Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive
Source: The Polemic on the General Line of the
International Communist Movement.
Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1965; pp. 495-525.
OCR and HTML: Juan Fajardo, for marxists.org, April 2010.
March 30, 1963
The Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union notes with satisfaction that our proposals on measures aimed at strengthening unity and solidarity in the ranks of the communist movement have met with a favourable response on the part of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. We welcome your agreement to the holding of a meeting between representatives of the CPSU and CPC. This meeting is called upon to play an important part in creating a favourable atmosphere in relations between the fraternal Parties and in smoothing out the differences which have arisen in recent times in the world communist movement. We would like to hope that as a result of this meeting it will be possible to carry out a number of constructive measures to surmount existing difficulties.
In its letter the CPC Central Committee invites Comrade N. S. Khrushchov to visit Peking en route to Cambodia. The CPSU Central Committee and Comrade N. S. Khrushchov express gratitude for this invitation. Comrade N. S. Khrushchov would with great pleasure visit the People's Republic of China, and meet the leadership of the Communist Party of China to exchange views on urgent questions of the international situation and of the communist movement with the object of achieving a common understanding of our tasks and strengthening solidarity between our Parties. However, it is not in fact planned that Comrade N. S. Khrushchov will make a tour of Cambodia as you mention in your letter. As we all know, in conformity with a decision passed by our leading bodies on February 12, 1963, Comrade L. I. Brezhnev, President of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, will travel to Cambodia, as the Cambodian Government has already been notified and as has been announced in the press. Comrade N. S. Khrushchev, who has already visited the People's Republic of China three times, does not lose hope of availing himself of your kind invitation in the future to visit China and meet the Chinese comrades.
We remember that during his stay in Moscow in 1957 Comrade Mao Tse-tung said that he had only been in the USSR twice and had only visited Moscow and Leningrad. He expressed the desire to visit the Soviet Union again to become better acquainted with our country. He said then that he would like to travel from the Far Eastern borders of our country to the western borders, and from the northern to the southern borders. We welcomed this desire of Comrade Mao Tse-tung.
The UPSU Central Committee sent a letter to Comrade Mao Tse-tung on May 12, 1960, inviting him to come and spend a holiday in the USSR and familiarize himself with the life of the Soviet people. Unfortunately, Comrade Mao Tse-tung could not at that time avail himself of our invitation. The CPSU Central Committee would welcome a visit by Comrade Mao Tse-tung. The best time for such a visit would be the approaching spring or summer, which are the good seasons of the year in our country. We are also ready at any other time to give a worthy reception to Comrade Mao Tse-tung as a representative of a fraternal Party and of the fraternal Chinese people. In this tour of our country, Comrade Mao Tse-tung would not, of course, be alone. Comrades from the leadership of our Party would go with him and it would be a fine opportunity for an exchange of opinion on different questions. Comrade Mao Tse-tung would be able to see how the Soviet people are working, and what successes they have scored in the construction of communism and in the implementation of the Programme of our Party.
If a visit by Comrade Mao Tse-tung to Moscow cannot take place at present, we are ready to accept your ideas about a top level meeting between representatives of the CPSU and CPC in Moscow. We believe that a meeting of this kind could take place around May 15, 1963, if this date is acceptable to you.
We are very pleased that the Chinese comrades, like ourselves, regard the forthcoming meeting of representatives of the CPC and the CPSU as a "necessary step in preparing for the meeting of representatives of Communist and Workers' Parties of all countries." Indeed, without violating the principle of equality and without infringing upon the interests of other fraternal Parties, this meeting must facilitate the better preparation and holding of the meeting. Without such a meeting, and without the ending of open polemics in the press and of criticism within the Party of other fraternal Parties, preparation for the meeting and the achievement of its main aim -- the strengthening of the unity of the international communist movement -- would be difficult. Precisely for this reason the Central Committee of the CPSU, while agreeing with the proposals made by the Vietnamese, Indonesian, British, Swedish and other comrades at the beginning of 1962 regarding the convocation of a meeting of fraternal Parties of all countries, at the same time stressed the need for taking such measures as would create a favourable atmosphere for the work of the world communist forum.
In its letter of February 22, 1962, the Central Committee of the CPSU urged that "unnecessary arguments be stopped regarding questions on which we have different opinions, that public statements capable of aggravating rather than smoothing out our differences be given up." In the letter to the Central Committee of the CPC of May 31, 1962, we wrote:
As you are well aware, our Party has always come out and still comes out for collective discussion of vital problems of the world communist movement. The Central Committee of the CPSU was the initiator of the meetings of fraternal Parties in 1957 and 1960. In both cases these meetings were connected with serious changes in the international situation and the need for working out corresponding tactics in the communist movement. Now too we fully support the proposal for the convocation of a meeting of all the fraternal Parties.
We considered it would be useful in the preparations for such a meeting that the fraternal Parties could thoroughly and profoundly analyse the new phenomena in international affairs and their own activity in carrying out the collective decisions of our movement. The Central Committee of the CPSU displayed concern, perfectly understandable to all Communists, that the meeting should not aggravate the differences but do as much as possible to overcome them.
In their pronouncements many of the leaders of fraternal Parties have recently been justly expressing the same point of view on the necessity of taking, before the meeting, a number of steps to create a normal situation in the communist movement and to place conflicts of opinions within the permissible bounds of a comradely Party discussion. Now you also agree with this, as is seen from your letter, and it can be said that certain progress has been made in the preparation of the forthcoming meeting.
It goes without saying that when our two Parties are discussing questions concerning all fraternal Parties, the discussion can only be of a preliminary nature. The 1957 and 1960 Meetings have shown that the elaboration of the policy of the international communist movement can be successful only if all fraternal Parties collectively take part in it and if due conssideration is given to the extensive experience of all its component detachments.
We have attentively studied your views concerning the range of questions which could be discussed at the meeting of representatives of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China. These are important questions, and we are ready to discuss them.
In our turn, we would like to dwell in this letter on some questions of principle, which, in our opinion, are the centre of attention of the fraternal Parties and their struggle for our common cause. We do not mean, of course, an exhaustive statement of our views on these questions. We only wish to note that which is of paramount importance, by which we are guided in our policy in the international arena and in our relations with fraternal Parties.
We hope that this statement of our views will help to define the range of questions requiring an exchange of opinions at a bilateral meeting and will contribute to overcoming the existing differences. We are doing this so as to stress once again our determination to uphold firmly and consistently the ideological standpoint of the entire world communist movement, its general line as expressed in the Declaration and the Statement.
During the time that has passed since the adoption of the Statement, experience has not only not invalidated any of its main conclusions, but has, on the contrary, fully confirmed the correctness of the course taken by the world communist movement, as worked out jointly through generalization of present-day experience and the creative development of Marxism-Leninism.
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union proceeds from the basis that our epoch, whose main content is the transition from capitalism to socialism, initiated by the Great October Socialist Revolution, is an epoch of struggle between two opposed social systems, an epoch of socialist revolutions and national-liberation revolutions, an epoch of the collapse of imperialism, of the abolition of the colonial system, an epoch of transition to socialism by ever more nations, of the triumph of socialism and communism on a world scale.
The situation that has developed in the world and the: changes in the development of the class forces in the international arena which opened up new opportunities for our movement demanded that a general line be worked out for the world communist movement, a general line in conformity with its basic tasks at the present stage.
After the Second World War a number of countries in Europe took the road of socialism, a socialist revolution triumphed in China and other Asian countries, and a world socialist system was formed. The new system grew strong in the countries of People's Democracy and was able to ensure a rapid rate of economic, political and cultural development in the countries following the road of socialism. The socialist community was closely united politically and militarily. Thanks to the achievements of the Soviet Union and other fraternal countries the correlation of forces in the world changed substantially in favour of socialism, and to the detriment of imperialism. An important part in this respect was played by the ending of America's monopoly of atomic and hydrogen weapons and by the creation of a mighty war potential by the Soviet Union.
The formation of the world socialist system is a historic achievement of the international working class and of all the working people. This achievement is the incarnation of mankind's dreams of a new society. The growth of production and the vast achievements of science and engineering in the socialist countries have helped to provide the socialist community with an economic and military might that reliably defends the gains of socialism and also serves as a mighty mainstay of peace and security for the peoples of the world.
The radical change in the correlation of forces is also connected with a further intensification of the general crisis of capitalism, the intensification of all its contradictions. After the end of the Second World War a change occurred in the distribution of forces within the imperialist camp. Following the economic centre, the political and military centres of imperialism also shifted from Europe to the United States of America. The monopolist bourgeoisie of the U.S.A. has become the main citadel of international reaction, and has assumed the role of the saviour of capitalism. The American imperialists are now performing the functions of an international gendarme. Using the policy of military blocs, the American imperialists endeavour to subordinate to their rule other capitalist states. This evokes opposition to the United States on the part of France, West Germany, Japan and other major capitalist states. The recovery of the economy of the capitalist countries which had suffered in the world war, and their rate of development, more rapid than in the United States, intensify the desire of a number of European countries to free themselves from the American diktat. All this leads to the aggravation of existing centres of imperialist competition and conflicts, and the appearance of new ones and weakens the capitalist system on the whole.
The anti-popular and rapacious nature of imperialism has not changed, but with the formation of the world socialist system and the growth of its economic and military might the ability of imperialism to influence the course of historical development has been noticeably narrowed, while the forms and methods of its struggle against the socialist countries and the world revolutionary and national-liberation movement have changed. The imperialists are frightened by the tempestuous growth of the forces of socialism and the national-liberation movement, they unite their forces, make feverish efforts to continue the struggle for their exploiting aims, and everywhere strive to undermine the positions of the socialist countries and the national-liberation movement, and to weaken their influence.
It is perfectly obvious that in our age the main content and the chief trends of the historical development of human society are no longer determined by imperialism but by the world socialist system by all the progressive forces struggling against imperialism for the reorganization of society along socialist a lines. The contradiction between capitalism and socialism is the chief contradiction of our epoch. On the outcome of the struggle of the two world systems the destinies of peace, democracy and socialism depend to a decisive extent. And the correlation of forces in the world arena is changing all the time in favour of socialism.
The struggle of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America for their national and social liberation, and the successes already achieved in this field, the growing struggle of the working class, of all the working people of the capitalist countries against the monopolies and against exploitation, in the interests of social progress, are of the greatest importance for the destinies of the historical development of mankind. Socialist revolutions, national-liberation anti-imperialist and anti-colonial revolutions, people's democratic revolutions, extensive peasant movements, the struggle of the masses for the overthrow of fascist and other tyrannical regimes, general democratic movements against national oppression -- in our time all these merge into a single world revolutionary stream undermining and destroying capitalism.
Working out its policy in conformity with the new conditions, the world communist movement could not fail to take into account quite seriously also such an important factor as the radical qualitative change in the military-technical means of waging war resulting from the emergence and stockpiling of thermo-nuclear weapons possessing unprecedented destructive force. Until disarmament is effected the socialist community must always maintain superiority over the imperialists in their armed forces. We shall never allow the imperialists to forget that should they unleash a war with the aim of deciding by force of arms whether mankind must develop along the road of capitalism or of socialism, it will be the last war, the one in which imperialism will be finally routed.
Under present-day conditions it is the duty of all champions of peace and socialism to use to the utmost the existing favourable opportunities for the victory of socialism, and not to allow imperialism to unleash a world war.
The correct analysis of the alignment of class forces in the world arena, and the correct Marxist-Leninist policy elaborated at the Moscow Meetings, made it possible for the fraternal Parties to gain major successes in developing the world socialist system, and facilitated the growth of the class revolutionary struggle in the capitalist countries and of the national-liberation movement.
The socialist system is exerting an ever-growing influence on the course of world development. The entire world revolutionary process is today developing under the direct influence of the great example provided by the new life in the countries of socialism. The more successfully the ideas of communism make their way to the minds and hearts of the general masses, the greater and more significant are our achievements in the building of socialism and communism. It is, therefore, clear that he who wants to bring closer the victory of socialism throughout the entire world should, in the first place, show concern for strengthening the great socialist community and its economic might, should seek to raise the standard of living of its peoples, develop science, engineering and culture, consolidate its unity and solidarity and the growth of its international authority. The Statement of the Moscow Meeting places the responsibility to the international working-class movement for the successful building of socialism and communism on the Marxist-Leninist Parties and the peoples of the socialist countries.
Tirelessly strengthening the world socialist system, the fraternal Parties and peoples of our countries make their contribution to the great cause of the struggle of the international working class, of all the working people, of the entire liberation movement for solving the basic problems of the day in the interests of peace, democracy and socialism.
The present correlation of forces in the world arena gave the socialist countries, together with all peace-loving forces, the opportunity of envisaging as an entirely feasible task for the first time in history that of averting a new world war and of ensuring peace and security of the peoples.
The years that have passed since the adoption of this Statement have fully corroborated the correctness of this thesis. The failure of the aggressive forces to push mankind over the abyss of a destructive thermo-nuclear war is a highly important result of the strengthening of the might of the socialist countries, of the peace-loving foreign policy which they unswervingly pursue and which is increasingly winning recognition and support among hundreds of millions of people and gaining the upper hand over the imperialist policy of aggression and war.
No Marxist doubts that imperialism, losing one position after another, is trying by every means to preserve its domination over peoples and to regain its lost positions. At present the greatest conspiracy ever of the international imperialism is taking place against the countries of socialism and the world movement of liberation. Of course, there is no guarantee that the imperialists will not try to unleash a world war. The Communists should clearly see this danger.
But the position of the aggressor under present-day conditions radically differs from his position before the Second World War and, even more, before the First World War. In the past, wars usually ended with some capitalist countries defeating others, but the vanquished continued to live, regained their strength after a time, and even proved able to start renewed aggression, as is shown, in particular, by the example of Germany. A thermo-nuclear war does not offer such a prospect to any aggressor, and the imperialists are compelled to reckon with this. Fear of a retaliatory blow, fear of retribution, keeps them from letting loose a world war. The socialist community has become so strong that imperialism car no longer impose its conditions on the peoples and dictate its will as before. This is a historic gain by the international working class and the peoples of all countries.
By virtue of its predatory nature imperialism cannot get rid of the desire to solve contradictions in the international arena by means of war. But on the other hand it cannot unleash a world thermo-nuclear war without realizing that it will thereby place itself in danger of being destroyed.
A world war, such as imperialism threatens mankind with, is not fatally inevitable. With the balance of forces increasingly tipping in favour of socialism and against imperialism, and with the forces of peace increasingly gaining weight over the forces of war, it will become really possible to rule out the possibility of world war from the life of society even before socialism fully triumphs on earth, with capitalism still existing in a part of the world.
Of course, to prevent such a war it is necessary to continue strengthening the socialist system to the utmost and to rally all the forces of the international working-class and the national-liberation movement, to rally all democratic forces. Those who prize the interests of socialism and the interests of peace must do everything to frustrate the criminal designs of world reaction and to prevent it from unleashing a thermo-nuclear war and dragging hundreds of millions of people down into the grave with it. A sober appraisal of the inevitable consequences that a thermo-nuclear war would have for the whole of mankind and for the cause of socialism sets before Marxist-Leninists the need to do everything in our power to prevent a new world conflict.
The CPSU Central Committee firmly abides by the thesis of the 1960 Statement that "In a world divided into two systems, the only correct and reasonable principle of international relations is the principle of peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems advanced by V. I. Lenin and further elaborated in the Moscow Declaration and Peace Manifesto of 1957, in the decisions of the 20th and 21st Congresses of the CPSU, and in the documents of other Communist and Workers' Parties."
Our Party, which the great Lenin educated in the spirit of relentless struggle against imperialism keeps in mind Lenin's warning that moribund capitalism is still able to cause humanity untold calamities. The Soviet Union is doing everything to boost its economy and to improve its defences on this basis; it is building up its armed might and maintaining its armed forces in a state of constant readiness. However, we have employed and will continue to employ our country's increasing might not to threaten anyone or to fan war passions, but to consolidate peace, prevent another world war, and defend our own country and the other socialist countries.
The policy of peaceful coexistence accords with the vital interests of all the peoples; it serves to strengthen the positions of socialism, to help the international influence of the socialist countries, and to increase the authority and influence of the Communists.
Peaceful coexistence does not imply conciliation between socialist and bourgeois ideologies. That policy would spell abandonment of Marxism-Leninism and obstruction of the building of socialism. Bourgeois ideology is a sort of Trojan horse, which imperialism is trying to sneak into the ranks of the communist and working-class movement. The peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems presupposes an unremitting ideological, political and economic struggle between the two social systems, and the class struggle of the working people inside the countries of the capitalist system, including armed struggle when the peoples find that necessary, and the steady advance of the national-liberation movement among the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries.
The facts go to show that efforts to prevent a world war in no way weaken the forces of the world communist and national-liberation movements but on the contrary rally the broadest masses to the Communists. It was precisely in conditions of peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems that the socialist revolution triumphed on Cuba, that the Algerian people gained national independence, that more than 40 countries won national independence, that the fraternal Parties grew in number and strength, and that the influence of the world communist movement increased.
Availing themselves of the conditions of peaceful coexistence, the socialist countries are scoring more and more victories in the economic competition with capitalism. Our adversaries realize that it is difficult for them to count on winning the competition against us. They are unable to keep up with the rapid economic advance of the socialist countries; they are powerless in the face of the appeal that the example of the socialist countries makes to the peoples under capitalism's yoke.
As the economy of the socialist commonwealth advances, the advantages and superiority of socialism, and the greater opportunities of the working people to obtain material and spiritual riches, as compared to capitalism, will display themselves more and more vividly. The rising standards of living the socialist countries are a great magnet for the working class of all the capitalist countries. The achievements of the socialist commonwealth will constitute a kind of catalyst, a revolutionizing factor in broadening the class struggle in the capitalist countries and enabling the working class to triumph over capitalism.
The peoples embarking on socialism inherit from the past economies and cultures at different levels. Regardless of this, however, socialism awakens mighty productive forces -- as exemplified by the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies. The Soviet Union has already outpaced the leading capitalist countries of Europe in economic development and has taken second place in the world; the time is not far off when it will take first place in the world. The other socialist countries have likewise gained great successes. The socialist system is so progressive by nature that it enables the peoples to swiftly eliminate their backwardness, to catch up with the more highly-developed countries, and, marching in one rank with them, to fight for the building of communism.
All this inspires the peoples, giving them the conviction that they can embark upon the road of socialism and score achievements, regardless of their present level of historical development. The advance of the peoples to a new life is facilitated by their opportunity to select the best from the world's experience in building socialism, taking into account both the merits and the shortcomings in the practices of socialist construction.
The faster the productive forces of the socialist countries develop, the higher their economic potential will rise, and the stronger the influence of the socialist community will become on the rate and trend of the whole of historical development in the interests of peace and of the complete triumph of socialism.
Our Party proceeds from the thesis that there are favourable international and internal conditions in the present epoch for more and more countries to go over to socialism. This is true of the developed capitalist countries as well as of the countries which have recently achieved national independence.
The world revolutionary process is developing on an ever larger scale, embracing all continents. The struggle of the working class in the developed capitalist countries and the national-liberation movement are closely linked, and help one another. The course of social development has led to a situation in which the revolutionary struggle, in whichever country it takes place, is directed against the main common enemy, imperialism and the monopoly bourgeoisie.
The Marxist-Leninist Parties throughout the world have a common ultimate aim, to mobilize all forces in the struggle for the winning of power by the workers and the labouring peasantry, and to build socialism and communism. In drawing up the tactical policy for their struggle, every Communist Party must take into account the experience of the entire world communist movement, must take into consideration those interests, aims and tasks set by our movement as a whole, its general line at the present time.
But at the same time, the working out of forms and methods of fighting for socialism in each separate country is the internal affair of the working class of that country and of its communist vanguard. No other fraternal Party, whatever its membership, experience and authority, can lay down the tactics, forms and methods of the revolutionary struggle in other countries. Revolution is the cause of the masses themselves. An accurate analysis of the actual situation and a correct estimation of the correlation of forces are among the most important conditions of a revolution. The enthusiasm of the revolutionary masses in the struggle for the victory of a socialist revolution cannot be kept back when objective and subjective conditions are ripe. It would be tantamount to death. But a revolution cannot be artificially instigated if conditions for it are not yet ripe. A premature uprising, as the experience of the revolutionary class struggle teaches, is doomed to failure. Communists rally the working people under the red banner in order to win in the struggle for a better life on earth, and not to perish, even though heroically. Heroism and self-sacrifice, necessary in revolutionary battles, are of no use by themselves, but only for the victory of the great ideas of socialism.
The CPSU has always hailed and will continue to hail the revolutionary working class and the working people of any country who, headed by their communist vanguard, make skilful use of the revolutionary situation to inflict a crushing blow against the class enemy and to establish a new social system.
The tactics and policy of the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries have in common substantial features connected with the present stage of the general crisis of capitalism and the correlation of forces that has developed in the international arena. The development of state-monopoly capitalism has, besides aggravating the contradictions of the capitalist society which appeared before, also given birth to new contradictions. State-monopoly capitalism has led to a still greater narrowing of the social base of imperialism within a country, and to the concentration of power in the hands of a small group of the strongest monopolists. This gives rise, on the other hand, to a joint anti-monopoly movement embracing the working class, the peasants, the petty bourgeoisie, the working intellectuals and certain other sections of capitalist society interested in freeing themselves from the sway of the monopolies and from exploitation, and interested in changing over to socialism.
Our time is characterized by a sharp growth in the significance of democratic movements -- the struggle for world peace, for the prevention of a world thermo-nuclear catastrophe, for the preservation of national sovereignty; movements in defence of democracy, against the onslaught of fascism, for the introduction of agrarian transformations, the humanistic movement in defence of culture, and others.
Our Party fully adheres to Leninist principles and to thee principles expressed in the Statement, in saying that socialist revolution is not necessarily connected with war. If world wars bring about triumphant revolutions, revolutions are nevertheless entirely possible without wars.
If Communists were to start tying up the victory of the socialist revolution with world war, this would not evoke any sympathy for socialism, but would drive the masses away from it. With modern means of warfare having such terrible destructive consequences, an appeal like this would only play into the hands of our enemies.
The working class and its vanguard, the Marxist-Leninist Parties, endeavour to carry out socialist revolutions in a peaceful way without civil war. The realization of such a possibility is in keeping with the interests of the working class and all the people, and with the national interests of the country. At the same time the choice pf the means of developing the revolution depends not only on the working class. If the exploiting classes resort to violence against the people, the working class will be forced to use non-peaceful means of seizing power. Everything depends on the particular conditions and on the distribution of class forces within the country and in the world arena.
Naturally, no matter what means are used for the transition from capitalism to socialism, such a transition is possible only by means of a socialist revolution and of the dictatorship of the proletariat in various forms. Appreciating highly the selfless struggle of the working class headed by the Communists in the capitalist countries, the CPSU considers it its duty to render them every kind of aid and support.
Our Party regards the national-liberation movement as an integral part of the world revolutionary process, as a mighty force destroying the front of imperialism. The peoples of the former colonies are today rising to full stature as independent creators of history, and are seeking ways to promote their national economy and culture. The growth of the forces of the socialist system actively helps the liberation of the oppressed peoples, their achievement of economic independence, the further development and expansion of the national-liberation movement, and the peoples' struggle against all forms of old and new colonialism.
The national-liberation movement has entered the final stage of the abolition of colonial regimes. The time is not far off when all the peoples as yet living under the yoke of the colonialists will win freedom and independence. The freed peoples are now faced with the problem of consolidating political independence, overcoming economic and cultural backwardness and putting an end to all forms of dependence upon imperialism.
The countries that have thrown off the colonial yoke carry out the vital tasks of national resurgence successfully only in vigorous struggle against imperialism and the remnants of feudalism, by uniting all the patriotic forces of the nation in a single national front -- the working class, the peasantry, the national bourgeoisie and the democratic intellectuals.
The peoples who are fighting for their national liberation and have already won political independence have ceased, or are ceasing, to serve as a reserve for imperialism; with the support of the socialist states and of all progressive forces they are more and more frequently inflicting defeats upon the imperialist powers and coalitions.
The young national states are developing at a time when there is competition between the two world social systems. This circumstance has the strongest influence upon their political and economic development, upon the choice of the roads they will follow in the future. The states that have recently achieved their national liberation belong neither to the system of socialist states nor to the system of capitalist states, but the overwhelming majority of them have not yet broken away from the orbit of the world capitalist economy, although they hold a special place there. This part of the world is still exploited by the capitalist monopolies.
Now when political independence has been won, the struggle of the young sovereign states against imperialism, for their ultimate national revival, for economic independence, comes: to the forefront. The achievement of complete independence by the developing countries would mean a further serious weakening of imperialism, for then the entire present system of the predatory, unequal international division of labour would be destroyed, and the foundation of the economic exploitation of the "world countryside" by the capitalist monopolies would be undermined. The development of independent national economies in the developing countries relying upon the effective assistance of the socialist system will deal a further heavy blow against imperialism.
In the struggle for the attainment and consolidation of independence it is necessary to muster the whole of a nation's forces in readiness to fight against imperialism. In an endeavour to strengthen its dominant position after the attainment of independence, the right-wing national bourgeoisie sometimes succeeds in establishing reactionary political regimes for a time, and starts persecuting Communists and other democrats. However, such regimes are short-lived for the simple reason that they obstruct progress and the solution of vital national problems -- primarily the attainment of economic independence and the development of productive forces. That is why, in spite of the active support of the imperialists, these regimes will be overthrown as a result of the struggle of the masses.
The CPSU regards fraternal alliance with the peoples who have shaken off the colonial yoke and with the peoples of semi-colonial states as one of the corner-stones of its international policy. Our Party considers it its international duty to help the peoples who have taken the road of winning and consolidating national independence, all the peoples fighting for the complete abolition of the colonial system. The Soviet Union has always supported the sacred wars of the peoples for freedom, and given every kind of moral, economic, military and political support to the national-liberation movement.
The Soviet people gave great support to the Algerian people when they fought against the French colonialists. When the Yemeni people rose up in revolt against slavery in their country, we were the first to offer them a helping hand. We rendered various kinds of aid to the Indonesian people in their struggle for the liberation of West Irian, against the Dutch imperialists who got their support from the U.S. imperialists. We hail the struggle of the Indonesian people for the liberation of Northern Kalimantan.
Colonialists, both old and new, are busy weaving intrigues and plots against the liberation movement of the peoples of Southeast Asia. Our sympathies and support are invariably with those who fight for national freedom and independence. We are deeply convinced that, in spite of all the efforts of the American imperialists and their puppets, the peoples of South Vietnam and South Korea will be victorious in their struggle and will achieve the reunification of their native lands.
While being against the export of revolution, our Party has always done everything to prevent the export of counter-revolution. We are firmly convinced that the interconnection and unity of action of the three great revolutionary forces of our time -- the peoples building socialism and communism, the international revolutionary working-class movement, and the national-liberation movement -- are the foundation of the peoples' struggle against imperialism, and a guarantee of their victory.
The entire course of world development in recent years has: fully confirmed the correctness of the policy of the communist movement, which has yielded remarkable practical results. Thanks to the realization of this policy, the forces fighting against imperialism, for peace, national independence and socialism, have scored new successes. The CPSU considers it its duty consistently and steadfastly to carry out this policy.
We are firmly convinced that there are no grounds for revision of this policy.
Besides this, the CPSU Central Committee is of the opinion that it would be beneficial during the preparations for the meeting, as well as at the meeting of representatives of Communist and Workers' Parties, to exchange opinions on the new aspects with which life has in recent years enriched the policy of the world communist movement as laid down in the Declaration and Statement.
In your letter, dear comrades, you justly note that the guarantee of all our achievements is the strengthening of the unity of the communist movement and the solidarity of the socialist countries. In recent time the CPSU has at its congresses and at international Communist meetings time and again expressed its conception of the principles concerning the relations between Marxist-Leninist Parties. We emphasized, for the whole world to see, that in the communist movement, just as in the socialist community, all Communist and Workers' Parties, of all socialist countries have always been completely equal. In the communist movement there are no "superior" and "subordinate" Parties. And it could not be so. The domination of any party, or the manifestation of any hegemony whatsoever, does not benefit the international communist and workers' movement; on the contrary, it can only do it harm. All Communist Parties are independent and equal. All bear responsibility for the destiny of the communist movement, for its victories and setbacks, all must build their relations on the basis of proletarian internationalism and mutual assistance.
We also proceed from the basis that proletarian internationalism places equal demands on all Parties, big and small, but makes no exceptions for anyone. All fraternal Parties must show equal concern that their activities be based on Marxist-Leninist principles, in accordance with the interests of strengthening the unity of the socialist countries and of the entire world communist and workers' movement.
The formation and development of the world socialist system give special significance to the question of correct relations between Marxist-Leninist Parties. Communist and Workers' Parties in the countries of socialism are ruling parties. They bear responsibility for the destiny of the states, for the destiny of their peoples. Under these conditions the violation of Marxist-Leninist principles in the relations between Parties can affect not only Party interests but the interests of the wide masses of the people.
Guided by the supreme interests of our cause, the CPSU has eliminated the consequences of the Stalin personality cult, and done everything to restore in full the Leninist principles of equality in the relations between the fraternal Parties and respect for the sovereignty of socialist countries. This has played a large and positive role in strengthening the unity of the entire socialist community. A favourable situation has been created for the strengthening of our friendship on the basis of equality, respect for the sovereignty of each state, mutual assistance and comradely co-operation, voluntary fulfilment of international duty by each country. At the same time, we should like to emphasize that socialist equality not only means having equal rights to take part in working out collectively the common policy but also entails equal responsibilities for the fraternal Parties of socialist countries for the destinies of the entire community.
The Statement of the Moscow Meeting of the Fraternal Parties stressed the need for the closest alliance between countries breaking away from capitalism, for the pooling of their efforts in the building of socialism and communism. National interests and the interests of the socialist system as a whole combine harmoniously. Life has proved convincingly that every country can best solve its national tasks only through the closest co-operation with the other socialist countries on the basis of genuine equality and mutual aid.
Our unity, our well-concerted actions, do not arise spontaneously. They are dictated by objective necessity, they are the result of conscious activities, of the purposeful internationalist policy of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and their tireless concern for the uniting of our ranks. We do not close our eyes to the fact that different interpretations of certain questions of internal construction and the international communist movement, different interpretations of the forms and methods of our co-operation may occur in the relations between socialist countries. This is possible, for the countries making up the world socialist system are at different stages in the construction of a new society, and their experience in developing relations with the outside world is not the same in all respects. One should not exclude the possibility, either, that differences may result from different approaches to the solution of some questions of Marxism-Leninism in individual fraternal Parties. To exaggerate the role of national, specific features may lead to a departure from Marxism-Leninism. To ignore national features may lead to a breaking away from life and from the masses, and do harm to the cause of socialism.
All this necessitates constant efforts to find ways and means to enable us to settle the differences arising, from positions of principle and with the least damage to our common cause.
We Communists can argue between ourselves. But in all circumstances our sacred duty remains the education of the peoples of our countries in the spirit of deep solidarity with all the peoples of the socialist community. Communists must inculcate in the peoples not only love for their own country, but also love for the whole of the socialist community, for all peoples; they must foster in each man and woman living in any socialist country an understanding of their fraternal duty towards the working people of the world. Failure to do this means failure to follow the first rule of Communists, which requires the uniting of the Marxist-Leninist Parties and the peoples building socialism, the cherishing of our unity above all else.
Ideological and tactical differences must in ,no circumstances be used to incite nationalist feelings and prejudices, mistrust and dissension between the socialist peoples. We declare with full responsibility that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has never taken and will never take a single step that could sow hostility among the peoples of our country towards the fraternal Chinese people or other peoples. On the contrary, in all circumstances our Party has steadily and consistently propagated the ideas of internationalism and warm friendship with the peoples of the socialist countries, and with all peoples of the world. We consider it important to stress this, and we hope that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China shares this view.
In the international communist, working-class and liberation movements it is necessary to unite all efforts, mobilizing the peoples for struggle against imperialism. The militant call "Workers of all countries, unite!" formulated by Marx and Ekngels means that at the basis of this unity lies anti-imperialist class solidarity, and not any principle of nationality, colour or geographical location. The uniting of the masses in the struggle against imperialism solely on the basis of their belonging to a particular continent -- whether Africa, Asia, Latin America or Europe -- can be detrimental to the fighting peoples. This would be not uniting but in fact splitting the forces of the united anti-imperialist front.
The strength of the world communist movement lies in its faithfulness to Marxism-Leninism and to proletarian internationalism. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union has fought and will continue to fight any departure from Marxism-Leninism and any opportunism. We firmly adhere to the principles of the Statement of 1960 indicating the necessity for a struggle on two fronts -- against Right and "Left" opportunism. The Statement rightly says that the main danger in the world communist movement is revisionism, and at the same time points out the necessity for a resolute struggle against sectarianism and dogmatism, which can become the main danger at any stage in the development of separate Parties if not consistently combated.
Motivated by the desire to consolidate the unity of the world communist movement on the basis of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, our Party will continue to fight resolutely against both right-wing and left-wing opportunism, which are today no less dangerous than revisionism. But while being implacable as regards fundamental questions of principle in the theory and tactics of the communist movement, whiie struggling against revisionism and sectarianism, we shall spare no effort to elucidate, by painstaking comradely discussion, questions on which there are different interpretations, so as to clear away all extraneous obstacles interfering with our unity. I.n so doing, we proceed from the premise that when criticizing any mistake relating to questions of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the fraternal Parties, and also interim national conferences of the communist movement, should set themselves the objective of pointing out the danger of such mistakes and of helping to remedy them, and not of harping on these mistakes for all time. We are striving to facilitate the complete uniting of revolutionary forces, and not their disintegration or the amputation of one or another section in our movement. Naturally, Communists cannot allow concessions on points of principle in Marxist-Leninist theory.
As an internationalist Party, the CPSU carefully studies the experience accumulated in the struggles of the Marxist-Leninist Parties in all countries. We greatly prize the struggle being waged by the working class and its revolutionary vanguard of Communist Parties in France, Italy, the U.S.A., Britain, the other capitalist countries, as well as the heroic struggle which the Communist Parties of Asian, African and Latin American countries are carrying on for national and social emancipation from the domination of the imperialist monopolies, colonialism and neo-colonialism.
The Communist Parties have developed into influential national forces, into advanced detachments of fighters for the happiness of their peoples. No wonder the reactionaries are striking blow after blow at the Communists in their efforts to break their will. In their fight against the communist movement the reactionaries bring out the shop-soiled lie about the "hand of Moscow," claiming that the Communist Parties are not a national force but a vehicle for the policy of another country, the tool of another country. The imperialists are doing this with evil intent, in order to counter the mounting influence of the Communist Parties, in order to make the masses suspect them, in order to justify police persecution of the Communists.
However, all honest-minded men and women know that the Communist Parties are the true upholders and champions of national interests, that they are staunch patriots who combine love for their country and proletarian internationalism in their struggle for the happiness of the people. The CPSU considers it its obligation to give every support to its brothers in the heroic struggle they are waging in the capitalist countries, to strengthen international solidarity with them.
These, in general outline, are some of our ideas on important contemporary questions of principle, on the strategy and tactics of the international communist movement, which we thought it necessary to touch upon in this letter.
Being firmly convinced that the present policy of the international communist movement, which found its expression in the Declaration and Statement of the fraternal Parties, is the only correct one, we believe that at the forthcoming meeting between the representatives of the CPSU and CPC it would be expedient to discuss the following most urgent problems:
a. Questions concerning the struggle for the further strengthening of the might of the world socialist system and its transformation into the decisive factor in the development of human society, which is the main distinguishing feature of our era. We could jointly discuss how faster and better to secure a victory for the socialist countries in peaceful economic competition with capitalism;
b. Questions concerning the struggle for peace and peaceful coexistence. The need to pool the efforts of all peace-loving forces for the struggle to prevent a world thermo-nuclear war. The creation and the strengthening of the broadest united front of peace supporters. The exposure of the reactionary essence of imperialism, the heightening of vigilance and the mobilization of the broad masses to fight against the preparations being made by the imperialists for a new world war, frustrate their aggressive schemes and isolate the forces of reaction and war. Assertion in international relations of the Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems. The struggle for general and complete disarmament and for the elimination of the traces of the Second World War;
c. Questions concerning the struggle against imperialism headed by the U.S. The use, in the interests of our cause, of the weakening positions of capitalism and the growing instability of the entire capitalist system of world economy, the aggravation of contradictions of capitalism, and above all contradictions between labour and capital, and the severe crisis in bourgeois ideology and politics. Support of the revolutionary and class struggle of the working people in capitalist countries against the monopolies, for their social liberation, for the abolition of the exploitation of man by man, for the extension of the democratic rights and freedoms of the peoples;
d. Questions concerning the national-liberation movement. The support and utmost development of the national-liberation movement of the peoples. The struggle for the complete and final ending of colonialism and neo-colonialism in all its forms. The rendering of support to peoples fighting against colonialism, and also to countries which have achieved their national liberation. The development of economic and cultural co-operation with these countries;
e. Questions concerning the consolidation of the unity and cohesion of the socialist community and of the ranks of the communist movement. The need for consolidating in every way the international communist movement, the most influential political force of our times, particularly in conditions where the imperialist reactionaries have joined forces in the fight against communism. The prevention of any actions which could undermine this unity, the firm adherence by each fraternal Party to the assessments and conclusions worked out jointly. The continuation of the struggle against revisionism and dogmatism, as an indispensable condition for the defense of Marxism-Leninism in its pure form, and of its creative development, and for the further successes of the communist movement. The development of relations among the fraternal Parties on the basis of the principles of proletarian internationalism and mutual aid and support. The working out of joint measures to intensify the ideological and political struggle against imperialism and reaction.
During the talks it will be possible to discuss all the questions mentioned in your letter, questions of common interest stemming from the tasks in the struggle to implement the decisions of the Moscow Meetings. An important role could be played by the discussion of the questions connected with the consolidation of unity between the USSR and the People's Republic of China.
In your letter you raise the Albanian and Yugoslav questions. We have already written to you that these questions, though of a basic nature, cannot and should not eclipse the main problems of our times which call for discussion at our meeting.
Our Party, having condemned the splitting activities of the Albanian leaders, has at the same time taken a number of steps towards normalizing the relations between the Albanian Party of Labour and the CPSU and other fraternal Parties. In spite of the fact that the leaders of the Albanian Party of Labour have recently been coming out with slanderous attacks on our Party and the Soviet people, we, being guided by supreme interests, do not relinquish the hope that the relations between the CPSU and the Albanian Party of Labour may be improved. At the end of February this year the CPSU Central Committee once again took the initiative and suggested to the Central Committee of the Albanian Party of Labour that a bilateral meeting be held between representatives of our two Parties. However, this comradely step on our part did not meet with due response on the part of the Albanian leadership. The leaders of the Albanian Party of Labour did not even deem it necessary to acknowledge our letter containing the CPSU Central Committee's proposal about the bilateral meetings. Having obviously later come to their senses, the Albanian leaders sent us a letter in which, after, some reservations and stipulations, they speak of such a meeting. If real desire is in fact shown, we are ready to have a meeting.
As far as Yugoslavia is concerned, we maintain, proceeding from an analysis and assessment of the objective economic and political conditions in that country, that it is a socialist country, and in our relations with it we strive to establish closer relations between the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia and the socialist commonwealth, in accordance with the policy pursued by the fraternal Parties for the cementing together of all the anti-imperialist forces of the world. We also take into consideration the definite positive tendencies shown of late in Yugoslavia's economic and socio-political life. Meanwhile the CPSU is aware of the serious differences that exist with the League of Communists of Yugoslavia on several ideological questions and considers it necessary to tell the Yugoslav comrades so frankly, criticizing those views of theirs which it finds wrong.
In its letter of March 9, 1963, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China agrees with us in saying that today the world communist movement faces a crucial time. It depends on us, on our Parties, on the correctness of our policy, whether we continue to advance together in one rank or allow ourselves to be involved in a struggle harmful to the working class, to our peoples and to all working people, a struggle that can only result in mutual estrangement, weaken the forces of socialism, and undermine the unity of the world communist movement.
Naturally, being large, strong Parties, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China would emerge from this situation with smaller losses; but as far as the other fraternal Parties, especially those working in complex conditions, are concerned, they would be faced with great and moreover unnecessary complications, which, of course, is not our aim.
Everything depends on how we act in this serious and complex situation. Are we to continue engaging in polemics, to fall prey to our passions, and to turn arguments into recriminations and unproved accusations and sallies against the fraternal Parties? Or are we, aware of the great responsibility that we bear for the destinies of our great cause, to direct developments along a different channel, and show enough courage to rise above all that divides us today, cease uncomradely polemics, and concentrate on a search for ways of consolidating militant Soviet-Chinese co-operation, of consolidating the friendship of all the fraternal Parties?
We realize that any movement, including the communist movement, is unthinkable without controversy. However, no differences, no displeasure at the behaviour of a particular Party, can justify methods of struggle detrimental to the interests of the international communist movement. The deeper and broader our understanding of the aims and tasks of the international working class, the greater the vigour with which we should strive to analyse our differences, however serious they may seem today, quietly and relevantly, and prevent them from interfering with our positive work, from disorganizing the revolutionary activities of the international working class.
Let us struggle together for consistent adherence to the Marxist-Leninist course in the international communist movement, against revisionism and dogmatism, for closer unity in the ranks of the international communist movement, for respect for collectively worked out policies, and against any violations or arbitrary interpretations of these.
Our Party does not succumb to the heat of the polemic struggle but, aware of our common responsibility to the world communist movement, wishes to stop the dangerous process of sliding into a new series of discussions. It is obvious to everyone that we could have found much to say in defence of the Leninist policy of the CPSU, in defence of the common line of the international communist movement, in reply to groundless attacks made in articles recently carried by the Chinese press. And if we are not doing it now it is only because we do not want to gladden the foes of the communist movement. We hope that the harm caused by the sharpening polemics will be realized, and the interests of the unity of the socialist system and the international communist movement will be placed above all else. Therefore we suggest a meeting to you, not in order to aggravate the dispute but in order to reach a mutual understanding on major problems that have arisen in the international communist movement.
We know that such meeting is being looked forward to by our friends in all the countries of the world, and that they pin great hopes on it. It depends on us, on our will and reason, whether results gladdening to our friends and upsetting to the enemies of communism will be achieved at the meeting. This will be our common contribution to the cause of the struggle for the liberation of all oppressed people, for the victory of peace and socialism on earth, for the triumph of the great revolutionary doctrine of Marxism-Leninism.
With communist greetings,
The Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union