Source: Soong Ching Ling,
"China’s Liberation — Sino-Soviet Friendship — Man’s
Great Leap into the Future", in Ten Glorious Years, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1960; pages
Transcription & HTML Markup for marxists.org: Juan Fajardo, January 2022.
PEOPLE throughout the world have turned their eyes toward China, now celebrating its tenth year of liberation. They share with us the great joy that surges throughout our land. They eagerly evaluate the tremendous gains our people have made; they note the good tidings these bring to the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America. With us they look into the future, to see what China’s progress promises for all mankind.
TEN years ago, Chairman Mao Tse-tung proclaimed that People’s China had come into existence. This was the end result of a revolutionary process which had started one hundred years earlier. It began with the resistance of the Chinese people in the Opium War (1840-42), the first imperialist invasion of our land. The thread was picked up by the Tai- ping peasant revolution (1850-64) against feudalism and imperialism. Out of the failure of that struggle was born the revolutionary activity of Sun Yat-sen. And in the end it was left to the Chinese Communist Party, the vanguard of the Chinese working class, to complete the revolutionary tasks. The Communist Party led the last thirty years of the heroic struggle in which the Chinese people won a decisive victory over their three main enemies — imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.
Thus our people were steeled and tempered. In this struggle, we preserved our traditions of determination and courage in the face of adversity, created through thousands of years of battle with oppressors. When this fighting spirit was finally infused with the great truths of Marxism-Leninism, we had the main prerequisite for saving and reviving our nation.
Our people’s rise to power under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the rise of the People’s Republic of China in the place of the old semi-feudal, semi-colonial China, was an earth-shaking achievement. It was the greatest world event after its forerunner and example, the Great October Socialist Revolution. One-fourth of mankind in an immense and rich land had cast off its chains.
After our new democratic revolution had been fulfilled, we began our socialist revolution, which was brought about peacefully with the proletariat obtaining political power. These were notable and historic accomplishments to the credit of the Chinese people. They were also extremely important validations of Marxism-Leninism. The Chinese people, through their victories, demonstrated once again the universality of this world outlook.
In these ten years, the Chinese Communist Party has continued to give correct leadership, enabling our people to go from victory to victory, from strength to strength. At each crucial point, internally or in international affairs, the Party and Chairman Mao Tse-tung, brilliantly utilizing Marxist- Leninist principles, have been able to grasp the main contradictions, provide correct solutions and take the appropriate action. The Party has faithfully carried out a mass line in all fields, stimulating the people to the broadest democratic participation in our political life, in production and in social and ideological reform.
Our people’s government is a splendid example of the dictatorship of the proletariat applied in the concrete conditions of China, taking into account our history and social customs. Likewise, the Party has with resolution led us in victorious struggle against the few remnants of the old order in our midst and against our external enemies, the imperialists, who are vainly attempting to turn back the clock of history.
The Chinese people have the deepest love and respect for their Communist Party and Chairman Mao Tse-tung. They see in the Party all that is the best in the Chinese national tradition and the staunch defender of our nation’s interests. Therefore, when the Party calls upon us to act, to build, to defend with arms in hand our fatherland and world peace, our people rise as one to answer that call.
Never before in China’s long history has our nation been as united as today, with proletarian brotherhood welding its more than fifty nationalities into one close-knit family. Never has it reached such heights of productivity in field and factory as in the past ten years. Never have we had such magnificent prospects for further advance. Never have our culture and education bloomed, vibrating with life, as they do today. Never has China enjoyed such international esteem, such sympathy and felicitation of other nations and peoples, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In one single decade our people and country have come far. We still have a considerable distance to go, much hard work to do to fulfil our plans, for we started with production and culture at a low and undeveloped level. But we have tested our muscles, and we know that if there are mountains to be moved, we will move them. We have a firm belief in our cause and in ourselves. We have the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. All the conditions are present so that in the next ten years we can outdistance by far our achievements in this first ten, to make China strong and to give our people happiness and prosperity.
Since 1917, first in the course of our protracted liberation struggle and then after our victory was won, the Chinese people have been fortunate in the revolutionary comradeship of the Soviet people, of their great Communist Party and government. On innumerable occasions they have rendered us important and decisive assistance in the true spirit of proletarian internationalism. We will never forget that, in fair weather and foul, we have always been able to count upon the support of the Soviet people, and this at times when imperialism was plotting our very death as a nation. Without this, the Chinese people’s struggle would have been much longer and even more bitter. So it is not strange that we feel a genuine kinship with the Soviet people. We have an objective basis for saying that the friendship between the Soviet Union and China is eternal and indestructible.
The rapid and all-round development of the friendly ties between China and the Soviet Union has been one of the outstanding fruits of the Chinese revolution. The political importance of Sino-Soviet fraternal co-operation lies in two facts:
1) China’s victory united the socialist camp over a broad and continuous land mass with a population of over 900 millions;
2) It linked Europe and Asia in a new type of relationship between peoples and nations, based on Marxist-Leninist precepts.
Sino-Soviet friendship became a symbol of the pioneering nature of the world socialist system, which emerged as a result of the founding of a series of People’s Democracies after World War II. This phenomenon was a direct follow-up to the qualitative change that took place in man’s development with the victory of the Soviet people in erecting the first socialist state.
The twentieth century is the age when man is not only expected to know the world but to change it. It is the age of a succession of rapid break-throughs in key scientific fields, and the intense application of science to production processes. This has given man the power and ability to bend nature to his will, and to increase production of the necessaries of life to the point where the best in livelihood can be provided for all the peoples, without exception. The problem this age places before man, therefore, is: Through the appropriate changes in economic system (relations of production) to release all the creative energies of the people and bring about a tremendous productive effort for the benefit of humanity in general, to be shared equally and absolutely without exploitation or discrimination of any kind.
Such is the demand of the working people in every part of the globe. For ours is also the age of broadening democracy, of participation by the masses in political affairs, national and international. This derives from the social nature of production in the modern era. Man has concentrated and organized on a large scale to take part in producing wealth. This has taught him the potentialities of collective genius and labour. It has taught him that only these can create material value from the things with which nature endowed us. It follows as a matter of course that man now demands that these potentialities be put into full play to eliminate the deep poverty and ignorance that still plague large sections of the world, that exploitation of man by man must end, that it is the inalienable right of the working people to own the tools and fruit of their labour.
Historical development posed the problem; man had to answer it, to continue his progress. He turned to reforming capitalism for a solution, but found that this system is beyond reform, that as it proceeded on its inevitable course of ever greater concentration of wealth and power it only intensified the contradictions in society by heightening the exploitation of the working class, that increases in productive capacity were very often associated with fearful wars, war preparations and the plundering of peoples, which brought fabulous profits to a few and misery to hundreds of millions. Capitalism was progressive once, when it solved the question of how to rid mankind of feudalism. But in this age it has proved to be a barrier to further advance for the great majority of the human race.
The solution to the central problem of our age was discovered by Marx, Engels and Lenin, who developed a scientific theory that exposed the ills of outdated capitalism and gave man a new, accurate philosophical outlook and a practical political programme which would enable him to carry out the basic task of this epoch — the transition from capitalism to socialism. The October Socialist Revolution, leading to the Chinese revolution and those of other socialist lands, demon strated the universal mainstream of change. It is: The political party of the working class leads the way to the liberation of the people, the people take power, with the ownership of the means of production, into their own hands, then comes the planned, systematic, efficient construction of a new society based on abundance for all. Only in this way could the painful backwardness, the parasitism and exploitation which humanity has had to bear for these so many centuries be eliminated in a historically short time.
Marxism-Leninism, carried out in practice, has proved its validity beyond question. It has brought magnificent benefits to peoples in a third of the globe by giving them a better life in socialism, and boundless hopes for the communist future. It is the guiding light for all progressive mankind. Applied creatively to the conditions in each respective country, Marxism-Leninism enables the Communist and Workers’ Parties throughout the world correctly and comprehensively to reflect life, and to take the lead in struggling for the rights of the working folk, for national liberation and against reaction and war.
We look upon this great body of thought and summary of experience as the most precious of riches. One of the central tenets of Sino-Soviet friendship is an unequivocal stand in maintaining the purity of Marxism-Leninism, unflinchingly combating all attempts to twist it into revisionism or deaden it by dogmatic interpretation. We struggle to keep Marxism- Leninism as the bright weapon of the most revolutionary class for the transformation of the old society into the new, for leading the peoples everywhere into a life of brotherhood, well-being, purpose and high culture.
United by the invincible Marxist-Leninist doctrines and applying them to all phases of life, China and the Soviet Union are dedicated to the struggle against every form of oppression. We live by the creed that all who labour are brothers and all nations, big and small alike, are equals. This enables us to play a vital role in helping to settle one of the most urgent questions facing the world today —the ending for all time of the vicious colonialism which subjugates peoples and nations politically, economically and culturally.
Thanks to the existence of the world socialist system, the working people in the colonial and semi-colonial countries and in those which have recently won their independence are becoming more confident of their strength. The oppressed peoples everywhere have more courage to take up this struggle because they know the socialist camp will support all who uphold national independence. With this support, through the political, economic and technical assistance rendered by the socialist nations, the colonial and semi-colonial countries can win and consolidate their initial victories over imperialism.
The intense desire of every people to be free and decide its own destiny, coupled with the certainty of sympathy and support from the 'socialist camp, are precisely the motivating forces behind the radical and swift political changes in Asia, Africa and Latin America in recent years. The colonial system is rapidly approaching its end. Hundreds of millions of people in these key areas have ceased to be the reserve of capitalism and imperialism. The political balance in the world has swung in an opposite direction from what it was for hundreds of years, shifting toward the goals of national independence, peace and democracy.
Such a change could not, of course, please the imperialists. They have tried every conceivable means to regain their domination, and primary among these is the attempt to deflect to the Right certain national independence forces in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Blinding them with anti-Communist propaganda, luring them with promises of economic assistance, lavishing upon them torrents of praise for this and that action, the imperialists have from time to time momentarily succeeded in bringing the leading figures of some countries into the chorus of unfair abuse against the ideas of socialism and against the Soviet Union and China.
It is obvious that this can lead to no good. It diffuses t strength of the Asian, African and Latin American people who with the peoples of the socialist world have a common enemy — imperialism. And more, it is simply impossible . be anti-Communist, anti-Soviet and anti-Chinese in today world without selling a part or all of oneself to the imperialists. The entire peoples of these countries cannot be deceived ingoing against the main supporters of their national independence. They cannot fail to see that whenever the facade national chauvinism, based on anti-communism, is put up — their independence begins to be pawned to their worst enemies.}
Facts are facts; they come from life itself; they cannot be changed and distorted at will for some temporary political advantage. And those who attempt this only proceed at their own risk. History is full of examples of such men whose ambition and short-sightedness made them take this wrong road. In the end, all were brought to account by the people. Today one thing is clear beyond everything else: the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America know that their true friends in every stress and difficulty are exactly the Soviet Union, China and the rest of the socialist camp. Nothing can change that relationship of supreme confidence and trust between us.
The affinity between the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America and those of the socialist camp is of immense significance to the development of world affairs. Especially, it helps the forces of peace to win over those for war. The Soviet Union and China, acting as one, have always placed their immense strength on the side of relaxing international tensions, settling questions by negotiation and maintaining peace and justice in the world. We have striven to rally all those who could be mobilized for this signal cause. In the past ten years this movement has grown to mammoth proportions, as the strength of the socialist camp has grown, as the peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America and elsewhere have awakened to the necessity of acting to save mankind from the horrors of an atomic war. The socialist camp and the peace-loving countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America have become an extensive zone of peace. The peace movement now has the power to stay the hand of the Western monopoly capitalists, the sole possible perpetrators of war. So great is this power that today we can say war is no longer inevitable, as long as the peoples remain vigilant and active against it.
The main characteristic of our times is that there exist two opposing and competing world systems: the old capitalist system dating back some 300 years, and the new socialist system which has just some forty years of history. People are awakening more and more to the necessity of avoiding war, and the fact that peaceful co-existence is not only necessary but possible. Peaceful competition needs to be carried on between the two systems. The contest is proceeding. In it we can already see the shape of things to come, and the features peculiar to each of the systems.
In recent months, the persistent striving by the Soviet Union, China and the other socialist nations to bring about an international atmosphere based on peaceful co-existence has resulted in a decision of great significance to exchange visits by Chairman N. S. Khrushchov, who will go to the United States, and President Eisenhower, who will go to the USSR. World opinion has overwhelmingly applauded that move to create better political relations between these two great states. It is generally recognized that this will certainly be beneficial in further reducing international tensions and promoting the cause of world peace. The Chinese people have hailed this exchange of visits as a triumph over the advocates of the “cold war,” and over the reluctance of certain circles in the United States to relax the world situation. We see it as a victory for the main principle that underlies the foreign policies of all socialist nations jointly and separately: that countries of differing social and political systems can and must co-exist on peaceful terms, and that the friendlier these relations are, the more benefits the peoples everywhere will derive. The capitalist countries continue along their old lines, plagued with symptoms of a general crisis, such as a permanently large force of unemployed, gigantic national and personal debts, chronic agricultural imbalance, and a low rate of economic expansion. In contrast, the Soviet Union has already entered upon the extensive building of communism, while China and other socialist countries are experiencing what some Westerners describe as “fantastic productive development.”
The fact that communism is being built in the Soviet Union is of paramount importance. It comes as a definite shock to the enemies of Marxism-Leninism. In the past they never expected to see socialism successfully established. But they look at the production statistics and the rising standard of living in the people’s lands, and there is no doubt about the materialization of socialist society. Now they are told that communism is in the process of construction, and while they may not take to the idea kindly, they hesitate to discount the possibilities of its achievement.
Since that historic day October 4, 1957 when Sputnik I began to circle the earth, they have had to make repeated re-evaluations. Sputnik I was followed by Sputniks II and III, then by the man-made planet orbiting about the sun bearing the Soviet insignia and recently by the Soviet geophysical rockets bearing several animals in the exploration of the upper layers of the atmosphere and bringing them back safely. These remarkable accomplishments, which are far ahead of anything the most powerful capitalist country the United States has been able to do in such fields, have given a great shock to the minds of capitalism’s most ardent supporters. These great scientific feats, being symbols of the tremendous creative power generated in a collective society, have burst like bubbles the dreams that America and the Western countries reign supreme in industry, science and engineering — the tools of man’s material progress.
However, the matter does not rest there. When the Communist Party of the Soviet Union announced its intention to proceed to the extensive building of communist society, the
outline of the forward march for all socialist countries, and for all mankind, became considerably clearer. Particularly was it clear that the advance of the socialist world toward these goals, accelerated by mutual help, will grow constantly faster.
In the capitalist world, where nothing is done unless it profits Big Business, it is inevitable that the stronger, more productive nations obtain that position at the expense of the weaker, less productive ones. It is also characteristic that this disparity remains and widens, as if fate had ordained that certain nations should for ever stay in a position of productive subservience. Those nations can see no way out as long as they remain in the capitalist orbit, for their very dependence on the stronger country lays them open to exploitation, as dictated by the laws of capitalist development as applied to international economics. They cannot expect any sudden benevolence on the part of those whose sole aim in life is the highest dollar return.
In the socialist sector of the world, things work differently. The relations between nations are based on our common Marxist-Leninist outlook, on the fact that all have socialist relations of production which operate on behalf of the entire people. The purpose of our society, which holds with all of us, is to speed up the construction of socialism and to hasten the day when we can build communism, to give our people the most out of life that nature can be made to yield. Through the high degree of fraternal co-operation and mutual aid which prevail between the socialist nations, the stronger help the weaker, the larger assist the smaller, the best interests of each nation and its people are served in the process of realizing our united aim.
It is true that there is still some disparity in the level of economic development between various socialist nations. It arises from history, and this very disparity is an object of our joint and concerted attack. Facts show that this gap is being gradually reduced in a planned and balanced way, and that Will eventually disappear.
The fulfilment of this noble and exciting task is of the greatest historical consequence. Utilizing the socialist rate economic development, which is much faster than that of most advanced capitalist countries even at those rare tin., when their economies operate at peak capacity, the socialist nations as a group will consolidate and complete the construction of socialism, and then enter into the extended construction of communism, as has already happened in the Soviet Union.
Not only will this speed the development of the socialist countries; it will have a profound effect all over the world. It will considerably heighten the capacity of the socialist camp, to stimulate international trade. Very important are the direct! and indirect benefits such trade will bring to those newly independent nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Through it, the socialist states will be able to give even more fundamental aid to those countries in their struggles for an independent economy and against imperialist penetration and control. At the same time by giving them another way out other than reliance upon economic contact with the imperialists, they will force the latter to make concessions in order to stay in the market. Developing trade on the principle of mutual benefit will further fortify the whole foundation for world peace, at the same time lifting the level of living in countries long retarded by colonialism.
There is no question but that a tremendous factor in building socialism today and communism later in each of the People’s Democracies, in the amelioration of the conditions of those people who still suffer from colonial exploitation, and in the broadening of friendship through world trade, is the existence of the world socialist system, and especially of the Soviet Union with its powerful economy. And the unending stream of mutual support and aid which takes place within the socialist system is in turn vital to its continued development. As N. S. Khrushchov pointed out at the 21st Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: “The growth and development of each socialist country tends to reinforce the entire socialist system. In this lies our strength, the guarantee of our imminent victories in socialism’s peaceful competition with capitalism.”
In building socialism, the Chinese people are receiving all- sided and disinterested fraternal aid from the Soviet Union. We are also receiving valuable assistance from the other socialist countries, and we have the sympathy of working people and other friends throughout the world. On the occasion of this tenth anniversary of our People’s Republic of China we express our deepest gratification for this support, which was so vital to our successes in the past and will have the same significance for our future advances.
To learn from the illustrious example of the Soviet Union, to take the best experience from all over the world and synthesize it with the concrete conditions of China, is the unvarying policy of the Chinese Communist Party. It ensures that we will speedily reach the goal of socialism in our country, preparatory to building communism with its unlimited vistas for our people.
Today the Chinese people have before them the work of swiftly and effectively carrying out the tremendous tasks of internal construction of socialism, and then embarking on much bigger water and power developments and technological advances on the broadest front, including atomic energy, electricity and electronics, automation and mechanization, biochemical technology and so forth. These are vast jobs to be done. They can only be done by the socialist countries working together. In the future, on a world scale, they will be done all the more effectively as all mankind takes the highroad to socialism and communism.
In the days of the great Marx and Engels, socialism and communism were still a dream. But in the contemporary world, socialism is a living reality and communism soon will be. Today there is iron-clad evidence, showing beyond question the superiority of socialism over capitalism. What is the measuring rod? That socialism gives the peoples a sense of security in life and of brilliant prospects that capitalism cannot hope to match, and has never matched even at the height of its powers.
An idea is abstract, thus it is easy to argue with. But, reality is objective and solid, and there can be no denying it. Now the peoples can see Marxism-Leninism and socialism in action. They can see them producing remarkable results in the Soviet Union, China and the other socialist lands. These are facts which the peoples can grasp, and they are having widespread repercussions everywhere. They are at the core of the mounting working-class movement. They are the source from which the peoples derive ever more food for thought, which will with certainty lead them to the world-wide triumph of Marxism- Leninism, each deciding for itself when and how it will make its great leap into the future. Such is the road humanity is bound to travel as it makes its way into the era of unending progress and happiness, the era of permanent peace among men.
As China enters its second decade of liberation and national development, we are filled with confidence. We are inspired by the general world situation, in which the “East wind prevails over the West wind.”
Peace is winning over war. National independence is winning over imperialist bondage. Socialism is winning over capitalism. We are proud to be in the front ranks of man’s advance into the future. We renew our pledge first taken ten years ago: to carry out the struggle in the name of the great communist ideal until there is no more exploitation of man by man, no more poverty, no more national oppression no more war.
August 6, 1959