Chinese Communism Subject Archive

Letter of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China
in Reply to the Letter of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party
of the Soviet Union
Dated July 30, 1964

[Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1964]


Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Reply to the Letter of the
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Dated July 30, 1964 (August 30, 1964)


The Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Dear Comrades,

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 July 30, 1964. Completely ignoring the desire of many fraternal Parties for unity and their opposition to a split, your letter slams the door tight against consultations on the question of convening an international meeting of the fraternal Parties and issues the order for an open split in the international communist movement.

We pointed out in our letter to you of July 28 this year that "you are determined to prepare and call a meeting arbitrarily, unilaterally and illegally with the aim of effecting an open split in the international communist movement" and that "you have laid down a revisionist political programme and a divisive organizational line for an international meeting of the fraternal Parties". We stated, "You have premeditated everything: what kind of meeting it is to be, who should prepare it, who should take part in it and who should convene it--on all these questions you claim the last word. To you, all the fraternal Parties are mere puppets qualified only to move at your command." We also explained the consequences to you, pointing out that in calling a small schismatic gathering which is against communism, against the people and against the revolution you would wilfully take the road to your doom, and we sincerely advised you to rein in on the brink of the precipice.

In your letter of July 30, you pay no heed whatsoever to our letter of July 28. You also turn a deaf ear to the recent appeals of many fraternal Parties opposing the calling of a hasty schismatic meeting.

In your letter you arbitrarily lay it down that a drafting committee shall be convened without the prior attainment of unanimous agreement through bilateral and multilateral talks by the Chinese and Soviet Parties and all the other fraternal Parties concerned. The members of the drafting committee must be the twenty-six Parties you have designated, no more and no less, and there is no room for any discussion on this question. Every member Party of the drafting committee must immediately submit to you a list of its delegates who must report in Moscow before December 15 without fail.

You even decide before the convening of your appointed drafting committee that an international meeting shall be held in the middle of next year.

Furthermore, you have the effrontery to declare in your letter that, whether or not the fraternal Parties participate, the drafting committee you have designated shall open shop as scheduled and the international meeting unilaterally called by you shall begin on the date prescribed.

Thus the day in December 1964 on which you convene your drafting committee will go down in history as the day of the great split in the international communist movement.

You have used many fine words in your letter in order to deceive public opinion. You say that your purpose in calling an international meeting is to "preserve" and "strengthen" unity and not to effect a split. If that were so, then at least the procedures and steps for preparing and convening an international meeting of the fraternal Parties should be decided by unanimous agreement among all the fraternal Parties of the world through bilateral or multilateral talks in accordance with the principle of consultation on an equal footing. But completely violating the principle of achieving unanimity through consultation among the fraternal Parties, ignoring the views of fraternal Parties opposed to a hurried meeting, and not caring whether or not the fraternal Parties participate, you are determined to call a meeting. Is there the least desire for unity in all this? Is it not clear that you are working for a split?

You say that in calling the international meeting you want to seek "things in common which unite all the fraternal Parties". This is a whopping lie. The fraternal Parties do indeed have things in common--they are the revolutionary principles of the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960. But you have long since thrown these things in common overboard and are proceeding further and further down the road of revisionism. So far from showing any desire to renounce your revisionist line, you now insist on forcing it on the international meeting. In these circumstances, what is there in common between yourselves and the world's Marxist-Leninists?

Today, the most urgent common task before the Communists and revolutionary people of the world is to oppose U.S. imperialism and its lackeys. But you are bent on colluding with the U.S. imperialists and on seeking common ground uniting you with them. You have repeatedly indicated to U.S. imperialism that you want to disengage from all fronts of struggle against it. When U.S. imperialism recently launched its armed aggression against a fraternal socialist country, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, not only did you fail to declare explicit support for Viet Nam in its struggle against U.S. aggression, but you even aided and abetted the aggressor by actively supporting tiny the U.S. attempt to intervene in Viet Nam through the United Nations. While you pursue this anti-communist, anti-popular and anti-revolutionary line, how can the Marxist-Leninists reach any agreement or take any common action with you?

Moreover, you are using every kind of threat to intimidate other fraternal Parties as well as us. In fact, you are banking on your subversion and disruption of fraternal Parties through your collusion with the imperialists and reactionaries and through your employment of right-wing Social Democrats, Trotskyites, defectors and renegades. These activities of yours are nothing to be afraid of; you have already done more than enough in this line. The more you act in this way, the more things will develop contrary to your wish. It is beyond your power to subvert or disrupt the fraternal Parties upholding Marxism-Leninism. On the contrary, in the struggle against you they will grow in staunchness and in numbers. Your contemptible activities will only further reveal your true features as betrayers of the revolution. "How can ants topple the giant tree?" Taken together, the imperialists, the reactionaries and the revisionists are a mere handful whom history will discard.

Concerning the preparation and convening of an international meeting and its composition, we have repeatedly said that it is necessary to achieve unanimity of views through consultation among all the fraternal Parties, including the old ones and those rebuilt or newly founded. Otherwise, no matter what drafting committee or international meeting you convene, it will be illegal.

We will never be taken in by your fine words, never submit to your threats, never be accomplices in your divisive activities and never share with you the responsibility for splitting the international communist movement. If we were to take part in your schismatic meeting, it would be tantamount to legalizing your illegal activities, to recognizing your right to destroy the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties as laid down in the Declaration and the Statement, and to accepting the CPSU as a patriarchal father Party. Naturally we will never act in this way, for we hold ourselves bound by principles and responsible to history.

Here we reiterate the stand of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China as stated in our letter to the Central Committee of the CPSU dated July 28, 1964:

The Communist Party of China persists in its stand for an international meeting of the fraternal Parties for unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, to be held after ample preparations, and we are firmly opposed to your schismatic meeting.

The Central Committee of the CPC solemnly declares: We will never take part in any international meeting or any preparatory meeting for it, which you call for the purpose of splitting the international communist movement.

In unilaterally deciding to convene a drafting committee in December this year and an international meeting in the middle of next year, you must be held responsible for all the consequences of openly splitting the international communist movement.

Together with all the fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties and all the Marxist-Leninists of the world, the Communist Party of China is determined to raise still higher the revolutionary banner of Marxism-Leninism, the banner of unity based on proletarian internationalism and the militant banner of anti-imperialism, and is determined to carry to the end the struggle against your revisionism, your splittism and your capitulationism.

We have already warned you that the day you call a schismatic meeting will be the day you step into your grave. Your letter of July 30 shows that, disregarding all consequences, you have taken another long step towards this grave of your own digging. At this critical juncture, we hope you will weigh the pros and cons and choose carefully between continuing on the road to doom and turning back to safety.

With fraternal greetings,
The Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China

August 30, 1964


Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU
of July 30, 1964 to the Central Committee of the CPC


To the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China

Dear Comrades!

The Central Committee of the CPSU has sent to all the fraternal Parties its letter of June 15 addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The letter sets our positions on the basic questions connected with the existing differences in the international communist movement, and also advances concrete proposals on measures for strengthening its unity.

Up to the present, an absolute majority of the fraternal Parties have spoken out in favour of the necessity for collective action to overcome the difficulties which have sprung up in our ranks. They advocate the holding of a new international meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties, and, moreover, many Parties insist that the convening of the meeting must not be postponed for a long time.

The Central Committee of the CPSU sees in this position taken by the fraternal Parties new evidence of their great concern for the fate of the communist movement and of their awareness of the high responsibility which the current situation imposes on Communists.

Marxist-Leninists cannot shut their eyes to the fact that the differences which sprang up in our ranks four years ago not only have not lost their acuteness but are becoming more and more serious. Ideological differences have grown into open conflict which can lead to a split in the international communist movement if measures are not taken. All this is rather adversely affecting the activities of the Communist Parties, especially those in the capitalist countries, doing harm to the entire world communist movement and undermining the unity of the world socialist system, and it may weaken the attractive force of the ideas of socialism.

More and more facts show that our class enemy is reckoning on making every possible use of the discord in the ranks of the Communists. Imperialist reaction, especially in the U.S.A., is stepping up its activities, striving to strengthen its positions and launch an offensive against the workers' movement, the national liberation movement and the democratic movement, trying to undermine the unity of the socialist countries and intensifying the threat of war.

No genuinely Marxist-Leninist Party can remain indifferent in the face of such developments. No one else can solve the problems confronting the communist movement on behalf of us Communists. No one Party alone is able to undertake the solution of the problems affecting the interests and fate of the whole movement. Here common collective efforts are essential by all the fraternal Parties and all Marxist-Leninists. The fraternal Parties have come precisely to these conclusions, in persistently advocating the organization of a new international meeting as the tested method for overcoming differences and working out common positions.

As is known, at the 1957 meeting the fraternal Parties unanimously adopted the following decision: "Entrust the Communist Party of the Soviet Union with the function of convening Meetings of the Communist and Workers' Parties in consultation with the fraternal Parties."

Up to the present, necessary consultations have been held, the question of convening an international meeting of the Communist Parties has been discussed in a sufficiently detailed and thorough way, and the positions of all the Communist Parties have become manifest. The job now is to shift the solution of the problem to a practical basis. Taking into consideration the clearly expressed will of the absolute majority of the fraternal Parties, the CC of the CPSU considers that the time is ripe to begin preparatory work for the convening of an international meeting. We hold that, already this year, a drafting committee should be convened. In so far as it has already become clear in the process of preliminary exchange of views that the question of the composition of the drafting committee could become a new obstacle to its convening, we regard as the only reasonable way out the convening of the drafting committee with the same composition with which it worked during the preparations for the 1960 meeting, that is, comprising the representatives of the Communist and Workers' Parties of the following twenty-six countries: Australia, Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Hungary, Viet Nam, the German Democratic Republic, West Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, the PRC, Korea, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, the USA, Syria, the USSR, Finland, France, Czechoslovakia and Japan.

The CC of the CPSU invites the representatives of the fraternal Parties listed above to come to Moscow by December 15, 1964, so as to start on the practical work of preparation for an international meeting.

Undoubtedly, it would conform to the common wish if the committee could start working with its full membership from the beginning. However, in our opinion, the committee should also begin its work in the case that any of the twenty-six Communist Parties fails to send its representatives by the appointed time.

In accordance with the experience of past meetings, the drafting committee will prepare drafts of the principal documents to be submitted to the international meeting for discussion. The committee could discuss the whole range of questions concerning the holding of the international meeting and put forward its proposals on them. The drafting committee should send its proposals and recommendations on all these questions to all the fraternal Parties.

The CC of the CPSU expresses the conviction that, despite the complicated situation in the communist movement, there is every ground for the drafting committee to cope with its task successfully. After the committee has accomplished the necessary preparatory work, the international meeting should be convened at the time set by the committee

On the aims and perspectives of the meeting, the CC of the CPSU has stated its views in its letter of June 15. We want to stress once again that for us the question of the meeting is inseparably linked up with the problem of preserving and strengthening the unity of the world communist movement. The meeting will be called not to condemn anybody, to "excommunicate" anybody from the communist movement and the socialist camp, to attach insulting labels, or to throw irresponsible charges at each other--this would lead only to further divisions, and not to the strengthening of unity. We consider that the meeting should concentrate its efforts on finding out the things in common which unite all the fraternal Parties, and on seeking ways to overcome the existing differences.

In the opinion of the CC of the CPSU, each fraternal Party could state its viewpoint at the meeting in a frank and matter-of-fact way, so that its viewpoint can be considered in working out the common line and joint decisions, and it should also listen to the opinions of other Parties.

Apparently, the starting point of the work of the new meeting will be the decisions of the previous meetings-- the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960 in which the general line of the world communist movement was laid down. At the same time, reaffirming the principles of the Declaration and the Statement, the new meeting might sum up the past stage, exchange experiences, go over the whole complex of problems confronting world communism, and, in accordance with the shifts that have taken place in the international situation, enrich and develop the ideas of the Declaration and the Statement and creatively consider and solve new problems Collectively to analyse the new economic and socio-political phenomena and processes which have occurred in the past four years since the last international meeting, to coordinate appraisals and positions and to enrich and concretize the common political line accordingly-- this, in our opinion, is the most important task of the new international meeting.

Like other fraternal Parties, the CPSU fully realizes that the holding of the meeting in a situation in which there are acute differences is a difficult and complicated matter. It is possible that in the course of the meeting unanimity may not be reached on all questions at once, however hard all the consistent supporters of unity may strive to do so. Nevertheless, we are deeply convinced that this, too, would not mean the "formalization" of the split or the creation of obstacles to the further seeking of ways to unity. In that case, it should be possible to try to reach agreement that the participants of the meeting should undertake the obligation to take account of the opinions of all the fraternal Parties, conscientiously co-operate in those fields in which common positions and interests are found, and refrain in the future from any actions which aggravate the difficulties and only gladden the class enemies.

We hope that all the fraternal Parties will consider these proposals with due attention, make use of the time before the convening of the meeting to make a profound study of the situation that has arisen in the communist movement and make constructive contributions to the discussion and the search for ways to overcome the difficulties.

It is our deep conviction that there are no insurmountable obstacles to the international meeting starting its work as soon as drafts of documents are prepared by the drafting committee--about the middle of 1965. The representatives of all the eighty-one Parties which participated in the meeting of 1960 may take part in the international meeting. The refusal of this or that Party to join in this collective work cannot serve as a ground for further delays in carrying out measures for which the time has matured with the aim of working out ways and means of strengthening the international unity of the Marxist-Leninists of the whole world.

Being convinced that the above proposals conform to the highest interests of world communism and to the interests of strengthening the solidarity of all the progressive and revolutionary forces of our times, and that these proposals express the will of the absolute majority of the Marxist-Leninist Parties, the CC of the CPSU expects that the proposed measures will be carried out in good time and be crowned with success.

In order to enable us to keep all the fraternal Parties informed of the preparatory work for the meeting, we request you to communicate to us the composition of your delegation to take part in the work of the drafting committee.

With Communist greetings,
The Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
July 30, 1964

Scanned and Formatted by the Maoist Documentation Project

Document List  |  Mao Zedong Archive