Memorandum of Conversation, between Comrade Zhou Enlai and Party and State Leaders of Albania, 27-29 March 1965
On 27-29 March 1965, talks were held between Comrade Zhou Enlai, chairman of the PRC State Council and vice-chairman of the CCP CC and party and state leaders of the PRA, at the Palace of the Prime Minister.
From the Albanian side there were present the comrades: Enver Hoxha, ALP CC first secretary; Mehmet Shehu, Ministerial Council chairman and ALP CC Politburo member; Adil Carcani, minister of mining and geology and ALP CC Politburo member; Beqir Balluku, Ministerial Council first vice chairman, minister of People’s Defense and ALP CC Politburo member; Gogo Nushi, ALP CC Politburo member and president of the Central Council of the Professional Unions of Albania; Haki Toska, ALP CC Politburo member and secretary of the Central Committee; Hysni Kapo, ALP CC Politburo member and Central Committee secretary; Manush Myftiu, Ministerial Council first vice chairman, Minister of Learning and Culture and ALP CC Politburo member; Ramiz Alia, ALP CC Politburo member and Central Committee secretary; Rita Marko, ALP CC Politburo member and Central Committee secretary; Spiro Koleka, Ministerial Council first vice chairman and ALP CC Politburo member; Koco Theodhosi, Ministerial Council vice chairman, State Planning Commission president and candidate to the ALP CC Politburo; Abdyl Kellezi, vice chairman of the Ministerial Council and member of the ALP CC; Behar Shtylla, minister of foreign affairs and ALP CC member; and Nesti Nase, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary to the PRC and candidate to the ALP CC.
From the Chinese side there were present the comrades: Zhou Enlai, PRC State Council chairman and CCP CC vice chairman; General Xie Fuzhi, State Council vice-chairman and CCP CC member; Zhang Hanfu, vice-minister of foreign affairs and CCP CC candidate; Zhao Yimin, CCP CC candidate and vice director to the directorate to the CCP CC; Zhou Jien Guo, PRC ambassador plenipotentiary and extraordinary to the PRA; Li Xiannian, State Council general vice chairman.
THE FIRST MEETING
The talks of the first meeting started at 4:30 p.m., 27 March 1965
After the participants took their places, the ALP CC, first secretary Comrade Enver Hoxha, asked Comrade Zhou Enlai to continue first with the proceedings following the meeting agenda as is the custom in such events.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Ok. You may start.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: (Jokingly). Very well, I will start talking and you can chair the meeting.
Dear Comrade Zhou Enlai.
Dear Comrades of the Chinese delegation.
Your visit here has brought great and indescribable joy in our hearts. May such joyous occasions become a tradition and may they return every year. Our party and people are celebrating because for the second time they find you, Comrade Zhou Enlai, amongst them, a dear and faithful friend of our party and people. Having you amongst us is like having the Great China, the Central Committee of the glorious CCP, the government of the PRC and the dearest Comrade Mao nearby. For this glorious leader and great Marxist-Leninist our party and people have boundless love and great respect.
But we do not just have these deep Marxist-Leninist feelings today that you are here with us. These feelings exist everyday. Our party and people have connected these feelings with their best feelings. They have connected them with their life, their struggle, their victories, their merriment and their sorrow. Albania and China, tightly bound together for life on an eternal friendship live, fight, win and progress together, joined as one in a unity that no force able to damage will ever exist.
We see everyday the fast-paced, successful development of your great country, the far-seeing, wise, heroic and Marxist-Leninist policies, both internal and external, of your party and state. We see your heroic, unbending, Marxist-Leninist struggle against world imperialism, especially American imperialism, and against modern revisionism, especially Khrushchevian revisionism. This just course and politics inspire, help and strengthen us enormously.
The visit of Comrade Beqir to Beijing and the fruitful talks he had with Comrade Mao, with you and with all the other leader comrades there, have been for us not only a great pleasure, but also helpful in further strengthening our friendship. We drew conclusions and lessons from your brother-like attitude, your warm welcome and Comrade Mao’s exalted conversations. We were extremely happy when Comrade Beqir talked at length about the great enthusiasm and colossal power of the Chinese people, its steely unity around the party and its resoluteness. Your continuous economic progress and achievements made us very happy. Our ambassador comrade in Beijing speaks enthusiastically and admiringly about the love that you and the Chinese people have for our people. In his reports he talks about your just economic policy’s successes. He talks about how you overcome your difficulties and he does this because the Chinese comrades and especially you help him with frequent meetings and valuable talks and advice.
All our delegations that return from China come back with great passion for everything they saw there, especially and above all for the warm and sincere love that the Chinese people have for the Albanian people. All this not only makes us live by and follow closely your people and party’s vigorous life and struggle, not only does it make us happier and stronger, but we also draw lessons from it and are inspired to work better, to overcome difficulties and to score even higher victories.
The colossal weight of Great China, its just strategy, the glorious, consequential, unwavering, Marxist-Leninist line of the CCP, led by Comrade Mao Zedong have become in the international arena, the international communist movement and to the National Liberation struggle of the peoples of the world the main factor of success, a beacon of light, the great catalyst of progress, of peace, of the struggle for liberation and the crusade for the chastity of Marxism-Leninism and the triumph of the world revolution, to socialism and communism.
The peoples of the world, in their struggle toward enlightenment, have the PRC as a faithful friend, defender, and great warrior. The Marxist-Leninists of the entire world can lean on the CCP and Comrade Mao Zedong with complete trust, and around them, [can] unite [with] their power in that exalted common cause for the defense and triumph of Marxism-Leninism, of socialism and communism, against modern revisionism and against whatever enemy, open or hidden. American imperialism, the modern revisionists, and the reactionaries of the entire world are right when they see in China their resolute and unbreakable enemy which, together with the other peoples of the world, sooner or later, will open their eternal graves.
This is our great fortune and certainty for our victory. Important events happen in the world, complex problems face the peoples, wars of all kinds and intensity are being fought, alliances are built and broken, leaders are brought down and others take their place, intrigues are woven and unwoven by the imperialist enemies and their allies, the revisionists and reactionaries of the whole world, but above all this we see that the just cause of the people, shone upon by the Marxist-Leninist doctrine moves forward, and, like a steam-roller, compresses underneath without mercy the old world that is rotting and breathing its last breath, and all the while, the new [world] is born and gets stronger.
In this great war Mao’s China stands as a rock, as a banner. Our party and heroic people are honored to fight alongside the fraternal people of China. It is their honor and their duty to give their small and modest contribution in this colossal struggle where China carries on her shoulders an enormous, but glorious, weight. The PRA and our party will, to the death, remain faithful to Marxism-Leninism and their loyal friend, China and her party. We will always stand together and will always become stronger in our shared struggle.
Your visit here and the exchange of opinions we are about to start—of which I have no doubt will be identical and in complete Marxist-Leninist unity—will help us become stronger in our multi-faceted struggle.
Allow me to express some opinions of ours:
One of the main preoccupations of our leadership, since your visit to Albania last year, has been the continuation of work and the realization of the blueprints of our 4th five-year plan. It has been one of the main preoccupations because we wanted to make sure that this plan was following as realistically as possible the party line, was supported by our previous successes, was realistically and rationally exploiting our internal capabilities. We also wanted to make sure that we were ready on schedule, as we agreed in January of last year when we laid down our needs for your help.
We tried, through the letter we sent you, to make the general course of action and orientation of our upcoming five-year plan as clear as possible, but we are not sure whether we accomplished this satisfactorily. Now, some specialist comrades of ours are in China checking on problems, clarifying and discussing matters in a spirit of exemplary understanding, in a spirit of sincere and warm friendship, and in a spirit of sincere and healthy Marxist-Leninist cooperation with their Chinese counterparts which is always dominant in our relations.
When, after our comrades and you in Beijing have discussed all matters and you find an appropriate moment, our delegation, led by Comrade Spiro Koleka, is ready to come to China to solve that very vital matter for our country, the upcoming five-year plan. But, aside from Comrade Spiro Koleka’s visit, good fortune has walked into our very homes, as a proverb of our people says. I am talking about your visit here, which we consider a great victory for Albania in any way you look at it, and especially for the chance to have preliminary talks on our economic issues.
Your visit here last year [in January 1964], Comrade Zhou Enlai, was not only one of the most important historical events for our country and for our very close, very sincere, Marxist-Leninist relations between our peoples, parties and governments; did not only help enormously to strengthen the moral and political situation in our country, both internally and externally; but the talks we had on all issues, especially on the economy, helped us immeasurably.
The exchange of opinions on the short-term development of our economy that we had last year, though [only] along general lines, demonstrated the unity of our view on the economic development of our country. We were extraordinary happy to have received from you Great China’s competent experience in these key sectors and especially in the development of the socialist economy. The talks we have had with you have helped us immensely in setting down our great economic tasks, in correctly and concretely developing the various economic sectors and in precisely synchronizing capital investments, things that have a direct importance for the short- and long-term development of our socialist economy. You were right in advising us to rely mainly on our internal assets. This has always been and will always remain our opinion as well. This common, just and Marxist-Leninist approach has and will always lead us in our work. You were right in advising us to place the highest importance on the development of agriculture in the blueprints of the upcoming five-year plan as the basic sector of our socialist economy. This was also our opinion of the matter and it coincided perfectly with yours, and we have been led by it in our work for the realization of this basic and colossal task for our economy as the plan requires.
We warmly thank you for the outlook and inspiration you instilled in us for the further development of our industry, as the leading and determinative sector of the socialist economy and for the fact that you would never hesitate to help and advise us in the exploitation of our internal mineral resources and in as good and rational processing of these resources as possible. You were particularly interested in the further in-country development and refinement of the iron-nickel and iron-chrome minerals, the further development of the production of electrical energy so closely linked to them, and in the better refinement of petrol.
This encouragement and correct orientation, which coincided with ours, has led us in very carefully compiling the tasks we have set in our planning. If we are able to fulfill these tasks so very vital for our economy—and we are fully confident that we will accomplish this with our own internal forces, helped and accompanied by you—it will be a second liberation for Albania.
It is clear to us that without your generous help in these matters, we would not be able to accomplish this great task so very vital to our economy. We are very mindful and at the same time very grateful to the great China, this sister and ally that sacrifices so much for us helping us so generously not only with the development of our economy, but also in the military and defensive areas of our country and in the sectors of agitation and culture, not to mention here the great political support she gives to the PRA in the international arena.
We are mindful that along the colossal tasks of internal and international character that the PRC faces and considers vital to her interests, such as steering, helping and changing the world-wide course of events in the favor of Marxism-Leninism, world peace, socialism and communism, our requests to you are a burden and a further great sacrifice for you. Nonetheless, recognizing that you understand fully our strong feelings on this matter, let us assure you that our desire for the further development of our socialist economy on a just and rational course, has no egotistical character. In other words, it is not led by narrow, nationalistic interests. On the contrary, our desire for development is in its essence strongly international. Socialist Albania’s just and harmonious economic development in today’s Europe seething with capitalist systems and degenerated by modern revisionism, seems to us to take a distinctive importance as a small socialist state role-model, as a drop of water in the capitalist-revisionist European ocean, that not only resists these exploiting and enslaving systems, but triumphs over them. Furthermore, this correct development of our country serves as a great example of the support, brotherhood, and internationalist cooperation of the great China, led by the glorious CCP, with our dearest Comrade Mao Zedong at its helm. You understand just as well and correctly as we do that Albania’s small power has no real importance in the total material potential of the world, but she has done and will forever do, until our final and complete victory, her duty as a socialist state and all her powers and capabilities will be totally committed to that sacred struggle for the triumph of Marxism-Leninism, socialism and communism, to the unbending struggle against world imperialism, especially American imperialism, and against modern revisionism, especially Soviet revisionism.
The development of our socialist economy and the direction of our upcoming five-year plan take into account the entire current political and ideological situation, the international circumstances, and the expected and unexpected problems that may arise and will certainly arise due to them. During this struggle we, while fighting, are also preparing for future battles.
Our upcoming five-year plan, in these times of armed “peace” and wars, is also a preparation for battle. We think and have full faith that you also think this way. We think, and are also very certain you will agree, that in these turbulent times, in this relative “calmness,” there is an urgent need, or better put, an imperative need for the small PRA, so far geographically from her great sister and powerful ally, the PRC, to increase the pace of strengthening her defenses and the right construction of the socialist economy, especially in its most vital sectors, and to be ready to face all and any unexpected events so that she may fight even if surrounded.
We are conscious that our upcoming five-year plan, while being very concrete and realistically achievable, is at the same time very dense with tasks and will certainly require from the people and the party a total mobilization of effort and great sacrifices. We are ready to accomplish this and will do so.
So we are asking you, the CCP CC, and Comrade Mao to understand the reasoning behind our requests to you, which we consider as of great help to us and as a great sacrifice on your part, especially considering your great tasks and undertakings, within your country and in the international arena.
As you well know, dear Comrade Zhou Enlai, our iron-nickel reserves with their known industrial potential and high quality of metal components, are one of the most important natural resources for our economy. Our country’s iron and steel needs, as you well know, are high and constantly growing. All the processed iron and steel we use is imported and it uses up too much of the clearing available to us. And what is of more importance, we are at the mercy of Polish and Czech revisionists who constantly fail to fulfill our needs and their obligations, constantly fail to fulfill the required amounts or quality of material and could at any aggravated situation cut off all supplies and blockade us. The Soviet revisionists already acted like this. The Czech revisionists in particular have shown their anti-Marxist, capitalist, mercantilist and colonialist spirit before in dealings with us. You know that we have had to fight a protracted and unfair battle with the Czechs over the matter of our iron-nickel minerals since long before the decay of our relations with them. All the conditions required that the iron-nickel processing factory be built in our country, rather than in Czechoslovakia since the raw materials would come from our resources. We fought hard for this, but our legitimate interests were trampled upon. The Czechs built the factory in their own country and we were forced to comply and give them the raw materials for it. Within these capitalist-colonialist relations we, against our will, were forced to sell our iron nickel as raw material to them and only to them because we could not find any other market and because we were using the proceeds as clearing with them. And during this whole time, the Czechs have not only been able to start utilizing the factory using our raw materials, but have been able to gather iron nickel reserves from us for the next two-three years. So, every year, they exert constant pressure on many issues: either by refusing to get the determined amount of minerals, or by trying to reduce the buying price for them or by refusing to deliver the required amount of steel, or trucks, etc. Now, with your help, we have entered the right road toward the solving of this very vital problem for our economy. We have started the construction of our metallurgical operations in the area of Elbasan and it is proceeding successfully. The Chinese comrades have finished or are in the process of finishing the analysis of our mineral deposits so that a factory for the processing of 100 thousand tons of iron-nickel mineral may be built in Elbasan. We propose and ask you to accept our idea that in the blueprints for the new five-year plan, alongside the 100 thousand tons project already included, you help us to raise the smelting limits to 300 thousand tons and phase the construction time for this addition until 1972-73, in other words until the second or third year of the 5th five-year plan. For all the reasons I mentioned earlier, we believe that such a thing is necessary for our life, for ensuring the concrete and real development of our economy and the strengthening of the PRA. We have every confidence that you will agree with us.
The matter of the iron-chrome factory is of high importance to us due to the high significance of this mineral for our economy. This factory will help raise the value of our chromium and, as a result, the value of our barter credits. We must continue to make great efforts toward this goal. Our specialists think that such a factory is profitable and that its construction is absorbable in a short time. In order to extract and enrich our chromium we must study from your experience not only the modern processes of such a factory, but also the exportation issues. We think that you will need a considerable amount of it. Then we could easily find a market for the remaining product.
As to the matter of energy production through hydro-power stations, we were encouraged by the prospects you opened for us when you visited here last year. Your perspective on this matter fits perfectly with ours. Our specialists in this area were greatly encouraged when we notified them of this fact. You sent us a group of distinguished Chinese comrade energy specialists, and they cooperated competently and like brothers with our specialists. The latter then went to China with the results of this cooperation in hand, discussed matters with your best and most competent people, took your valuable experience on these matters and, upon returning from China, reported to us on the work and the fruitful results they had achieved. We consider this a great success and the foundation of our most fruitful cooperation. Now, based on these preliminary studies on our vital needs for electrical energy and by relying on our internal strengths and your many-sided help we have added the building of a hydropower plant in Vau i Dejës to the blueprints for the five-year plan. Now, our comrades there are carefully studying and discussing the implementation of this great duty for our country. We could concentrate our specialist forces in designing, etc. but we must accept and openly say to you that in many areas we would not be able to achieve success in this project without the many-sided help of Chinese specialist comrades. We ask you to please understand our strengths. We will have total mobilization. This will be a colossal school for our cadres in the matters of designing such a grand project, but your help, we think, is indispensable.
Further on the matter of energy, the issue of the construction of the hydropower station in Fierza is also of imperative importance to us. Its construction is slated to be completed towards the end of the upcoming five-year plan and the beginning of the next. It is, however, important that the studies and designs for this project be undertaken at the same time with the design of the Vau i Dejës hydropower plant.
If we have been able through the letter we sent to make clear more or less what the general points of the blueprints for our upcoming five-year plan are, you will have seen that we have placed high importance on the utilization of our petrol resources, the widening of operations for extraction using the newly acquired reserves information, and on the further processing of our petrol for the various and always expanding needs of our economy. Along with this, we have also asked for you to help us with the designing of an addition to the nitrogen fertilizer plant, the construction of which will be phased to finish in the 5th five-year plan. This addition will be a powerful foundation for the further strengthening of our agriculture and the exportation of part of the product to China or elsewhere.
In the designing of the blueprints for our 4th five-year plan we have been led, first of all, by the objective of developing our agriculture further and achieving this successfully without obstacles and reaching our fullest potential possible within the projected five-year plan. As you may have already determined, we have placed difficult tasks before ourselves. But we will take big leaps in this direction, big leaps that are possible and workable with a total mobilization by the people, the party and the state who will be successful with their patriotic and revolutionary spirit.
We have exercised all care possible [to ensure] that the financial and material issues and our workforce, both specialized and menial, are balanced so that they will not be an overbearing burden on the development of our economy, so that these projects do not turn into a back-breaking load which could damage our economy and slow the increase of the livelihood standards of the people. Naturally, we mean that we do not want this to happen to a large degree. We modestly understand and accept that sacrifices will need to be made for the construction of socialism, the defense of the fatherland, and the contribution we must give in our common struggle.
We think that by very carefully studying the matter of the workforce required for the construction and utilization of the industrial works we are planning, we have achieved good and concrete results in maximally avoiding the movement of workers from villages, from agriculture. At present, the party measures and state regulations we have put in place have not only given us a good experience in dealing with such issues, but have achieved pleasing results. We are now able to control satisfactorily the movement of the workforce from the rural to the urban areas. We have been able to move many city folks to rural areas, together with their families, and brought into the cities those people and the numbers the economy needs. We will continually temper and strengthen this very important and stabilizing factor for the economy ahead of the grand tasks we have for the future.
Naturally, we would very much desire and gladly wait for your remarks, critique and suggestions because they will be of great importance to our leadership, as well as yours, and will better equip our delegation about to come to Beijing and the comrades Spiro Koleka and Koco Theodhosi who will be accompanying it there. Our leadership’s thoughts and opinions, which these comrades will bring with them to present to your party and state leadership for a final discussion, will be better processed.
I would also like, Comrade Zhou Enlai, to bring you briefly up to date on our economy’s achievements during the past year.
The achievements of 1964 have been reached with great patriotic zeal, a revolutionary leap and total mobilization by our party and people. These achievements can be called satisfactory, and the weather conditions were favorable to us. The objectives for the yearly industrial production were surpassed at 100.7% and industrial production grew by 7.4% over that of 1963. Objectives were met in almost all fields of the industry.
Total agricultural production for the year 1964 was greater than that of 1963. We produced more grains, industrial plants, vegetables, milk, etc. than the year before, while for tobacco, cotton, and olive production we fell below the levels reached during 1963. As to animal husbandry, we now have more of all the types of animals than in the year before.
The objectives for the circulation of rare goods were surpassed by 10% or 5.7% more than in 1963. This shows an increase in our people’s buying power and an increase in living standards. Modest increases, to be sure, but on the rise nonetheless.
We held a special plenum meeting of our Central Committee about the tasks of this year’s objectives. The tasks we have undertaken for this year are great. The total industrial production will be 4.7% higher than last year’s, while this year’s total agricultural production is forecast to be 5% greater than last year’s. In these objectives the field plants are forecasted to be at 5.9% higher, fruit production at 2% higher, animal husbandry at 4.4% higher and forestry and medicinal plants at 6.6% higher than last year’s. In the production of field plants we are placing the highest importance on the production of grains which will be at 8.7% higher than last year’s production.
Our objectives for next year’s planning are the same in other sectors of the economy as well. But our main forces will be particularly mobilized and placed in our agriculture and in finishing the construction and starting the utilization of the industrial objects we are completing with your help within the deadlines. We think we will achieve great success in our objectives, especially in these two very important sectors, because of our total mobilization. From the industrial works we are constructing with the help of the PRC, the 1965 planning foresees the completion of sixteen of them and the start of utilization for them by the beginning of the next year.
This year we had a particularly harsh winter. There has been a lot of snow, not only in the mountains where it usually falls every year, but also in the field areas of the seashore. While we could not say that the snow is particularly bad for our agriculture, this year it did cause serious damage to animal farming. We had up to 100 thousand small animal deaths due to lack of sufficient feed and milk and miscarriages due to very cold conditions. Despite the state aid to affected areas, the cold took us by surprise, especially in the lowlands. Nonetheless, we will take the appropriate measures to overcome this problem. For agriculture, especially for spring sowing, the weather conditions are good. Everyone—people, tractors, work animals—is in the fields working the land and planting. We hope that with our total mobilization we will be successful once again this year and will go to Congress to appear before the people with satisfactory results.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Comrade Enver, When do you plan to hold your party’s congress?
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We are thinking of organizing it towards the end of this year or the beginning of the next.
The unity of our party, the party-people unity, the friendship and the steely unity with our sister, the great China, are stronger than ever and are getting stronger and more tempered every day in our revolutionary struggle. The situation at our borders is quiet, be it in our north, east, west or south. The enemies that surround us, seeing our resoluteness, are not provoking us at the moment. But we are teaching our people, army, border guards and, above all, our party to be vigilant and always vigilant. No “lull” should cause them to fall asleep for one moment. They should always be awake and on guard, because, as our people say, “A river may sleep, but an enemy never does.”
We have placed particular attention on the elevation of military preparation of our armed forces so that they are sufficiently ready for the defense of our country. The military technical experience received from the PRC is being utilized and adopted by our military. In addition, as required by the armament plan, we have stabilized the organizational structure and the wartime mobilization plans, we are continuing the work for the operational preparedness of terrain, and we have finished organizing the arming of the country’s popular police.
Your coming here, dear Comrade Zhou Enlai, will strengthen even more our political situation, both internally and externally, and our economic situation. With the generous and internationalist help that we receive from the PRC, the people’s trust and zeal will increase even more than before, because they, as always, will feel very close to them the great and steely heart of China, beating nearby and united to the end, in good times and in bad, with the steely heart of the Albanian people.
HOW WE SEE THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION, THE LESSONS WE SHOULD DRAW, AND THE MEASURES WE SHOULD TAKE IN RELATION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITUATION.
We think that the CCP and the Chinese government, the ALP and the Albanian government were not caught off-guard by the latest international developments. In general, they have been able to foresee them precisely, and, acting in a revolutionary way, have known how to influence these situations and leave their emphatic, revolutionary marks on them. They have succeeded in drawing multiple benefits for the strengthening of the socialist and communist cause, of wholesome world peace and of the liberation struggle of the peoples of the world. At the same time, the continuing, consistent, unrelenting Marxist-Leninist struggle of our parties has credibly unmasked in the eyes of the people and communists of the world the aggressive and warmongering nature and activities of world imperialism led by the Americans, and the great betrayal of the modern revisionists led by the Soviets.
We think that the defining characteristic of this period is the cooperation between American imperialism and the modern revisionists—led by the Soviet revisionists. They are cooperating more openly each and every day. American imperialism has found in the Khrushchevian revisionists the allies and the friends it needs to successfully put into practice its world policy and strategy—to wage war and destroy the socialist camp and communism in general, to redraw the areas of influence in the world, and to create a new system of colonialism dominated by the two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
These two world superpowers, having the same common objective of war against true socialism, are at the same time trying to protect and strengthen their supremacy over one another, to tighten the group of friends around each of them, to try and wrestle each other’s friends from their respective groups, to strengthen their own groups and then in alliance to attack the true socialist countries, especially the great socialist force, China, and at the same time the other socialist countries, Albania, Korea, and North Vietnam.
The American-Soviet alliance that is developing and materializing every day—naturally not without pains and difficulties—is in the international arena a great danger for the fate of the world and a grand target against which we should direct our greatest efforts. This alliance is growing in all directions and spheres, political, ideological, economical and cultural. It has been accepted and recorded in official records in many ways, treaties, agreements and contracts. It is ideologically coordinated from both sides and is at war with the Marxist-Leninist doctrine. In all these spheres and directions we will see an increase in the mutual agreements, cooperation and coordination between these two world powers, until they reach sensational military treaties, mutual defense and stabilization of their political-military alliances.
Naturally, the tendency of these two superpowers that want to dominate the world by squashing socialism, freedom and the independence of nations is to have a few differences as well. The US acts with fire and steel, using nuclear blackmail and any other form of pressure it can think of—from military to corruption. While the Soviet revisionists, kneeling before the American pressure and blackmail and not opposing their aggressive moves—except in words—are at the moment using all means and methods, save open aggressive warfare, to create their area of influence and to establish their dominance over the people of the world. Through their confrontation with socialism and our countries in particular and through [counter-] balancing the dominant power of the USA, they think they will accomplish their evil plans at the same time.
We think that the Soviet revisionists with their course of peaceful coexistence cannot think they could avoid war forever, but intend to gain time to fight socialism and our countries and to strengthen their position in the world as we mentioned before. It is understandable that the Soviet revisionists are playing with fire. Allowing the Americans to act with impunity, using fire and steel against the peoples who are fighting for liberation and defense, the Soviets seek to allow them to become weaker economically, militarily and politically. On the other side of the coin, they use all methods available to them to undermine, corrupt, degenerate, dominate and enslave them. Both these brigands constantly look for a way to use the other to do their dirty work. But naturally, the intentions and events they want do not and cannot develop as they wish. Other colossal forces are at work in the world. These forces are the forces of socialism and the peoples of the world who are destroying the plans of the imperialist-revisionists and are giving great and successive defeats to them.
The building of this new American-Soviet alliance cannot make the “law of the jungle” disappear. On the contrary, it makes it more real everyday. And this is happening not only between these two imperialist-revisionist superpowers, one, the USA having become one long ago, and the other, the Soviet Union becoming one at a fast pace everyday, but also between other capitalist states and the countries where the modern revisionists are in power, such as the socialist countries of Europe who are degenerating at a constant pace into capitalist countries. The degeneration of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries of Europe brought about the establishment of the “law of the jungle” among them, and, all together or one by one, they are circling around in the international arena, like a hungry pack of wolves, alongside the other imperialist wolves.
We are currently spectators of such phenomena as the decomposition of the old imperialist alliances between them, the waning of the Soviet influence over the socialist countries and the fissures and weakening of the alliances between them. In other words, both groups, the imperialists and the revisionists, have declined and are plagued by insuperable contradictions and disagreements within themselves and by numerous and insurmountable conflict and contradictions on the outside, each group against the other.
These insuperable contradictions are readily evident in all their activities. They can be seen in the actions of NATO, the UN, the European Common Market, the Union of Europe, in the involvement in Vietnam, Laos and Congo, in the German issue, the Treaty of Warsaw, in the 1 March meeting in Moscow [of 19 communist parties], in the Council of Mutual Economic Aid, in the relations between the European people’s democracies and the still- dominant Soviet power.
This is a very complex group of issues, but it is our duty to navigate through this forest, follow the right course, to come up with the correct conclusions and build our strategy and tactics for the struggle against imperialism and revisionism based on our infallible science.
We may say that in general the international situation we are facing is favorable to the forces of socialism and the peoples of the world. Imperialism in general and the American one in particular are in the process of decomposition, of decadence, of downfall. It is losing its terrain and is being unmasked from all directions in everything it does. Modern revisionism, and Khrushchevian revisionism in particular, greatly damage our exalted cause by creating a crisis at the heart of the socialist camp and the international communism. But knowing this fact, we may say that the unmasking, the disclosure, and the stern struggle that we [are waging] and will continue to shell out to this scourge in our midst is causing it to lose terrain and power.
The deepening of the contradictions that continues to grow in the midst of the imperialist powers is greatly weakening the main adversary we face. These contradictions within the imperialist nations have existed and will exist forever. They are eating them from the inside and weakening them, though at the moment while aggravated, they have also reached great maturity.
The imperialist camp, coming out of the crisis of WWII, needed some time to land on its feet, and it was forced to accept, whether it wanted or not, American aid accompanied by the USA’s dominance. Either way, American imperialism, helped by English imperialism, managed to join its partners weakened by the war in military-political alliances in which it ruled over the others. It created military bases in many capitalist countries around the world, helped by these alliances under the guise of aiding these countries whose economy had been ravaged by the war. At the same time, America for a long time dictated its will in the areas of economy, investments, trade, etc. to these countries. There is no doubt that in these situations America also dictated the way of life and the political and ideological thought of these countries. Furthermore, America financed the economic reconstruction of Bonn’s Germany and made sure it was rearmed, that militarism, fascism and revanchism were reborn. American imperialism’s plans have always included, and they have always acted upon, the idea of creating a strong fascist Germany as its ally to the end and as the main offensive force against the socialist camp. At the same time, a fascist Germany also acts as a threatening and blackmailing force against its wavering allies.
Thus, this capitalist bloc, under the absolute rule of the Americans, was naturally a [force] threatening with the danger of war. It still remains today a threat and a strong danger for a world war, but as a force it is not as monolithic as it has been in the past.
Now, capitalist France, though officially a NATO member, has entered the road of open contradiction to American imperialism. The high capital of a rebuilt France cannot stand the American pincers and dictates. It does not accept being strangled. France feels that she is strong enough to resist American strangulation. This has, naturally, shaken up and weakened NATO’s military and political power. The Americans find French opposition everywhere. Naturally, this is a positive thing for us. This positive situation that has been created cannot be due only to French capital, it is mainly a consequence of the heroic struggle that our socialist countries are waging and the national liberation wars that the peoples of the world are waging against American imperialism. Our struggle weakened it, and the French capital used the moment to throw off the American shackles. We, the Marxists, should exploit this situation and these moments of great crisis in the midst of world capitalism. But we do not have the least bit of illusion of any chance of French capitalism changing character only because it now finds itself in great contradictions with American imperialism. No! It remains the same as it was before and with the same objectives to dominate others. The only new thing is its strategy in fighting socialism and communism, oppressing peoples and exploiting them with a renewed colonialist brutality. The new phenomena in the apparent contradictions that we see were foreseen a long time ago by Stalin, and things are now happening precisely as he anticipated.
We think that American imperialism is very preoccupied with problems at this moment. It is weakening everywhere and, in fact, its aggressive actions, accompanied by nuclear blackmail, show its weakness and not its strength. It is facing great troubles in Europe and its dominant position is not stable. At the moment the Americans are trying to build a new position, and for this [they] are mostly relying on Bonn’s Germany. In other words, they are trying to do this by relying on the most powerful and most aggressive ally.
We think that Bonn’s Germany is everyone’s prize. The Americans are doing all they can to steer the revanchist [West German Chancellor] Ludwig Erhard government to keep its pro-American stance. To achieve this they are bending over backwards to fulfill all its requests, especially its armament with nuclear weapons. On the other hand, the Americans are also doing their best to bring the Soviets to their knees on the matter of the unification of Germany on their own conditions and those of the revanchists of Bonn. If the Americans can achieve this, they will have strengthened their position in Europe, will have counterbalanced the weakening caused by France, and will have isolated the French to a point. In this game, the Americans seek to isolate the French and to stop an effective alliance of theirs with Bonn, and, once they have achieved this, to preclude France from recreating its old alliances with the Soviet revisionists, with the intention of isolating Bonn Germany and American dominance.
In summing up, we could say that the Americans are trying to undermine the French objective of resuscitating [France’s] old alliances with Eastern, Central and Southeastern European countries, while at the same time being closely bound with Bonn’s Germany so as to better “fight” communism and the American dominance. Actually, France is trying to establish her own dominance. This is the reason for the Gaullist advances to draw closer the countries of popular democracy, by issuing loans and developing cultural relations with them.
On the other side, the Americans are trying to protect and strengthen the Bonn-Washington axis, to strengthen relations and alliances with the Soviet Union so that the Soviets may follow the American course, to stop the Soviet Union from establishing an alliance with France, and, at the same time, to include in its own sphere the European countries of popular democracy where the revisionists are now in power.
In this situation, the will and points of view of the other NATO members are not taken into account, with the exception of Bonn and London. The English government, whichever [party] is ruling at the moment and of whatever color it may be, will continue its traditional balance of power policy, though the balance will always be tipped in the Americans’ favor. Its tradition, history, interest, continuation of old alliances, and especially the help its received during the last two world wars, cause England to fall to the side of the Americans. Nonetheless, contradictions between them do exist and they will always continue to exist.
At the same time, the Bonn revanchist government’s intentions are well known. Bonn Germany fights for dominance in Europe, tries to fine-tune its nuclear armaments, [and] to dominate at America’s side (for a short while) in NATO. It seeks to swallow the German Democratic Republic (GDR), to reestablish the old borders of the Third Reich, to recreate new alliances in its favor, and to threaten and start a new nuclear war whenever she or her partners deem favorable. In other words, by having two immediate intentions, the acquisition of nuclear weapons and the swallowing of the GDR, Bonn’s government, by supporting the American policy, is avoiding stepping on England’s feet, is trying not to aggravate relations and burn their bridges with de Gaulle, and is attempting, openly and covertly, to start talks and finalize agreements with the Soviet revisionists. At the same time, Bonn trades with the European popular democracies, gives them loans and even has some trade relations with the GDR.
As far as we can judge this situation, the imperialist coalition in Europe is not ready to go to war [yet]. First, the French issue has shaken up the equilibrium and it will take some time to reestablish it, and, secondly, the capitulation of the Soviet revisionists on the one hand, and that of their European satellites on the other, has created a new realm of action for the imperialists. They now have room for hope, attempts and opportunities for new coalitions. They will not let these favorable moments slide by, and enter into new adventures and armed conflicts in Europe that the Khrushchevians have afforded them.
We could arrive at the conclusion that at the moment a new black cloud dominates Europe, that the continent has now become a playground for imperialist-revisionist intrigues, and that, despite the deep contradictions that exist among all these imperialist-revisionist countries, there do not exist any countries in Europe that could take advantage of these contradictions and create a revolutionizing atmosphere there. The only forces [to do this] are the Marxist-Leninists, the ALP, the PRA and, to a smaller degree, Romania, which is still in a centrist position. The great weight of the PRC is and should always be felt strongly in Europe. It should, as a government, utilize these contradictions.
Let us now take a look at the situation within the revisionist camp. It may be said that its political-economic unity has weakened, though it is still formally in existence. The Warsaw Pact is still in effect and we believe it will continue to be around, though, we think, mostly as a formal “shield.” The Soviet revisionists will continue to use the Pact, first and foremost, to hold on to their military hegemony, to keep in check and watch the armed forces of their partners, and to dominate them with the help of a perceived threat of an “attack” on the weak, frightened and “unarmed” partners of the Pact. They can use the Pact to intervene as a group if one of their partners diverges from their policies. The Soviet revisionists are putting much hope in the Warsaw Pact with the intention of using it as an expendable buffer zone, as a market to sell their old weaponry, and, above all, to keep [the East European countries] under their rule.
In this unstable political situation, in these times of multiple diplomatic dealings with the American imperialists and others, in this difficult economic, political and ideological situation, the other revisionist partners of the Pact consider it as a shield against any eventual internal or external threat they may face. But we think that there is no harmony, no unity within the Pact. There’s only dissatisfaction and mistrust.
In these dealings with the imperialists, especially with the Americans, there is a tendency on the side of the Soviets to make sure that everything achieved, every result attained, every deal concluded has their stamp on it and that the rest of the camp accepts it without opposition. Of course, this does not exist anymore and cannot be achieved, the Soviets’ attempts not withstanding, because there are centrifugal forces at play. There exists, thus, another tendency (in almost all the other revisionist countries, forcefully fed by the Americans, the French, the English and Bonn) of not fully accepting the Soviet diktat. These countries have the tendency to see things from their national point of view and to operate at the national governmental level in such a way as to treat issues, enter talks and arrive at agreements on their own, in other words, to stem, disrupt, sabotage, amend and cause problems to Soviet hegemony.
This has aggravated the contradictions among them, and this is apparent in their internal and external weaknesses. The German issue is touted loudly by them as a very important political-military matter. They act as if they have a unified and resolute position on this issue. But this is not and cannot be reality. It is true that this is a problem that preoccupies everyone, but each of them wants to resolve the problem in his own way. They all maneuver at the expense of the GDR. [Socialist Unity Party First Secretary Walter] Ulbricht’s calls and memoranda and the Warsaw Pact meetings are not taken into account. The meeting communiques are demagoguery and bluffs. They do not reflect the truth. No one is actually thinking about the real course for defending the GDR. They are all afraid of the battle, of war. Gomulka is willing to impose heavy, capitulatory conditions on the GDR to the benefit of Bonn, as long as the imperialist nations officially accept the Oder-Neisse line [separating East Germany and Poland since the end of World War II]. Czechoslovakia is also moving toward the normalization of old alliances as long as any [German] pretensions on the Sudetenland are buried. Hungary is not willing at all to go to a war for Ulbricht’s beard. It is more interested in its aspirations for Romanian territory and in the strengthening of the capitalist regime it is restoring.
The Soviets, as well as the others, are very interested in resolving the German issue. With a little bit of pain and a lot of demagoguery, they are looking to the certainty, even if temporary, of a relatively quiet situation coming from Bonn. It is our opinion that the GDR is being used at this time by the Soviet Union and its allies as a bargaining chip in the dealing, blackmailing, and chaffering between the imperialists and the modern revisionists. Of course, this is another important factor that deepens the contradictions between the revisionists and weakens their internal and external positions. They are constantly being unmasked.
As to political relations between the revisionist countries and the bourgeois countries of the world, they do not follow a general, unified course. Each of them tends to proceed based on their own national interest, often at the expense of their revisionist partners. Everyone looks to ensure personal economic, political or prestige gains and for their own good, often trampling upon principles and most of the time at the loss of their own revisionist friends. In other words, the law of the jungle reigns in their relations. Naturally, this deepens the contradictions and weakens and unmasks them.
The economic relations between the revisionists continue to exist and the Soviet revisionists, as the largest economic power, continue to dominate and be in control, though not as they used to. The Soviet Union dominates the weak economies of its partners using its economic clout and placing important economic locks and shackles, from which, at the moment, its partners cannot break and be freed. This is the source of the great Soviet pressure on them, which extends beyond economic matters. These sorts of relations are in fact capitalist and enslaving. No one is happy with the other. There are quarrels, disagreements, blackmailing and threats everywhere. There exist among them numerous, deep, insurmountable and subversive contradictions which exert great influence as they degenerate.
With the exception of the Soviet Union, though it is watching its rubles more carefully before giving them away, not one of the other revisionist nations is led by the internationalist principle of helping one another economically. On the contrary, they, in a very capitalistic way, [only] consider who can profit the most from the other. Thus, every step, every economic relationship between them is considered and acted upon only through the capitalist’s eye. The economic crisis that has befallen the Soviet Union does not allow it, even if it tried to do this the capitalist way, to help its revisionist allies, who also are deep in crisis, and to cope with their ever increasing needs. Under these conditions, the only way out for these new capitalists is to welcome foreign capital into their countries, from the Americans, the French, the English and the Germans. These loans from the Americans and others have started to penetrate, to multiply, and to settle down like leeches in the economies of the Soviet Union and the other European popular democracies. This brings with it economic and political influence, the degeneration of the system, and the political, economic and military take-over of these countries, which have started, little by little and one now and another later, to become dependent on the various imperialists and to turn into their zones of influence.
Naturally, this increases the contradictions within them and among them, and the Soviet revisionists who are losing their absolute economic and political dominance over them [the popular democracies]. This increases and deepens the contradictions between the people and the true Marxist-Leninists on the one side, and the revisionist leaders of each country on the other. It impoverishes these countries, polarizes the reactionary forces and the people and creates favorable conditions for a revolution in these countries.
How can we now evaluate the ideological “unity” of the revisionists and the war they are waging against Marxism-Leninism and especially against the CCP and the ALP?
The bellicosity against Marxism-Leninism and against our two parties is resolute. There exists a unity of thought and of action. The revisionist leaders—not only those at the helm of the parties and governments of the Soviet Union and the other popular democracies in Europe, but also all those who lead the parties in the capitalist countries—have entered and are deeply and hopelessly compromised by their anti-Marxist road. They are the backbone of the modern revisionism. They have crystallized the line of reformism and degeneration of Marxism-Leninism. They receive guidance from the Soviet leadership. Their foundation and orientation comes from the 20th, 21st and 22nd Congresses of the CP Soviet Union. This is on what all the modern revisionists rely. This is what their ideological unity stands and what their orientation for the degeneration of Marxism-Leninism derives from. These countries implement this general line in their own way and according to the actual situation within their parties and countries. When implementing this general revisionist line, there naturally are and will always be different tendencies, which have become and will continue to become apparent as functions of the inclinations of these leaders dictated by pressures by the bourgeoisie, resistance by the party, the political-economic situation of the country, the revolutionary movement, and the level of its development, and many other factors.
Unwavering in their intentions and fighting to achieve their anti-Marxist objectives, the modern revisionists are actually exhibiting some emphatic tendencies. The Titoist revisionists are following the defined road, openly and without cover (maybe because we tore off their mask), of marching triumphantly toward capitalism, in complete and open unity with the capitalist bourgeoisie and social democracy and in alliance with and at the service of American imperialism. They have gone so far in this course that the other revisionists—though they are in fact in complete solidarity with them, use them as role models in their actions and adopt Titoist practices in the degeneration of their parties and nations—do not dare to rehabilitate them openly. Constantly cooperating closely with the Titoists, while declaring that they completely agree with their policies, and while adopting the capitalist, Titoist reforms, they will add that they have “a few disagreements with them.” This is demagoguery and just a formality. But the fact remains that the Titoist-revisionist clan cannot even be considered the most extreme right of modern revisionism. Titoism has actually removed itself completely from modern revisionism. It can be said that the title of most extreme right revisionists is now held by the Italian revisionist leaders, the Togliat[t]ists. By not being in power in their country, they have taken upon themselves the role of practicing revisionism to the letter in capitalist countries. This role is that of total liquidation of the party, of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the revolutionary struggle. They are trying to do away with the contradictions with the social democrats, to unite with them, to merge with them, and to cooperate fully ideologically and politically with the bourgeoisie. In other words, they are for the elimination of all forms of class warfare and for the reestablishment of the omnipotent reign of the bourgeoisie. The Italian revisionists, not actually being in power, want to go even further than the Titoists, who have the power and would never agree to share it with anyone. Aside from the complete trampling of principles, they are followers of the actual revisionist governments, from whom they draw lessons on how to best hasten their degeneration and how to carry out as consistently as possible the general revisionist line laid out by the 20th, 21st and 22nd congresses. The Italian revisionists think that the fastest way to achieve these results is through their theory of “poly-centrism,” which is, in fact, an erosion of the Soviet revisionists’ authority and a fissure among the revisionists so as to liquidate faster and easier, in the general framework of the ideological offensive of the monopolist capital, every shred of remaining Marxism-Leninism in the revisionist parties and governments. The Italian revisionists, naturally, are adventurers in the full meaning of the word. They are irresponsible and do not take into account their losses, defeats and their complete unmasking. They want to speed up the process of degeneration. Of course, the Soviet revisionists cannot agree with such a tactic that removes so quickly every demagogic weapon in their arsenal. This is the source of their contradictions and the differences in their strategies.
The Polish revisionists approach is a demagogic strategy which tries to convince us to soften our polemics and especially to try and show their independence from the Soviet revisionists in matters of strategy. But they are among the most brutal enemies of Marxism-Leninism, the CCP, the ALP and our socialist countries. They are some of the biggest chauvinist revisionists. The Soviets consider them very important, despite the differences with them. The Soviets need them very much, as a split from the Soviets and open approach in the direction of the imperialists by the Poleswould be [the Soviets’] final catastrophe.
The other European revisionists, despite their nuances which are most visible in Ulbricht and Kadar, follow, to a certain degree, the general Soviet course and strategy in their war against Marxism-Leninism and in particular against our two parties. But in general it may be said that amongst them the blind faith they used to have in the Soviet revisionists no longer exists.
The same can also be said for the other parties of the world where the revisionists have managed to get to the top. Faith in the revisionist Soviet leadership has weakened. The only faith or attraction that may exist is to the ruble which finances their anti-Marxist and anti-socialist activities. These activities are revisionist and treasonous, despite the independence of action or regional regrouping.
The Soviet revisionists have suffered great defeats. It may be said that our parties’ struggle against them has been the main architect of these defeats. Our principled and militant positions towards them have unmasked the Soviet revisionists, have blocked their subversive activities, have crushed their suffocating and poisoning demagoguery, and have resisted and emerged victorious over their blackmailing and pressuring of all sorts. Our resolute struggle was a fork in the road against the treasonous, revisionist activities, was a beacon of light to the communist masses of the world, shone light over the truth for the peoples, and unmasked the agreements made between the Soviet revisionists and the American imperialists.
Since the 20th Congress, the Soviet revisionists took the reins in their hands and were completely convinced that they would not encounter any serious resistance to their treason. Even if they would [encounter resistance], led by the chauvinism and self-confidence of a large state, their great economic and military power, and by hiding behind the great political and ideological prestige of the Soviet Union and the CP Soviet Union, they thought they could crush it quickly, painlessly and quietly. At the same time, the Soviet revisionists were convinced that they would be granted understanding of and quick agreement to their proposals and great concessions by the American imperialists. So the Soviet revisionists were convinced that their revisionist political and ideological course would “triumph and shine brightly.” They were convinced that a “miracle” would happen faster than the blink of an eye, just like at a game at a carnival. And this game (we should give credit where it is due) was performed brilliantly like a true carnival clown by Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet revisionists.
Revisionism carries within itself its own demise. It brings defeat to those that have been infected by it, because revisionism is betrayal, defeatism, capitulation and destruction. Modern revisionism, led by the Soviet revisionism, brought along an array of evils. It weakened the Soviet Union, lowered its prestige and that of the Bolshevik Party, started the ideological-political degeneration of the Soviet Union, weakened the revolutionary forces, flung the socialist economy of the Soviet Union into chaos and continuous decadence, made huge concessions to the American imperialists, and [it] continues to destroy Soviet power and puts it at the mercy of a new bourgeois capitalist class, which is becoming every day more and more dependent on the interests of international capitalism.
Whether in its ideological-organizational development, in its internal and external political strategy, or in its relations with the socialist camp and international communism, their whole ideological line was a fiasco.
The unity within the socialist camp and the international communist movement was in fact very strong and monolithically confronted the bourgeois ideology. The reason for this was that it was led by Marxism-Leninism. Prior to the ascendancy of the revisionists to power, the Soviet Union was following a just cause and was inspired by, and inspired others, friends and allies alike, with a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist spirit.
After the ascendancy of the revisionists to power, the Marxist unity of the past could not continue. Our idea that unity can only exist where Marxism-Leninism is in power, was triumphant. The revisionists’ bluffing and demagoguery, their mudslinging and defamation of Stalin, their charges that it was his cult, his terror, his killing and threatening the factors which kept this unity alive artificially, have suffered a shameful defeat. Not only have the Marxist-Leninists everywhere risen against the revisionists and are forging the true unity under the direction and inspiration of Marxism-Leninism, but we are seeing very clearly that it was the Soviet revisionists who caused not only the destruction of the socialist camp and international communist unity, but also (and it could not have happened otherwise) the schism among themselves. The revisionists are disunited and will be so even more. They bring their own death along with them.
When the Soviet revisionists found themselves confronted with great defeat and a great harm, they preferred the smaller evil and liquidated their leader and ideologue, Nikita Khrushchev. They implicitly placed all the blame on him, and, without changing a single iota from his old line, his friends, Khrushchev’s collaborators and co-conspirators, emerged into the political scene to carry out Khrushchevianism without Khrushchev.
The period since the liquidation of Khrushchev has proved that the Soviet revisionists are as much to blame for treason as Khrushchev and that they follow with the utmost faithfulness his treasonous, anti-Marxist ideas. In matters of treason they have even surpassed Khrushchev; while knowing full well the terrible mistakes Khrushchev made, they did not change ways (not that they could remedy the damage) and do not even pretend to camouflage their actions.
It is true, they are trying to design and follow a new line, but one which is just as scandalous as Khrushchev’s.
First of all, their strategy only includes some formalities and superficialities:
They have left behind the fuss and bombastic ways of Khrushchev. For the time being, the Soviet revisionists that took over for Khrushchev are not holding speeches, but sit silent so as to give the impression that they are “reflecting,” that “they are reasonable and wise,” that they are not “unrestrained rowdies.” Nonetheless, in practice the first steps are being taken and their voice is beginning to be heard.
They maintain their relations with the Americans and strengthen them. They are capitulating more and more everyday, because they are getting weaker everyday. Khrushchev’s  removal from the scene did not strengthen them. On the contrary, it discredited them. They are now trying to glue together what Khrushchev broke apart. They have no hope that we will turn their way but are concerned about the remaining allies who are slipping through their fingers. They want to build some kind of “unity” among them on new foundations to confront the catastrophe that awaits them. This is one of their actual primary concerns. The Moscow meeting, above everything else, sought to accomplish this. They were more concerned with establishing a common ideological-political platform, suitable in the new actual situation between the revisionists, than they were with deceiving us. Naturally, the communique that they released after the meeting on 1 March includes the demagoguery of their whole line, but we think that the issue was more their attempt to create some sort of revisionist unity. The Soviets hoped to achieve this “unity” by covertly assuring their partners that nothing would change in their line. During this time their public behavior proved that nothing had changed after Khrushchev.
But did this unity so highly desired by the Soviet leadership ever materialize? No, not at all. As revisionists the Soviets understand unity to be dominance and absolute control over others. Unfortunately for the Soviets, the others have become more independent than ever before. They did not cry for Khrushchev, they were happy that he was out because he was arrogant and threatened them. At the same time, the other revisionists were concerned that, “God forbid,” the new Soviet leadership might turn direction and become like us [Chinese and Albanians]. Such a fear had enveloped them to the bone. As soon as they were assured that this was not going to happen, their posture of independence from the “conductor” was sharpened and, according to information we have, there was no unity in their meeting, even though all of them are bearded revisionists [(sic) possibly meaning “experienced revisionists”].
In the communique they published, the modern Soviet revisionists confirmed publicly the defeats we have dealt them, showed the confusion and panic that has enveloped them and the fact that they have not been able to find anything new to offer to their minions. They demonstrated that the initiative did not belong to them. Everything is dependent on us. They are defeated. They are weak. They are on the defensive. In their communique the Soviet revisionists confirm that they cannot openly control the other revisionists anymore. They cannot impose their will on them anymore. The divisiveness, the “independence,” and loss of control over them is insurmountable. The gap between them is deep. Using indirect methods, the Soviet revisionists will try to salvage their prestige and their authority over their allies. They will try to activate, encourage, organize and manage the war against our parties and states.
The period after Khrushchev’s fall can be characterized as one in which the Soviet revisionists have been weakened immensely. Of great importance in this regard is the defeat instilled upon them by our militant stance and the continuous polemics shelled out by our parties. This is one of the sources of the fire that is burning the scatterbrained revisionists and the Soviet revisionists aside from all the other troubles bothering them. The Americans also realized during this period that not only were the Soviet revisionists not going to change course, but by getting ever weaker, they were giving the Americans an opportunity to toughen their campaign of blackmail in order to bring them on their side and compromise them even further. The Americans can clearly see that the “center” of Soviet demagoguery is, supposedly, “the anti-imperialist war” and “the anti-imperialist front.” The American imperialists understand this very well and are directing all their effort and aggressiveness precisely at this point in order to back the Soviet revisionists into a corner and to unmask and discredit them so that they capitulate quickly.
The notions of “peaceful co-existence” and “the world without wars and weapons” have now lost their glamour. No one believes in them anymore. The wars in Congo, Laos, South Vietnam and now the American piratical bombardments in North Vietnam have enabled the Americans not only to put the Soviets closer to capitulation and unmasking, but also under the terror of war. They have forced the Soviets to support diplomatic measures that are in favor of imperialist ideas on Vietnam and that prepare the capitulation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) and bring the liberation struggle to an end. Kosygin’s visit to the DRV took place for devilish, deceitful, demagogue, diversionist and capitulating reasons. But he was dealt a defeat there. The claim for the supposed weapons deliveries to DRV was nothing but demagoguery and a trap. On the other hand, the Soviets are trying to organize international conferences with the participation of bourgeois capitalist states but without Vietnam. We need to think carefully and be prepared very well militarily, because the chances look good that the Soviets, since the time of Khrushchev and continuing today, have been in agreement with the Americans to allow them free hand in “climbing up the steps” [escalating] in Vietnam and going all the way to China, in other words, enlarging the conflict. In such a case, the Soviets might conveniently limit themselves to bombastic demagoguery declarations and sensational “protests” on the one hand, but on the other hand they will collect numerous “facts and documents” supposedly attesting that the DRV and China did not allow the Soviet Union to positively help them with weapons or men. Of course the Soviet revisionists are playing with fire, but they think that they might come out “victorious” by weakening both sides, by tossing China amid a war predicament, surrounding her with a ring of fire and a ring of “friends” of the Soviet revisionists, such as the Indians. We need to strangle such Soviet plans while they are still in the womb.
We think that the “problem of mutual disarmament” and the “issue of Germany and Berlin” are brought up and blown out of proportion by the revisionists as a diversion. These problems are in fact used by them as a propaganda smoke screen to mask and draw attention away from China and Indochina, where a war is going on against imperialism and revisionism. This is where our two main enemies’ efforts are centered in order to advance their common designs.
The Soviet revisionists, along with the American, French and Bonn imperialists, are trying to preoccupy the peoples of the so-called “third forces” with regional issues and to prevent them from dealing with more pressing concerns, or to [prevent them from striking back at] them. For example, we see that the countries of Africa are interested more exclusively with African issues, such as the issue of Congo (which is an important one). The Arabs are mostly interested in the problems relating to Israel and the relations with Bonn or Ulbricht and tend to neglect or be minutely concerned with Indochina or Malaysia. In Latin America the Soviets have put the bridle on Castro, who is preoccupying Latin America with equivocal views that do not serve well the unity of true Marxist-Leninist revolutionary forces, but instead weaken them and even help the revisionist leaders of the communist and workers’ parties of the countries of Latin America and all the modern revisionists.
To us it looks like there is a universal tendency of modern revisionism, in cooperation with imperialism, to scatter and preoccupy the revolutionary forces with unconnected issues, or to separate them so as to disorient them.
The fact is that at various international gatherings this tendency is evident in different countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America. They do not operate coherently. They either are routed or isolated, or are “convinced” to bring up various obstructions so that the important international or regional gatherings scheduled to be held at a certain time are postponed, completely canceled, etc. We think that this issue requires revision. We need to build a new strategy that will revolutionize the situation.
What is our opinion on how we should proceed with our struggle in the present situation and conditions, as we have described them so far?
We are of the opinion that we should increase our polemics against modern revisionism and, above all, against the Soviet revisionists. They are very much weakened and need a break in polemics. We should not let them catch their breath. We should hit and unmask them ceaselessly politically and ideologically. We should unmask every step they take in the international arena and in the area of their relations with the other revisionists by pointing out their divergences. We should not allow them to regroup and we should stop their single or group actions against us. Every “concession” they make, every “tactic” of theirs supposedly to make up with us, should be used at every opportunity we get, following the Marxist-Leninist course, to unmask them, disarm them, push them to capitulate, and cause them to start fighting amongst themselves.
We think that our struggle against them should be well-organized and well-coordinated. Even if our two parties do not coordinate our actions, the end result is going to be a complete, coordinated struggle, because both our parties know everything clearly and stand resolute at the first line of battle. But we cannot say and readmit that the same thing also happens with the other Marxist-Leninist parties who stand on strong footing. They do not have strong contacts with our party, and we have no common coordination. We might even say that, while in agreement on different matters, we do not stand on a common front when it comes to the consistency of our polemics. We may be wrong, but we believe that we have differences in strategy with them. They may consider the ALP as “crude” and themselves as on a straight line, or “mature.”
This “straight and mature” line, we think, has nothing to do with Marxist-Leninist maturity, with the real meaning of events as they evolve, and with who stands in front of us as an enemy. It has nothing to do with the reasonable evaluation of the dangerousness of the enemy, his cunning, his resolute enmity against our parties and countries, and against Marxism-Leninism as it is justly understood by the great CCP and the ALP.
In order to achieve some sort of unity in our approach to strategy, or to at least explain and illuminate to each other the reasons behind tactical activities by each party, we think that we should hold bilateral meetings. According to Xinhua [News Agency], in Asia you follow such practices with the parties of Asia and this is a good thing. We do this with you and it is also a good thing. But we and the parties of Asia do not do this, not because we do not want to, but because we have not been given the opportunity, especially by the Korean Workers’ Party, but also by the parties of Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, or New Zealand. We have tried to take advantage of every meeting we have had with comrades from these parties who have visited us on different holidays and have expressed our opinion to them. But discussing these matters in such conditions does not yield the same results as would specific two-party talks for bilateral discussion of problems and exchange of opinions as we do with you, Chinese comrades. We think there is a lack in this area and that we need such meetings.
We think that we also need a big, general meeting of all these parties. We have always been for such a meeting. We should prepare for such a meeting and the preparation should be done in bilateral or trilateral meetings where we could straighten out everything so that when we have the big meeting, we can come out of it in full unity on every topic and the meeting would put a new date on the calendar as the beginning of a new historic period in the international communist movement.
We think that communists and the peoples of the world have a continuous need to be enlightened, to receive an interpretation of events, and a need for orientation of their actions, especially the communists and peoples in the Soviet Union and the other people’s democratic countries. We must have an unshakable faith in the healthy forces of these countries and parties. The truth is that this group of people is oppressed and under surveillance. Many are confused by lies and demagoguery. Many others can only surmise our stance, while many others listen to our radio programs, draw conclusions and, maybe, are even organizing or coordinating their resistance illegally, etc. This should be the situation in the Soviet Union and in the other socialist countries, but the truth is that our relations with these forces in these countries are still very weak. We still have no contacts there and the truth is that contacts with them are not easy for us or for them. Nonetheless, we must think of something to do about this, because this matter is of the outmost importance.
In the countries where the revisionists rule, resistance and organization of the Marxist-Leninists is the decisive factor, the only factor, which we should assist from the outside. The work within the castle of the revisionists should be done by the Marxists and the people of these countries. So in this matter we should exchange opinion on a course of action, which includes more activities than we presently undertake.
As to the multi-layered help that we afford to the new parties and in the Marxist-Leninist groups in the capitalist countries, this is much easier to be done and it is being done somewhere successfully, somewhere with the natural hardships, wavering, and squirming of such an undertaking. The revolutionary Marxist-Leninists are organizing and fighting. It would be a good idea to help them even more and effectively, because these comrades are in need of our help. Of course, we should not interfere in their internal affairs. We must have and show patience, tact and vigilance, but to say that we will not make any mistakes in the course of this work would not be prudent, though we should avoid any mistakes as much as possible. The revisionists are putting forks in our road. The imperialists are doing the same. Both we and our revolutionary comrades should keep this in mind. Many foreign elements have infiltrated and will attempt to infiltrate these new parties and groups that are forming. This is unavoidable. Both our revolutionary comrades and we could be fooled by the “pseudo-Marxists,” the agents of the revisionists and the capitalists that are attempting to infiltrate us, to sabotage us from within. Hence, it is imperative that we sharpen our vigilance. We must protect ourselves from the “baseless enthusiasm,” from the “exaggerated confidence” without proof from the battlefield. We must protect and shield ourselves from the “beautiful, revolution-filled words” of some. At the same time, these many dangers along the road should not turn us into sectarians and hinder our help to our comrades. It would be prudent that we carefully analyze our help because there may be shortcomings and mistakes on our side and, if possible, to better coordinate our help and decide when and where to direct our thrust.
The Marxist-Leninist unity of thought and action of our two parties has been, is and will forever be, solid in the whole of the wide and multi-layered front of the war against American imperialism and modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionists at its helm. This great truth is demonstrated every day by our struggle and our political and ideological positions. It is demonstrated by our coordinated strategy and tactics. It was demonstrated quite brilliantly once again by the just and resolute position of the CCP and the ALP toward the divisive revisionist meeting that was held in Moscow on 1-5 March of this year. It could not have happened differently since both of us are led resolutely by Marxism-Leninism.
The exalted and principled stance of the CCP toward the Moscow meeting will have colossal effects on the world, on world events, on the communist and workers’ parties, and in all the Marxist-Leninists and the revolutionaries. The revolutionary spirit, the war against American imperialism, the Soviet modern revisionism and their satellites will rise higher and higher.
We follow with admiration the just, courageous Marxist-Leninist war of the Communist Party of Japan against the internal reactionaries, against American imperialism, against modern revisionism, and especially against the Soviet revisionism. This is active and heroic participation in our great, common war. We could say the same for the party and comrades of New Zealand. The only thing is that it seems to us that the New Zealander comrades could do more to create the groundwork for more contacts that would help activate the consolidation of the war against revisionism and American imperialism in all the English-speaking countries of the world, such as in England itself, in Canada and in the other countries of the British Commonwealth.
Generally, we think that at a time when the American imperialists are widening the war in Vietnam, when they are looking to hit the great China, humanity’s castle [redoubt], support and great hope, at a time when the revisionists, with the Soviet leaders at the helm, are intensifying their treasonous against communism, the common struggle of all the Marxist-Leninist parties against Soviet revisionism must be strengthened and all of them should support the CCP in this great war. Our opinion is that in these moments when the enemy has approached our gates, such as is the case of the American threat in Vietnam, vague or less than active (not to call them passive) positions of some sister parties or of the Marxist-Leninists of different countries does not help our common cause.
Our opinion is that we must utilize every opportunity in every country to make sure that the earth beneath the feet of the American imperialists and their revisionist allies is burning with the fire of the war of the peoples and of the Marxist-Leninists.
It is clear that the general and concrete objective of American imperialism, Soviet revisionism, and the world reactionaries is to start a general war in Asia to bring it to China and the other socialist countries of Asia, by escalating from local wars to a general conflagration. The Soviet revisionists and the American imperialists are using all their means to arm the Indian reactionaries with the greatest speed so that they may repeat the armed attack against China. There is no doubt that the Soviet revisionists will strengthen their border with China under the pretext of the defense of their territory to put her under continuous pressure and blackmail, and will use all means at their disposal to neutralize the surrounding countries if they fail at separating them from their traditional friendship with China. On the other side, American imperialism will try to strengthen the relations with Japan and its domination and preponderance there so as to keep it under its control and to push it into aggression, if possible. The Americans have placed a lot of hope on the possibility of closer cooperation with England, whose colonies in Asia are in danger, for reasons of aggression. In this situation we see with great admiration and faith in her success, China’s attempts and its just policies to bring closer, consolidate the friendships and relations with Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Afghanistan, and all the other countries of Asia and Africa, in particular with countries where American imperialism has undertaken open aggression. We think, just like you do, that we must get closer and work with them and not only to make them conscious of the great danger looming from a war that is taking a brutal shape in Southeast Asia, but also to achieve the goal of making them actively counter the American aggression and its objective of a wider war.
We think that for our part we should intensify even more our campaign of propaganda and unmasking of the war-mongering American imperialism and the modern Soviet revisionists, Titoists and their treasonous supporters. We should intensify our attack on every alliance and agreement they make, should extend a call to the peoples of the Soviet Union and of the other countries to take measures and block and boot all these agreements with the American imperialists, should extend a call to them for a total blockage of the aggressive America, should extend a call to the peoples, the working class, the peasants and the progressive intelligentsia of the world to rise up strongly against the American aggression, this new Hitlerism of the world that threatens it with fire and steel.
As to the heroic struggle of South Vietnam, as to the unwavering stance of North Vietnam, as to your staunch, just, Marxist-Leninist, and heroic stance toward the brotherly people of Vietnam, the help that you extend to them and your infinite support, rest assured, we know about it and admire it—it inspires and enthuses us. We are fully on your side and give ourselves to you to the end and will help with all we have at our disposal. Your war is our war; it is the war of every anti-imperialist, anti-revisionist; it is the war of socialism against imperialism and its lackeys, the modern revisionists and the world reactionaries.
The fraternal Vietnamese people engaged in a heroic war deserve every support possible. American imperialism is even using poisonous gas against the fighters of South Vietnam, all the while systematically bombing the North. It is the sacred duty of all the peoples and revolutionaries of the world to defend the cause of the brotherly Vietnamese people and to help in any way so that it may emerge victorious.
We have expressed our opinion to you about the issue of South Vietnam through your ambassador here. It may be possible that this opinion of ours has not matured yet, but we have expressed it to our friends and partners who know well, judge fairly and can decide justly on this matter.
In conclusion, we would like to reiterate once again that which you so justly and openly in your later position on the divisive meeting in Moscow; that we must strengthen the unity of thought and action; that we must be armed and tempered more and more each day for the battles ahead. We understand, admire and support you with all our might; we fight alongside you as a single body in your great, life-saving, and politically, militarily and ideologically just war. All the Marxist-Leninists of the world should concentrate their struggle and fight to help and strengthen the wide and worldly activity of the PRC, the CCP, and the Chinese government. All of us should understand and explain it to others, that the axis of steel of our sacred war, of our victories, is Comrade Mao Zedong’s China, which is always led by Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. This is our last word on these subjects; we present it to you, to our people, to our brotherly Chinese people, your party, and our Comrade Mao.
I thank you Comrade Zhou Enlai and the other Chinese comrades for the attention you showed and beg your pardon for the long speech. I have tired you.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: We thank you for your all-encompassing opinions. It is you who is tired.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We propose to close this session and go get something to eat, outside protocol.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I have a proposition. Let us postpone tomorrow’s meeting a half hour from the scheduled time. Instead of meeting from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., let us postpone it to 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: If you would like, we could postpone it until 10 a.m. so that you may rest.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: It is not necessary. 9:30 a.m. is sufficient.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Then we agree. We will meet tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.
(The first meeting ended at 9:10 p.m.)
THE SECOND MEETING
The second meeting started at 9:30 a.m. on 28 March 1965. The floor was given to:
Comrade Zhou Enlai: First of all, I would like to say that we feel very happy to be given the chance to visit Albania for the second time. I would particularly like to thank you for the very warm welcome the ALP CC, the government, and the wide mass of the people of your country have extended to us. This welcome has made a great impression on us. This is an indication that the friendship between our two peoples, parties, and countries continues to become stronger and more unbreakable.
I take this opportunity to thank your party’s Central Committee, with Comrade Enver Hoxha at its helm, the government, and the heroic Albanian people for this demonstration of friendship.
I would also like to thank Comrade Enver Hoxha for yesterday’s explanation of your opinions and activities related to the various problems in your country and the international arena.
Today, we intend to present to you our opinion on these matters. But I will change the order of the issues a bit. I will first cover the international problems and then will go on to speak about the issues of the cooperation between our two countries.
Our two parties’ and governments’ opinions on the fundamental issues of the international arena are fully in concert. I am talking about the issues of our struggle against imperialism, with American imperialism at its forefront, and modern revisionism, with today’s Soviet revisionist leadership at its helm, as well as against the reactionaries of various countries, intent on forming as wide and unique a front as possible of the revolutionary peoples of the whole world. There is no doubt that this front must have at its core the leftist groups of the socialist camp and of the international communist movement, in other words, the leftist parties and the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists of the world. The forces that are waging today the struggle for socialism, national liberation, democracy and peace in the world stand in one front and have common opinions on today’s international arena situation, a situation which is progressing in favor of socialism, the peoples of the world, and the revolution and at the expense of the imperialists, the modern revisionists, and the reactionaries of different countries.
I wanted to express to you our opinions and position in relation to the latest developments and the problems they cause. Of our three main enemies, the most important one is imperialism, with the USA at its helm, or in other words, American imperialism. Why do I say this? I say it because American imperialism is trying to rule the whole world. It is trying to force the modern revisionists to capitulate and place themselves in its service. And as to the reactionaries in the various countries, the American imperialists are all the more trying to turn them into their servants. Meanwhile, the Soviet revisionists, whether Khrushchev when he was in power or the current Soviet leaders, have tried and are still trying alongside American imperialism to divide the domination of the whole world between the two superpowers. But the USA does not agree to such a deal. It is a well-known fact, for example, that Khrushchev tried to control the mood at [the September 1959] Camp David meeting, but Eisenhower would have none of it.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: He was trying to establish American imperialism as the lone ruler.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Then, during the following year, it is a known fact that another quarrel occurred in France. This shows that there are contradictions among the imperialists, just like they also exist between US imperialism and modern revisionists. At the same time, there are contradictions between the USA and the satellite nations. Hence, as Comrade Enver Hoxha pointed out yesterday, the question is how to exploit these contradictions best in favor of our intentions.
Currently, American imperialism is trying many different tricks, but it is meeting with defeat, because it is facing the opposition of the peoples of the entire world to its actions, and it is putting modern revisionism in a difficult position. It is also putting in such a position all its other servants. In other words, imperialism is exposing more and more the modern revisionists and the reactionaries of the various countries.
Today the American imperialists are trying to create crises throughout the entire world. That is why their role is becoming continually clearer to the international public. The peoples of the world already know that American imperialism is the source of all the misfortunes and the evil in the world. This is causing the ranks of the opponents of American imperialism to keep growing every day. The peoples of Africa and Asia are moving toward an escalation of their war against American imperialism.
The USA is even using poisonous gas in their war against the people of South Vietnam and has openly admitted that it has taken such an actions. But this barbarous act has drawn the criticism of all the countries, including that of the Labor government of the UK, which has expressed its disagreement. As a result, the USA has had to reverse their practice.
The continuing bombing of the DRV by the US has had the effect that the allied and servant countries of the Americans have expressed their intent to stop following them, except for England which justifies the Americans’ actions while maintaining that [the bombing] has nothing to do with China and should lead to talks very soon. Meanwhile the USA is threatening and trying to scare the others by blackmailing them with the escalation of the war from South Vietnam to North Vietnam, into all of Indochina, and even into China. Their allies are disturbed by this. This shows that the USA is not getting the support they need and is being rebutted not only by the peoples of various countries, but also by their allies and satellites, whose opinions differ from those of the Americans and are disturbed by their actions.
But why are they disturbed? On the one hand, because they foresee that the USA will be dealt an even greater defeat in this area, i.e. in South Vietnam, Indochina, and China. On the other, they are worried that the USA might get weaker in other areas and that the anti-American movement there might get stronger and, as a result, the rule of the allies and their satellites in these areas might be in danger.
Let us consider now how the modern revisionists see these problems.
A characteristic of modern revisionists, starting with the time of Khrushchev and continuing with his followers today, is that they are afraid of American imperialism and a world war. They are afraid that some local war might escalate, with American interference, into a large-scale world war. They do not want the peoples of the world to wage an armed war for their national independence. They are afraid of the peoples of the world revolution. Hence, they are trying to discourage and stop such revolutions. This is the logic behind their actions.
But what does their strategy for this look like?
First of all, by seeking to rule the world alongside the American imperialists, the Soviet revisionists are trying to bring the socialist countries, the sister parties, and the national liberation struggles under their control and use them to make compromises with the USA.
To attain this control, to make their dealings with the USA easier, and to salvage their prestige, the revisionists were forced to hold the 1 March meeting. But the end result was the opposite of their expectations. They lost even more of their prestige.
As Comrade Enver Hoxha pointed out yesterday, the attendees at the meeting came out even more scattered and divided. The 1 March meeting communique itself was quite weak, while the resolution of the CPSU CC, released on 26 March and concerning the 1 March meeting has nothing further in it except for the repetition of a few words from the communique. I believe you have seen this resolution.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: It is so. Correct.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: And naturally, this course of action ensured that the prestige of the Soviet revisionists and those that rule other countries and parties declined even more. It becomes more and more apparent that they seek to conspire with American imperialism to dominate the world together.
Another activity by the Soviet Union to find a way out, for both itself and American imperialism, was to start to take steps with the intention of leading the matter of Vietnam to the negotiations table. The tendency of the Soviet revisionists for talks was apparent especially during [Premier of the USSR, Alexei N.] Kosygin’s [February 1965] visit to the Far East. First of all, he suggested that all the socialist countries make a common declaration through which they would express their support for Vietnam, against American imperialism. But right away we detected that this was simply a plot by the Soviet revisionists. Through this common declaration they sought to enter into bargains with the American imperialists in the name of all the countries of the socialist camp under the guise of the Soviet Union being a representative of the countries of the socialist camp. We expressed to the Soviets our opposition to this proposal and made our opinion known to the Korean Workers’ Party and the Vietnam Workers Party (VWP).
Hence, though there was a bilateral Soviet-Vietnamese declaration and later a Soviet-Korean one, a common declaration of all the socialist countries was not issued. In these bilateral declarations the matter of the common declaration proposed by the Soviets was not mentioned. During the framing of the Soviet-Vietnamese declaration the Soviets were forced to accept as the basis for the declaration’s main points the point of view of the VWP and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam.
Obviously, China did not publish a common declaration with the Soviets because Kosygin merely passed through China [in February 1965]. Hence, he was unable to play his role of a swindler. But the Soviet revisionists did not agree with this situation. As soon as Kosygin returned to Moscow, they presented their opinion to the DRV [Pham Van Dong] that it would be possible for the Soviet Union to intervene for talks with the US on the issue of Vietnam. On 26 February, the prime minister of the DRV summarily rejected this proposal saying the conditions for talks on the situation in South Vietnam did no exist. He declared that the people of Vietnam would never kneel before the American imperialists’ bayonets and bombing and they would fight resolutely until the final victory.1 On the same day, the Soviets presented this same suggestion to the Chinese government, but we responded that on this issue they should only talk to the government of the DRV and the VWP. Yet, without waiting for our answer, the Soviet government had already intervened with the French government on this issue. The Soviet ambassador had met with de Gaulle. Two days later, the Soviet ambassador told his Chinese counterpart in France that the Soviet Union and France’s points of view on the Vietnam issue were the same. But what was the French point of view? The French were for entering talks without prior conditions.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Just like Tito.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: (Laughs.) The French foreign minister, on the same day, handed a memo to the Soviet Union which proved the similarity of both sides’ points of view on this matter. At the same time, the Soviet Union took steps in the direction of the English as well, as the visit by Andrei Gromyko to London clearly shows. Naturally, by the time of Gromyko’s visit to London, China had already made her firm opposition to talks known to the Soviet Union. Hence, Gromyko, in his talks with the English, was forced to formally accept that talks should be held with prior conditions. The difference was that the Soviet Union did not even mention the conditions required by Vietnam. The Soviet Union simply wanted talks to be held. All the while, Vietnam was saying that it was the US that had broken the Geneva Convention, that it was the US that should stop the war and withdraw all its troops from Vietnam and the all of Indochina, that it should stop its North Vietnam bombing campaign, and that the people of South Vietnam should not be prevented from solving their internal problems on their own. By contrast, England presented to Gromyko the same conditions called for by the US, i.e.: The Vietcong should stop its armed struggle, the aggression from the North should stop, North Vietnam should terminate its aid to South Vietnam, and the armed forces of South Vietnam [the National Liberation Front] should end their war and relinquish their weapons.
The essence of these talks was visible in Gromyko’s press conference, held before his departure from England. The correspondents asked him whether he had talked to the English about the Vietnam issue. Gromyko answered that this matter should be resolved by the interested parties, in other words, this matter was one pertaining to the US and Vietnam. It is very clear that Gromyko considers the US, who is the aggressor and has intervened with armed forces in South Vietnam, and Vietnam as the two warring parties. Hence, in essence, the Soviet revisionists are trying to get to talks without any prior conditions. We are facing here attempts that seek to stop the fighting without any conditions. The Soviet Union and France are in agreement on this, while England is reserved on it, and the US does not agree. Vietnam does not agree either. The Soviet Union does not agree with Vietnam’s point of view, because it wants to sell out Vietnam.
The Soviet Union protests against the American bombing campaign in North Vietnam and the sending of additional American troops to South Vietnam are only a rouse; they are not words coming from the heart. This is plainly clear to the Vietnamese people, to the Chinese people, and to all the peoples of the world. This is also confirmed by the fact that every time Soviet diplomacy, the Soviet press, or the Soviet revisionists—like in the 1 March meeting—raise the issue of the war against the American aggression in South Vietnam, the American press justifies the Soviet position. It says that what the Soviet press is saying is not true and that the Soviet Union is in reality in favor of talks. This clearly shows the essence of the true stance of the Soviet Union on this matter. When the Soviet foreign minister presented to the American ambassador a [note of] protest against the American bombing in South Vietnam, the American ambassador sent the Soviet [note of] protest back. This reminded us of the events of 1958, when [former US Secretary of State John Foster] Dulles was very worried because we started an artillery bombardment against the Chinese coastal island of Quemoy. The Americans thought that at that time China was preparing to attack Taiwan. In fact, they even brought part of their Navy’s 7th Fleet to the Taiwan Straits. At that time, the Soviet government was also very worried by these events. They sent Gromyko to China to enquire about this matter. This fact has not been published. We answered Gromyko that since Dulles at that time was applying a policy of brinksmanship against us, we were acting as if we were responding in kind and were testing them by attacking the Jiang-Jieshi army and not the Americans. The end result was that America did not fire against China and ordered that the Chinese territorial water and airspace not be violated. So we had no exchanges with them.
But why did we fire there? We fired, and we told Gromyko this, as a measure against the American attempt to create two Chinas. They wanted to withdraw their own forces from Quemoy and Matsu to break them completely away from Taiwan and the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, to make it an independent unit. But as soon as we fired at Quemoy and Matsu, Jiang Jieshi found a pretext for saying that the Communist Party fired at his side, and, as a result, he could not withdraw his armies from these two islands. So the Americans were not able to convince Jiang Jieshi to withdraw his armies after our artillery bombardments. We know that both you and your foreign minister, Behar Shtlla, are clear about the reasons why we are against the idea of two Chinas. We told Gromyko about our secret that with this action we intended to express our opposition to the two Chinas. We went even further and we told him that should the Americans bombard the Chinese homeland, we would carry the whole burden of a war with them ourselves and we would not want them [the Soviets] to send their army, we would not want the Soviet Union to be involved in this issue. Gromyko was extremely touched when China spoke openly and told him all its secrets.
Last year, when I was in Moscow [in November], Gromyko asked me whether I remembered the events of that period. I replied that I did, adding that Khrushchev had calmed down when he learned that in our opinion the Soviet Union would not have to get involved should a world war explode, something he was very scared of. Once Khrushchev found out about our opinion, he wrote a letter to Eisenhower protesting in a very strong tone, ostensibly in support of China, but Eisenhower returned the letter to him. The Americans had by this time a good idea of the nature of the Soviet revisionists. OK, so the Americans returned the letter to the Soviets, but did they afterwards attack anywhere in the Taiwan Straits? No, on the contrary, while we were bombarding Quemoy and Matsu, they moved part of the 7th Fleet in the direction of Hong Kong and other places under the pretext that it was going for rest. Now Khrushchev and his followers are telling us that on the matter of Taiwan the Soviet Union has been supporting China. This time the Americans again returned the letter to the Soviet Union. They know well what the Soviet revisionists are.
How do the American imperialists detect these weaknesses, this nature of the Soviet revisionists? This happens because the ambassadors of each of these two countries, both the American ambassador to Moscow and the Soviet ambassador to the US, covertly and continually keep in frequent contact with the respective government of the country in which they serve, with the intention of coordinating and preparing their activities. The same is happening right now on the issue of Vietnam. But Vietnam is against these preparations and against talks, and China agrees with Vietnam’s decision. That is why they are not able to execute their plan. We are fully convinced that all the Left parties are also against them. What then remains for them to do there? For this they commanded Tito and gave him a special task. Tito, it is well known, is a bilateral product of the Americans and the Soviet revisionists. He started fulfilling his task by first calling a meeting of the non-aligned nations [on 14-15 March 1965 in Belgrade]. Initially, some of them were under the influence of Tito, and they agreed to call for talks and the end of fighting in South Vietnam. But what does discontinuation of fighting mean to them? This means that the liberation army of South Vietnam [NLF] should lay down its weapons so that the Americans and their South Vietnamese mercenaries get a respite to catch their breath, and later, after they have recovered, be able to have an opportunity to suppress the liberation forces. They also want North Vietnam and all the revolutionary forces of the world to end their support and aid to South Vietnam. Initially, this undertaking was successful for Tito, and it had some effect because some took part in it like, for example, Cuba. To show that he was on Cuba’s side, Tito said that he denounced American imperialism’s war in Vietnam and was certain that the others would agree with him. But in the end some countries, like India, the United Arab Republic and Ceylon, showed that they were not against it. It is true that all three of these countries have their own internal reasons to side with the Americans. India is a servant of the Americans. Ceylon was just before its elections, and, just like India, it had no intention of joining an opposition against the American imperialists, while the United Arab Republic was facing the issues of Israel and West Germany which are supported by the Americans. As a result of their opposition, the draft proposal for the proclamation did not include a denounciation of the American aggression. The phrase was changed to read “against outside interference.” But this is a very vague definition, which the Americans interpret as meaning against interference by North Vietnam and China, while North Vietnam interprets it as meaning interference by the Americans. Thus, this phrase can be exploited by both sides. The main points in this document are the cease-fire and the beginning of talks, and it is well known that the non-aligned nations exert a greater amount of influence than the Soviet Union on the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
It was under these conditions that our activity started, and we reiterated that neither South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front nor the DRV could accept such positions, because these would serve the interests of American imperialism and were helping it to find a way out.
After this the other countries of Asia and Africa started carrying themselves better. Vietnam started its activity. The 15 non-aligned nations were, first of all, opposed by [Cambodian Head of State Prince Norodom] Sihanouk. At the beginning, Sihanouk, under the French diktat, called a meeting of the peoples of Indochina. His intention was to create in these countries a situation much like that of Laos, in other words, to create a united front with the cooperation of three groups, namely, the elements of a rightist group who are servants of the Americans, a centrist group that would represent the interests of France, and a leftist group, i.e. the South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front. In other words, he intended to create a troika. But the situation in South Vietnam quickly started to look less and less like the one in Laos. South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front is in a dominant position. South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front and the National Front of North Vietnam resolutely expressed their opposition to the troika proposal. In the end, Sihanouk was forced to accept the opinions of South Vietnam and North Vietnam. In other words, he served a good purpose. The main gist of his position is that the American troops should be withdrawn from South Vietnam and the whole of Indochina. That way the people of South Vietnam can solve their problems on their own. As soon as Sihanouk received the draft proclamation by Tito, he resolutely expressed his opposition to it. He understands that Tito helps the US by trying to find a way out for them. Sihanouk seeks the Americans’ withdrawal from Indochina and the re-organization of the UN.
As a result of the activity on the issue of Vietnam, Cuba, Algeria, Mali, and Guinea expressed their opposition to the Tito draft proclamation. We worked on this issue with the Syrian foreign minister when he visited China [ostensibly for the signing of a cultural cooperation agreement on 18 March 1965], and, as a result, he expressed his reservations to the draft. Indonesia was also against the draft. And finally, the United Arab Republic did not respond to Tito.
Around this time, on 22 March 1965, South Vietnam’s National Liberation Front issued a declaration of which the Albanian comrades are aware.2 In this declaration the Front resolutely expresses its opposition to peace talks. The South Vietnamese declared that they would fight to the end against the US, even if the war continued on for 10 or 20 more years, and that they would fight until the last of the Americans had been thrown out of South Vietnam.
On 25 March 1965 the Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] newspaper published a cover story in which the war of the South Vietnamese people was resolutely supported. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) also published a state declaration in which the same resolute support was extended to the people of South Vietnam. Thus, under these conditions Tito’s activity ceased for the time being, but he will never agree with the situation, and we foresee that he will try to cook up some other maneuver. Judging from the activities to date it seems that the Soviet revisionists and Tito are trying to find a way that would get the American imperialists out of a very difficult situation.
Why is this happening? This is happening because the US is today facing a huge problem, and this problem is the crisis in South Vietnam. In the current conditions, the faster the Americans can withdraw from Vietnam, the better it will be for them so that they do not lose their prestige in other areas of the world. But American imperialism has no plans to withdraw because it considers that a great loss and shame.
And if the US does not withdraw, how will it proceed, going forward? That would mean escalating the war, sending troops directly to South Vietnam, escalating the war to North Vietnam and even further, to China. The only thing is that the US is not sure about the future of such a step, because, well, the US might enter China, but what would it do after taking this step? And if it continues to be dealt such defeats, then its prestige will suffer even more, it will be shamed, its military bases in the different countries around the world will be shaken, and the anti-American movement around the world will get a big boost.
So, in reality, the US is not resolute in going forward, but they also do not want to withdraw. Will it then keep the situation as it is right now? This is what they desire. But the Americans want the issue of talks and the ceasefire to be raised by others, not by them. It is clear that today Vietnam is resolutely opposed to such a move. Tito also sees that today he is not able to execute his plot and, at the moment, the Soviet Union will not so easily come out and openly ask for such talks to be held without conditions.
Now the problem stands like this: the Americans will work hard so that the situation in Vietnam deteriorates for a while, then wait and see how that goes, and then they will go back to escalation. In other words, escalate, wait a while, then deteriorate again. But we, and I mean the leftists and the revolutionaries, all as one stand beside Vietnam. We have a clear course. We wanted to talk to you about this issue when we were in Romania, and now that we are in Albania. We also wanted to talk to you about the issue of the countries of Asia and Africa.
But as a central problem, I will touch upon mainly this one, because today Vietnam and Indochina have become the center of the war against American imperialism, modern revisionism, and the reactionaries of the various countries. Of course, American imperialism causes trouble on all four sides of the world. That is why the anti-American movement in the world today is not confined to Indochina only. It is also active in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Palestine, Congo (Leopoldville), Latin America, etc., etc. Obviously, the anti-American movement is also alive in the Mediterranean, but Vietnam and Indochina have become today the main segment of the war against American imperialism. It is precisely here that the Americans have centered their land, sea, and air forces today.
I would like to talk a bit about the state of the revolutionary forces in Vietnam. It is quite apparent that the enemy is not about to withdraw, and the Americans are also having a hard time making headway there. The national liberation forces of South Vietnam are winning more and more. In a time span of a little more than a year the situation in South Vietnam is turning increasingly anti-American, and the war of the people of Vietnam is partly being transformed from guerrilla [partizane] to mobile warfare. The fact that the Vietnamese are now able to continually destroy the organized forces of the enemy is fundamental. The Americans in Vietnam are waging a special war using mainly troops from South Vietnam. Previously, the US only had military advisors there, along with their naval and air forces. But lately, the situation has warranted that they also send marine units to Vietnam to protect their sea ports and airports. The mercenary forces in Vietnam can be categorized into two groups: the regular army, and the local forces that operate in various areas in the south of the country. They have had the task of fighting against the South Vietnam liberation army. But today these forces, wherever they are destroyed, have difficulty in regrouping. It is true that they are continually adding new elements to fill their ranks, but people of the National Liberation Front are also infiltrating these forces and they are mining the mercenary army from the inside. The regular mercenary forces are comprised of nine divisions which are given the task mainly of defending key points around the cities, airports and sea ports.
At the moment, however, due to the fact that the local forces have mostly been destroyed, the enemies have been forced to send units of the regular army into battle against the liberation army. But today, the partisan liberation army is able to destroy full battalions of the mercenary army. It is able to stay in battle for 4-5 days in a row and destroy even two battalions of the enemy at once. The enemies organize their special war basing their operations mainly in strategic villages. Their plan was to organize 7,500 such villages [hamlets] and gather the villagers at certain points. But through the work of the partisan army, from the inside as well as from the outside, these villages have been destroyed, and there remain today only about 1,000 of them and they are continually being destroyed.
South Vietnam has a population of about 14 million souls, or a little more. Three quarters of this population are today on the side of the National Liberation Front. A few of those on the side of the Front are hiding inside the cities with the task of organizing demonstrations, or fighting while coordinating their activities with the partisan forces from within the enemy zones. In the past, the American army would use helicopters to transport regular soldiers to help those who were fighting the partisans, but the helicopters did not produce the desired effect because the liberation army was destroying them en masse. The liberation forces have even been able to destroy the very airport where the enemy forces are centered. In other words, the people are able to help the liberation army.
After undertaking a study of the development of the war of the people of South Vietnam, we came to the conclusion that the scale of the war in this country is much larger, relatively speaking, than that of the resistance of the Chinese people against Japanese imperialism. We could say that the Vietnamese are fighting much better than we fought at that time. This is the truth, and it is a great achievement of the people of South Vietnam.
As to the pseudo-government of South Vietnam, as you well know, after Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother was killed [on 2 November 1963], the state leadership there has been changed about ten times. This shows the instability of the government in that country. No puppet government in the countries dominated by the Americans is as unstable as the one in South Vietnam. In the past, both China and the DRV have been able to deliver weapons to the liberation army of South Vietnam by both land and sea, but today the Vietnamese liberation army is capable of arming itself by taking weapons from the enemy.
[US Secretary of State] Dean Rusk is at the present forced to accept that the issues in South Vietnam can only be solved by the internal forces and on three conditions: First, the puppet government needs to be stable and united. Second, the mercenary army needs to be developed and strengthen its fighting units. Third, the local government needs to become effective, because, according to their opinion, the outskirts are disconnected. But these conditions can never be achieved there. We are strongly convinced that if the liberation forces continue their fight as they have so far against the puppet government, [the SVG] will be destroyed and North Vietnam will be victorious. As to when—whether after a long or a short time—this depends on the changes in the relative strength of the two parties. But one thing is certain: Victory there will be on our side.
Faced with these defeats, the USA has only one reason to insist on staying there, and it is quite justified from its point of view. An American forced withdrawal from South Vietnam, after they threw so many forces there to help, would mean that the national liberation struggle in other areas of the world where they have their bases would deal them the same defeat. Additionally, this means that even a small country can fight and win over a larger country that is pestering it. So, under these circumstances, because of its nature, American imperialism will not give up so easily on Vietnam, because this is a vital issue for it. This is the reason for which it is seeking a ceasefire, it needs talks and it is trying to hold these talks in its favor. In this area the American imperialists are being helped at any cost by the revisionists, the reactionaries of various countries, and by their allies.
But, as I said before, the various attempts to arrive at a ceasefire were not successful. That is why now the US is forced to look for another way and jump to adventures. Of course, if one looks at our objective desire, we would like that the national liberation forces emerge victorious in South Vietnam, but the US cannot agree to such an outcome and that is why it may jump to desperate and even adventurous measures. This is why we need to be prepared to face an even more difficult situation. We have thought about such a possibility, have studied the future of the US in South Vietnam and have divided it into four stages. In the past this has also been murmured around the White House and in the Pentagon. I am talking about the increase of [US] forces in South Vietnam while at the same time intensifying their bombing for the blockade of North Vietnam. This is [the United States’] first option today, i.e. moving from a special war to a local war. According to the US plan, they have already sent marine forces to South Vietnam. They have transferred these forces from the Okinawa islands of Japan in order to strengthen their allies in South Vietnam. The Americans also wanted to transfer to South Vietnam an infantry division from South Korea. But the reactionary leaders of South Korea warned against such move, warning the Americans that in the event of “danger” from North Korea they would not be in a good position to resist them. Due to this reason the Americans were forced to use an infantry division from the US mainland or from Honolulu. Thus, at the present they will transfer two divisions to South Vietnam, of which one will be a marine division and the other an infantry one. The Americans are also trying to secure troops from their satellite nations, such as from the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. which will probably not even reach 10 thousand troops. As to the Philippines, in the war against Korea they only sent a symbolic unit of only one battalion, and at the moment we think they will have difficulty sending even one such unit. Thailand is also having difficulty sending troops from its country, because it has its own problems. And as to Malaysia, England does not agree that it should enter the war in South Vietnam.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Also because Malaysia needs its troops for itself, too.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: But for what will the Americans use these three divisions? Mainly to protect the seashore, the cities and their air bases in South Vietnam, by taking the place of the regular soldiers of the South Vietnamese reactionaries, which they are trying to send outside the cities to fight against the forces of the liberation army at the exact time when the liberation army is looking to fight these very forces of the regular army of the reactionaries of South Vietnam in order to destroy them. If the regular army is destroyed, then why would the American army remain there? Such a move would not produce any results, because by that time the government in the South would have fallen. Hence, the American army would have nothing to do there anymore and would have no choice but to withdraw.
As to the bombings in North Vietnam, there is no doubt that they are causing a lot of damage. But if the anti-aircraft war is strengthened, more and more American aircraft will be shot down. Meanwhile, the blockade that the Americans have put in place at sea will not be able to stop the transport of weapons from the North to the South, because in the end there are also roads on land. After this first stage, if the US will continue to be dealt defeats, and if they do not withdraw, they will then try to enter the second stage.
This is how we foresee the events. It is possible that the American imperialists will start an all-out bombing in Vietnam, including here Hanoi, and also send a much higher number of forces to South Vietnam, in order to widen the war in Laos and North Vietnam at the same time. In such a situation, the separation between the north and the south will cease to exist. Even today it is hard to distinguish between north and south in Vietnam. If the USA increases its troops in the southern part of the country, the northern side might also send reinforcements to the south in order to topple as soon as possible the puppet government there and to destroy the regular army of South Vietnam. As to the all-out bombing of North Vietnam, it is predictable that they will reach the border with China, but China will not remain indifferent. As to the manner of delivery of China’s aid, this will be decided in bilateral talks at the right time between the governments of China and the DRV.
If the war will continue still, then there remains the possibility that it will enter a new state, its third stage. This will mean that the Americans will also bomb the Chinese areas at the border with Vietnam and Laos, including our air bases, military depots, and even our rear positions. At such a situation the war will escalate because China cannot but resist and respond to the American aggression by throwing in the field of battle her army on the side of Vietnam. So the possibility remains that the war might escalate, but in the East and not in the entire world.
Then the Americans might finally attack on a broad front all of China. Regarding this possibility, we have taken measures for even the worst scenario. But if the war comes to China, Korea will definitely be affected as well. If this happened, it would be a good thing, because American imperialism will be destroyed on the Chinese fields of battle. Naturally, such a war will not last a short time, but it will require a considerably long time to achieve victory.
We are looking to secure ten to fifteen years to be able to accomplish peacetime construction so as to get stronger. That way the imperialists will not dare start a war against us. But, in the end, should they decide to go headfirst into adventures, we cannot but accept their challenge and give them a quick end. But even if we have a war at that moment, this would also have its positive aspects, because most of the leadership in our country today is comprised of people who have taken part in both the civil war and in our war against American imperialism. In other words, they have experience and will be able to train our descendants during this war. This is the reason why we also need to be prepared for such an eventuality.
Before facing these potential developments, we will consult with the Vietnamese side on a course of action. Had not the death of [Romanian Communist Party General Secretary Gheorghe] Gheorghiu-Dej occurred [on 19 March 1965], I would not have visited so soon, because the Vietnamese side had proposed talks with us. We will not be able to finish consulting with them right away because we would like to have talks on military matters with the Vietnamese before we have political talks. The Vietnamese comrades are prepared for a total mobilization. As the first step of this action they published a declaration of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam on the mobilization of the people of South Vietnam in which it expresses its determination.
The second step will be the total mobilization of the DRV. Since more than a month ago, Hanoi has started to move its population out of the capital drawing on the experience of Korea, which during its three-year war against American imperialism was turned into ruins but still managed to build a socialist society after ten years. I believe that your comrades who have been to Korea have witnessed this.
China is also prepared for mobilization. At the moment, we have undertaken an internal mobilization. It is possible that we will also undertake open mobilization in order to show the Americans that we are prepared to face them. We have indicated this to them in various ways, but we could also show them in practice so that they can stop and think.
Naturally, they have not even thought, let alone prepared, about these four stages that we think will take place. At the moment they, now that the war is still in its first stage, are measuring the situation. They bomb and watch, bomb and watch. They very much desire that the revisionists and their allies help them to force Vietnam to accept a ceasefire and talks, but such a thing cannot come to be. The laws of waging warfare are not dependent on their subjective desire, or our own subjective desires for that matter. That is why we have to broaden our perpective. We should take into account all the possibilities and be prepared for even worse situations; because only when you are prepared do the enemies stop and think.
After the publishing of the [Five-Point] declaration of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam on the 22nd, we also published a leading article on the 25th. We did not make a declaration, but the Americans understand that this leading article is a forefather of a declaration. We published this leading article on the morning of the 25th, while Johnson made a declaration that same afternoon.3
Comrade Enver Hoxha: He felt it right away.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: He called a meeting with his closest advisors and discussed this issue. He is the one always shouting for war, but this time he was pretending to be on the side of peace. Our leading article has also been published in your newspaper. For the sake of balance you should also publish his declaration and then comment on it. Let the people learn what Johnson thinks.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: “We are ready,” Johnson said, “to talk with our friends, as well as our enemies.”
Comrade Zhou Enlai: He said, “Let us be cool-blooded” and “clear-headed,” because “the Americans are not against talks.” But then he said that Vietcong should cease its “aggression” and that the Americans are, allegedly, against the escalation of war in Vietnam and seek peace. “If the possibility for talks exists,” declared Johnson, “I am ready to talk anywhere, with whomever you want.”4
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: Khrushchev used to say the same thing.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: When we publish such a declaration, we also make our comments on it completely known afterwards, thus revealing [the declaration’s] true colors. This shows that they feel a great fear in their hearts, because justice is not on their side. All the peoples of the entire world are against the escalation of the war in Vietnam, and against the use of poison gas. If we continue to hold a resolute and strict position in this matter, and show all we are prepared to go through, they will stop and think. It was not us who started the fire in Vietnam, it was them. We do not want to bring the Soviet Union into this matter. But should a war explode in Vietnam and China, would the people of the Soviet Union stand by indifferently and observantly? This would be a great test for the revisionists. But if the Soviet Union stood by indifferently, the Americans would have to do the dirty work, as you pointed out earlier, on their own. Hence, they will have to stop and think.
Only when we hold on to a strong position in front of the enemies will their conspiracy be revealed to the entire world. This is the fundamental difference between the revolutionaries and the revisionists. We are against pleading for peace. Peace cannot be begged for.
If we concentrate all of the fire of our war on Indochina and Vietnam, then the war against the American imperialists will give a big boost to all the other areas of the world. This way we will be showing the peoples of these areas that if the war in Vietnam and in all of Indochina is supported, it would also be in their favor, because the opposite would be to their demise. The Soviet Union also raises the issue of Vietnam, but only formally, without responsibility. All they are looking for is to make deals with the US.
Lately we have learned that Ulbricht, at the suggestion of the Soviet Union, went on a visit to the United Arab Republic.Previously, [CPSU CC Secretary Alexander Nikolaevich] Shelepin, and later the Soviet deputy minister of defense had visited Cairo. [UAR President Gamal Abdel] Nasser asked the Soviet deputy minister of defense: “If Israel and West Germany will take action on what they have declared, thus challenging us, what will the Soviet Union do?”5 The Soviet deputy minister of defense promised to help Nasser. But, and let us remember first the  events of the Suez Canal, this is a dangerous step. At that time Comrade Mao Zedong asked Khrushchev what he thought of this problem. Khrushchev answered that he had information that the US was against England and France sending troops to Egypt and that for this reason he had intervened with the American government to ask jointly at the UN for the withdrawal of the English and French troops from Egypt. Simultaneously, with this move, Khrushchev published a declaration in which he said that if England and France would not withdraw their troops from Egypt, then the Soviet Union would send its own forces there. This is the kind of person Khrushchev is. When you provoke him, he will tell you the truth. The United Arab Republic trusts the Soviet Union, but at the end of the day it may be sold out by the Soviet Union.
Why did the Soviet Union want the United Arab Republic to invite Ulbricht for a visit? The Khrushchevians, like Khrushchev, seek to cause problems. They want everyone to rise up against the Americans and then intervene to bring them back together. They only look to do some haggling and never to give anyone true support to a correct road. This time Nasser fell for it and invited Ulbricht for a visit. In many Arab countries you could see opposition to this visit, such as from [President Habib] Bourguiba of Tunisia and [King] Hassan II of Morocco.
I will also talk to [Algerian President Ahmed] Ben Bella and Nasser about these matters. Our position is this: To pin down the Americans in Indochina and, while there, to weaken them as much as possible. The armed forces of American imperialism are not such a terrible thing. The Americans do not even have a 3 million strong standing-army today, only 2,700,000 or 2,800,000, to be exact. In other words, 19 standing divisions, of which 16 divisions are infantry, 2 marine divisions, and 1 paratrooper division. Of all these forces, half of them are to be found outside the US, i.e. 8 infantry divisions and 1 marine division. Lately, the US transferred one marine division from Okinawa to South Vietnam. But to make up for the one they transferred from Okinawa, they moved one division from Honolulu. By reducing their forces in Honolulu by one division, their forces in the US are now one division smaller.
The American 7th Fleet is today to be found in Taiwan and the South China Sea, but they feel it that this force is not enough to deal with the situation. They are now thinking about pulling towards this area part of the 2nd Fleet, which is now located in the eastern area of the Pacific Ocean, and increasing the number of their aircraft carriers in the South China Sea from four to seven by bringing them from other areas where they are now deployed. Of a total of three thousand plus fighter and bomber planes, over five hundred of these are being used only in South Vietnam.
This is the situation in the first stage of the war, the time of the transformation of the war from a special war to a local one, and the partial bombardment of North Vietnam. If the war is to be escalated into Indochina and China, these forces are obviously not sufficient. If they decide to wage a larger war, then they will be forced to concentrate more land, sea and air forces in the Pacific Ocean, in China and in Indochina, bringing them to this area from other areas of the world. In such an event their position in the other areas of the world would be weakened. If the American imperialists will recruit new forces from within their country for this, their people will rise and ask why it needs to fight in China. During the past three months, in the world and American public opinion, and currently even in the press, they are openly discussing the issue of the reasons for fighting in Vietnam and the opinions on the matter differ. The rightist elements, like [US presidential candidate and Senator Barry] Goldwater and [former Vice President Richard] Nixon, want to continue the war. They have even circulated the opinion that China should be bombed too, though they have not mentioned that troops should be sent there. This shows the great weakness of the enemy. [Former British Deputy Commander of NATO] Marshal [Bernard] Montgomery has warned the Americans that should one enter China, they would not be able to find their way out. Even [General Douglas] MacArthur, who started the war in Korea, has advised Eisenhower not to start a war against China. Johnson is also afraid of it.
In the conversation I had with the Syrian minister of culture when he visited China [in March 1965], he also informed me to this effect. “Today a great danger exists for us,” he said. “Israel, with the help of the US and West Germany, could attack Syria. Is it possible,” he asked, “for China to pin down America in the East?” I told him that we have been doing such a thing for a long time, while you are now having talks with Tito, something that goes against what you are saying. This answer surprised him. I then emphasized that the situation in South Vietnam was developing in such a direction that many more American forces would be pinned down there. This made it known to him that the recent attempts for talks on the issue of South Vietnam are nothing but steps to find a way out for the American imperialists, something that would be unfavorable to Syria in relation to the Israel issue. He sent a telegram to Syria on that same day, and that is why Syria is exhibiting a reserved position toward the Tito draft. I also spoke about this matter to [Chairman Ahmad] Shukairy, the Leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who is a close confidant of Nasser, and he told me that as soon as he would return to Cairo, he would talk to Nasser that they should not agree with Tito. As far as we know, Nasser has not given Tito an answer in this matter.
Now it has become very clear that the events in Vietnam and the efforts that China is making to pin down the forces of American imperialism in the East will play a great role for the entire world.
As to the contradictions between the allies of the US, we can and should always exploit them. For example, before coming here, I had a conversation with the French ambassador to China. We spoke about two topics:
The first topic was in relation to the establishment of an unconditional ceasefire in South Vietnam. I told the French ambassador that since the Americans are asking for an unconditional ceasefire, one could say that they do not ever intend to withdraw from South Vietnam and what you are saying, that the people of South Vietnam should be able to resolve their own internal problems and that an independent and free South Vietnam should be created, cannot happen under these circumstances. So with a position such as yours, you are in fact helping the USA. And what good are you deriving from this? This shook up the ambassador a bit and he understood the essence of the issue. I also told him that those directly concerned with this matter, in other words, the South Vietnam National Liberation Front and the DRV, have expressed their opposition to the Americans’ request. Then the French ambassador replied that we would not be able to achieve any results. I told him “to make an effort. Indochina is now comprised of four units. The situation today is that the American army is not only not withdrawing from South Vietnam, but is also bombing North Vietnam at the same time. In these circumstances the South Vietnam National Liberation Front will not agree to unconditional peace talks with the Americans.”
Of course, we are not absolutely against talks. The issue is at what moment and on what conditions should the talks be held. In Laos, for example, we were for talks, but the USA undermined the coalition government and the conference was scrapped. All that remains now is Cambodia. There exist no difficulties with regard to talks here. Sihanouk is asking that a conference be held in Geneva which would ensure Cambodia’s neutral, independent and peaceful position. France agrees with Sihanouk’s request, and so does the Soviet Union and China. The DRV also agrees with it, while England is only half for it. Let us wait and see what the US will say about it. So, until now, only England is against it. I advised the French ambassador to seek at least that a conference be held to ensure Cambodia’s position, and from this they could see whether America truly was in favor of talks. But I reiterated that in my opinion there did not seem to be any serious intention for talks on the issue of Cambodia. At the same time, China is not against your making such an attempt on the issue of Cambodia. After this conversation the French government issued a declaration in which it emphasized that that moment was not the right time to have talks on Vietnam.
The second topic had to do with the conference between the five great powers for the solution of world problems. I told the French ambassador that these five great powers did not exist, because the Americans did not recognize People’s China, preferring instead to recognize Jiang Jieshi whom we do not recognize. Under these circumstances, I told him, no meeting of these five great powers could be held. As to the role that these five large countries should play, I also told him that we should study this matter too, but one thing should be kept in mind: that we were against these five great powers monopolizing the world. Just as we are against the domination of the world by the Soviet Union and the US, so are we against the domination of the world by these five great powers. We are for equality between all countries, regardless of whether they are large or small. It is because of this belief that we are in favor of organizing a conference of the heads of state of all the countries of the world for the prohibition and destruction of all nuclear weapons. I told him that if the five great powers would like to play some kind of role in the world, if they would like to do something in favor of peace, China had a proposal for them: France should advise its ally England, and China should advise its ally the Soviet Union, so that these four powers together take the appropriate measures to isolate the Americans and fight against the US. But against what precisely should they fight? They would fight against the disorder that the US was cooking up everywhere in order to install its world hegemony, against the American nuclear blackmail, and against their war threats. If these four great powers could join up in such a struggle, then the outbreak of a nuclear war could be avoided, then we would be able to say that these four great powers were truly MAKING their contribution to world peace. “But at the present the situation is not ripe for such an action,” I concluded, and the French ambassador laughed. Under these conditions, what five great powers could we say exist? No such thing can even be talked about at the moment. So, right now, it is possible and imperative that we exploit the contradictions between the allies of the US.
As you said before, the greatest danger of the moment for the world communist movement is revisionism. The current Soviet leaders are even more cowardly than Khrushchev. In fact, as you mentioned, in some respects they have gone even further than Khrushchev. They, the Soviet revisionists, are truly not ready to support the Vietnamese people or their national liberation struggle in general. Their declarations are bogus. In reality, the Soviet revisionists are only looking to find a way out for the US. This is one issue. The other is that they are looking to use the national liberation movement as a bargaining chip for their deals with the US. Hence, the issue we are facing is how to fight against the Soviet revisionists and the American imperialists.
We could end the session at this juncture and in the afternoon we can talk about the modern revisionists, and after, if we have the time, we can talk about the economic relations between our two countries.
(So, at 12:30 p.m. the morning session came to an end.)
The third session started in the afternoon at 4:00 p.m. [Zhou Enlai] took the floor once again:
Comrade Zhou Enlai: In the morning I took a lot of your time to lay down some facts and to make some analyses.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: On the contrary, it was a pleasure for us.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I would also like to give you some information concerning the Soviets.
Now I will speak on some of the characteristics of the war under way today in the international arena and on some of our activities.
Our enemies, i.e. the imperialists with the US at their helm, the modern revisionists with the Soviet revisionists at their helm, and reactionaries of various countries, find themselves facing a number of difficulties. Their leaders, especially Johnson, the Labor government in England which follows him, and Khrushchev’s successors, i.e. today’s Soviet revisionist leaders, are even weaker than their predecessors and do not have as healthy a standing. And since they are so weak, they face even more difficulties. This is one of their characteristics. Meanwhile, the leader of the Indian reactionaries, [Indian Prime Minister] Lal Bahadur Shastri, is even weaker than [former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal] Nehru. Your ambassador to China knows our phrase that this is a fellowship of the three Ns and one T. During a short time Kennedy [Nekedy] was killed, Nikita [Khrushchev] fell, and Nehru died [on 27 May 1964]. Now all that is left is one Tito. As the saying goes in China, “when there are no more soldiers left, the general himself must stand on watch.” During last year’s conference Tito showed himself to be no more competent than the other three (the 3 N’s).
We could say that the American imperialists, the Soviet revisionists and the reactionaries of various countries, along with Tito, have created much turmoil in the past three years since the proceedings of the [17-21 October 1961] 22nd [CPSU] Congress when they openly attacked Albania. But today they are on a slippery slope because the situation is not in their favor, and continually and everywhere they are met with defeat. The new leaders of these three enemy groups have been forced to also draw some lessons. Hence, another characteristic of these new leaders is that they possess a strong deceitful character; they exploit demagoguery extensively even toward American imperialism. You also spoke about this issue yesterday.
So, the situation is a little bit more complicated. But, as you rightly pointed out yesterday, this complicated situation cannot save them from the unavoidable defeat. They can only prolong their life by zig-zagging around.
We must undertake a concrete analysis of their situation. At the moment, though we are fully against these three enemies, and our future is bright, we must exploit by any means any favorable opportunity to work against them; we must combine our principled character with flexibility. In other words, we need to have a strategic plan and a tactical system. Here the problems appear in several directions.
Before anything else, I would like to also talk a bit about the war we are waging against American imperialism and how we could go about destroying its plans that seek to dominate the entire world. At the moment, it seems that the main and central front of the war on American imperialism is Vietnam and Indochina. We do not deny in the least the seriousness of the German issue as it relates to revanchism. We also place special importance on the issues of the Caribbean [Cuba], Congo and Israel, because all these countries are important to the intentions of American imperialism. But Vietnam and Indochina constitute a weak link for the US, because they have concentrated most of their forces in those areas and, by doing so they have induced the greatest ire from the people there. In Vietnam, great contradictions have appeared among the imperialists themselves, while the Soviet revisionists, who are trying to find a way out for the American imperialists, have met their own difficulties.
In this corner of the world the leftist parties make up the majority. There we find the Vietnamese Workers’ Party, the Korean Workers’ Party, the communist parties of China, Japan, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, the leftist groups of India and Australia, as well as the Communist Party of New Zealand. That is the reason that the revolutionary activity is less hindered by the revisionists. In this area the imperialists find themselves plagued by many contradictions, such as those between America and France. Meanwhile, England, though continually following the USA, would have difficulty following them if the Americans would enter in a great war with China, because in such circumstances it would not be able to keep Malaysia for itself.
Yesterday, Comrade Enver Hoxha was right when he pointed out that the imperialists are still not ready for a great war. This is why they need to continue to arm West Germany, especially with nuclear weapons, while in the East they need to arm Japanese militarism. This feat is yet to be finished in both those countries. Of course, the most important thing here is the fact that the American imperialists have concentrated all their forces on their aggression against the Vietnamese people, but the people of South Vietnam are fighting resolutely and are determined to continue their war until victory. Naturally, such a situation exerts positive influence on the surrounding peoples, such as in Laos, Cambodia, China, etc.
In this area, the imperialists, as well as the Soviet revisionists, will use deceit and machinations. Hence, it is precisely in this area that it will be easier to uncover and unmask them. The American imperialists, for example, on the one hand are seeking to start talks, and on the other, they say that in order for Vietnam to enter talks, it needs to first stop its aggression. Their deceit here is easy to spot. Because at the end, who is the real aggressor? It is not Vietnam who has gone to North America for aggression. Aside from this, it is understandable that Vietnam cannot be the aggressor against Vietnam. This is something the Americans cannot explain. The Americans want talks, but at the same time they threaten with a war. Even after the 25 [March statement by Johnson] the Americans made another declaration in which they threatened to raze Hanoi and Beijing to the ground, but despite their threats, they not only did not bomb these cities, but reiterated that if possible they would even go to Hanoi and Beijing for talks. Comrade Mao Zedong says that the Americans are trying to gain through talks what they could not win through arms.
So, we said that the American imperialists were threatening to raze Hanoi and Beijing to the ground. But after such threats, who will accept to enter talks with them? It is the Americans and not us, Vietnam and China, who are trying to gain at the table through talks what they could not win through arms. We have already told them that they would never be able to gain through talks what they could not win through arms. The war in Korea was proof of this. These attempts also show the great pressure being exerted on the Americans by the others, because everyone is against the war and concerned that the Americans will start an even bigger war. But we, along with Vietnam, are keeping a resolute position in order to force the American imperialists to go where we want them. That is why they are forced to react, step by step, to the changes in the situation. Now the American ambassador to Vietnam, [General Maxwell] Taylor, will go back to America because the Americans are aware once again that they cannot subdue Vietnam even through the bombing of North Vietnam. That is why they need to think things over again. We, on the other hand, are following carefully the development of the situation.
It is true that in some areas people do not know what is going on in Vietnam, because the imperialists, and the modern revisionists alongside them, are making a lot of propaganda to avoid the eruption of a great war, or threatening that the whole world would become a part of it. Such a war would envelop both the East and the West. Many people in the world still do not understand what is covered up behind this propaganda. A few days ago, when I was in Romania, for example, people there told me that this was a new problem. But war is not such a terrible thing. Nonetheless, this issue merits attention, and we must carefully think about every step. There are people that are afraid of war. There are others who think that the war should not go on as it has so far in Vietnam, that the national liberation war there could fail, and that the people might lose even more. There are even socialist states or nationalist ones who think so. But if we explained the situation, we could make it clear to them that war is not such a terrible thing. For example, the Vietnamese comrades say that, in the end, in Vietnam we will have a war much like that in Korea, but China is resolute in helping us. But China and Vietnam might be destroyed. Yes, this could happen, but after the war we will start at once the reconstruction. The Cuban comrades tell us that in their opinion the weapons we have sent to Vietnam are not playing such a big role, because the Vietnamese have only downed 20 American planes, while in reality they have downed more than 70 planes. They say that if the Cubans went there, they would play a much bigger role.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Castro measures himself by his morning shadow.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: We think that Vietnam is our enemies’ weakest link if we measure it against other areas. But should the war in the other areas develop further, we would not deny the newly arisen objective reality and react subjectively to it.
It is true that the situation in Germany is also serious. Yesterday, Comrade Enver gave us some very important information. We place a special importance on the support for GDR, its struggle against the West German militarism and its acquiring of nuclear weapons. But there are also difficulties here. The situation in West Germany is not like the one in South Vietnam where the wide masses of the people have taken up arms against American imperialism, because in Germany the people are under the control of the revanchists who follow the Americans. And in East Germany, the desire to rely on their own capabilities and to fight against the enemies is very weak.
Last year, before his demise, Khrushchev wanted to sell out East Germany. During the German National Day we told this to [GDR Foreign Minister] Lothar Bolz, and he could not deny it. When I went to Moscow, I also met Ulbricht and told him about this. He was not able to deny it either. Furthermore, during the last meeting of the Warsaw Pact countries [on 19-20 January 1965 in Warsaw], the support given to the GDR was exceptionally weak, and there was nothing Ulbricht could do about it. Not only the Soviet revisionists, but also those in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary have the tendency to sell out the GDR, and, as to the matter of West Berlin, they agree that it belongs to West Germany. Such a position is almost accepted even in the Soviet press. West Berlin, they say, is a unit which in trade relations is considered as belonging to West Germany. When I met Ulbricht in Moscow, I told him that when West Germany wanted to sign a trade agreement with China, we agreed as long as West Berlin was not considered in the agreement as belonging to West Germany. He thanked us for it. But the socialist countries of Europe do not do such a thing. Hence, while West Germany is now holding its parliamentary [Bundestag] meeting in West Berlin, the Soviet Union is content with only a weak protest. All the Germans know well that the Soviet Union will never go further than this, and that is why the West Germans act this way. It is understandable what influence such a position has on the German people.
One thing is very clear: that the contradictions between France and the US on the issue of Germany are sharp; in fact, they are sharper than their differences on Indochina. But, despite these contradictions, the revolutionary forces in Germany are obtuse and are not able to exploit them. Hence, the existence of such a situation does not have any sizable effects. Sometimes, the Soviet Union exploits the Franco-American contradictions. But the Soviet Union does not do this following a revolutionary approach but only uses them as a bargaining chip. Its main objective is to cooperate with the Americans. It is not interested in joining the French for a common war against American imperialism. And the worst part of it all is that today the Soviet Union finds itself under the influence of revisionism. The Soviet Union should have been the force that played the main role in the German issue, but it cannot accomplish this task because it is led by revisionists. Hence, it is impossible that the Soviet Union would wage serious war against the US under these conditions.
The same thing is happening in another area, in the Caribbean, in Cuba. It is a well known fact how Khrushchev sold out Cuba. And now it seems that Cuba is no longer as resolute against American imperialism as it used to be. Lately [in November 1964] they organized there a meeting of the revisionist representatives of 22 parties from Latin American countries. By doing so, they toppled the spirit of the [4 February 1962] Second Havana Declaration, though the Cubans do not accept such a claim. In Cuba the revisionist parties are considered legitimate, while the revolutionary parties are considered illegitimate. The revolutionary flag in Cuba has thus fallen. Cuba now survives on Soviet aid, so it is possible that it will not fight as before. And since now in Cuba the revolutionary flag is not held high like it used to be, it so happens that it does not exert any positive influence in the countries of Latin America. The revolutionary elements of Latin America are now turned a cold shoulder by Cuba.
Even in the areas of Congo (Leopoldville) and Black Africa, the revolutionary situation is in its infancy. No decisive role is being played there.
The war between the Arabs and Israel is certainly being fought under the American diktat. Israel has the support of the US, England and France. This causes the active elements within the Arab world to be divided into three main groups: Leftists, Rightists and Centrists, and [this] causes them to never be united. The revisionist parties there even sell contraband goods. This is the reason why the anti-imperialist war there sometimes is fought with compromises. The Algerians’ wavering comes as a result of the fact that the old Algerian Communist Party has for a long time now been turned into a branch of the French Communist Party and the CPSU. The Algerian revisionists act as if they support Ben Bella, but in reality they are simply spreading their revisionist line. What is happening is Algeria is the same that happened in Cuba. The revisionists are infiltrating the national liberation front just like the revisionist elements of the old Cuban party infiltrated the ranks of the Cuban revolutionary group.
We support the war in Vietnam and Indochina, and we are against the expansion of war everywhere by the Americans. This position is in the interest of the world revolutionary movement, and if the American imperialists do not agree to withdraw from Indochina, it will not be such a bad thing because it gives us the chance to pin most of the American forces down, and give a chance for a greater boost to the anti-American movement elsewhere. Since the US has built many bases in so many countries around the world, the widening of local war in one place weakens over time the American position in the other places. And vice versa; when the anti-American war in other areas of the world grows, this is favorable to the anti-American war fought by Indochina, Vietnam, and China. Even Cuba is now sending people to Vietnam. This is a good thing. We are not against it. But of more importance would be for Cuba to raise high once again the spirit of the Second Havana Declaration in support of the revolutionary wars of the peoples of Latin America, an action that would help pin down the American imperialists’ forces there in increasingly greater numbers. The Cubans say that that they will send surface-to-air missile units to Vietnam which they say they “know how to use,” while the Vietnamese, they claim, “do not know how to use them.” In reality the Vietnamese command these weapons well, even though the Soviets have not sent anything to Vietnam. If it is as the Cubans say, that Cuba now has missile technology, then why does it not shoot down one of the U-2 airplanes that violate Cuban airspace and display it [all] for us to see?
Comrade Enver Hoxha: They are not and have never been Marxists. They are only a bunch of anarchists.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: They are bourgeois revolutionaries. They simply took a step toward Marxism-Leninism and then retreated.
Comrade Beqir Balluku: They returned to their roots.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Naturally, we are not rigid. Faced with American pressure, it is possible some other situation may arise there.
The issue is, thus, in the nature of the war against imperialism.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Could you give us some information on the war in Malaya?
Comrade Zhou Enlai: This is a complicated matter for the area of Southeast Asia. England has agreed that Malaysia can remain semi-independent. In fact, Malaya is even a member of the UN. England accepted this, but separated Singapore from the territory. Thus, Malaya was turned into two political units in the same way as the administrative separation of India and Pakistan. Now we also have revolutionary war under way in Indochina, Indonesia, etc. Under these conditions, England understands its unstable position in Malaya and Singapore. That is why it is squirming, along with the American colonizers, to create a Federation of Malaysia, which would include Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah, just like it did before when it created the Federation of Central Africa, which included South Rhodesia, North Rhodesia (now Zambia), and Malawi. In the latter, the English put a white government in power, but the black Africans are against it, so England suffered defeat there. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the war in Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah is weak. In Sarawak and Sabah the people are against them, but the English are stationed in the Northern Kalimantan, which poses a threat to Southern Kalimantan. That is why the movement against the creation of Malaysia is widespread in Indonesia, and the CP of Indonesia tries to urge it and strengthen it. This war is led by President Sukarno with the intention of strengthening his own position.
Not only the people, but also those of the higher classes are against Malaysia. Meanwhile, the Americans attempted to exploit this movement in order to place Malaysia and Indonesia under their control. The Americans published an ever farther reaching plan. They wanted to create a confederation which would include Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. In other words, the Americans, with the English at their side, want to put this area under their control, and put the brakes on the spread of communism.
On this issue, Sukarno has a position different from the Americans. He says that Malaysia should not take part in the conference as a separate political unit. Naturally, the Americans and the English do not agree with this. So the war there becomes more complicated. In the mean time, the revolution in Indonesia progresses further. In the beginning, the state took control of the English industrial enterprises, while, at the moment, it has started doing the same to the American ones.
A weak point, in our opinion, is the fact that the revolutionary war in Malaya is not strong because the revolutionary situation necessary for it has not arisen yet. This is why [Malaysian Premier and Foreign Minister Tunku Abdul] Rahman [Putra Al-Haj] has been able to keep the situation under control there. Singapore has its own contradictions with Rahman, but it also has two weak points: First, being a separate unit, but without an agricultural basis or a powerful industry, Singapore survives on Malaya’s exports, especially rubber. Secondly, the Singapore populace of about a million plus inhabitants is made up mostly of Chinese. This greatly scares Malaya because there are many Chinese bourgeois elements there. Now the situation is such that Indonesia is against Malaysia, but the movement inside Malaysia is not widespread. The UN has truly undertaken some very unlawful steps. Two years ago, at the 18th UN General Assembly , with the cooperation of the Americans and the support of the Soviet Union, the English arranged to include Malay in the Malaysian Federation and become a member of the UN without even putting it up for a vote. At the last session of the UN they even asked to make Malaysia a non-permanent member of the Security Council. This is definitely not a good thing. Malaysia entered into a race with Czechoslovakia for the candidacy, but neither of them won because neither could garner even half of the votes needed. Then a compromise was achieved between England, the US, and the Soviet Union to allow each country to hold this post for only one year. There has never been such a thing at the UN. At that time Indonesia expressed her opposition, but did not withdraw from the UN at that time.
What happened at the 19th Session of the UN General Assembly [November 1964-February 1965] cannot be digested. But the Albanian representative [Ambassador Halim Budo] there performed wonderfully this time. He was supported by the representative from Mauritania for taking the matter to a vote and went against the decision of the Assembly speaker. But the enemies took the Albanian decision to a vote. The representative from Ghana rose and spoke, but the Soviet representative was nervous because he was afraid that the Soviet Union might lose its right to vote according to Article 19. The Ghanaian chairman was scared about this also. Under these conditions, the American representative declared that he would not use the right granted by Article 19, because, he claimed, this was a procedural matter. So the Soviet Union was spared. You already know the result. In this session, Malaysia managed to get into the Security Council. Indonesia was opposed to this, so it left the UN.
Some African and Asian countries say that the Indonesian walk-out [on 21 January 1965] did not happen at an opportune time. Had it happened at a different moment, they would, they claimed, have agreed to Indonesia’s leaving the UN. You know about the speech I held in honor of the Indonesian foreign minister in China. We said that Indonesia got out of the UN, but we, after 15 years, have still not been able to get it, yet we live and prosper. We said that we must think about creating a new and revolutionary UN. Today, China, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam are not members of the UN. Through the support we gave Indonesia, we managed to get her on our side in the war against American and English imperialism. Of course, in the mean time, we also found solutions for other countries from Africa and Asia, because it is not the right moment for them to get out of the UN. We told them that getting out of the UN depended on the situation of each country. But their common request is to free the UN from the American control, to have a thorough reorganization of the UN, and to remedy the mistakes of the past. Thus, we managed to turn public opinion in Africa and Asia in the direction of criticism of the UN. Hence, [Albania’s] membership in the UN is a very just and notable thing.
The issue of Malaya in Southeast Asia is truly complicated. This issue is also related to the second conference of the nations of Africa and Asia. I will say a few words about this matter when we talk about the national independence movements of these areas.
The second issue is how to continue to crush revisionism in the future. On this matter, we think that we should concentrate our forces mainly on the fight against the Soviet revisionists. Although, Khrushchev has fallen, in the Soviet Union they continue to practice Khrushchevianism even without him. The head of modern revisionism remains in the Soviet Union. It was Khrushchev who had decided to call the meeting of 1 March. As we say in China, you must first destroy the head of the enemy. This is where we need to concentrate our forces, against the main enemy; the others are of lesser importance. In Tito’s case, as you mentioned before, we are talking about a revisionist of his own kind. He is now at the helm of a special detachment with specific tasks from the American imperialists. We fight against him within this framework. Today we do not even accept him to be considered a leftist element; neither do we accept his party as part of the international communist movement. Yugoslavia is not a socialist country. We view this matter completely differently from the revisionists. The parties now comprising the international communist movement can be classified in three groups: The parties of the left, the right and the center.
As Comrade Enver Hoxha also mentioned yesterday in his correct analysis, the leaders of the rightist groups are disintegrating. There exists no unity or solidarity among them. This can be clearly seen at the [January 1965 Warsaw Pact] meeting in Warsaw, as well as at the 1 March meeting. The prestige of the Soviet revisionist leadership has fallen even further. For a long time now it has seen no increase. This is how the Romanian comrades see this issue also. One thing is certain, that the conductor’s staff is no longer having any effect. The disintegration in the revisionist countries will probably continue. Under these conditions, the leftist forces there will rise to their feet, too, though this requires time and struggle. It is hard to achieve swift changes there, because the socialist countries have dictatorial apparatuses and once they detect someone who is against their course, the revisionists in power undertake persuasion and fascist measures against the leftist elements. But either way, the revisionist forces are weakening constantly.
The centrist group is appearing now in the midst of the communist movement. A typical example of this group is Romania. Since Romania already took such a step, it is possible that in the future other parties may act like the Romanians. With their audacity for keeping contacts with the other groups, the Romanians are setting a new example. The rightists cannot do anything against them.
On the other hand, the leftist forces are continuing to develop. Since the representatives of the revisionists in Latin America held a meeting in Havana, great pressure has been exerted on the revolutionary forces. It is true, the revisionist leaders there are seen as legitimate, but this cannot prevent the development of the revolutionary forces, because the people want the revolution to begin.
The question that arises is: In the midst of this situation in which the international communist movement is decomposing into the three groups, the leftists, the rightists and the centrists, how shall we proceed?
The rightist groups within the revolutionary movement play their own negative role, they deceive. This, we have said, is a characteristic of this period. In our articles on the press we have said it plainly that they do three things mistakenly and three things correctly; four things that are alike and four that are opposites. In today’s situation we must continue to perform their concrete unmasking, because some people might be fooled by their declarations, such as, for example, by their declarations in support of Vietnam.
When Kosygin was en route to Vietnam [in February 1965], he stopped briefly in Beijing. He told us that the Soviet Union was going to help Vietnam. Again, on his way back from Vietnam, he enumerated what kinds of things he had promised to the Vietnamese they [the Soviets] would help with. This time he did not ask them for money, because the Vietnamese told him that the Chinese give them weapons for free. When Kosygin met Comrade Mao Zedong, he said that the Soviet Union was going to give Vietnam a lot of aid. Comrade Mao Zedong answered that the bigger the help to a brother country, the better it is.
In the middle of February, Kosygin sent us a list. But there was a problem with this list. According to it, the Soviets were giving the DRV two units of surface-to-air missiles. For this they wanted to send to Vietnam a brigade of 4,000 soldiers.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: In other words, they want to send troops “to teach” the Vietnamese how to use the missiles.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Obviously, they want to get the Vietnamese under their control.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Yes, yes. (They laugh.)
Comrade Zhou Enlai: They also said that they were also going to give the DRV MiG-21 planes. The Soviets know well that the Vietnamese are only able to pilot MiG-17 planes. They are not able to use the MiG-21 planes. In addition, Vietnam does not have sufficient airports. The Soviets have promised to send them a total of 12 planes, and since Vietnam does not have airports, they were “thinking” they should send the planes to a Chinese airport close to the border with Vietnam. For this they say that they will need to send and additional 500 people for “service” needs.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We understand very well the Soviets’ intentions. We also have experience in relations with them.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: As to the matter of the delivery of these materials, the Soviets request that China grant an air transport route starting in the Soviet Union, through China up to Kunming, and from there to Hanoi. In other words, they want to establish a route from the Soviet Union to Hanoi, through a Chinese air passage. They promise that they will send [not only] missiles, but also troops. Obviously, with this “aid” they want to put not only Vietnam, but also China under their control. How can we, then, accept such a thing? We told the Soviets that the Vietnamese comrades have not requested MiG-21 airplanes. But even if it is decided that these airplanes should be sent to them, then before the delivery, the Vietnamese should be given the chance to send their own people to the Soviet Union to learn how to pilot such planes. This matter has to do with the common declaration of all the socialist countries that the Soviets tried to publish since the beginning, through which they were trying to earn the right to enter bargaining with the Americans and to place the socialist camp under their control.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: They are trying to do in Vietnam the same thing they tried to do here, in Vlora, with the submarines.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: But we confronted the situation. We, as well as the Vietnamese comrades, did not agree with these Soviet proposals. We told them, that if they would like to send munitions to the Vietnamese, we are able to deliver them by rail. After our answer, the Soviets made up all kinds of stories and spread them around the socialist countries, saying that the Chinese refuse to transport through China Soviet military aid for Vietnam. Aside from this, the lists foresaw that the delivery of military goods would happen very slowly, a long process.
Since the fall of Khrushchev up to the present, more than half of the list that was presented to us has yet to be delivered. For the delivery of the two units of surface-to-air missiles the Soviets made a request according to which 12 trains would be needed for a period from 5 April to 25 April, in other words, for a relatively long time. Of course, for these they do not send troops, but only 260 people for training purposes. But the list clearly says that the majority of this equipment is used and old and that there are no costs associated with it. Hence, it is hard to say whether one could shoot the enemy with such equipment or not. This is where the intentions of the Soviets become clear. They want to place Vietnam under their control by using old equipment that does not “cost” them anything. Of course, this “aid” is only for North Vietnam, because they do not want to give anything to South Vietnam.
The Soviets did not say a word about the declaration of the South Vietnam National Liberation Front, except what they have already said: that they would send volunteers. They spread deviousness in all directions, and that is why we continually unmask them.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Despite their [stated] reasons for giving these materials. We, the Albanians, could serve them some good by unmasking and telling the world about the Soviets’ intentions here with regard to their submarines, marines, specialists and armaments.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: This shows the complicated character of the war against the Soviet revisionists and those parties whose leadership is comprised of revisionists.
After the meeting of the revisionists on 1 March, there is a great possibility that the representatives of the leftist parties will hold bilateral or multilateral talks. The leftist parties in the East have had more contacts with us, because they stand at the front line of the war against American imperialism. But we, except for bilateral or multilateral talks, have never had a meeting with the representatives of all the leftist parties.
Comrade Enver Hoxha raised an important problem. We should exchange information with each other so that in the future we can be able to coordinate our activities in the war against revisionism. Even though the war against the revisionists is complicated and they wage their war by cheating, if we proceed carefully, it will not be difficult to unmask them. At the end of the day, they will even unmask themselves, because they are not on the side of truth. They are on the side of fiction.
On this matter, it is our opinion that at the moment the time is not yet ripe to organize a meeting of all the leftist parties and groups. The truth is that between the various leftist groups, due to the [varying] conditions and situations in each country, there are differences. This is reality. But such a thing is allowable and natural. During the waging of this war, everywhere problems arise and situations develop in different circumstances. For example, you attacked the Soviet revisionists because they were the first ones to attack you directly, so you came out openly against them. Later they attacked the CCP by name, so it also came out openly and unmasked them. Then they openly attacked the Communist Party of Japan, and there they stopped. They do not dare come out against the other Marxist-Leninist parties. Today, the war between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism is rough, but there are differences. The issue is to see what kinds of enemies you are facing. Some fight in this war on the front line and some, due to various circumstances, stand in the rear. But we are convinced of one thing. When American imperialism escalates its war in Vietnam further, the anti-American struggle will then develop further and rise even higher. In those circumstances all leftist groups in the international communist movement would be involved. And if the war becomes even larger and China is forced to enter into it as well, then each group’s position will become clearer. In other words, the rhythm of the development of the situation in such conditions would be faster than what we foresee. This is what I wanted to say on the war against revisionism.
The third issue is that of the national liberation wars of the countries of Asia and Africa. The truth is that in these continents the majority of the national liberation wars are neither under the leadership of the communists, nor under that of leftist revolutionary elements. Some national liberation wars are under the leadership of bourgeois elements. We spoke about this problem last year. After a period of war of over one year, since we last met, a division has also been created in the midst of the revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, comprised of the three groups: the leftists, the rightists, and the centrists. After this one year of war, we are noticing, for example, that the rightist groups have made a compromise with imperialism, while the leftists are resolute in their war against it. But some centrist groups have been created, and they are great in number.
The main issue in Asia, Africa, and the countries of Latin America is the war against imperialism, and, in particular, against American imperialism. The nationalist countries are worried about imperialism, while at the same time they are not interested in the war against revisionism that is going on in the ranks of the communist movement. Some of them are troubled for the stand-off between China and the Soviet Union. We must study and analyze [those groups] to find out who is resolute against the American imperialists and who has good relations with the US. The real actions of each one of them will show on which side they are.
A lesser issue is that we could look at the situation through the prism of economic aid. The Soviet Union “helps” the countries who are fighting for national liberation and gives them arms, but at a high price and always with interest added. [Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr.] Subandrio, for example, told me that when he was in China [on 23-28 January 1965] that the Soviet Union was planning on granting the Indonesians military aid at the tune of $900 million. We advised the Indonesians to ask the Soviets not to include any interest.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: The Soviets have become like [Sir Basil] Zaharov who used to deal in arms.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: The second advice we gave them was to ask for the postponement of the deadlines for the repayment of the arms loans. The Indonesians are now using this method against the Soviets. The Foreign Minister of Syria [Dr. Hassan Mourid] also told me that they have allocated $200 million for the weapons that the Soviet Union has given them.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: They have turned into arms dealers.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: The Syrian foreign minister asked us for a loan of $20 million. When we asked why they needed this money, they told us it was [needed] for interest payments to the Soviet Union for the arms loan. I responded that we would not give them the money for this purpose. I advised the Syrian, first of all, to ask the Soviets to eliminate the interest from the loan and tell them that China did not charge any interest in arms sales to other countries. Then I told him to also ask for the postponement of arms loan payments telling the Soviets that the Syrian side was unable to pay. Finally, I emphasized that if they were resolute in the war against imperialism, they should continue to ask for weapons from the Soviet Union, but should also tell the Soviets not to ask them for any more cash for arms because China did not ask either. He told me that he was going to visit the Soviet Union, and I advised him to tell the Soviets that this was what the Chinese were saying. This action uncovers and unmasks them [the Soviets] because through it they are trying to control others.
This is also proved by their economic aid to other countries. In this area they act exactly the same way as the US. First of all, it is easier for them to give promises, but the problem is that they do not keep them, or they help build a large object, but the country receiving “the help” has to suffer a lot of expenses without any economic benefit, because the object requires further investments to become profitable. This is what they did at the Aswan Dam. Even after the construction of this dam ends, if the Egyptians do not make supplementary investments by building other dams, the lands of Egypt will remain as they are, lacking irrigation.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: In other words, the investment there is useless.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I was told this by the vice prime minister of the United Arab Republic.
When giving others economic aid, the Soviets follow the policy of making these countries economically dependent on them, as they are doing in the case of Cuba. In order to have them under their control, they urge the Cubans only to plant sugar cane. This is the policy they also follow with the countries of Asia and Africa.
In addition, the Soviets’ technology is not that new. If we compare it to the world’s technology, we will see that their equipment is very heavy, it requires many expenses and a large workforce, and it [only] yields high-cost products. Faced with this situation we have also brought up the matter of economic development in the countries of Asia and Africa, and lately we have proposed that these countries cooperate with each other on the basis of equality. But the Soviet representatives expressed their disagreement with this principle. We asked that the resolution include a phrase that stressed that each country should follow the course of an independent economy, relying on its own strengths, and the Soviet representative intervened with the Algerians to withdraw from this position, but we noticed this. In the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America we see that in the matters of the war against imperialism and their economic development, they also have [to deal with] the recalcitrance of the Soviet revisionists. The June conference of the countries of Asia and Africa is also facing disintegration due to the segmentation of these countries in the three groups: the leftists, the rightists, and the centrists. The Soviet Union is inventing a thousand and one reasons to attend this conference, trying to pass itself off as an Asian nation. Of course, as a first measure, we will fight with all our might not to allow the Soviets to attend. Nonetheless, the situation at this conference will be complicated. Even if the Soviet Union does not attend the conference, it will have its own representatives in it, i.e. the rightists. But this will be a good thing, because it will give us the chance to unmask them and their collaboration with the Americans. In Asia, the rightist at the moment is India, which is a product of both the Americans and the Soviets, while in Africa this role is played by [Tunisian President Habib] Bourguiba, who is a product of the Americans, but who also wages propaganda in the Soviets’ favor and against China. The war helps differentiate these countries in three groups.
This situation is also reflected by the working-class movement in Europe and North America. The situation in this country is not clear to us. Yesterday, Comrade Enver Hoxha spoke to us a little on this topic.
The same can also be said about the peace movement in the world. The whole revolutionary movement of the peoples of the world will continue to disintegrate. In other words, the rightists will continue to increase their cooperation with the imperialists and the revisionists, and will continue to be unmasked. They will work to hinder the revolution in Asia and Africa, while the revisionists in these continents will use various deceptive methods to serve ever better American imperialism. But if the revisionist leaderships of the socialist countries capitulate in front of imperialism, the peoples will not agree to this and will not listen to them. Hence, the tougher and more unrelenting our struggle to unmask them gets, the smaller their deceptive role will become.
In a meeting with Kosygin, Comrade Mao Zedong notified him once again that we will continue our polemics not only for 10 or 20 years, but if need be even for 1,000 or 10,000 years. When Kosygin asked if it were possible to continue it for a little less, then Mao answered, “OK, we will make an exception. We’ll continue it for 9,900 years.” (Laughter.) Then Kosygin asked, “Is this how we will proceed with our polemics?” Comrade Mao Zedong answered that when the imperialist enemies force you, you will come to our side. When Kosygin asked when this alignment would happen, Comrade Mao Zedong told him that this depended on our enemies, in other words, on the point at which the enemies of socialism started a big war.
Comrade Mao Zedong has said that we must work to ensure a peaceful period of 10 to 15 years for reconstruction. But a world war is not dependent on us. If American imperialism will start one, we will not be able to avoid it. Kosygin intervened and added that, “it is not necessary for us to wait for a great war from the enemies and then align. Would it not be possible to create unity between us now?” Comrade Mao Zedong answered that at the moment he did not see such a possibility. Then he added that they (the revisionists) could hold their 1 March meeting. “But,” he said to Kosygin, “it will become a burden on you. If you would like to carry it, then, go ahead. If you favor disunity, then disunite.” But Kosygin did not answer him. And, in fact, they did hold their meeting. So Comrade Mao Zedong correctly foresaw this matter. Then Kosygin asked again, “Should we only unite when the enemies attack us? Can we not do it right now?”
“We can also unite now,” said Comrade Mao Zedong. “All you have to do is accept the mistakes you have made vis-a-vis the Albanian comrades, our party, and the other leftist parties. Only this way can unity be achieved.”
Of course, Kosygin did not have an answer to that.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Comrade Mao did a number on him.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: We are certain about our future and the international situation is developing favorably for us. For example, when we spoke to each other in January of last year, we had not thought that Khrushchev would be ousted in October 1964. We had foreseen his defeat, but not this early. And in one night his friends ousted him. No person can be compared to him. He played such a hideous role that even his Soviet revisionist friends threw him out, though they too are suffering and will continue to suffer defeats.
That is why we are certain about our future. For as long as we keep high the flag of our war against American imperialism, for as long as the people of the world will fight and unite in a great and common front against American imperialism, the revisionists will have no leg to stand on, they will be unmasked and their capitulating conspiracies for cooperation with American imperialism to divide the world into areas of dominance will fail.
These were the international relations issues I wanted to discuss. I do not know what your opinion is, Comrade Enver Hoxha and other leadership comrades of the ALP, on these issues.
As to the issues of the economic cooperation between our two countries, I think we can also discuss those tomorrow.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Allow me, Chinese comrades, to express my opinion on Comrade Zhou Enlai’s wonderful disposition. This has not only satisfied us immensely, but as also strengthened our resolute faith. Comrade Zhou Enlai’s presentation is a Marxist-Leninist, thorough and correct analysis that makes things clear to us and sheds light on all the issues that preoccupy us and on all the issues surrounding the international situation, the national liberation wars, and the war of our parties and of Marxism-Leninism in the world against imperialism and modern revisionism, especially against American imperialism and Soviet revisionism.
As we have always emphasized, as I also emphasized yesterday, and as Comrade Zhou Enlai’s presentation proves once again, we have always been and are in complete-thought and action-unity on all issues. There is not the littlest thing that we are not in agreement with each other. This is a grand victory for us. This victory is being tempered every day and today’s reality shows it.
We learned much from Comrade Zhou Enlai’s presentation. The great CCP and the Chinese government have a great amount of experience and possess extensive knowledge of all the issues that happen and develop in the world. They have colossal capacity to have a clear and correct picture of the world’s situation and, led resolutely by Marxism-Leninism, have known and know how to draw correct conclusions from it. With his presentation Comrade Zhou Enlai not only gave us a clear picture of the situation, but also gave multi-sided help to the leadership of the party, and to the Albanian government, and this will immensely strengthen our party’s and people’s work on the main issue of the line that our party and government follow.
Comrade Zhou Enlai, aside from other things, also clarified for us very well the situation developing in the Indochina war and its perspectives, and the various stages that this war might go through. He also presented for us a clear picture of the strength of American imperialism and the colossal forces of China, of the Vietnamese people, and the peoples of all of Asia facing this massive aggression. We never had any doubts about their power. We were and are fully convinced of the weakening of imperialism, its decomposition, the colossal Marxist-Leninist strength, courage and bravery of the Chinese people and the CCP in front of this massive aggression. Here stands the certainty of the worldwide victory of communism and of the destruction of American imperialism and its allies, the modern Khrushchevian revisionists in particular, and also the reactionaries of the countries of the whole world.
Receiving this clear picture through the presentation of Comrade Zhou Enlai, we will strengthen even further our resolve to contribute as much as we can with our participation in the war for this great, imperative and decisive cause for the unmasking and weakening of American imperialism. This was truly a splendid Marxist-Leninist analysis. Comrade Zhou Enlai’s presentation, as I already mentioned, made things clear to us in many respects. It clearly showed the balance between all the Marxist-Leninist, socialist, communist and progressive forces of the world in their war against American imperialism and revisionism and we think that what you told us is completely correct. We are in full agreement with the lessons of the CCP.
We are also in full agreement with the correct viewpoints and the resolute struggle that we must wage against modern revisionism, with the Khrushchevian revisionists at their helm, until its complete destruction. Both you and we know this full well and are in perfect agreement on the danger that these treasonous elements pose for out two countries, our parties, and for all the other Marxist-Leninist parties of the world. That is why we reiterate that the position of the CCP on this vital issue, the war against imperialism and modern revisionism, forms a pillar of steel against which we will lean and around which we, all the other Marxist-Leninist forces, will gather to wage our war until our final victory.
Marxism-Leninism and the boundless friendship between our two peoples and parties shine on our common path. We will always walk united with you because there is no force in the world that could stop our war against our enemies. Our war will only grow bigger. We will both utilize and learn from the experience of the CCP. We will properly utilize all the elements and situations, following the right path, so that we may contribute to our common victory with our modest capabilities. We are saying this to you using very few words, but rest assured, Comrade Zhou Enlai, that you will have in our party, people, and government, a friend for life, in good times and in bad, as we also have in you a friend, an ally, a faithful companion, sincere, generous and internationalist that loves our people and Party. We thank you personally, Comrade Zhou Enlai, dear friend and companion, from the bottom of our hearts for your presentation to us.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I laid down some opinions of our party and its analysis of the international situation. And the evaluation of this situation that Comrade Enver Hoxha presented to us, I think is also of a very high level. My presentation was not prepared properly. I did not speak so systematically as Comrade Enver Hoxha did.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Your presentation was so organized, and of such high quality, that we were very clear on all the issues that you touched upon.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: There is one thing that is clear; both our sides have common opinions on the war against imperialism and revisionism, on the support for the national liberation war and national liberation revolution, on world events in general, and on matters of strategy, tactics, and general course of action. We are now facing the new situation of the waging of our war against revisionism. This war has now entered a new stage. This is why this new meeting between our two sides helps us a lot because we are given a chance to understand each other better, to facilitate our work in this direction and to coordinate our activities better. This way it will be easier for us to undertake common activities in support of each other.
In this viewpoint, the problems and international struggles of our two parties and our common Marxist-Leninist positions on principal matters will play a galvanizing role and in every concrete situation, when this fact is better understood and we coordinate our actions even better, we will achieve even more.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: It is precisely so.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Of course, in the future the possibility that we might have some problems in a particular area, or a distance in opinion, cannot be avoided. This is permitted because we are talking about two countries with different conditions that know the situation to variable degrees. But we will notify and clarify each other, and in this fashion will arrive at common opinions. Thus, we will get even closer to each other.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: This opinion is quite correct.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Now I would like to answer the issue you have raised, whether it is the right moment to create a government of South Vietnam.
We certainly understand very well your opinion. Its intention is for the war in South Vietnam to secure a powerful leadership. The leadership comrades of the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam and of the Vietnam Workers’ Party have also thought about such a course. They think that at the present stage it is still not the right time to take steps for the creation of a government, but they are in the preparatory stage for such a possibility. The reason is that even though the forces of the armed struggle in South Vietnam have actually grown, they have yet to gain the stability that such a step requires. If we compare China’s war and the one being waged now in South Vietnam, we could say that the latter is somewhere at the beginning of the final stage. The nationalists there still do not accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has achieved a leadership position in the war against American imperialism. At the moment this fact is accepted by only a part of them, a part which might even take part in a government; a part of the troika as we call it, such as Sihanouk, who accepts such a thing. Sihanouk has proposed a coalition government comprised of three groups: leftists, rightists and centrists. In other words, this government would also include American backers and French sympathizers. But the National Liberation Front did not accept this proposal. But if the South Vietnam National Liberation Front excludes all these other forces and only accept the participation of the forces on its side, then the front will have a narrower sphere of influence. At the same time, the centrists would not accept a government that only includes leftists, so the National Liberation Front would find itself relatively isolated. Hence, in its 22 March declaration the National Liberation Front contended that only the South Vietnam National Liberation Front can represent the people of South Vietnam. And in fact, this is correct. The issue of South Vietnam cannot be solved outside the National Liberation Front. If an interested party would like to get in touch with North Vietnam or China, it cannot solve anything without South Vietnam. The South Vietnam National Liberation Front hopes that the brother countries and sister parties will respond positively to its declaration. Obviously, the ways to respond can be different according to the situation of each party. The issue is for the Front to be accepted in the international arena.
The Vietnamese situation is different from that of the Algerians. When the Algerian people were fighting, the Algerian Communist Party did not take part in the war, so the nationalist leaders of the war in Algeria created a front on their own, while the war in Vietnam is led by the Communist Party which is the same for the whole country. There are two front organizations, one for the north and one for the south. In the north there is the National Front and in the south the National Liberation Front.
Along the successful development of the war in South Vietnam, it is possible that the Front will draw all the patriotic elements of South Vietnam and the puppet government will fall quickly.
China has experience with such a situation. Towards the end of our national liberation war, around May 1948 when our counterattack had won a decisive victory, we made a call for a new political consultative conference. But the situation in South Vietnam is completely different from that. It is possible that the Americans will directly intervene to escalate the conflict following the four stages we discussed earlier. It is due to this reason that the comrades in South Vietnam have decided to wait at this moment a little longer regarding what you are asking.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We are clear on it.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: In the meantime, the Soviet Union only speaks in general terms as far the support for the liberation struggle of South Vietnam or the sending of volunteers is concerned. Until now the Soviets have not satisfactorily consolidated their relationship with the South Vietnam National Liberation Front, even though they have representation there at the diplomatic level. Other nationalist countries also have their representatives at the diplomatic level there. This situation in Vietnam is developing in a very complicated, though interesting, manner. For the Soviets, Vietnam is a test. Are they really in support of the national liberation war, or do they want to sell it out?
Comrade Enver Hoxha: This issue is very clear to us right now. You have judged this issue correctly, too.
(This is the end of the afternoon session of 28 March 1965.)
[Discussion of economic issues follows.]
The next session started at 9:00 AM on 29 March 1965.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Before we start, maybe you are thinking of coming out with a common declaration, a communique, or maybe you think that we should do neither one nor the other? What is your opinion?
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I think it would be better if we came out with a common declaration since the main issues will be included in our speeches.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Very well then. Shall we ask the comrades of the Foreign Affairs Ministry to work on the preparation of the communique draft? Or maybe you have a draft already prepared?
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Yes, we do have a copy of the draft communique and can give it to you.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Very well then. We will look at it together and then ask your vice minister of foreign affairs, Comrade Zhang Hanfu and Comrade Behar to work on it and whenever we find it suitable we look at it and decide.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Agreed.
I think that today we should work on the issues of the economic cooperation between our two countries, Albania and China. I do not know whether you, Comrade Enver Hoxha and the other Albanian comrades, agree with this proposal, or if you have any objections to it.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: No, we have no objections to it.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: We are well aware of the successes you have achieved during the last few years. These successes are apparent from the report that Comrade Enver Hoxha presented last November on the occasion of the 20th year anniversary of the liberation of the PRA. It becomes clear from the report that Albania has achieved great development in its popular economy and this has created favorable conditions for the further development of the country. I feel great happiness for your successes, because your successes are at the same time our successes, just as China’s successes are your successes. I do not think it is necessary that I go on for too long on this issue.
In relation to the issue of the economic cooperation between our two countries I wanted to clarify one thing: Before I set off for Albania, I read one more time the letter that Comrade Mehmet Shehu sent to us and the answer that we sent back. But until now we have only completed a general study of your requests. We have not been able to complete a detailed and thorough analysis. Of course, when Comrade Spiro Koleka comes to Beijing, we will study and take steps on those as appropriate.
More than two weeks have passed since talks between the specialist teams of the two countries started. During this time they have reached several conclusions. They have held talks twice. They have reached an agreement on the concrete solution of several problems, but there are still a few problems that have not been solved yet.
I am talking about a few issues on which we are not sufficiently sure. Some of these issues I have already discussed with comrades Mehmet Shehu and Beqir Balluku during my visit to Albania last year, and have expressed my opinion on those issues, but I ask for your forgiveness this time because I have not had the chance to look into them in detail and thoroughly having to pay more attention to the issues of the international situation.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We understand that you have great problems on your hands, and thank you for what you have done.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: That is why I ask comrades Mehmet Shehu and Spiro Koleka to understand me on this issue. But saying all this does not mean that your requests have not been studied at all, that the issues of the economic cooperation between our two countries are of secondary importance. Only during the last two days have I met with our specialists twice and have talked to them about your problems. Nonetheless, I will present here some partial opinions, which will not give the full range of our position. I say all this to make clear that my thoughts on these issues are limited. Now let us get to the point.
First of all, we understand the feelings, desires and requests that the ALP, the government, and the Albanian people presented to us to speed up the pace of building socialism in your country. Your requests have their own point of departure.
The fundamental starting point, as Comrade Enver pointed out, is the fact that Albania lies far from the East; it is the southwestern outpost of the socialist camp surrounded by enemies and from the viewpoint of aid and cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe it is restricted. Judging from this fact, you are obviously justified and we understand very well your desire to speed up the pace of building socialism in your country.
We understand the second point of departure to be the fact that Albania is now going forward with the intention of building socialism by relying on its own forces. And, naturally, during this process, China cannot sit aside and not help Albania, because at the present stage Albania is still not fully capable and does not have the required wherewithal to fulfill all its needs. Of course, Albania now has some capabilities, but they are not fully sufficient and we must, for the moment, help it, especially since the other socialist countries cannot give it the amount of help that the PRC is capable of offering.
The third point of departure is the fact that if Albania through such aid can become even more powerful than it is at the present moment, she will play a much larger role in the international arena than she can at present.
These three points of departure were also raised by Comrade Enver Hoxha in the presentation he gave, and we think and must accept once more that these three points of departure are correct.
It should also be said that we are in full agreement as to the course being followed in Albania for building socialism. This course is the same as ours, which means that the national economy has agriculture at its base, while keeping industry as an important lever. It also means that an independent economy, based on its own forces, will be built and all the tasks will be achieved based on the particular realities of the country.
On the first starting point: building a national economy, I can say that we started capital construction in our country around 1959. But I also want to point out that during this time we also encountered a lot of errors and shortcomings. These were important shortcomings. For example, one of them was that during this period we did not undertake a generalization of our experience. I want to talk to you about some of the main shortcomings that we identified in our work, including the problems in the aid we give to foreign countries. The comrades of the Committee for Economic Relations with the Outside World can tell you more on this topic, but as far as I know, until now, we have found shortcomings in four areas:
First, during these last six years, especially during the initial period and the middle period until 1963, we have not been able to fully understand or sufficiently gather political or economic information on your country, especially information about your sub-terrain and above-ground raw materials. We still have deficiencies in this area. [...] The designs have been done without sufficiently relying on the economic and political characteristics of your country, without knowing well the raw materials and above-ground information on the areas where the object would be built. So, during object designs we have not relied sufficiently on your country’s characteristics. On this shortcoming we may mention, for example, the fact that your country has limited arable land area, but we have designed objects that require large swaths of arable land. Because of this, the volume of work required for capital projects has increased, a larger workforce is needed, and the time period required for completion is longer. This is not favorable to you, to your construction time, for the economization of arable land, workforce, investments, and time. As our specialists and ambassador in Albania have informed me, comrades Mehmet Shehu and Spiro Koleka have also pointed out these problems. You know about them, and we are very happy that our Albanian comrades do not hesitate to inform us of their opinions. This serves us as a lesson and for this I extend my gratitude, because such mistakes also happen in our country and we often criticize our capital project building organs for mistakes of that nature.
Use of land for capital project building also happens in our country and we consider this as an important problem. Lately we have come up with four guidelines for this problem. We have now started undertaking construction of projects on “third line construction.” This means that we do not construct objects by the sea or along railways. Instead we construct them spread out in all the areas, with the intention of balancing them instead of having them concentrated in some areas only. This is one of the reasons. The other is that if something unexpected happens, if eventually we have to fight a war, the objects that we build will be in isolated areas and safe. This way we are always prepared to face the enemy.
What are these four guidelines I am talking about?
First, the capital projects should not be built on good land;
Second, they should occupy as little arable land as possible;
Third, in case of need, the population displacement should be a small as possible. In other words, we should not have to move populations on a large scale. This means building projects at the base of the mountains. This requires, as I mentioned, that we spread out construction, instead of concentrating it.
Fourth, the capital projects should complement the population of the area where they are undertaken. The help of the people should be secured during construction and when they begin operation as the people’s enterprise, they should be favorable to the population of the area. This is help that comes indirectly. Along with this, it is our intention to make sure that the factories, mines, plants, and various economic enterprises are also directly favorable to the local population. For example, during agricultural campaigns, if they have the time, these projects can help the local population with transportation needs, and when the workforce in the villages is free, they can help in the plants, etc.
Lately we have been working based on this conceptualization and are concentrating on these issues. Right after the conceptualization, we started to work right away on this issue. We organized a nation-wide meeting on issues of cotton production. At this meeting I spoke to one of the brigade (the unit below popular commune) leaders. This brigade had had a fulsome harvest of both cotton and bread grains, and had handed in a considerable amount of cotton to the state, while at the same time had not only fulfilled the brigade needs for grains, but had also handed in a good amount of them to the state. In addition, an airport was being built in this brigade’s land. I asked the comrades about the amount of land that the airport had occupied. The brigade leader answered that it occupied one third of the land. I then asked whether the brigade had suffered any economic damage by losing the land now occupied by the airport, but he answered no, pointing out that the brigade still had two thirds of the land they previously held and that gave them a good harvest. He also told me that the airport was necessary because it served the defense of the homeland, and as such should be given to the army when needed. This airport occupies an area a bit larger than 70 hectares. In the evening of that same day I met the commander of the air forces of that area and explained to him the four guidelines I spoke about on saving as much arable land as possible. The next day I sent a group of specialists to study this airport. A few days later the specialists reported to me that the area occupied by the airport could be reduced by 20 hectares. This land could be returned to the commune and reused. The specialists’ group also wrote some guidelines for the airport to come to the aid of the local population. Relying on this experience I next sent similar specialist groups to study airports of that same kind. We have many of them, probably over a hundred, which have the same capacity and occupy the same land area. If we could salvage 20 hectares of land from every 100 airports built on good land, we could get about 2,000 hectares of land. Thus, by preserving good land, we could offer immense help to the agricultural sector. But think how many objects there are in our country which sit on good land occupying more than they should. If we accounted for them all, if we increased our efforts in this direction, it would help immensely in the increase of agricultural production.
It has now been almost 15 years since we started building projects, but only during the last year did we come up with these four guidelines. We have also spoken in the past on these issues, but these directions have only been delivered partially, we have never been able to draw guidelines as this year. But whenever the work is only partially done and the problems are not looked at from all sides, the effect will not be sufficient. As far as I know, all the present comrades have visited China.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Everyone, except Comrade Koco Theodhosi, president of the State Planning Commission, but he will also visit soon, along with Comrade Spiro Koleka.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I believe such a thing has also caught your eye there. You may have seen that our plants and factories take up a large amount of land. It must be noted that these projects were built during the first five-year plan and the designs for these objects were developed by the Soviets. But even today when we design our own objects, they still occupy too much land. I mean to point out that such mistakes were also made after 1959. Naturally, there is a reason for this, both China and the Soviet Union are nations with large territory and large land areas, hence when our people design projects for factories and plants, they do not pay much attention to using as little land as possible. Of course, such mistakes have also been as a result of several objective reasons, but that is not the only reason. There have also been subjective reasons. We have not done the generalization of our experience and have not executed well the tasks like the ones we are discussing today, and as a result we know neither your characteristics nor your experience.
On the matter of project building, you should also keep in mind another problem. In Albania, the possibility of a war should also be taken into account. The past few years we have also taken such conditions into account. Thus, we have kept in mind that Comrade Mao Zedong has forwarded the directive that during the course of constructing objects, we should follow the criteria that they be spread out and not concentrated; the various objects and works be built in secret locations, not visible and at the foot of the mountains. This also means that we should not build very large objects, and that they occupy as little land as possible. All this is in the interest of the people and favorable from the military point of view. This kind of thinking serves Albania, which has very limited land area, where arable land is even more limited, and which must constantly and always be ready to defend itself from its enemies.
One of our shortcomings is the fact that the designs for the projects that would be built here were undertaken before the revolution of project design took place in our country. Of the 37 project designs we have done for you, 29 were done during this period. In old China no design of large objects was ever undertaken. Hence, when the great construction started on a wide scale in our country, we did not have any experience in this field. Thus, we were forced to draw from the Soviets’ experience. Naturally, the Soviet Union would and did give us its experience in this field and we should not complain about it. During the first stage, such a practice was natural and permissible; otherwise we would not have been able to start constructing our objects. But during the first and second five-year plan, when the “Great Leap Forward” was undertaken in our country, we thought of starting a revolution in the field of construction and project design; in other words, of not copying from others in this field.
But, in reality, even after 1959 we have not been able to grasp the matter of construction with the required seriousness. This is why, in some aspects, one can still see the old practices at work in our country. In some other aspects, a generalization of the Soviets’ experience in project construction and design can be seen and this does not conform to the conditions in China. We could say that we had drafted all the dispositions and regulations on project design to include the smallest detail, but the problem is that they did not fully cover the reality of our country and the accuracy of the data (such as hydro-geological data, geographical, etc. etc.) in such a way as to make them useful for building the project. The designs continued to be drafted from inside the offices, without taking into account the terrain where the object would be built, without taking into account the necessary conditions required for such undertaking, such as the climate, etc. From this angle, most of the designs we have drafted have not been favorable to the economic exploitation of the objects. For example, our plants and factories were always built big, because we wanted them to be complete and universal. Today many mechanical plants in China are able to coordinate their activities and cooperate amongst each other, allowing each one to specialize in a particular field. Thus, a factory or plant could specialize in a particular product. This is a good thing, because this way large savings could be achieved in work hours, workforce, investment, material, etc. The better the progress in this direction, the more the production is increased and the workers will specialize better and faster. The specialization of an enterprise is a tendency of modern industrialization. Once such an enterprise is put to use, it can cooperate and coordinate its activity with other enterprises. This is possible for those enterprises that produce a particular type of product, such as, for example, the tractor or auto vehicle plants that produce particular types of tractors or vehicles and also have to produce all the parts themselves. Each unit or annex within these plants is designed to produce only that particular product. If we would want to produce a new kind of tractor or vehicle, then we would have to make the necessary changes to the entire production line. Such a course would not be prudent under our requirements for savings, would not be prudent under a modern industry’s requirements, would especially not allow cooperation of the kind required by today’s industry, and would not be favorable to make changes easily to the types of products to make new, different and plentiful kinds and assortments of products.
Of course, such a design practice cannot be useful in your case, because you have a more specialized industry, and other conditions and data. But your country is on a lower industrialization level than our country. The mechanical industry of your country has less of a capacity for cooperation or coordination of activity between enterprises than our country. But I would not dare say that there is no chance for at least some cooperation and activity coordination between various enterprises in your country, because, and this must be emphasized, there is always a possibility for a better exploitation of available resources.
As to the 29 objects that have been designed for you, we could say at full confidence that the design drafting was done inside the offices without using the necessary data, such as the above-ground specifics and the characteristics of the subterrain; in other words, the climate, geological, hydraulic, and other data. Our design employees have not studied the terrain before starting work on the design of these objects.
But how could we solve this problem in the future? It must be pointed out that the revolution in the field of design under way in our country is still in progress. I believe Comrade Nesti Nase, your ambassador to China, has been able to see that the Renmin Ribao newspaper every day publishes a special column covering the field of design. Many materials on the revolution under way in this field have been published there. In the near future we will also organize a national conference covering design matters. We saw this as necessary because many of our specialists in this field, after finishing their studies, are appointed to a position and then for a long time, sometimes even for 7 or 8 years, design only from their offices and never go out in the field. At most, during this period they only go out two or three times. Furthermore, there are those amongst them that have never been out where the objects are actually being built. Naturally, there are also common objects that could be built anywhere. They are the kinds of objects that the implementing officials could adjust to any area. But even these projects need to be adjusted to the countries where they will be put to use, their climatic and geographical conditions and their size because there are countries that are large, others that are small and others with conditions completely different from ours. So, the project needs to be readjusted to the actual conditions of each country. Let us look at the building of a petrol processing plant, for example. In this case many savings could be achieved if we keep in mind the characteristics of the terrain, such as if it will be built in a mountainous or flat area. But the studies must be done first and then the design process for the plant can be started. In other words, the project must start after you have gone to the actual spot, after having familiarized yourselves with the terrain and all the necessary field data, etc. Only thus could possibilities for further savings be discovered.
The issue of the design of your industrial objects must be seen from this point of view too. It is necessary to go to the place where the object will be constructed. This is an important point. There are also Chinese specialists that work on these projects and they should have knowledge of and should first have all the necessary data. This requires that they visit Albania to familiarize themselves with the Albanian terrain and conditions. This will also help them teach and assist each other and, at the same time, prepare a group of Albanian design employees. This is a problem that requires an urgent solution. It is an actual problem. Otherwise, the work for the design of the other projects cannot start.
Our third shortcoming is in the area of sharing experience. Another reform taking place in China is in the area of petrol, but our comrades have not brought this over to your country. I am talking about the way we have organized work in the oil field of Daqing in Northeast China. There we took a really big step. The Romanian comrades who know quite a lot about oil were there. This year we may achieve an extraction of 10 million tons of unrefined oil. This happens as a result of the leap we took during these last four years. During the design process we did not suspend work on refining. We did both at the same time. Investments were made and the work continued on exploitation, in other words, on both group A and B. Generally, these two groups conflict with each other and often hinder each other’s work processes, but in Daqing this has been avoided. On the basis of the proletarian philosophy we must rely on democratic centralization. We have kept this in mind and have discussed the problem at length, and then, after centralizing the process, by relying on this principle we have started to accomplish the task. Doing things this way quickens very much the work rhythm. I trust that the Albanian ambassador to China has noticed that during the meeting of our People’s Assembly I have reiterated that we must learn from the work spirit in the oil field of Daqing, but our shortcoming is that we have not notified you of this experience.
Our fourth shortcoming is that we still are at a low technical level. Our industrial equipment is relatively old, while countries like Albania request that they be equipped with objects of an advanced technical level and that they are as perfect as possible so that savings in every possible area can be achieved.
It must be noted that during the last ten years, i.e. after Khrushchev’s rise to power, the Soviet Union in both the field of design and the field of technical assistance has behaved badly toward us and that has had an impact on our technical level. Of course, in order to raise our technical level we must draw from the experience of other nations and take advantage of the advanced technology of Western nations, while at the same time developing it further. This means that when we build a sufficient base, we should also be able to create and advance technology on our own, because the Western nations have also advanced their technology starting from scratch. We, then, must rely on our own forces. For example, during the development of the oil sector in our country, we have not had anyone’s help and have had very little equipment for both the extraction and the processing of our oil. But in the end we learned, gained experience and developed some advanced methods for the production and processing of petroleum and achieved some successes. When [we] visited Romania last year, the Romanian comrades highly valued our experience in the area of petroleum. We must admit that we have achieved some things, but we have plenty to do in both the field of chemical production, [and] the production of synthetic fibers. In these sectors we are still weak, thus we must do much more in the multi-tiered exploitation of oil. In this area the Romanian comrades have paid more attention, so they are more advanced than we are and have achieved successes.
I mentioned all this to show you that the equipment of the objects that are being constructed here with our help are of low technical level, are not as advanced as they should be, and this is not favorable to you. This happens because the level of their mechanization and automatization is relatively low. As a result of greater work force and investment, the costs will be higher and the time needed to start the exploitation of these objects will be longer. The time until the recovery of investment capital due to their depreciation will also be longer. As a consequence, the quality of the products is not so high.
My visit last year to Africa left a deep impression on me. It is well known that the Arab and black African countries have a relatively low technological level. The technologies in these countries are not very advanced, while the refineries with the capacity of one million tons a year in Morocco and Ghana, the plant for the liquidation of gas or the mechanization of the vehicle assembly and repair process in a plant in Algeria are of a higher technological level in comparison with the other plants in the area. They are very economical because they save a lot of labor and time and are very easy to run. Such enterprises are favorable for these countries. Of course, the construction of such enterprises in these countries has required the use of foreign capital, but this is another matter that has to do with the regime in these countries. Nevertheless, constructions of this technological level would also be favorable to your country.
The fifth of our shortcomings is that we have not done a multi-tiered study for the entire system of the objects. In other words, we have drafted the design for each of the projects and then drafted the plan for the supply of the object. We have simply not done a multi-level organizing of the objects, on the basis of which we could streamline the objects keeping in mind the necessary raw material they require etc. For example, for the construction of some factories and plants the raw material necessary for utilizing them may depend on another object or some of its processes may be related to an object that has still not been constructed. As a result, the object that has been built first will require the import of raw material. A well-studied organized and streamlined process for this goal is necessary but so far we have not achieved any success in this area.
I believe that these five shortcomings that I have mentioned are among the most prominent. Naturally the effectiveness and method of work or our specialists in Albania reflects this. There may be some flaws here but I am not aware of any. That is why I will reserve judgment, because our ambassador in Albania has yet to inform me on this matter.
In fact, there are six shortcomings in our relations with you, but I do not have any information on the sixth one. My information is incomplete so I reserve judgment. I think we should keep the first five in mind as to the objects that you are building in your own country with our help.
Judging from what Comrade Enver Hoxha said when he spoke two days ago and the letter sent to us by Comrade Mehmet Shehu, the request which we will discuss and agree on with Comrade Spiro Koleka when he visits China are related to your fourth five-year plan. In order to talk about your five-year plan we must first talk about the present situation. In other words, about the 37 or 39 objects on which this plan should rely. Hence, I would like that before Comrade Spiro Koleka comes to China he does a thorough examination on them, because on these 37 objects, I believe, your future five-year plan should be based.
As to the order of business, this can be in four groups:
First, the objects that have been constructed and completed [within the] last year or that are in general forecasted to be finished this year.
Secondly, the objects whose assembly has started. These are ten objects, the assembly of which can start this year and which can start to be utilized this year or the next.
Third is a group of eleven objects. Work is continuing on these objects and they are forecasted to be finished by 1965, 1966, and by 1967. Work may be extended on a few of them until 1968.
Fourth is a group of six objects that are still in the phase of data gathering, project design, or in the preparatory phase for the beginning of construction. These objects are forecasted be to finished probably some time during 1966, 1967, and by 1968.
In order to judge whether these groupings of the objects that you will build with our help are correct, I would like Comrade Spiro Koleka to conduct a thorough study of these problems before he comes to China.
This was the first issue.
Secondly, according to the general evaluation that we have conducted, we think that all these objects will occupy a total area of 660,000 square meters. A question comes to mind: is it possible to still save some land? Of course it is possible. This requires that an even more detailed study be conducted because we still do not know well the conditions of the terrain on which the objects are being built. From this perspective, the objects may not be suitable for construction. A more thorough study would give us better results in saving land, work force, construction volume, investments etc.
Thirdly, for the whole construction land, for labor, for the assembly of machinery and equipment, for the construction of buildings, for machinery and the entire necessary activity that will be spent for these works are some of the 11, 800 million leks will be required. Of course, this is only a general evaluation we have done.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We have done the budget and it appears that we will need 9, 900 million leks.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Very well, this can be studied. What I am mentioning here is a general valuation of the 37 objects, so the comrades of the State Planning Commission can do a more exact study.
From the information that we have it appears that until the end of 1964, a volume of work of only 2.5 billion leks has been achieved. This means that not even a quarter of the work has been completed. A calculation must be done of the volume that may be achieved by the end of the year to figure out what would remain to be completed during the fourth five-year plan. A grouping of all these objects must be done. I already separated them into four groups but whether this is correct or not, naturally, needs to be studied.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: According to our calculations, only 43.5% of the work will remain for the fourth five-year plan, in other words, less than half.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Naturally, I only mentioned what had been completed until the end of last year.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Correct, you did say [that].
Comrade Zhou Enlai: Now on the fourth issue, which is the supplying of the equipment and materials that you will need to start up and utilize the objects. According to the data we have on the construction and exploitation of these objects, starting from this year, i.e. from 1965 up to 1968, a transportation volume of around 100 thousand tons will be required. Aside from transportation, during these four years, in construction and assembly—according to our estimates—you will need around 9 thousand people. After these 37 objects are completely or fully built, we foresee that to start their utilization you will need around 15 thousand production workers.
The fifth issue has to do with electrical energy. After we finish the 37 objects, in the first days of their utilization your capacity to supply energy during the draught months will not fulfill the needs. Certainly, for this goal the construction of a thermo-electric power station in the city of Fier with the capacity of 74 thousand kilowatt is planned to be built. If the thermo-electric power station in the city of Fier will be built quickly, you will have at your disposal a large amount of energy, despite the fact that it will be utilized mainly for the needs of the nitrogen fertilizer plant.
Let us move on to the sixth issue, that of transportation. The problem of transport exists not only during the construction and assembly activities of the works, but it is a problem that will continue to exist even after starting the utilization of the objects because the transportation of the raw and other materials will be necessary, both those that will be imported and those that will be brought from different areas within the country, and certainly for the distribution of products. The total need of these 37 objects will require an annual transportation volume of 66 million tons/km. The railways in Albania are still insufficient and, as a result, in order to support this great volume, the road infrastructure will be heavily loaded.
What I am saying, naturally, is very exact. In other words, the data for the grouping of objects, the total land area required for building them, the construction activities, the volume of supply equipment and material, the labor required during the construction and assembly of the objects, the labor required for their utilization, the electric energy and finally the transportation for all these items, is drawn from the information we have so far. As to the volume of transport of 66 million tons/km that I mentioned will be needed for the 37 objects we are talking about the external and internal transportation.
All these items are drawn on the basis of initial and general calculations and I would like the Albanian State Planning Commission to make more exact calculations so that the pace of construction at all levels in your country increases by simultaneously also relying on the shortcomings that I mentioned earlier. Hence, it is necessary that a general inspection of these 37 objects is conducted.
I would like these eight issues on which I spoke in general and others that you might encounter later, to be made known to the specialists that come from China, with the intention that they familiarize themselves with the situation of the place they are working at and to keep them in mind so they know on what to concentrate in their work. In the future we will make a generalization of the work we have done in the past.
The second issue is related to planning for the future. I think that for the fourth five-year plan we must determine how many objects will be built so that we may determine whether there are more or less of them compared to the past plan and whether these objects are or are not favorable to the building of socialism in Albania. In the letter that Comrade Mehmet Shehu sent to us it is clear that you will try by all means not to overload your plan too much. The letter mentions 13 new objects and the expansion of 15 existing units and objects, making a total of 28 constructions objects. This means that there will be fewer objects than the 37 that are in construction today. Aside from these, there are eight objects for which the studies will start later, because their construction will start the fifth five-year plan. But whether these 28 objects that you foresee including in your fourth five-year plan are going to be favorable to your economy I cannot give you a definitive answer yet because:
First, some objects that have started to be constructed during the third five-year plan will start to be utilized in the fourth five-year plan. Is such an order favorable at all? Furthermore, this does not even include all the objects that Albania will built on her own, with no outside help.
Second, I spoke before about the four shortcomings that can be seen in our work but the main thing is that in the past we have not studied as we should have the general data and we had not seen a systematic organizing of the issues. I think that in the future this should be kept in mind and we should grasp these problems better.
Third, during the construction of the objects, which are numerous and of different kinds, is the Albanian side able to fulfill all that is required for their construction? In other words, can they ensure the land area that these 28 objects will occupy, the volume of labor and investments, a part of which will be covered by the Albanians themselves, the labor required during construction and assembly as well as later during the utilization of the objects, the electric energy, and the transportation capacity?
The fourth issue has to do with the Chinese side, which will not only continue to supply the design and the equipment for the existing objects, but will also be required to do the same for these other 28 objects for which we need extra efforts so that their equipment and technology will be satisfactory to your request and match the level of an advanced technology. The question that comes up next is whether our side is able to fulfill all these requests. This is also a problem that requires analysis. We must first of all deliver the economic assistance that was decided on previously. There is no doubt that for the 37 objects which we need to build here we will continue to assist you, but the expenses for their construction will be over budget and we will need to increase the loan. Of course, these 37 objects are not completely finished. We have been notified by our specialists of this. The materials required for them have yet to be fully delivered because a part of these objects are forecast to be finished around 1967.
By our calculations it seems that for all the design, construction and utilization of the 37 objects and their supplying with materials and specialists, plus the usual goods that we will give you for trade, will altogether reach the sum of 2 billion yuan. We have yet to make the calculations in rubles, so as a result this sum may not be exact. This sum, compared to the assistance that we give to the other socialist countries and the countries of Africa and Asia, is second highest. Vietnam is in the first place and Albania comes second. The assistance that we give to Albania surpasses that which we give to DPRK.
Keeping in mind the work on the objects that we are building at the moment, and the military and other materials, I think that when we talk about new assistance in the future we should keep in mind the five shortcomings that I mentioned earlier so that we can undertake each construction [project] rationally, save as much as we can on investments, build as much of the advanced technology as we can, and achieve as fast an effect as possible through our construction. We think that all this will be in your favor.
We should work on these four problems but they will be clarified better when the issues are discussed in more detail. In other words:
First, when the generalization of the experience of the past 37 objects is done.
Secondly, once it will be determined whether the order of these new objects is correct, and once they are studied in a thorough manner to evaluate whether they are in sync with the rhythm of the development of Albania’s economy.
Thirdly, once it is determined what the concrete capacity of the Albanian side is to respond to the needs that emerge in connection with to these constructions.
Fourth, once it is determined how far the capability of the Chinese side reaches.
I also enumerated here before you our side’s shortcomings in the past.
Then I also enumerated in general lines the eight data points. To determine how correct they are, you must conduct an analysis. When you reach conclusions in this matter, I would like you to notify our specialists why these differences exist between the data on each side so that they may take measures for what they are responsible. As I have said before, the 28 new objects constitute a separate plan. For all I said here I was relying only on our own experience. I mentioned it for your information and I think that when we deal with these issues, they may help you in your work.
Finally, I wanted to talk to you about the course of our reconstruction. Last year, when I visited Albania, we arrived at a common viewpoint that the general course of economic reconstruction, the dynamic of the economic development, shall be: Having agriculture be the foundation of the economy with industry as an important lever; building in such a way as to have the construction respond to the particular reality and capabilities of the country; going forward based on one’s own forces; and building an independent economy.
Of course, executing such a course in Albania is not easy. The conditions in your country warrant a longer time for such a plan, because Albania is a small country and the fulfillment of all the needs of the country is a difficult task. Hence, Albania’s request that it cooperate with the other brother countries is unavoidable, not only because of the reasons we mentioned above, but also from an international trade point of view. Hence, relations with other countries are very necessary.
I will speak on the course of construction based on the experience of the PRC and for this I need to put forward a few premises.
First, the issue of the economy having agriculture at its foundation and the industry as a central lever is very important. The order of importance, of what must be given precedence in agriculture or industry (for example, heavy or light industry, etc.), should be carefully studied. This is a difficult problem.
For Albania, as we also mentioned last year, it is important that agriculture secure the bread for the country and that it should, step by step and gradually, also secure the necessary reserves. From what I noticed in your fourth five-year plan, it seems that the issue of securing the bread for your country is estimated to develop at a slow pace, though you have emphasized this matter in your plan. On this topic I have a thought. Would it not be better to produce bread in the lands you have slated for tobacco production?
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We could plant grains on the lands where we plant tobacco, but the efficiency would be low. We would only produce four quintals per hectare corn or wheat because they are poor lands, but if we planted tobacco, we would get more and this is more profitable.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: On this problem regarding the tobacco lands, we have in the past conducted experiments and during the last few years we have expanded the planting of tobacco to these poor lands that do not produce much wheat. In the past we planted grains in these lands, but according to our calculations, it seems that their efficiency was very low: 4-5, or a maximum of 6 quintals of grains per hectare, while the same lands produce tobacco at higher efficiency. We have stopped planting tobacco in all the lands that can produce grains.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We have conducted a classification of all our lands and in all those lands suitable for grain production we do not plant any tobacco.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: It seems that you want to fulfill not only your own needs, but also the [needs] of export[ers], with the tobacco that you plant. There is one thing that is not clear to me. The kinds of tobacco you plant correspond with outside demand. They are wanted and can be sold abroad, such as in Europe, etc. From what we know, we in China are not used to the kinds of tobacco you produce. They are not suitable for us, because we are used to smooth kinds of tobacco, hence, when we sell your tobacco in the market, we are forced to compensate the price by paying for it from our own till.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: Generally, we sell most of our tobacco to you.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I wonder whether you could plant tobacco seeds of various kinds more suitable for export on the lands you already use for tobacco production.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We could plant them. If you want, we could give that a try.
Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We could also try to plant Chinese seeds.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: My intention is for us to try every possibility so that you can fulfill your country’s needs for grains. This seems to me to be a task that should come before all others. Obviously, you should also keep in mind here that other food products should also be considered, such as beans, meat, etc. so that in case communications with the outside world are severed, you would then be prepared and would be able to rely mainly on your own internal capabilities.
Just as an order of importance should be created in the agricultural sector, giving precedence, as I said, to bread grains, so you must also create such an order for the industrial sector by figuring out which branch should be developed first, where should the work pace be increased and what objects would be postponed for later. This means concentrating all our forces on solving the key issue, in other words to destroy an enemy and achieve the goal by progressing with concentrated forces. For example, for you the central points are the oil, iron-chrome, iron-nickel, chemical fertilizers, and electric energy sectors. These should be the first priority. But even in the area of the problem of electric energy, I think that the solution should be calculated carefully. Should you first build thermal-power stations or hydro-power stations? You could also study this issue.
We think that for your country these sectors are key issues with regard to both the development of industry and the development of agriculture. What we said should be studied. You should think about the matter of where forces should be best concentrated to solve these issues on time, while the others should be left to be studied later. Naturally, solving these issues requires time, investments, labor, equipment, etc. This is why resources should be concentrated around them so that they may be solved as soon as possible.
Naturally, great work shall be required to accomplish these tasks and studies should be conducted to uncover the country’s resources and the size of these resources. For example, if we would like to increase petroleum production, we must first know the sub-terrestrial reserves; if we plan on developing the electric energy industry, we must first find out which approach is more profitable and whether the hydro-power stations are enough and for this we must first study all the hydro-geological data in the country. In China, aside from the necessary large capacity objects, we are also building more medium or small capacity objects. Following this course of construction is very profitable to us because this allows us to spread these objects out and finish them at shorter periods. We think that our experience would also be valuable to construction in Albania, because large objects not only require a longer period to be finished, but they are also more concentrated, require large investments, etc. and, as a result, are not profitable.
Obviously, medium and small size objects cannot have a very wide range of capability to produce various kinds and assortments of products. We also know that cooperation between enterprises is more important in Albania, because production is not very developed here. Nonetheless, we think that since Albania has already gone through several five-year plans, it has also been able to create a mechanical base and as a result it should be able to establish some sort of cooperation between mechanical industry centers. One thing to keep in mind is that we do not have to build everything comprehensively. In China we fight against the tendency that the objects be comprehensive and large.
The fourth issue is in relation to the combined enterprises. These are destined to only produce by combining their activity with other enterprises. In our country we have principal enterprises that combine their activities with other principal enterprises. We also have medium or second category, enterprises which combine their activities with principal enterprises. As a result we have two categories of enterprises. This is imperative, because in order for an enterprise to work it must be supplied with the necessary materials, whether with materials produced in-country or with those we can only secure through import. The other issue is that we should also be prepared to face every eventuality by ensuring that enough reserve materials are on hand for the enterprise to continue working. This requires that at the present we should also have some enterprises which can be converted to combine their work with principal enterprises. In relation to this point, you can build the soda factory in your country first and then build the others later. Of course, this may have some influence on raising the living standards, but it is not a principal difficulty. So, in conclusion, we must first build those enterprises which will later serve as the source of the basic materials needed by other enterprises, this way the basic materials are secured in-country.
The fifth issue has to do with capital construction in Albania. I think that in this area Albania should profit from China’s experience. The point is that construction projects should be done in such a way that they can be useful in both peace time and in war time. We must foresee and keep such a thing in mind. That is why the objects that you are thinking of building should be, as I said before, spread out and more or less in hidden places.
The sixth issue has to do with the request that the enterprises you are building with our help be equipped with advanced technology. Obviously, we should assume responsibility in this area and you, Albanian comrades, must compel us to raise the technological level and equipment quality of the objects you are building. This will require a long time to be achieved, but we think that if we allowed the construction of objects with a low technological level, that would require more labor and higher investments, and their economic effect would be much smaller. Obviously, such a thing would not be favorable to your economy. But were we to postpone the construction deadline of an object until we secure a higher technological level for it, it would be more favorable to your economy. Raising the technological level becomes necessary for you as well as for us.
The seventh issue is in relation to technical capabilities, technical cadres and specialized employees. In this area measures should be taken that the cadres and specialists be prepared, because they are the ones who must master the new technology. Aside from measures to prepare new cadres and specialists, measures should also be taken to prepare the existing ones too. This is an important point for raising work efficiency. Of course, alongside the work for technical preparedness, we should also not leave behind the work for the political education of these people. The political education should take a commanding importance here, while alongside it we should also take measures for the technical preparation and qualification of cadres and specialized employees.
In this area, there are huge reserves within the working masses. It only depends on the work of the leaders whether these reserves will be tapped. This means that, first of all, the leadership should not be conservative. It should not be content with today’s level of technology preparedness, but should strive toward further progress. Secondly, it must not seek to achieve the qualification and education of the people through punitive measures or through reassignments from one place to another. This is not favorable to the spreading of experience. You can find examples of the kind in our country. For example, in some objects in our country the work progresses quite well, while in others construction goes on for a longer time, the people are less energetic and the cadres are replaced often. We must have trust in the masses, because everything is achieved by their hands. Hence, we must work better with them and must place great importance in, first of all, their education. We must educate them better, combine them as appropriate, give them the gathered experience, and should not become conservative. We must strengthen political leadership of the masses and effectively educate the people so that this activity better serve the reconstruction of our country. Doing otherwise would be to our detriment. When I was in Romania, I visited a chemical industry center, a refinery. There I saw that the workers of this refinery had mastered the advanced technology well. I am convinced that if a good job is done following the directions I gave above, your people here in Albania can also master the technology very well. Learning and mastering technology has nothing to do with a person’s nationality. Regardless of who has mastered a technology at the moment, we must learn from those that are more advanced, but we should always keep political preparedness at the forefront. Politics should be in command and leading the education of the workers and our cadres, so that they become conscious of the tasks they are given. In China, while we have progressed well in some sectors, such as in the petrol sector and in some others, there are some areas where we are progressing slowly.
The eighth issue has to do with economizing resources. In both China and Albania, as well as in all the socialist countries, the issue of economizing is absolutely one of the key issues for the construction of socialism. Our countries should always raise this issue. We must, first of all, carefully protect the machinery and objects we build, because getting them in the first place is not an easy task. In the case of Albania, this problem takes on an ever greater importance because of the weak economy. That is why we need to work hard in this direction and try to avoid as much as possible any kind of damage to them. In our country we have placed great importance to economizing, but still unsatisfactory events have befallen us. For example, during the first five-year plan we had imported some machinery for the construction of a heavy-machinery plant. We found the machinery and delivered this to the spot, but the plant was not constructed right away and the machinery was not secured; it was left outside for a long time, and it was heavily damaged. We discovered this and took appropriate measures, but the damage had been done. This is only one example, but we have others, too. This is part of the experience we have garnered during these years of building socialism in our country. I told you that I considered it necessary that I notify the Albanian comrades of this matter because it may help you in your work.
I also want to touch upon something else in relation to your fourth five-year plan, having to do with how much we can impose on each other. During the construction of this five-year plan and later during the fourth plan, our country is facing some difficulties before it can fulfill all your requests. We see that you seek to build many objects with our help, but we are unable to fulfill all of them; be they the requests in the area of trade, or those that you want through loans; be they grains for bread, or other goods. There is no doubt that we will continue to assist you in the field of economy, but you intend to make too many investments. So, in order to solve these issues we need to enter into concrete talks; taking into account our capabilities we can achieve real conclusions and then we can commit, within our capabilities, to what you request. In other words, we can commit to how many objects and how much economic assistance we can offer. At the moment we are not able to give you a concrete answer on this.
Of course, as Comrade Enver Hoxha pointed out and as I also mentioned in the beginning, the three starting points mentioned are correct. Relying on them we can say that more assistance is necessary and you are right to ask us for even more help. But I propose that we put the issue forward as follows: What will be more favorable to you and what is the extent to which we will commit?
It seems very clear that many of the 37 objects that you are building will require imported materials to work once utilization starts. Obviously, we will supply them for you but we need to determine how much you will receive through clearing and how much through loans. As a result of these imports, we will also have to face the problem of their shipping. Of course, it would be more prudent that a part of these materials be ascertained in-country, but by looking at this problem in general lines, I can say that it will be a long time before these materials can be produced here. That is why you need to calculate these things and include them in the fourth five-year plan, especially those issues related to import, foreign trade and economic assistance through loans. As to the matter of loans, factories should not be built and then remain without work only because they do not have the materials needed for production.
Finally, I have a question: When do you think is a good time for Comrade Spiro Koleka to visit China? Until now the group of Albanian specialists at the moment in China has conducted two series of talks with our people. Of course, they are instructed by your party and government on the matters they will bring up so we understand that we cannot change the course of the talks. In other words, they are not prepared to answer, for example, where we can make reductions or even changes. We understand the position of these comrades. We have had frequent contacts with the Albanian comrades, they discuss issues with us energetically, but at the end we achieve common agreements and, thus, we fulfill our needs. My question is whether it will be possible for you to send to China a group of comrades who are able to decide on such problems and whether it would be possible that they remain in China for longer periods of time, because it is more difficult for our comrades of this rank to come here. Last year, when I returned to China after my visit to 14 countries, we created the Committee for Economic Relations with the Outside World. We have appointed Comrade Fang Yi as the chairman of this committee, but this institution has only been in operation for six months, it has just started its activity, so it is still encountering difficulties. The countries that receive economic assistance from our country today number more than 30, so, if we can reduce the load of the committee on some of the issues, it will work better. Under these conditions it would be difficult for Comrade Fang Yi to leave China because the business of the committee would be slowed down.
We are now preparing for the second conference of the countries of Asia and Africa. There, amongst other things, we will reiterate the importance of economic cooperation between the countries of these continents. We will strengthen even more our work for carrying out the eight principles of economic cooperation that we have raised during my visit last year to the countries of Asia and Africa and will concretely start to execute these principles, which we will put up against imperialism and modern revisionism. We have one good thing in our practice. When we discover that we have made mistakes, we accept them and set out to correct them. If we would operate differently, instead of progressing, we would remain behind.
In relation to our common problems, as far as our economic cooperation with our Albanian comrades for your fourth five-year plan goes, I think that we will need a longer time to succeed. As to the course we need to take to solve this problem, we implore you Comrade Enver Hoxha, Comrade Mehmet Shehu, Comrade Spiro Koleka and the other Albanian leadership comrades to also give us you thoughts on the matter. These were the problems I had thought of discussing. I want to say once again that my points of view may not be suitable for your conditions. I could be wrong or all of the information I am relying upon may not reflect your reality. But mistakes can be repaired. What is not suitable to your reality may be eliminated completely. What does not satisfy you, we could pick up and discuss again. Comrade Beqir Balluku has experience in this area.
This is all I had to say.
Comrade Enver Hoxha: We could take a little break.
Comrade Zhou Enlai: I agree.
(After a short break, the proceedings of the last session were held. The floor was held mostly by Enver Hoxha.)
Comrade Enver Hoxha: If you would allow us, Comrade Zhou Enlai, we would like to express in a few words our point of view on the opinions that you expressed.
Through the words of Comrade Zhou Enlai we understand the desire of the Chinese comrades to assist us in the area of the economy—which is one of the most vital areas in the life of our country—through correct, fraternal, and Marxist-Leninist criteria. We recognize in Comrade Zhou Enlai a particular interest in making sure that China’s assistance is very effective to our
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