November 29, 1960
Record of Conversation between Polish Delegation (Gomułka et al.) and Chinese Communist Politburo Member Liu Shaoqi, Moscow
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
Notes from Conversation between the Delegations of the PUWP and the CCP.
The conversation took place in the headquarters of the Polish delegation
in Moscow on 11.29.1960
Present from the Polish side: Cds. Gomułka, Cyrankiewicz, Kliszko and Ochab
Present from the Chinese side: Cds. Liu Shaoqi, Li Jingchuan
First of all, both delegations exchanged the expressions of welcome and delight due to the reached understanding and successful ending of the Conference.
Gomułka: I am pleased.
Liu Shaoqi: I am also pleased.
Gomułka: The unity can be achieved where there is goodwill.
Liu Shaoqi: This morning we had a conversation with Khrushchev. We are also in the process of reaching an understanding with Cde. Khrushchev.
When it comes to the issue of the XX Congress, the Soviet comrades and some comrades from other parties are of the opinion that this has to be written into our joint Statement.
In 1957, at the time of the Moscow Conference, the Soviet comrades wished for us to inscribe the matter of the XX Congress into the Moscow Declaration. We fulfilled the wish and the needs of the Soviet comrades. We presently think that there is no such need.
Gomułka: Was this correctly translated that you fulfilled “the needs of the Soviet comrades”? These are the needs of the entire international communist movement.
Liu Shaoqi: There is no such need today, but to meet the Soviet comrades half way [idąc na spotkanie]; we agreed to it.
Gomułka: This was our motion, not that of the Soviet comrades. There was no such formulation regarding the XX Congress in the first Soviet draft.
Liu Shaoqi: The Soviet comrades are saying that there is such a need; other parties are also of such an opinion. That is why we expressed our agreement. We proposed to copy the appropriate formulations from the Moscow Declaration.
Gomułka: We suggested it.
Liu Shaoqi: We added one sentence, that is, that the workers’ and communist parties also made their contributions to the development of Marxism-Leninism.
Gomułka: This corresponds with reality.
Liu Shaoqi: The formulation regarding the fractional activity has been crossed out. The formulation regarding nationalist communism [was crossed out] too. It was added that the unity of views is achieved in the course of mutual consultations.
As far as the cult of personality, there are no major problems on our part, but the Korean comrades are oversensitive regarding this point.
Gomułka: We should be more oversensitive.
Kliszko,Cyrankiewicz: The Korean comrades brought this up in the sub-commission.
Liu Shaoqi: The CPSU and the CCP interfered in the internal matters of Korea in 1956. The Soviet delegation was headed by Comrade Mikoyan, while the Chinese delegation was headed by Cde. Peng Dehuai. Both of these delegations interfered in the internal matters of Korea. That is why the relations between Korea and the USSR, and Korea and China, have not been right in the course of the past few years.
Gomułka: I would not say that the interference in the internal matters of other parties should be entirely excluded, whether it is regarding the organizational or other matters. Let us look, for example, at a concrete issue. We know how much harm was caused in the international workers’ movement by unjust verdicts of the judges in socialist countries which sentenced innocent people, communists and even party leaders, to death.
I think that it would be right if all parties adopted [the following] principle: when the communists are being sentenced, especially those who hold high positions, this should be consulted ahead of time with other parties, and it should not be deemed as an internal matter of one party.
Judicial sentences [directed] at the communists [and] made by the socialist courts, especially when they are groundless, carry very bad consequences within the ranks of the working class and the entire international movement. We have experienced this on a series of examples.
Our party would have willingly submitted itself to an interference of another party in our internal matters, precisely in this area. This would not cause us any harm. We would not see it as a violation of our sovereignty [or] our equality of rights. This is the proper treatment of the principles of the proletarian internationalism.
Liu Shaoqi: Had that delegation, in 1956 in Korea, only opposed the cult of personality of Kim Il Sung [that would be fine], but they wanted to topple the leadership. There was an opposition against Kim Il Sung inside the CC of the Korean Party at that time. They also had their VIII Plenum; Mikoyan and our [delegates] came and supported this opposition against Kim Il Sung.
We presently think that we made a mistake at that time and we admitted in front of the Korean comrades that this was a mistake.
Gomułka: Do you see this as a mistake?
Liu Shaoqi: Yes, because one should not have interfered.
Ochab: Are we talking here about the group which took refuge in China?
Liu Shaoqi: One group took refuge in China, two comrades [took refuge] in the USSR, and the rest stayed in Korea.
Gomułka: I will give you, Comrade Liu Shaoqi, a second example related to the Polish-Albanian relations.
The Albanian comrades are accusing us for the allegedly organized attempt, with the knowledge, consent and inspiration of the Polish government, to assassinate the Albanian ambassador in Warsaw.
I do not want, unless Cde. Liu Shaoqi would wish to become familiar [with the matter], to take up time and to tell the entire story. In any case, the allegation of the Albanian comrades is fictitious and groundless. How did they even get this idea in their heads?
The issue itself could not have been resolved in the national [or] diplomatic manner. So, as the leadership, we turned to the leadership of the Albanian Party while presenting the essence of the matter. The Albanian comrades maintained all their accusations in their reply to our letter. We can, with the help of witnesses and documents, prove the nonsense of the accusations of the Albanian comrades. Regardless, the Albanian comrades stand their ground; their ambassador left for Tirana, but we don’t want him back in Warsaw anyway. Actually, Albania only has the charge d’affaires in Poland.
A question arises: how to solve this issue through practical means? This cannot be done through the party, that is, between the Polish and Albanian parties, because the Albanian comrades are stubbornly repeating their nonsense.
Kliszko: We directed a second letter to them to which they did not reply at all.
Gomułka: (affirms that). And, I am curious what would Comrade Liu Shaoqi say at to how to resolve such matters? Would turning to other parties mean meddling in the internal affairs?
Cyrankiewicz: [That is], in the internal matters of both parties, Polish and Albania? This is after all the issue between both parties, isn’t it?
Gomułka: We tried to resolve this [through] the party.
Cyrankiewicz: And this can still take up to two years.
Gomułka: Do not other parties care about the good Polish-Albanian relations?
Liu Shaoqi: Poland should maintain good relations with Albania. These relations should be mended.
Our relations with the USSR have not been good either recently. But, the relations can become good after the consultations. In my conversation with Comrade Khrushchev this morning, he brought up the issue of Albania and said that it [Albania] made many mistakes. Khrushchev said the same thing as in 1956 when he was talking about your country, about Poland.
Gomułka: I don’t know what he said and I am not interested.
Liu Shaoqi: You criticized Comrade Hoxha at the plenary session of the Conference (Gomułka: [and we did so] very gently), while stating that Hoxha attacked the USSR in a brutal and hooligan manner, and that everyone was ashamed of his pronouncement.
Gomułka: That’s right. I maintain this entirely.
Liu Shaoqi: After the conversation with Cde. Zhou Enlai, in winter of 1956 [actually January 1957], you said almost entirely the same thing, as Hoxha is saying now, addressed at the USSR. [Throughout] 1956-1957 we also heard from the Polish comrades very many invectives addressed at the USSR [which were] much harsher than those used by Hoxha.
Gomułka: This does not correspond with the truth.
Liu Shaoqi: Nevertheless, we acted towards achieving unity.
Gomułka: First of all, we did not use the words that Hoxha did. Secondly, we never made public pronouncements – at a conference of the communist party [or] in the wide circle of brotherly parties – against the USSR. Thirdly, we had the basis to talk about what took place in reality in the relations between the USSR and us.
Cyrankiewicz: During the Stalinist times.
Gomułka: In 1956, already after Stalin’s death, but these were consequences of his policy.
You know very well that Albania has been benefiting from the aid of the USSR throughout all this time. And, if one were to count this assistance per capita, then this will be several times higher than assistance received by any other socialist country from the USSR or any other socialist country.
We have also received assistance from the USSR and we continue to receive it until now, but we think that it is wrong that we had to sell our coal at very low prices. Stalin and Molotov forced us to [do] this. The Polish side signed such an agreement in 1946. I was not in Moscow at the time when this was being decided. Comrades called me, they are no longer with us, informing me that it was demanded from us to sign such an agreement. I replied, through WCz [trans. note—the meaning of this acronym is not clear], not to sign it and return to Warsaw, but they signed it after all.
Therefore, our claims were justified. We thought that these were indeed unequal [unfair] relations. Albania did not have this. The basis of the contention [dispute] should not even be compared here. I also had the basis to say what I did [say] to Comrade Zhou Enlai in winter of 1956. I also know who was inciting the CC CPSU against Poland at that time. These people are no longer in the leadership of the CPSU. Therefore, you cannot compare, under any circumstances, and say that we criticized the CPSU in the same way as Albania criticized the USSR. Why don’t you, Comrade Liu Shaoqi, read the statement of Hoxha one more time? [You will then see] that one can read between the lines [and see] that there was an idea of eliminating the people who were arrested in times of Stalin, but who escaped unhurt; after all, he [Stalin] also had me in mind because I, too, was in prison at the time.
Cyrankiewicz: He [Hoxha] was talking about the conspirators in his speech who were rehabilitated and released from prison.
Liu Shaoqi: Cde. Stalin made a series of mistakes in the last period of his life and that is why we agree with the critique directed at him. We think, however, that the method of criticism itself was not the best.
Nevertheless, one should not think that the critical remarks by Hoxha directed at the USSR are groundless. This morning, in the conversation with Khrushchev, I said that the relations with Albania should be improved and that we will be working in this direction, and we will be urging Albanian comrades to improve the relations.
Cde. Khrushchev said that all the existing agreements and treaties will be valid and they will be carried out. As far as the new credits are concerned, which the Albanian comrades are requesting, then they should not be granted for now. Incidentally, among the agreements signed by the USSR and China there are also unfair ones and those that were signed under pressure. Even under the leadership of Khrushchev there were such attempts to sign such [unfair] agreements; however, we don’t want to talk about this more concretely. Currently, the relations between the Soviet Union and China are heading towards the better, and we think that this is a good phenomenon.
Moreover, we have the Mongolia issue. We granted it credits and a lot of assistance; our socialists are also working over there. It should be especially pointed out that over 10 thousand of our comrades are working in Mongolia by helping it in the key [crucial] construction [industry]. Tsedenbal, despite [all of] this, twice reviled us at the Conference while calling our attitude wrong and accusing us for the fractional activity. He even dared say that when Zhou Enlai was in Mongolia he tried to get him into such a fractional activity. This is groundless. How are we to treat him? We want to talk to Tsedenbal and we want to carry out all our agreements; nevertheless, our comrades will continue to work in Mongolia as hitherto.
However, if, as a result of this, [that is,] that the Albanian comrades are coming out with the criticism addressed at the USSR, the military base is eliminated, the specialists are recalled, and the assistance is stopped, does it mean that we also should act like this with regard to Mongolia? This would be wrong.
Gomułka: I don’t want to talk about the relations between Mongolia and China. This is a totally different [issue]. The political line of the CCP was criticized not only by Tsedenbal, but also by the enormous majority of the delegations. And, the critique by Tsedenbal was kept within the framework of the critique [carried out] by other comrades. However, one cannot, under any circumstances, say this about what was said by Hoxha.
Liu Shaoqi: Why don’t you try? This can be compared.
Gomułka: We do not consider even a single word as superfluous, or which we could cross out, that we said and directed at the Albanian comrades. Hoxha’s speech was an irresponsible pronouncement from the beginning to the end. I already said that Albania is the member of the Warsaw Pact. Could a responsible person allow himself to attack [uderzyć w] the Defense Minister of the USSR, [Roman] Malinovski, or at the Commander-in-Chief of the Warsaw Pact troops, Grechko, or personally to attack Khrushchev, [and] [Frol] Kozlov? Who, what a responsible person, can afford to do this? We will surely return to this pronouncement by Hoxha at the session of the Warsaw Pact.
Liu Shaoqi: How do you intend to act?
Gomułka: Firs of all, there is the issue of diplomatic relations with Albania. What would you say if you, the Chinese government [and] the Communist Party of China, were accused for contributing to the white terror and to the assassination of our ambassador in Beijing? There are matters and there are matters.
We cannot meet them half way [iść im na spotkanie]now since they do not acknowledge that this was a groundless accusation [and] an insult. They should admit that they offended us. We do not exclude that we will turn to the brotherly countries for help in resolving the Albanian matter. But they [Albanians] didn’t even allow the main witness, a driver, to go to the Polish, socialist court and to the investigating magistrate to submit a testimony about what he saw. After all, a driver does not have the diplomatic immunity, so we could have, even through the police, summoned him to court; but, we did not want to do this. And so, is this the attitude towards a socialist country? Any slander can be made up in this way and then stated that it was true. Is this how the leaders of the countries, responsible people, [should] act? To where will they lead their countries?
Liu Shaoqi: We don’t know anything about the issue related to the ambassador. We are interested for the relations of the twelve socialist countries, including Albania, to be good.
Gomułka: I agree with this. But you surely know that the pronouncement of Shehu, after [the session] of the UN, went out to the whole world. The imperialists are rubbing their hands with pleasure. He simply said this thing nonchalantly, but is this how a
responsible person [should] act? You, on the other hand, are defending Albania.
Liu Shaoqi: I haven’t read this pronouncement.
Gomułka: Read it and see whether it is worth defending them.
Liu Shaoqi: I have already asked our comrades to relay to the Albanian comrades all your remarks related to the behavior of the Albanian comrades in the UN.
Currently, good relations exists between the Albanian comrades and us; we can advise them, make propositions, and to persuade them. At the same time, however, we will be relaying this to Khrushchev and to advise both him and you.
Gomułka: What is this that you would like to advise us on?
Liu Shaoqi: To improve [your] relations with Albania.
Gomułka: To admit that it was us who organized the [attempted] assassination?
Liu Shaoqi: What you said a moment ago, that is, that you intended to undertake steps against Albania through the Warsaw Pact, we deem as wrong.
Gomułka: But, it is precisely here, more than anywhere else, where the unity of the policies of all members of the Warsaw Pact is needed. Here, no one, under any circumstances, can either stay behind or jump ahead. After all, the point here is the military matters; Albania must subordinate itself to the majority.
Liu Shaoqi: The political line is defined by the Moscow Declaration from 1957 and by the Statement of our Conference.
Gomułka: And the policy of the Warsaw Pact was and will continue to be carried out within the framework of this [Moscow] Declaration and the line of the Statement. The Albanian representative, on the other hand, attacked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact in front of the representatives of the communist parties from all over the world. All the intelligence [agencies] will find out about this, about everything he said, won’t they? It is, after all, unthinkable that this thing would not leak from such a numerous [big] conference to where it should not.
Liu Shaoqi: I am convinced that the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact, as well as Marshal Malinovski, were, to some degree, exerting pressure on the Albanian comrades, that is, that it was from their [the Soviet] side where the pressure came from.
The pressure was also exerted on us, for example, in the case of the specialists. Now [it is applied] also to Albania. It is such a small country and such a small party, [and] it can feel that it is being pressured from the outside. And now, you, comrades, want to pressure it even more? And moreover, I consider it to be wrong if you exploited the Warsaw Pact for pressuring Albania and were to take steps against it. Is it bad that, in the region of the Mediterranean Sea, there is a country such as Albania [which serves] as a military base? We should try with all our might to improve the relations with Albania and with socialist countries instead of worsening them.
Gomułka: The Albanian party is a small party and it would never have acted this way if it didn’t have the backing of the great party, that is, the Communist Party of China.
Li Jingchuan: Yes.
Liu Shaoqi: Albania is situated so far from us, it is separated from the socialist countries, and it can play such a role as no other socialist country [can]; in which case, we should sympathize with it.
Gomułka: I don’t understand. In what area can Albania play this role?
Li Jingchuan: All the rest of the socialist countries are territories which are connected with one another. Albania, on the other hand, is separated and surrounded by enemies. It is raising the revolutionary flag very high and, while defending itself, it is also defending the entire socialist camp.
Cyrankiewicz: And this is [precisely] why the USSR and the socialist countries provided and continue to provide such aid to Albania.
Li Jingchuan: This assistance should be provided now, too. The Albanian comrades told the brotherly parties at the Conference what was bothering them [co leżało im na sercu]. It was entirely correct from the organizational point of view. If you think that a part of Hoxha’s speech was wrong, you can criticize [it], but you don’t have to criticize the entire speech.
Gomułka: The entire pronouncement is wrong and this was yet too of a mild critique [on our part].
Liu Shaoqi: We heard many such words from the Polish comrades in the years 1956-1957; this was not printed in the press.
Gomułka: I already talked about it.
Liu Shaoqi: These words widely spread among the communists of other countries.
Gomułka: How to understand that we talked about this with someone else? These are simply insinuations. For what purpose are you returning to this?
Liu Shaoqi: We thought that your allegations [against the USSR] were justified at that time. You were being pressured and therefore you presented your views, and you thought that this was right [to do so]. And now, when they are pressuring the Albanians and us, you think that it is we who are behaving wrong?
Gomułka: I had already answered this and I said what the difference between Poland and Albania was.
Liu Shaoqi: This morning Comrade Khrushchev was also saying that many countries talked nonsense about the Soviet Union at the time, and that he did so himself; but [in his opinion] this was justified. But when the Albanians and the Chinese talk nonsense [about the USSR], then, this is groundless?
Gomułka, Cyrankiewicz: That’s right, [it’s] groundless.
Liu Shaoqi: After all, you know from our letter that we received a proposition from Khrushchev to create [build] a joint fleet. And this is a violation of our national sovereignty.
Gomułka: But, we have a joint, Polish-Chinese, merchant marine with you, don’t we?
Liu Shaoqi: This is a merchant marine, and over there, there was a talk about a military fleet. They are trying to take control of the entire coast in this way. We have a long coastline. This means simply violating our sovereignty.
Cyrankiewicz: How about the Warsaw Pact?
Liu Shaoqi: We did not agree with it, which immediately caused dissatisfaction; there was a whole series of events which took place after that. We don’t want to say very much, but is everything already groundless? Is it only you who can have justified claims against the USSR because of the coal? Don’t we want to have good relations with the USSR?
Think, if the USSR could exert pressure on you, on Poland, as well as on such a great party as the Chinese Party, then, how is it not to pressure Albania? Won’t Marshal Malinovski and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact pressure Albania? I don’t think that such course [of action] is correct. The Soviet comrades must become convinced of improving relations with Albania and we will persuade the Soviet comrades. Only in this way can the improvement of the situation be achieved.
Cyrankiewicz: Who does not comply with the line of the Warsaw Pact?
Gomułka: The line of the Moscow Declaration, the Statement?
Cyrankiewicz: [It was] Shehu in his last pronouncement.
Liu Shaoqi: I don’t know Shehu’s speech.
Gomułka: Not only Shehu, but Hoxha, too.
Liu Shaoqi: It is unthinkable that such a small party would…
Gomułka: These are the facts and the facts are a stubborn thing.
Liu Shaoqi: Of course, we can somehow talk to the Albanian comrades and we can advise them. But we shouldn’t come to the categorical conclusion that the Albanian comrades are mistaken in every way and that they make pronouncements in an unjustified manner. Many parties do not trust them and we cannot convince them [to do otherwise]. How can one think that a country, such as Albania, can aim at toppling the authorities in Poland and in the USSR?
Gomułka: They, of course, are not able to do that and we agree as to that.
Liu Shaoqi: This morning I told Khrushchev straight: Who is to blame [for the fact that] your country is enormous [trans. note—it is not quite clear whether Liu Shaoqi is referring to the greatness of the country or to its enormous geographical size] and that you were the ones to carry out a revolution? China is also an enormous [great] country. If you are a great country and you were the first ones to carry out the revolution, then your responsibility to small countries [should be] bigger and you have to approach them with more tolerance [understanding]. I was also talking today about the pronouncement of Tsedenbal and about the matters related to Mongolia. Despite the fact that Tsedenbal reviled us twice, we did not undertake any steps against him. We told Khrushchev: Is it because Hoxha reviles you that you are taking steps against him? He said that all the existing agreements remain valid and that he will not recall the specialists. I replied to him: This is not bad. We will also work towards improving the relations and we will be appropriately advising the Albanian comrades.
Gomułka: Will they not see this as a pressure from the CP of China?
Liu Shaoqi: This is within the scope of [giving] advice.
Kliszko: Be objective enough and acknowledge that the speeches by Tsedenbal and Hoxha were two totally different things. There was a criticism of the policy of CP of China in Tsedebnal’s speech; in Hoxha’s [speech], on the other hand, there were simply invectives and calumnies. What, in Tsedenbal’s speech, was directed at the CP of China itself? We all listened to it, didn’t we? There were 200 of us. These are the facts, aren’t they?
Gomułka: [such accusations] that in the USSR the rats are eating grain while the Albanian people are dying of hunger.
Liu Shaoqi: How can you say that there was nothing about the CP of China? He directly mentioned the name of Zhou Enlai, didn’t he? We have the entire content of Tsedenbal’s speech at hand.
Li Jingchuan: When we are saying that we can advise the Albanian comrades, we mean that the Albanian party is a Marxist party. When we explain to them our aim towards uniformity – they will understand.
In 1956, we advised the same to the Polish comrades as to improving their relations with the Soviet comrades and we didn’t relay to you these invectives [“brannykh slov”] which were used by Khrushchev directed at the Polish comrades, did we? [We didn’t relay] to him your invectives, either.
Gomułka: We did not use any invectives.
Li Jingchuan: We were only advising. Now, we will also advise the Albanian and Soviet comrades so they improve relations between Albania and the USSR.
We hope and desire, Comrade Gomułka, that you will also carry out such a policy in order to work towards the strengthening of the unity.
Gomułka: We have our own opinion about the policy and the methods of the leadership of the Albanian Party within its party. We have our own opinion and we believe that this will not lead to anything good. You have influence over them and if you can provide them with an advice, then, they do need advice in this area. I don’t know if you know everything about the Albanian party, but look at how many people are left from those who fought against fascism and against the Hitlerites in the past. This resembles the policy of Stalin. How many of them were left after the XVII-XVIII Congresses? Why don’t you count, look and draw a proper conclusion from all of this? You will simply see murders without trial, the murders which are carried out by today’s leaders, and no one even knows where the corpses have been hidden. Is this the policy of a communist party [and] of the communists?
Liu Shaoqi: We are not familiar enough with the internal situation in Albania.
Gomułka: It is worthwhile for you to become familiar with it; it is [really] worthwhile, comrades.
Liu Shaoqi: We do not even intend to express our opinion about their internal affairs.
Gomułka: These are not internal affairs. This concerns everyone and this reflects on the international movement. Why don’t you ask the experienced communists of capitalist countries? They will tell you what obstacles this creates for them.
Liu Shaoqi: After all, Albania is conducting a fight against imperialism, it is building socialism and it wants unity with the socialist countries.
Gomułka: Stalin also conducted a fight with imperialism.
Liu Shaoqi: It is worth supporting them in light of these three elements.
Gomułka: The Albanian Party, or the people in its leadership? We think that we should support the Albanian Party, but not the individual people in its leadership. Stalin also conducted a fight with imperialism, he built socialism and, at the same time, his errors caused such a [great] damage to the international communist movement. Everyone knows about that.
Li Jingchuan: You should be helping them [Albanians] due to the fact that they are fighting with imperialism and that they are building socialism; we should support even the Albanian party because of that, and what results from that is [that we should also support] its leaders.
Gomułka: Does it mean that, under the pretext of noninterference in its internal affairs, we should shut our eyes to what its leadership is doing?
Liu Shaoqi: These are the three concepts: the fight with imperialism, the building of socialism and aiming towards unity. Every party makes mistakes in face of these three concepts.
Gomułka: No doubt, but it is still difficult to call what they are doing an error, since this is something more than an error.
Liu Shaoqi: Let us end at this. It is evidently difficult for us to achieve unity [on this issue]. It is good that this is not the issue between Poland and China.
Gomułka: I don’t deny that there should be unity in our socialist camp. But we differ in our opinions as to what is happening over there, all the more since Cde. Liu Shaoqi was saying that he was not well familiar [with the internal situation in Albania]. It is possible that we know more. I am convinced that if Cde. Liu Shaoqi knew more, we would reach the same opinion.
Liu Shaoqi: In any case, there is no unity between us on this. Let us put this matter aside.
Gomułka: Please do so. [But] no one is thinking to thrust Albania away.
Li Jingchuan: We cannot agree with you since you were supporting the Mongolian comrades who called our position a wrong one in their speeches. We don’t agree with you.
Gomułka: We expressed in our pronouncement what was on our mind. We don’t have Tsedenbal’s speech with us and I don’t remember exactly what he said. [However], I can say one thing, [that is], we are very pleased that, in the course of compromises and conversations, we [finally] signed the Statement. This is most important. In our opinion, we overcame a huge hurdle in the international communist movement and we removed it. [We are also pleased that] there will be a bigger unity, uniform line [of policy] and the unanimous interpretation of the Statement; and this is crucial to our work.
We came to you with this intention a few days ago. We were very concerned about what had taken place at the Conference. At the same time, we thought that nothing should be hidden as far as the general matters of the political line are concerned. We do not exclude the fact that some parties may have different positions on a series of matters, but we have to exchange opinions since only in this way will we be able to reach the unity of action.
For example, after the Budapest Conference, we did not go to all the members of [our] party in order to tell them about it. We only informed the CC and there, at the Plenum, we presented the matter, in the most objective way, while strongly emphasizing that the allegation made against the CP of China, [that is], that it aims at entering the war path, is entirely groundless; on the contrary the CP of China, along with other parties firmly stands on the ground of peace. At the same time, we presented what really took place at the Session of the General Council of the WFTU [trans. note— World Federation of Trade Unions, or ŚFZZ (Światowa Federacja Związków Zawodowych)] in Beijing. It is difficult to deny that this caused a certain type of anxiety within the ranks of our party. There are different conditions in our country, [people] listen to the programs of the capitalist radio and they find out what the press in capitalist countries is writing about. Thus, there was a significant interest among the members of our party regarding the policy of the CP of China. However, we decided not to hurry and to wait until more could be said; we waited for the results of this Conference and we are happy that we can [now] say only good things. We even told about this in our party apparatus in a very narrow circle.
However, here, at the Conference, we said everything what was on our mind and how we assessed this. To tell the truth, we came to the Conference with a different statement, and only after the pronouncement of Cde. Deng Xiaoping did we decide that it was necessary to change it.
Liu Shaoqi: Already before the pronouncement of Deng Xiaoping they, e.g. the Canadian party, began to revile our party, not to mention the letter from November 5 of this year. If we are to return to this [issue] at all, we would have to go back to the statement of the TASS; it is difficult to mention everything.
Gomułka: It’s best if we forget.
Liu Shaoqi: Let us look ahead. We hope that there will be good relations in the future. We hope that, after the Conference, the campaign against China, which had been carried out by a series of countries, will be stopped.
Li Jingchuan: As far as the Polish letter to the CP of China, we only familiarized the members of the Political Bureau with it; no one else.
I personally think that such result of the Conference is not bad. There were some moments in the course of the Conference when the atmosphere was extremely abnormal, but in the final stages the result is not bad.
Gomułka: All is well that ends well.
Li Jingchuan: We want to and we are ready to look ahead.
Gomułka: We are interested in how you perceive the Polish Party, do you have any complaints [grievances] about it?
If you do, they are, in my opinion, unfounded. We are interested in good relations between our parties and our countries. We would like to develop commerce right now, to sign a long-term agreement, but we know that you are now having difficulties due to a natural disaster which affected your agriculture.
At the same time, if you would like to tell us something regarding the Soviet specialists, it would be better if you told this to us, as a party, and not at the governmental level. However, your Minister of International Commerce stated to our Ambassador and the Minister of International Commerce that one of the main difficulties in China arose due to the recall of the Soviet specialists. There are various people within our political apparatus, there are those who do not belong to the party, and there are those who happen not to support socialism. We wouldn’t advise [to relay] your opinions to them.
Liu Shaoqi: The recall of the specialists caused a series of difficulties on our end. But, these difficulties arose not only due to the recall of the specialists, but due to natural disasters. It would be unjust if we believed that all our difficulties were caused only due to the recall of the specialists. Also, it would not correspond with reality [if we said] that the recall of the specialists did not cause any difficulties on our end. These are difficulties caused due to this as well as due to other reasons.
As to the commercial relations between us, we can always discuss them at the governmental level.
As to the party relations, then, of course, they have to be conducted through the party channels [while] bypassing the governmental path.
If we were to say that we were not pleased with the Polish comrades, then we have to say that we are not pleased because, when a certain type of difficulties arose between China and the USSR, the Polish comrades were acting in a way that did not further the unity.
Gomułka: You don’t know how we acted and I will not talk about that. We did not act towards severing [zaostrzenia], but towards strengthening the unity.
Liu Shaoqi: We get the impression [you] that didn’t act so fairly [justly] during that period. For example, it is not good that the CPSU letter, dated November 5, was delivered on November 7; you did not criticize that.
When the difficulties between you and the USSR existed [in 1956], however, we came out with harsh polemics against the Soviet comrades and we criticized the Soviet comrades for their great power chauvinism towards Poland at that time. We believe that Poland was pressured during that period. We even undertook risks when we decided to conduct this dispute with the Soviet comrades until the end. Why did we act this way at the time? So the Soviet comrades would not make a mistake towards the Polish comrades [trans. note— reference to a possible military action]. Comrade Khrushchev informed us about this intention before he left for Poland, as well as he informed us about moving [transferring] their fleet and the troops. We protested this emphatically.
However, this time, when the difficulties arose between the Soviet comrades and us, you criticized us in your pronouncement and you called on everyone to criticize us while not saying a word of criticism directed at the USSR.
Gomułka: We did not make a pronouncement regarding the mutual relations between China and the USSR.
Cyrankiewicz: There was even a proposition in our speech to have those parties, [which were] interested in discussing the matters related to the relations between China and the USSR, to settle [załatwić] them separately with one another.
Gomułka: This was the reasoning. We did not think it possible to have our party meddle into the disputes between countries, between China and the USSR. Our party doesn’t do that. We are not the Chinese Party, we are a small party, and a small country. You have to take this into consideration also [when it comes to] the policy of our country.
Liu Shaoqi: We understand you. We understand how much you can do. However, when the difficulties arose between you and the Soviet comrades, I, personally, did an enormous job.
Gomułka: I said at the Conference that if the Chinese comrades did a good deed towards the improvement of the relations between the USSR and Poland, that’s good, [that’s] very good. This means that we are very grateful to you.
Ochab: This is our united opinion.
Gomułka: I am not talking only for myself. However, we had very sharp discussions with Comrade Khrushchev; disputes along the party lines [were] so severe as never [before] and with no one else; but still, we were able to come to an understanding. At that time, there were some people within the CPSU leadership whose influences were not friendly towards us. These people influenced the fact that we were pressured. Nevertheless, several days later after the VIII Plenum, we subsequently discussed the Hungarian issue [and] the intervention.
Cyrankiewicz: This was November 1.
Gomułka: In any case, [this took place] a few days after the Plenum. We expressed our opinion on this issue. We entirely shared the opinion of the Soviet comrades, but the situation in our country was such that it was difficult to come out openly with such a support of the intervention in Hungary. And the Soviet comrades understood us. Later we were already in Moscow and we signed the Pact.
Cyrankiewicz: As to the great power chauvinism, prior to that, there was the VI Plenum of the CPSU during which Khrushchev squashed it severely. The Chinese comrades are surely familiar with the course of this Plenum; there was an internal material [report] about it. There was also a talk [in this report] about the attitude towards Poland during Stalin’s times, about the role of Molotov in many matters, as well as about China during the times when Stalin was alive. The new leadership of the CPSU fought with all of this and it prevailed with decisiveness. That is why comparing 1956, when Stalin’s errors were fought with and the consequences which we faced in Poland [afterwards], with 1960 is not the same. These matters are looking different after the XX Congress. It is wrong to bring up these matters now and this [only] harms the international communist movement.
Gomułka: In any case, we do not feel any chauvinist pressure.
Liu Shaoqi: But, we do.
Gomułka: You are a great country, you will not let anyone walk all over you.
Liu Shaoqi: We will not be doing anything behind [your] back [and] we will be working towards the good of the unity. We only wanted to visit you today.
Gomułka: I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that, a few weeks ago, we asked your Ambassador to visit us in the CC and we told him to contact the leadership of our party in case he wanted to print something in Poland. The PRC Embassy in Poland had recently published 17 different articles and brochures without the knowledge of our party. They simply contacted the printing shop and this is how they [went ahead] with printing. Among those articles, there were those with which we agreed and there were those with which we didn’t agree [since] they did not correspond with our political line. I must emphasize that the Embassy was distributing these articles to specific comrades in our party and to specific members who are active in the party.
Cyrankiewicz: We have not received them.
Gomułka: The members of the Political Bureau and the party secretaries did [receive them]. That is why we suggested that every publication be consulted with the leadership of our party in the future.
During our visit in Moscow, the PRC Ambassador, again, turned to the publisher to publish some kind of a letter. This means that, already after our conversation [with the Ambassador], the PRC Embassy did not see it appropriate to take into consideration our position. We don’t understand what this means. The publisher, sure thing, contacted the CC and informed us about this, but we see such a behavior of your Ambassador in Warsaw as inappropriate and we would not like to have anything like this happen again in the future.
Liu Shaoqi: I don’t know about this. I can clear this with our Ambassador in Warsaw. If you don’t want us to distribute our magazines or brochures, we can agree to that, but on the principle of reciprocity.
Gomułka, Kliszko: We are not saying that we don’t want them at all.
Cyrankiewicz: It is necessary that this be consulted with the CC. You would do the same in Beijing had such a situation arisen, wouldn’t you?
Gomułka: There is more information about China in our press than in any other country. We think that it is necessary, but we will not print the things you don’t want us to print. You [should do] the same.
Liu Shaoqi: I agree [lit. mutually]. We will not print what you don’t want us to. You will not print what we don’t want you to. We can reach an understanding. We can come to the unanimous view.
Gomułka: If there is an aspiration for unity [then] difficult matters can be solved in a satisfactory manner.
The conversation ended at this.
Liu Shaoqi and Gomułka review the state of the communist bloc, discussing the Sino-Soviet intervention in North Korea in 1956 and the position of Albania.
Associated People & Organizations
- Albania--Foreign relations--China
- Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 20th Congress
- China--Foreign relations--Korea (North)
- Kim Il Sung--Cult of personality
- Political purges--Korea (North)
- China--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- Poland--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- China--Foreign relations--Poland
- China--Foreign relations--Mongolia
- Albania--Foreign relations--Soviet Union
- China--Foreign economic relations--Poland
- Moscow Conference (1957)
- Albania--Foreign relations--Poland
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