Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Progressive Labor Party

China’s Foreign Policy: Alliance with U.S. Imperialism

Published: Challenge, Vol. 13, No. 30, December 23, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In spite of all the turmoil in China during the last year, China’s foreign policy hasn’t changed very much. The new leadership is carrying on the reactionary policies laid down by Mao and the recently purged “gang of four.”

The Chinese leadership justifies their support for counter-revolution with the ridiculous theory that the world is divided into three “camps.” The “first world” is said to be the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., the two superpowers. Then comes the “second world,” which includes Europe, Japan, Canada, etc. Finally there is the “third world,” which includes everybody else. Each of the superpowers is said to be seeking “hegemony” over the whole world; the Chinese leaders call on the “second world” to unite with the “third world” in opposing “hegemonism.”

This theory that the world is divided into three camps, overlooks the main factor that divides the world the division into classes. In every nation in the world today, the basic division is between the capitalist ruling class and the working class (and its allies: the peasantry, students, etc.). As communists, our “foreign policy” is to encourage the overthrow of the ruling class in every country. We do not support any ruling class anywhere, no matter what the phony excuse (“opposing hegemonism,” “supporting national liberation,” or whatever). The class struggle is world-wide; only by giving as much support as we can to revolutionaries in other countries can we strengthen the revolutionary movement in our country.

The Chinese leadership has used the theory of “three worlds” to justify support for fascist regimes around the world; any “third world” ruling class that supports “unity of the third world” and opposes “the superpowers’ drive for hegemony” qualifies for Chinese aid. In 1971, the Chinese supported the Bandaranaike regime in Ceylon, sending arms to crush the uprising led by students and agricultural workers. In 1973, when General Pinochet overthrew Allende in Chile, the Chinese Embassy locked its doors in the face of leftists seeking refuge from the fascist terror; last year, the Chinese offered Pinochet a loan of $50 million, when even the liberal governments of Europe were scared that open support for the butcher Pinochet would provoke strikes in Europe. Peking Review sings the praises of the brutal Marcos regime in the Philippines. The wife and the sister of the Shah of Iran are frequent visitors to Peking; a high-level delegation was recently sent from China to help the Shah celebrate the founding of the murderous Pahlevi Dynasty.

Not content with supporting “third world” fascists, the Chinese leaders have been cozying up to the capitalists in the “second world” (Europe, Japan, Canada). The Chinese press praises the European Common Market as an example of how the “second world” should “unite to oppose the superpowers”–without mentioning the struggles of European workers for higher pay, better conditions, and an end to racist discrimination against foreign workers. The Chinese leaders invited a stream of European prime ministers to Peking–not to discuss the need for socialist revolution in Europe, but to learn from the European ruling class how to make China into a junior imperialist power.

It turns out the Chinese rulers don’t even oppose both of the two superpowers. Because U.S. imperialism is on the decline and Soviet imperialism on the rise, Mao decided to ally with U.S. imperialism to oppose the “main danger,” the U.S.S.R. The U.S. ruling class eagerly accepted this valuable new ally; politicians, journalists, and academics all stream over to China these days and come back with glowing descriptions (even “Dear Abby” got in on the act!). Each week, Peking Review writes about how wonderful NATO is; the Chinese news agency on November 12 had an article greeting “The Committee on the Present Danger,” formed by hardline anti-communists to “alert the American people to the Soviet Danger” (it includes the wonderful people who brought you the war in Vietnam: Dean Rusk, Walt Rostow, etc.).

Even the staunchest supporters of the Chinese revisionists are finding it hard to defend China’s alliance with U.S. imperialism. Enver Hoxha, leader of the Albania Party of Labor recently called for opposition to both U.S. and Soviet imperialism; he also implicitly attacked the Chinese “three worlds” theory by saying that the world is divided into only two camps: the socialist countries and the bourgeois countries. Maoists in the U.S. and around the world have also shied away from China’s support for extreme right-wingers. The Maoists were particularly upset when the Chinese leadership acted as a left-wing cover for U.S. imperialism in Angola; the Chinese press did not mention the invasion of Angola by U.S.-backed South African troops for nine weeks, while there were daily articles blasting the invasion by Soviet-backed Cuban troops.

The Chinese leadership betrays the world revolutionary movement not only when it allies with U.S. imperialism, but also when it supports “progressive” national bourgeoisies instead of supporting revolutionaries. Communist “foreign policy” is working-class internationalism: support for socialist revolution around the world.