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October 2, 1963

Conversation of Comrade Mao Zedong with Delegation of the People’s Army of Albania Haded by Comrade Beqir Balluku (2 October 1963)

This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Conversation of comrade Mao Zedong with delegation of the People’s Army of Albania headed by comrade Beqir Balluku (2 October 1963)

After the usual greetings, and after comrade Beqir gave his regards on behalf of comrade Enver, comrade Mehmet, and other leaders of the Party of Labor of Albania, comrade Mao Zedong said:

You have worked and continue to work well. Your entire party, your entire people, and your entire army are united. We are very glad about this. The revisionists act against you and against us, against all Marxist-Leninist parties. One can say that this kind of activity is bad activity. We had not predicted this. So, it looks like we should have reflected more deeply and predicted this kind of situation.

The 20th and 22nd congresses of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union are fruits of the last few years. The occurrence of these congresses is not a bad thing. They have helped us because they forced us to think through some issues, helped us improve our work and to strengthen the unity, helped us in our struggle against revisionism. We have not asked for this kind of struggle with them, but they sought to fight against us. What can one do? This kind of disunity, this kind of struggle was forced upon us. Our party educates our people according to Marxist-Leninist theory. This is a direct kind of education, but it does not suffice. Some people do not listen to us; they do not read the books. But revisionism made an appearance, and they are forced to think through some issues, to read some books, to study how the revisionists castigate us. So more people believe in our words now. Especially in the current year, beginning in November of last year, communist parties held their congresses in Italy, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Germany. Not only did they openly attack you, but they also openly attacked us. It is easier to put out articles now. We now publish articles with a specific goal in mind, because they castigated us first. They have put out many articles. During the last month in the Soviet Union they put out 200-300 articles, correspondences, and reprints of articles and decisions of others. Whereas we only published 2-3 articles and if one also includes the statements of the government and the Central Committee, then it is more than ten. But even if they are ten, they are fewer than 200-300 articles.

As far as France is concerned, they have published a large number of articles where they attack us. Whereas we have only written one article directed at them. The Italian Communist Party has also written many articles. We only put out two articles about them. In addition, we put out one on the Communist Party of the USA, one on the Czechoslovak Communist Party, one on the Indian Communist Party. The issue is not that we should write a lot. As in the past, when we fought against enemies, and more specifically the enemies that you fought against as well, though it is not entirely clear to me, but I think that you did fight against the fascists …

B. Balluku: We fought against the Italian and German fascists.

Mao Zedong: We fought against the Japanese, the Americans, and the reactionaries of our country, the Chiang Kai-shekists. We had a very small number of weapons back then. They were also very worn out. Were you in Yan’an?

[Chief of Joint Staff and general of the People’s Liberation Army] Luo Ruiqing: Comrade Beqir was, but the others were not.

B. Balluku: Yan’an made a deep impression on us. It was like a fortress of the revolution.

Mao Zedong: At the time, we were worse off than the enemy in all respects. This is how it always goes in the world; what is weak and small in the beginning gradually grows, gains a lot in strength. I found this general situation: During a period of peaceful developments in the international situation, the appearance of revisionism is inevitable. Before the First World War, a lot of revisionists appeared in Europe. At the time, Lenin fought against them. He attended many international conferences. Many of the decisions of those conferences are good ones. But when the conferenced ended, they immediately would give up on the decisions. By attending these international conferences, they were forced to take these decisions but they never considered actually putting them in practice. What are these revisionists? They are the social-democratic parties. The Leninists were a minority back then. There was a small quantity of leftist elements in the organizations of these social-democratic parties. Among them, the Bolsheviks were the most organized and the most powerful. But until the eve of the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks only had a few tens of thousands of communists. The data varies on this: Some say they had 50,000, others say it was 80,000. I do not know who is correct, but regardless, a few tens of thousands. One can find the accurate numbers in the books. In short, the Bolsheviks got a majority in the soviets only on the eve of the revolution. Back then, Lenin said: We can now carry out the revolution.

Liu Shaoqi: The Bolsheviks only had a majority of 51 percent back then.

Mao Zedong: In any case, the general number of the Bolsheviks was smaller than of the Mensheviks. We now found ourselves again in such a situation. Once again we find ourselves in a period of a so-called peaceful development of the situation. The character of many communist parties changed. This happened because their social base changed, the party politics changed. I do not know what the situation is in your country; as far as we are concerned, we are now fighting against the bourgeois elements within and outside of the party. For ten years now, we have not tackled this. I am keeping in mind the struggle against thieves of state property, against waste, against speculators. For ten years we have not preoccupied ourselves with the struggle against these. Many bad things have taken cover inside our party. Our party ranks are not clean. Parts of the party organizations have fallen in the hands of enemies. Therefore, if we are still not going to deal with this struggle, then revisionism will emerge in China in close to ten years. The emergence of revisionism is not something strange.

It seems that the international situation is changing. The Third World exists. The Western press has two explanations for the term “Third World.” Some say that that the “Third World” is Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Others say that Western Europe is also “Third World.” They have in mind the common market. The emergence of a common market is not a coincidence. It emerged under the pressure of American imperialism. Other than the common market of six countries, there is also the free trade alliance consisting of seven countries, with England at the top. There are contradictions between the six countries and America, but also between the seven countries and America. Economically speaking, the most powerful country in the East is Japan. The contradictions between Japan and America keep developing. This time, over 400 Japanese have come to our national celebration in Beijing.

Zhou Enlai: Over 400 have come to Beijing in the meantime. Another 300 will come. In total, they will be about 800 people. 

Mao Zedong: So many articles can be written about the international situation. Some people say that we are isolated. Maybe they are right. It is also possible that they are wrong. You visited Yan’an. We were isolated back then. Is it not so? In fact, we lost Yan’an. At the time, we only had 20,000 people in Yan’an, whereas the enemy attacked with more than 200,000 people. At times, the Central Committee was only a few hundred meters from the enemy, but the enemy did not know where we were. The reason for this was that the people were good. They supported us. So the enemies were blind. A few months later, the situation changed. Close to a year after that, we established ourselves in Yan’an. So what is important is that our political course be correct. If it is, the victory will be ours. If we try to work better, we will make fewer mistakes. It is impossible, we think, not to make any mistakes. In the end, people more or less make mistakes. But one must try not to make mistakes on important issues.

B. Balluku: On principal issues.

Mao Zedong: Yes, yes, on principal issues. We are very glad to have met you. I was told that a part of your delegation leaves tomorrow.     

B. Balluku: We will all leave tomorrow. We will go to Kunming, and then in two groups we will go to Rangoon [Yangon].

Mao Zedong: Before you used to come from the north.

B. Balluku: Now we come from the south.

Mao Zedong: It is not easy to hinder our relationship. There is a Chinese saying that goes like this: “When it is dark in the east, it is light in the west; when things are dark in the south, there is still light in the north.”[1]

Luo Ruiqing: Now the situation is like this: It is dark in the north, but it is light in the south.

B. Balluku: Comrade Mao Zedong, we very much thank you for the opportunity given to us to visit China. We will return to our homeland with great enthusiasm. Our visit here has made a deep impression on us. We will convey all of this to our Party, our Central Committee. We also saw the great manifestation in the capital, which shows the strength of the great Chinese people. It is a large manifestation that pleases friends and frightens enemies.

Mao Zedong: They say that we are warmongers, so we only brought out the people’s police. The army, headed by comrade He Long and comrade Luo Ruiqing, did not come out.

B. Balluku: In the event of a military attack against the People’s Republic of China, the entire Chinese people will rise to their feet as a united force. If a situation like this comes about, we are convinced that the Chinese people will fight with a power that is one hundred times greater and that it will completely destroy the enemies, thus bringing about another glorious epic. As you said comrade Mao Zedong, we have not wanted this struggle but have been forced into it. We have fought and continue to fight for unity on a Marxist-Leninist basis. We respect the revolutionary principles of the Moscow declaration. But they walk all over them, debasing them. The Communist Party of China, led by the Central Committee and headed by you, comrade Mao Zedong, engages in a glorious struggle against modern revisionism. This fills us with enthusiasm and gives us strength for our own struggle. As before, we will continue to go forward together with you, with the Communist Party of China, in this great struggle, which will assuredly lead to our victory, to the victory of Marxism-Leninism.

Comrade Mao Zedong: Very well, let us go forward together, let us help and support one another.


[1] Translator’s note: The saying is rendered here as it is most commonly presented in English, although the Albanian document renders it slightly differently. 

Beqir Balluku holds a discussion with Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, and Luo Ruiqing. The Chinese side reviews their country's revolutionary history and many years of struggle against the Kuomintang.

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Document Information


Arkivi Qendror Shtetëror (Central State Archives, Tirana, Albania), Fondi 14/AP, Marrëdhëniet me Partinë Komuniste të Kinës, V. 1963, Dos. 8, Fl. 1-5. Contributed and translated by Elidor Mëhilli.


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