A Chinese Communist Party digest summarizing recent meetings held between Zhao Ziyang and foreign counterparts.
November 26, 1982
Excerpts of Talks between Leading Comrades and Foreign Guests (Supplement No. 2)
This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Serial No. 100026
Excerpts of Talks between Leading Comrades and Foreign Guests (Supplement No. 2)
November 26, 1982
Comrade Hu Yaobang and the French Communist Party Central Committee Delegation Discuss the International Situation and the International Communist Movement
Comrade Hu Yaobang and the French Communist Party Central Committee delegation discuss the International Situation and the International Communist Movement
During the visit of a delegation of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party led by Georges Marchais to China, Comrade Hu Yaobang briefed the delegation on the basic foreign policy positions of our Party and discussed our views on the international situation and the world communist movement.
On our Party's foreign policy and the issue of opposing hegemonism
On the issue of our Party's foreign policy and opposition to hegemonism, Comrade Hu Yaobang said that the core of our Party's foreign policy are points: oppose hegemonism and maintain world peace. Maintaining peace is the most urgent demand of the most of the world's people.
It is the battle cry that can best unite and mobilize the masses. We are all in favor of disarmament and the prohibition or destruction of nuclear weapons. The best way to maintain world peace is to oppose hegemony.
Comrade Hu Yaobang said that hegemony springs from two sources:
One source is the capitalist world. A fundamental characteristic of the monopoly capitalist classes is that it wants to expand. They all want to be hegemonic. However, there is a difference between "wanting to do'' and "having done". For example, if the great monopoly capitalist class in France also wanted hegemony, but did they succeed? No, they did not. So we cannot object to the French hegemony. Nowadays the biggest hegemon in the capitalist world is US imperialism. It is hegemonic in the Middle East, in Africa, particularly Southern Africa, and in Asia, Latin America, in China and in Korea. There is also small-scale hegemonism of which Israeli monopoly capitalism is the representative. Without the support of US imperialism, however, it would not be able to do it. There is also a half-hegemon, the Republic of South Africa.
China has always opposed the hegemony of U.S. imperialism. Its most vicious period was from the 1950s to the mid-1960s. It focused on Asia, invading North Korea and Vietnam. China was one of the three countries that fought the U.S. in a real war, and it sacrificed the most. The issue of sending in the volunteers kept Chairman Mao awake for three days. He considered the consequences from all sides before finally making up his mind. We assisted Vietnam by sending 320,000 troops.
What about the Soviet Union's anti-American hegemony? It never fired a single shot.
Our Party has never lagged in the fight against the American hegemony. Nobody can accuse us of that. Just because we fought and defeated US imperialism, they had to change their policy toward us after the mid-1960s. This led to the process of normalizing U.S.-China relations that began in 1972 although diplomatic relations were not formally established until 1979. The normalization of relations between China and the United States was beneficial not only to China, but also to people all over the world.
The Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with the United States sixteen years after the victory of the revolution, while our establishment of liaison offices with the United States came only twenty-three years after the victory of the revolution and only after 29 years did we establish diplomatic relations. After diplomatic relations were established, there were struggles, first against U.S. hegemony and second against the "two Chinas" plot of some people in the U.S.. They said that while the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the USSR had been a normalization of relations, while the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China amounted to "collusion".
Hegemony comes from another direction as well. Imperialist hegemony is not the only kind of hegemony. If it can be called socialism, then one can say that it comes from the socialist side. That is painful, regrettable and hard for us to accept. This is a very serious problem, which will alienate the people of the world, ruin the reputation of socialism, postpone world revolution, and be detrimental to the victory of communism in the world. The Soviet Union was hegemonic and led Vietnam into hegemonism. It supported Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia, it armed Afghanistan, and it has stationed heavy troops on the Sino-Soviet and Sino-Mongolian borders in order to fight us when the time is ripe. It is always engaging in hegemony in China's neighborhood so naturally we strongly oppose it.
The Soviet Union has three "reasons" for its hegemony: first, the "theory of correcting mistakes"; second, the "theory of requesting troops"; and third, the "theory of preventing China's hegemony" or the "theory of preventing China's hegemony” or the "Yellow Peril Theory". These are words and excuses should not be accepted.
When Japan invaded China, Chiang Kai-shek asked the Soviet Union to send troops. Stalin decided to send only a few flyers, which was the right decision, and our Party supported this. But our Party did a stupid thing by raising the wrong slogan -- "armed defense of the Soviet Union" after the September 18 Incident in 1931. Many comrades did not agree with this at the time.
In the 1950s, some people in Burma also asked us to send troops to liberate Burma, and some estimated that just one army would be enough to defeat the reactionary regime in Burma. Chairman Mao thought that we absolutely should not do that. This was the right decision. We wrote in the report of the Twelfth Congress that "the success of a country's revolution depends on the maturity of the conditions in the country itself and on the support of the Communist Party's line and policies by the masses of its people."
In Indonesia, Suharto killed 300,000 communists. Why didn't the Soviet Union send troops? A recent example: Israel sent troops to Lebanon, why didn't the Soviet Union send troops? Of course, it is not always a good thing for the Soviet Union to send troops. The "request for troops" theory is untenable.
On Inter-party Relations
Comrade Hu Yaobang said that the party of each country should handle the revolution and construction of a country independently. No foreign party knows its own problems as well as its own comrades. Even if mistakes are made, we have to rely on the comrades of our own party to summarize and correct them. That we can be relied upon. Foreign parties are bound to make mistakes, so why should they tell other fraternal parties what to do? We did not handle some matters well in the past, and we have learned from our experience.
Comrade Hu Yaobang said that we disapprove of some things the French comrades have done. However, it is one thing to disapprove, it is another to point fingers. This is a matter of principle. Our report to the Twelfth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party specifically addressed this principle. Only according to this principle can the relationship between parties be handled better.
We have experience in this area. The Soviet Communist Party interfered in our internal affairs and did not even want to let us have a revolution. Stalin did not approve of our war of liberation after the war against Japan. He wanted us to cooperate with the Kuomintang, saying that a breakdown in relations between the Communist Party and China would lead to the destruction of the Chinese nation. Comrade Mao Zedong and our Party rejected this advice, and as a result, our revolution won. Stalin later made a self-criticism, which we agreed with. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Stalin did help us a lot and made an important contribution to the foundation of our heavy industry. After Stalin's death, Khrushchev again tried to dictate to us, not only in terms of inter-party relations but also in terms of state-to-state cooperation. Comrade Mao Zedong and our Party rejected this advice, and as a result, our revolution was won. Stalin later made a self-criticism, which we agree with. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Stalin did help us a lot and made an important contribution to the foundation of our heavy industry.
After Stalin's death, Khrushchev again tried to dictate to us, not only in terms of inter-party relations but also in terms of state-to-state relations. In 1958, Khrushchev wanted to establish a naval base in China and a joint fleet. We had only a few rickety ships at that time. What kind of a joint fleet would that have been? When we rejected his request, the relationship between the two parties broke down. He encouraged Nehru to stir up trouble on the India-China border. His opposition to China seems to have been consistent. Konrad Adenauer in his memoirs mentions that in 1955, when relations between China and the Soviet Union were still good, Khrushchev told him to be on guard against the "Yellow Peril". We were not happy about people interfering in our internal affairs.
Our Party thinks independently and so our Party decided on a strategy and strategy based on the actual situation in China. The main representative of the Party was Comrade Mao Zedong, who achieved the victory of the revolution. Therefore, we need to make define the principles of relations among communist parties.
On Cambodia and Afghanistan
Comrade Hu Yaobang said that the reasons for the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were somewhat different.
Vietnam. First, Vietnam initially had the idea of creating an Indochinese federation. We only established relations with the Cambodian Communist Party in 1964. The Cambodian Communist Party was concerned that after Cambodia became independent Vietnam would intervene. We didn't believe it at the time. Second, the support of the Soviet Union. On November 3, 1978, the Soviet Union and Vietnam signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation of "special significance". Third, Vietnam overestimated its own strength and underestimated the strength of its opponent.
The Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The main problem was that the Soviet Union overestimated its own strength. These two events are connected. The Vietnamese army made a large-scale invasion of Cambodia on December 25, 1978. On December 25, 1979, when Vietnam held a big celebration to commemorate the first anniversary of its "victory", the Soviet Union sent senior generals to attend. Two days later, on December 27, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
The Soviet leaders were pragmatic in their political thinking and adventurist in their military thinking. They were politically shortsighted and could not distinguish between just and unjust wars, so that they did not but fail. The most powerful modern armed forces could destroy the smaller modern forces but they cannot defeat a popularly based armed guerilla force. In April 1980, less than four months after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, we told Comrade Enrico Berlinguer that the Soviet Union had fallen into the mud trap of Afghanistan from which it would not be able to extract itself for at least five years.
Comrade Hu Yaobang said that it had been almost four years since the Vietcong invaded Cambodia. It was time now for a political solution. We favor a political solution to the Cambodian problem. Force cannot solve the problem; even eight more years will not solve it. Now there are 170,000 Vietnamese troops in Cambodia, more than 10,000 armed by the Heng Samrin regime, and 60,000 armed by the Cambodian Communist Party. Pol Pot himself told us that Cambodia now has a population of five million people, a decline of one million. Of these, the Cambodian Communist Party killed 200,000 died while the remaining 800,000 died of death, starvation, and thirst after the Vietnamese invasion. The Cambodian Communist Party has made mistakes, but they have been greatly exaggerated by Vietnam. If they were completely detached from the masses, how could they have held out for four years and become stronger? Comrade Hu Yaobang said that China has not sent even a single adviser to the Cambodian Communist Party. The Vietnamese sent advisors to Heng Samrin's army at the company level and at the political level down to the level of village chiefs.
On Our Friends and on Relations between the Chinese and French Parties
Comrade Hu Yaobang said, do we rely on friends? First, we rely on the socialist countries with which we have good cooperation. Second, we rely on the communist parties of the countries with which we are cooperating. Third, we rely on the Third World. The situation of the Third World countries varies, but In general, they are the main force for progress in the contemporary world.
Speaking about the relations between the Chinese and French communist parties, Comrade Hu Yaobang said that the two parties could fully exchange views in a comradely atmosphere. The two parties have a lot in common. Our common ground is the most important thing. It does not matter if we disagree on some things. This is normal because we are two different parties with different circumstances, histories and experiences. This does not prevent us from cooperating with each other as comrades and from moving forward together hand-in-hand a great goal.
A Chinese Communist Party digest summarizing a recent meeting between Hu Yaobang and a delegation of the French Communist Party.
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