Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

China’s Position – In Support of Reaction

Speaking Out on Zaire

First Published: Modern Times, Vol. II, No. 7, July 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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As the Western press goes all out to smear the Congolese insurgents in Shaba and Kivu provinces, calling them Cuban- and Soviet-led invaders, and charging them with massacring European men, women and children during the recent uprising in Shaba province, it is important to refresh our perspective and to rebut the lies spread by the imperialists. The excerpt of Colleen Richards’ major article on Angola appears in this issue toward that end.

We also recommend Paul Rogers’ excellent article on the Congolese National Liberation Front’s uprising in Kolwezi and the Western powers’ intervention, contained in the Mav 31 issue of The Guardian. Rogers’ article refutes the slanders about guerrillas’ massacres of whites with statements of survivors–engineer Raymond Korczak, for instance, who reported that Mobuto’s soldiers rounded up about 30 Europeans in one room of a suburban villa and killed them. “They talk of an orgy of killing–but it was the responsibility of Mobuto’s Zaire Army,” Korczak told the press four days after the media had filled our newspapers with stories from the French Foreign Legion about massacres by the rebels. Rogers also cites refugees’ reports that Mobuto’s soldiers looted freely and murdered whites indiscriminately–while the French legionnaires went through the town killing any blacks they found. None of the refugees reported seeing any white Cubans or Soviets among the guerrilla forces who they viewed to be peaceful, orderly and well-disciplined.

Such looting and killing by the Zaire army and its foreign supporters also took place after the 1977 invasion and uprising in Shaba province. Mobuto handed over a huge chunk of Zaire to a foreign rocket firm registered in West Germany, giving this company total sovereignty over the area and its people. U.S. cruise missiles are reportedly being tested from this area, and mass bombings are taking place in Shaba and Kivu provinces where the FLNC has joined with the Lumumbist People’s Revolutionary Party to form the Supreme Liberation Council.

Despite Zaire’s President Mobuto’s ruinous mismanagement of Zaire for the sake of foreign capitalists, his active counter-revolutionary role and support for the South African regime, and his genocidal policies toward his own population, the People’s Republic of China has come to embrace this dictator as a “patriot.” During the Kolwezi operation, in the midst of the largest foreign intervention in Africa since the 1960’s Congo operations, as thousands of Belgian and French troops were rushed to Mobuto’s aid, Chinese Ambassador Hua landed in Zaire to denounce the insurgents’ struggle as a Soviet and Cuban invasion “by proxy.” The Chinese Ambassador praised the efforts made on behalf of Mobuto’s regime. (Peking Review, May 26. 1978 and later issues.)

The Chinese position on Zaire has become the last straw for main of us. Seemingly blinded by their hatred of Soviet influence, the Chinese seem determined to oppose any cause supported by the Soviet Union. They have made very strange bed-fellows for themselves, and lost the support of many progressive forces throughout the world, as more and more genuine Marxist-Leninist parties come to oppose the Chinese government’s international line and policies. The Chinese view that the USSR is everywhere the main danger to the world’s people is ludicrous to the peoples of many countries, particularly in Latin America and Africa.

It is interesting to note that in China’s criticism of Soviet and Cuban moves in Ethiopia, no mention is made of Eritrea. In our minds, Soviet and Cuban action against the Eritrean liberation movement is their most faultable conduct in Africa, and should be firmly opposed, not by supporting Western imperialist maneuvers but by building broad support and aid for the Eritreans.

The People’s Republic of China has merited our attention and praise in the past, and even now, for the great revolutionary accomplishments the Chinese people have achieved under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party. Yet, today there are signs of some regression from the revolutionary line urged by Mao in internal policy–and China’s foreign policy has become even more stridently anti-Soviet and almost pro-U.S. The application of the analysis of the Three Worlds has gotten dangerously off base and caused great confusion or bitter controversy. Even warfare between proclaimed socialist states (Vietnam and Cambodia) has been abetted by Soviet-Chinese rivalry, to the imperialists’ delight. One hopeful sign is Premier Hua Kuo-feng’s speech in North Korea, in which he cited U.S. imperialism as the main enemy of the Korean people’s struggle for reunification, never mentioning Soviet social imperialism. This was a major departure from standard Chinese references to the world situation.

In southern and central Africa, U.S. and European imperialism have been the historic foes of people’s liberation movements and is the major danger today: Zaire and South Africa are the major forces of reaction under their control, and are extremely rich in natural resources. Both Zaire and South Africa have intervened repeatedly in Angola on behalf of the imperialists, seeking to undermine and dislodge the genuine revolutionary forces there, led by the MPLA. These plots against the People’s Republic of Angola and SWAPO, the people’s army fighting for liberation of Namibia from South Africa, continue today.

The Chinese government openly supports the CIA-supported “liberation fronts” which are aligned with Zaire and South Africa–UNITA and the FNLA. These “liberation” organizations aim at disrupting the Angolan economy and overthrowing the MPLA-led government. They also harass the efforts of SWAPO and ambush the SWAPO guerrillas. China and self-styled Marxist-Leninist groups in the U.S. who follow China’s line, supposedly support SWAPO while at the same time hailing the counter-revolutionary efforts of the anti-SWAPO guerrilla movements in Angola. SWAPO and the MPLA are allies, and the MPLA government has given maximum assistance to the SWAPO insurgency. China’s position is contradictory and a real disservice to revolutionary forces in Africa. Who can deny that the MPLA victory in Angola has set in motion strong revolutionary tides throughout Africa, particularly in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe?

Papers like The Call (CP-ML), Getting Together (IWK), Revolutionary Cause (ATM) have competed with each other in the virulence of their denunciation of Soviet-Cuban aggression in Zaire on the basis of the most discredited imperialist reporting and sources. Although the Carter administration and the CIA failed even to impress Congress of the truth of their charges of Cuban involvement, these “communist” groups have rallied to the right-wing war-makers’ standard.

We highly recommend The Guardian’s May 24 issue on Africa, which is priceless as a useful resource in clarifying the issues revolving around African liberation snuggles and the imperialist strategies toward them. (Write The Guardian, 33 W. 17th St., New York. N.Y. for a copy–or check out Red Flag Bookstore, 12 N. School St., Honolulu.)