Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Report from China – Part I: China’s foreign policy: The fight against hegemonism

First Published: Unity, Vol. 5, No. 16, October 29-November 11, 1982.
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.

A delegation of the U.S. League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L) recently returned from China. This two-part article will discuss some of what we learned. Part I looks at China’s foreign policy; part II will describe China’s domestic situation.

For more information on China’s international views, we recommend UNITY readers look at Hu Yaobang’s speech to the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of China (Beijing Review, Sept. 20, 1982) and at Foreign Minister Huang Hua’s speech to the UN (Beijing Review, Oct. 11, 1982).

What is China’s foreign policy? The western media mixes facts with a lot of speculation in its reporting. Similarly, various left groups in the U.S. have an ax to grind in misrepresenting China’s stand.

In reality, China takes a principled and independent stand in world affairs.

Socialist foreign policy

People in the U.S. are used to our government dominating and invading other countries. The U.S. government serves the needs of the big corporations and banks, which need to economically and politically control other countries to make profits.

However, in China there is no capitalist class. As a socialist country, China has no need to exploit or dominate others. China wants a peaceful world in order to develop its economy and to trade with others. As party first secretary Hu Yaobang said at the 12th Party Congress:

We do not station a single soldier abroad, nor have we occupied a single inch of foreign land. We have never infringed upon the sovereignty of another country, or imposed an unequal relationship upon it. In no circumstances will we seek hegemony.

China supports revolutionary movements around the world, national liberation movements and the efforts of countries to maintain their independence from any form of domination. It supports efforts of third world countries to increase their cooperation and forge a new world economic order.

At the same time, China realizes revolution cannot be exported. The people of each country must make their own revolution, according to their own conditions.

China has diplomatic relations with 125 countries, most of which are not socialist. It is willing to live in peace with other countries if there is mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, noninterference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

How do these principles of socialist foreign policy apply to today’s world?


China has taken a strong stand in opposing Israeli aggression and supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). China has opposed each of Israel’s expansionist wars and calls for the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab lands. It very strongly condemned the role of U.S. imperialism in backing Israel.

The Chinese support the formation of a Palestinian state in the Mideast. At a time when the PLO was facing a brutal Israeli attack in Lebanon, the Chinese gave $1 million to the PLO to use for whatever purpose they chose. The Chinese government has long had an official PLO delegation office in Beijing and has refused to diplomatically recognize Israel.


The Chinese strongly oppose superpower interference in Asia. They condemned the 1979 Soviet-backed Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea (Cambodia). The Vietnamese continue to station over 200,000 troops in that country and installed a puppet government in the capital.

The Chinese give strong political and economic support to the resistance forces fighting the Vietnamese invasion.

They have backed the newly formed Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea and fought to maintain its seat at the UN. Their support of the national liberation forces is being proven correct in practice, as the Vietnamese-installed regime faces increased problems and instability.

Similarly, the Chinese strongly criticized the 1980 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and support the guerrillas fighting for the independence of their country.

U.S. troops have continued to occupy south Korea since the early 1950’s. U.S. and other imperialist powers dominate the economy of that country. The Chinese have always called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, an end to imperialist domination, and reunification of north and south Korea. The Chinese enjoy close relations with the government and communist party in Korea.

The Chinese also oppose any other imperialist domination in the region. For example, they consider the Marcos regime in the Philippines to be a right-wing military government and they politically support the resistance forces there led by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Latin America

Latin America is still largely under the domination of U.S. imperialism, although the Soviet Union and its agent, Cuba, pose a growing threat to the region. The Chinese support peoples’ movements and countries’ efforts to remain independent of either superpower.

During the Malvinas (Falklands) crisis, China condemned the British invasion. It joined most Latin American countries in recognizing Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas and called for a peaceful settlement of the dispute.

In El Salvador and other Central American countries, China supports the popular forces fighting for independence and democracy against U.S. imperialism. Some western newspapers reported that China had sent government observers to the Salvadorian elections earlier this year in which a right-wing junta came to power. In fact, China only sent two Xinhua news agency reporters to cover the elections. China expresses its solidarity with the Revolutionary Democratic Front (FDR) of El Salvador.

Superpower contention

“The quest for hegemony by the superpowers and the resultant global rivalry between them are the main source of the unrest and turmoil in the world,” Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua told the UN October 4.

The Chinese point out that the U.S. is a longtime imperialist superpower that is well-known for its domination of Latin America, the Mideast and other parts of the world. The U.S.S.R., on the other hand, is a new and hungry superpower. It covers up its actions with talk of “socialist solidarity” and “supporting national liberation movements.” In just the last two years, the U.S.S.R. has backed the invasion of Kampuchea, directly invaded Afghanistan, and instigated martial law in Poland. On a worldwide scale, the U.S.S.R. is on the offensive, while the U.S. is on the defensive. The U.S.S.R. is the main source of war.

The Chinese oppose the aggressive actions of either superpower and oppose their contention with one another. For example, the Chinese have condemned the superpower nuclear arms race.

China calls for nuclear disarmament and has offered to eliminate all of its own nuclear weapons. Since the two superpowers control the vast majority of nuclear weapons, China calls on the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to reduce their weapons, to be followed by reductions by other nuclear powers and eventual elimination of all nuclear weapons.

China is sympathetic to the anti-nuclear weapons movement in various countries and feels it makes contributions to world peace. It is also aware that both the U.S. and U.S.S.R. seek to use the movement for their own purposes. The Soviet Union, in particular, uses peace sentiments and people’s hatred for U.S. aggression to justify their own continued nuclear arms buildup.

The Chinese also oppose superpower domination and contention in Europe. For example, they oppose all foreign intervention in Poland – both Soviet and U.S. The Soviet Union obviously interferes on a larger scale. They believe that the situation in Poland must be resolved by the Polish people themselves so that Poland can enjoy greater independence.

Over the last few months, the western press has noted increased cultural exchanges between the U.S.S.R. and China. China has increased public criticisms of U.S. foreign policy. The press speculates that there may be a thaw in Chinese-Soviet relations.

The Chinese explain that they have always made a distinction between the people and leadership of the Soviet Union. They desire to improve people-to-people relations and normalize state-to-state relations. But they have not dropped any of their criticisms of Soviet hegemonism or of the Soviet Communist Party. They don’t intend to normalize party relations.

Asked if he was trying to play the “Soviet card” against the U.S., party leader Deng Xiaoping said, “I play bridge in private life, not in politics.”

* * *

The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government make it clear they will maintain an independent and non-aligned foreign policy. They are allies in the world’s struggle against hegemonism, imperialism and for world peace.