[This issue of Peking Review is from massline.org. Massline.org has kindly given us permission to to place these documents on the MIA. We made only some formatting changes to make them congruent with our style sheets.]
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #1, Jan. 1, 1966,
pp. 16-17. Included is an unsigned sidebar from p. 17.]
THE Khrushchov revisionists have spread quite a lot of malicious reports about China on the subject of “the transit of supplies of aid to Vietnam.”
Recently the Moscow weekly Za Rubezhom (Life Abroad) has made an addition by reprinting a New York Times’ dispatch which said that China, according to its regulations, had demanded payment in dollars, not rubles, for freight charges of shipments of Soviet military and medical aid in transit to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In these few words, an attempt is made to portray China as a money-grubber so obsessed by lust for profit that it would profiteer in a war at the expense of the Vietnamese people’s blood and sacrifices. What an attempt! Nothing could be more sinister.
But it is really too crude for those gentlemen, the editors of Za Rubezhom, to attack China by quoting from the American press.
One may inquire: If the facts are such as given in the weekly, why should Soviet journals rely on quotations from the U.S. imperialist press instead of themselves saying what they want to say with a clear conscience?
One may also ask these people: Since you want the readers to believe what is said in the New York Times, and since China and the Soviet Union are the only two parties involved in the transit of aid supplies to Vietnam, isn’t it clear that you and you alone are the source of the rumours spread by the Americans?
This is not the first time that the Soviet leaders have kicked up a big fuss against China over the so-called question of aid supplies to Vietnam. Slanders and rumours have been spread far and wide ever since last March. At one time it was alleged that China “obstructs the transit of Soviet supplies of aid to Vietnam,” and at another time it was said that China was “creating difficulties” for such transit. Such rumours were first spread by Western newsmen in Moscow, and then the party organs of certain East European countries jumped at them and published them. Now the Soviet press, in turn, has used the New York Times dispatch in an attempt to vilify China and undermine the unity of China and Vietnam in opposing U.S. imperialism. This has shed further light on the fact that the Khrushchov revisionists and the U.S. imperialists are working in complicity and echoing each other.
However, lies cannot stand up to facts. We do not find it necessary to make public all the details about this subject, suffice it to mention a few points:
1. After assuming power, the new leaders of the C.P.S.U. have seen that the Vietnamese people have won tremendous victories in their anti-U.S. struggle, so they have switched from Khrushchov’s policy of disengagement to a policy of involvement and decided to send weapons to Vietnam. Their aim is to gain the right to have a say, control and representation on the Vietnam question in the name of aid so as to strike a political deal with the United States.
2. The Soviet Union is duty bound to aid the Vietnamese people in their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and to save their country. As far as Soviet military materiel to Vietnam is concerned, the greater the quantity and the more practical the better. But so far, a great part of the Soviet military equipment supplied to Vietnam consists of obsolete equipment discarded by the Soviet armed forces or damaged weapons cleaned out of warehouses. Both in quantity or quality, they not only are far from commensurate with the strength of the Soviet Union but also far, far inferior to the aid the Soviet Union has given to the Indian reactionaries.
3. To discharge its proletarian internationalist duty, China has always done what it can to support the Vietnamese people, politically, economically and militarily, in their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and to save their country. China has always honoured the agreements and done its utmost to speedily transport to Vietnam all military materiel in overland transit which was furnished by the Soviet Union. Every shipment thus made is on record. China makes no charge for all these trans-shipments. We have not charged the Soviet Union a single kopeck, let alone U.S. dollars.
This is the truth of the matter.
Ever since they came to power, the new leaders of the C.P.S.U., when they cannot come up with reasonable arguments and have no facts to present, have outdone Khrushchov in resorting more frequently to rumour-mongering, slander and sowing discord. At meetings of various kinds in the Soviet Union, in bilateral contacts between the Soviet Union and other countries and at all international meetings, they have created and spread all sorts of new and extraordinary lies about China to deceive the Soviet and other peoples of the world who do not know the true state of affairs. The new leaders of the C.P.S.U. have sunk to the depths of depending on rumour-mongering for their existence.
But lies do not go far. Once the slander is exposed, the ugly features of the slanderer are completely revealed.
(“Renmin Ribao,” December 23, 1965.)
AN outright fabrication by the New York Times to the effect that China was demanding payment in dollars from the Soviet Union for the freight charges of the latter’s supplies of aid to Vietnam was reprinted by the Soviet weekly Za Rubezhom (Life Abroad) in its issue No. 50 of December 10-16 last year.
This is one more example of how far the Khrushchov revisionists have gone in joining up with the U.S. imperialists to vilify China and drive a wedge between China and Vietnam.
Both publications dared not give the source of this lie, the real manufacturer. They simply said in vague terms that “this was reported among Asian circles.”
The fabrication as reprinted in Za Rubezhom said: “Communist China demands and receives from the Soviet Union payments for freight charges for shipments of military and medical supplies in transit to north Vietnam. This was reported among Asian circles. Peking refused to accept payments in rubles and demanded dollars, which it needs for overseas purchases, these circles said. This was reported soon after the representative of the Soviet Union speaking at the Political Committee of the (U.N.) General Assembly promised to give north Vietnam further economic and military aid as well as full political support.”
What, then, are the actual facts? The truth is: On February 25, 1965, the Soviet side requested the Chinese side to help transport a shipment of military supplies to Vietnam and said that the Soviet Government was ready to pay the transit charges. The Chinese Government, nevertheless, decided to do this free of all charges.
On March 30, the two sides signed a protocol in which it was explicitly stipulated that China would transport such shipments in transit free of charge. Since then, all shipments of Soviet military supplies to Vietnam, which the Soviet side requested China to transport by Chinese railways, were transitted free of charge in accordance with the protocol.
With regard to Soviet economic supplies sent to Vietnam by Chinese railways, the Soviet side did so through arrangements of transportation by railways of the socialist countries and paid the freight charges in rubles in accordance with the provisions of the International Agreement on Transportation of Goods by Railways.
The Soviet Union itself is well aware of all these facts.
The fact that Za Rubezhom reprinted and spread the U.S. imperialist anti-China slander reveals’ to what depths the Khrushchov revisionists have sunk.
[End of Sidebar]
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