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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 10, 1975

MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE GDR, FAR EAST DEPARTMENT, 'INFORMATION ABOUT CURRENT PROBLEMS OF THE DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY OF THE PR CHINA'

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    A report by the East German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, discussing the shifting anti-Socialist and anti-Soviet attitudes amongst Chinese leadership. The majority of focus is given to China's military and foreign policy, specifically their efforts to strengthen military capabilities and their claims to territories held by neighboring states.
    "Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the GDR, Far East Department, 'Information about Current Problems of the Domestic and Foreign Policy of the PR China'," September 10, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PA AA, MfAA, C 295/73. Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/209703
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Appendix

Far East Department

Berlin

Information about Current Problems of the Domestic and Foreign Policy

of the PR China

Directive for the Conduct of Representatives of the GDR towards Representatives

of the PR China

1. The situation in the People’s Republic of China is characterized by the further development and deepening of the anti-socialist process. As a consequence of the decisions of the X Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (August 1973) and the adoption of the Constitution of the PR China (January 1975), the PR China is moving ever farther away from socialism. Mao Zedong’s anti-socialist policy is now not only expressed in the statute of the CCP,  but also legally enshrined in the Constitution of the PR China. Notwithstanding the existing antagonisms in Chinese society, the crises, and the contradictions of the current course, the Maoist regime is solidifying. This regime has its foundations in the Maoist doctrine that has been spread throughout the PR China for decades. Marxist-Leninist theory is replaced by the social-chauvinist "Thoughts of Mao Zedong” which are declared to be the nation’s sole ideology and are firmly anchored on both the party and state level. Currently a political campaign is conducted in China: “Criticize Lin Biao and Confucius” and the study of the “Theory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”. This is aimed at the violent implementation of the military system of social construction and the unconditional subjugation of the population of the PR China under the top leadership and its policy which is hostile towards the people.

Currently there is no socialist state power ruling in China but the military-bureaucratic dictatorship of the group around Mao Zedong. There are indications for us having to talk about a new stage of the Maoist regime, of which the most important aspect is the solidification of the regime’s positions in both the party and the state.

The following aspects are evidence for this:

- Although China has lost in its economic development up to two Five-Year-Plans, its economic potential is growing further. According to available estimates, the value of gross production in industry and agriculture of the PR China has increased in 1974 by 5 percent. Steel production reached 21 million tons, crude oil production 63 million tons.

- The departure by the Maoist leadership from comprehensive economic cooperation with the socialist countries is compensated to a certain extent through the expansion of trade and economic relations with the developed capitalist countries. The PR China ordered from those countries equipment for approximately 90 modern factories.

- The Maoist regime is securing the basic needs for the largest part of the population. This is why it enjoys certain social support with the most backward, but numerically large segments of the population, especially among the peasants.

- The manipulation of the population of the country in the spirit of “Mao’s Thoughts” has increased and the focus is lying on Sino-centric racial prejudices. Significantly expanded has been the apparatus of enforcement, which is directed towards repression of all opponents of Mao Zedong.

- An organized opposition against the Maoist regime is lacking for the following reasons: the ideological disorientation of Chinese society, the camouflage of Maoism with Marxism, the increase in repressive measures, and the policy of inciting different groups of workers against each other. Individual actions from workers have been, and are, localized and repressed.

With special concern, the increase in total preparation for a war has to be monitored.  Mao Zedong’s thesis about the “Preparation for a War” has been elevated to official party and state policy. The Chinese leaders are undertaking major efforts to strengthen their missile and nuclear arms potential, among else with support from developed capitalist countries. Almost all of the ground forces of the Chinese Army (more than 60 divisions) and the main parts of the missile units and the Air Force are concentrated in areas bordering the USSR and the MPR [Mongolian People’s Republic]. The campaign of mass resettlement of youth from other parts of China to the border areas in the North of the country is ongoing. The number of trained members of the “People’s Militia” is reaching between 20 and 40 million people alone. Over the last 15 years, in the PR China an entire generation of Chinese has been educated in a strictly chauvinist, anti-Soviet spirit.

This way currently the regime of the military-bureaucratic dictatorship of the Mao Group is strengthening in light of the specific Chinese conditions and the regime’s strong repressive apparatus. The regime originated during the counter-revolutionary coup completed over the course of the “Cultural Revolution”. It would be irrreal to expect soon an automatic collapse of the current regime or fundamental changes in its domestic and foreign policy; or only so because as a result of the departure of Mao Zedong from the political stage or one or two crisis phenomena. The political crisis in the PR China is of permanent character.

2. With regards to foreign policy, according to the will of the group around Mao Zedong, the PR China is ever more embarking on the path of a break with the socialist countries and the fight against them, and on the path of an union and bloc building with the most aggressive forces of world reaction. The Maoist leadership is pursuing a course aimed at provoking a world war. It attempts to undermine the confidence of states in the socialist world. It is inciting the most aggressive forces of imperialism to fight against the USSR and the other socialist countries; it is raising territorial claims against its neighbors.

On all important questions of global policy the Chinese leaders have moved openly towards positions held by the most reactionary representatives of imperialism.

This is finding its expression

- in the anti-socialist tendency of Maoism’s foreign policy concept which is aligning with imperialist doctrines;

- in the support of imperialist military-political blocs (NATO and others) and of the politics of the extreme right wing of the monopolist bourgeoisie;

- in attempts to undermine the policy of international detente, the implementation of the principles of peaceful coexistence with countries of different social orders, the inviolability of borders, the final anchoring of results from the Second World War, and to disturb postwar developments working in favor of the interests of peace and socialism;

- in efforts to juxtapose the countries of the “third world” and the socialist community of states and to undermine the anti-imperialist character of the non-aligned states;

- in the policy of the PR China aimed at rearranging the international economic relations to the detriment of the positions of the socialist community, and in the attempt to use the closed economic groups of the capitalist states for this purpose.

All this is testament that Beijing’s foreign policy activities as well have entered a new stage. A part of the peculiarities of this new stage is the wide-ranging campaign against all concrete steps towards alleviating international tension. The Maoists are not just advocating for the revision of their own borders with their neighbors, but also for the revision of the results of World War II as such, as well as the revision of the territorial solutions of the post-war order. They are raising claims to the territory of the entire MPR, to the USSR (1.5 million square kilometers), to Japan (Senkaku Island and others), to Vietnam (the islands of the Spratly and Paracel Groups), and also to some areas of Vietnam located on mainland near the Chinese border. At the same time, the Chinese leaders are demagogically stepping up as “defenders” of the territorial claims made by reckless revanchists from Japan and the FRG.

In fact, they are practicing solidarity with the most reactionary and even neo-fascist forces in the FRG in order to attempt the disturbance of the growing international reputation of the GDR.

The Maoist leadership has moved from the political and ideological confrontation with the USSR and the countries of the socialist community towards a bilateral and global confrontation, and to fighting in every direction by applying random means against the USSR and the other socialist countries. The Maoists are shedding any responsibility towards world socialism and thus are creating for themselves a “moral justification” for random actions against socialism.

The Chinese leaders are continuing with their policy of differentiation towards the socialist countries, while they are unrelenting in their splittist efforts towards the fraternal countries that are solidly grounded in Marxism-Leninism and internationalism. They are further pursuing to spilt the countries of the socialist community of states and to juxtapose them towards each other. For this purpose, they are not only exploiting political and ideological means but also commercial-economic and scientific-technological channels.

Currently the Maoist leadership is undertaking efforts to minimize the historical importance of the victory of the Vietnamese people and to thwart the creation of a united strong Vietnam.

The Mongolian People’s Republic is subjected to a relentless and ever growing pressure by the Maoists through various channels.

The expansionism and adventurism of the Maoist leaders is a special threat to the neighboring states of the PR China. In this context the Southeast Asian region, which the Chinese chauvinists have always viewed as their sphere of influence, is gaining special importance.

After the X Party Congress of the CCP and the 1st Session of the IV National People’s Congress, the foreign policy actions of the current Chinese leaders must be seen as a new stage in the Maoist fight for hegemony and as the undermining of international positions of socialism, as a finalization of the evolution of apostasy, and as a transition towards positions of forming an alliance with the most reactionary circles of imperialism. The Beijing leaders have now moved from objective collaboration with imperialism to open bloc building with the imperialist and random reactionary-nationalist forces, whom they hope to utilize for the fight against peace and socialism.

3. With Maoist China, the socialist states are having a dangerous adversary for a rather long-term period. The former is further gaining relative power and is continuing on its adventurist and militant course. The deepening anti-socialist process in the PR China does not offer any hope of improvement in relations with China as long as the Maoist Regime is ruling there.

Given these conditions, the task lies in

- protecting also for the future the interests of the socialist community of states;

- being permanently prepared for unexpected events from the side of the Maoists;

- thwarting decisively any attacks against the cause of socialism and peace.

At the same time is is advisable to also further keep open opportunities for a positive development of state-to-state relations with the PR China; by coordinating all activities towards the PR China with other fraternal countries, and by using state-to-state relations with China as a form of the struggle against the policy and ideology of Maoism.

In the interest of an effective struggle against the anti-socialist ideology of Maoism and the unmasking of the hostile policy of the Chinese leaders towards detente and peace,  it is required to strictly fulfill the tasks outlined in the Directive of the [GDR] Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 10 July 1974 (VD FO-186/74).

In consideration of the new aspects in the domestic and foreign policy of the Chinese leadership, these assignments are mandating in particular the following measures:

- On all practical issues of state-to-state relations between the GDR and the PR China, it is still required to coordinate all actions with the USSR and the socialist fraternal countries. The principle of reciprocity with the Chinese side is then to be followed, when the planned measures are corresponding in content and scope with those of the close fraternal countries. This applies in particular also to concrete steps in the area of foreign-economic trade and scientific-technological relations.

- The provocative attacks by the Chinese leadership on the cooperation between the fraternal countries in the context of Comecon and the Warsaw Treaty Organization is to be decisively rebuffed. Thereby the efforts of the Maoists are to be unmasked to utilize these slanders for the undermining of the unity of the fraternal countries, and also for creating a “smokescreen” for the growing Chinese rapprochement with imperialism.

- Special attention is to be directed to the attempts of the Chinese leaders to “fill the vacuum” in the context of the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina. The DRV is to be supported in every respect in the solidification of its national independence and the augmentation of its authority in Indochina and in the world.

- The collectively agreed measures are to be implemented pertaining to the preparation and organization of the 5th Conference of Non-Aligned States in Colombo in 1976. Those measures are supposed to serve the purpose of increasing the influence of the socialist world system on the movement of non-aligned states and their solidification as an anti-imperialist force; also to counter Beijing’s attempts to infiltrate this movement and exploit it for its great-power objectives.

- The hostile statements of the Chinese representatives against the socialist states in the international organizations, including the United Nations, and in social movements are to be rebuffed in principle and with powerful evidence. The policy of Beijing’s leaders is to be actively umasked in the international organizations; the representatives of the developing countries are to be encouraged to apply criticism of Beijing’s destructive and anti-socialist positions.

- The harmfulness of the policy of the Maoists towards the developing countries and vis-a-vis capitalist countries is to be unmasked and actively explained. Here the focus needs to be directed at unmasking the Maoist chauvinism, the hostility towards foreigners inflamed in China, the expansionism of Maoist policy, the war preparations, and Beijing’s diversionary activities against the neighboring states. Emphasis has to be given to the thesis that Maoist China is dangerous to all states, notwithstanding their social order, and that Maoism is representing the threat of war.

- To be unmasked have to be steps by the Maoists aiming at the gradual establishment of a military-political alliance with anti-socialist, anti-Soviet thrust under participation of China and leading imperialist countries: to be umasked have to be the purpose and objectives of establishing official relations between the PR China and the European Economic Community, the contacts with NATO, and China’s behavior in the context of preparations for a Chinese-Japanese treaty.

- It has to be demonstrated to the developing countries that Chinese policy is a danger to their national interests, and that this policy is directed against the economic, social, and cultural progress of these countries; the speculative character of the PR China’s economic aid has to be shown (the PRC is fulfilling its obligations only to 35 to 40 percent); intentions of the Chinese leaders have to be explained concerning how to gain the leadership in the “Third World” and to turn it into an instrument of China’s hegemonic plans; to be unmasked have to be Beijing’s complicities with neo-colonialism and the damaging effect of the Maoists’ attempts to disturb the collaboration of the developing countries with the socialist world.

Reporting:

It is required, when drafting according advice for argumentation, that all state organs with contacts to Chinese representatives are constantly reporting about these contacts to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.