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May 21, 1973

Sixth Interkit Meeting, Record of Meetings with Oleg Rakhmanin and Konstantin Katushev

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Berlin, May 21st, 1973



regarding Conversations between Members of the Central Review Committee of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the 1st Deputy Head of Department in the Central Committee of the CPSU, Comrade Rakhmanin, and the Heads of the Delegations of the 6th Internal China Conference


Comrade Rakhmanin provided information about the proceedings regarding the China question that were made at the April plenary of the Central Committee of the CPSU. 

Thus, the participants of the plenum were informed that a document from Mao Zedong was being circulated among China’s party and state functionaries in which was declared that: 

“While Japan was the main enemy of China in the 1930s, now the USSR is enemy #1 for China. 60-70% of the Chinese armed forces are concentrated along the Chinese-Soviet border. With the help of mass relocation, a broad, diverse military camp is being built on the border with the Soviet Union. The Chinese leaders are undertaking bold, running action and provocations against the middle Asian Soviet republics and are building military installations demonstratively on the border. The province of Xianjiang in northern China is being built into an anti-Soviet bridgehead. Beijing is broadcasting via 50 broadcasting stations 60 hours per day into the Soviet Union (the BBC broadcasts via 24 broadcasting stations 29 hours per day). 

Chinese functionaries have expressed themselves, in part verbally, that all Soviet territories, in which people with Asia facial features live, belong to China. The Chinese have not yet agreed to the Soviet proposals from March 6 to set the Soviet-Chinese border along the shipping route. The Maoist policy underscores the absolute necessity of a consequential debate on the side of the socialist brother countries. The Soviet Union has been forced to apply significant additional materiel to reinforce its defense capabilities and to expand the economic basis in its Far East and in Siberia. 

The Chinese have often declared vis-à-vis the Vietnamese that they will unfold a broad anti-Soviet campaign before Comrade Brezhnev’s trip to the USA. The Chinese leadership exert significant leverage on the Vietnamese and put on dictatorial airs. Nothing is known yet by the Soviet comrades about the results of the meeting between Le duc Tho and Kissinger. 

Comrade Rakhmanin informed the participants that in connection with the next foreign policy steps the conference of the Executive Committee of the RGW would begin on June 5th in Prague. 

A meeting of the First Secretaries of our parties will likely take place after Comrade Brezhnev’s trip to the USA. 

A conference of the Political Advisory Committee of the Warsaw Pact nations is envisioned for the late fall. Currently, the comrades responsible in the Central Committee of the CPSU have occupied themselves with the question of a 2nd meeting in Karlovy Vary, which could possibly be carried out at the beginning of next year. Simultaneously, the matter of preparing a new international conference has also been taken up; the obvious question of ideological unity should be given greater attention. 

Vis-à-vis Yugoslavia and Romania, the Soviet Union will continue its course. In Yugoslavia, healthy processes can be ascertained. In the policies of the Romanian leadership, partially voluntaristic turns along the lines of a Romanian-style “cultural revolution” are manifesting themselves. 

Comrade Katushev received the heads of the delegations of the Central Committees of the BKP, PVAP, USAP, MRVP, KPTsch, and SED that took part in the 6th internal China advisory for a discussion.

The Central Committee of the CPSU, as Comrade Katushev underscored in his introductory remarks, is giving the greatest attention to the coordination of our common struggle against Maoism on all levels. The struggle against Maoism is proceeding extremely bitterly and requires the reinforcement of operational coordination of all steps taken by the socialist brother nations (including in matters of cultural, sport, and tourism relations). The most important assignment entails neutralizing the Maoist line of isolating the USSR from the other socialist countries and opposing actively and in a coordinated fashion all attempts to discriminate against our countries. 

The comrades are providing increased attention to the work vis-à-vis Albania. In the current domestic and foreign policies of the Albanian leadership, no essential changes are manifest. Regarding their policy vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, regarding information regarding the domestic and foreign policies of the USSR, the Albanian approach is intimately coordinated with the Chinese leadership. The barb of this policy is directed against the Soviet Union and the PR Poland. 

At the same time, contradictions can be recognized in the policies of the Chinese and Albanian leaders. In the beginning, a certain mistrust was evident on the Albanian side vis-à-vis the strengthened reorientation of Beijing’s foreign policy towards the imperialist states. The Chinese leadership was clearly able to overcome this mistrust, and Albania activated its relations with the capitalist country. 

Certain contradictions arise from the inability of the Chinese leadership to fundamentally solve Albania’s economic problems. 

Albania’s larger interest in the development of economic relations with socialist countries ( e.g. the re-export of certain goods) is tied to this. Currently, the question of which paths for the development of relations with Albania can be pursued stands before the socialist brother nations. On the Soviet side, it was given to be understood that beneath the exploitation of various channels, there exists a corresponding readiness to normalize relations on the Albanian side. A reaction to these steps has failed to materialize. At the same time, one must consider that in the attitude of the Albanian leadership, emotional moments play a not inconsiderable role (they go back to the dispute at the beginning of the 1960s). Clearly, it would be easiest to bring about changes in economic relations. Radio broadcasts to Albania should be designed in a more targeted fashion in the future. Our approach vis-à-vis Albania requires further considerations. In this, it is necessary to consider that the offer of suggestions by our countries must not exceed the demand and thus the necessary readiness on the Albanian side to normalize relations. 

Following on the short conversation between the member of the Politburo of the Working Party of Vietnam and head of the Vietnamese negotiating delegation in Paris, Le Duc Tho, with Comrade Kirilenko, Comrade Katushev alluded to the difficulties in realizing the Paris Vietnam accord. Although corresponding questions were posed from the Soviet side to the Vietnamese comrades, Comrade Le duc Tho did not get into the situation in Vietnam and the Paris discussions. He referenced in this context an upcoming trip by a Vietnamese party and government delegation to the Soviet Union. The USA is infringing upon the Paris Vietnam AAccord not only through their military actions but also on the matters of political prisoners in South Vietnam and support for the Thieu regime. On May 9th, the Americans deployed military aircraft against the liberated regions of South Vietnam. In this context, Comrade Le duc Tho raised the question of what remained for the Vietnamese comrades to do under such conditions. The Vietnamese expressed the intention of raising these and other matters related to the Paris Accord in discussions with US presidential advisor Kissinger. 

A complicated situation with the implementation of the Paris Accord has manifested itself in Laos. Nevertheless, there is at least here a first step. On May 21st, the first meeting of the sides involved regarding the question of building a coalition government will take place. 

The situation in Cambodia still cannot be clearly defined. The Americans are increasing their pressure on the DRV, likewise are the Chinese. The USA is supporting the government troops. Currently, the “Khmer Rouge” present the most important progressive political force. Not only the Chinese but also the Americans are currently set on Sihanouk. Le duc Tho subsequently indicated during his stop in Moscow that one has to support Sihanouk since he commands great influence over the farmers and represents a “political card” that one must play. 

In contrast, the Soviet comrades expressed that no positive changes have taken place in Sihanouk’s stance. Further developments must be followed closely. 

Comrade Katushev emphasized that after the Vietnamese comrades did all the work, the Chinese leadership is now attempting to harvest the fruits of the DRV’s struggle. 

From the Vietnamese side, there are no explanations of their stance regarding the activity of the international control commission. The Soviet comrades are encouraging that delegation trips be used to prompt the question of consultation over the activity of the international control commission to the Vietnamese comrades. The trip by the Vietnamese party and government delegation to the Soviet Union is set for July 9th-16th. The Vietnamese leadership is attempting obviously to establish a corresponding “balance” to their contacts with Beijing with the planning of their trips. The government of the USA finds itself under great pressure, which the socialist community of states must exploit. The leadership in Beijing has turned to the Vietnamese comrades with letters, in which they mainly stress the use of force and the stalling of the realization of the Paris Vietnam Accord.

The Soviet comrades note that one may not give in to provocations and that vigilance must be increased. Regarding help for the revolutionary (PRR) government of South Vietnam, the socialist brother nations stand before the necessity of observing the Paris accord and concentrating on granting economic help. The USSR is considering naming an ambassador to the PRR South Vietnam who is already accredited in another southeast Asian country (except for the DRV).

These are the records of two meetings on the occasion of the Sixth Interkit Meeting. The first of these involves a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Oleg Rakhmanin, while the second is a meeting with the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Konstantin Katushev. Both address relations between China and the Soviet Union. The documents discuss the Sino-Soviet border clashes, the Soviet security policy in the Far East and Siberia, and the position of countries such as Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania, as well as the critical situation in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Document Information


Included in the document reader for the international conference "China and the Warsaw Pact in the 1970-1980s" held by CWHIP and the Parallel History Project March 2004 in Beijing. Translated by Samuel Denney.


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Memorandum of Conversation


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Leon Levy Foundation and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars