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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 02, 1961

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN POLAND, 'OPINIONS ON THE NINTH CONGRESS OF THE POLISH PARTY'

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

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    The Chinese Embassy in Poland reports that "Gomułka will absolutely continue to follow Khrushchev in opposing China and Albania."
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Poland, 'Opinions on the Ninth Congress of the Polish Party'," December 02, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-02316-01, 5-6. Translated by Max Maller. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119521
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[…]

Opinions on the Ninth Congress of the Polish Party

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Liaison Department:

(1) The 22nd Congress has caused a great disturbance throughout the world. The enemy states have taken this opportunity to unrestrainedly attack the CCP. The situation with fraternal parties and capitalist states is dire. There are some parties who are either in serious internal disorder or else hurtling toward a split. There are some parties who despite echoing Khrushchev are simultaneously calling for Sino-Soviet harmony, reflecting their inner fear of partition. The parties who support and encourage Khrushchev’s actions face heavy difficulties, as does the entire Eastern Bloc. The CCP’s correct position at the 22nd Congress not only made it so fewer parties went over to Khrushchev’s side than last year, but also won us more general sympathy and support. Albania’s opposition to Khrushchev on the basis of reasonable struggle also won sympathy from others. Khrushchev’s actions, including “moving the coffin” by renaming Stalingrad, to general dissatisfaction, have taken him still further toward exposing his true face. This as a whole has brought a deep response within the Polish United Workers' Party. 9th Congress and outside of it. Gomułka’s allegiance to Khrushchev at the 22nd Congress did not meet with the support of either politicians or the public, making the situation even tenser.

(2) It is under these circumstances that Gomułka’s actions at the Ninth Congress of the Polish [United Workers'] Party were intended to rally those present in support of the 22nd Congress, exposing his passive position. On the one hand, he echoed the slanders of the Bolshevik party and Stalin, libeled the dictatorship and consolidation of the Soviet proletariat, opposed Albania as well as China, maintained his support of the 20th Congress, advocated for harmony on the basis of the 20th Congress, took mutually disagreeing positions, made justifications for Khrushchev, protected himself, and sang the praises of peace and unity in order to seduce the people. In another respect, he made up his face as if to appear “objective,” contradicting himself with some words of justification for Stalin, a few phrases of commendation for China, purposefully differentiating between the Albanian and Chinese communist parties. At the same time the claims concerning Poland had been settled already, without him daring to lift up in struggle against the rightists.

Gomułka’s two-faced behavior stems from his frail nature. China enjoys high prestige in Poland; the rightist forces in the KPP are great; the leftists are not in agreement with one another. The reason he has been stuck on the defensive within his country is due to his lack of a strong backup plan.

(3) From today on, Gomułka will absolutely continue to follow Khrushchev in opposing China and Albania, but with regard to actions, they will have their differences. With Albania he will make blind attacks, escalate pressure, and cut off inter-party relations, even going as far as to support Khrushchev and Tito in undermining them. Before Khrushchev had openly attacked the CCP, it is likely that Gomułka would not have dared to openly oppose China, but instead opted to spread damaging rumors, attack through oblique reference, and pursue still other methods to destroy the CCP’s popular trust. This was a step toward locking out information and lessening China’s influence. At the same time, he wanted an opportunity to deceive people, to disrupt friendships and the situation at hand, such that he might get some material financial benefit.

(4) In light of this kind of situation we should uphold the CCP Central Committee’s “24-word strategy” in our dealings with the Polish side. “If he does me no wrong, I will do him no wrong”; “If he wrongs me, I must repay him”; “Principle, benefit, moderation.” Be careful and prudent. Work hard: continue to examine any developments in Poland’s situation. We should be adequately prepared in spirit for any detrimental changes of direction. We should be receptive to the unexpected.

Party Committee of the [Chinese] Embassy in Poland

2 December 1961