Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive
Source: Communist Party of China. A Proposal
Concerning the General Line of the
International Communist Movement.
Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1963; pp. 99-107.
OCR and HTML: Juan Fajardo, for marxists.org, April 2010.
March 9, 1963
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has received the letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dated February 21, 1963.
When Comrade Mao Tse-tung received Comrade Chervonenko, the Soviet Ambassador to China, on February 23, he explained our estimation of your letter.
We welcome your letter. We welcome the desire for unity expressed in it; we welcome the normal attitude of equality towards fraternal Parties as shown in it; we welcome your definite approval of the proposal to call a meeting of representatives of all the Communist and Workers' Parties of the world.
To safeguard the unity of the socialist camp, to safeguard the unity of the international communist movement, to safeguard the unity of our two Parties and two countries — this is and has been the consistent position of the Communist Party of China. We have never spared our efforts in the interest of unity. We are always distressed by and opposed to anything that is not in the interest of unity. We always rejoice at and support anything that is in the interest of unity.
We ought to face the fact that at present there are serious differences in the international communist movement on a series of important questions of principle. As for the causes of these differences, which your letter says "can be explained by the different conditions in which this or that detachment of the world communist movement is working", the more important factor, in our opinion, is the question of how Marxism-Leninism is understood and what attitude is taken towards it, and the question of how the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement are understood, and what attitude is taken towards them.
The Chinese Communist Party has always advocated that when differences on questions of principle arise between fraternal Parties, the fraternal Parties should start with the desire for unity, carry on comradely discussion and mutual criticism so as to distinguish right from wrong, and reach the goal of unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. That is to say, differences between fraternal Parties should be settled inside the international communist movement through consultation on an equal footing in bilateral or multilateral talks or at a meeting of the fraternal Parties, in accordance with the principles, and methods set forth in the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement.
The Chinese Communist Party is and always has been opposed to public exposure of differences between fraternal Parties before the enemy. We are even more strongly opposed to the inflammation of debate and the complication of matters by the use of such methods as the convening of Party congresses, the issuance of resolutions or statements by Party Central Committees, and the publication of articles and speeches by Party and state leaders. We knew full well, and have said more than once, that such practices would gladden our enemy and create difficulties for our own ranks, and especially for the fraternal Parties in capitalist countries. Events have proved that our concern was not uncalled for. More and more fraternal Parties have now expressed the wish that public polemics should cease. This is a good sign. We ardently hope that the public polemics among the fraternal Parties will cease in the shortest possible time.
The international communist movement has indeed reached a critical juncture. The time has indeed come when the differences among the fraternal Parties have to be settled.
We have before us a very good international situation, one that is most favourable for revolution in the world. There is no reason why we should not eliminate our differences and strengthen our unity.
In the world balance of forces, the superiority is on the side of socialism and the revolutionary people, and not on the side of imperialism and its lackeys.
Two great historical currents of our time, the forces of socialism and the forces of the national democratic revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America, are battering the wall of the reactionary rule of imperialism, headed by the United States of America.
The contradictions among the imperialist powers, and especially those between U.S. imperialism and the other imperialist powers, are becoming deeper and sharper, and new conflicts are developing among them.
In this situation, what is of decisive significance for the international cause of the proletariat as a whole is the struggle against imperialism headed by the United States and the support for the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In this situation, the possibility of preventing a new world war and preserving world peace will increase with the further development of the strength of the socialist countries, the further development of the national-liberation movement, of the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed peoples, of the movement in defence of world peace and, at the same time, with the full utilization of the contradictions in the imperialist camp.
In this situation, what is necessary first of all is to strengthen the unity of the socialist camp and the unity of the international communist movement. With the unity of Marxist-Leninists as the nucleus, the strengthening of the unity of the world proletariat, the strengthening of the unity between the world proletariat and all the oppressed nations and peoples and the strengthening of the great unity of all the people in the world who favour opposition to imperialism these are the guarantee for the victory of our common cause.
The Moscow Declaration and Statement set forth the common line, course and policies for our common struggle. These two documents present clear-cut conclusions on the nature of the present epoch ; on the socialist camp; on the common laws of socialist revolution and socialist construction; on the struggle against imperialism; on war and peace; on peaceful coexistence of countries with ,different social systems ; on the national-liberation movement; on the tasks and tactics of the working-class movement in the capitalist countries; on the struggle against revisionism as the main danger at present and the struggle against dogmatism ; on continuing the struggle against Yugoslav revisionism, which has betrayed Marxism-Leninism; on the guiding principles for relations among fraternal Parties and fraternal countries independence, equality and attainment of unanimity through consultation; etc. In our words and deeds, we Chinese Communists have unswervingly followed and maintained this correct line, this correct course and these correct policies. We are very glad that the comrades of the C.P.S.U., too, have in their letter expressed their loyalty to these two programmatic documents.
To eliminate differences and to strengthen 'unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and on the basis of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement accords with the interests of the people of the whole world, with the interests of the Communists of all countries, with the interests of the people of the socialist camp, and with the interests of the people of China and the Soviet Union. Conversely, if the differences should be further exacerbated and unity further undermined, it is not only future generations that would not forgive us we would not be forgiven by the masses of the people of our own time.
With the purpose of eliminating differences and strengthening unity, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. on April 7, 1962. In that letter, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party expressed its support for the proposal to convene a meeting of the fraternal Parties put forward by the Communist Party of Indonesia, the Workers' Party of Viet Nam, the Communist Party of Sweden, the Communist Party of Great Britain and the Communist Party of New Zealand, and explicitly proposed that a meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of all countries be convened to discuss problems of common concern. We are very glad that in its recent letter the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. also favours calling a meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties.
In our letter of April 7, 1962, we also pointed out that, in order to convene and make a success of a meeting of the fraternal Parties, many obstacles would have to be overcome beforehand and much preparatory work would have to be done. At that time, we advanced the following points:
First, the fraternal Parties and countries having disputes should take steps, however small, that will help ease relations and restore unity, so as to improve the atmosphere and prepare the conditions for the convening and the success of a meeting of the fraternal Parties.
Second, we support the proposal of the Workers' Party of Viet Nam that public attacks should cease..
Third, where needed, certain fraternal Parties should hold bilateral or multilateral talks to exchange opinions.
Fourth, we sincerely hope that the Soviet comrades and the Albanian comrades will both take positive steps to remove their differences and restore normal relations between the two Parties and the two countries. In this connection, it seems necessary for the Soviet comrades to take the initiative.
Fifth, according to the decision of the meeting of the fraternal Parties in 1957, the C.P.S.U. is responsible for convening meetings of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties, after consultation with the fraternal Parties.
At present, we still hold that the foregoing points are important for the success of a meeting of the fraternal Parties.
We are very glad that in its recent letter the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. has also advanced valuable proposals for making the meeting of the fraternal Parties successful.
We agree with your view that "it is especially important to take immediate concrete practical steps to ensure our unity, to improve the climate in the relations between all fraternal Parties".
In order to create a favourable atmosphere for the convening of the meeting of the fraternal Parties, we have decided that, apart from the articles which we have already published as replies, we will from now on temporarily suspend public replies in our newspapers and periodicals to the public attacks which were directed by name against the Chinese Communist Party by comrades of the C.P.S.U. and other fraternal Parties. It goes without saying that, basing ourselves on the principle of equality and reciprocity between fraternal Parties, we reserve the right to make public replies to all the statements of fraternal Parties publicly attacking the Chinese Communist Party by name. On the suspension of public polemics, it is also necessary that our two Parties and the fraternal Parties concerned should have some discussion and reach an agreement that is fair and acceptable to all.
We welcome the proposal in your letter that talks be held between the Chinese and Soviet Parties. We hold that such talks constitute a necessary preparatory step for the convening of a meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of all countries. In his conversation with Comrade Chervonenko, Comrade Mao Tse-tung expressed the hope that Comrade Khrushchov, while making his visit to Cambodia, would stop over in Peking for talks between our two Parties and an exchange of views. If this is not convenient for you, another responsible comrade of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. can lead a delegation to Peking, or we can send a delegation to Moscow.
We agree with your view that "during the talks it would be possible to take up point by point all the major questions of interest to both Parties, especially those relating to the common tasks of our struggle". We hold that the questions that need to be discussed in the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties are also the questions that need to be discussed at the meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of all countries, and that they are, first of all, the following: the question of strategy and tactics of revolution in the contemporary world, the question of opposing imperialism and defending world peace, the question of the liberation struggles of the oppressed nations and peoples, the question of strengthening the power and unity of the socialist camp, the question of strengthening the unity of the international communist movement, and other questions of common interest. All these questions ought to be discussed in a comradely way, point by point, to the full and in detail, in accordance with the fundamental teachings of Marxism-Leninism and with the revolutionary principles set forth in the Moscow Declaration and Statement; and the consultation ought not to be a mere formality but should be conducted on a footing of real equality. Whatever is agreed upon by both sides can be settled at once and an agreement can be concluded. Existing differences that cannot be settled immediately may be laid aside, pending later settlement. We propose that if we cannot finish our discussions in one session, several should be held, or that our Parties should hold further bilateral talks.
It is the common desire of the people of China and the Soviet Union, of all the people in the socialist camp, of the Communists of all countries, and of all the oppressed nations and peoples the world over to strengthen the unity of the international communist movement, to strengthen the unity of the socialist camp, and especially to strengthen the unity between our two Parties and countries. We are conscious of the responsibility that falls on our two Parties; we must not disappoint these expectations. Let us unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, on the basis of proletarian internationalism and on the basis of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. With communist greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
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