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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 06, 1971

LETTER OF ENVER HOXHA, CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE PARTY OF LABOR OF ALBANIA, TO MAO ZEDONG, CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY

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

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    In a letter to Chairman Mao and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Enver Hoxha wrote, on behalf of the Labor Party of Albandia, about Albania's position regarding President Nixon's upcoming visit to China. Albania did not approve nor support this visit due to American imperialism and U.S. protests against Marxism-Lenninism.
    "Letter of Enver Hoxha, Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania, to Mao Zedong, Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party," August 06, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AQSH, F. 14/AP, M-PKK, V. 1971, Dos. 3, Fl. 48-66. Translated by Elidor Mëhilli. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117306
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Letter of Enver Hoxha, Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania, to Mao Zedong, Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, 6 August 1971[1]

To the Central Committee

of the Communist Party of China

Comrade Mao Zedong

Beijing

Dear comrades:

The leadership of our Party thanks you for the information that comrade Zhou Enlai sent to us through our ambassador in Beijing in connection with Nixon’s upcoming visit to China.

Comrade Xhorxhi Robo, who came to Tirana especially for this matter, reported to us in depth on his conversation with comrade Zhou Enlai, on the assessment of the Chinese leadership on Nixon’s upcoming visit to China, on the international situation and the domestic conditions in the United States, on the issues raised during the meeting between Zhou Enlai and Kissinger and the position of the Chinese leadership in relation to them.

The ambassador informed us that, according to the information you have supplied, Nixon has been asking to come to China for more than two years, and that a number of contacts at various levels have been established for the purpose of arranging this visit. In your assessment, these talks with Nixon are referred to as an escalation of previous Sino-American talks in Warsaw. The ambassador communicated to us your assessment that the situation in the United States during the last several years has changed significantly, that America is now on the verge of revolutionary storms, and that the Americans are in a difficult situation, that they cannot continue with the war, that they want to alleviate the difficult situation, that they want to withdraw their troops and military bases from foreign countries so that they do not keep fighting on their own, so that they do not provoke new warzones, and so that they can assist their puppets only with money and weapons, so that Asians will be fighting against Asians. Our ambassador communicated to us your opinion that Nixon’s visit in China serves and is in line with the diplomatic line of the people, that high-level meetings with the United States serve the connection with the American people and encourage change among them, that the talks with Nixon, whether successful or not, will be in the advantage of China and will not hurt it in anyway.

The leadership of our Party studied this very important problem presented to us with utmost seriousness, because it is being presented to us from a sister Marxist-Leninist party. We are in agreement that this is a matter of great importance, because, as you define it, Nixon’s visit to Beijing is part of your great strategic plan.  

We trust that you will understand the reason for the delay of our response. This happened because your decision came as a surprise to us and there was no preliminary consultation on this issue between us, which would have granted us the opportunity to express and evaluate opinions, which, we believe, could have been useful, because preliminary consultations between close friends, between determined comrades-in-arms against imperialism and revisionism, are always useful and necessary and this is especially the case when steps are taken that, in our opinion, attract great international attention.

We base our opinions and assessment on this problem of great importance for the present and the future of the war against American imperialism on the theory and great Marxist-Leninist strategy that has guided and always guides our Party and the glorious Communist Party of China, led by comrade Mao Zedong. This strategy, which makes our parties[2] unbreakable, consists in the determined, principled, and uncompromising war on two fronts, both against imperialism, led by American imperialism, and against modern revisionism, led by the Soviet kind, in the war against all reactionaries, in support of revolution and the national liberation wars of the peoples, for the triumph of socialism and communism. Our strategy foresees a close alliance with the people engaged in war, with the revolutionaries of the whole world, in a united front against imperialism and social-imperialism, but never an alliance with Soviet social-imperialism supposedly against American imperialism, or never an alliance with American imperialism supposedly against Soviet social-imperialism. The touchstone that distinguishes us, the Marxist-Leninists, from the various anti-Marxists, is harsh and uncompromising class war, tooth for tooth to the very end, on both fronts, against American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism.

In the course of our war, both of our parties have adopted and will continue to adopt different tactics, but these have always served and must always serve this strategy.

Along this glorious strategic path, both of our parties have earned great victories. Especially the Communist Party of China has achieved great and well-earned authority and admiration among the peoples and revolutionaries of the world in its determined and principled Marxist-Leninist war. China has become an undefeated castle of revolution, the hope and shield of the liberation and revolutionary wars of the people, in opposition to and in open struggle against American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. And a situation has developed in the world in which no important international problem can be solved without China. It is clear that both American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism fear this great strategy, and they try to assault our strategy. Therefore, both of our parties will implement and defend it with courage in any and every situation and circumstance.

In this favorable revolutionary situation, the People’s Republic of China is a great and powerful state and all together, People’s China, socialist Albania, the peoples and the progressive states of the world must have their say, impose their will towards the destruction of the diabolical, war-mongering, and enslaving plans of the imperialist Great Powers, including the Americans, the Soviets, and so on.

It is understandable, and it has always been clear to us, that in the interest of the peoples and the revolution, the great China of Mao Zedong may establish diplomatic relations with different states around the world, including the United States of America.

The relations and friendship between our two parties and our two governments, between China and Albania, have always been and continue to be pure and sincere. Considering the Communist Party of China as a sister party and our closest comrade-in-arms, we have never disguised and will not disguise our views from her. This is why on this matter of great importance communicated to us, we inform you that we deem your decision to host Nixon in Beijing to be incorrect, undesirable. We do not approve it and we do not support it. We believe, moreover, that Nixon’s announced visit to China will not be understood and approved by the people, the revolutionaries, and the communists of different countries.  

American imperialism is the number one enemy of the peoples. The United States of America, with Nixon at the very top, is now engulfed in a great confrontation with all the peoples, and especially the Vietnamese people, against whom they have initiated a historically unprecedented, barbarous, and savage aggression for the past twelve years. The peoples of the world now are engaged in a life-and-death struggle, with weapons in hand and by employing all means necessary, to wipe out the oppressive and enslaving plans of the greatest enemy of mankindAmerican imperialism. This great interest of the peoples and their armed struggle has been the foundation of the politics of our two parties and our two governments. They always have this interest at heart in all that they do, especially when it comes to relations with the United States of America and the Soviet revisionists.

It is not difficult to understand why Nixon has repeatedly asked for such a long time for the opportunity to visit China, because this conforms to the suspicious tactic of American imperialism of flaunting both the arrows and the olive branch, in conformity with the aim of disguising the imperialist façade, of deceiving the peoples and subduing China.

In the history of the Communist Movement there are many examples of discussions at various levels between opponents. Historical parallels cannot be drawn, because such decisions had been made in different conditions, at a different time, and in the interest of different issues. But our great teachers have shown that talks ought to take place when they are truly necessary, when they serve the cause of the revolution and socialism, and that one must clearly keep in mind the aggressive goals of the opponent and correctly evaluate the situation and the opponent.

The talks that you will undertake with Nixon would have been acceptable for the world’s progressive public if some conditions were met, if they would surely contribute to the anti-imperialist war, to the revolution in general, and to China in particular.

A sine qua non condition for talks at such a high level with the Americans is that they should be conducted on equal footing, which means that the United States should first recognize the government of the People’s Republic of China as the only lawful government that represents the Chinese people, that they also remove the obstacles to China’s admission into the United Nations, that they withdraw their occupation troops from Taiwan, that they remove the 7th fleet from the Chinese coast, that they terminate their acts of aggression along China’s borders. This would be a great defeat for American politics. We think, moreover, that it would have been possible to gradually move forward in the solution of important international problems, which cannot be solved without People’s China.

Under these conditions, it would have been possible to undertake steps towards talks with no need, in our opinion, to go directly from a very low level of talks to talks between the highest representatives of the two states, China and the United States of America, merely because Nixon has expressed his wish for such a meeting on numerous occasions. This meeting, in our opinion, cannot be called a simple escalation of talks, but a complicated escalation that will have consequences. Which is to say that it is difficult to understand how talks could be elevated in this fashion and how the desire of the American president could be fulfilled at a time when the United States were dropping massive quantities of bombs all over Vietnam and extending their aggression to Cambodia and Laos; when the war is ongoing and the American attacks are continuing furiously, one after the other, against the peoples of Indochina; when the People's Republic of China, Albania, the heroic people of North and South Vietnam and all the revolutionary peoples are standing strong like granite, fighting and unmasking the aggressive policy of Nixon’s government – this enemy of all the peoples of the world. In our opinion and under these circumstances, this is wrong both as a matter of principle and tactics.

It seems to us that it cannot be claimed that the talks with Nixonwhether they prove successful or notwill be equally in China’s favor and that they will not cause any harm. On the contrary, regardless of the results of the talks, merely the fact of Nixon’s visit to Chinaa man known as a rabid anti-communist, as an aggressor and murderer of peoples, as the representative of the darkest segment of American reactionhas numerous negatives and will produce many negative consequences for the revolutionary movement and our cause.

There is no way in which Nixon's visit to China and the talks held with him can fail to produce harmful illusions among ordinary people, among the nations, and among the revolutionaries about American imperialism, its strategy, and its policies. It will exert a negative influence on the resistance and struggle of the American people themselves against the policies and aggressive activity of the administration of Nixon, who will seize the opportunity to win reelection. Nixon's visit to China will weaken the wave of revolt against American imperialism everywhere in the world. Thus, in our opinion, American imperialism will be given the possibility to ensure a period of relative calm, which he will try to exploit to consolidate his position, to gather strength, and to prepare for new military adventures.

One can imagine what the Italian workers who clashed with police forces and who demonstrated their contempt for Nixon's recent visit to Italy will think of this, or the Japanese workers who did not even allow Eisenhower to set foot on their land, or the peoples of Latin America who protest and rise against the Rockefellers and all the other Washington envoys. Only the Yugoslav Titoites and the Rumanian revisionists welcomed president Nixon to their capitals with flowers in hand.

The talks with Nixon provide a weapon to the revisionists in diminishing all the struggle and the great polemic exercised by the Communist Party of China in unmasking the Soviet renegades as allies and collaborators of American imperialism, and enabling them to equate China’s position vis-à-vis American imperialism with the traitorous line of cooperation pursued by the Soviet revisionists towards it. This enables the Khrushchevite revisionists to wave even more forcefully their bogus anti-imperialist flag and to intensify their demagogy and lies in order to attract the anti-imperialist forces behind them. Soviet revisionists have already begun to exploit Nixon's visit to China to arouse nationalist and chauvinist sentiments under the pretext that a Sino-American alliance aimed against the Soviet Union is under construction. With this, they aim to strengthen the position of the revisionist cliques in power and weaken China’s revolutionary position.

Nixon's visit to China will also encourage the centrist current and supply its partisans with arguments to prove the “correctness” of their opportunist line. The Italian followers of Togliatti and the Romanians are publicly declaring that now new perspectives have opened in connection with the reestablishment of unity in the Communist movement, that the differences between China and the Soviet Union can also be resolved in this fashion. These are the desires of unfailing revisionists and opportunists who have seized the opportunity to present the differences between the Communist Party of China and the revisionist leadership of the Soviet Union not as profound ideological differences over cardinal issues and principles, as they are in reality, but as simple disagreements at the state level, which can be resolved by means of meetings and direct talks between high-level state personalities.

The American president’s visit to China cannot fail to arouse questions, indeed misunderstandings, among ordinary people, who might begin to suspect that China is modifying its position towards American imperialism and is joining in the game of the superpowers.

It is not a coincidence that the capitalist and revisionist world has welcomed Nixon's initiative to go to China with such enthusiasm. The imperialist propaganda, as well as the propaganda of the imperialists, the Titoites, the Romanians, and the others, uniformly praises China and America for this opening in relations between them. The modern Soviet, Titoite, and Romanian revisionists, and others like them, attempt to perpetuate the massive lie[3] that China has changed course on the path of the politics of unprincipled compromises. They seek to extract important political, ideological, and economic benefits from this.

All of this, in our opinion, cannot fail to provoke puzzlement and confusion among the ranks of the revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces, even among the ranks of the Marxist-Leninists, and it cannot fail to encourage the spread of the pacifist spirit and illusions about peaceful means.

We think that these are major negatives. To underestimate these circumstances, which will be brought about by Nixon’s visit to Beijing, would be a grave mistake, and we think that these negatives cannot be compensated with some hypothetical results which may be achieved in the meeting with Nixon, who, like the imperialist spawn that he is, acts cunningly.

Permit us to also express some thoughts of ours in connection with certain specific problems related to the international situation, mostly with the aim of making our views more precise on some issues that we deem debatable, while recognizing, at the same time, that your information about the development of international events, and especially about the United States of America, may be more complete.

It is true that American imperialism finds itself in great difficulties at home and abroad. The American people are showing marked signs of wariness from the policy of aggression and international tension pursued by Nixon and his predecessors in the White House. The protests and demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, as well as the revolts of the blacks and students have increased in recent years. The wheels of the American economic machine are creaking under the heavy burden of the war expenditures in Indochina, the arms war, and the bloated military budgets. Inflation shows no sign of stopping, and the army of unemployed keeps on growing. At a time when the contradictions with the capitalist countries of Europe are increasing, American influence and prestige are further declining. The peoples' struggle against American imperialism is mounting and expanding everywhere in the world.

Nevertheless, without overestimating or underestimating the enemy, the picture of today’s situation in the United States does not drive us to the same conclusion that you have reached—that America is caught up in a great revolutionary storm.

The large popular protests and demonstrations in the United States aimed at the war being waged in Vietnam, as well as the other mass movements, are a matter of fact, but they are chiefly limited to opposition to discrete acts, against a concrete act of the American government, and which only indirectly affect its whole aggressive line. They do not go any further than this. In terms of the economic situation, the inspiring ideology, the way of life, the customs, the traditions, the ties, and so on, the American people are far from being on the eve of revolution. A lot of water will flow under the bridges over American rivers before such a time comes. We are convinced that it will come, but it will take a great deal of work and a great struggle.

In Western Europe, the movement of the masses, which is rooted in long-standing traditions, is far broader and more powerful than in the United States. Its general political tendentiousness and class character are evident. Still, even here one cannot say that the revolutionary storm is blowing and that the revolution is imminent. To put things any differently is to create harmful illusions, and the revolutionary forces could easily err by falling into extremism, especially of the ultra-leftist kind.

Similarly, we do not deem accurate your assessment that, as a result of the defeats that they have suffered, the Americans would like to alleviate the tense situation, withdraw their troops and military bases from foreign territories, avoid being involved in fighting themselves and creating other hotbeds of war. If one makes such an assessment, one creates the impression that there is a general retreat of American imperialism on all fronts today, and this only serves to create harmful illusions and the demobilization of the anti-imperialist forces.

American imperialism still exerts enough economic, political, and military power to mount resistance and embark on new aggressive campaigns. The war budget and the race for arms and improved weapons, which constitute the main indicators of its war-mongering and hawkish policy and goals, have anything but diminished, and in fact they keep increasing from year to year at a very high rate. American imperialism will never relinquish its strategic goals of war and aggression. Otherwise it would not be imperialism.

If the US thinks that the puppet governments ought to fight against the peoples on their own, and that America would assist them with money and weapons, then this would be like American imperialism signing its own death warrant, as well as the death warrant of its puppets. There can be no illusions on this front. Even if it suffers defeat and is forced to withdraw from one country or another, this does not mean that American imperialism will not attempt to intervene and mount other aggressive campaigns against other countries.

War, aggression, oppression, and enslavement of the peoples are in the nature of imperialism; they stem from the very core of its exploitative system. It is well known that in order to exist, the United States needs constant economic, political, and military expansion for the purpose of keeping other peoples in captivity and sucking their blood. Otherwise imperialism dies and the path is cleared for revolts, insurrections, and revolutions. For this reason, we think that the United States will never willingly dismantle its military bases in foreign territories and it will not withdraw it troops from deployment abroad. This will only be achieved when it will be forced to do so by the struggle of the peoples.

In our opinion, the task of the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries is to incite the peoples in a struggle against imperialism and revisionism, to build up their confidence in their own inexhaustible strength, to make them conscious that in this day and age they are capable of successfully resisting the assaults of the imperialists—both old and new—and that they are capable of defeating their aggressive plans.

We understand and support with all of our strength the struggle and efforts of the People’s Republic of China in its determined opposition to the aggressive policy of American imperialism in the Far East, and especially in Indochina, China’s struggle for the liberation of Taiwan, the opposition to Japanese militarism, its constructive attempts to implement peace and security in the Indian subcontinent, and so on.  

We have championed and will champion with all of our strength the undeniable right of the People’s Republic of China to the liberation of Taiwan. Taiwan is an inseparable and inalienable part of the People's Republic of China. Our government will always resolutely oppose the “two Chinas” theory, the “one China and one Taiwan” theory, the “the independence” of Taiwan, or its “indeterminate status,” and so on. As before, the People's Republic of Albania will fight to ensure that People's China occupies the seat that it deserves in the United Nations, and that the usurpers of Chiang Kai-shek are expelled from it.

Our people, like all of the peoples of the world, have admired the unlimited aid directly provided by the People's Republic of China to the Vietnamese people and their heroic war against the American aggressors, as well as its cause in the international arena. With its anti-imperialist and anti-revisionist policies, the People’s Republic of China plays and will continue to play an important and decisive role in the liberation of the people of Indochina. To think otherwise would be a mistake.

As far as the war in Vietnam is concerned, our Party’s position is familiar to you. We have been and continue to be against the Paris talks. We have also told this openly to the Vietnamese comrades. Regardless of this fact, we have supported and continue to support without reservations the legitimate struggle of the people of Vietnam, whose victory we deem decisive for the whole anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples.

The continuation of the American aggression in Vietnam and all of Indochina is a major issue, which concerns all peoples. The Vietnamese problem can only be solved when the United States puts an end to the war in Vietnam, dismantles all its military bases and withdraws every single soldier from that country. We are convinced that the Vietnamese people will triumph and that victory belongs to the Vietnamese, who are fighting with weapons in hand and are shedding their blood. The last word on any settlement of the Vietnamese problem belongs to the Vietnamese themselves; theirs is the undeniable right to decide their own fate.

The American imperialists and their satellites, as well as the Soviet revisionists, and all their armed forces, which they have deployed along China’s border, have tried to establish a ring of fire around China, to threaten its freedom and independence. In this sense, the developing friendship between the Soviet revisionists and the reactionary Sato government is significant. We have always been and continue to stand by your side in this sacred struggle to oppose and destroy these hostile plans of American imperialism, the Soviet revisionists, and various other reactionaries.

We fully approve your decision not to communicate to Kissinger China’s views on the Soviet Union. Yet, we think that we must share opinions about potential political actions that may be undertaken by the Soviet revisionists, at least against China and Albania in the existing circumstances.

The American imperialists’ views on the Soviet Union, as laid out by Kissinger in conversations with him, should not have been kept secret from us. Keeping in mind that American imperialism is allied with Soviet social-imperialism, and that they coordinate their actions between them, we deem that these views might have consequences not only for the Far East, but also for Europe. Had we been informed about what Kissinger said about the Soviet Union, we would have been somewhat armed to uncover more thoroughly the American and Soviet moves on the European chessboard.

We support the struggle waged by the People's Republic of China against Japanese militarism and its expansionist policy in Asia, especially in the direction of Korea, Taiwan, and so on. Along with the active support that China grants to the struggle of the Japanese people against the reactionary Sato government, and the Japanese-American alliance, this correct position is an important contribution to building up the revolutionary struggle in Japan, which is especially important in restraining the aggressive plans of American imperialism and Japanese militarism.

American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism have stepped up their efforts to incite Japanese militarism, Indian reaction, and that of several other countries against China and the free countries of Asia. In this context, we highly appreciate the efforts of People's China in strengthening the united front of the peoples of China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, as well as its efforts in strengthening and extending contacts and ties with the Japanese, Indian, Pakistani, and other peoples.

We think that the strikes and demonstrations in America are important, but of higher importance is the awakening of the peoples of India, Japan, and all Asia, and their mobilization into revolution. Comrade Mao Zedong’s thesis on the encirclement of the city with the village is totally applicable in this regard. The metropolis of American imperialism will be encircled by the rise in armed struggle and revolution of the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It is well known, moreover, that Lenin placed great emphasis on the triumph of revolution in large countries such as China, India, and the other countries of the East, for the outcome of world revolution.

British imperialism created splits and antagonisms among the peoples of India and Pakistan and we Marxist-Leninists must oppose the exploitative and aggressive goals of the American imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists, who continue to incite the peoples of these two countries against each other. India and Pakistan are ruled by the reactionary bourgeoisie, which is hardly as powerful as American imperialism. They constitute a weak link.

Our two Marxist-Leninist parties never for a moment forget that the struggle against American imperialism must be waged harshly, not only in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, but also in Europe. We have emphasized that People's China, together with its true Marxist-Leninist friends, ought to play a bigger role in Europe. You are familiar with our policy on Europe, which supports revolution, but opposes NATO and the Warsaw Treaty, the new Soviet-West German treaty, and the revisionist plans over European security. We think that the policy of American imperialism in Europe is very complicated. Despite the contradictions with its partners, the United States’ traditional ties to Britain and France must always be taken into account.

We agree with you that in order to establish contacts with the peoples the people's diplomacy must be exercised. This is the open and sincere kind of diplomacy, which serves socialism, the peoples' liberation struggle, and the expansion and growth of the revolutionary upsurge of the masses in the capitalist countries.

But just as diplomatic relations are not the only means to establish ties with the people, so too contacts with the people are not necessarily established through meetings with the leaders. The influence of socialist countries is exerted, first of all, through the policies which they pursue, the anti-imperialist and anti-revisionist struggle they wage, the consistent, principled positions they maintain towards the vital problems which preoccupy the world, and the solidarity and unreserved support they show to the peoples' revolutionary and liberation struggle.

Until recent times, the People's Republic of China has not had diplomatic relations and direct contacts with many capitalist countries, but this has not hindered it from exerting a great influence on the revolutionary and liberation movement in the world, just as it has not hindered the peoples of different continents from admiring, supporting, and defending China, from embracing the ideas of Mao Zedong.

Not only does Vietnam not have diplomatic relations with the United States of America, but has been at war with it for a very long time. Nevertheless, precisely today, thanks to its just war, the sympathy of the peoples of the world and of the American people for the Vietnamese people is greater than ever. More than anything else, it is the bravery and the vigorous stand of Vietnam what helps radicalize the masses of the American people who come out in the streets holding the national flag of Vietnam and the portraits of Ho Chi Minh.

The most that can be achieved in meetings and talks with the chiefs of capitalist countries is the solution of specific problems. But they can never be turned into a factor the influence of which increases the revolutionary upsurge of the masses, especially when the masses are disgruntled and have been set in motion against the policy and actions of their rulers. On the contrary, in such cases, meetings and talks might create illusions among the people about the imperialist or revisionist leaders and they might create an atmosphere in which the masses are put on hold and the struggle of the masses is weakened.

The establishment of diplomatic relations is not always useful to this struggle either. For example, we do not accept to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet revisionists because, as is known, they have committed grave crimes and they have mounted furious attacks against Marxism-Leninism, and especially the People's Republic of Albania, and they broke off diplomatic relations with us on their own initiative. Our Party has demanded that they perform public self-criticism over everything they have done against Marxism-Leninism and against our country. If they did not do this, it would seem as if we assume – at least in part, if not entirely – the blame for the breach of relations and we would provide the Soviet revisionist leaders with arguments to justify in the eyes of the Soviet peoples the hostile positions and actions they have taken up until this point against Marxism-Leninism and Albania. At the present time this would not be in the interest of the Soviet peoples and their anti-revisionist struggle, and in fact it would help the Brezhnev clique consolidate its position.

Or, let us consider the example of our relations with Yugoslavia. Our two countries have diplomatic and trade relations, as to a certain extent some cultural exchanges. These relations are carried out at a time when we not only do not have contacts with the Titoite leaders, but, indeed, at a time when we are wage a principled ideological struggle against them. The polemics and the ideological struggle against Titoism, which is reflected fully and comprehensively in the materials and documents published continually by our Party, continue without interruption. But this has not prevented us from declaring, at this present time when Yugoslavia is threatened by Soviet social-imperialism, that in case of an act of aggression we shall stand beside the peoples of Yugoslavia. In this way we have strengthened our contacts with the peoples of Yugoslavia.

Dear comrades,

These were our views on the information that you communicated to us through our ambassador in Beijing.

Both of our parties, our two governments, and our two peoples have held the same line, at the forefront, and they have mounted a determined and principled struggle against imperialism, with the American kind above all, against modern revisionism, with the Soviet kind above all, and against the international reaction. In this war, great successes of major historical importance have been achieved. The position, authority, and the role played by our countries have been strengthened, and the Marxist-Leninist, revolutionary, and liberation movement in the world has been strengthened and expanded.

Numerous enemies have furiously assaulted our parties and countries. By means of pressure, various maneuvers, and numerous stratagems, they have tried to drive us off the right course; they have tried to divide us. But they have been unmasked and they have failed. Our unity has stood all these tests. In the common struggle for our common goals and ideals, this unity has been increasingly tempered it has always achieved a higher level.

Our party, our government, and our people have, at all times, without any other considerations, and during every storm, stood arm to arm with the Chinese comrades and brothers, by defending their just cause, which is our common cause.

Our party, our government, and our people have sincerely greeted and have wholeheartedly supported the Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution, fired up and led personally by Chairman Mao Zedong, which completely disintegrated the hopes of the imperialists and the revisionists to take over China from within. At a time when various enemies daydreamed and rubbed their hands together in anticipation, and at a time when many others, who called themselves revolutionaries and communists, wavered and became confused, our faith in the victory of the proletarian revolutionary line and the ideas of Mao Zedong never wavered for a single moment.

Now that the Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution has completely triumphed in all areas, when the opportunistic counter-revolutionary line of the renegade Liu Shaoqi has been completely destroyed, and when China has exited from the waves of this revolution – the most robust of them all – enemies have started to smile, the false friends have started to act like true friends, and the treacherous revisionists, who have long served American imperialism and who only have circumstantial differences with the Soviet revisionists, have started to act like friends of China, like enemies of the Soviets and the Americans, like determined supporters of the Third World. All of them speak about peaceful coexistence and many states rush to recognize China and Albania.

We must exploit to our advantage and to the advantage of our revolution at every opportunity these favorable circumstances, which arose not as a function of the desires of our enemies, but as a consequence of our correct line and our determined struggle, by safeguarding at all times the principles and dignity of our socialist states.

We are fully convinced that People’s China, under the leadership of its glorious Communist Party and the great Marxist-Leninist comrade Mao Zedong, will always stand at the forefront of the anti-imperialist and anti-revisionist struggle—an undefeated fortress of revolution and socialism—and that it will not steer away for a single moment from the principles. In fact, let us express our opinion that we are equally convinced that this Marxist-Leninist position of yours—the logical one, the true one—will contradict the decision to accept Nixon’s visit to China.

For our part, we want to assure you that the line and positions of our Party of Labor of Albania will always remain principled, consequent, unaltered. We will fight against American imperialism and Soviet revisionism without any compromises and consequently. It may happen that these enemies undertake adventurous acts of aggression against us, whether individually or together, or by inciting their allies and lackeys. We will fight back without wavering, until the very end, until victory is achieved.

Our party will go on fighting determined to constantly strengthen the friendship and alliance with the great China of Mao Zedong and its glorious Communist Party. Our friendship is not based on conjuncture, but it is a friendship based on the life-giving lessons of Marxism-Leninism, a friendship tampered in war against the imperialist and revisionist enemies. Our friendship is sincere. As comrade Mao Zedong has said: “We are your true friends and comrades. And you are ours. You are not like those false friends and double-dealers who have ‘honey on their lips and murder in their hearts,’ and neither are we.” Therefore, we are convinced that you consider in a friendly manner and understand correctly our criticisms, which we extend to a sister party—the dearest and most beloved for us.

Of course, enemies will take notice of the fact that we do not approve and do not support Nixon’s visit to China. They will speak about this, and they will exaggerate things, and they will try to create conflicts between us, to arouse suspicions about our great friendship. But we are convinced that the friendship between our Marxist-Leninist parties and our fraternal peoples will not only resist against the intrigues of enemies, but it will grow further, it will strengthen, it will be tempered in the common struggle against imperialist and revisionist enemies, for the good of our peoples and the cause of revolution and communism in the world.

Communist greetings,

For the Central Committee of the PLA

First Secretary

Enver Hoxha

Tirana, 6 August 1971

[1] Trans. note—One version of this letter first appeared as “It is not right to receive Nixon in Beijing. We do not support it,” in Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV, February 1966 – July 1975 (Tiranë: 8 Nëntori, 1982), pp. 665-682. Some passages, however, were left out of that official translation. These passages appear in bold in this translation, which is based on the original archival document.

[2] In the official translation in Hoxha’s Selected Works, the expression “our parties” was changed to “Marxist-Leninist parties.”

[3] In the official translation in Hoxha’s Selected Works, the expression “attempt to perpetuate the massive lie” has been rendered as “say.”