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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 06, 1975


This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    Geng Biao, one of China's leading foreign policy officials in the mid-1970s, discusses the international situation and the international communist movement.
    "Speech by Comrade Geng Biao of the CCP CC International Liaison Department at the Symposium on National Tourism Work," March 06, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and transcribed and translated by Zhou Yi. Published in CWIHP Working Paper #93, 'Less Revolution, More Realpolitik: China’s Foreign Policy in the Early and Middle 1970s,' by Zhou Yi (February 2020).
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·Top Secret· Tourism Material 5

Speech by the Director of the CCP Central Committee International Liaison Department Comrade Geng Biao at the Symposium on National Tourism Work (Transcript)

-1975 March 6th Morning


·Top Secret· Tourism Material 5

Speech by the Director of the CCP Central Committee International Liaison Department Comrade Geng Biao at the Symposium on National Tourism Work (Transcript)

-1975 March 6th Morning

The issues talked about: 1. International situation; 2. the issue of the International Communist Movement

  1. International situation

(I will) talk about several substantial issues.

(1) The issue of the epoch: To study the international situation, we must start from the epoch. In the political report of our party’s 10th National Congress, we reemphasized that the epoch we live in is an epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution. When examining the situation, firstly we must establish a correct basic position. Otherwise, it will deviate (from the correct line) or make mistakes. Although the international situation has changed greatly after Lenin’s passing, the essential characteristics of the epoch have not changed and are not out of date. Lenin’s analysis of the nature and characteristics of imperialism, analysis of the conflicts among imperialists and other basic contradictions in the world, and analysis of the tactics and strategies of the proletarian revolution are still relevant today. This issue is debated among us and revisionist powers including the Soviet Union. . The Soviet revisionists deny the origins of revolution in Leninism. We believe the basic task of the proletarian party, is dependent on each country’s concrete situation; the dictatorship of the proletariat is achieved gradually through proletarian revolution. Each country’s concrete conditions, phases of revolution and characteristics are different. The strategies are also different, but the fundamental principles are same. The head of modern revisionism, the Soviet revisionists deny that the present time is the epoch that Lenin spoke of. They say it is out of date. Our country’s superspy Lin Biao also said Leninism was out of date. To examine the situation and major world events, we must first make the issue of the epoch clear.

(2) The characteristic of the international situation is chaos under heaven. Where is the chaos? The first problem is the intensification of conflicts. All kinds of conflicts are intensified. Serious economic crises happen in the imperialist and capitalist world. Economic crisis inevitably causes serious political crisis. The main phenomenon are declining production, growing unemployment, inflation and high prices; they are very severe. Our socialist China does not have such problems. In capitalist countries, prices are rising at any time; workers’ lives are more and more difficult. The price of gold in the capitalist world is continuously rising; the budget deficit is also increasing. With no money source, they print banknotes, and inflation becomes more severe. In the past, economic crises only occurred in a few countries and it was transferable (to other countries), now all countries are in crises, and debt is non-transferable. Japan has sold all its steel and raw silk and cloth, but is unable to solve the problem. Lenin said: “as capitalism develops, raw materials become increasingly scarce.” Japan itself does not have many raw materials but, since the war, has experienced a relatively high speed of economic development. What does (Japan) depend on? It depends on others’ raw materials, depends on others’ cheap oil and depends on others’ markets to sell its products. We do not depend on these. We depend on our own raw materials and our own market, so we have a stable price that is not influenced by economic crises. When Japan established diplomatic relations with us, Tanaka boasted that Japan was a big economic power, but we called it an economic animal. He boasted everywhere that Japan had 18 billion dollars, however its economy was in turmoil and oil price at an increase; within two years it was done for. He wrote A Plan for Remodelling the Japanese Archipelago, but the Japanese Archipelago was not remodelled. In the United States, Nixon stepped down and Ford came to power. Is this because of the Watergate Scandal? Tanaka resigned. Is it because Bungeishunjū[1]disclosed Tanaka’s assets? These are not private affairs. The various conflicts inside the imperialist ruling class intensified too seriously to be solved. Their only option was to change leaders. However, this cannot solve the problem. Since the Second World War, Italy has changed 36 prime ministers. Some serving for less than one year or even8 months. Another issue is trending industrial action. This economic struggle will inevitably be reflected in politics. Economic struggle is a part of political struggle. Political strikes are caused by economic crises. Italy is the country with the most strikes in the capitalist world. As long as there is a strike, it will have hundreds of thousands of people. Imperialism and capitalists want to plunder raw materials and markets; they cause opposition everywhere. Do not think the United States is very powerful. They lack raw materials. There are 66 main kinds of raw materials they need to import. The goods the Soviet revisionists need to import are much more than the Americans. Because of this, there are trade wars all over the world. All imperialist and capitalist countries engage in speculation and profiteering, especially the Soviet revisionists. They are all struggling for raw materials and struggling for the market. Therefore, Chairman Mao said their situations were “nothing can be done when flowers are falling away (wukenaihe hua luo qu).” [2]

Chaos under heaven is a good thing not a bad thing. It causes trouble for our enemies not us. It is good for the revolutionary people. In the chaos, the revolutionary people are fortified. Chairman Mao depicted the revolution as “the rising wind forebodes the coming storm.” (shanyu yulai feng man lou)[3]. Lenin also said “imperialism is the eve of the social revolution of the proletariat”. Thus, for the revolutionary people, the situation is very good. As it is chaos under heaven, just let it go. The more chaos the better.

(3) The American imperialists and the Soviet revisionists are the biggest exploiters and suppressors in the modern world. (They) are the new hotbeds of a new world war. Why are they the hotbeds of a new world war? Because they want to fight; only they will fight not others. If the two hegemons fight, there will be a world war. Lenin said: “an essential feature of imperialism is the rivalry between several great powers in the struggle for hegemony”. At present, their struggle is more and more intense. Those that claim the Americans and the Soviets mainly collude with each other are wrong. Our point of view is that collusion is temporary and superficial; the struggle is long-term and fundamental. How to view the struggle between imperialism and social imperialism is an issue that Lenin and Kautsky argued about. Kautsky believed that if imperialism developed to the stage of hyper imperialism, several imperialist countries would collude with each other, and there would be no fighting. Thus meaning, the situation would ease up. Lenin objected, contending that imperialism was the highest stage of capitalism and that conflict among imperialists could not be reconciled. As long as imperialism existed, there would be a risk of war. So, to examine the situation, we must use Lenin’s stance and point of view. (As long as) imperialism exists, the two hegemons will inevitably engage in conflict. The struggle will be a gradual change to a sudden change. Just like the wearing out of clothes, if the clothes have holes that can be seen, it is the sudden change. But, before the appearance of holes, they have already been worn out; this is the gradual change. The day in which imperialists go to war is the sudden change. Politics does not solve their problems, so they resort to force. Chairman Mao said: “War is the continuation of politics.” When the conflict intensifies to a certain degree, the result is war and the use of force. A good example is the escalation of conflict between two people in a disagreement: First, they will keep their feelings bottled up inside, then they will rant in public; without resolve, they will resort to fist fighting. The conflict between two will evolve into a group scuffle and escalate from the fighting with fists to stones and sticks, then weapons and atomic bombs. This is world war. When one side is defeated, a new world war will begin. Imperialist wars cannot be finished by one fight. There will be the first, second, and third. If imperialism does not fall, there will always be wars.

(4) The factors of war are growing rapidly. Revolution is developing rapidly as well. Imperialist struggle has many varieties and is ever changing. But their inside is dominated by struggle. Their struggle can be seen not only in one place but can be seen everywhere in the world. There are struggles everywhere. The foreign affairs department should appoint a comrade to read the materials from the Cankao Xiaoxi (Reference News) carefully, collecting the questions and categorizing them; then they will see (the situation) clearly. Of course, the (information) is not necessarily correct, there are even rumours. However, we can get rid of the dross and select the essential. For example, the two hegemons, the Americans and the Soviets, held four summits within 3 years. In 1972, Nixon went to Moscow to have the first summit. After the talks, Nixon visited Poland, and the Soviet revisionists sent Gromyko to visit West Germany. What for? Nothing more than to undermine the other (wa qiangjiao / dig at the corner of sb.’s wall). Poland is the Soviet revisionists’ running dog, and West Germany is the US’ collaborator. Brezhnev went to the United States to have the second talk. Shortly after the summits, the Middle East incident took place. As soon as fighting started, the Soviet Union prepared to send troops to join the war. The US saw that the Soviets would send troops, so it ordered a three-year alert. The two sides were at the swords’ points and nearly went to war; the situation was very tense. (haiyou shenme huanhe / what more (could be done) to ease tensions)? For the third summit, Nixon visited Moscow again. Less than two weeks after talks took place, the Cyprus incident broke out. The Soviet revisionists were double-dealing, fomenting trouble and fishing in troubled waters. They were being two-faced; first they enticed Turkey, then they supported Greece. Turkey and the Soviet Union have a hundred years of mutual hostility. The Cyprus event has not reached a conclusion; both sides want to control it. Cyprus is an unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. Cyprus’ positioning on the Mediterranean holds strategic significance; it is near the Suez Canal and Israel. It is a strategic location. The fourth summit was held in Vladivostok after Ford’s inauguration. Both sides were actively expanding their armed forces before the summit. The Soviet revisionists cried out for enlarging military forces. The American imperialists also said they would increase arms, renew equipment, equip aircrafts with intercontinental missiles and produce this kind of aircraft by any means necessary. Both sides were contending for the most advantageous outcome. . They reached a ten-year nuclear development agreement in name; in reality they just said: you Soviets produce however many (weapons) and we Americans will produce however many (weapons). What kind of agreement is this! In fact, you wanted to make more (weapons), and I wanted to as well. Both sides just wanted to enlarge their nuclear advantage, which was far from a limitation (of arms). The United States said this summit was not satisfactory because it allowed the Soviet Union full advantage, while the US suffered. In the internal circles of the US, there are two factions. The faction led by Kissinger contends for détente with the Soviet Union, while the faction led by Secretary of Defence Schlesinger contends to counter Soviet (aggression) by enhancing strength, making good (military) equipment and maintaining naval, army, and air force advantage. Now it seems as though Schlesinger has somewhat of the advantage. The focus of the US-Soviet competition is Europe as well as the Middle East and the Mediterranean, which are flanks of Europe and cannot be viewed as different parts. Whomever wants to be the hegemony must hold Europe. We claim that the Soviet Union threatens the east and strikes the west. (We should) unveil the truth; expose the conspiracy located deep within. When looking at an issue, one must view its nature. If we just see the phenomenon, it is wrong. It is as if we stand on the earth to look at the sun. It seems as though the sun travels around the earth, but in fact, it is the earth that travels around the sun. This is the essence (of the issue). . It is true that the Soviet Union has one million troops near the Sino-Soviet border, but it is only 1/4 of the Soviet army. The other 3/4 is in Europe. Besides, the equipment of these one million troops in Asia is not good. The best equipment is in Europe. Europe has the most convenient transportation. Northwest is not a rich region[4]. The Soviets only have one railway there, and the food cannot (be provided in time) if a war breaks out. Therefore, we should not just believe that they want to attack us. The Soviet revisionists lambaste us furiously every day. In actuality, they play tricks behind our back. They scold us for the US to see. They want to convince the Americans that they want to fight against China, not the west. But the United States is not fooled. This is decided by the interests of the imperialists. Europe is richer and more profitable. China’s benefits are also not few, but this bone is too hard to bite. Vietnam has a 30 million population and its material conditions are not rich. The United States uses 500,000 troops and still cannot win. China has an 800 million population and 25-year socialist construction. Imagine how many troops we could resist? We have troops and also militia. Chairman (Mao) advocates we fear neither hardship nor death. We do not fear the enemy’s coming. One million (Soviet troops) is nothing. Think about it carefully, the one-million troops there will confront the United States first, then Japan. Although they will cope with China as well, the main (situation) is the two hegemons’ struggle. Even so, we cannot relax our vigilance against the Soviets. We must strictly follow Chairman Mao’s instructions: “dig deep shelters, store up grain reserves, and don’t claim (global) hegemony (shen wa dong, guang ji liang, bu cheng ba).” We are coping with both the Soviet revisionists and the American imperialists. Both the city and the countryside are digging (the shelters), and it will go on. The Soviet revisionist embassy asked why we dug them and whom we would cope with. We said, we would cope with you. The Americans also asked whom would we cope with, and we said we would cope with the Soviet revisionists and also you. If you came together, we would cope with the both of you. Our deep shelter digging is not offensive, but defensive. Scientifically speaking, we can dig neither to Moscow, nor to Washington. The Soviet revisionists concocted rumours that we would fight. Khrushchev attacked us, saying we are like fighting cocks. Chairman Mao said: “We admit it. Our party was established in 1921, and in 1927 Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] forced us to start guerrilla warfare in the mountain and forced us to fight. When the revolution succeeded in 1949, we had already fought for 22 years. Should we not fight? We should absolutely fight. ; Fight well; fight a great cause out. Some western countries, especially Europe, (want to) extend the troubles of the Soviet Union to China, but this does not work. Chairman Mao, Premier Zhou and other comrade leaders in the central committee told the Europeans, you should be careful; the polar bear will eat you.; you should not be unwary. (They) did not quite believe us in the past, now they believe gradually. They are very serious about peace; their national defences are reliant on the United States. Why do we tell them this? The Soviet revisionists shout for peace and détente everywhere. The United States speaks of modern-day peace. They conceal the truth. It is a conspiracy and nonsense; don’t believe them. Lenin said: “In the market-place, the vendor that shouts loudest and promises the most is the one with the shoddiest goods for sale.” They shout for peace when committing evil deeds. You must keep a clear head and not believe their words. In my opinion, there will be a world war. Now the question is not whether to fight, but when to fight. Of course, I do not mean (the war) will be fought immediately or within one or two years. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sanguo Yanyi), Zhuge Liang knew (when to fight) by a simple calculation, which is nonsense. His “borrowing the east wind” depended on the season. We should observe the situation. There will be war, but it is nothing to be afraid of; it is not a big deal. After the First World War, the Soviet Union was established. After the Second World War, there were many Eastern European countries established. They were called socialists at that time but now are revisionists. Our China was also founded shortly after the Second World War. If there were a Third World War, it would be Chairman Mao’s prediction of war causing revolution. More socialist countries would emerge. Who to fight and with whom? Only the Soviets and Americans will fight. Which one will fight first? It is more likely that the Soviet Union will be the first to fight. The United States has occupied many places, so it has weakness everywhere. The Soviet Union has occupied few places. Theory predicts that the one who want to occupy territory will instigate the conflict. . The Soviet revisionists also say the United States is preparing for war. They are building military bases everywhere. For what purpose? The Soviet Revisionists (are building) military bases in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. The United States Congress last year passed a budget allowing 3 to 4 billion dollars to be used toward Navy and Air Force construction. They also changed car companies into tank- manufacturers. They increased one brigade in Europe last year, and they increased another two brigades this year. They established military bases in India and received British military bases. Kissinger and Gromyko go everywhere, just like ants on a hot pot (sic). Kissinger’s office is in the Middle East, and after he finished his work, he went to the Middle East again. Gromyko knew Kissinger would go to the Middle East so he visited Egypt before Kissinger. Then, Kissinger also visited Egypt. Afterward, Kissinger went to Geneva, and Gromyko followed him to Geneva and met him there. Why are they so busy? Chairman Mao said: “The swallows are busy in the dusk (huanghun shihou yanzi mang)[5].” The bourgeoisie thinks once a world war breaks out, there will be a nuclear war that will destroy humanity. That’s just bluster. In the past, the American imperialists blustered a lot, then they said it was not scary. If you encountered (a nuclear explosion) on the street, you can avoid being hurt by covering yourself with newspapers. An American wrote a book called “Tomorrow’s War”, saying the atomic bomb was not very useful. When attacking Japan with atomic bombs, one was used in Hiroshima and another in Nagasaki. Now, there are many countries with atomic bombs and the situation is more complex. If there is a war, (in general) it will be a conventional war. (Some) say a nuclear war will destroy humanity (so there will not be a nuclear war). I think that is not necessarily the case. Nuclear war is possible, and conventional war is also possible. The imperialists wage war in order to occupy lands and populations. The United States and the Soviet Union are the biggest exploiters and oppressors. If they destroy mankind, whom will they exploit and oppress? Why did the United States not drop atomic bombs on Tokyo and Osaka?!

(See the next page)

The Third World has become the main force against the hegemony. Let me give several examples to prove why it is the main force. In 1973, there was a non-aligned countries conference. The April 1974 Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly,  the Middle East war, where oil was used as a weapon, the Conference on the Law of the Sea[6], population conference[7], and food conference[8]  were all struggles against hegemonies.. This promoted the gradual unity of the Third World, and proved the power of the Third World against hegemony again and again. The Third World suffers relatively high due to exploitation and oppression. It has the largest population, vast area, and the world’s richest resources. Both the American and the Soviet hegemons depend on its raw materials. They exploit the Third World; the Third World needs to defend national independence. The Shanghai Communiqué of China and the US said that “countries want independence, nations want liberation and the people want revolution--this has become the irresistible trend of history.” The struggle of the Third World further proves this point.

Different countries in the Third World have different situations, which is a very complicated aspect. Most countries are agents of the bourgeoisie. There are conflicts and disunity among them. But we need to look at the inevitable general trend. They have similar stances on anti-imperialism, anti-hegemony and anti-colonialism. The Second World has duality. On one hand, it oppresses and exploits the Third World countries; some of them conduct colonialism in the Third World to different degrees and in different forms. On the other hand, third world countries are controlled, threatened and oppressed by the two hegemons to different degrees. Similar to Japan and some European countries, they have conflicts with the two hegemons and want to be free of their control and become independent. Additionally, they want to get rid of American control. The United States has military forces within Western Europe and also has conflicts with it. The US says: “My military forces are stationed in your area; you should cover the expenses.” Western Europe says: “we will not pay.” They say the United States is the leader of the “free world”. The US (should) protect them, but if it wants them to pay, they won’t. The US has conflicts with Western Europe. Lenin said: “the bourgeoisie only thinks of money.” (Western Europe) has conflicts with the US pertaining to money. The US was angry for a period of time, claiming it would withdraw all US  troops; this caused conflict within the US government. The Soviet Revisionists also have conflicts but with Eastern Europe. They want to control, exploit, and oppress (Eastern Europe). If (the Eastern European countries) do not listen to it, it will send troops to subvert and occupy these countries. For example, Czechoslovakia and Mongolia were occupied. Their sense of alienation was enhanced. The Eastern European countries don’t have oil; they  depend on Soviet revisionist imports. The Soviet revisionists double the price of oil and sell it to the small revisionists. Eastern Europe finds this intolerable so turns to Western Europe. There are several political jokes. Czechoslovakian Husák had his coat made in Moscow. It was cold so the coat was made longer. The size was very long when measuring. When he arrived back at the airport in Czechoslovakia, his wife asked why the coat was so short. His assistant said it was because in Moscow people kneel down to get measured. It is a political joke but  is representative. Bulgaria bought a car from the Soviet Union, which had no steering wheel. Bulgaria asked Moscow to give it the steering wheel. Moscow said: “You don’t understand. This car is electronically controlled. It goes automatically once you sit in it. It is controlled by Moscow. There is no need for you to control it, I will control it for you.” People in Hungary were chatting; a man asked which country was the largest in the world. Some said the Soviet Union; some said the United States, and some said China. The man said none of them were correct. The largest country was Hungary. This is because the Soviet troops began to withdraw from Hungary 20 years ago, however they still haven’t left the country. See how large Hungary is! These jokes are representative of their dissatisfaction with Soviet control and subversion. Currently, both hegemons are our main enemies; we must strike down both targets. This point can’t be shaken. But, we have policies and guidelines. Our guideline is unity with the Third World, winning over the Third World, and opposing the two hegemons, the United States and the Soviet Union. This is our strategic guideline. We say we are   a Third World country; this is not to degrade us to the level of a nationalist country. It promotes more efficient working conditions and unity with the Third World; the aim of which, is to oppose the two hegemons. How can China alone defeat the two hegemons? Some claim the division of the three worlds is unreasonable. The First World only has the American imperialists and the Soviet revisionists, which is too little; more countries should be included. But if we do this, they will not be striking an isolated minority but one unified majority. This is not Marxist-Leninist. Some said the First World and the Second World should be combined and that the Second World should be the socialist countries: the two countries China and Albania. This is also not correct. This would isolate ourselves. Some say the division of the three worlds is according to the economy. This  is not correct either. (The division) is not based on class. (The Third World includes) poor friends, rich friends, the left, the middle, the right, the oppressors, the oppressed; some are even agents of the bourgeoisie. It is for the need of opposing the two hegemons that China is included in the Third World. This is for internal discussion; we mustn’t mention it in public. Talking about it internally will help us work more efficiently. Some countries are the agents of the bourgeoisie, but we mustn’t mention that either. If we want to oppose the two hegemons, we must gather support and unite 95 percent (of the Third World). We will defeat imperialism. We will also defeat the bourgeoisie. However, there are priorities that are more important than others. . Eat your meal bit by bit; do not eat everything in one mouthful. There are issues of greater and lesser urgency. The most important issue is the two hegemons, the Americans and the Soviets. Among the two hegemons, we should concentrate on striking the Soviet revisionists. We should take advantage of their conflicts when struggling with enemies. Win over the majority, isolate the minority, then crush them one by one. Lenin said: “To defeat mighty enemies, we should use all the cracks of our enemies, even very small cracks.” In fact, enemies are not a monolithic whole. When doing work, you should insert in a pin wherever there's a crack (jian feng cha zhen). You can’t insert in a stick in one go. We should consider different situations, collecting all the cracks in our enemy’s camp, in order to oppose our current main enemy. It is an objective fact that the United States and the Soviet Union are in conflict with each other. The US initiated reconciliation with us. Nixon visited China because his policy of isolating China had become bankrupt, not at all because he had a good feeling about China. He perceived pressure when contending with the Soviet revisionists. He wants to use the Sino-Soviet conflict; Chinese rapprochement is his trump card to overpower the Soviet revisionists. We allowed Nixon’s visit, not in the slightest due to positive feelings toward the US, let alone a want to derive benefits from it. It is wrong to have such a thought. We don’t rely on one imperialist country to oppose another, let alone derive benefits. We are taking advantage of their conflict to strike the Soviet revisionists while simultaneously undermining the American imperialists. The American imperialists also  want to take advantage of our conflict with Soviet revisionists to cope with the Soviets. They are unable to use us. Rather, we can use them. Chairman Mao taught us: “Our foreign work should focus on the people, rely on the people, and pin hopes on the people, rather than rely on the ones in authority.” Some don’t  understand why we don’t sever diplomatic relations with Chile and why we establish diplomatic relations with Spain. Some Marxist-Leninist governments and organizations often talk about these issues to us. If we severed relations with them, they would build relations with the Guomindang. Our delegations and our publications are not allowed in. We are unable to contact their people and do not understand the situation. We don’t know what the Soviet Revisionists do there either. Some self-proclaimed Marxists-Leninists also oppose our establishment of diplomatic relations with Spain. We ask them if it would be better if Spain built foreign relations with the Guomindang. They say no. If that is not the reason, then why do you oppose us? They are unable to give a reason. Without the establishment of diplomatic relations with Turkey, our planes would be unable to fly to Albania. One must pass through Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Romania, to finally reach Albania. Some people are very naïve when thinking about these issues. They don’t understand some matters, but we don’t blame them. In the past, when we were not in power, we didn’t understand world affairs as clearly as we do today. Before the Long March, our understanding was even worse. Some Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations don’t quite understand this point. There is a Hollywood Film Studio [sic] in America that produced 48 films within two decades that accused our China of being murderous, totalitarian, without freedom, and all such things. After Nixon’s visit was broadcasted, there was no market for these Hollywood films. Now, the Soviets published dozens of articles lambasting us every month, and if we count both newspapers and broadcasts, the number (of criticism) may exceed 300 times per month. They say that we earn 15 billion US dollars per year from selling Opium. Our total trade volume in one year is less than 10 billion US dollars. This is complete slander! It is Jiang Jieshi’s bandit group that (grow and sell opium in) the regions bordering Thailand and Burma. The Soviet revisionists are very vicious, vilifying us everywhere. Some people are impacted because they listen to them (the Soviets) every day. I didn’t talk much about the concrete situations of the American imperialists and the Soviet revisionists. You can read Cankao Xiaoxi (Reference News) to learn more. Someone asks whether the Soviet revisionists are affected by economic crises. The Soviet Union is social imperialist and  is also affected by economic crises. Last year, its announced grain output exceeded 190 million tons. If we regard its population as 240 million, then grain per person was more than 800 kg. Such a large amount (of grain) would have been too great to finish. But why did they still rush to buy grain everywhere? (The Soviet Union) imports 30 million tons of grain averaging out to 250 kg per person. This proves that (the Soviet Union) can’t solve its food problem. (The Soviet Union) has so-called socialism, but it does not invest in agriculture. It gives priority to heavy industry, then agriculture and light industry. Our (priority order) is agriculture, light industry then heavy industry. (The Soviet) way of weighing grain is incorrect. The grain includes 15% water. We get rid of sand and mud and dry the grain in the sun before putting it in storage. The Soviet Union measures the grain tank’s capacity in the harvester. Each grain tank is weighted as two tons. However, since this measurement contains sand and mud, the measurement is 30%-35% exaggeration (of the real production). If (these contents) are excluded, (the Soviet) grain production was less than 120 million tons (last year). Its annual steel output is 135 million tons. I don’t believe it. (The Soviet Union) does  not have that much (steel). They’re bragging. How could 200 million people use up so much steel? If (the Soviet Union’s) difficulties are not many, why do oil prices increase so much? According to the deal, oil prices can’t increase. But now (the deal) does not work; it brings too many disadvantages. The small revisionists in Eastern Europe turn to trade with the West. The small revisionists also raise their prices when trading with the Soviets. They are also unsatisfied toward the Soviets regarding politics. The centrifugal tendency is strong. They can’t do anything about it and have to raise the price. They have a series of economic conferences on economic cooperation and economic integration. In the past, they said they would not raise (oil) prices, but now, nothing can be done

  1. International communist movement and the relations with the fraternal parties

Currently, the international communist movement is going very well. Marxism-Leninism has widely spread. Revisionism has been deeply criticized. The revisionist bloc, headed by the Soviet revisionists, has many conflicts within and is falling apart. The Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in each country are developing and growing. Their domestic struggles and international struggles, especially their struggles against revisionism have tested and strengthened them. There are more (parties and organizations) turning to us. They are learning to integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with their own concrete practices of domestic revolution. They are constantly drawing lessons from experiences and are initially shaping a correct Marxist-Leninist line. In general, the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in each country are relatively weak, but they have a broad future. This is the hope of the revolution. Chairman Mao said: “A single spark can start a prairie fire (xingxing zhi huo, keyi liaoyuan).” Our party is also very small at the beginning. The first congress was held in Shanghai with only 12 representatives, who represented about 70 party members. Now our party is very big, with over 28 million members. All (parities) develop from zero to one, from small to big, from weak to strong. Of course, some Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations develop more rapidly. The party in Burma developed very fast. In 1968, they started building bases to engage in guerrilla warfare. Now they control more than twenty thousand square kilometers with more than five hundred thousand populations. They overthrew the governments of five counties and defeated local armed forces and regular armies. In a recent fight, they destroyed two battalions of Ne Win’s troops killing the deputy commander of the enemies’ 99th Division. (The Communist Party of) Cambodia also fights well. Their enemies claim to have 200,000 (soldiers). In reality, only seventy or eighty thousand of them are able to fight. The force of liberation exceeds the enemy. They fought the battles very fiercely. Now (the communists) are approaching Phnom Penh. Traffic has been cut off; the Americans were forced to use air transportation. Recently, they also attacked Pochentong airport and cut off (transportation on) the Mekong River. Their enemy launched three encirclements against them but failed to defeat them. On the contrary, they are able to develop further. In addition, the Marxist-Leninist organizations in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand have also developed. Latin America is doing particularly well. In general, the situation is good.

Currently, revisionism is still the main danger to the international communist movement. The head of revisionism, the Soviet Union, is wildly ambitious and wants to expand its power everywhere. But it lacks power, and its battle front stretches too far. We call them poor expansionists. They want to fight, but they have no ability, are very incapable, and very poor. We will struggle against the Soviet revisionists to the end. Chairman Mao said: “We will struggle for ten thousand years.” When Kosygin came and said (ten thousand years) was too long, Chairman Mao said: “for your sake, we will subtract one thousand years.” The Romanian Communist Party’s comrade leaders came and said to Chairman Mao, can you take off even more time? Chairman Mao said, ok, we will subtract another one thousand years, but no more. This being said, we still have eight thousand years of struggle against the Soviet revisionists. The Soviet revisionists are also prepared to struggle against us for a long time. They say we collude with the most reactionary imperialist and damage the socialist camp. If they want to wage an irreconcilable struggle against us, then let’s struggle! In the international communist movement, the first thing is to concentrate on striking the Soviet revisionist. We should criticize the revisionist points of view deeply and repeatedly. At present, we should focus on exposing the Soviet revisionists’ sabotage and invasion in the name of socialism. We should use the conflicts between the small revisionists and the Soviet revisionists, disintegrating them and isolating the Soviet revisionists. When the wolf is in the way, why do you care about the fox (chailang dangdao, anwen huli)? This is our principle. The Soviet revisionists are very angry about this. Not all of the articles attacking us by the Soviet revisionists are published in the Soviet Union. Some of them are published in small revisionist countries like Mongolia, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. The aim is to lead us into conflict with the small revisionists. We are not fooled. We should focus on the main enemy, focus on the Soviet revisionists. If we struggle against the small revisionists, we will leave the head of revisionism to be at ease. We have criticized the Soviet revisionists, which means we have also criticized the small revisionists. Our power is not distracted. (Located) beside us is the small revisionist Mongolia who incessantly lambasts us; why don’t we teach it a lesson? It’s not worth it. Mongolia is merely a running dog; it is only natural for it to bark. Ignore it. It just follows the (Soviet) order. Since 1973, the Soviet revisionists have wanted to convene a dirty meeting against us and against the people.. It has been preparing for more than two years, however the meeting has still not been held. Later it wanted to hold meetings in Europe and Asia respectively but failed. In Europe, it held three preparatory meetings and also failed. The small revisionists also opposed these meeting. Even if the meeting is held, nothing will happen. It will only expose the reactionary nature of the Soviet revisionists. If they hold the meeting, they will curse us; if they don’t hold the meeting, they will still curse us. A true Marxist-Leninists will not be defeated by verbal abuse. Jiang Jieshi cursed at us for more than fifty years; the more he cursed, the stronger we became. When Lenin was alive, he was also verbally attacked. He also grew stronger the more he was cursed at.

We firmly support the struggles of the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in the world. We support the struggle of the people. Chairman Mao taught us: “Diplomacy obeys the revolution, rather than the revolution obeying diplomacy.” We should take advantage of the main conflicts of the enemies, concentrating our forces to strike the main enemy. In different time periods, we can reach certain agreements with certain countries, but we don’t require that the struggles of the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations in these countries comply with our diplomacy. Comrade leaders in the central committee said that, in order to take advantage of the conflict and in order to use our diplomatic footing to benefit the people, we allowed Nixon’s visit; we should welcome him. However, if (other Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations) also welcome him, it will be problematic. When the French president Pompidou came to China, because we have diplomatic relations, we  welcomed him. But if the French Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations also welcome him, they will fail. We don’t require them to be like us. They must act according to their own situations, combine the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism and the specific conditions of their own countries, and oppose their own enemies. These are two separate issues; the party’s issue is the party’s, and the government is a whole other matter.. We have diplomatic relations with Burma. If Ne Win comes, we must welcome him. But the Burmese Communist Party conducts armed struggle, we also firmly support it. However, we can’t sever diplomatic relations with Burmese government just because we support the Burmese Communist Party. However, if they initiate severing relations with us, then we have no choice then to cut ties. It is an issue of both sides. The least we can do is to learn more about their situations. We don’t require the fraternal parties to comply with our struggle strategies and policies. In regards to ourselves, we should prevent our own Great Chauvinism. For the fraternal parties, we insist that the big parties and the small parties are all equal, independent, and respectful of each other, and that they do not intervene with others’ internal affairs. The Soviet revisionist always regards itself as the core. The revolution in each country must rely on its people. Chairman Mao often teaches us and fraternal parties to integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete situations of their own countries. Each countries’ Marxist-Leninist parties’ guidelines, policies, and strategies can only be made by themselves and through the integration of Marxist-Leninist principles and their practical situations. No matter how correct your Marxism-Leninism is, if you don’t understand their situations, it will be very dangerous to command them. In the past, the Soviet revisionists always commanded us, but we didn’t listen to them. External causes work through internal causes. You command them, which implies they are incapable. Our party draws lessons from past experiences in this aspect, (because) we have suffered. In the past we copied the Soviet experience; no matter good or bad, we just copied everything. Dogmatism must suffer.

In regards to this or that problem that may arise along their respective journeys, we must believe, that through revolutionary practices and the drawing of lessons from experiences, they can certainly reach the right conclusion. We should encourage them to learn lessons from their experiences. Marx drew lessons from the failure of the Paris Commune in time. Lenin drew lessons from the experience of the year 1909 and why it did not succeed. Chairman Mao, in the period of the Third [sic] Domestic Revolutionary War,[9] drew lessons from the struggle experience in the Jinggang Mountains; he wrote Why is it that Red Political Power Can Exist in China? and A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire. After the Long March, he drew lessons in time, thinking of why we lost so many bases before the Long March; he wrote Problems of Strategy in China's Revolutionary War. We encourage the fraternal parties to constantly learn from their experiences. Every new lesson will take you one step further. Draw lessons continually, and you will progress continually. We support our fraternal parties; political support is primary, and economic support is secondary. We maintain that we should keep a bilateral relationship when cooperating with the fraternal parties. We disapprove of several parties holding  international conferences or something like a world conference. They are not beneficial. Some support them. First (to support these conferences) is the Soviet revisionist. They call it by the sweet-sounding name of exchanging information, jointly formulating international policies and jointly formulating a plan of action. This is impossible! Each country has different situations, how can they formulate a joint plan of action? Bilateralism is relatively flexible and doesn’t impose (decisions) on others. Some Marxist-Leninist parties are unable to leave (their countries)! They are currently conducting armed struggles. If you hold a meeting and invite them, (they will feel that) it is not good to reject (the invitation). Maybe they will be arrested and executed. We didn’t invite the fraternal parties to attend our  9th National Congress or  10th National Congress. We won’t go to the fraternal parties’ meetings either. The meetings we hold are to solve our own problems. What happens if they disagree with us when we are giving a report? If they invite us to attend a conference, we cannot keep silent on what is wrong. As soon as we speak, we will disagree with them and quarrel with them. They are the hosts and we are the guests. It’s not good to quarrel with them on their own turf. Chairman Mao decided that we won’t engage in multilateral activities. Some countries even have several Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations. For example, in Italy there are more than thirty revolutionary organizations and groups; sixteen or seventeen of them call themselves Marxists-Leninists. Who is a true Marxist-Leninist and who is not? It’s difficult to distinguish. For this situation, we should contact them extensively. On the basis of extensive contact, we should focus on assisting some of them. In the process of contact, we should promote them to unite. Otherwise, they will all call themselves Marxists-Leninists, regard themselves as the number one in the world, fight against each other, and claim they are the only correct one. (In their eyes) others are not Marxists-Leninists. Only they are (true Marxists-Leninists); everyone else is wrong. (These behaviours and thoughts) leave the main enemy aside. Japan is like this, and many other countries are like this. We should persuade them to seek common ground while preserving differences and to not attack each other. They should not scold each other; they should denounce and expose the ruling class in their own countries. When they denounce each other vehemently enough, they are very close to collapse. Such a method can’t solve problems; it will only lead to failure. They should understand this rationale. There were two parties in Belgium in which we contacted; last year they merged. This is very good. The parties in Brazil and Dominica also merged. Very good!

For the parties who followed the Soviet revisionists in reviling us, if they would like to admit their mistakes, rectify their errors, and form contact with us, we will consider (establishing good relations with them). For example, Carrillo of the Spanish (communist) party lambasted us in the past then, later on, admitted his mistakes. He wanted to establish contact with us and we welcomed him. The Central Committee asked us to tell them that we had disagreements with them; we still have disagreements now; they needed to think about where the disagreements were and change. However, it was not the case that we had a talk that day then built formal relations immediately. It was up to their actual performance, rather than their self-confession. After they went back, they did not change their actions, so we ignored them. He (Carrillo) visited North Korea and was welcomed by one hundred thousand people. He wanted us to invite him (to visit China again), but we ignored him. He lambasted us in the past and refused to admit his mistakes, so we stopped contact. We lacked the basis of contact. If you want to know whether a party or an organization is a true Marxist-Leninist, you should look at whether or not they integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with their country’s concrete situations, which is the main criterion. Also, it depends on whether or not their own people acknowledge them. Just because you are recognized by a foreign party does not make you Marxist-Leninist.  Currently, some believe that as long as China and Albania acknowledge it, a party can be Marxist-Leninist. We tell them that’s wrong and unreliable. The head of Japanese revisionists Susumu Okano (usually known as Sanzō Nosaka) was trained in Yan’an;after he went back to Japan, he became a revisionist. Thus, we don’t acknowledge him either. The Belgium party changed, thus we don’t acknowledge it; Albania doesn’t acknowledge it either. The parties acknowledged by Albania are not necessarily acknowledged by us. Some parties acknowledged by us are not acknowledged by Albania as well. The ways of doing things are not completely the same in each country. We have a similar predicament with the North Korean party; we also have our differences.

Currently, the Soviet revisionists have a tendency that we need to pay attention to. They emphasize on joint action, such as left-wing alliances and slogans like unity with all anti-imperialist powers. Their aim is (to promote) the parliamentary path. The (Soviets’) parliamentary path failed in Chile. They won’t drop this idea; but want to promote Chile’s parliamentary road model in Italy, Spain, Peru, and Argentina: unite with six or seven parties, win the majority of votes in parliament and put another Allende in power. It’s difficult to succeed. Even if it works, the result will be fascism. The Italian (communist) party has a pretty large membership, about 1.6 million. It’s possible that several parties can unite to get seats in the parliament. If it is created, it will be Chile’s type. However, there are many fascist organizations, such as the Italian Social Movement (Movimento Sociale Italiano), New Order (Ordine Nuovo), Black Order (Ordine Nero), Black Regime*, Democratic Pioneer*, Young Italy (Giovane Italia), Catholic Union*, Black Society*, Youth Front (Fronte della Gioventù), Mussolini Action Team* and so on.[10] The weapons held by these parties could arm twenty-one thousand people. If the revisionists succeed (in the creation of a parliamentary system), will the fascist parties not make trouble for you? They definitely will. The parliamentary path won’t work. The revolution must go step by step and be practical. The success of the Soviet October Revolution was due to Lenin and Stalin’s leadership and  took decades to succeed. Starting in 1921, the Chinese Revolution, under the leadership of Chairman Mao, took six years to conduct armed struggles and conduct guerilla warfare in the Jingang Mountains. l. Then we took another 28 [sic] years to engage in armed struggles; we didn’t actually come into power until 1949. It was not easy. Of course, there is Cuba’s influence (on the revolutions in other countries) to consider. (The type of revolution of) Cuba was neither like Moscow’s, nor like China’s. It was like Hu Chuankui in Shajiabang only with a few people and a few weapons. It was largely by accident or military speculation. Several countries in Latin America were influenced by Cuba and built such guerrilla centers. Guevara with his dozens of people went to Bolivia; having no reason and no policy, they lost their life in the end. Guerrillas in Arabic countries often hijack aircrafts, which is unpopular and wrong. The revolution can’t be done in this way. It won’t work to alienate the people and the mass; it will ultimately fail. The revolution should be down to earth and rooted within the people, rooted deeply. Only then will the revolution succeed.  

We should introduce our experiences to the fraternal parties and (tell them) that our party started with little strength.

On the issue of armed struggles, we should raise our opinions to the fraternal parties. We suggest (1) We must first encourage them.. Our party was also not big thirty years ago. A single spark can start a prairie fire. Make them feel that they have potential. Tell them we succeeded only after more than 20 years (of struggles). Encourage them that if they do well, it probably won’t take them so long. On the other hand, we should tell them that the path will be very long.

(2) Tell them that fighting is not a big issue. They can learn while they fight. Some always ask to send military cadres to come here to study. We should tell them there is no need to do so. On July 2, 1964, Chairman Mao, said to the leader of the Colombia (Communist) Party that we understood nothing about fighting in the beginning, but we were able to (learn how to fight) by engaging in fighting. It was Jiang Jieshi and the imperialists who taught us how to fight. They were our teachers in the reverse sense. What they taught us can’t be learned from the Marxist-Leninist books. Our men couldn’t even load a gun at that time. When they fired the first shot, they closed their eyes. When they fired the second shot, they didn’t know where the bullet went. But they knew the direction by the third shot. (Fighting) can be learned. We should encourage them not to belittle themselves too much.

(3) Encourage them to choose the weakness of the enemy to attack, and avoid fighting against the powerful regular army. Reckless fighting won’t work. They should focus their force on attacking the enemy from behind.

(4) Encourage them to combine other types of struggle with the armed struggle. Without other types of struggle, the armed struggle is isolated. It will ultimately fail.

(5) Tell them it is the people who decide the outcome of the war, rather than the weapon. They should focus on winning over the people, but should also pay attention to the weapon. Many Marxist-Leninist parties are going to carry out armed struggles, which depend on their conditions. The one whose conditions are most mature can carry out (armed struggle) first, and the one whose conditions are not mature can do it later. Armed struggle is the final form (of struggle), but not the basic form. If you launch the final form, armed struggle, from the beginning, it won’t work. You need a preparation stage. Armed struggle must have peasants’ participation. It won’t succeed by only relying on several cities. We should make this point clear. These are the issues of the international communist movement.

These above points are what was talked about today.

There are several requirements: (1) what I said today are all issues of policy and strategy. Most of them have not been made public. So, take minutes for yourself, not for others. Losing the minutes is equivalent to disclosing it to our enemies. (2)  After taking (the information) back, don’t spread it around. Only you the leaders can know it. (3) More importantly, you must not post a big-character poster for the public to see. You should know the party’s discipline.

[1] Bungeishunjū is a Japanese magazine.

[2] About “wukenaihe hua luo qu”: In the China and Soviet Union’s polemics, Mao Zedong used this quotation in his revision of the letter of 28 July 1964 to the Central Committee of the CPSU. See Jianguo Yilai Mao Zedong Wengao, vol 11 (Beijing:

Zhongyang Wenxian Chubanshe, 1992), p. 108. Mao meant China can’t do anything to save the Soviet unavoidable failure. Geng Biao wanted to say the imperialists and revisionists’ decline and failure were doomed, and nothing can be done to change.  

[3] This sentence means before upheavals there are signs foreshadowing them. Mao used it to describe the international situation on 29 July 1973, in his meeting with the President of People's Republic of the Congo Marien Ngouabi. Mao said: “Don’t believe that the current world is peaceful. The situation now is ‘the rising wind forebodes the coming storm’ (shanyu yulai feng man lou). The storm has not come but the wind comes. And the wind is very strong!” See Mao Zedong Nianpu, (Beijing: Zhongyang Wenxian Chuban She, 2013), vol 6, p. 489.On 30 May 1974 in his meeting with physicist Tsung-Dao Lee, Mao said: “Let’s talk about the situation of the world. How do you think about it? My opinion is chaos under heaven. The storm will come. It is impossible if there will be no war. Because the social systems are different. Even they have the same social system, there will be a war as well. Because they are imperialists.” Mao Zedong Nianpu, vol 6, p. 538. In the talk with Lee, Mao further explained he believed a war would break out. Shanyu (storm or rain in the mountain) refers to the war. Geng Biao may wanted to say there would be a war among the imperialists and it would be the chance for revolution.

[4] It may refer to China’s northwest. Perhaps what Geng Biao wanted to say was the Soviet Central Asia, which borders China’s northwest.   

[5] Mao Zedong used “huanghun shihou yanzi mang” in his meeting with the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Eric Williams, on 6 November 1974. Mao said: “Now the earth is sick, so they talk about détente of the intensity, easing the international intensity and talk about peace. Now they are curing the earth. I’m suspicious of it. There are so many international conferences, and the US Secretary of State goes everywhere. It’s quite strange! The swallows are busy in the dusk (huanghun shihou yanzi mang) They fly low, and it’s going to rain!” Mao Zedong Nianpu, vol 6, p.556. The low-flying swallows is a sign of rain, therefore probably Mao wanted to say that a busy US State of Secretary is a sign of international intensity, perhaps a sign of war. Mao often used the metaphor swallow referring to Henry Kissinger. On 17 February 1973, Mao talked to Kissinger: “You did a god job, flying everywhere. Are you a swallow or a pigeon?” Mao Zedong Nianpu, vol 6, p. 468. On 21 October 1975, Mao said to Kissinger: “You are very busy, and it seems you can’t stop being busy. When the wind and rain are coming, the swallows are busy. Now the world is not peaceful, the wind and rain coming, so the swallow is busy. You may postpone the wind and rain but very difficult to stop it.” Mao Zedong Nianpu, vol 6, p. 616.

[6] The Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea was convened in 1973 in New York.

[7] It refers to The World Population Conference in 1974 in Bucharest.  

[8] It refers to The World Food Conference in 1974 in Rome.

[9] The initial script was incorrect. It should be the Second Domestic Revolutionary War (Dierci Guonei Geming Zhanzheng), from 1927 to 1937. In this period, Mao wrote his three articles. The Third Domestic Revolutionary War (Disanci Guonei Geming Zhanzheng) was from 1945 to 1949.

[10] These names with “*”cannot be found. They are translated vertbatim from Chinese to English.



机 (75) 10

·绝密· 旅材5

中共中央联络部长耿飚同志在全国旅游工作座谈会上的讲话 (记录稿)



·绝密· 旅材5

中共中央联络部长耿飚同志在全国旅游工作座谈会上的讲话 (记录稿)



一、 国际形势











二、 国际共运和兄弟党关系








关于武装斗争问题,我们要对兄弟党提出意见,建议:① 首先要鼓励他们,我们党三十年前也不大,星星之火,可以燎原,使他们感到有发展前途。告诉他们,我们经过二十多年才成功的,鼓励他们,如果搞的好,可能不用那么多的时间。另一方面,也要告诉他们,道路也是很长的;

② 告诉他们,打仗没有什么了不起的,可以边打边学。有的总是要派军队干部来学习,要告诉他们,用不着。毛主席在1964年7月2日同哥伦比亚党的领导人谈话说:打仗本来我们一点不懂,但打起来就会了。教会我们打仗的是蒋介石、帝国主义。他们是我们的反面教员,他们所教的在马列主义书本上是学不到的。我们的人当时连子弹都不会装,放第一枪,把眼闭上,第二枪不知子弹打到那[sic]里去了,第三枪就知道方向了,是可以学会的,鼓励他们不要把自己看的太轻了。

③ 鼓励他们选择敌人的弱点打,避开和正规军强大的敌人作战,硬拼的打法是不行的,要绕到敌人的后边,主力的后边去打。

④ 鼓励他们搞武装斗争时要结合别的形式的斗争。没有的[sic]别的形式的斗争配合,武装斗争就孤立了,最后也要失败。

⑤ 告诉他们,决定战争胜负的是人,而不是武器,要注意掌握人,但也要注意到武器,很多马列主义政党都要进行武装斗争,要看条件,条件成熟的先搞,不成熟的后搞。武装斗争是最后形式,但不是起码的形式。开始就搞最高形式,搞武装斗争是不成的,要有个准备阶段。武装斗争必须有农民参加,靠几个城市不行,要讲清楚这个道理。这是国际共运的几个问题。


有几点要求:① 今天我讲的这些,都是带有方针战略性的问题,大部分是没有公开的,所以记录的要为自己记,不要给别人记,丢了就等于公开给了敌人。② 拿回去不要到处传,你们领导掌握就行了。 ③ 更不要公开贴大字报出去,要懂得党的纪律。


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