Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

1978 – Year of expanded Soviet aggression in Asia

Soviet moves in Asia designed to outflank Europe

First Published: Unity, Vol. 2, No. 3, February 9-22, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The current Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion of Democratic Kampuchea is the most recent in an expanding pattern of Soviet aggression in Asia. Over the past year, the Soviet imperialists have greatly increased their position in Asia through a series of bloody coups d’etat, armed invasions, troop buildups, and other acts of bullying, subversion and aggression across the continent.

These moves by the Soviet Union have resulted in a great concern among the Asian countries as well as throughout the rest of the world. The Soviet expansionism in Asia is an ominous sign of the rapidly escalating contention between the two imperialist superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Moscow’s Asian strategy is part of its setting the world stage for launching a war with the U.S. for complete global hegemony.

Why Asia?

The Soviet Union’s increased activity in Asia is essentially directed at strengthening its strategic position towards Europe, which is the focus of the two superpowers’ contention. Europe is a highly developed and concentrated industrial center and therefore has been and continues to be the key to world control. Both superpowers have deployed massive armies in Europe, poised for battle. But at this time there is a relative stand-off in Europe, with neither superpower having a great advantage over the other.

The Soviet Union’s strategy is to edge the U.S. out of Africa and Asia and strengthen its position. This is in order to plunder these areas and build up its own wealth in preparation for a world war; it is also to gain a strategic advantage in areas surrounding Western Europe. The Kremlin’s aim is to outflank and isolate Europe from Asia and Africa.

Asia is a vast continent, stretching from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, to the Pacific. It is the largest of the continents, with the largest population and vast natural resources. It adjoins four other continents, and the Soviet Union itself spans both Europe and Asia.

Across Asia’s southern flank is a series of waterways which are among the most important in the world. Over 70% of Europe’s and 90% of Japan’s oil is shipped through the Persian Gulf. The Strait of Malacca is the principal shipping route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Control of these waterways and trade routes would enable the Soviet Union to choke Europe off from oil and other vital imports. Soviet bases in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean vastly expand its field of naval operations, presently limited by lack of warm water ports and the long distance between their present bases and Asia.

Another factor in the Soviet Union’s Asian strategy is its desire to encircle socialist China.

Most despicably, the Soviets are utilizing the old imperialist tactic of using “Asians to fight Asians” to carry out its plans. It is using Viet Nam as its hatchet man in Kampuchea and as a “Trojan horse” towards the other Southeast Asian and Asian countries.

Oppose Soviet threat in Asia

With each gain that the Soviet imperialists make in Asia, their appetite grows for more and brings them closer to launching a new war for world domination.

The United States, the other superpower, is extremely worried about Soviet advances and is trying to hold onto its own position. However, the U.S. is having much difficulty doing just this, as can be seen in the failure of its Camp David efforts to settle the Mideast situation in its favor; and its inability to cope with the situation in Iran. The U.S. is trying to shore up its own position with other moves such as slowing down its military withdrawal from south Korea and renewing its lease on its bases in the Philippines.

Thus the contention between the two superpowers is heightening and the danger of a superpower war is on the increase.

For the people of the United States, it is important to oppose the two superpowers’ war preparations. The current situation in Asia, in particular, calls for taking a firm stand against Soviet aggression there. The people of the U.S. must also oppose continued U.S. military occupation of south Korea and U.S. bases in the Philippines, as well as other acts of U.S. aggression. The American people have stood up in the past in support of national liberation in Asia, and in this same anti-imperialist tradition must oppose all foreign aggression there today.

The Asian countries’ and peoples’ efforts to safeguard their national independence and all that contributes to the struggle against hegemonism in Asia should be supported. For example, it was significant that the recent armed invasion of Kampuchea was protested by almost all of Asia – by all of the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China. Another recent important event which advances the cause of stability in Asia was the normalization of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China.

The American people should also oppose any appeasement of the Soviet aggressors in Asia. There is a tendency within the U.S. ruling class to think that by sacrificing some smaller countries to the Soviets, Moscow will be satisfied and a larger conflict will be avoided. This imperialist policy will only result in the opposite, by whetting the Soviets’ appetite for more and hastening the outbreak of war.

In this line, the U.S. people must demand that the U.S. government not recognize the puppet government installed in Kampuchea by Viet Nam. The U.S. government’s slanders against the socialist government of Kampuchea under Pol Pot must also be opposed. These slanders of “genocide” and “dictatorship” dovetailed with the Soviet and Vietnamese attacks and created a hostile atmosphere against Kampuchea which enabled the Vietnamese to invade Kampuchea. Today, these slanders serve to justify Viet Nam’s occupation of Kampuchea, and detract from the U.S.’s stated opposition to the invasion.

The struggles of the Southeast Asian people – combined with the world’s people, including the people of the U.S. defeated U.S. imperialist aggression in Asia five years ago. Today the people of Kampuchea and the rest of Asia are struggling against the Soviet imperialists. With the support of the world’s countries and people they can deal blows to the Soviets and combat the danger of a new world war.