Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

China’s New Leap Forward Is a Victory For Us All

Interview with Michael Klonsky


First Published: Class Struggle, No. 8, Fall 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

The death of Mao Tsetung, the smashing of the counter-revolutionary “gang of four,” the massive public demonstrations of support for Hua Kuo-feng – all these and other changes have swept across China in the past year.

What is the significance of these events? As part of a recent visit to China, a Central Committee delegation of the newly-formed Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) gained a deeper understanding of the answers to this question. Headed by Chairman Michael Klonsky, the delegation visited several factories and communes, talked with workers and peasants, and held in-depth discussions with government and Party leaders, including Chairman Hua Kuo-feng.

On the delegation’s return, Class Struggle interviewed Klonsky, raising several questions which have been discussed in the communist movement and the U.S.-China people’s friendship movement. Following is the text of the interview.

* * *

You recently visited China after a year since your last trip there. Tell us about the changes that have taken place.

We returned from this visit much more optimistic and confident in the future than we were a year ago. Our previous visit ended the day following the Tien An Men incident, in which tens of thousands of people filled the square and demonstrated their anger at the “gang of four” for attacking Chou En-lai. At the time, however, we understood little about the incident and had to base much of our understanding on what we read in the press.

China was then in the midst of the campaign against the “Right Deviationist Wind.” People were carefully studying the Marxist-Leninist writings on the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This campaign was initiated by Chairman Mao and was a positive movement directed against certain deviations that had sprung up threatening the newly-born fruits of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

But the “gang of four” sang a different tune in this campaign. Going against the orientation set by Chairman Mao, they launched a broadside assault against the veteran cadres of the Party, especially Teng Hsiao-ping and Chou En-lai.

They falsely charged Teng with a number of “crimes.” Through their control of the media, they had people confused for a time. They took advantage of Chairman Mao’s long period of illness. They took advantage of the situation surrounding the great natural disasters that shook the country. They tried to blame the Tien An Men incident on Teng Hsiao-ping. But all this failed.

The incident in April of last year was not a “reactionary” event as we were led to believe by the media at that time. Rather it was a sign that thousands of people refused to accept the “gang’s” attacks on their beloved Premier Chou. Of course, some bad elements and counter-revolutionary forces tried to take advantage of this and cause splits and other trouble. But the majority of the people in the square were honestly embittered over the “gang of four’s” mistreatment of Chou.

Futhermore, it has been shown now that Teng Hsiao-ping was not involved in the incident. And at the last Plenary Session of the 10th Central Committee, he was cleared of all the false charges against him and returned to his leading Party posts.

This news, along with the news of the 11th Party Congress, was enthusiastically greeted by China’s millions. This is a fact that we saw with our own eyes in the streets of Canton. Millions of people set off firecrackers and danced with joy upon hearing the news. Injustice had been changed into justice and wrong had been set right.

It was on this note that our trip to China ended and that’s why I say that we are more optimistic now. We have always believed and still believe that the Communist Party of China is a great party and that the Chinese people are a great people. We are confident in them.

What was Chairman Mao’s view of the “gang of four”?

Chairman Mao consistently opposed the “gang.” You can see this by examining their two opposing lines on all the major questions, and also by seeing what Mao said about them directly.

First take the question of revolution and production. Chairman Mao called for “grasping revolution to promote production.” But the “gang of four” claimed that revolution was everything and that by grasping revolution, “production would take care of itself.”

Or look at the question of fighting revisionism. The “gang” one-sidedly targeted “empiricism” as the main danger in the communist movement. This went against Mao’s view that revisionism was the main danger and that empiricism and dogmatism were features of revisionism.

A third example is on the question of Chairman Mao’s “three do’s and three don’ts.” That is: “Practice Marxism, not revisionism; unite and don’t split; be open and aboveboard, don’t intrigue or conspire.” Just compare this with the “gang’s” practice of forming factions and trying to split the Party.

You can also look at Chairman Mao’s direct warnings and criticism of the “gang of four,” both to their faces and to the Party. As far back as the Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao instructed that it should be conducted through reasoning and mass debates, and not by coercion or force. But the “gang” went ahead and promoted a “full-scale civil war.”

These differences later became clearer during the 1974 nationwide study on the dictatorship of the proletariat. Because of the “gang’s” one-sided concentration on “empiricism,” Chairman Mao noted that “those who are criticizing empiricism are themselves empiricists.” Finally he openly warned them: “Don’t function as a gang of four. Don’t do it any more.” He said that it was no good to “keep to a small circle of a few.” Again in 1975 he gave an instruction on the internal struggle against the “gang,” saying that if the problem wasn’t settled in the first half of the year it should be settled in the second half, and if not in 1975 then in 1976.

How did people like this manage to get into such high positions?

This is a question many people ask. The reason is that the class struggle within the communist party and under socialism is more complex than in other areas. Throughout the history of Marxism-Leninism, it has been shown that agents of the bourgeoisie worm their way into the party. They nestle in the ranks and wait for the opportune moment to do their damage. Under the conditions of socialism, these elements strike a super-revolutionary appearance and try to fool the people. But sooner or later they expose themselves and are forced out into the open.

Another feature of the class struggle under socialism is that new bourgeois elements emerge. This is because small production still exists and important inequalities still exist. Neither can fully be eliminated under socialism.

Some of the “gang” were old bourgeois agents who had covered up their past through the use of deception, suppression and fascist tactics. One, Wang Hung-wen, was a new bourgeois element. He rose very quickly through the intrigues of other “gang” members at the time of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

It’s important to understand that the “gang of four” were able to nestle in the Party’s ranks for a number of reasons. For one thing, under the difficult conditions of the liberation war, it was extremely hard for the Party to investigate the past of many people.

Chang Chun-chiao was one hidden renegade who got by in this period. He was first uncovered almost accidently during the Cultural Revolution by a research group in Shanghai. These comrades were investigating a newly-promoted Party secretary, one of the many new people who were moving up at that time. The researchers discovered that this person at one time had contact with an infamous Kuomintang special agent, Tsui Wan-chiu. Futhermore they came upon information which connected Chang Chun-chiao with this same special agent.

They then discovered that Chang had taken part in anti-communist activities in the early 1930s in Shantung Province. Under the direction of this special agent in 1935, he wrote anti-communist articles in the bourgeois press under the pseudonym of “Die.”

These articles were soundly criticized by the great Chinese literary figure, Lu Hsun. A book written by a friend of Lu Hsun exposed the fact that “Die” was really Chang Chun-chiao. On our visit to Shanghai, we saw “Die’s” articles, Lu Hsun’s polemic against “Die” and the exposures that “Die” was actually Chang.

Chang also joined some secret societies which were later exposed as Kuomintang (KMT) front organizations used to penetrate the Communist Party. He was sneaked into the communist base areas by the head of the Fu Hsing Society in 1937. There he concealed his shady past as well as his family background. His family also had a number of counter-revolutionaries in it. He wormed his way into the Party and into positions of leadership.

The comrades who discovered this information were in a tough spot. They could ignore it and thus contribute to the cover-up themselves. Or they could turn it into the Party, where it would surely reach the hands of the “gang of four.” They took the correct path. But for the next decade, their lives were miserable. They were severely persecuted, jailed and tortured as well as being politically isolated. Some were even killed.

The “gang” went even further. Whole libraries that might have contained evidence against the “gang of four” were shut down. Anyone daring to criticize the “gang” or question their actions or their background was subject to severe punishment. In summary you could say that the “gang of four” used the portion of power they had usurped in Shanghai to implement a fascist dictatorship. They planned to use this city as their base area for their counterrevolutionary seizure of power in all of China.

This example might shed some light on how they were able to penetrate the upper circles of the Party.

What about Chiang Ching? She was married to Chairman Mao.

Chiang Ching and Chairman Mao had been separated for a number of years. She came from a landlord’s family. She joined the Party in 1933 but soon grew disenchanted and left. She was arrested in Shanghai in 1934 and, under pressure from the KMT, she betrayed a number of Party members and was set free.

She also had contact with this same special agent, Tsui Wan-chiu, who provided her with revolutionary credentials and publicity in the revolutionary press.

We saw the old movie ads from the films she acted in to raise money for Chiang Kai-shek. She finally made her way to Yenan in the late 1930s and made a pact with some other counter-revolutionaries to conceal each other’s background.

After liberation, she lorded it over the people and ruthlessly attacked all opposition to her. She used the prestige of being Chairman Mao’s wife in the most opportunist ways.

Chairman Mao was extremely critical of Chiang Ching for a long time before the struggle came out in the open. In 1966 during the struggle against Liu Shao-chi, he wrote a letter to Chiang criticizing Lin Piao. In this letter he also told Chiang to change her ways and examine her errors closely. But she refused to listen to Mao and continued to follow her careerist tendencies and wild ambitions.

In 1974 Chairman Mao told Chiang Ching: “It’s better if we don’t see each other.” He criticized her for not listening to the things he told her over the years and for not studying Marxism-Leninism. He later in that same year warned her about forming a small faction of four.

Finally after the 10th Party Congress, Chiang moved to launch an attack on Chou En-lai and tried to promote Wang Hung-wen as head of the National People’s Congress. At this time Chairman Mao hit the nail on the head when he said: “Chiang Ching has wild ambitions.” Just before his death, he passed this same warning on to Hua Kuo-feng: “Chiang Ching has wild ambitions,” he said. “After I die she will make trouble.”

Chiang Ching and the rest of the “gang” also made a name for themselves during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. This was in spite of the fact that during this period they made very important errors that damaged the struggle against Liu Shao-chi and later against Lin Piao. They confused the two types of contradictions, between the enemy and the people and those among the people themselves. They instigated the practice of “overthrowing everyone” and provoked “civil war.” All of this was against Chairman Mao’s directives. The Cultural Revolution has been summed up as 70% good and 30% bad. The “gang” along with Lin Piao, Chen Po-ta and others were responsible for the “30% bad.” That was their “important role” and “big contributions” to the Cultural Revolution that all the bourgeois China-watchers talk about.

Near the end of the Cultural Revolution, the “gang” called for the overthrow of all the veteran cadres, claiming that the older generation of revolutionaries were revisionists and constituted a bourgeois “class” or “stratum” within the Party. If you read their articles on Teng Hsiao-ping’s supposed “crimes,” you will find this analysis. It can also be seen in the two major articles that were widely studied last year, written by Chang Chun-chiao and Yao Wen-yuan.

But didn’t Chairman Mao also say that the bourgeoisie was to be found within the Party?

Yes. In a 1976 directive, Mao said that the bourgeoisie “is right in the Communist Party – those in power taking the capitalist road.” But the “gang” distorted the meaning of this directive. They alleged that the bourgeoisie was the “democrats,” that is, all those communists who joined the Party during the national democratic revolution. This was a great majority of the veteran cadres, maybe 70-80%. They also claimed that a “bourgeois class” existed in the Party, rather than describing the handful of capitalist-roaders as representatives of the bourgeoisie. This also was a distortion of Chairman Mao’s teachings.

In Chang Chun-chiao’s article, “On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie,” the “gang” put forth their view of the veteran cadres as having been Party members who “organizationally but not ideologically” joined the Communist Party. They confused the two types of contradictions–those among the people and those with the enemy–and actually were calling for overthrow of Party leadership and for establishment of an “all-round dictatorship” over the people. Unlike Chairman Mao, who spoke of these veterans as the “flower of the revolution,” the “gang” spoke of a “whole layer of people” in the Party as being the bourgeoisie.

Chairman Mao did speak about people who joined the Party organizationally but not ideologically. He particularly mentioned this in an article contained in Volume 5 of Selected Works called “Talks at the Conference of Party Committee Secretaries.” But here you can see what Chairman Mao advocated in these cases. He prescribed “heart-to-heart talks” in order to help these people “straighten out their thinking.” This is a lot different than dealing with a bourgeois class within the Party.

The majority of veteran members joined the Party not as “democrats,” but rather as communists who wholeheartedly believed in the cause of communism. They took part in the democratic revolution, not simply to overthrow foreign imperialism and feudalism, but because it was a necessary stage in the struggle for socialism and the ideal of communism.

In his famous work, On New Democracy, and other writings, Chairman Mao drew the connection between the democratic and socialist stages of the Chinese revolution. During the democratic stage, the Party cadres were all trained in the principles of communism, not simply in the tasks of the anti-imperialist struggle. Through the various campaigns, such as the “Rectification Movement” during the 1940s, the tens of thousands of Party members developed a high consciousness and of course were tempered in the armed struggle.

All this shows that the “gang” had a distorted view of who the bourgeoisie was in the Party. They combined super-revolutionary rhetoric with counterrevolutionary ideas to attack leaders in the Party such as Chou En-lai and Teng Hsiao-ping. But their real aim was to seize power and destroy the Party. They were the actual representatives of the bourgeoisie inside the Party.

A year ago Teng Hsiao-ping was being denounced as an arch-revisionist. Now he is back in leadership. Did his line change or was he framed up from the start?

Yes, he was framed. Following the incident at Tien An Men, at a time when the Party leadership was badly divided, Teng was removed from his posts at the insistence of the “gang of four.” At the time, however, Chairman Mao, though very ill, pushed to keep Teng in the Party. In fact, in the Central Committee resolution of April 7, Chairman Mao’s.name isn’t mentioned in the opening section calling the question of Teng one of an “antagonistic contradiction.” Only the Political Bureau is mentioned here. Rather Mao’s name is not mentioned until a later section calling for Teng to remain in the Party. Now looking back, I think that this is very significant. The only basis for Teng’s removal from his leading posts was the Tien An Men Square incident. And this was decided only a few days after the incident.

Now that we can see the real spontaneous character of the incident as well as Teng’s innocence of any “plot” in the matter, we think that justice was carried out in the reinstatement. When you consider the fact that the majority of the Political Bureau was controlled by the “gang” group, you can see the significance of the fact Chairman Mao’s name only being mentioned to appoint Hua Kuo-feng to the posts of First Vice-Chairman and Premier and to keep Teng in the Party.

As for the charge that Teng opposed the line of “take class struggle as the key link,” this has been proven false. Teng made some mistakes, as anyone can, but this was not one of them.

The move to appoint Hua as First Vice-Chairman was unprecedented. There never was such a post before that decision. It seems that this move was taken precisely in order to keep the “gang” out of power. After all, following the deaths of Chou En-lai and Chairman Mao, Wang Hung-wen would have logically been next in line. So now we should look back on the decisions about Teng Hsiao-ping in a different light.

But The Call and Class Struggle also reported the attacks against Teng Hsiao-ping. How should we evaluate that now?

Of course the whole communist movement carried its analysis of the situation in China based upon the analysis and facts available at that time. Even many people in China and in the Chinese Party were confused at first. Now we have a deeper understanding and the facts suppressed by the “gang” have been heard.

We don’t promise anyone that the class struggle will proceed smoothly with no twists and turns. We can only report and analyze news of the struggle based on what is known at the time. It obviously would be impossible for The Call or Class Struggle to have a better understanding of the class struggle in China than the Chinese people themselves.

Can we guarantee that we will never be temporarily misled again? No. But in the long run, the capitalist roaders’ trickery inevitably is seen through by the people and by the Marxist-Leninists.

Can you elaborate more on the two articles on the dictatorship of the proletariat and bourgeois right by Chang Chun-chiao and Yao Wen-yuan? These were widely circulated here and thought by many people to be new contributions. What are the criticisms of these articles now?

The Chinese are still studying these two articles and haven’t yet fully summed up the complicated questions addressed in them. But already many good criticisms have come forward. The people call these two articles “poisonous weeds” and the criticism is being carried out nationwide.

I have already mentioned some of the criticisms as we understand them. In general, it can be said that these two articles tamper with the basic teachings of the revolutionary leaders, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tsetung. Chang Chun-chiao always considered himself more brilliant than Chairman Mao, and the “gang” dished out so-called “Chang Chun-chiao Thought,” which was nothing but the grossest distortion of Marxism.

For example, in his article “On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship over the Bourgeoisie,” Chang Chun-chiao distorts the writings of Karl Marx. Quoting Marx’s The Class Struggles in France, Chang wrote that the dictatorship of the proletariat is “the necessary transit point to the abolition of all class distinctions, to the abolition of all the relations of production on which they rest, to the abolition of all social relations that correspond to these relations of production, to the revolutionizing of all the ideas that result from these social relations.”

Chang emphasized these “four alls” of Marx in order to revise Marxism. What he is really calling for is dictatorship as the way to resolve some class distinctions that cannot be resolved through dictatorship. To emphasize his point, Chang says: “Here Marx says, ’all,’ and in all four places! Not a part, nor a greater part, nor even the greatest part, but all!”

Well in fact, Marx qualified his statement. In the actual work, Marx wrote that the dictatorship of the proletariat was “the necessary transit point to the abolition of all class distinctions generally” and emphasized the word “generally.” But Chang found it convenient to omit this word.

In Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder, Lenin clearly showed that class distinctions between the workers and peasants, for example, could not be eliminated through dictatorship as Chang Chun-chiao advocated. Lenin said in regard to small producers: “They cannot be driven out, or crushed; we must live in harmony with them; they can (and must) be remoulded and reeducated only by very prolonged, slow, cautious, organizational work.”

Then there is also the case of those among the masses who have bourgeois ideas. The “gang” advocated that dictatorship be used against them as well. But Chairman Mao pointed out that this problem should also be resolved through criticism and self-criticism and not by exercising dictatorship over the people. The “gang,” however, advocated a different line. At Shanghai’s Futon University, for example, their followers called for a dictatorship over the people’s ideas, thus enlarging the target of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This went against Mao Tsetung Thought.

From these examples you can see that Chang Chun-chiao used Marx to fight Marx and purposely mishandled the two types of contradictions under socialism. His line would have led to a fascist dictatorship over the people, just like in the Soviet Union. I’ll give you another example.

Chang’s article quoted Left-Wing Communism where Lenin describes the dictatorship of the proletariat as a “persistent struggle-bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative– against the forces and traditions of the old society. . . .”

But Lenin goes on to say, “... The force of habit of millions of tens of millions is a most terrible force.”

However, Chang’s article omitted this last sentence and in its place, he wrote, that it is “an all-round dictatorship” over the bourgeoisie. In Lenin’s actual writing, where he talks in this same place about the “force of habit,” Chang’s misquote talks about “all round dictatorship.” What is the implication of this conscious distortion? It is to use dictatorship against the masses where it is obvious that prolonged educational and organizational work is needed.

When Lenin was talking about the forces of the old society, he included the landlords, peasants and the bourgeoisie. But Chang distorted this to mean that the peasants should be the target of the dictatorship of the proletariat. When Lenin talked about “the traditions of old society” he included the influence of these traditions on the working class. But Chang distorted this to mean that the workers should be the targets of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In this way, by talking about “all-round dictatorship” he was obliterating the two types of contradictions.

What about the question of bourgeois right? Is bourgeois right still a concept being discussed in China? Are steps being taken to restrict bourgeois right? And didn’t the “gang” make contributions on this question?

The problem of bourgeois right is an important part of Marxist theory that was distorted by the “gang” for their own purposes. Again, this is a difficult problem that we need to do more study about. But in the two articles, Chang and Yao over-generalized about bourgeois right and referred to all problems in society as problems of “bourgeois right.”

For example, Chang wrote that bourgeois right had not been “abolished entirely in the system of ownership” and “is still prevalent to a serious extent in the relations between men and holds a dominant position in distribution.”

This analysis departed from the writings of Marx and Lenin who spoke of bourgeois right only in distribution and not in all these other areas. For example in Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program or in Lenin’s State and Revolution, it is pointed out that bourgeois right still exists in the socialist principle of distribution “to each according to his work.”

Bourgeois right exists under socialism in the area of distribution because > these is still inequality, inequality which cannot be done away with immediately or completely under socialism. Different people have different abilities. As Marx pointed out, one man is superior to another physically or mentally and so supplies more labor in the same time or can work for a longer time.

Lenin said that under socialism, bourgeois right could not be eliminated but only restricted. He said that only in the area of means of production could the bourgeoisie be completely stripped of their rights. In China, this was carried out in the main back in 1956. But the point today is that bourgeois right still exists in distribution and if not restricted, if not handled correctly, it can lead to the regeneration of the bourgeoisie.

But the “gang’s” articles led to the view that bourgeois right should be smashed in the socialist period. In their arguments they told people that attacking bourgeois right meant to attack the veteran cadres, whom they called “the lords.” They primarily directed their attacks at the “lords in the central committee.”

Of course, they enlarged bourgeois right when it came to themselves. While in Shanghai we visited the former mansion of Wang Hung-wen which had an olympic-size swimming pool. During a brief stay in this palacial home, the workers told us that Wang had dropped 23,000 yuan in just two months on luxuries for his own use. That amounts to more than 40-years’ wages for an average Chinese worker. In this sense, he was no different from those like Brezhnev in the Soviet Union, with his Cadillacs and Mercedes-Benz, living on the backs of the people.

Yao Wen-yuan and Chang Chun-chiao tampered with Marxism on the question of bourgeois right by negating the class nature of this concept. They used this question to say that there was no fundamental difference between socialism and capitalism. They claimed that bourgeois right was “predominant” in China today and further, that those with bourgeois right were bound to be capitalists. In this way they were able to lead a few in a counter-revolutionary attack on the Party leadership and called for the “overthrow” of all.

By claiming that bourgeois right was predominant, they negated the important measures that had been taken to restrict bourgeois right and that in fact the predominant thing was the socialist relations that existed. Chang went so far in his article as to say bourgeois right was “still prevalent to a serious extent in the relations between men” in China. He claimed that the system of ownership in China had “been resolved in form” but not “in reality.” What is this but an attack on socialism and the socialist revolution that put ownership of the means of production in the hands of the masses, not only in form but definitely in reality?

Why is it important for Marxist-Leninists in other countries to take a stand on the question of the “gang of four”? What about those who say that this is an internal matter for the Chinese Communist Party?

There is an aspect of truth in the fact that the struggle is an internal one. But this is not altogether true. The truth in it can be seen in the fact that much of the world was kept in the dark about the struggle until the Party and people of China had been educated about it. It is a struggle that could only be resolved by the Chinese people themselves and now they have made their stand known to all.

But the struggle against the “gang” was also a victory for the world’s people and for the international communist movement. It was a new victory over the forces of modern revisionism and in defense of Marxism-Leninism. It is an earth-shaking event with great significance for all the world’s peoples. Just as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was much more than an internal struggle; just as the Stalin-Trotsky debate and the struggle between Lenin and the Mensheviks affected the whole future of the working class internationally, so the struggle in China today will greatly influence the course of world history.

Quite naturally, as with any new development, there are many people who are honestly confused. After all, the bourgeois press has done its job.

The people must be educated on this matter step-by-step in accordance with their own understanding. Of course, mass organizations of the people cannot have a view of the struggle imposed on them. However we must distinguish between the masses of people in this country, for example, and some small groups who are consciously spreading lies and slanders about China or using their influence to keep news about the present situation in China away from the people.

A few organizations calling themselves Marxist-Leninist have even sided, openly or covertly, with the “gang of four.” But these people are not a big problem. The rank-and-file members of some of these groups have a great love and respect for China, for the Chinese people and for the Chinese Communist Party. Soon they will deepen their understanding and make their views known.

The question of the struggle against the “gang of four” is in essence a question of defending socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is a question of Marxism-Leninism versus revisionism. In this respect genuine Marxist-Leninists the world over support the Chinese Communist Party in their present struggle and view it as part of the worldwide struggle for socialism.

Others who are not communists, but who are friends of China or progressive people in different areas of the struggle, are reading and studying to learn about the situation there. This is why the communist press has an especially important role to play in educational work around this question. It is a great opportunity to broaden the horizons of the masses and especially the working people. To them every victory in defense of socialism and against capitalist restoration gives them greater confidence in the future of the struggle. It shows them that there is an alternative to the road that the USSR followed under Krushchev and Brezhnev.

Since the death of Chairman Mao, a small number of parties and individuals in the international movement have opened up with attacks on China and on the teachings of Mao Tsetung Thought. What do these attacks signify?

Again it is important to draw distinctions. Differences have long existed among the genuine Marxist-Leninists and their parties. This is a natural thing and in fact it is not a bad thing. Through discussions and exchanges of opinions the various parties can resolve their differences in the course of the struggle against the common enemy.

It is no secret that differences on some important questions have existed between China and some other Marxist-Leninist parties going back as far as the first fights against Krushchev’s revisionist line at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But these differences have never before stood in the way of unity.

Following the death of Chairman Mao, some people did launch attacks, for example, against Chairman Mao’s brilliant teachings on the theory of “three worlds” and some other points. We have made our own views very clear on these questions. We believe that these problems can be resolved through discussions among the Marxist-Leninists themselves.

Of course there are some who try to take advantage of these differences and to spread false information, to spread division and to form factions. But the people will be able to sort these problems out in time.

We should not lose sight of the fact that the main enemy within the workers’ movement is the modern revisionists with their center in Moscow. What attacks can anyone make against Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought that have not already been made repeatedly in Moscow?

We should also be on guard against the lies in the bourgeois press about the Marxist-Leninist movement. Some of these have been exposed recently. They make their money speculating on such things.

Our Party opposes such speculating. We call on communists to unite together on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and opposition to revisionism. All should be open and forthright in stating their views. We oppose all attempts to form blocs and factions and to create unnecessary divisions.

China has gone through great difficulties in the past year – with the death of several great leaders, earthquakes and the “gang’s” sabotage. There have also been great celebrations, such as those following the recent victories over the “gang.” What is your impression of the mood of the people and the current situation in China?

The influence of the “gang of four” hung over China like a dark cloud. Also, these other terrible events you mentioned had a great sobering effect on the people. It is hard for people in the U.S. to understand what the loss of Chairman Mao, Chou En-lai, Chu Teh and other leaders all dying in the course of a year, meant to the Chinese workers and peasants. Never has there been such a mass outpouring of grief in any country.

Furthermore the country was hit by six major earthquakes, including the massive quake in Tangshan. The first thing we noticed on our arrival in Peking was that thousands of temporary dwellings now stand outside all of the permanent buildings. These were constructed to house people safely in the streets during the quake period.

However, another thing that is very noticable to travelers who have been to China before is that construction is going on everywhere at an unprecedented scale since the defeat of the “gang of four.”

In our meeting with Chairman Hua Kuo-feng, he summed up the early history of the Party and explained how the Party and the people were steeled in difficult struggles. For example, in the course of the Long March and in the setbacks that preceded it, most of the Party and the People’s Liberation Army was wiped out. But Chairman Hua explained, the Party and people came out of that struggle much stronger. I think this is true today.

The present situation in China is very good. The 11th Party Congress left the Party stronger and more united than before. Some people ask how the “gang of four” could have done so much damage as they did in a socialist country like China. But I think the important thing is to see is that the “gang of four” was smashed and this is precisely because of the greatness of the Communist Party of China brought up under Chairman Mao’s teachings and the greatness of the socialist system. After 11 years, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has ended in victory. But as Chairman Hua points out, the class struggle under socialism will continue.

The celebrations going on everywhere in China, celebrations we witnessed and took part in, indicate clearly that the will of the masses has been and is being carried out. Now with the “gang of four” out of the picture, I believe China will make its fastest progress ever in moving towards the goals set forth by Chairman Mao, of building China into a powerful and great modern socialist country by the end of this century.

The Chinese people, under the leadership of their Party and Chairman Hua, are taking class struggle as the key link and making tremendous strides forward in socialist construction. This could not have been done as long as the “gang’s” sabotage continued.

In our visit to the Taching oilfields the enthusiasm of the workers and peasants seemed extremely high. It was here that the “gang” tried to play a wrecking role, sending their followers to attack all those who promoted production as having the “theory of productive forces.”

In Shanghai, which was supposed to be the base area of the “gang of four,” Chairman Hua reported that there was no trouble and only jubilation following the smashing of the “gang.” This view was in unity with the things we saw and the people we talked with in that city.

You had a chance to meet Chairman Hua personally and talk with him. Why do you think the Chinese wanted this meeting? What are your impressions of China’s new leader?

The meeting between our Party and the leadership of the Chinese Party is significant for many reasons. First of all, it is just one more in a long list of occasions which the Chinese have used to express their support and solidarity with the working class and people’s struggle in the United States. Chairman Mao, in many statements, expressed this support and placed great hopes on our struggle.

The founding of a new Marxist-Leninist party in the heartland of one of the two superpowers is, of course, a significant event for communists around the world as well as in the U.S. itself. Even though our Party is young and small and the Communist Party of China is big and time-tested, they still treated our Party as they do all fraternal parties, as equals without big-party or big-nation chauvinism.

Also I think it is important to mention that this meeting doesn’t put China’s “stamp of approval” on anyone, because there are no such stamps in the world communist movement. The vanguard party of the U.S. proletariat will earn its following through the course of the class struggle in the U.S. and in no other way. However, the fact that the CP(M-L) has been born in opposition to the modern revisionists and the fact that it has a correct line and a line that is united with that of the other Marxist-Leninists internationally is very important.

Today, as the international situation grows more intense, lines of demarcation are being drawn more clearly. As the factors for revolution and war both increase, the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties in the world are drawing closer together. The meeting of our two parties, at such a time is one important example of that revolutionary unity.

To us it shows concretely what support for the class struggle in the U.S. really means. It answers the slanders of the revisionists who claim that China has abandoned support for the class struggle in other countries. There is no other country in the world that has contributed more to the cause of proletarian internationalism than China.

I think it’s also important to see that our meeting took place only a few weeks before Secretary of State Vance came to China, with the U.S. bourgeoisie dragging its feet on normalization of relations. I think the meeting between our two parties made it clear to the ruling class of the U.S. that there is also a force within the U.S. itself, representing the interests and aspirations of the workers and the masses, which stands for socialism as well as for normalization of relations with socialist China. I am sure that our Party in that respect represents far greater forces than simply ourselves.

I also think that Li Hsien-nien’s statement at our meeting, encouraging us in our struggle against the rule of monopoly capitalism in the U.S., clearly shows the correct relationship between state-to-state relations between countries of different social systems and class struggle.

As for Chairman Hua, two-and-a-half hours is not enough time to really get to know somebody, but he impressed all of us with his style of work, his knowledge of history, and his friendliness. From what we have seen of his work, he appears tireless, meeting with foreign visitors every day, traveling around the country and energetically guiding affairs of the Party and state under what were very difficult conditions.

The press in this country tries to portray him as an “unknown.” But it has been shown that Chairman Hua has a long history of struggle and leadership behind him and enjoys great support among the masses.

His leadership in smashing the “gang of four” and doing it in good time while uniting the whole Party and people shows that Chairman Mao was right in placing him in charge before his death.