A Chinese Communist Party digest summarizing recent meetings held between Zhao Ziyang and foreign counterparts.
March 16, 1982
Excerpts of Talks between Leading Comrades and Foreign Guests (No. 3)
This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation
Serial No. 000021
Excerpts of Talks between Leading Comrades and Foreign Guests (No. 3)
March 16, 1982
Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping and Foreign Guests Talk about the International Situation,
China-US Relations, and the Domestic Situation
Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping meets with Moroccan Prime Minister Maati Bouabid
On February 25, Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping met with Moroccan Prime Minister Maati Bouabid. They discussed the international situation, Sino-American relations and the domestic situation. Vice Premier Deng's remarks follow:
Our two countries are in broad agreement on international issues. We appreciate very much your stance against hegemony and non-aligned position. The world situation is chaotic and volatile. Some people say that detente is just an empty word. The situation is getting tenser. Old problems haven't been solved and new ones keep arising. Speaking of old problems, the problems of Afghanistan and Cambodia have not yet been solved, and now new problems have arisen in Poland, in the Middle East and in Africa.
Among the countries near us in Asia there are also some new problems. Some things are hard for us to understand. China and the United States relations from the global strategic perspective should be getting better. What has happened? The relationship between China and the U.S. started to improve in 1972. Now suddenly there is a Taiwan issue, which is very troublesome! Now there is a problem between China and the United States, and even the Americans themselves say that it is a serious problem. If this problem is not solved properly, Sino-US relations may deteriorate. We didn't want this situation to arise but now that it has arisen, what should we do about it? Even so, it is no big deal, the Chinese people will survive. Even given this situation, China’s views on international relations and its opposition to hegemonism will not change. Some Americans now believe that China is a vast country but it is still very poor. They see China as being under great pressure from the Soviet Union. So their conclusion is that China needs to get something from the United States, but the United States does not want anything from China. They thought that whatever the U.S. insisted on, China would eventually have to swallow.
When George H.W. Bush was elected Vice President. He came to China with Secretary of State Alexander Haig and other important American officials. I told them that this judgment was dangerous and wrong. I said to them, China may be poor, but if something happens to the world, China will be able to survive it better than any other country. I told Secretary of State Haig that if "China needs something from the United States”, would the United States give it to China? I told Haig that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, the United States has not given China any advanced technology. You won't even sell China an electronic computer for taking a census of its population. This is just a one megaflop computer, not a thousand megaflop computer. Just recently they sold it to us. But if they hadn't, would we have gone extinct? I said that kind of thinking is very dangerous to Sino-US relations, and it is not to your advantage.
In the development of Sino-American relations, there is the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, which is now under discussion. If the U.S. insists on selling arms to Taiwan, and selling advanced weapons. This is an issue on which we have no room for compromise. If the US does that, it will set back relations between our two countries and possibly back to the time before the normalization of relations in 1979, or even back to 1972, and we do not want that to happen. The situation is so compelling, however, that we would have no choice but to take that step. In this respect, we have a lot of experience in dealing with superpowers, you have experience in dealing with the other superpower and we have even more experience in dealing with another superpower. China and the United States may have difficulties in our relations.
We'll watch what they actually do. Just now Reagan's son went to Taiwan again. Therefore, while we still make efforts to have good relations, we are also forced to prepare ourselves for the worst. When we talk about these things when we see friends so that you know that we are thinking about these things. Today many European countries are working on this issue because they are also concerned about it. There are also many leaders in the US government that are working hard to prevent this situation from arising. The world’s problems in the world are growing and we experience them all around us. Given that, we need to strengthen mutual cooperation, share information and cooperate with friendly countries and especially with third world countries. As to the question of whether these factors would affect the series of policy changes that China has been making over the past few years I say no. They would not be affected, including our policy of opening up to the outside world. As far as developing cooperative relations with our friends in the third world goes, that has been our consistent policy.
On the whole, our situation in China is good now. Many in the outside world speculate about China. Some suspect that China is politically unstable. In fact, ever since the "Gang of Four" was smashed, and in particular after the Third Plenary Session of the Party Central Committee in 1978, and during the three years of 1978, 1979 and 1988, our political stability has been rarely better in all our history. The fundamental policy that we set at the Third Plenary Session at the end of 1978 was to be united in our determination to realize the Four Modernizations and to escape from backwardness. This was all done to create conditions for economic development and to formulate a series of policies, which have proven effective. Especially in the rural areas, where the effect is most significant. When we look at China's problems, we must look first at the situation in the countryside where eighty percent of the total population lives. China's stability depends upon the countryside. The benefits of autonomy and the responsibility system for China's peasants are very clear.
Recently, the income in most regions has risen exponentially. The situation in urban areas is also much better than in the past. Recently, in order to remove obstacles to the realization of the Four Modernizations, we have opened fire on bureaucracy, and we have been reforming institutions and systems to solve the problems of institutions that are too swollen in size, have become overmanned and too inefficient. This is actually a revolution, but it is not a revolution of people, but a revolution in the organization of the system. Recently, we made this public. The international community said it was a good thing, and they all praised it. But some say that it won't work in China. This has been going on for over a month but for less than two months. The current approach is to start not from below, but from the central level.
Things seem to be going better than we expected. This matter involves first of all a group of our old cadres and comrades, some comrades who made comrades who have made contributions. They will leave their posts and retire or move on to something else or to take up an honorary post. This is not a problem that doesn't involve just hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of people, but hundreds of thousands or millions of people. (Huang Hua commented -- there are over two million.) But everyone is more or less in agreement. Getting this done if they don't agree would be very difficult. Considering the long-term interests of the country to consider, this is a step that must be taken. Everyone is very happy about this. We had planned that it would take two years to complete this nationwide, but now it seems that it may not take so long. This case can help answer the question of whether China is politically stable or not. If China's political situation were not stable, we wouldn't have done this at all because this is a measure that offends people, and offends a great many good people who made valuable contributions!
We will be taking other measures as well. On the one hand, we have to implement our policy of opening up to the outside world, and on the other hand, we have to resist the corrupt and bad influences coming from the capitalist world such as corruption, theft, bribery, and the bad customs in society such as harming others to reap benefits. These phenomena are not unfamiliar in capitalist society.
We will work on these issues. Our opening up policy is to bring in the advanced technology and management knowledge of developed countries, including the capital that can be useful for us. Importing corruption is something that we can do without. Since opening began, the greater the contact, the greater the influence the issue is whether we can eliminate those bad influences. We'll need clear heads. Even as we avoid getting too excited about the small stuff, we will need to be conscientious in reducing bad influences and to take effective measures, including legal measures [Note: ‘legal measures’ is underlined in pencil in the text. End note] One the one hand we must oppose these bad things, on the other hand, we must promote spiritual civilization. In this regard we have our own tradition. In short, we need to educate our future generations to be idealistic, moral, polite, disciplined, and hard working. Everyone in our country, including children, should be patriotic, have self-respect. This is not the arrogance of an individual but the national self-respect of a people. This is closely related to realizing the Four Modernizations. If we don't have this spirit, we won't succeed in the Four Modernizations. All of this is tied to one issue that is building the Four Modernizations.
This is what we need to do. Modernization is hard. Maybe you had it easier than we do. Our main problem is that our population is too large, over one billion people. With a population of one billion people, increasing the per capita income by one dollar takes one billion dollars. If we increase it by one hundred dollars, then we'll need one hundred billion dollars. It's not easy!
A Chinese Communist Party digest summarizing recent meetings held between Deng Xiaoping and foreign counterparts.
Associated People & Organizations
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