In excerpts from their conversation, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, First Secretary of the Romanian Workers Party and Liu Fang, Chinese Ambassador to Romania, discuss the increasing tension between both their countries and the Soviet Union. Gheorghiu-Dej also explains his objections to the attempted admission of Mongolia to the Warsaw Pact. Romanian military leader Emil Bodnăraş is also present.
Ion Gheorghe Maurer, 'The Unshakeable Foundation of the Unity of the International Communist Movement' (excerpts)
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
It has been three years since the Meeting of representatives of the Communist and Worker’s Parties took place in Moscow – an event of historical significance in the life and development of Communist Parties the world over, in the peoples struggle for peace and socialism.
The Moscow Meeting of 1960 appreciated that the most burning problem of our times is the defense of peace and it made the prevention of a new world war the fundamental task of the communist parties. It mirrored the firmness with which the Marxist-Leninist parties, responding to the trust of their peoples, hold in their hands the banner of the struggle for peace.
Basing itself on a scientific analysis of the characteristics of the epoch and of the current correlation of forces, the Moscow Meeting drew the conclusion that the forces of peace are more powerful today than those of war and they have the capacity of frustrating the attempts of imperialism to set off a new world war – the process of continual growth of these forces creating real possibilities for excluding war from the life of societies even before the victory of socialism around the entire globe.
Certainly, the nature of imperialism remains unchanged; so long as imperialism persists, so will the terrain for aggressive war. An expression of this aggressiveness is the policy of ultra-reactionary circles, of the so-called “rabid,” which plead for the continuation of the course of arms escalation, the maintenance of the military blocs, of bases on foreign territories, for the interference in the domestic affairs of the other peoples.
But imperialism today is no longer the unique or all-powerful system on the globe. The possibility not only to prevent war, but to exclude world war from the life of societies arises when the profound modifications occurring in the world today are taken into account, of the fact that the continual strengthening of the forces of socialism and of peace which comprise the socialist camp, the international working class, the national liberation movement, and the democratic movement for peace is an irreversible process and that its superiority in the global correlation of forces will be accentuated even more. Concomitant with the growth of the forces of socialism, there is a deepening of the general crisis of capitalism, its inherent contradictions become more acute, the colonial system is collapsing, and the bourgeois political and ideological crisis intensifies.
The peoples of the world do not want and cannot resign themselves to the perspective of a new global conflagration that, in the current conditions of scientific and technological development would inevitably transform into a thermonuclear war and conclude with incalculably catastrophic results, with the extermination of hundreds of millions of people, the destruction of some countries and populations, of the great centers of civilization. Foreseeing this evolution of military technology, Lenin said already in 1918, as Krupskaia related, that contemporary technology contributes more and more to the destructive character of war, but there will come a time when war will become so destructive that it will be, generally-speaking, impossible.
Conscious of the historical responsibility that falls upon them for the fate of their own peoples and as exponent of the future of mankind, the communist parties, the countries of the socialist camp consider it a primordial duty to expose the real proportions of the danger of thermonuclear war and fight with the greatest energy, unifying the greatest forces, in order to make impossible the launching of such a war – and they do this now, without waiting for the thermonuclear bombs to start falling.
The fundamental idea of the Moscow Declaration in the problem of peace – that world war can be avoided through the unified and energetic struggle of all the forces of peace – has proven to be a mobilizing idea, opposing fatalism and passivity, an idea that gives dynamism to peoples, inspires them with faith in their own forces, spurs them to active and steadfast struggle against imperialism, in order not to permit it to push humanity towards the brink.
It is known that in the postwar period moments of serious tension and acute danger for world peace have not been lacking. During the crisis in the Caribbean Sea, peoples were faced with the danger of imminent thermonuclear war. In this grave situation, the Soviet Union gave proof of a high sense of responsibility for the fate of mankind, through negotiations that succeeded in preventing catastrophe, peace was maintained and, at the same time, the independence and victories of the heroic Cuban people were defended. One of the principal results of this period is the avoidance of world war and the safeguarding of peace, the liquidation of a series of war’s hotspots, the narrowing of possibilities of action for aggressive military circles, and the winning of new positions by the forces of peace.
Certainly, these results should not constitute motives for calming ourselves, for weakening our vigilance. There is an unassailable current of appreciation for the Moscow Declaration according to which “to struggle for peace today means to give proof of the greatest vigilance, to relentlessly unmask the policy of imperialism, to follow with attention the manipulations and machinations of the war agitators, to raise the sacred hand of the peoples against those who are oriented towards war, to strengthen the organization of all of the forces that love peace, to intensify uninterruptedly the decisive actions of the masses for defending peace, to consolidate the collaboration of all states that have no interest in new wars.”
Militating for the safeguarding of peace, the socialist countries manifest the appropriate care for assuring defensive capacity in order to be ready at all times to give a devastating blow to any aggression. In this regard gigantic significance is given to the breaking of the nuclear monopoly and liquidation of the nuclear superiority of the USA, the existence of gigantic nuclear missile forces created by the Soviet Union and put in the service of peace, of the security of all of the socialist countries and of other countries that struggle for their liberty and independence.
The entire course of international events in recent years demonstrates the justice of the conclusion of the Moscow Meeting, which underscores that the principle of peaceful coexistence between the two opposing world systems constitutes the unshakeable foundation of foreign policy of the socialist states and has oriented the socialist countries, and the workers and communist parties to follow the line of peaceful coexistence as the general line of their international policies.
World public opinion perceives with ever increasing clarity that today there is only one alternative – either peaceful coexistence between states of differing social orders or the catastrophe of a devastating war. This also explains the tremendous spread and attractive force of the idea of coexistence which, imposing itself as the unique correct and rational principle in international relations, has won over to its side greatest masses, the most diverse social strata and categories, people of diverse political, religious and philosophical convictions.
Having at the basis of its foreign policies close unity with the other socialist countries, solidarity and collaboration with all of the forces of peace and progress, the Romanian PR [People’s Republic] develops an intensive and perseverant activity for the promotion of the principles of peaceful coexistence in international life. This policy is expressed in the diplomatic initiatives of our country, in the contribution that it brings to the resolution of litigious problems and in its efforts for continually developing economic links, and scientific and cultural exchanges with all states, without regard for their social order. The Romanian PR today maintains economic ties with over 80 states on the basis of mutual advantage, corresponding to the interests of bringing peoples closer together and international collaboration. Practice shows that the development of such relations leads to the elimination of the residue of the Cold War, and favors peaceful cohabitation between states.
The promotion of the principles of peaceful coexistence and the implicit recognition that world war cannot be the way for resolving litigious international problems imposes as the single means for the resolution of these problems the path of negotiation.
Certainly, this is not an easy path, without difficulties. It requires the socialist states to make perseverant efforts, to manifest a spirit of initiative, to also accept reasonable compromises, to use the contradictions within the imperialist camp in order to isolate the adepts of “balancing on the brink of war,” taking into account that even within the ranks of the leading circles of the NATO countries there are persons who manifest lucidity regarding the danger of nuclear war for their own countries, who incline towards a more rational policy and call for the avoidance of war.
The radical means for excluding even the possibility of going to war is constituted by general and total disarmament. In this regard, as was appreciated at the Moscow Meeting of 1960, the realization of the general disarmament program foreseen by the USSR and support by the other socialist states would have an historical importance for the destiny of mankind. Significant, in light of the deployments of these last years, is the position favorable to disarmament that has been expressed by different states, including non-socialist ones. The combative mass actions developing in the most diverse forms – the demonstrations, “peace marches,” actions against the deployment of atomic weapons, against military bases – reflect the decisiveness of the struggle of a broad range of popular strata for achieving disarmament.
Through its own objectives, the struggle for disarmament has an anti-imperialist character, it is an integral part of the struggle of the forces for peace and progress against imperialism. In negotiations, in international forums, in global organizations, as well as in mass actions, the socialist countries, and the workers and communist parties militate insistently for the slogan of disarmament, as a slogan of struggle which, mobilizing increasingly larger masses against the course of arms escalation, against the burdens caused by it, strike at the policy of the most aggressive imperialist circles, and hamper their possibilities of action.
With profound realism, the Moscow Meeting of 1960 has shown, at the same time, that this historic objective cannot be realized on the basis of the principle “all or nothing,” that the task of the socialist countries and of all the forces for peace is that of advancing with patience, step by step, along the path of struggle for achieving disarmament. As was underscored in the Moscow Declaration, “the struggle must be lead with increasing amplitude, pursuing with perseverance concrete results: prohibiting the testing and fabrication of nuclear weapons, liquidating military blocs and military bases on foreign territories, considerably reducing armed forces and armaments, smoothing the path towards general disarmament.”
This is the prism through which the communist parties perceive the conclusion of the Treaty on Nuclear Weapons Testing in the three mediums [in space, in the atmosphere and underwater]. It constitutes a success of the policy of peaceful coexistence, a positive factor of international life with all of its limitations, although it does not refer to underground testing and does not resolve the major problems of the struggle for preventing world war. Practically, it puts an end to nuclear explosions that contaminate the air, water and food supply with radioactive fallout and thus endanger human health even in peacetime. On the political plane, the Treaty marks a step in the direction of détente, creating the premises for broaching other litigious international problems with success as well.
Received with satisfaction by the largest circles of world public opinion, the Treaty enjoys an international recognition that few actions or accords have ever achieved, being signed by over 100 states. Seeing in it a reflection of the socialist states’ policy of peaceful coexistence, disarmament and détente, an integral part and an expression of the line of general struggle for peace, the Romanian PR salutes the conclusion of the Treaty and was among the first countries of the world to sign it. Our party considers that through this it fulfills a duty of honor not only to its own people but to all peoples, corresponding to the spirit of the Moscow Declaration of 1960, and to the appeal addressed by the Moscow Meeting to the peoples of the entire world, the real interests of peace and socialism.
The Romanian People’s Republic considers as the task of greatest significance the tenacious continuation, shoulder to shoulder with the other socialist states, of the struggle for international détente, for ending any sort of atomic weapons testing, for prohibiting the production of these weapons, of the means of their transportation and the liquidation of existing nuclear weapons stockpiles, for the reduction and then complete dissolution of all military forces and classic armaments. The Romanian PR declares itself against the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the world, considering this is an issue of great immediate concern; the cause of peace can only benefit by preventing the possession of nuclear arms by an ever-growing number of countries, because that would increase considerably the danger of world war.
The idea of creating denuclearized zones has grown considerably [in popularity]. Alongside other states that have made proposals for the creation of such a zone Central Europe, Northern Europe, Latin America, the Far East, etc., the Romanian People’s Republic, in the desire of contributing to détente and the strengthening of international security, has exerted perseverant efforts for the transformation of the Balkans into a zone of good neighborliness – the proposals made in this sense by the Romanian government being jointed by some other Balkan states and enjoying large support in public opinion. At the proposal of the Romanian PR an order of the day was registered at the current session of the UN for the realization of some regional actions for the improvement of relations between European states belonging to different social systems. The importance of such understandings consists both in the promotion of relations of good neighborliness and of normal collaboration between states, as well as in the fact that they constrain the course of arms escalation in extensive areas around the globe, favoring the creation of an appropriate climate of détente.
Manifesting permanent initiative, the forces that militate for peace, disarmament and coexistence raise new proposals and initiatives as the order of the day – for example, the conclusion of a non-aggression pact between member countries of NATO and the participants in the Warsaw Pact, and the reduction or, initially, the freezing of military budgets. The liquidation of the remains of the Second World War through the conclusion of a German peace treaty would be of great significance for the strengthening of peace.
The workers and communist parties militate with perseverance for the great achievement of their historic mission, not only of founding on a global scale a society without exploitation, misery and the possibility of war, but also to overcome the nightmare of a new world war that humanity still faces in the current epoch.
The most appropriate form of organizing the relations between parties has proven to be meetings, consultations or larger conferences that permit the profound discussion of current issues, mutual acquaintance with their perceptions and positions, the crystallization of unique points of view and the establishment of the directing lines of activity. One example in this regard was also given by the Moscow Meeting of 1960, which, after some ample debates, broad confrontations of opinions, and differences of views, could manage to adopt a single platform.
Through their theoretical and practical activity the workers and communist parties bring their contribution to the enrichment of the great lessons of Marxism-Leninism, the guiding star of communists the world over. This demonstrates their ideological and organizational maturity, their capacity to apply and develop, in a creative manner, Marxist-Leninist theory, in correspondence with the concrete conditions in which they develop their activity. As related by the Moscow Meeting, in the communist movement there are no “superior” parties and “subordinate” parties, all the parties, whether large or small, are fully equal in their rights, all carry responsibility before the working people of their own country and before the entire communist and workers’ movement for the destiny of socialism.
Equality in the rights of the fraternal parties presupposes, naturally, the most scrupulous application of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the other parties. No party is empowered to impose on other parties its line and decisions, to pass over the head of the party’s leadership in one country or another, to make appeals to change that leadership, to support groups within the interior or from outside of a fraternal party of another country. The strict respect for the principle of equal rights and non-interference in internal affairs of other parties represents the essential condition for justly resolving divergent problems, or any problem that might arise in their common struggle.
Prime Minister Ion Gheorghe Maurer describes Romania's new policies and approach to relations with China and the Soviet Union at a time when Romania was increasingly attempting to distance itself from the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union's military control. Toward this end, Mauer proclaims a policy of military disengagement and disarmament, declaring that mediation and negotiation are the only legitimate way of resolving international tensions.
- Arms control
- Warsaw Treaty Organization--Armed Forces
- Nuclear weapons--North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
- Warsaw Treaty Organization
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Nuclear proliferation
- Peaceful coexistence
- Arms race
- Nuclear weapons--Warsaw Treaty Organization
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization--Armed Forces
- Nuclear-weapon-free zones--Europe
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