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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 20, 1970

SUMMARY OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN MAO ZEDONG AND THE DELEGATION OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Mao Zedong offers advice to Alfred Raoul of the People's Republic of Congo, telling him that "You should not go down the same winding path that we took."
    "Summary of Conversation between Mao Zedong and the Delegation of the People's Republic of the Congo," July 20, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi, ed., Mao Zedong nianpu (yijiusijiu-yijiuqiliu) (Chronology of Mao Zedong, 1949-1976), vol. 6 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2013), 311-312. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121987
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20 July [1970]

In the afternoon, there was a meeting with a State Council delegation from the People's Republic of the Congo led by Vice President Alfred Raoul at Room 118 of the Great Hall of the People and attended by Lin Biao, Dong Biwu, Zhou Enlai, Chen Boda, Kang Sheng, etc.

Raoul said: We are surrounded by countries that are close to the imperialists.

Mao Zedong said: (Your situation) is slightly better than ours. (Look at) the number of troops that the American imperialists have sent to the Pacific and Asia! There are Soviet people at the Sino-Soviet border who say that there are 45 divisions, and there are those who say that there are 70 divisions.

Raoul said: Congo will still be under the economic control of the imperialists.

Mao Zedong said: This situation of control is common in most African countries, and some countries willingly subject themselves to control. However, Africa today is unlike what it was 25 years ago. Africa can be our friend. Some countries must join forces in order to deal with the imperialists, others would not be afraid of you if you do not join forces. There is difficulty in joining forces for now, but the overall trend points to the joining of forces.

Raoul said: America’s propaganda can now no longer deceive the African masses.

Mao Zedong said: It can still deceive some. If it is completely unable to deceive anyone, I think there would not be many tasks left for us. We can all take a big nap. We are standing on the side of the African people who are against imperialism, and we openly say so everyday in the newspapers and on radio. Thus, we are all happy if you do something good. You support us and the people in the whole of Africa support the revolutionary people in Asia, and we help each other.

Raoul said: We learn many things from China.

Mao Zedong said: Perhaps a little, but not many. You should not go down the same winding path that we took. There are too many people in China, which is incongruous with economic development. You are now worried about your economy, and we are also fretting over how to boost our economy a little. It would not hurt you if we boost our economy a little. It is not a matter of making a few atomic bombs or launching one or two satellites to boost the economy. That is very pathetic. There are many manmade satellites orbiting in the sky above, and they all belong to the United States and the Soviet Union. Then came the French and Japanese satellites and it was just recently that China launched one satellite. Within these two decades, we made many mistakes and are getting slightly better now and improving a little. Perhaps things will get better in another two decades.

When sending the guests off to the door, Mao Zedong repeated: You should not go down the same winding path that we took.

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[1970] 720日下午, 在人民大会堂一一八厅会见由副主席拉乌尔率领的刚果人民共和国国务委员会代表团, 林彪、董必武、周恩来、陈伯达、康生等在座。拉乌尔说: 我们处在一些亲帝国主义的国家包围之中。毛泽东说: 比我们好一点啦。美帝国主义在太平洋、在亚洲出了多少兵!苏联在中苏边界有人说是四十五个师, 有人说是七十个师。拉乌尔说: 刚果在经济上还会受到帝国主义控制。毛泽东说: 在非洲大多数国家都有这种被控制的情况, 有一些国家是自愿受控制的。不过, 现在的非洲比二十五年前的非洲不同, 非洲可以是我们的朋友。一些国家联合起来才能对付帝国主义, 不联合起来人家就不怕你。目前要联合起来呢,又有困难, 但整个趋势总是要联合起来的。拉乌尔说: 现在美国的宣传已经不能欺骗非洲的群众了。毛泽东说: 还能够骗一些人。如果完全不能骗人了, 我看我们就没有多少任务了, 我们就可以睡大觉了。我们是站在非洲人民反对帝国主义这一边, 天天在报纸和电台公开地讲, 因此你们做点什么好事,我们都高兴。你们支持我们, 整个非洲的人民支持亚洲的革命人民, 大家彼此帮助。拉乌尔说: 向中国学习的东西很多。毛泽东说: 可能有一点, 但不很多。我们走的弯路, 你们不要再走了。中国人太多了, 同经济发展不相称。你们现在愁你们的经济, 我们也愁怎样把经济搞上去一点。我们搞上去一点对你们也没有坏处, 搞上去不是造几个原子弹, 发射个把卫星, 那可怜得很。这个天空上有好多人造卫星在那里转, 都是美国和苏联的, 后头才有法国的、日本的跑上去, 最近中国才跑上去一个。这二十年中间, 我们犯过许多错误, 现在稍微好一些, 有点改进, 也许再过二十年事情要好一些了。送客人到门口时, 毛泽东再次说: 你们不要走我们的弯路。