Skip to content


CSSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Information: The Most Recent Developments in the Chinese People’s Republic and the CSSR-Chinese Relations'

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation


[Illegible small stamp]


Ministry of Foreign Affairs   Produced: 35 [remaining digits are illegible]

  1. Print no.: 21

    Number of pages: 22


     SECRET [large stamp]


I n f o r m a t I o n


The most recent developments in the Chinese People’s Republic and the CSSR-Chinese relations.


The leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia analyzed the policy of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party most recently in November 1966. It then stated that the events that are drawing near in China, and are generally called The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution /farther called only “cultural revolution”/, are an expression of profound political crisis whose progress moreover strikingly deepened complex Chinese views that are in conflict with Marxism-Leninism and with the practice of the  majority of socialist countries[.] They discredit in the eyes of the world public not only the Chinese People’s Republic, but the entire idea of socialism.


As it continued, the “cultural revolution” confirmed the    fundamental opinion about this step in the development of the Chinese Peoples’ Republic (CPR):


- today’s political crisis in CPR is basically the consequence of the efforts of Mao Zedong and his cohort to continue a policy, carried out primarily during the second half of the 1950s, which disrespects the lawfulness of socialist progress and is an expression of petit bourgeois impatience, extreme nationalism, and great-power chauvinism. The goals of this policy are to avoid the complex problems connected with gradual overcoming of the country’s backwardness and [stimulate] economic growth, and with a single “leap” place China at the head of world’s revolutionary process and even reach the level of a respected world superpower.


- The contrast between this policy and objective lawful societal progress, as a result of more than a decade-long effort of Mao Zedong and his followers to fully implement [this policy] regardless of the familiar catastrophic consequences, ceaselessly deepens and broadens [its effects on] the life in China. Methods used to enforce this policy broaden the dissatisfaction and criticism. So, for example, in 1954 was criticized and expelled from the Party member PB Gao Gang; in the years 1958-1959 was criticized and practically excluded from political life member PB Peng Dehuai, and there was unleashed a campaign against certain party functionaries who took exception to the “great leap” and “people’s commune”. Today’s insistence by Mao Zedong and his followers to fully enforce his policy and sweep away all obstacles that stand in the way of its realization has produced a deep crisis that has seized the political life of the Chinese society and spread into the realm of economics.


- The political content of the “cultural revolution” is basically anti-Marxist. Almost 18 years after the victory of the people’s revolution there is now an effort to liquidate the current structure of political organization of the society and its leadership, further diminish the possibilities of the working class to share in the directing of the state. Mao Zedong and his group distrust the party organizations [and] are destroying the party and social organizations at the provincial level where they formed a meaningful link in the directing the society. [They] making an effort to establish an unlimited dictatorship of Mao Zedong, backed first of all by armed elements, in part by youth, and in part by the party cadre.


- Analysis of the societal content of the so-called “cultural revolution” clearly indicates that what is not involved is a people’s mass movement, but an open struggle of groups for the leadership of the party and the state in order to gain full political power and to assert their own concepts, first of all in the internal development of Chinese People’s Republic.


- Ideological content of the “cultural revolution” is cult of Mao Zedong and his teaching, presented as a generally valid theory.


x       x        x


The XI. Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China that took place last August launched a new phase in the development of the “cultural revolution”, in which Mao Zedong and his group set forth as their goals primarily to take full control of the country, change the social structure, and afterwards push through changes even in the economic sphere.


The entire period from last August until now has been marked by the great efforts of Mao Zedong and his group to broaden and strengthen absolute power, to seize the command of key positions in the party and state organizations throughout the country, and to paralyze the influence of opponents of the XI. Plenum. The attack was especially focused on the ranks of the party apparat, but under pressure of objective factors and its own experience with removing the consequences of the campaigns of “great leap” and “peoples’ communes” it [the apparat] frequently, even if only subconsciously, tried to prevent new adventurous experiments. That has put it partly at odds with the interests and goals of the Mao Zedong group.


As this went on, the Mao Zedong’s group changed, in response to new developments, both tactics and immediate objectives, depending on the power relationships during the period. After the XI. plenum it [the Mao’s group] has used criticism [and] unveiling of followers of “bourgeois and revisionist positions” /September-November/; then has changed the tactics to forceful repression of opponents and complete destruction of the state and party apparat by using armed means /January-March/. In recent months it is trying to execute tactics of more vigorous broadening and strengthening of Mao Zedong’s absolute might and creating new, so-called “revolutionary” organs of power, even while continuing nationalism-focused demonstration outside the offices of foreign representatives. In view of the increasingly more complex political situation, we will know only during the next phase what is the real tactic these days. After the XI. Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, there is fading also one of the long-held myths of the so-called unity of the party’s leadership. In December there were arrested several important members and candidates of the PB and the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the secretaries of the Central Committee /Peng Zhen, Peng Dehuai, later He Long, An Ziwen and others/ and there have been raised public charges against other members of PB and the Central Committee.


In individual phases of the current power struggle Mao Zedong and his group used a progression of means and tools to enforce their goals. As became clear, not one of the used tools – i.e. combat units of frenzied youth, so-called Red Guards, so-called revolutionary rebels; and the army -- are sufficiently prepared or capable of effectively replacing cadres who do the organizational work in national economy and state management. It has been shown that the main support [of Mao’s group] – the army, is able to protect its strength and maintain order, but it is not ready to be the main political force of the society.


One of the important and so far perhaps most successful politico-ideological means widely used by the group of Mao Zedong in the fight to gain total power is the boundlessly exploited cult of Mao Zedong and his teaching. This “teaching” linked with nationalistic upbringing and anti-Sovietism shows its results first of all in the ranks of the youth, the army and the urban population, especially because it misuses the historic experience of the Chinese people from the time of imperialistic dominance, which is now presented as the “white man’s rule.” Natural pride of the Chinese citizen of his earned independence and the size of China, connected in every way and exclusively with the name of Mao Zedong, is exploited to isolate his political opponents[.] [They] are accused of having “sold out to foreigners”, of collaborating with imperialists and revisionists, or of being their admirers.


Step-by-step widening of the “cultural revolution”, which originally was limited to the realm of infrastructure, [and] in the subsequent phase primarily [emphasized] the economy, has resulted in growing difficulties in the individual branches of the national management of resources and productivity. At first there were troubles in transportation, which led to shortages of raw materials and finished goods. Expansion of the “cultural revolution” to the sphere of production led to partial reduction of the labor force, the loss of many experienced managers, and impaired the labor discipline with the final result of lower production, worsened marketing relationship between cities and country etc. The rising chaos in production, Red Guards’ raids of factories, leftist measures, produced at the start of this year serious unrests in numerous industrial centers. There have been strikes and even armed clashes. At the same time, in some agricultural regions there have emerged attempts at the division of land, financial resources, harvested products etc.


But it is a fact that most recently there has been strengthening of labor discipline and of field work [to prepare] for the next harvest, even if sometimes it started rather late and under the pressure of life’s necessities. Provisions for the citizenry have not substantially changed. Of course, these “successes”, which do not resolve the most basic problems of economic growth /what’s happening is only a certain return to an earlier situation/ are reached not on the basis of a new economic policy or new economic measures, but on the contrary, they use some earlier methods from the time of economic policy called “orderliness”, [which is] today as much criticized as [are] its authors.


Throughout the time of the “cultural revolution” Mao Zedong and his group have been attempting to formulate economic policy in the spirit of the “great leap [forward]” as the opposite of the economic policy of the years 1961-1965[.] They’re trying [to achieve] that in national economy /but also in other areas. / [Their slogan is “the politics leads” and they follow the familiar theory of “under own power” as set by the example of the people’s commune Daqing and brigades in Dazhai diesel oil field [.] They, for example, work without financial or material help from the state, emphasize above all politico-moral factors, are self-sufficient, live in poverty and have no higher demands, etc. 


Mao Zedong and his group have perhaps managed to interrupt a development  that had increasingly aimed at a more realistic understanding of, for example, economic tasks, economic forms of leadership, the solution of relations between the policy of “own powers” and international economic cooperation[.] [It was a development] that aimed at using the principle of material incentives [and aimed] at higher standard of living. Today, improving the quality of life is considered a sign of “revisionism and capitalism”, and even a hint of individual interest in these issues is labeled as a betrayal of Mao Zedong etc.


Today’s forcible interference by Mao Zedong and his group in national economy could bring some partial [and] temporary results, such as lowering of some costs and [setting] a fund for salaries, but the consequences are a far greater damage to production, organization and management, and especially, a significant deepening of the long-persisting difficulties in creating any [future strategy] for Chinese national economy.


x       x       x


Behind the growing economic, political and ideological hardship there is emerging differentiation, a creation of two wings within Mao Zedong’s own group. The reason is a leftist radicalism of Mao Zedong and a group in the Central Committee whose effort to broaden the “cultural revolution” to all spheres of life of the country in disregard of the negative effect on production, on [the reputation?] abroad, etc. A more moderate wing, whose representative is thought to be Zhou Enlai, has a somewhat more realistic approach to economic questions of the country and is trying to [enhance] further development by achieving certain internal economic and political stability. This group’s prestige has apparently been boosted by its efforts to ensure proper agricultural work.


Gradually it has become necessary [for the Mao Zedong’s group]  to somewhat increase the respect even for the extremist wing, especially when the previously exercised pressure on a broad front triggered strong resistance  in the ranks of workers and, in part, farmers, and led to a growing dissatisfaction of the citizenry. There was a need to agree to a search for compromise solutions, without, of course, closing the door to the reaching Mao Zedong’s goals of the future.


This development was carried out through a lot of orders and directives issued by the Central Committee, the State council, and the military commission of the Central Committee in order to achieve certain normalization of internal economy and politics. These [measures] put a stop to the notorious marches of the youth, prohibited implementing the “cultural revolution” during working hours, launched a “fight against anarchistic and sectorial tendencies”, returned to teaching in middle schools and so forth. The credit for these consolidation measures, according to our representative office in Peking, goes to the most moderate wing of the leadership. It is headed by Zhou Enlai, who during the working session in February of a part of the Communist Party Central Committee is said to have been given somewhat freer hand. Allegedly thanks to him, the “revolutionary [young storm troops] were prevented from taking over key positions in [party] organs; the established institutions were strengthened, and was an improvement in the attitude the cadre. But it would not be correct to overvalue the significance of these consolidation measures or of the role of Zhou Enlai, because there are no substantial differences between him and Mao Zedong. [Mao], as is shown by recent developments, regards it as necessary for reaching the final goals to temporarily ease the pressure and slow down the widening of the so-called “cultural revolution.”


Confirming this somewhat more realistic view of the present, which was made necessary by the objective situation, has been the step-by-step change of Mao Zedong and his group[.] They have given up the tactics of total destruction of the party and state apparat, the ideas of creating Paris-like communes, and arrived all the way to today’s approach of taking power in the form of “three revolutionary committees” /i.e. groups of revolutionary rebels; active supporters of Mao Zedong; the army and party cadres/ that would share in taking over the old apparat. According to the Chinese press, so-called revolutionary committees have been so far established in only four provinces and Peking, although the directive was to create them everywhere “where local leadership embarked on the capitalistic road.” In ten provinces, where according to Zhou Enlai leading individuals have not acknowledged their errors, the military took over the control. In the meantime, the rest of the provinces are probably rejecting the central leadership in Peking.      


As Mao Zedong he was to have announced, even the form of “three revolutionary committees” is not yet final. So far it does not have any all-China character. The only all-state organization is the army, which takes active part in ensuring the production and has significant credit for the fact that the threatened economic collapse so far has been in certain measure prevented. The representatives of the army, in order to achieve the strategic goals of Mao Zedong, support the economic consolidation measures of Zhou Enlai while working on strengthening their own control of the life of the country. “Cultural revolution” that provoked opposition and led the growing division of the citizenry, could not avoid having the same effect in the army. It caused, among others, the removal of many high-ranking officers. Total lack of additional information makes it impossible to make any fundamental conclusions about the position of the army. Despite that it can be said that there is in today’s China no greater organized might than the army.


Chinese foreign policy so far has not undergone any substantial change. Most visible and loud so far continues to be the anti-Soviet course of the Chinese leadership [that has been] officially endorsed by the XI. Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Chinese People’s Republic. In fresh memory are still the provocative demonstration outside the embassy of SSSR and elsewhere. On the pages of Chinese newspapers and in the speeches of the country’s leaders there continue daily attacks slandering the leadership of the Soviet Communist Party, Soviet government and its internal and foreign policy. There is no arena, no event that would not be exploited for provocations against the leaders of the SSSR and the Soviet Communist Party, and for attempts to lower the prestige of their country.


Anti-Soviet actions and attacks are inseparable parts of the “Cultural Revolution”. Whipping up nationalistic and chauvinistic emotions of the populace, steering them against the Soviet Union has had the purpose of diverting attention from mounting internal difficulties, and use this platform to help unite various groups that are still at odds in the internal struggles.


Similar goals were followed by, among others, the recent anti-Mongolian, anti-Indonesian, and anti-British demonstrations that served simultaneously to emphasize the power and the indivisibility of the land of China.


An important role was ascribed by the Chinese leadership to the first attempt to test the first hydrogen bomb, which took place on June 17. In terms of internal politics it is said to bolster the position of the Mao Zedong’s group in its continued emphasis on the nationalist and hegemonic course. The high speed of the development of a thermonuclear weapon is a testimony that for all its internal problems, the Chinese leadership pays exceptional attention to speedy build-up of China’s own nuclear potential and it can be assumed that it [the build-up] has been assigned an important role in Chinese foreign policy. The performed test is meant to improve the weakened prestige of the Chinese Republic in the Third World, a.o in the Arab countries, and back up effort to enliven the government’s contacts in this area.  At the same time there is obvious effort to boost the voices that are using the current situation in the Near and Central East for attacks on the Soviets and to enhance pro-Chinese sympathies. At the time of the extraordinary VS [?] of the United Nations, whose goal was to seek peaceful ways for overcoming the consequences of the Israeli aggression, the Chinese test demonstrates the politics and positions of power. This test of the first hydrogen bomb will probably also be used to increase Chinese pressure on Vietnam and to create other obstacles to any effort to resolve the Vietnamese problem through negotiations.


Chinese “hard line” toward the solution of the Vietnamese problem remains unchanged. There was a great interest throughout the world in Zhou Enlai’s interview in May with the English journalist S. Malley, which dealt primarily with the Vietnamese question. Although it was denounced by the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the content (of Chou’s views) basically reflected earlier stated Chinese positions.


It is worth noting that following the notable drop in Chinese political activities abroad, in recent months there have been signs of certain activism, especially in the developing countries. China has fully latched on to one of the few opportunities that have presented themselves [for such activism] – Israel’s aggression against Arab countries – and it is using all means to resume or strengthen its influence and positions in the Arab countries. In general this attitude is connected with the effort of the more moderate wing of the leadership to exhibit somewhat more flexible foreign policy.


Throughout the period of the “cultural revolution”, Chinese leadership is trying to prove abroad that its position is correct and positive. Recently, this is reflected in its effort to explain publicly the theory of the “cultural revolution” and to show the relevance of the teaching of Mao Zedong. One such significant attempt was the editorial of May 18 in the party’s newspapers Chung Tchi [sic] and Ženmin [sic].


According to this article, the cause of the “cultural revolution” was on the one hand the tendency toward capitalism in SSSR and many other socialistic countries that have not recognized that after gaining political might there continues an entire historic era of sharp class struggle, a struggle between the capitalist and socialistic way; and on the other [hand] the danger that such development could take place In the Chinese People’s Republic.  The general line of the “cultural revolution” is to prevent such development in China and to unveil and deprive of power the handful of leading representatives who have set out on the capitalist road. Because the question, on who is who, can be resolved only in a very long historic period, the “cultural revolution” is only the first revolution, and in the future there will certainly be many more revolutions.

This article, tries to show the international significance of Mao Zedong and his teaching and maintains that “in the first years of the 20th century, Marxism reached the stage of Leninism, and at present has grown into the era of Mao Zedong’s thinking.”


Additional articles expound on these thoughts and make some of them more precise. For example, they posit that the class struggle during the dictatorship of the proletariat is focused essentially on the question of power, in that the contradiction between the proletariat and the handful of individuals in the party who have the power and follow the capitalist road is the main contradiction in the socialist society. One of these articles even insists that “cultural revolution” in its might as a revolutionary movement is are deeper and grander than was the Paris communes, the October Revolution and all other revolutions in history. So far the “cultural revolution” has been ranked at most as one of these revolutions, but now, for the first time, it is publicly put in the first place.


x       x       x


Mao Zedong’s effort to reach his familiar goals has not as of now been crowned with substantial successes. The “cultural revolution” is almost a year old, and a political crisis has not been solved, and it is more complex that it was briefly after the XI. Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. “Cultural revolution” has been gradually narrowed down to Mao Zedong’s fight against his opponents, a fight against a few individuals, leading activists who follow Liu Shaoqi.


Probably still greater difficulties are the certain continuing chaos, uncertainty [and] adventurism that prevent the realization of consolidation measures, especially in the economic sector.  Frequently secondary differences between individual organizations and groups, between rebellious representatives of some provinces and the central leadership heat up and cause bloody massive clashes that a.o. make more difficult Mao Zedong’s and his group’s effort to gain complete control in the country. The leadership is trying to counter this problem in two ways: [One,] it calls for broad unity, prohibits the use of force [and] arms /reports speak of tens of armed fights/, releases from jail representatives of “counterrevolutionary” groups, meaning representatives of several more sizable groups of Red Guards in universities and factories, etc. On the other hand, the leadership is beginning to take stronger measures against rebelling functionaries in the provinces, by firing them, sending in their provinces military units, [and] tries to set provinces against each other, [but] so far without visible results.


It seems that the coming internal development will to a large degree depend on the solution of three basic questions that face China:


(1)    The question of stabilization of the leadership. Today’s situation produces uncertainty throughout the land, serves various separatist tendencies, [and] provides the grounds for adventurist moves. It enables extremists to interfere with consolidation measures that tend to limit some aspects of the “cultural revolution”. [The extremists] do that out of fear that the so-called “revolutionary tide” would permanently ebb and there would return the development of “the great leap [forward]”. Certain compromise between the two wings involves, first of all, the economic questions while the political strife continues uninterrupted, but in different forms. Extremists will continue trying to influence the situation, and with the help of newly active Red Guards and so-called revolutionary rebels attempt take over the leadership.


(2)    Consolidation of the economy, especially the agriculture. Despite the fact that today’s economic losses can’t be compared with the catastrophic consequences of the “great leap”, recovery will apparently take a long time. Liquidation of economic problems is in the interest of all factions of today’s leading group, because they know that it is a precondition for any future progress.


(3)    The question of cadres. Today there is almost an agreement that they cannot be singled out for blame, but there is no answer to the question of what role they should have in the future development.


During this complex situation it is difficult to make conclusion about the future development in China[.] [This is so] especially because Mao Zedong and his group are today, according to available information, busy resolving current questions and there is no news about congresses [or] documents dealing with fundamental issues of the future.


The information available so far does not permit making any conclusion whether there is in China any force that could effective rise against Mao Zedong. Currently the constant clashes between the representatives of some provinces and the central leadership stem mostly from personal interests and separatist tendencies. But they obstruct the objectives of Mao Zedong and his group, and if they continue for some time they could change into clashes that are political or ideological.


The decisive role in uniting the various tendencies in the leadership are old super-power [and] hegemonic goals, and anti-Sovietism. These are efforts that were constantly shared even while sharply criticized /Liu, Deng/ even persecuted /Peng/ leading activists of the Communist party of China. This is also one of the serious reasons why all groups at least outwardly submit to the leadership and unifying role of Mao Zedong, who is a symbol of the stated objectives.


It is difficult to expect in the near future any radical changes. Partial changes can perhaps take place in domestic politics, but nothing suggests that they would affect the great-power, hegemonic foreign policy, in Chinese entry into the MKDH[.] Especially it cannot be expected any change if the relationship of the Chinese leaders to SSSR and socialistic countries that do not agree with the Chinese course.





Together with the discussions about Chinese internal political development, the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in November 1966 dealt with the mutual Czechoslovak-Chinese relations. It was determined that the decision of May 1966, which sought gradual development of contacts with all areas of the state, could not be achieved due to the fault of the Chinese People’s Republic.


The leadership of the Central Committee decided on taking concrete steps regarding the Chinese Peoples’ Republic only in those areas where they are realistic possibilities to achieve equality and mutual benefit. Regarding the representative office of the Chinese Republic [the CC leadership] set forth a strict rule for maintaining the same [level of] relations as the Chinese authorities will maintain with our representatives in Peking.


In the era that followed, the Chinese party kept stepping up nationalistic and anti-Soviet positions in its foreign policy. There has been worsening of Chinese relations with the majority of socialist countries, which are judged by their position toward “revisionism” and to current Chinese development. Chinese People’s Republic keeps reducing its contacts with CSSR especially in politico-diplomatic arena and issues outside the economy.


Most obvious is this Chinese attitude in political contacts. To such extent as they on the Chinese side exist, they are characterized by a provocative position toward Czechoslovak political authorities, by crude attacks on CSSR government and other Czechoslovak organs, and by misusing certain issues to blame CSSR for the worsening of relations, etc. Chinese stand reflects the proclaimed thesis of “revisionary leadership” in some socialist countries, and the need to mount against them [such leaders] an “unconditional struggle”.


Against this Chinese position [the Czechoslovak] ministry of foreign affairs and its representative office in Peking have protested several times and at several levels, in writing and orally.  Protests against endangering the safety of Czechoslovak representatives in Peking were even reported in the press.


A different Chinese approach is toward the so-called “people’s masses”. It stems from the Chinese difficulty to distinguish between the real [attitude of the people] and the claim that 99% of the public supports [the Cultural Revolution], and they therefore believe what’s needed is more and broader contacts with the people and so forth.


An important role in carrying out this so-called “people’s diplomacy” is played by Chinese representatives abroad, including those in the China’s representative office in Prague. They are spreading Chinese theories, openly anti-Soviet propaganda, and they launch oral attacks on Czechoslovak leaders and politics. To stop or at least reduce these activities, the [Czechoslovak] ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of the interior worked out a list of unavoidable counter-measures that was approved by the leaders of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist party. As part of these measures the Chinese representatives were informed in February that they are prohibited to disseminate Chinese false printed material, that the Czech authorities have started controlling the [Chinese representatives] access to Czechoslovak representative office, and that their freedom of movement is limited to within 30 kilometers from Prague. Ministries and offices that are expected to have contacts with representatives of the Chinese People’s Republic have been informed about the importance of strictly adhering to the rule of consulting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding social contacts with representatives of the Chinese Republic. That there has been substantially limited importation of Chinese printed materials, and several other measures.


Maintaining these measures is constantly monitored in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior. In the last months the activities of the Chinese representative office visibly declined because, among other reasons, numerous diplomatic and unaccredited employees of the Chinese representative office have left the CSSR in order to “participate in the cultural revolution”. Chinese representative office is knowingly acting against the [limitation on its contacts and activities], a behavior against which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has protested. It is expected that the Chinese representative office will continue to especially violate the ban on Chinese printed matter, even though the number of such imports is minimal and most of it is seized by the appropriate organs. The [Czechoslovak] Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to protest against such unlawful behavior with particular emphasis on the Chinese harm to Czechoslovak legal system and mutual relations. If the behavior of the Chinese representative office required a change of the Czechoslovak position, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will submit a proposal for appropriate measures.


Regarding the basic attitude of the Czechoslovak [Communist] Party, it will continue to be in harmony with the principles of the Czechoslovak foreign policy: It will provide support for the restoration of the lawful rights of the Chinese People’s Republic in the United Nations, and for the fight against two Chinas.


If there will be organized in CSSR international conferences or congresses, [Czechoslovak organizers] will hew to the principle that the Chinese People’s Republic is the sole representative of China.


Among the expected activities so far is an invitation of a Chinese delegation to BMV, with a limited Czechoslovak participation at a lower level in the celebration of the Chinese state holiday by the Chinese representative office [in CSSR], [and] by sending formal telegrams for the usual events /Day of the Chinese Army, First October/ in step with similar Chinese actions or reciprocity.


The response from the Czechoslovak side to Chinese provocations will be commeasured actions.


x       x       x


The readiness of Czechoslovakia to provide military aid to the Vietnamese Democratic Republic [by shipping it] through the territory of China has so far met no obstacles from the Chinese side that could be grounds for complains. But there is a search on for pretexts for anti-Soviet actions. There is also an effort to suppress any mention in documents that there exists Czechoslovak aid to Vietnamese Democratic Republic, even while it is constantly emphasized and enumerated the free Chinese transfer [of such aid] as the Chinese support for VDR and for the socialist countries, including the CSSR. Agreement for the transfer for 1967 was signed on May 5, 1967 in Peking.


The negative nature of mutual relations during the era of so-called “cultural revolution” has been clearly shown also in other areas [than aid to Vietnam].


The Chinese side, which in the past tried to fulfill accepted obligations, last year for the first time proposed to cancel agreed-upon planned actions of cultural cooperation for year 1966, in view of the ongoing “Cultural Revolution”. The Chinese proposal /made also to other countries of the socialist system/ was accepted with emphatic note that it was the Chinese side that is interrupting the existing agreement on cultural contacts between the two countries.


The Chinese side also called off from Czechoslovak schools all of its students: for ten of them it requested only the pausing of studies for six months. Chinese students were broadly used by the Chinese representative office for dissemination of propaganda, especially among other foreign students[.] Before they left [Czechoslovakia] the students issued so-called “Proclamation” in which they crudely attacked the Soviet Union.


Chinese students will not be allowed to return because it can be expected that they will continue to participate in spreading the propaganda of the representative office of the Chinese People’s Republic, and would try to influence Czechoslovak and, mainly, other foreign students. The Chinese side has already been informed of our decision.


As in the case of the refusal of [Chinese] students by the Bulgarian and Hungarian People’s Republics, the Chinese side [responded] to our rightful decision by publishing on July 27 messages of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs so insulting that our chargė d’affaires refused to accept them, [and to] organize on July 28 provocative demonstration in front of our representative office in Peking. [On] behalf of the Czechoslovak government, [our] Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the Chinese representative in Prague with a sharp protest against such unheard-of move by the Chinese side, and has made sure of its publication in the daily press and broadcast.


Negotiations for the plan of cultural contacts in 1967 is now underway in Prague. Both sides have already exchanged their proposals. The Czechoslovak side suggested only a few of the actions in last year’s plan. During the next stage [of negotiations], which will probably start in August, we will hold to the principle of mutual benefits, accept only activities of smaller extent that will not be financially burdensome, and of such character that the Chinese side could not use for provocations.


In the area of health and sports neither side plans this year any actions. CSTV justifies its position with a lack of funds[;] nevertheless certain sports could yield good propaganda.


In the health sector, it has been recommended to the Ministry of Health to propose to the Chinese side an exchange of up to 2 medical doctors in order to continue the existing contacts of this sort.


Extent of scientific-technical cooperation is diminishing each year, and this year it includes only two actions on each side. The Chinese side opposes expansion of cooperation that was suggested by [our] side. It is considered appropriate to prevent another lowering of cooperation that could result in complete interruption of contacts in this arena [; instead, we should] create conditions for certain, even if low, level of cooperation. That would require long-term, thorough preparation. In view of the specific requirement of VTS and the Chinese People’s Republic, [our] Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suggested that the framework and guidance for negotiations with the Chinese [side] should be approved individually.  


Because of Chinese mounting difficulties in naval transport, the Czechoslovak government on 12/20/1966 pulled out of the Agreement and Protocol. The liquidation was carried out without problems. Last Chinese workers had already left the CSSR and the branch of the Czechoslovak National Enterprise in Peking was closed on 3/31/1967.


x       x       x


The only sectors where mutual cooperation continues despite the existing difficulties are scientific and, above all, commercial contacts, which are relatively broad. In recent years there is a notable annual growth in mutual exchanges of goods, even though in 1965 they reached only 23% of their total in 1958.













mil. [illegible]


Agreement for 1966 means a 16.6% increase over 1965.


During the year there were difficulties in fulfilling the quota of Czechoslovak exports. By the end of the year the Czechoslovak side had not delivered products worth 14 million of Czech crowns, and from the Chinese side there was shortage of delivered exports worth 4.5 million crowns. Unfulfilled deliveries were already expedited except for spare parts for trucks /delays from years 1965-66/.


By December 31, 1966, Czechoslovak trade balance [with China] was a negative 40.9 million crowns. This imbalance, however, has been predominantly covered by goods [[??]].   


Negotiations for 1967 agreement began in Prague in mid-March. The Czechoslovak delegation set forth as its main goal to maintain at least the same level of goods as in 1966 and to achieve even balance.


Despite the maximum effort on the part of the Czechoslovak delegation to satisfy Chinese requirements, the negotiations, compared with earlier years, were slow and difficult. This was caused by the Chinese side which in several cases insisted on setting up the quotas only upon conclusion of the contract, or at least upon clarification of the type, specification and price of the products. The Chinese side unexpectedly raised the demand for lower price of tubes, one of the main products of Czechoslovak exports [.] The demand blocked the negotiations for several weeks. More progress was only achieved after the Czechoslovak side accepted the Chinese request.


The agreement will be signed on July 5 and will signify broadening of mutual trade of both countries.


Total volume adds up to 36.12 million rubles, of which Czechoslovak exports account for 18.35 million rubles and imports for 17.7 million rubles. The difference is to be used for covering the imbalance in 1966.


Compared with the agreement of last year, this year’s increase of 14.6% …is 1.5% higher.


The involved goods are essentially the same as last year, and are mutually beneficial.  


In the nearest future, foreign trade remains the main component of our contacts with the Chinese People’s Republic. The Chinese side continues to show interest in exchanges of goods, and the trade is still beneficial for both parties. It continues to be carried out on the basis of annual agreements, and they as such exclude the possibility of major increases in Czechoslovak exports.  Important precondition for future growth in commercial contacts is, a.o., precise fulfillment of our commitments.


The leadership of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist party has determined that our commitments for agreed-upon deadlines and Chinese requirement regarding the spare parts have not been fulfilled due to production problems.


Cooperation between academies of science has after several years reached relatively good level[.] Mutual contacts, due to the Chinese interest in the results of Czechoslovak science, have had no serious difficulties. This year ends a two-year plan for scientific cooperation in 1966-67. The Chinese side, because of the “cultural revolution”, is frequently late in living up to certain clauses [of an agreement]. Negotiations regarding the plan for the next two years should be completed this year in Peking. Meanwhile it is not clear what are the opportunities in this field because CAV [?] has been strongly affected by the “cultural revolution” and it is still “occupied” by the “revolutionary rebels.”


x       x       x


Cooperation and mutual contacts with the Chinese People’s Republic are managed in the individual areas by agreed-upon documents. In view of the existing state of mutual contacts [these documents] have undergone a rapid screening.  The extent and content of the current mutual contacts do not measure up to the agreements. Especially this is so in the case of the basic Agreement for Friendship and Cooperation. This has been documented by the Chinese neglect to commemorate in any way the 10th anniversary of this Agreement.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs finds that it would not be useful in the present situation to propose plans for improvement or cancelling of certain written documents. They do not contain agreements that would require speedy changes. Even so, in case of consultation with appropriate authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will carry out a thorough screening of all agreed-upon documents in order to a/o examine their usefulness for Czechoslovak foreign policy interests.


The Ministry does not believe that the Chinese side would want to cancel or revise any written documents. On the contrary, [the Chinese side] uses every step of socialist countries to public charges of worsening mutual contacts.


x       x        x


The development of mutual relations between CSSR and the Chinese People’s Republic is narrowly dependent on the continued evolution of Chinese internal politics. Because of their current complexity [and] unclear perspective, it continues to be difficult to make definitive statement about the next stage of relations between the two countries.


Even in the case that a more moderate group would gain a commanding position in China, the Chinese-CSSR relations could change only in individual, most likely commercial, sectors, but not in the political or ideological arena. [There is no] outlook for a change] in the fundamental concepts of the Chinese foreign policy.


Currently there exist not the slightest sign that would permit a rational conclusion about the possibility of improved future relations.


The Chinese People’s Republic no longer speaks about the CSSR and most European socialist countries as members of the East-European bloc or a Soviet bloc, [but rather] as countries which are led by revisionists. From that it can be assumed that the Chinese relations with CSSR and most other countries with socialist system will basically be the same as they are with capitalist countries. Most likely contacts will be in the commercial and scientific-technical sectors.


This development is answered by the November guidance of the leadership of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party dealing with the CSSR attitude in international contacts with the Chinese People’s Republic.





Extensive account of CSSR-Chinese relations, including controversy surrounding the Cultural Revolution and Chinese extremism, anti-Soviet proclivities within the Chinese leadership, and the Chinese hydrogen bomb test on June 17th.

Document Information


National Archives of the Czech Republic (NA),023.596/67-3. Obtained by East China Normal University, Shanghai, and translated by Mike Kubic.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date



Record ID


Original Classification



MacArthur Foundation