April 14, 1961
Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Poland, 'Work Summary for the Chinese Embassy in Poland, 1960, and Plans for 1961'
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
Work Summary for the Chinese Embassy in Poland, 1960, and Plans for 1961
I. Poland’s Political Climate over the Past Year
Khrushchev’s visit to Poland in July of 1959 left a significant impact on Poland’s development from that point on. Even though we were aware of this situation at the time, we did not take full account of it. In his interviews, Khrushchev repeatedly praised [Wladyslaw] Gomułka as “Poland’s loyal son, the most eminent player in the worker’s movement.” He also said that Gomułka’s domestic road “applied Marxist-Leninist reasoning to the utilization of national characteristics.” He openly endorsed the “conservatives” and “resolved to support” Gomułka. Through this approach, Khrushchev is evidently supporting Gomułka in his fight against him. At the same, by supporting Gomułka, he will muscle out the anti-Soviet opposition, led by [Roman] Zambrowski and [Edward] Osóbka-Morawski. Gradually, he will make Poland heed his word. Moreover, by supporting Khrushchev, Gomułka can obtain economic aid and political support from the USSR. He can combat the “conservatives” within the party, weakening the strong, ambitious faction headed by Zambrowski and consolidating his own position. Despite Poland’s assertions of independence from the USSR, due to the basic unity of Khrushchev and Gomułka’s thought, any divergence in their discussions is instantly remedied. “In resolving this country’s internal living issues and its international policy,” they have adopted “the same beliefs.” Poland’s development in the year 1960 was closely related to the circumstances outlined above.
After Khrushchev’s visit to Poland, in terms of international relations Poland continued to support and energetically propagandized each and every one of the Soviets’ policies and actions. Under these circumstances, Gomułka made public a great many mistaken notions in this regard. Poland went astray too in their relations with the United States. They invited Nixon to visit Poland; Gomułka published an article in Foreign Affairs; in begging for American dollars they were even more unscrupulous than in years past; they borrowed their fourth loan from the American imperialists; they compensated the US for assets not extracted during Polish nationalization; and American customs received most-favored-nation treatment.
On the issue of the Sino-Soviet split, Gomułka has always stood with Khrushchev in terms of ideology. But due to many different factors, the specific appearance of this relationship can be divided chronologically into three stages:
(1) The first stage came at the end of last April, before the CCP published three articles in commemoration of Lenin’s 90th memorial. At this point the Sino-Soviet split was already becoming apparent; Khrushchev’s attacks against us were already an “open secret.” During his visit to Poland, Khrushchev had attacked the communes: “They don’t produce a thing.” At this point, Poland was watching Sino-Soviet relations extremely carefully. Worrisome that a split would disseminate too broadly, they released a few news bulletins related to the friendly exchange and collaboration between China and the USSR. The KPP released some similar reports. In a few important arenas, they juxtaposed China and the USSR evenly alongside one another, like at the Mayday celebration, where Chairman Mao’s portrait was hung with Khrushchev’s. The ordering of our delegations remained USSR first, China second. With regard to China’s domestic policy, even though the KPP did not acknowledge the general significance of the “Three Red Banners,” they believed in their correctness under China’s unique conditions. Their propaganda and sense of approbation were effusive. The China-Poland friendship society continued to develop its members and organize new groups, so as to advance China-Polish friendship and the work of propagandizing for China.
(2) The second stage was between the publication of the three articles and the Sixth Plenary Session of the Communist Party of Poland. At this moment, Khrushchev was about to send in his troops. He was vehemently anti-China. The CCP took steps toward a rational and penetrating criticism of his ideology; struggle was becoming increasingly sharp. In fact, the CCP’s manner of supporting reasonableness was related to the right-wing opportunism of Gomułka himself. In May, first [Zenon] Kliszko and then Gomułka went to the USSR and the CPSU for meetings. After that, they stood with the USSR and issued public criticism of the CCP at both the World Federation of Trade Unions meeting and the Bucharest conference. In their own press they limited the amount of China-related news and perspectives, but unremittently published Soviet criticisms and judgement toward the CCP. On the other hand, while attacking us at the Bucharest Conference, they did not stand on the very front line; they did not issue party level transmissions related to the Sino-Soviet split; despite justifying his actions from mistaken viewpoints…he still did not dare to engage in open polemics with us, almost as if he absorbed some secret meaning in what we said. He still seemed very cordial to our delegation, particularly the CCP delegation led by Bo Yibo that visited Poland in May. He still permitted newspaper publications on the Three Red Banners. In any case, at this juncture, Poland was taking a more or less center-right position on the Sino-Soviet split.
(3) The third stage was between the Sixth Plenary Session and the Moscow Conference in November. The Sino-Soviet split had reached the point of no return. Gomułka and Khrushchev held a secret meeting; this was when the KPC began launching libelous polemics against the CCP. They made anti-Chinese comments toward our Plenary Session, issuing an opinion to our Party. They made internal statements about the Sino-Soviet split and contributed their own anti-Chinese articles, adding to the ones they circulated from the USSR, Italy, France, and Eastern Europe. In anticipation of the Sixth Plenary Session they began reorganizing the Chinese monthly review’s editorship in an effort to keep news from China out of Poland. They eliminated any press on the Three Red Banners. They denounced our pamphlets and decided to investigate them. At the Moscow Conference they stood on the front lines as they played the role of anti-Chinese thugs.
Another byproduct following Khrushchev’s visit to Poland last year were a series of major personnel changes between Winter and Spring in party, government, military, cultural and educational arenas. Over 17 department-leading cadres were fired, transferred, and reappointed, along with 7 provincial committee secretaries and 18 high-ranking military cadres. The defining feature of this shift was following the Eighth Plenary Session, one after other every opponent of the USSR had to step down. This phenomenon was especially apparent among military personnel.
Judging from the above situation, the sharp increase in personnel changes is directly aimed at Zambrowski (there were even rumors last Spring that Zambrowski would be leaving politics). As such, it has garnered the support of the “conservatives.” Gomułka’s position came one step closer to consolidation. In order to preserve himself, and with the Sino-Soviet split was emerging, Zambrowski frantically devoted all his efforts to supporting Khrushchev and Gomułka’s anti-Chinese stance. Poland’s internal personnel changes were brought to a halt; Khrushchev and Gomułka’s disagreements reached a momentary resolution. The lead general of Zambrowski’s party, [Jerzy] Albrecht, who had not shown his face for four months, became active once again in September, garnering the support of the Łódź city government. The recent results of this mutual compromise are that Albrecht left the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the KPC, and lowered the position of Vice Chairman of the State Council to Minister of Finance.
According to a year of investigations, these personnel changes have not led to any significant fresh starts regarding the general line.
In agricultural matters, socialist transformation continues to fall into disuse. With increased agrarian exploitation and class separation in the villages, the tension between backward agriculture and developing heavy industry has become extremely sharp. Provisions of agricultural goods remain scarce. Grains and spices are largely imported. Their grain imports for the year totaled 2 million tons. This year it could be as high as 2.3 million tons, reaching 8.25 million tons over five years. Although the issue of grain self sufficiency over the next several years was brought up at the Sixth Plenary Session last September, alternatives were only discussed academically. They did not so much as touch on collaborative trade arrangements or China’s prosperous agriculture. It seems that the KPC’s strategy going forward will be to continue to rely on middle peasants, well-to-do middle peasants and rich peasants to settle the question of development for the agriculture industry.
In industrial matters, there has been a strengthening of discipline in labor and finance over the last year. Labor efficiency has gone up. Important industries like steel, coal and chemicals have reached their quotas early. Overall industrial production is up about 10%. However, since the beginning of the year, people’s living standards have gone down slightly due to a decrease in purchasing power. The phenomenon of [illegible] of industrial market goods is intensifying, such that a number of light industry and durable goods manufactures are undermanned. It is not clear what should be done at the present moment. The problem of importing raw and unprocessed materials continues to be at the root of Poland’s industrial difficulties. Right now half of Poland’s offices rely either directly or indirectly on industrial importation of raw materials for their work. This sort of reliance on foreign trade for industry is a growing trend. All planned national economic development over the next five years will be decided by the development of trade and agriculture. This is why Poland has emphasized the importance trade for so long. Over the past year, they have gone out with still greater intensity in search for foreign markets, directing their searches particularly toward Asia, Africa and Latin America. After expending much effort, exportation of industrial goods has seen a marked increase, yet they are still helpless to lower the importation of raw materials and agricultural goods. Last year’s projected trade deficit was 900 million rubles. Poland has not yet found a solution for this sort of pauperism, which has characterized their affairs since 1954, and which moreover is steadily deteriorating. Since Gomułka took office he has solicited loans from America and other Western European nations in order to shore up the deficit; the American loan they have requested a full four times, asking a total of 426.3 million USD. Their fifth attempt at procuring such a loan was made during a discussion in Washington, D.C. For Poland’s economy to rely on trade and American dollars for its support is the main reason that they beg for peace and moderation rather than opposing the American empire.
In matters related to the united front of political thought, they have made progress in attacking and controlling the reactionary influence of the church. They have suppressed religious troublemaking and taken steps toward eliminating religion classes in some schools. Labor education has strengthened its discipline. The movement to suggest competition and rationalization in the workforce has begun its recovery. There has been an expansion of education on the consolidation of long and short-term benefits for workers. In the cultural arts, ‘black literature’ continues to be banned, contaminated Western movies have come under some control, and films that slander the nation’s socialism have been subjected to criticism. Voicing support for degenerate abstract art has been prohibited. Therefore, they have taken a restrictive attitude toward these popular but disgraceful objects. However, all of this has yet to touch upon the substance of the Socialist revolution’s political ideology united front. Revisionism and capitalist classism are still the ruling doctrines. Poland has no evidence plans for disrupting this. The revisionist [Leszek] Kołakowski, once the subject of Gomułka’s open polemic, has even begun writing articles again. More importantly, the KPC has assigned [Oskar R.] Lange and other revisionists to systematize and theorize the political lines implemented since Gomułka took office, to issue propaganda calling them Marxist-Leninist, and to indoctrinate both cadres and young people. This year they will start publishing Gomułka’s selected works. This is an important step toward consolidating his ideological positions. Despite the appearance of a few good signs in Poland’s domestic politics this year, at a fundamental level there have not been any positive changes. In fact, the overall trends point to insidious developments.
2. Some Things We have Learned about Our Work
This past year was a year of sharp struggle between two political roads. This type of struggle impacted every aspect of our work. Taking our directions from the orders given by the Central Committee and ministries, we were basically accurate in our responses to this new situation. The following are some specific observations we have made.
(1) Problems with manufacturing pamphlets: For the embassy to print pamphlets from within fraternal states, issuing propaganda for Marxism as well as the given state’s internal and foreign policy measures, is the ordinary work of any embassy, in keeping with the conventions of foreign relations. However, this past year, due to the Sino-Soviet split and the uniformity of Polish and Soviet viewpoints, there was deep dissatisfaction directed toward our pamphlets being printed and distributed, particularly with regard to the three articles we printed in honor of V.I. Lenin. Yet the KPC did not express their views until several months after the fact. At the end of last August, when struggle began to sharpen, the KPC formally criticized the embassy for publishing pamphlets “behind their backs,” calling this “abnormal.” They wished to investigate; during the Moscow Conference, Gomułka personally suggested this to [Vice] Chairman Liu Shaoqi, accusing the embassy of not paying attention to their ideas, an erroneous claim. This showed that the two sides’ embassies could publish their own newspapers, but that posting divergent viewpoints would not be allowed. Such circumstances demonstrate that Poland bears extreme apprehensions toward our embassy’s propaganda. They particularly fear that we will influence people within the KPC who have misgivings toward their leadership, which would be harmful to them. In light of this situation, we believe that from now on, when we publish pamphlets in Poland, we must put “seeking common ground while holding back differences” into practice. We were admittedly never actively involved in provoking polemics, but we must not give the opposite side a pretext for accusing us of such behavior. We do this to adapt to the new post-Moscow situation in fraternal party harmony.
(2) Problems with diplomacy: The diplomacy organized over the past year in Poland, in accordance with the Central Committee and ministries’ recommendations, can basically be divided between the “two Chinas” discussion and the three genres of unfriendly divergence from us in ideology and appearances. That Polish officials have continuously supported our side in the “two Chinas” discussion is obvious. Last year, at the United Nations Global Summit meeting organized by Poland, having heard our diplomacy, Poland refused the certification of the Bandit Jiang’s [Jiang Jieshi] “delegation”. However, Poland’s social situation is complicated; there are many reactionaries. The “two Chinas” problem often appears in within certain labor unions’ activities and publications. After our diplomatic discussions with the Foreign Ministry, on average they demonstrate acceptance and go along willingly with our demands. But even after diplomacy, the “two Chinas” phenomenon still pops up. This is likely due in large part to Poland’s inability to completely control its political situation. We kept a record of press coverage on the “two Chinas” problem. After a certain period, we notified the Polish side that their method of oversight appeared to be correct. If our notices had been too frequent we might have brought on a misunderstanding. Concerning Poland’s unfriendly displays toward us, such as not planning a speech by our ambassador during last year’s Chinese National Day celebrations, changing the wording of our message on Maoism for the exposition without our permission, etc., we promptly went to the Polish side with objections. This method is the correct one, and it obtained good results. For example, regarding the wording of the notice on Maoism, Poland made corrections in accordance with our objections. Concerning the bilateral split in ideology, the embassy, in accordance with the Central Committee’s recommendations, presented many of the party’s documents. Following last year’s diplomatic experience, we learned that foreign diplomacy is very serious work, and it must not be done half-heartedly. The situation must be made clear beforehand. The nature of the problem must be clearly delineated. We must go to the state for directions, and then implement those directions. Before conducting diplomacy, we must not reveal any areas of dissatisfaction for objections. We should direct our diplomacy to foreign ministries as opposed to specific business entities. Our experience has been that when matters of diplomacy are directed to foreign ministries, on average the results are fairly satisfactory. When we direct diplomacy to industrial offices, the results have sometimes fallen short of our goals. At the International Stamp Exposition, with the Jiang Jieshi clique [Taiwan] and the “False Manchu” [Japan] stamps, for example: we tried diplomacy with the industrial offices, but in the end we were refused. Concerning the related issue of bilateral divergences in ideology, the embassy can only be held responsible for providing clarification and publishing the Central Committee’s decisions. The embassy itself will not publicize its feelings.
(3) Problems with activities for foreigners:The embassy is the nation’s representative entity: we must confront the upper classes and officials. Since the interior of the KPC is out of harmony, there is a constituency that side with the CCP on the matter of the Sino-Soviet split. Therefore, in those activities of ours that are geared toward foreigners, we absolutely must strive to confront the officials on the basis of reason, in order to avoid getting dragged in to the KPC’s internal struggles. In the past, we had already made note of this point, but in a few of our activities this past year we overstepped our boundaries to a certain degree. In dealing with fraternal states should uphold our position of not gathering intelligence. From now on this will be doubly important: it is in our interest that we not collect their classified documents, so that we will experience fewer collisions with the “conservatives,” both in and out of office. This way we will avert the present paranoia. When visiting with personnel from fraternal embassies, we must avoid discussion of living within the state, and not comment on the third state.
(4) Problems with foreign talks: The embassy is the representative entity of foreign affairs. Talks with foreigners must be handled with prudence. The perspectives of the CCP must be retold correctly and completely. The questions we came up against most often in our activities with foreigners over the past year had to do with war and peace: questions related to peaceful coexistence and harmony. In our conversations we must endeavor to prevent one-sidedness. If we do not keep a firm grasp on Marxist doctrine, peace, and harmony (the Three Banners), we will then easily become passive. This is why it is imperative for us to diligently study and learn from the Central Committee’s policies and ideologies. When conversing with the leaders of host states on the topic of the split, in order to guarantee some leeway, it is best not to end after just one discussion. It is not good to announce one’s disapproval of the Sino-Soviet split to middle and high-ranking party cadres, either. Before May of last year, we rarely dared to acknowledge the split; in fact, this tended to blur our ideological boundaries, and its impact on foreign policy was rather negative. We made immediate corrections later, thus taking a more active role. When we encounter provocation in our discussions, we must provide a counterattack, while at the same time resisting a quarrel. In the past, we usually presented as relatively tolerant; our counterattacks were not forceful. In conversations with the public, the important thing is to relay our points of view with clarity; we do not denounce the Sino-Soviet split, nor do we completely acknowledge it. We especially emphasize that harmony [illegible]. This is instrumental in straightening out confused ways of thinking.
(5) Problems with bilateral collaboration: It is an internationalist necessity for fraternal states to support each other politically before the eyes of capitalist states. Since last year, when the KPC began following the Soviets due to the ideological split, Poland has turned its back on this obligation, maintaining a neutral position in Chinese-Indian border affairs. Moreover, we have followed internationalist reasoning in our staunch support of Poland’s Western border. This has had a good impact on the population. In matters of economic cooperation, Poland has always declared that they wish to expand their purchasing, and this year China is again faced with practical difficulties. It will be hard to fulfill Poland’s requests. In order to offer complete justification, [illegible] obtain a positive understanding. While collaborating with fraternal states, one’s obligations must not be borne lightly; obligations already taken on must be diligently seen through, particularly in the present circumstances. We must not agree to a resolution, as we did at the last meeting, and then refuse it at the next meeting. For example, at the Ministers of Posts and Telecommunications Conference in Berlin the year before last, fraternal states decided to provide mutual material aid; at the Railway Transport Conference in Sofia, it was decided that East and West would adopt a uniform set of rules for light rail shipping. Our delegations at these meetings did not express dissenting views. During the first meeting in Warsaw last year, we demonstrated our disapproval for these decisions, inciting the disapproval of fraternal states. The educational value of this experience should be absorbed.
All in all, last year's occurrences allow us to acknowledge more clearly that the Socialist states’ harmonious cooperation is leading us toward a guaranteed victory. Therefore, fraternal states mutual relations must be resolutely constructed on the basis of the five points and proletarian internationalism. Sino-Soviet bilateral unity is thus at the foundation of the international communist movement and the harmony of the Socialist camp. Once China and the USSR are united, our unification with Poland and other Western European fraternal parties will be simple. The basic interests of the fraternal parties are identical. Their theories and goals are shared. But the tension between and incorrect objections, and the bureaucratic conflict between harm and benefit, remain ever-present. In sorting out these problems, we should traverse the road of interior consultation. At the moment, we cannot be unified, but we must base ourselves on the spirit of “seeking common ground while holding back differences,” and patiently wait until the time is ripe to make a decision.
3. Perspectives on the Post-Moscow Conference Situation and the Embassy’s Work Plans for 1961.
The unanimous agreement of the Moscow meeting having been declared, the international communist movement and the Socialist camp have a new foundation for harmony. They share a common language. Chairman Liu’s visit to the USSR was especially noteworthy, allowing Sino-Soviet bilateral harmony to achieve a new level of strength. This type of climate constitutes a serious attack against imperialism, and an extreme form of encouragement to the people. It is not advantageous for revisionism, but for Marxism; it is not advantageous for the compromisers, but for the revolutionaries. For China it is indeed advantageous: we ought to embrace this advantageous weapon and advance the harmony work. Of course the meeting did not resolve all elements of the split. Reaching a pact is one thing but whether or not the packed will be respected is quite another. Struggle must remain ongoing for now. But for now harmony and unification is the primary focus. This situation cannot help but have an enormous influence on world affairs in the year 1961. It seems that in 1961, the storm of Asian, African, and Latin American peoples’ revolutions will escalate further still. Workers movements in capitalist states will continue to develop. While vying for neutrality, struggles between imperialist and socialist states will reach new levels of violence. In order to get rid of its own economic crisis, American imperialism will continue to expand its Armed Forces in preparation for war. In addition, they will use their two counter-revolutionary hands to additionally strengthen their conspiracy against Socialist state participation in the Cold War, thus calming and regulating their internal conflicts. Poland’s attitude toward the declarations of the Moscow conference can be classified as partly accepting and partly reserved. Their propaganda related to the declarations have been on the whole vigorous and panegyric. However, while at the same time exposing the Kennedy administration, they still harbor grand illusions. They call Yugoslavia a socialist state in public. Despite continual references to “protecting” Soviet-Polish friendship, they do not obey the Soviet Union in every case. Concerning Sino-Polish relations, in their propaganda they have upped their coverage of Chinese construction’s successes. Sometimes they print the words “Three Red Banners.” [Aleksander] Zawadzki has even remarked that friendliness with China must be strengthened. This indeed reflects the stance toward China called for by the vast majority of Poles. Yet on the other hand, the KPC still restricts the expansion of our party’s influence within Poland. They speak endlessly about the strengthening of harmony between Socialist states, but the only one in Gomułka’s mouth is the USSR, and not China. While spreading the declarations of the Moscow Conference, Gomułka even launched repeated and strikingly violent attacks against the CCP. Polish-Albanian relations are deteriorating, due to the CCP’s support for Albania’s just position. This has escalated Poland’s concerns toward us. Add to this our vehement scaling-back of Sino-Polish trade over the last year and the cuts in Sino-Polish cultural exchange projects, which altogether have left a substantial impact on bilateral relations. This type of relationship between China and Poland will not see its fruits for some time; even in the course of this year it will not develop much further. This is decided by objective factors. Therefore, our plans to become slightly warmer toward the USSR, and slightly cooler to Western European states, are completely justified.
In accordance with the above perspectives, the Embassy’s work in 1961 ought to diligently carry out the decisions of the Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs meeting, and patiently open up friendly harmony work in Poland. Our specific plans are as follows:
1. Friendly Visitations
Last year we extended an invitation to the Sino-Polish Friendship Committee Chair Ying-de-li-qiao-fu-si-ji [sic] (a member of the Polish politburo). This year the [illegible] delegation is visiting China. Ying-de-li-qiao-fu-si-ji has already accepted the invitation: whether or not he goes, we will notify the Polish side at that time.
(1) This year, the Sino-Polish trade talks work will be exceedingly difficult due to the extremely steep declines. However we must strive to clearly explain the truth, and struggle to reach an understanding.
(2) We have already decided to attend the Poznan International Fair in June. We will decide as soon as possible whether or not to send a political delegation, in order to discuss internal affairs.
(3) In September, Poland will hold a Polish socialist construction victory fair in Beijing. It will be the largest scale exposition commissioned by Poland in a foreign state. In order to emphasize the importance of this event, it is possible that Poland will send director-level personnel to facilitate the curtain ceremonies.
(1) According to the principle of “lowering quantity and raising quality,” we must put our agreements into practice.
(2) It would be best for our major opera troupes to book appearances in Poland.
(3) Completing the work of bringing the Polish Vice Cultural Minister’s cultural delegation to China.
(1) Within the embassies own projects, we foment rising tides in research, raising the quality of our investigations. In our intimate examinations of internal and foreign relations movements, we will take world affairs, socialist camp affairs, and the facts pertaining to Poland as our starting points. Our communications to the government will be swift.
(2) In order to systematically investigate in Poland, we will depend on politburo members to personally see to the following special topics:
1) Poland’s methods of propaganda for the Moscow conference documents (assigned to the research office)
2) Polish-American relations (assigned to the Embassy)
3) Polish agricultural policy (assigned to Officer Yao)
4) Affairs within Poland’s artworld (assigned to Officer Zhu)
5) Polish zeitgeist (assigned to the research office)
6) Relations between church and state (assigned to the research office)
7) Polish military affairs (assigned to Military Attaché Zhou)
8) Movements within Polish youth thought (assigned to Secretary Zhang)
9) Poland’s trade policy in its second five-year plan (assigned to Officer Shang)
10) Problems in Poland’s Western region (assigned to General Consul Cui)
(1) With regard to training cadres, we must unceasingly strengthen Mao Zedong Thought education. We will facilitate rigorous study of the fourth chapter of the Selected Works of Chairman Mao and assign every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon for study time.
(2) In order to raise cadres’ correct awareness of international issues, we will organize debates on special topics once every two months. The subjects will be assigned ahead of time.
(3) Relevant developments in China’s international policy and national concerns will be assigned accordingly for study.
6. Cadres will all put into practice the Three Main Rules of Discipline and the Eight Points for Attention; continually strengthening cadres’ organization and discipline education.
Please reply with corrections if you consider any of the above views unsound.
[Chinese] Embassy in Poland
14 April 1961
The Chinese Embassy in Poland reviews the state of China's relations with Poland in 1960-1961.
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