September 28, 1970
Conversation between Comrade Mao Zedong and Other Chinese Leaders with Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi and Other Comrades on 28 September 1970
This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Conversation between comrade Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders with comrade Abdyl Këllëzi and other comrades on 28 September 1970
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: How is your health comrade Mao Zedong?
Comrade Mao Zedong: Not better than yours.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: But your heart is young.
Comrade Mao Zedong: How long have you been here [in China]?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Since August 14th, more than a month and a half.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Have you been in Beijing this whole time?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: No, we have also visited China’s northeast, the provinces Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning. Allow me to present to you the greetings of comrade Enver, of the Politburo and the Party Central Committee, and to wish you a long life.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Thank you.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: I would like to congratulate you on the great historic victories of the proletarian Cultural Revolution—launched and led by you—and which is a great victory not only for you, but for the entire world, for all revolutionaries.
Comrade Mao Zedong: We have attained a kind of victory, but not completely.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: We think that China is moving forward. We saw with our own eyes the colossal advancements that have taken place in recent years, and we especially tool note of your wonderful people.
Comrade Mao Zedong: You were in the northeast. Has there been any kind of progress there, because I have not visited in recent years?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Yes, the cadres have become more conscious, as have peasants, workers, and soldiers. We were impressed not only with the industrial development but especially the development of agriculture. The provinces that we visited have achieved a lot of success. We can make comparisons based on our visits of earlier years. For example, there are noticeable changes in Daqing, and so on.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Was the ambassador with you?
Comrade Xhoxhi Robo: I was. I was there last year also, and noticed great changes in all respects this time around, both in terms of production and the revolution.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Have you been to the south of China?
Comrade Xhoxhi Robo: I have been to Guangdong, Henan, Hunan, Shanxi, Shaoshan, and in Yan’an.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yan’an is a backward place.
Comrade Xhoxhi Robo: That could be, but we saw this historical place where you have lived, comrade Mao, along with the other comrades. We were also told that there is a decision to develop this region.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Truly, there is a new burst of energy, a new movement. We are enthused by the decisions taken by the Second Plenum; everything said at the Plenum about the victories attained we were able to see—fully realized—with our own eyes. There is moreover a new big revolutionary burst in the ideological preparation of the masses, but also in development, the struggle to defend the country, for preparations in the event of a war, and the revolutionary movement in collectives, among people, and so on. It seems to us truly like a new burst, which will have major incalculable consequences.
Comrade Mao Zedong: It is possible that we have seen some progress. But our big country with this huge population does not have the necessary economic standards. Twenty-one years have passed since the founding of the People’s Republic; after another 21, we will see bigger progress. Have all issues that you have raised in the meetings been solved?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: They are on the way to being solved, but we believe that they will be solved.
Comrade Mao Zedong: You believe so?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: As always. You, comrade Zhou Enlai, and the other comrades, like for example comrades Li Xiannian, Li Qiang, Fang Yi, etc., have shown special care regarding our issues, addressing them with the greatest care, and taking special interest. We thank you very much for the internationalist assistance provided to us. It has allowed us to get ahead, to develop more quickly. We have mobilized our people, achieving some successes under the leadership of the Party and comrade Enver, and your assistance has been very important.
Comrade Mao Zedong: But mainly you rely on your own forces.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: It would not be correct not to do so.
Comrade Mao Zedong: That is true. There are two Marxist-Leninist groups in Italy. How will they deal with this? In some countries, there are even more, like, for example, three.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Nixon went on a visit to Rome and the masses of hundreds of millions rose up to protest his visit there.
Comrade Mao Zedong: The consciousness of people around the world is rising.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Your observation is correct. What is important is that these groups engage in combat, even with weapons, so that they become stronger in the revolutionary struggle, and through this struggle, they are purged and united.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yes, for example, the consciousness of American people has been raised considerably in recent years, but a truly revolutionary party is missing there now.
Similarly, in China, when the May Fourth 1919 movement started, the Communist Party was missing even though the masses have launched demonstrations. In 1910, the Socialist Youth League was established. The Communist Party was only founded in 1921, but our party was weak then, only counting tens of members. This is why it seems to me that the masses have moved ahead in Italy, the Unites States, France, etc., and the need to establish a Party has arisen. We also only had a few Marxist-Leninist groups in the beginning, and so they united and the Party was formed. In the beginning, we copied the statute of the Russian party. At the time, we needed to borrow from the October Revolution because we did not know what to do back then. After that, we slowly learned how to wage revolution, and after so many failures, we finally achieved victory.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: The same happened with us. Italy occupied us in 1939. The people rose up to defend the country. There was no Party, only a few communist groups. The people’s movement to fight made it necessary to unite these groups, and so comrade Enver founded the Party on the basis of this unification of the groups. Then the war grew by a leap. It is true that if the people rise up, the Party must lead.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yes, this is how it is.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: When was the Communist Party of Albania founded?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: On 8 November 1941.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Next year you will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of your Party.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yes, it has been 30 years since the founding of your party.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: It was a very difficult situation. The Italian invader found support within the domestic reactionary forces. We lacked experience, but we found it by fighting.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Often, enemies help up. For example, Mussolini helped you.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: He helped us because we rose up in armed struggle.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yes, that is correct. Unfortunately, his own country has not yet been liberated.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: The leaders of the Italian Communist Party became revisionists, betrayed Marxist-Leninism. One must start again now, and through fighting the revolutionaries will emerge.
Comrade Mao Zedong: As a consequence of the split in the Italian Communist Party, the Manifesto group emerged, as the Marxist-Leninist one. Some think that this group is a ploy masterminded in Moscow, so that there is a plan behind this. One must look into this, no need to rush. One must look into what this group is about.
Comrade Kang Sheng: Other than the Manifesto group, two Marxist-Leninist groups have been established.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: The struggle will be a test for these groups. It is unfortunate that their leaders stay in offices and do not go to the workers, do not establish contacts with the masses, do not actively participate in their actions, do not lead these actions.
Comrade Mao Zedong: You are referring to the Marxist-Leninist group.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: To [The Communist Party of Italy (Marxist–Leninist) leader Fosco] Dinucci’s group.
Comrade Kang Sheng: They do not insert themselves into the midst of the people.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: They do not get upfront in the action, do not take the lead.
Comrade Kang Sheng: They do not actively participate in action.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: It is different in Brazil. They fight, take up weapons. It is also somewhat different with the group in France, who are more connected to action.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Is it better in France? Are they more connected to the masses?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: The French comrades are more serious, and I think they supervise a number of actions. Of course, they are also in the beginnings but it looks like they are in a better path. There is also sectarianism in the Italian groups.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yes, three groups, including the Manifesto one.
Comrade Kang Sheng: The leader of the Manifesto group is [Italian communist politician Enrico] Berlinguer, who was earlier involved with the youth union affairs. When we were in Moscow, he fought hard against us. He has contradictions with [Italian communist politician and party secretary Luigi] Longo.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Berlinguer is a revisionist also.
Comrade Kang Sheng: Yes, that is correct. In Moscow he fought hard against us.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: They have lost their revolutionary qualities. New revolutionary forces must emerge now, new cadres, from the struggle and from the working class.
Comrade Mao Zedong: The Romanian comrades told us that you could speak with the Manifesto group. We have still not made a decision because if we speak with them, then the Dinucci group will be unhappy. If talks must happen, then you can speak with them first, then us.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: There used to be cadres with whom one could speak in their Central Committee, who had a good track record, like for example [Italian communist politician Pietro] Secchia. But even he is almost completely done as a revolutionary, has lost the revolutionary qualities. He had contradictions with Longo and [Italian Communist party leader Palmiro] Togliatti but nevertheless got detached from the masses. After the events in Moscow, we tried to get closer to them and to speak with them. He came to Albania. The revolutionary groups must work towards the undermining and destruction of this revisionist party.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Yes, that is correct. The revisionist Italian party has a large number of members. Of course, we cannot say that all the people are bad. As with the events of the October Revolution, with the masses of Mensheviks, they were also not all bad, otherwise the St. Petersburg soviet would have won a majority.
You are in Europe and are very close to Western Europe. You have more contacts with them.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Yes, we try repeatedly, and some of them visit us often. We have talks with them. Naturally, they must know the conditions of the struggle in their own country better and must, so to say, better lead so that they can attain victory. It is like you say, comrade Mao Zedong, there are masses of people in Italy who want revolution, want socialism, but they are disappointed with the revisionist Party. The demonstrations against Nixon’s visit are not a simple thing; they do not constitute economic action, but political action. The masses are ahead.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Where will Nixon go through?
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, and England.
Comrade Mao Zedong: He wants to come and visit China once before he dies.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Let him die then. If they dare come here, they will die.
Comrade Mao Zedong: It is not one hundred percent like this. If he wants to come here, this means that he will ask for something. The Americans say that Warsaw is not the appropriate place for talks between China and the United States. We said to them that they were right. We have been doing talks for ten years and have not achieved any results. Come to Beijing, and let us talk about Taiwan.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Give up Taiwan, and then we talk.
Comrade Mao Zedong: After this, they no longer said that they want to come here.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Now he will greet both the Sixth Fleet and the Soviet fleet.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Perhaps they will greet one another.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: They will blare the sirens.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Do you think that there are more contradictions between the Soviet Union and the United States, or more opportunities for cooperation between them?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: In the struggle against China, Albania, and the revolution, their cooperation is evident whereas in the struggle of the division of spheres of influence, there are irreconcilable contradictions.
Comrade Mao Zedong: In the division of spheres of influences the contradictions between them are bigger.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: The contradictions have become evident in the Middle East.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Here is where the contradictions have become evident; Nixon’s visit itself is a demonstration of the contradictions. This is my opinion. Perhaps I am wrong.
Comrade Mao Zedong: It might be. For example, Nixon’s visit to Romania last year did not please the Soviet Union. Perhaps the visit to Yugoslavia would not displease the Soviet Union more [?].
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Yugoslavia had also invited Nixon to visit, and his visit to Romania but not in Yugoslavia is a demonstration of the contradictions between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union has submarines in the Mediterranean and perhaps the United States wants them moved from there.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: And so the Caribbean scenario could be repeated.
- - -
Comrade Mao Zedong: Other than Cuba, what other Latin American countries do you have diplomatic relations with?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Other than Cuba, we do not have diplomatic relations with any other country. We have tried to establish these kinds of relations with other countries. The conditions were there to establish relations with Brazil but this did not work out because the coup happened.
Comrade Mao Zedong: This happens at the time of [Brazilian president João Belchior Marques] Goulart. President Goulart has also been here.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: We have also tried to have trade representatives in some Latin American countries, have attempted this, but the Americans are firm in terms of Albania establishing relations with these countries. The Americans do not permit this.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Because they follow the Americans. For example, it was precisely the servants of American imperialism who carried out president Goulart’s overthrow.
It is possible that Canada and Italy establish diplomatic relations with us.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: This would be a good thing.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: You have diplomatic relations with Italy.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Yes, we do. We also have some friends in Italy, who served as partisans in Albania. We also have an Italian-Albanian friendship society, which does some work about Albania.
Comrade Kang Sheng: How are your relations with Turkey?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: We have good diplomatic relations. We have an embassy in Turkey and they have one in Albania. They have maintained a good stance towards us, because we have supported them on account of Cyprus.
There are many Albanians in Turkey, more than 300,000. There are similarly many Albanians in Istanbul. There are Albanian functionaries in the state apparatus, people who are sympathetic towards Albania. We have sent over exhibits, musical troupes, and so on, and these have made a good impression. There is a good opinion about Albania in Turkey. Their Chairman of parliament came for a visit, and our Chairman of the People’s Assembly went there on a visit. The reactionaries are very strong over there. The activity of the communist groups faces difficulties.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Are the Turks good at fighting wars?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Yes, they are.
Comrade Mao Zedong: During the war in Korea, Turkey sent there a brigade. We fought against them at one point.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: They could not put up resistance against you. They ruled over us for 500 years, but they did not manage to subjugate some entire regions of Albania.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Five centuries! How many people live in Cyprus?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Approximately 600,000. Some 400,000 are Greeks and 200,000 Turks.
Comrade Mao Zedong: So the majority is Greek. How is the situation in Greece?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: There is the military junta there, which has taken all powers. It is a fascist reactionary force.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: What is the population of Greece?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Some eight million. The communist movement there has always taken a lot of hits: During its history, the Archeio-Marxists, the Trotskyists, the revisionists and the betrayals before the war, during the war, and now. On the eve of the end of the Second World War, the movement also experienced huge losses on account of the defeatist position at Varkiza, surrendering the weapons to the English. Revolutionaries exist among the people, but these traitorous groups, as well as English and American spies, have defeated them, and such conditions have not allowed for the existence of a Marxist-Leninist party. Lately they have said that they would permit trade relations with us and have shown willingness but we do not have diplomatic relations. They continue to look at us as if we are in a state of war.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Will you stay in China longer?
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Yes, we will.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I think until the middle of October.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: We thank you very much for this reception.
Comrade Mao Zedong: Give my regards to comrade Enver and the other comrades.
Comrade Abdyl Këllëzi: Thank you.
 Translator note: The Socialist Youth League of China (later known as the Communist Youth League of China) was founded in 1920.
 Translator’s note: Syntax unclear in the original document.
 Translator’s note: Archeio-Marxism was a left political movement with some proponents in Greece between the world wars.
 Translator’s note: The Varkiza Agreement was signed on 12 February 1945 between government representatives and the forces of the National Liberation Front/the Greek People's Liberation Army (EAM/ELAS).
Mao Zedong and a visiting delegation from Albania discuss the history of the Albanian Party, Albania's relations with Italy, US-China relations, and other developments in Cuba, Brazil, Turkey, and Greece.
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