September 6, 1975
Note regarding the Meeting between Ilie Verdeț and Ji Denggui
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
September 6-7, 1975
Note regarding the Meeting between Ilie Verdeț, Member of the Executive Political Committee, Secretary of the Central Committee of Romanian Communist Party and Ji Denggui, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Vice Premier of the State Council
On Romania’s behalf: Gen. Gheorghe Gomoiu, member of the Central Committee of Romanian Communist Party, Deputy Defense Minister, secretary of the Superior Political Council of the Army; Vasile Șandru, deputy head of section within the Central Committee of Romanian Communist Party; Nicolae Gavrilescu, Romanian Socialist Republic's ambassador to People’s Republic of China;
On China’s behalf: Geng Biao, member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, chief of the Foreign Relations Section of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Guo Yufeng, member of the Central Committee, head of the organizational section of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party; Zhang Xiangshan, deputy head of section within the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party; other party activists of the section for Romania.
Ji Denggui- declares the meeting open and asks the guest to begin.
In May this year we talked with Paul Niculescu Mizil, so the issues related to bilateral relations are known. With respect to the internal and external situation, these are continuously changing therefore we are interested in an exchange of views.
Ilie Verdeț exchanges pleasantries with his Chinese interlocutors.
Ji Denggui thanks for the greetings.
Ilie Verdeț: As we have been informed, we will get the chance to greet Premier Zhou Enlai personally.
Ji Denggui: Tomorrow, comrade Zhou Enlai will happily receive the Romanian delegation. Until then, we will go through the first part of the discussions.
Ilie Verdeț: The friendship and cooperation between our parties, countries and peoples are of great importance to us. This is the position of the Romanian state and party leadership. We are pleased with the development of our relations in all the domains. Our relations are based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and assistance, and can serve as an example for other countries. There are some problems that we must solve together, in order to develop our relations further; [here] I have in mind the successful fulfillment of the objectives we agreed upon. I will talk about this issue briefly when I refer to the bilateral relations.
Now I will refer to some aspects of our internal activities.
The socio-economic five-year plan is going well, the quotas for the 4 ½ plan are entirely fulfilled.
Ji Denggui: Did you fulfill the five-year plan in four years and a half?
Ilie Verdeț: We have some counties and cooperatives that have fully met the quotas set in the five-year plan. Overall, regarding the economy, the five-year plan will be completed approximately two months earlier. The rate of industrial growth in Romania is around 14% this year as well. This will be the annual average rate of growth for the entire five-year plan.
Ji Denggui: It's a high rate, it indicates fast growth.
Ilie Verdeț: It's a reflection of the level from which we have started.
Ji Denggui: The Romanian economy seems to grow at a faster pace than ours, especially in terms of industrial development.
Ilie Verdeț: I don't know. Regarding agriculture, in the [past] five years the growth rate has also been steady, but because of difficulties created by the weather we could not fulfill all the tasks.
Ji Denggui: What is the annual average growth rate?
Ilie Verdeț: 4-5%.
Ji Denggui: It is the same for us.
Ile Verdeț: Compared to the last five years plan, the average growth rate for this year is 30% higher than last year’s. This is a good result considering the circumstances, but it does not match the material and financial resources we put into agriculture. This year's floods negatively influenced the situation in agriculture.
Ji Denggui: These are temporary hardships.
Ilie Verdeț: Yes. We had to mobilize the working class, the army, the whole country in order to keep up with the calamities that affected the agriculture as well as the industry. Through the measures we took, now all factories work normally, the communication infrastructure has been restored (at least temporarily). We have successfully passed a hard exam that proved how strong the party is and how effective its mobilizing abilities can be. Our working class promised to overcome all the losses before the end of the year. For the future, we drew up a big plan to build dams, defend the cities, etc. to avoid suffering any losses after similar calamities. Based on the conclusions drawn about the effects on the supply side, severe economic measures have been taken and industrial expenditures have been rationalized in order to fulfill all the tasks.
Ji Denggui: From what I know, the surface affected by the floods is around 800,000 hectares.
Ilie Verdeț: Yes, this surface was affected the most. However, other surfaces had also been affected but we do not want to exaggerate.
Ji Denggui: Had any industrial plants and railways been affected?
Ilie Verdeț: Over 240 plants, over 200km of railways, over 200 km of roads, power grids, etc.
Ji Denggui: We must be ready to prevent natural calamities. Our motto is: "be ready for war, prevent natural calamities". This year in February we had a big earthquake, and floods this summer. We must always be ready, the state has to have the necessary grain supplies.
Ilie Verdeț: That’s right; the state must have supplies, the population has to be mobilized. This is why we established the above mentioned measures.
Regarding the future socio-economic development for the next five-year plan, we forecast a growth rate of around 10-11% in industry. For industry, agriculture, and all other sectors we will allocate an average of 33% annually from the national budget. Our party believes that we first have to rely on our own forces, on using the natural and human resources rationally. We will promote a policy that will emphasize long term efficiency, taking into account, however, the immediate needs of the population in order to increase their living standards. We're improving the industry to satisfy the needs of the population, and also, to guarantee our national and state sovereignty. This, especially, while we are building socialism in all its dimensions. You can understand this things well, I don't have to explain myself.
We give great attention to the fair allotment of production forces throughout the whole territory. This way we ensure that all counties are developed uniformly, [offering] a decent living standard, the assertion of the working class, and full rights for all citizens. Our party is concerned with strengthening the party, its role as a leader in all spheres of activity. We are trying to combine the party's activity with that of the state bodies so that the party will always work from within, and not from the outside of these bodies, which meant to apply the party's policies. We are also concerned with the education of the working class in the spirit of socialism, the spirit of international socialism, of morals, ethics and equity. This is an important part of our party's policies, which aim to build a multilaterally developed socialist society. These are, briefly, some aspects regarding our internal preoccupations. We can now answer questions if there are any.
Ji Denggui: In general, we know each other's preoccupations well.
Ilie Verdeț: The better we will know each other, the better we will get along with each other and we will achieve great results. At the moment we are preparing a party delegation supposed to study your experience in irrigations. We have great hope in the mission of this delegation.
Ji Denggui: We have some experience, but you have to remember that we have also had our failures (a dam broke down recently).
Ilie Verdeț: We can also learn from this experience, but this particular one does not impact on your overall experience. We had similar accidents. I will move on to informing you about some international problems; first of all about some aspects of our activity in Comecon.
In general our exchanges with the members of Comecon work in accordance with the agreements we signed. The [centripetal] integrationist tendencies are strongly maintained. Considering the fact that lately they have strengthened, we are anticipating some difficulties in the future. Through some initiatives, conferences, etc., a total economic integration is pursued, which brings along the decrease and then annihilation of the role of national bodies.
Ji Denggui: By how much did the price of crude rise?
Ilie Verdeț: In Comecon the rise [in the price of crude] was not so big- a bit more than double.
Ji Denggui: It is very generous of you not to consider this a big spike.
Ilie Verdeț: Yes, because the situation could be worse.
Ji Denggui: What other fuels increased their prices?
Ilie Verdeț: Integrationist tendencies are obvious especially on the USSR's behalf. We are coordinating our plans in accordance with these countries but we did not get to seal the long term agreement for 76-80, except with Bulgaria and Hungary. For the 1976-1980 five year plan, we could not agree on a raise bigger than 30-40% with the USSR. Of course, it is everyone’s right to decide, but the way they think is important.
Ji Denggui: Romanian comrades decide their own politics, which cannot be done by the Czechs Hungarians and the others.
Ilie Verdeț: They can, but they do not want to.
Ji Denggui: If they want independence, they will send them [the Czechs, the Hungarians] an army.
Ilie Verdeț: There has been a meeting in July in Budapest, and now the experts are working towards organizing a high level meeting in the fall. The topic is in our language- “deepening the collaboration” and in theirs “deepening the integration”. In the Soviets’ view, which is shared by the others, some of the scheduled measures trespass the provisions stipulated in Comecon’s statute. For instance, planning is meant to be done in only one place (Moscow). There are some provisions regarding the delivery of raw materials, not through clearing but through other methods (investments made on the USSR’s territory), prices inspired by the current global situation, and so on. In general, it is said that the process of the Comecon countries coming closer together is based on the objective tendency of internationalizing the production and entire social life, and the superior form of internationalizing production is represented by the socialist economic integration, which is organically jointed with deepened coordination of political activities.
Ji Denggui: Everything must be done their way. The method used with Egypt, India, Vietnam and others is also a sort of integration.
Ilie Verdeț: I am not aware of that but in our region that is the way it is.
Ji Denggui: Mongolia cannot stand this integration. The Soviets tried to integrate us as well. Khrushchev wanted a joint maritime fleet and a long wave radio station. We then cursed them and they gave up.
Ilie Verdeț: Our position in Budapest, as well as at the meeting of the experts in Moscow, starts with the fact that Romania has to make a big effort in order to decrease the [development] gap [with the other socialist countries] in the next 10-15 years. We took into consideration the problem of joint efforts to develop all the countries with a lower level of development, in order to have true fraternal cooperation. We suggested that we should help developing the production of machinery and tools needed by the [other] members [of Comecon] through some long term programs. Considering the need for raw materials, actions of prospecting and exploitation of the resources should be put forward, with the participation of interested states.
Romania agrees to have some manufacturing, machine building, and other industrial units built on its territory to satisfy everyone’s interest, which would be an actual step toward overcoming the development gap, and would also be an example of equal cooperation between the socialist countries.
We support the idea that new bodies should be headquartered in different countries, not only in Moscow, and their leadership should be held through rotation and by applying the interest and consensus principle.
At the beginning our ideas were not taken into consideration, the others agreeing with the Soviets. Later on, it was agreed that [our ideas] should be included separately and discussed.
The Soviet Union is forcing the integration process and we are anticipating some difficulties. It is hard for Romania to sign a document such as the one put forward by the Soviets. In this context we asked if you could assure larger quantities of coking coal, because there is no chance for an increase from the other socialist countries.
For the other raw materials we have new agreements with the developing countries, but for coking coal we do not. This is a commercial proposal based on the exchange of goods, not a [form of] nonrefundable aid.
Ji Denggui: Comrade Paul Niculescu-Mizil and the Ambassador N. Gavrilescu also raised this problem.
Ilie Verdeț: I know. I just wanted to explain the context of the problem. I do not wish to give any numbers. Regarding European security, you already know how things went.
Ji Denggui: We are calling it the conference for European insecurity.
Ilie Verdeț: Our starting point is the fact that in the current conditions all countries have the right to develop as they wish. There is an encouraging perspective for a policy based on equality, mutual advantage, giving up force and threat in the relationships between states.
In the two phases some progresses regarding the democratization of relationships and consensus were made. The discussions did not follow a block to block approach.
We are not trying to create false hopes. In the speech delivered by N. Ceausescu it was clear that we should not relish the results, and the convened principles have to be applied. The results were achieved not only thanks to the governments’ or blocs’ activities but also to the battle of the public opinion, of the masses that have to stay alert because the elements of the Cold War have not yet disappeared (armies, use of force, antagonistic blocs, etc.). Therefore, we are for general disarmament, especially nuclear. In order to achieve this we need a permanent body.
Ji Denggui: Do you think disarmament is possible? Since the discussions about disarmament became more abundant, have armies become smaller or bigger? It was agreed that at Vladivostok there was a huge accomplishment. Asking Kissinger if the disarmament is possible, he replied that everything is a blank piece of paper that can be ripped off anytime.
Ilie Verdeț: History proves that many treaties remained just blank pieces of paper.
Ji Denggui: Nixon and Kissinger were being honest when they said that “It’s not about nuclear disarmament but about the nuclear arms race."
Ilie Verdeț: A group of American congressmen, who had visited Romania recently, met up with N. Ceausescu, who told them that the disarmament agreements existent until this point are actually arming agreements controlled by the big ones.
Ji Denggui: He was perfectly right.
Ilie Verdeț: The nonproliferation treaty is not applicable; many countries already have the potential to make nuclear bombs. Plus, there are other weapons as destructive as the nuclear ones and much cheaper (chemical weapons, and so on). The public opinion is neglected, and so are small and medium countries and the power of the masses that can and must prove that actual steps have to be taken (withdraw troops and eliminate foreign military bases). A political perspective, a goal must be shown to the masses. This is the only way we can exclude force out of international relations.
In the context of European security we are preoccupied with the Balkans. We see the whole situation in a good light. We have good contacts with Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. Karamanlis aims to organize a get-together of the Deputy Minister for Planning. Demirel agreed. There are perspectives for a better cooperation.
Regarding Cyprus, we are in favor of respecting the independence, sovereignty, integrity of the state and peaceful coexistence of both communities.
As for the Middle East, we have an active position supporting the political resolution of issues. Armed conflict in this area endangers peace in Europe and in the whole world. The Israeli-Egyptian temporary agreement is a good step and it was achieved through negotiation not force. Just one step is needed to organize a context for strengthening the peace and total resolution of the problem.
Ji Denggui: What was the position of the USSR?
Ilie Verdeț: I heard about Sadat's reaction to the Soviet position. At the extraordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly, Romania released a document regarding “Romanian Socialist Republic’s position regarding the creation of a new international economic order" that entailed:
- reducing military expenditures by 10% (compared to 1975), especially for those [countries] who are heavily armed; half of the amount saved should be used to create a development fund administrated by the UN and should be dedicated to offering loans and assistance to developing countries with a national GDP per capita lower than 200 dollars and that allocate through long term programs (10-15 years) around 25% from its national income toward social and economic development;
-establishing a fund of cereals through contribution, especially the contribution of developed countries, in order to help the developing ones;
-creating an international scholarships fund administrated by UNESCO to train personnel necessary to the developing countries;
-the United Nations should come up with the principles for a new international economic order;
These suggestions aimed to encourage the actual start of solving the development problem.
Ji Denggui: The measures adopted by the Soviets and Americans focus on increasing the military budgets.
Ilie Verdeț: It is necessary for small and medium-sized countries to push the UN to solve these very important problems.
Ji Denggui: In reality things are like this: the American military budget increases continuously. So does the Soviet one. They’re doing exactly what their populations don’t want them to do.
Ilie Verdeț: This is why we are coming with actual proposals.
Ji Denggui: We do not have faith in this; this is impossible to achieve.
Ilie Verdeț: We have to mobilize the nations, give them a perspective, a real objective to fight for; of course, is not a short term problem.
Ji Denggui: Why are they increasing their military budgets and war readiness day by day?
Ilie Verdeț: Certainly not for defense.
Regarding Ford’s visit to Romania, you have already been informed. I am only going to mention 2 aspects:
1. We received the Most Favored Nation clause; which means only that our exports will not be discriminated against anymore but it does not represent any particular advantage for Romania;
2. Judging by our discussions, we got the impression that the USA is aiming to solve the conflict in the Middle East politically. We also think that Israel has a more realistic view of these problems.
Ji Denggui: There is a chance Ford will visit China this year; the Americans requested [the visit] and we agreed. We can discuss with them, whether we will reach an agreement or not.
Ilie Verdeț: Regarding the conference of the communist parties in Europe. Nothing is new. There were also some meetings of the working groups, in July, but no progress was made. The projects presented by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were rejected by a couple of parties, that refuse to accept any views that do not match their programs. This reflects a positive evolution in the communist movement in Europe. In this context, we think that a more active representation of the Chinese Communist Party will be useful for its relationship with European communist parties.
Ji Denggui: Can the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, since it put together the draft, answer why Germany was divided? If Marx and Engels were alive, would they agree with the way things are today?
Ilie Verdeț: Regarding bilateral relations, we appreciate positively the results we have so far. We want our exchanges to double in the next 5 years, a faster development of Chinese -Romanian economic relations. For this we suggest:
a. Establish the level of representation in the joint trade commission (we want it to be as representative as possible);
b. Broaden the list of products included in our bilateral exchanges;
c. Establish the volume and list of the goods for 1976 and get to signing contracts as soon as possible;
d. Start the reciprocal delivery of machines and installations outside of the credit line, through clearing. Come up with a program in this respect;
e. We want to continuously develop the relationships between our parties.
Geng Biao: In October this year we will send a delegation to Romania.
Ji Denggui: Thank you comrade Verdeț for the report on the internal and external politics of Romania.
Tomorrow we will continue with a report on China’s position on the international problems.
September 7, 1975
(continuation of the meeting)
Ji Denggui thanked again for the greetings sent by Ceausescu and the other Romanian party leaders to Mao, Enlai and the other Chinese leaders.
He emphasized the fact that the open exchange of opinions between the leaders of the two countries is contributing to the strengthening of the friendship between the two parties and nations, and to getting to know each other better.
I barely got back from the areas affected by the floods when I was asked by the party's leadership to receive the Romanian governmental and party delegation. I have read the transcripts of the discussions between Li Xiannian and Paul Niculescu-Mizil from May. At that time, they exchanged opinions about international and internal problems, and on the friendship between our countries.
We just listened to Verdeț’s report, for which we are grateful.
I also have some things to say about the problems you underlined, we will have a friendly discussion, an exchange of opinions.
On the subject of the international situation, our points of view are known to the Romanian comrades. When we characterize the international situation we say that “under the sky there is a big mess and the situation seems excellent”. The fundamental contradictions in the world are continuously sharpening, the revolutionary and war factors are increasing.
This is the general opinion, which we lay out clearly both in front of our friends and internally, at the Peoples National Assembly, and at the international level, at the United Nations. On the other hand, there are third world countries that strengthen their forces, after the Second World War the Asian, African, and Latin American nations became more and more conscious. The nations of Indochina defeated American imperialism, even though they sent 500,000 soldiers to Vietnam, who joined the 1 million soldiers from the South Vietnamese army. This whole army (1.5 million people) was defeated by the Vietnamese people’s liberation forces.
In Cambodia, the Americans intervened but after 5 years they were defeated again. As it was shown in the speech delivered by the Chinese government in September in honor of Prince Sihanouk “Cambodia proved that a small country can defeat a big power, a weak state can defeat a strong state”.
The victory of the nations of Indochina proves that the phrase “states want independence, nations want freedom, the peoples want revolution” summarizes an irresistible current of contemporary history. The times when imperialism, social-imperialism, the two superpowers could do whatever they pleased, has ended.
The victory of the nations in Indochina represents a catalyst for the progress of the revolution in third world nations, especially for those in South East Asia (Burma, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia). In these places the armed battles have intensified lately. The governments of these countries asked, one by one, to establish relationships with our country.
So, on the one hand, we support the battles of the communist parties in these countries and on the other hand we establish diplomatic relations with their governments. When Prime Minister Razak of Malaysia came to visit, he asked, if possible, if we could stop supporting the communist party; we said that we will keep supporting it. Then he proposed to stop saying that we have relations with their communist party. Chairman Mao stated clearly that we had, we have and we will have relations with their communist party. What kind of revolutionary communist party is a communist party if it doesn’t support other communist parties? Given this situation they still had to establish diplomatic relations with us; we agreed to say in the joint communiques that we are not intruding in their internal affairs.
However, it is Razak’s merit that he helped the others understand our point of view. China’s South East Asian partners understood apparently that “the relationships between parties” and “state-to-state” are two separate things. This made the Prime Minister of Thailand declare in Hong Kong, on the way to Beijing, that he understands the difference between party-to-party relations and state-to-state relations.
Ilie Verdeț: You noticed that Ceausescu, during his visits to some Asian, African and Latin American countries, also met the leaders of communist parties there, even though he went on those visits as a state leader.
Ji Denggui: Every year, the national day of the People’s Republic of China is attended by delegations of the communist parties from Burma, Thailand, etc.
Our aim is to support the revolution of other peoples, but we will not subordinate their revolution to our foreign policy.
The Soviet-American dispute. The two rival superpowers compete over each corner of the world. China considers that the thrust of this competition resides in Europe (including its peripheral areas: Middle East, Mediterranean, Balkans, and the Persian Gulf). The situation in Cyprus, the chaos [caused by the] fall of the Prime Minister of Portugal, the “shuttle diplomacy” undertaken by Kissinger in the Middle East, and the Israeli-Egyptian agreement are nothing but manifestations of the bitter fight between the two superpowers.
The normal result of this fight will one day be war. As a consequence, we do not trust concepts such as “detente”, “peace of a generation”, “the long peace”, [and] “the irreversible course of detente” and so on. On the contrary, we think that the threat of war is increasing. We explained to all of our European friends (French, German, Belgian, British, and so on) our point of view: war is unavoidable, we must prepare ourselves to fight against an aggression war. A large number of them accepted our view. It is certain that war will not be started by nations such as the Chinese and Romanians. War does not depend on the subjective will of the people, because as Lenin said: imperialism means war, the existence of imperialism maintains the imminent threat of war. If no measures are taken, the peoples can suffer.
This has hitherto been our point of view regarding the international situation as a whole.
Yesterday, you talked about disarmament, European security, the Middle East and integration in Comecon.
I will put forward some opinions, to make a friendly exchange of views.
Regarding the problem of disarmament, our view is that: “every day they talk about disarming, but the everyday the arms race intensifies”. The Soviets talked at some point cutting military expenditures (by 10%) to help developing countries. At some point they gave up this idea.
A Marxist must take reality into account. In reality, military expenditures are continuously rising.
The military expenses of the two superpowers:
USSR- 1973- 85 billion dollars
1974- 96 billion dollars
USA- 1974- 85.3 billion dollars
1975/76- 94 billion dollars (or 105 billion, according to a declaration given by the Secretary of State for Defense)
This table shows that there is no decrease in military expenditures but an increase.
Ceausescu’s statement is fair “until now, the agreements regarding disarmament proved to be agreements between the big ones to control the armament of others”.
Cutting military expenditures and pursuing disarmament are hoaxes meant to determine the peoples give up the fight against imperialism and hegemony. They are seeking to trick third world countries into making them hope for disarmament and detente.
That is why we do not believe in notions such as lasting peace, detente, reducing military expenditure, etc.
The fact that we make these statements public made some people name us warriors. In fact, our starting point is the objective analysis of reality and the desire to tell people the truth. The fact is that we never conquered others' territories and we do not wish to become hegemons. That is why, we even declared so, if one day China becomes a superpower, we agree and we will salute the nations of the world, together with the Chinese people, to overthrow the Chinese hegemonic power.
The Middle East. Regardless of the methods we are talking about (all-or-nothing solution, proposed by the Soviets, or the "step by step” solution, proposed by the Americans), the two superpowers want the solution of this problem to rest in their own hands. Both superpowers are aiming to perpetuate the “neither peace nor war” state of affairs. The situation in the Middle East proves that the Americans, after their withdrawal from Indochina, intensified the dispute with the Soviets in Europe (including the peripheral areas). The temporary agreement over Sinai is just a product of this dispute.
The problem of the Middle East cannot be solved if the two superpowers keep intruding, aiming actually to gain huge profits through armament businesses, not to solve the conflict.
The problem will be solved when the states in the region will fight together against the superpowers. The fighting desire of the Arab peoples against imperialism and Zionism is unyielding. The Arab-Israeli contradictions cannot be solved yet. The dispute over the Middle East between the two superpowers only brings strain and agitation to the region. The factors that would cause war are intensifying. Even Rabin declared that in the Middle East there is no detente”.
The European conference. We name it “conference for European insecurity”. It brought some agreements and the Soviet Union proved to be very active in underlining its own importance. The Western press categorized the final documents as being “plain papers”. Even the British Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that “this conference wasn’t meant to lead to the reduction of even one soldier in Europe”. This is why we agree with you that “we shouldn’t have any illusions”.
Many agreements were sealed in the period preceding the Second World War. There were many agreements reached between us and the Soviets [back then]; they, however, breach and break them whenever they feel like it is necessary. The Soviets and the Americans used the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe to trick some states in Europe, to cover their eyes. None of the actual problems have been solved, everything continues like it used to in the past: increasing stockpiles, increasing military expenditures, [continuing] the nuclear arms race. The Americans themselves acknowledge that “the 5 baskets are empty”.
When we asked Kissinger about the settlements in Vladivostok, he replied: “it’s a blank paper”. It is not about limiting the armaments but about the arms race.
You held a conference for security. Here in Asia, [they] talk about a so called Asian collective security system. This is a result of the fight between the USA and the USSR for hegemony over the Pacific, meant to divide and conquer Asian countries. This “boon” comes, probably, from the conference on European security.
From all the Asian countries, only one or two responded positively to this initiative. Only external Mongolia publicly manifested its agreement (having foreign troops on its territory, they cannot express their opinions freely). Otherwise, only the Indians expressed some doubt.
Some said the so called Asian security system might be aimed at encircling China. We are not excluding this possibility but we do not fear either way. The 1 million Soviet military men (1/4 of their army) were massed at the border with China. The rest of three quarters are at your borders. In fact, for a country like China, what is 1 million or 2 million people? If they want to fight, they are welcome to do so. We are already prepared to fight for 10 or even 20 years. Our motto is “dig shelters, store grain, and stand up to hegemony”. In respect to the USSR, the tactic is “make noise in the East to attack the West”. They place Europe as main subject of the dispute.
Comecon integration. Through this integration, the Soviets are aiming to control and rob the others. The others have to act accordingly to the Soviet baton.
The Romanian Communist Party, starting with Ceausescu, does not accept this policy. This is why the Chinese Communist Party values the Romanian revolutionary spirit very highly in the fight against imperialism, hegemony, for defending independence and state sovereignty.
We trust that, one day, the peoples subordinated to the USSR today, will rise. Is it possible that a country can tolerate another’s troops on its territory throughout a whole generation’s time? In Czechoslovakia they said that they’ve been invited, but the truth is known. You can actually understand what the Comecon integration means better than we do.
You informed us about Ford’s visit to Romania. I am letting you know that Ford will visit China this year, after Kissinger requested this last year. We replied affirmatively, accepting the visit, whether any agreement will be reached or not. We do not know yet what Ford wishes to discuss. The Romanian comrades know that the key problem for normalizing relations between the US and China is Taiwan. In the Shanghai Communique it is stated that there is only one China.
Our requirements for completely normalizing relations with the United States are:
1. The US must end its relations with Taiwan;
2. The withdrawal of American troops;
3. Cancelling the security treaty between Taiwan and the USA.
In other words: we want the normalization of the relations with the US to follow the procedure used in the case of Japan. Sino-Japanese relations are good in general. We encountered some difficulties when discussing the friendship and peace treaty. When Tanaka, the Japanese Prime Minister, came to visit, we made public a statement, whose 7th article shows that “Sino-Japanese relations are not targeted against other countries. The two countries do not aim for hegemony in the Pacific and are against other countries or groups who try to install hegemony in this area”. Miki, the current Prime Minister of Japan, does not want this article to become a clause of the friendship treaty. The Chinese part does not accept a step back from the statement sealed when Tanaka visited. Regarding Miki, he is afraid of the Soviets, refusing to include the above mentioned clause in the treaty.
Ilie Verdeț: Only the Soviets are interested, or the USA as well?
Ji Denggui: At Nixon’s request, that clause was included in the Shanghai Communique. In addition to the fear of the Soviets’ reaction, in Japan there are also militarist pro-Taiwanese forces, who are hostile towards the Sino-Japanese treaty. The fact that the Soviets are putting pressure on Japan so that it does not accept the clause on rejecting hegemony, proves that [the Soviets] are pursuing hegemony in the area. We told the Japanese “do you still truly want the 4 islands or not?”. In fact, the hegemony clause is favorable to Japan. Until now, the Japanese made some formal gestures signaling that they will accept the clause. We shall see what they will do in the future. Nothing has changed in Sino-Soviet relations. The main issues have to be further discussed for another 8000 years! No agreement has been reached. And that is not our fault. They do not want to acknowledge even the existence of the disputed areas (the rather small areas between the borders considered variable by both parties). Premier Enlai clarified this issue in his discussion with Kosygin on the airport [in 1969]. After 6 years of negotiations we still do not have a result or even progress.
The internal state of affairs in China. The fourth five-year plan will be successfully completed this year. In agriculture we have had rich harvests for 13 years in a row. After 1949, the population of the country raised by 60%, in the same period of time, the production of grain increased 2.4 times, and [that of] cotton 5.7 times.
The clothing and food problems are broadly solved for the whole population of china (800 million). We also have a limited accumulation.
This year the summer harvest was rich. The autumn harvest will be influenced by the floods that occurred in Sichuan and Anhui (the affected surface is larger than the one in Romania). However, we will solve this problem counting on our own resources.
The Romanian comrades should not worry about the fate of the population in the affected areas, because urgent measures have been taken, and generally speaking the situation is solved. The state helped with tractors to plant wheat. In this way, losses will be fully recovered by the summer harvest.
Hine has a big population. The living standard is still low, even if after the liberation big changes took place.
In industry, the targets are fulfilled accordingly. We do not have a balanced development of all industrial sectors. The biggest difficulties encountered are in ferrous metallurgy. The 20 something million tons of iron are not enough for a country the size of China. This is due to the insufficient resources of steel, electricity and coking coal. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party gave directions to improve this situation in ferrous metallurgy, left behind the overall development of national economy.
As I have said before, China is a country with no internal or external debts, with a prosperous market and stable prices for goods. We are not affected by the global economic crisis.
We have to tell our friends the whole truth: we still have some debts. These debts basically encompass assistance promised by us (and completely undelivered so far) to the Vietnamese, Albanian, Korean comrades and all the third world countries (Zambia, Tanzania, and so on). We have not accomplished everything we signed up for. These are our internationalist duties and we will fulfill them.
Even though our desire to help friends is big, we do not have enough strength to do so. We offered the Vietnamese comrades a couple billions of yens and promised them that we will build a few dozen industrial plants. Now we owe them. Did the Vietnamese comrades ask you about this?
Ilie Verdeț: No.
Ji Denggui: At the moment we are working on the fifth five-year plan and the long-term economic development program. Towards the end of the century (in the next 25 years) we want to transform China into a country that is advanced in industry, agriculture, defense, science and technology. We think will manage to achieve this. But you will visit us by then.
Ilie Verdeț: First you should come to Romania.
Ji Denggui: We are enlivening each other. May our developing countries catch up with the developed ones? We have a short time to achieve what others have achieved in hundreds of years.
Ilie Verdeț: Considering some approximate calculations, what Romania achieved in 30 years of building during socialism, if it had had to achieve it during the interwar period, it would have taken it 120 years.
Ji Denggui: In the year of liberation, the industrial map of China was blank: 80,000 tons of iron (an old production unit left by the Japanese) and around 100 tons of petrol! Now we have developed the petrol industry to such an extent that we reached Algeria’s level.
In order to achieve our long-term goal we rely on the teaching of Chairman Mao Zedong: “Let’s persist in building socialism, prevent the restoration of capitalism, and make sure that our country will not change its color”. I learnt this lesson from Khrushchev. He was our teacher in a negative sense: he managed to transform a socialist country built by Lenin into a social-imperialist country.
Some theoretical and ideological aspects. These are the most import important things for a communist. Chairman Mao Zedong launched the calling to study Marxism -Leninism to the whole party, army, and the [Chinese] people. Mao said: “Why did Lenin emphasize the practice of the proletariat’’ dictatorship over the bourgeoisie? If the proletariat’s dictatorship is misunderstood, revisionism emerges!”
China is a socialist country where some elements of bourgeois law are still persisting (remuneration in eight stages, trade, and monetary circulation).
These bourgeois elements are not essentially different from the capitalist ones. The only difference is the changed character of property. The bourgeois law has to be limited in a proletarian dictatorship because, just as Lenin said: “Small production generates Capitalism time after time and in massive proportions”. This is why it is possible for party members, workers and civil servants to have a bourgeois life style. New bourgeois elements appear. For instance, in the West there are rumors that the Hangzhou factories are occupied by the army. In reality, the military is helping with work in the factories.
In the factory you will visit, we had a case of embezzlement involving 5,000 yens. This element was punished by workers according to the law. We even saw the Romanian movie Babusca's adventures. It is obvious that there still are thieves, embezzlers, speculators.
We have to study the theory, fight against revisionism, and continue criticizing Confucius, Lin Biao and the novel On the shore (that excuses revisionism). These campaigns are aimed at fighting revisionism. In the West there are many speculations regarding the articles critiquing the On the shore novel. In reality, this novel had a big influence on the people, being misunderstood for a long period of time. In fact this novel excuses the defeatist spirit. When looking at this novel we have to bear in mind the fact that in socialism there is still class struggle and [there are] class antagonisms. Our duty at the moment is to criticize revisionism. Thus, defeatist tendencies are also a form of revisionism.
The USSR experience (the transformation of a socialist country into a social imperialist country) made us wonder: Will china stay socialist or will it allow the reconstruction of the capitalism?
Staring with the teachings of Mao, with the general line of the Chinese Communist Party, we must show that the great proletarian cultural revolution, the criticism of Lin Biao and Confucius, the study of the proletarian dictatorship, all these critical campaigns of critique have one single aim: “ the fight against revisionism, [maintaining] socialism, preventing revisionism [and] the restoration of capitalism”. The class enemies can come up with as many rumors as they wish, we will keep walking according to the party line, [armed with] with Mao’s teachings.
Ilie Verdeț: Our party is also seriously preoccupied with the political and ideological education, with reducing the workers’ income differences, promoting the ethical norms and socialist equity at work and in the behavior of communists, of the entire people. This is why we can understand your concerns and we listened to you very carefully.
Ji Denggui: We must act towards reducing the income gap, not only towards applying the principle “to each according to his contribution”.
Now I will refer to the consolidation of the friendship between out parties and countries. We are pleased that both parties agree to intensify and strengthen the friendship between the two parties, countries, and peoples. We will happily salute the Romanian Communist Party activists’ delegation. In return, we will send to Romania a Chinese Communist Party delegation for an exchange.
Regarding the economic problems we will give you a separate response, before your delegation leaves, because by now we did not manage to get an answer from the comrades that are in charge of these problems.
Ilie Verdeț: I would like to make reference to the following: when you talked about international matters, you mentioned the non-aligned countries. You know that we have very good relations with these countries. We were even invited and we participated in the conference in Lima and we would like to be partners with this group of countries, whose policies focused on independent development and struggle against inequalities are in our interest too. Romania is still a developing country with a GDP/capita around 900 dollars. Our aim is to catch up in the next 15-20 years with the developed countries and, by applying our party’s policies, we will manage to do it.
Finally, thank you very much for your briefing. It was an open and honest exchange of opinions, in accordance with our mutual esteem and respect.
Ji Denggui: Comrade Kim Il Sung also told us that he wishes that the DPRK would participate in the non-aligned countries’ movement. We told them that they have our support. We also agree and support your policies.
ANIC, CC RCP, Foreign Relations, Folder 274/1975, 2-39.
Ji Denggui and Ilie Verdeț discuss bilateral relations between China and Romania, nuclear proliferation and diarmament, Soviet-American relations, Comecon, European security, US policy toward Taiwan, Japan-Soviet relations, and economic development in China and Romania, among other topics.
- China--Foreign relations--Taiwan
- China--Military policy
- Nuclear disarmament
- Communist countries--Internal relations
- Middle East--Foreign relations--United States
- Chinese Communist Party
- Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
- Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1972-1975 : Helsinki, Finland)
- Soviet Union--Foreign relations--United States
- Soviet Union--Military policy
- United States--Military policy
- China--Foreign relations--Japan
- China--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- China--Foreign relations--Romania
- China--Foreign relations--United States
- Japan--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- Romania--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- China--Economic conditions
- Japan--Foreign relations--United States
- Taiwan--International status
- Romania--Foreign relations--United States
- Taiwan--Foreign relations--United States
- China--Politics and government--1949-1976
- China--Economic policy--1949-1976
- Romania--Economic conditions
- China--Foreign relations--Malaysia
- Middle East--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
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