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. 108-115.
OCR and HTML: Juan Fajardo, for marxists.org, April 2010.
Moscow, February 21, 1963
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, guided by the supreme interests of our Common cause, has decided to write this letter to you in order to express our considerations concerning the need to make a common effort to strengthen the unity of the world communist movement in accordance with the principles of Marxism-Leninism, proletarian internationalism, the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings. We are addressing you, being deeply convinced that in the present conditions there is no task more important for the Marxist-Leninist Parties than the struggle for the cohesion of our ranks, for strengthening the unity of all the socialist countries.
All who treasure the great cause of peace and socialism cannot but feel serious concern over the situation which has arisen of late in the communist movement. The open, ever aggravating polemics are shaking the unity of fraternal Parties, seriously damaging our common interests. The disputes which have arisen within the ranks of the international communist movement obstruct the successful struggle against imperialism, weaken the efforts of the socialist countries in the international arena, adversely affect the activities of fraternal Parties, especially of those in capitalist countries where a complicated internal political situation has arisen.
The enemies of socialism are striving to take advantage of the differences that have arisen within the communist movement to divide the socialist countries, to split the national-liberation movement, to strengthen their own positions.
In conditions of the new balance of forces in 'the world, the imperialist aggressors are not in a position to over power the closely welded socialist community militarily. Therefore, they put their main stake on subverting our cohesion. Unless we have unity in the fight against our common enemy, if we act separately in the face of imperialism, that can only weaken our efforts and, therefore, strengthen the positions of the enemies of socialism. The direct duty of Marxist-Leninist Parties, above all of the biggest Parties like the C.P.S.U. and the C.P.C., is not to allow events to develop in a direction that would confront the communist movement with serious difficulties, to do everything in order to eliminate 'the present abnormal situation and achieve unity of the ranks of the communist movement, and cohesion of the socialist community.
We are deeply .convinced that the difficulties experienced now by the communist movement are transient and can surely be overcome. We possess everything needed to strengthen our unity and cohesion. Evaluating the present situation from the viewpoint of the historical prospects. of the development of world socialism, one cannot but come to the conclusion that the common, the main things that unite the C.P.S.U., the C.P.C., all the Marxist-Leninist Parties, are immeasurably higher and more significant than the existing differences. We are welded together by the unity of the class interests of the proletariat, of the working people of the whole world, by the great Marxist-Leninist teaching. No matter how serious our differences might seem today, one cannot forget that in the great historical struggle of the forces of socialism against capitalism, we are standing with you on the same side of the barricade.
Being aware of the entire complexity of the present situation, we hold at the same time that the existing differences should not be exaggerated and the colours laid too thick.
An objective analysis of the discussion going on in the communist movement shows that in many instances in the course of the polemics the differences that arise are artificially inflated and exacerbated, an overdue accent is made on disputed issues. The heat of polemics at times prevents a calm and sober appraisal of the substance of the problems that have arisen, eclipsing the main things that underlie our unity.
The Marxist-Leninist Parties jointly worked out programmatic documents the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings — the loyalty to which they invariably stress. Steadfastly carrying out the common line agreed upon by the world communist movement, the C.P.S.U. is waging active _struggle against imperialism, for the triumph of the great ideals of socialism and communism all over the globe. Our Party spares no efforts in the struggle to prevent a new world war, to strengthen peace and the security of the peoples. The C.P.S.U. and the Soviet Government by all means — economic, political, and even by rendering assistance in arms — support the national-liberation movement. Faithful to proletarian internationalism, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union always follows the militant slogan: "Workers of all countries, unite!" The C.P.S.U. works to strengthen the world socialist community to strengthen its influence on the entire course of historical development. The successes of communist construction in the Soviet Union are a contribution of our people to the cause of strengthening world socialism, raising its authority and force of attraction.
For its part, the Communist Party of China has continually pointed out that it firmly stands by the positions of the Declaration and the Statement and adheres to the conclusions and propositions contained therein, that its main aim is to struggle against imperialism, for the triumph of socialism and communism the world over. The C.P.C. stresses its adherence to the policy of peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems, acknowledges the correctness of the conclusion of the Statement concerning the possibility of preventing a new world war. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China recognizes that the principle of proletarian internationalism remains the main principle guiding mutual relations among the Communist Parties and the socialist countries, and affirms its loyalty to the slogan "Workers of all countries, unite!"
Common positions on such cardinal questions is a good basis for increasing cohesion and overcoming the difficulties that have arisen. Provided firm adherence to the documents of the Moscow meetings, there is no substantial reason for exacerbating the existing dif ferences, because a correct solution can be found for them.
Of course, it is not excluded that different approaches to the understanding of certain problems of current world development can and do emerge in the communist movement. This can be explained by the different conditions in which this or that detachment of the world communist movement is working. But such differences in opinion, if not exaggerated artificially, should in no way resolve into a deep conflict; they can well be overcome through joint comradely consultations.
In view of all that, the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. considers 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. It was these considerations that guided the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. Comrade N. S. Khrushchov when speaking at the Sixth Congress of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany he proposed on behalf of our Party that polemics among Communist Parties be discontinued as well as criticism of other Parties within one's own Party. As known, this proposal found a wide response and support in the world communist movement.
By writing this letter the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. wants to make a new step towards overcoming the difficulties that have arisen. In the interests of strengthening our friendship and better mutual understanding we propose to the Central Committee of the C.P.C. to hold a bilateral meeting of representatives of the C.P.S.U. and the C.P.C. Considering the importance of this meeting, and to be more sure of achieving its aims, we would rather have the aforementioned meeting held at a high level. 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. As to the problems on which different viewpoints actually prove to exist, agreement should be reached on measures that would help make our positions closer to each other. If you agree to such a meeting, the place and time to hold it could be settled additionally.
A meeting of representatives of the C.P.S.U. and the C.P.C., the significance of which is obvious to everybody, would also play an important role in preparing a conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties, in creating the favourable climate without which it could not work successfully.
The C.P.S.U., like many other fraternal Parties, has advocated as it does now, the convocation of the conference, considering that there are serious enough grounds for that. As we see it, the attention of the conference should be centred on the common tasks of the struggle against imperialism and its aggressive plans, for the further advancement of the liberation movement of the peoples, for the rallying and all-round development of the world socialist community and increasing its influence throughout the world, for strengthening the unity of the communist movement.
We have already set forth our view concerning the need to convene a conference in our letter to you of May 31, 1962, and confirm it now again. It is our common duty to do everything for the conference to lead to the further rallying of Marxist-Leninist Parties and to greater unity. We are prepared to carefully study and support any initiative aimed at overcoming the existing difficulties. The main thing needed now is goodwill to settle on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, the problems that have arisen, not to permit any actions that could obstruct the strengthening of our unity.
All Marxist-Leninist Parties are aware that a highly important moment has arrived in the development of the world communist movement. Upon us, upon our Parties, upon the correctness of our policy depends whether we shall continue marching further together in the same ranks, or shall allow ourselves to get involved in a hard and needless struggle which could only lead to mutual estrangement, to the weakening of the forces of socialism, and to undermining the unity of the world communist movement.
On our Parties rests the historical responsibility for enabling the Soviet and Chinese peoples to live like brothers. The unity of the C.P.S.U. and the C.P.C. is of tremendous importance to the socialist community and to the entire communist movement. Future generations will not forgive us if in the present conditions in which acute struggle is going on between the two systems we should fail to find in ourselves the courage and strength, under the guidance of the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism to surmount the existing differences. History has placed on the first detachments of the revolutionary movement, which have delivered their countries from the yoke of capitalism, the great task to establish and develop relations of a new type, brotherly and friendly relations between peoples, and to set the example of a future socialist society for all mankind. Our Parties are duty-bound to find a way out of the existing situation and courageously and resolutely sweep away what obstructs our friendship. This is the only road that Marxist-Leninists can and must take.
We, are deeply convinced that the overcoming of the differences that have arisen would accord not only with the interests of the C.P.S.U. and the C.P.C. hut also with the basic aims of the common struggle of the international communist movement for peace, national independence, democracy and socialism. It is only necessary to display goodwill and profound understanding of the aims and interests of our struggle; then no obstacle can prevent us from strengthening and developing our friendship and cohesion of the international communist movement.
With communist greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union