, no substantive changes have occurred, with the exception of a certain degree of restraint.  We support the initiative which took place and the steps taken by our government, directed at the stabilization of Soviet-Chinese relations.

Fully assessing the danger of the situation, we must be prepared for the outbreak of any type of provocation along the border.  The personnel in the district is firmly resolved in these days of preparation for the 100th anniversary of the birth of V.I. Lenin to further improve the level of political and military knowledge, increase the military preparedness of the forces, to merit with honor the great trust of the party and the people, to defend the inviolability of the borders of our Motherland.

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comr. Plotkin, the head of the “Energomash” construction bureau.

Comr. PLOTKIN

Comrades, today we heard the report in which we were informed about the humanitarian mission fulfilled by our delegation headed by comr. Kosygin.  The entire Soviet people and we, Far Easterners, in particular, follow with great interest and undivided attention the development of Soviet-Chinese relations.

The report about the meeting in Peking between Kosygin and the Chinese leaders was very brief, but we understood the whole value of this step by our government.  The trip to Peking, the organization of the meeting - all this expressed confidence in the correctness of our cause.

As a member of the plant collective many times I have heard the workers express their concerns about the criminal actions of the Chinese leaders.  Therefore we are glad to hear that our government is searching for paths to stabilize relations.  I totally and fully approve of the policy of our party.

Comr. Shitikov - The floor goes to comr. Popov, deputy director of the political directorate of the KDVO [Krasnoznamennyi Far Eastern Military District].

Comr. POPOV

Comrades, communists and all the solders of our Krasnoznamennyi Far Eastern military district are completely satisfied by the wise domestic and foreign policy of our party and the Soviet government.

Along with entire Soviet people the soldiers of the army and fleet unanimously support the general line of our party, directed at the creation of all the necessary preconditions for the successful building of communism in our country.

V.I. Lenin’s precepts about the necessity of a consistent struggle for the unity of the international communist movement against the forces of imperialist reaction, against all forms of opportunism are eternally dear to us.  These Leninist ideas are the basis for all the documents passed by the Moscow Conference of Communist and Workers’ parties.

The only correct policy - is a policy which is principled and consistent as is our policy towards China.  We are building our policy on the basis of a long-term perspective.

The meeting between comr. Kosygin and Zhou Enlai which took place in Peking is evidence of the readiness of our party to establish normal relations between our countries.  If the Chinese leaders exhibit prudence and undertake to respond with steps to stabilize relations, this would be received with approval by the Soviet people.

However the position of the Chinese leaders cannot but evoke alarm among our people.  Now, in the period of preparation for the 20th anniversary [ 1 October 1969] of the founding of the PRC, Peking’s propaganda continues to fuel an anti-Soviet campaign.  The Peking radio programs talk about this daily.

All this conceals a serious danger for the international communist movement and the world socialism system.  We, members of the military, know well that Maoism engendered the military provocations and this requires of us continuous vigilance and readiness to give a worthy rebuff to the provocations by the Maoists at any moment.

Permit me in the name of the soldiers of our district to assure the Central Committee of our party, that in the future the communists and Komsomol members of our district will guard our party’s well-equipped weapons and will always be ready to fulfill any tasks of our party and people.

Comr. Shitikov - Who else would like to speak?  There are no more speakers.  The following two proposals are put forth for your consideration.

I.  To approve completely and fully the initiative of the CC of our party and the Soviet government concerning the meeting between comr. Kosygin and Zhou Enlai, designed to ease the situation on the border and to consider this meeting to have been very useful.

II.  The regional party aktiv completely and fully approves the policy of the party and government, aimed at normalizing relations between the Soviet Union and China.

What other proposals are there?  There are proposals to accept such a resolution.  No one is opposed?  No.

After this the meeting of the aktiv was considered closed.

9/23/69

Stenographer Taran