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March 10, 1970

Embassy of the GDR in the PR China, 'First Assessment of the Course of the Chinese Leadership “Preparation for a Scenario of War and a Scenario of Disaster, Everything for the People”'

Embassy of the GDR in the PR China

Beijing, 10 March 1970




First Assessment of the Course of the Chinese Leadership

“Preparation for a Scenario of War and a Scenario of Disaster,

Everything for the People”



Since the 12th Plenum of the Central Committee [CC] of the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] in October 1968, where Liu Shaoqi, defined as the protagonist of oppositional elements in the Chinese leadership, was also officially eliminated, the Mao Group intensified its course of militant foreign policy and thus of domestic militarization of the country. This way it [Mao Group] strives to achieve recognition as one of the three “super powers”, on equal rank with the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as becoming the “center of world revolution”. At the same time it attempts to create ideological and political unity of the Chinese people based on Maoist ideology - as the foundation of economic and political stabilization and for implementing great-power chauvinist policy.


Important measures, and at the same time also stages of this political course, were the provocations at the Soviet-Chinese border in 1969, the so-called IX Party Congress and numerous campaigns in the summer of 1969.

The 20th Anniversary of the PR China [1 October 1969] can be viewed as the beginning of a new stage of the attempt to totally subordinate all measures and activities, yes of the entirety of social life, under the currently propagated war course.


On Historic Contexts of the Course


The ambition of Mao and his group to establish China as the “center and leader of world revolution” reaches back at least to the time of the Anti-Japanese Resistance War. Based on well-known past statements from the classics of Marxism-Leninism about the shift of the revolutionary center, they [Maoists] constructed “historical determinism” in the sense of a further shift of this center towards China in order to camouflage nationalist aspirations.


The first attempt to accomplish this reached back to the period of World War II when Mao began to doubt a victory of the Soviet Union over Hitler. Thus he hoped that China would now play the leading role in the International Communist Movement (see Note 1).


Following the [outcome of the] war and the foundation of the PR China, Mao and his group were forced to postpone their plans. They used the capacities of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries for domestic build-up and to strengthen China’s international position. Developments eventually pushed Mao’s concepts so far into the background that the VIII Party Congress of the CCP could adopt in 1956 an essentially Marxist-Leninist course for the CCP and the PR China.


Mao was adept to exploit this for a further increase of his prestige. This constituted, even in accordance with the desire of forces like Liu Shaoqi, the precondition for the second attempt (see Note 2) at that time, namely to “lead the PR China towards greatness” with Mao as “Stalin’s successor” in the International Communist Movement. Criticism of Stalin’s mistakes and subsequent developments in the International Communist Movement, however, were thwarting Mao’s plans, because they blocked a permanent takeover of those roles desired by Mao and China.


Petit-bourgeois impatience, and Mao’s and his group’s unsuccessful ideological struggle against the decisions of the XX and XXI CPSU Party Congresses [1956 and 1961], as well as those of the Moscow Communist World Conferences [1957 and 1960] and their adopted course for the International Communist Movement, seduced the former to blind adventurism  - to the “Great Leap”, with which China was supposed to economically catch up with advanced countries like e.g. England.


The failure of those plans did not make Mao and his group to rethink the revision of the decisions of the VIII CCP Congress they had undertaken at a 2nd session in 1958. Instead, they “took the bull by its horns” and moved to a new “general line” towards distance from the Soviet Union and the International Communist Movement as well as towards “splittist policies” (Note 3).

First, and not without success, China managed to play a larger role in East and Southeast Asia. Actions in this direction were the “humiliation” of India, close cooperation with the SEATO country of Pakistan and the destructive attitude towards the Vietnam problem.


Next the Mao Group made efforts to have China recognized by the United States as a “third super power” that is “independent” from the other two. This became only possible for Mao through an escalation of China’s distancing from the Soviet Union and the International Communist Movement, up to a complete separation and eventual adoption of an hostile position towards them.


The deeper the differences in opinions between the Chinese leadership and the Soviet Union, the other socialist countries and the International Communist Movement became, the more the United States attempted to exploit the Maoist policy for implementation of their own global strategy and began to upgrade China’s role (positive press coverage, Nixon’s new Asian policy).


Anti-Soviet slander led to the invention of a “re-capitalism” in the Soviet Union and became an open element of Maoist ideology and Mao’s course. This was required also for the following reason: only this way the direct exploitation of differences between the two models of society -capitalism and socialism- could be camouflaged to hide the Chinese leadership’s great-power chauvinist objectives. Also, more than ever before this warranted an ideological-political synchronization similar to Hitler’s slogan “One People - One Reich - One Führer” and the elimination of any type of opposition.


Thus the third attempt begins, the “Cultural Revolution”. The tactic mostly advocated by Liu Shaoqi, and in part also by Zhou Enlai, to achieve a policy of coexistence between the two models of society, and thus pursue a course of developing the PR China and temporarily use the aid from the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries, was abandoned. It stood in contrast to the Maoist concept and was seen as too protracted and without prospect for success. Thus only an orientation towards an adventurist course was left, especially towards an “inevitable” world war. According to Mao, this war is pre-determined. It has to be exploited in order to achieve Mao’s aims, and thus its outbreak has to be fostered in any possible way, for instance also through exploiting the increasing aggressiveness of United States imperialism (Note 4[1]).


In this situation (9 May 1968), Mao penned a letter to Lin Biao where he drafted in broad terms his program of war preparation - and of which parts have become known (Note 5). Apparently this is the first document and the beginning of systematic war preparation, in combination with the concept to build a “communism” of Maoist character in China and all over the world under China’s leadership (Note 6).


Since the 12th Plenum of the CCP Central Committee in October 1968, the “Preparation for a Scenario of War” was always a part of tasks proposed in individual campaigns. For instance, on 17 May 1969 “Renmin Ribao” [“People’s Daily”] emphasized: “The continuous solidification of unity … is necessary for the current class struggle, for preparation for a war, and for the smashing of aggressive intentions harbored by imperialists, revisionists, and all the reactionaries.”


According to our knowledge, the campaign to build granaries in the villages from July 1969 was in fact the first direct consequence of the theses to the 20th Anniversary of the PR China from 19 September 1969, where for the first time the slogan “Preparation for a Scenario of War and a Scenario of Disaster, Everything for the People” was published in full (Note 7).


2. The Objective of the Course


Based on the strategic concept of the Chinese leadership, the chauvinist great power and hegemony strive on a global scale,

and based on the position of the Mao Group, according to which a Third World War is inevitable and pre-determined,

the following becomes apparent as the objective of this course taken:


2.1. a strategic and tactical preparation for


2.11. the scenario of war between the United States and the Soviet Union. If possible, China wants, at least initially, to stay out of this conflict. However, it might be affected and suffer collateral damage. In an “opportune moment” it might intervene in order to implement the Maoist great power chauvinist concept - after a respective mutual weakening of the war parties, and perhaps during the “revolutions” into which this war will morph according to Maoist opinion.


2.12. provocations, adventurist actions and limited military conflicts - for instance against the Soviet Union along the Soviet-Chinese border, but maybe also against the United States near the Taiwanese coast. Such actions can be of aggressive or defensive nature, or a “People’s War” at the same time. They might become necessary to create the scenario outlined above under 2.11. in order to weaken the Soviet Union.


2.12. a “scenario of disaster” (“emergencies”), including the outbreak of domestic conflicts, civil war or commando actions, or subversive activities.


2.2. As elements of preparations for all three options of a “scenario of war and disaster”, as outlined under 2.1., one can identify:


2.21. the military preparations and the inciting of war hysteria, the militarization of entire social life;


2.22. the attempt to normalize and develop the economy, and


2.23. the attempt to achieve the unity of the people under the leadership of Maoist ideology, the implementation of Mao’s line, the solidification of Maoist power structures and the rigorous elimination of any oppositional indications.


Here the economy and policies/ideology reinforce and complement each other. On the one hand both complement military preparation and war psychosis, and on the other hand they get stimulated by this war hysteria.

Both tasks, the direct preparation for war as well as the stabilization of the country, are demonstrating that also in this situation Mao has stuck with his principle, namely to always stand on two legs, and to have always planned for several options in advance before he embarks on a course.


On 2.1.:


Since, according to the Chinese leadership, a Third World War can be exploited for the great-power chauvinist concept, and is in addition also inevitable and predetermined, the leadership works toward such an outbreak to occur as soon as possible. The United States and the Soviet Union are supposed to figure as main combatants in this conflict, and in such scenario they should destroy, as an imperialist resp. “social-imperialist” state, their in comparison to China far advanced productive forces. China should refrain from getting involved as long and as much as possible. It should be affected to a minimum, and the Chinese people equipped with Mao’s ideology shall survive in total, or in part.


In case of such a war scenario, as well as of other complicated situations (like for instance events triggered by Mao’s death, a natural disaster, or popular discontent turning into anti-Maoist actions), there also exists the plan of a “disaster scenario”. Therefore a “People’s War”, as well as modern warfare, must be materially prepared.


In case a modern war will involve China in the near future, there are plans to sacrifice large parts, or the largest part, of the population. Those surviving in rather autark economic units would need a political leadership, their own small industries and agriculture, trade and medical faculties, “doctors” and “teachers”, and their own educational facilities with Maoist-trained cadres and intellectuals (or semi-educated youth).


In case of a disaster, the anti-Mao forces could maybe defeat their enemy with its own methods and attack by following Mao’s strategy of “encircling the cities with the villages”. The Chinese leadership has to protect itself against this with bunkers and trenches, with militias and loyal followers experienced in street fights and hand-to-hand combat, and with leading organs resembling “iron fortifications” that can “withstand severe challenges in future fighting” (Radio Henan, 26 November 1969).


On 2.2.:


This campaign is the so far most far-reaching camouflage of Maoist terror against dissidents, discontent and doubters. It is an attempt to unite the people or major parts of the population, at the least those involved in Maoist power structures, against a declared enemy and a defined danger of aggression. The unity of the latter has been identified multiple times as the foundation to achieve stabilization and development of the production. This is about unity of


1. army and cadres, including the party

2. army, cadres, and the party on one hand and the population on the other,

3. army, cadres, and the party on one hand and mass organizations on the other,

4. mass organizations and the population.


Based on all this, production is supposed to be increased with lowest cost prices and artificial lowering of entitlements and expectations of the population and its entire standard of living, in order to accumulate for the purpose of an arms build-up.

A militarization of life and striving for a Puritan way of living like in the times of Yan’an is considered a necessary element of domestic preparation for war. It also works towards realizing the future of a society resembling war communism, this is also to prepare and train those deemed to “survive”.


In order to achieve this, another “Great Leap” in political-ideological terms and in industry and agriculture is envisioned.


A further development of production and of solidifying power positions of the Chinese leadership, stimulated through war policies, is the desired objective. In case of war, China has to be as strong as possible in order to transform the war in its final phase into a “revolution”. This is also the objective in case of a guarantee of world peace[2] through the policy of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries.



3. The Measures and Methods


For political and economic leaders of government organs and factories, everything is subordinated to “war preparation”, or at least heavily influenced by them. This amounts to an implementation of a state of emergency.


Domestic policy measures and ideological and material preparations for war become relevant in case China gets involved in a war. At the same time, those serve as a stimulator for the establishment of the Maoist utopian-reactionary order of society. This is following not just tactical, but also strategic maxims.


Domestic preparation is corresponding to a foreign policy of fueling tensions at global trouble-spots, especially those where the U.S. and the Soviet Union confront each other or potentially might do so, and where heightened tensions promise to the Chinese leadership results to fit its concept (Vietnam, Middle East, European security). At those spots, China attempts to weaken the positions of the Soviet Union, the socialist countries and other concerned states; either directly, or indirectly through encouraging the United States, Israel, West Germany etc. in their aggressiveness.

In addition, wherever possible in the world, the Mao Group attempts to compromise the Soviet Union.


This course was repeated by “Renmin Ribao” on 24 December 1969. One can summarize what was said there in one sentence: Although the war will be associated with “some destruction”, it will bring about “liberation” of the world and a complete victory for Maoist ideology.


On propagandist measures - see Appendix 1

On political-ideological measures - see Appendix 2

On political-organizational measures - see Appendix 3

On tactical-economic measures - see Appendix 4

On strategic-economic measures - see Appendix 5

On measures of trade policy - see Appendix 6

On political-military measures - see Appendix 7

On military measures - see Appendix 8   



[Signed Bettin]

Dr. Bettin

2nd Secretary





1. [GDR] Foreign Ministry, Far East Department

2. [SED] Central Committee, Department International Relations

3. Social Science Institute

4. Embassy Beijing



[Signed Strauss]


Embassy Counselor





1. The first attempt is characterized by:


- the disbelief in the strength of the Soviet Union after Hitler’s successes in Europe - which seemed to confirm the hope for a “new role of China” and the Chinese Communist Party [CCP];


- the resulting rejection of supporting the Soviet Union (1941) and Mao’s tactic, according to which the Soviet Union ought to tie down Japan with its “remaining” power until the CCP had defeated Jiang Jieshi, after which the CCP might help the Soviet Union to defeat Japan and German fascism;


- Mao’s hope to assume this way the leadership of [communist] World Revolution.


2. The second attempt:


Encouraged by successes in industrial build-up, by the extremely successful harvests during those years, by the growing strength and potential of the country [China], and by opportunities to influence the national liberation movement, Mao hoped after Stalin’s death to become recognized as the greatest theoretician and leader of the world proletariat. He saw the chance to turn China into the “center of World Revolution” by “peaceful” means.


3. Now the Chinese leadership attempted to create a third global camp of “proletarians”, namely with the poor peoples and China as their leader. In this context they developed the “People’s War Theory”, the “Theory of the Global Village”, and many other things. This was to bolster the opinion of a necessarily quick global war, which would come cheaper for the proletariat than a long “peaceful” class struggle. Since only young nation states and their in part inexperienced national-bourgeois or petit-bourgeois leaders were winnable for such opinion, there followed a significant reorientation of the Mao Group’s international activities from the party to the government level.


4. Here again the disbelief in the strength of the Soviet Union, and now also the accusation of “cowardliness”, played a role. The Mao Group is hoping to take over positions at the periphery of the struggle. In addition, Mao’s psychological issues are relevant, like the awareness of being a political giant but also an economic dwarf.


5. Letter Mao Zedong’s to Lin Biao of 9 May 1968:


“The entire country has to be turned into a giant military camp. We must be prepared for a war. We must never forget that the entire world is confronting China because the world is afraid of China. The imperialists and revisionists attempt with all their forces to isolate China politically and economically. They increasingly try to prevent China from importing strategically important material. Because of this, now more than ever before it is important to be economically independent and to believe in one’s own strength. We have to increase production. This is extremely important for our own socialist build-up. For the plan to support the revolutionaries in the world, each additional kilowatt of energy and each additional ton of coal and steel is a blow against imperialism and revisionism and support for the revolutionary peoples of the world.

The People’s Liberation Army [PLA] has to become more involved in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Fighters and Commanders of the PLA have to become even more responsible for the campaign of political education in schools, universities, factories, People’s Communes and government offices. The PLA has to build its own industrial production sites. Fighters and commanders have to labor as simple workers in the industry and People’s Communes. Workers should labor in the communes and peasants in the factories. Each student has to be prepared for the war and at the same time labor in the factory and in the commune. Therefore we have to shorten the periods of instruction in the universities if we want to build up communism. We have to be convinced that the exchange of soldiers, workers, peasants, and students has to become normal standard procedure. If we want to build communism, we have to eliminate once and for all the differences between workers, peasants, students, and soldiers”.


6. This course had been already pursued by regional leaderships in summer of 1968 and got adopted in decisions (for instance, the 3rd Session of the “Revolutionary Committee” of Inner Mongolia, held between 7 and 20 July 1968, passed - in addition to “purge”, “ending of party reorganization until the end of 1968”, and strive for unity within the “Revolutionary Committee” - the “combination of revolution, production and preparation for a war”, Radio Inner Mongolia, 23 July 1968).


7. This last concept is evidenced with own experiences about a protracted war and successful coordination between front and guerrilla war and so on, all made into an absolute. Without doubt, this concept can and will be subject to tactical modifications. After all, the objective to mainly have the United States and the Soviet Union fight each other is not quickly and easily achievable, and it does not just depend on desires of the Chinese leadership. In addition, U.S. imperialism will want to exploit new opportunities deriving from the above for its own policies and those of the countries dependent on the United States.


Thus it is also conceivable that, in case rapprochement with the U.S. is failing or not proceeding quickly enough, China is again tactually moving closer to the Soviet Union (several statements towards the end of 1969 left this open) - or will be combining both approaches.


However, on the other hand also large armies could be deployed along the stretched out Soviet-Chinese border for provocations, if those are to serve a policy of confrontation. The stalling tactics in Soviet-Chinese [border] negotiations in Beijing and orientation towards just temporary agreements on border issues seems to indicate that this option is being left open. This all means that the Mao Group is aiming at a situation of protracted tension, sporadic adventures and a latent state of war, especially with regards to the Soviet Union.


The foundation of all this is a war theory integrated in Maoist ideology. It goes back to Mao’s theory of contradictions and is philosophically “rationalized” this way. Hardly will it be modified by the current Chinese leadership. Mao had adopted Stalin’s thesis about the aggravation of contradictions in socialism and “developed further” (“further development of Marxism-Leninism”). Mao is viewing it as a “peak” of theory when making his simplification of social contradictions into an absolute. Using dualisms, he juxtaposes war and peace, negotiation and fight, ascribes them a “wave-like” movement, and derives from the theory of contradiction as the engine to resolve these very contradictions that war is the only solution to solve the problems of society. (“Power is the central question of every revolution”, “Power comes from the barrels of the gun” and “ … there is only one way to eliminate war, namely to fight war with war, and to confront the counter-revolutionary war with a revolutionary war!” - last quote from Chinese edition of Mao, Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 167, referenced by Lin Biao in German edition of “People’s War” [“Volkskrieg”], p. 77, second to last paragraph of the treatise.)



Appendix 1


On Propagandist Measures


During the course of 1969, especially after the border provocations, propaganda of the Chinese leadership increasingly drew a direct line between the “danger of war” and the “fight against revisionism”, this is anti-Sovietism.


“Imperialism and social-imperialism are the source of modern wars … As long as imperialism and social-imperialism do exist, wars are inevitable.”

“In case of a global war, the mission of the proletariat in imperialist and social-imperialist countries consists in taking care that governments of their own countries will suffer defeat in this war … The fighting proletariat will win the world war and liberate entire mankind with the arms in their hands.”


“The grandiose slogans recently proposed by Chairman Mao ‘The war generates revolution” and ‘Revolutions are stopping the war’ … are mobilizing the Chinese people to unite, to step up preparations for a war and to support world revolution. This corresponds with the conclusion reached by Chairman Mao which is of utmost importance and says, that the proletariat cannot achieve final victory in one country alone.”


“The victorious proletariat will … build over the ruins of fallen imperialism and social-imperialism a future thousand times more beautiful than bourgeois civilization.”


“We are supported neither by aircraft and cannons nor by tanks. We are supported by audacity, by the great 600-million Chinese people equipped with the ideas of Mao Zedong … Revolutionary heroism and the will to sacrifice of the Chinese proletariat will be invincible in the world in future revolutions and wars.”


“Now … U.S. imperialism and the social-imperialism of the Soviet revisionists are organizing a ‘holy alliance’ against China … through war they want to achieve their goal to destroy socialist China and carve up the world … We all have to make preparations to counter a war of aggression unleashed by U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism.”



1. Tan Tji-tai [sic] and [Qujang Djing [sic]: The war generates revolutions, revolutions stop the war. Jiefang Ribao, 14 May 1969.

2. Djing She-bing [sic]: Long live the revolutionary spirit ‘Do not be afraid of hardship, do not be afraid of death!. Beijing Ribao, 13 June 1969.  

3. Sjiang Jang [sic]: Comprehensive distribution of Mao Zedong’s ideas is the basic guarantee for the solidification of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Beijing Ribao, 15 June 1969.


China - Soviet Union


“From now on, it must be clear that Soviet revisionism is the enemy of China. It not only wants to transform the Chinese people and some of its vulnerable leaders by illegal means, now it is even also attacking the Chinese border. Soviet revisionism must be treated the same way as American imperialism, and even worse; because the latter has never hidden its intentions against China. Revisionism, in contrast, benefits from so-called socialism and desecrates the Leninist theory in order to deceive the peoples of the world. Thus it is much more dangerous,”

(from “Unpublished Paragraphs from Lin Biao’s Report to the ‘IX CCP Party Congress’”)


China must produce in order to become self-sufficient


“Chairman Mao is continuously issuing appeals to be united. Because unity alone can make China invulnerable. The sheer number of Chinese suffices to impress the revisionists and imperialists. We have to stimulate production and be prepared for every eventuality, even for war. China has to be self-sufficient. But without unity it could never achieve self-sufficiency.” (ibid.)


Propaganda of the Mao Group becomes more pronounced after the Chinese government declaration against the Soviet Union from 24 May 1969 where striving for unity, preparation for war and anti-Sovietism become intertwined (in the provinces for instance Radio Shandong on 28 May and Radio Inner Mongolia on 27 and 28 May 1969).


Since fall of 1969 “Preparation for a Scenario of War and a Scenario of Disaster” has been elevated both in propaganda and practical-political activities above all other tasks. In January, this “preparation” was defined as the supreme guidance for entire social life, as the “mother preparation of all preparations” (Radio Hunan, 3 January 1970).


During this time, since fall of 1969 the 22nd Slogan for 1 October 1969[3] called on the world to prepare for a war of aggression launched by imperialism and social-imperialism: “Peoples of all countries, unite. Fight against the war of aggression unleashed by imperialism - whichever it may be - and social-imperialism, and especially against a war of aggression using nuclear weapons! If such a war will break out, the peoples from all over the world have to eliminate the war of aggression through a revolutionary war; for this we should make preparations from now on”. (Mao Zedong)


The Chinese press frequently added the following Mao quotations:


“No battle must be fought without preparation, and you might not enter a battle without success being guaranteed; we have to undertake all efforts to prepare for any battle, and to gain victory based on the given proportion between our conditions and those of the enemy”.


“A superiority of forces is no real superiority, if there had been no preparations. Then you have no initiative. If you have understood that, then often inferior forces that are prepared can defeat a superior adversary through a surprise attack”.


“The revolutionary war is a war of the people’s masses; you can only conduct it if you mobilize the people’s masses, and if you are supported by the people’s masses.”


The actual main theses are the following:


- China is under threat by the United States and especially the Soviet Union; a war is inevitable, a nuclear aggression is possible;


- China is encircled by the Soviet Union, the U.S., India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines; the plot is hatched ever more intensively.



On the U.S.A.:


They are the strongest imperialist county, but in fact (see 1 January 1970) they can only survive because the Soviet Union is plotting with them. The U.S. are a paper tiger. Reports in the Chinese press of January 1970 are suggesting that the U.S. are in economic decline and are facing a crisis (see Beijing Review No. 7, 1970). Its political decline had been stated earlier already in the context of the negro problem. In military terms two lines of argumentation are used: on the one hand the U.S. are a “paper tiger” inferior to the “power of people’s war”. On the other hand, since 1969 the U.S. and the Soviet Union are accused of wanting to launch a nuclear strike. Here human power is rated on the same level as the weapon and technology, and accordingly the need for a Chinese nuclear and missile program is justified.


Especially the complex weapons (technology) vs. humans is apparently a subject of controversies within the military, in particular within the air force and navy. Through constant training with Soviet arms and equipment on the one hand, and the education level of commanders and soldiers on the other, since 1966 the “Cultural Revolution” has not progressed as much as it did within the ground forces. In addition, it is said that both military branches are of the opinion they cannot accomplish the mission of “liberating Taiwan” without modern technology.


“Jiefang Ribao” of 14 May 1969 stated: “The heroism of the people consists in the equally perfect use of weapons and the ideology of Mao Zedong”. This is a compromise used by Maoist propaganda as a “bridge” in order not to be suspected to have adopted theses, or potentially even the concepts, of Peng Dehuai and Luo Ruiqing.


On the Soviet Union:


Propaganda is portraying the Soviet Union as Enemy No. 1. Social-imperialism is defined as the worst and most dangerous version of imperialism in its stage of decline. In order to support this, they return to the propaganda about the Ussuri provocation (see Renmin Ribao of 3 and 4 January 1970 etc.) as well as about the [Soviet] military support for Czechoslovakia in 1968. This is to portray the Soviet Union as an aggressor and colonial power. According to Chinese propaganda, such aggression can occur ay any given day:


- Radio stations in Southern provinces imply war can break out in January or February 1970 already;

- those deported to Shanxi do not receive leave for spring festival “because of acute danger of war”;

- Beijing students get promised exams in June “if there has been no war by then”;

- Construction of holes and shelters is accelerated under the pretension of acute threat;

- repeated provocations when foreigners take photographs are fueling spy mania and pretend acute war preparations by the “revisionists”. Spy mania is gaining ever more importance (see among else articles in “Newspaper of Inner Mongolia” from 28 February 1970 “Increasing Vigilance 100-fold”);

- [Border] negotiations with the Soviet Union are compared those of 1945 in Chongqing, this is China wants to negotiate but the enemy can break the truce any time, which means vigilance must increase;

- the headquarters of Rebelling Workers in Shanghai is “internally” circulating a text in late January 1970 that talks about an acute danger of war by imperialism and social-imperialism (the two sources of war in the current epoch), about the Soviet-Chinese negotiations as part of war preparations by “social-imperialism”, about Shanghai as a front zone, and about Shanghai’s support for the increase in production and the militarization of life in border areas (information from the diplomatic corps).


The comprehensive stirring up of a war psychosis is corresponding with the attempt of general demands of Maoist ideology: destruction of personality, leveling of character, subordination of any individual feeling and emotions to great-power chauvinist objectives, repression of thinking and emphasis of blind beliefs. For instance, from Radio Liaoning on 17 November 1969: “The biggest obstacle, when learning about the whole, is egotism”. Thus workers and peasants of the province were criticized when they did not link “preparations for the scenario of war … to the fight against egotism”.


This stirring up is combine with forced militarization of entire social life and thinking (military routines and methods of work, Yan’an Model). Here also the slogan “To Fear neither Hardship nor Death” applies.


Of major importance, and according to our informations not without dangerous effect on parts of the population (e.g. primarily on those between 17 and 20 years of age), are films prominently shown and reviewed in the press - for instance“Tunnel War”, “Soldiers at the City”, “Battle over Shanghai”, “War of Mines”. These films are propagating “people’s war”, hand-to-hand-combat, fanatical heroism, and a sacrifice of the “Me” for the common good (Chinese and world revolution). In addition, they provide instruction for construction of sheltering holes.


This is supported by fierce criticism of films contrasting the concept of “people’s war”, militarization, war psychosis and leveling of the population.


Among else, the same goals are pursued by discussion of heroes and the relationship between the army and the people etc., like in Jiang Qing’s model operas, especially “Tiger Mountain” and “The Red Detachment of Women”.


Furthering the same objective since January 1970 is the studying of songs from the anti-Japanese liberation war with in part modified texts in television and on radio, as well as on the streets and at workplaces. According to information from the diplomatic corps, in Shanghai for instance this was explicitly linked to “Soviet aggression”.


This propaganda is further support by the


- reviewing and implementing the demand to view everything from the perspective of “war preparation” (all radio stations and newspapers, here Henan from 26 November 1969);

- demanding to turn all leadership organs into “iron fortifications” that “can withstand severe challenges in future battles” (Radio Henan, 26 November 1969). In the entire country they create the atmosphere of a “besieged fortress”;

- construction of holes and shelters by the population all over the country. Slow implementation of this task is immediately judged as an affront against Mao’s course a “betrayal of threatened China”.

- reprint of the pamphlet “What to do in Case of War”;

- reprint of the brochure “About First Aid of Injuries in War”;

- Posters advising what to do in case of air attacks (for instance in Shanghai in October and November).




Appendix 2


On Political-Ideological Measures


- Campaign “Struggle - Criticism - Transformation”


- Campaign “Great Criticism”


- Campaign “Purge of the Class Ranks”


- Campaign “Reorganization and New Structuring of the Party”


- Campaign “Permanent Revolution”


- Propagation of Poverty


- Destruction of Personality, the “Me”


- Competition without, or essentially without, material stimuli


- Implementation of Training Sessions, among else on the subject “Evacuation of Children” (e.g. Shanghai, December 1969)


- Increased militarization of life through military organization of workers in factories and students in schools, through introduction of the “Four-Good-Companies” and “Five-Good Fighters” competitions and the “Three Eights Working Style” of the People’s Liberation Army.



Appendix 3



On Political-Organizational Measures


- An eminent rank among current tasks during the “unity campaign” right after the “Party Congress” is reserved for “being always prepared for a war in all its variations” (speech Li Desheng at party conference of Anhui Province between 17 and 19 May 1969, Radio Anhui 21 May 1969). Among else, the Chinese leadership strived for unity of leadership organs and the Chinese people in order “to be steeled against all conspiracies of the imperialists, revisionists, and reactionaries” (Radio Heilongjiang, 19 May 1969);


- Building of a wired radio network down to all “communes” with a 24/7 service (see Radio Henan, 24 February 1969). Places that are not yet part of the networks are transmitting instructions by phone or messengers “so that Mao’s voice reaches every resident within a few hours”;


- Mass delegation of cadres to small towns and villages, for instance many groups from Beijing, one with a strength of 6,000 people, after a decision by the city’s Revolutionary Committee on 24 November 1969;


- Salary cuts in the industry up to to 30 percent, respectively non-payments up to 30 percent;


- Donations by the people, for instance in Guangzhou according to “Mingbao” from 21 November 1969, of 1 Yuan per person for the construction of holes;


- Appeal to talk less in public, especially in the presence of foreigners; stricter monitoring of Chinese contacts and talks with foreigners (compare to “Enemy is Listening” Campaign as part of Hitler’s war preparations [in Germany during World War II]).


- Stricter rules for photographing by foreigners;


- New additional restrictions of movements by foreigners in the vicinity of Beijing and in the entire country.



Appendix 4


On Tactical-Economic Measures


- “Great Leap” in industry and agriculture (covered on a large scale in provincial reports, but rather seldom in “Renmin Ribao” like on 24 December 1969). There are appeals “to observe local conditions”, this means first no adventurism, and second to work with your own resources without state subsidies. This is about high production quotas, lower costs, reducing state subsidies as much as possible, exploiting all material reserves, downsizing administration and deployment of cadres in the production.


- The context of a “great Leap”  means in terms of agriculture especially more grain (including rice). For that purpose, the following has to be applied:

- irrigation works, as much as possible with small dams and electric mini-stations built by multiple communes in cooperation;

- improvement of soil, especially through fertilizing;

- mechanization, in particular through six working stages: seeding, watering, threshing, first processing, transport, and pest control. In Guangdong Province they held in January in the (all of them?) communes seminars on “mechanization”.

- reclaim new land;

- build storage facilities (state, communal, and private);

- significant increases in pig breeding.


While listing the same areas of concentration, an article in “Hunan Ribao” from 8 November 1969 demands the development of a “competition” also in agriculture.


- Rehearsing a military state of emergency. For instance, according to Radio Liaoning from 16 November 1969 the Army forced a cotton factory to complete a special assignment. Representatives from factory management who complained about a loss in income and delay im plan fulfillment were openly criticized as “class enemies”


Appendix 5


On Strategic-Economic Measures


- De-centralization of industry, in particular by redirecting investment from the cities to the countryside. Such applies in particular to small power plants, dam facilities, fertilizer factories (see “Renmin Ribao” from 25 December 1969 where it was stated to build fertilize factors after the mold of the small smelting furnaces from 1958), repair shops for agricultural equipment, processing factors for agricultural products etc.


This explains why many times the small smelting furnaces and the local factories from 1958 were praised (among else in “Renmin Ribao” from 15 December 1969). In general, many measures more or less resemble modified applications of the old “People’s Communes” concept. The above mentioned article is then saying that China will win with such factories in case of an “imperialist or social-imperialist aggression”.

In addition, however, wherever possible rather autark industries are supposed to be built in the provinces.

For example, a provincial conference on mechanical engineering in Hunan held between 8 and 20 October 1969 (see Radio Hunan, 25 October 1969) passed, in the wider context of a “Great Leap” for 1970, a plan to develop “rather comprehensive machine construction”: with the focus on agricultural machine tools, printing and transport machinery, nitrogen fertilizer factories, mining equipment, and on tractor and truck factories. Furthermore, they primarily wanted to develop defense industries, electrical engineering and spare parts production. Here all local reserves including cooperative methods are to be utilized. As a special area of concentration they emphasized agriculture - in terms of mechanization, spare parts production including building up structures of a repair system, irrigation, and fertilizer production. New investments in mechanical engineering have to keep in mind that in case of an acute danger of war a rapid change of production has to be accomplished.


- Evacuations of 8 population groups (out of Beijing by the Revolutionary Committees):


1. people without or only temporary residential permits;

2. people without actual labor duties (e.g. also housemaids)  

3. retirees and pensioners

4. the sick, invalides, and disabled

5. deportees that have fled

6. families of transferred cadres and intellectuals

7. families of intellectuals who have labored in the countryside for longer periods.

8. members of the 5 anti-social categories (landowners, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, bad elements, rightist elements).


- De-centralization of schools of all kind, for instance university institutes relocated in or nearby industrial factories, or to the countryside; same with medical facilities.


- Transfer of elementary and middle schools to the industrial and agricultural factories.


- De-centralization of intellectuals and educated youth through ending their further educational development; delegation of relegated cadres and intellectuals to the countryside, especially in schools for cadres “7th of May” and “labor camps” for intellectuals (see Nanchang).


- building underground transportation without opening it for public transportation.


- road construction in cities and across the countryside


- construction of canals


- construction of bridges and tunnels for streets and railways


- Certainly a number of factories and scientific institutions, maybe untouched and unaffected by the “Cultural Revolution”, are working to develop weapons (directly or indirectly) for the missile and nuclear program under guidance of the Army, et cetera


- Appeal for a further increase in transportation volume, after in Hunan Province the volume was in the first half of January 1970 higher than during the same period of 1969: in the railway sector by 52 percent, truck transport by 65 percent, navigation by 11 percent, and local rail by 137 percent (old or new trains?). See Radio Hunan, 20 January 1970).



Appendix 6


On Measures of Trade Policy


- Eightfold increase of machinery imports in 1970 compared to 1969 (construction, transport and tool machinery from Japan, including means of transportation, which China does not manufacture; for instance 1,300 trucks and dump tucks, of which 500 were 6-tons and 800 between 4 and 6 tons; furthermore 2,000 8-ton dump trucks and 300 bulldozers, as well as 2,000 trucks of other sizes - most of the imports are supposed to be realized in the first half of the year).


- Further machinery imports from England, West Germany, Italy, France, and Switzerland and others (among these are 2,000 heavy trucks from England, 300 10-ton trucks and 1,300 other heavy trucks from France).


- Import of a motorcycle factory from Japan for 100-cubic meters machines. Capacity is said to be 3,000 engines a month.


- Development of trade relations with capitalist countries like West Germany and Japan, which serve at least indirectly armament purposes; here we have 71,000 tons of steel from Japan, and from West Germany 130,000 tons including sheet metal and pipes; 200,000 tons from Austria, Sweden, Italy, and France. This includes measure and control devices from West Germany as well as computer e.g. from Austria.


-  Restriction of exports for strategically important products like textiles (see negotiations with Hungary)



Appendix 7



On political-military measures (with simultaneous propagandistic aspect)


- The building of holes, bunkers, and tunnels all across the country. This probably started in September in Shanghai and Harbin where it is now basically completed in the centers. In the factories, the bunkers are larger and equipped with stone or concrete walls and ceilings, as well as with iron doors. In the residential Hutong they are at best built with stones or shingles. According to reports from Hong Kong, in the first half of February a wide-ranging tunnel system was spotted in Shaanxi Province, in the area of the old base.


In propagandistic terms the construction feeds into the support of war psychosis and anti-Sovietism. In political-military terms, this is serving to eliminate political apathy and sleepiness and also as a test for obedient following by the population, as well as to practice fast digging (this is why there is a rush and pressure to speed up). On the other hand, all this construction is about preparation for people’s war action.


Although the international and domestic situation of today is different from 4 to 5 years ago, Mao is resorting to experiences and methods from 1965 (about since May) and 1966 (until their interruption through the “Cultural Revolution”). This course was confirmed by the 11th CCP Plenum [of 1965]: building trenches, alert testing, training of paramedics, and many other things. Back then this occurred under the slogan of “Danger of U.S. Imperialism via Vietnam”.


- In fall of 1969 there was a publication of the 2nd edition of a brochure from 1965 with instructions for how to shoot down plans, build holes and bunkers and how to use them etc.;


- Marching drills, first occurring especially for youth and children, for instance for the court meeting on 27 January 1970 at the Temple of Heaven. Since mid-February this also applies to adults, but only at the periphery of the city and probably in areas now closed to foreign visitors (Ming Tombs, Western Mountains, etc.).


- Alert drills in factories and institutions in some cities, for instance in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, where people jump into their holes and sometimes first grab a gun with which they aim at “imagined aircraft”. Alarm drills in residential areas feature men (reservists?) lining up with field packs and were subsequently marching out.

- In November of 1969 there was a publication of 300,000 copies of the 2nd edition of a brochure from 1965 “First Aid against War Injuries”.


- Training of paramedics and medical helpers, as well as building a system of medical stations. For instance, on 22 January 1970 the Hong Kong paper “Dagungbao” reported that in late 1969 the People’s Liberation Army had sent 6,100 medical teams with 40,000 paramedics to the countryside to perform Maoist propaganda and medical service to peasants, as well as to educate and train 247,000 “barefoot doctors” and establish 7,500 medical stations in the communes. About 22,000 paramedics were sent to border regions. “Beijing Ribao” from 17 October 1969 reported the establishment of a “Red Paramedics Department” in Beijing’s Railway System, this is mobile units of paramedics and nurses for the wounded allocated all over the city’s trains. Also, in Chinese hospitals they started a campaign for blood donations. In Beijing they paid 20 Yuan for 100 grams of blood.


- Campaign to tape paper strips to window panes.


- Camouflage painting of trucks and in part buses (e.g. in Guangdong).


- Militarization and war-like mobilization of all basic units (“transformation in fighting bastions that can withstand any war or other difficult situations”, Radio Hunan from 3 January 1970); application of “combat readiness as an engine” to prepare for “any kind of complicated situations” (Radio Yunnan, 9 January 1970), for any “potential sudden event threatening the Chinese revolution” (Radio Shanxi, 16 January 1970), for “emergencies” and a “growth in production” (Radio Henan on 7 January 1970 and Radio Hunan on 3 January 1970).


- Appeal to “every village to enable its self-defense” (Radio Shanxi, 16 January 1970).  



Appendix 8



On Military Measures


- Emphasis on military training of possibly all citizens in several provincial newspapers and radio stations (e.g. Anhui on 14 January and Fujian on 20 January 1970).


- Establishment of new militia units in factories and commons as well as training them in shooting and hand-to-hand combat (Radio Xi’an, 30 November 1969).


The “3 Tasks and 10 Demands” for the militia:


[3 Tasks]

1.1 Active participation in the socialist build-up and being a model in production work.

1.2 Coordination of coastal and border defense, of the defense of air space, protection against espionage, of the maintenance of law and order together with the ground forces, the Navy, and the Air Force.

1.2 To be ready to join the army in case of an aggression and defend the fatherland.


[10 Demands]

2.1 To recognize the leadership of the party

2.2 To implement the laws and orders of the state

2.3 To fulfill orders from above

2.4 To protect the interests of the masses

2.5 To unmask bad elements and bad things

2.6 To patiently re-educate those who made mistakes

2.7 Political and military training

2.8 To participate in manual labor

2.9 To carefully deal with weapons and ammunitions

2.10 To preserve state secrets


-  As seen above, the expansion of the militias is important, or particularly relevant, in the context of a “disaster scenario”. The inclusion of this scenario into calculations is shown among else in an article of “Renmin Ribao” from 20 November 1969 (see also “Beijing Review” 48/69), which is demanding to “thwart … attempts by the class enemy to manage its return” and a protection against “aggression and subversion”.


- New draftings of 18- to 20-year-olds, i.e. the most faithful and fanatical age groups. Currently a number of older commanders and foot soldiers are supposed to be demobilized:

- Mao-faithful commanders and soldiers into political and economic leadership organs, respectively in propaganda units and leaderships of militia units;

less faithful ones in lower positions;

- others into the production in small town and communes.


- Establishment of paramilitary youth units in border areas as a third, especially fanatic group next to the People's Liberation Army (border units) and the Militia: A “Production and Build-Up Corps” (probably “jian-she-bin-tuan”) of deported Red Guards with military training programs (see also “Die Welt” [West German newspaper] from 27 November 1969 and “Far Eastern Review” 49/69). According to information from the diplomatic corps, those youth are said to receive better food, clothing, and more generous leave, as well as a 32 Yuan monthly salary.


- Partial conversion of civilian air fields, e.g. Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Hangzhou, Nanchang and others, to military air fields where jet aircraft (among else MIG-17) are protected by newly erected stone walls and sandbag walls.


- Within the People’s Liberation Army they want to increase morale and combat readiness in order to maximally expand its advantages:


- the interspersion of the roughly 3.5- to 4-million-strong army with faithfully loyal, fanatical youth; this is the strongest army in the world with its gigantic reserves in terms of numbers.

- the acceleration of its nuclear and missile program, as well as potential mechanization and modernization of troops, so far only in rather relative terms satisfactorily equipped with light conventional weaponry. Special attention is supposed to be given to the Air Force and Navy; here they resort to parts of Peng Dehuai’s line, though by also saying that Peng wanted “technology without humans”; the Mao Group, however, wants both, modern weaponry and “people’s war” arms, at least as long there exists a possibility of war or “disaster” scenarios during this period of transition [in arms modernization].

- a further steeling, increase in physical stamina, in contempt of death, in flexibility, frugality, and in other moral advantages of the People’s Liberation Army.


They also want to achieve maximal limitation of any disadvantages coming into effect:

- the scattering of the Army through manning many outposts with militias (mostly by de-mobilized soldiers)

- the relief of combat troops from non-military tasks through replacements for battle commanders required in political organs and the economy.



[1] Crossed out by the author.

[2] “Guaranteeing world peace” is in this context a euphemism for military action.

[3] National Holiday to commemorate the foundation of the PRC on 1 October 1949.

This document contains the East German (GDR) Embassy in China’s summary and preliminary evaluation of Chinese foreign policy aimed at achieving super power status, domestic militarization in China, and efforts to foster political unity around Maoist ideology.

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PA AA, C 487/75. Translated by Bernd Schaefer.


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