Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1964.
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPC Of May 7, 1964 To The Central Committee Of The CPSU
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPC Of February 20, 1964 To The Central Committee Of The CPSU
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPC Of February 27, 1964 To The Central Committee Of The CPSU
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPC Of February 29, 1964 To The Central Committee Of The CPSU
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPSU Of November 29, 1963 To The Central Committee Of The CPC
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPSU Of February 22, 1964 To The Central Committee Of The CPC
Letter Of The Central Committee Of The CPSU Of March 7, 1964 To The Central Committee Of The CPC
The documents of the February Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU published by the leaders of the CPSU on April 3 this year and the Pravda editorial of the same date divulged information from the letters exchanged between the Central Committees of the CPC and the CPSU since November 1963 and distorted the facts, in an attempt to delude the members of the CPSU, the Soviet people, and people everywhere else unfamiliar with the true state of affairs. In its letter of May 7, 1964, the Central Committee of the CPC notified the Central Committee of the CPSU that, in order to clarify matters and give the true picture, the Central Committee of the CPC deemed it necessary to publish in full all the letters exchanged between the Chinese and Soviet Parties since November 1963.
The letter of the Central Committee of the CPC of May 7, 1964 to the Central Committee of the CPSU, its earlier letters of February 20, 27 and 29, 1964, and those of the Central Committee of the CPSU of November 29, 1963 and February 22 and March 7, 1964, to the Central Committee of the CPC are herewith reproduced.
May 7, 1964
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has received the letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dated March 7, 1964.
In your letter you talk glibly about your desire for “the speediest possible settlement of existing differences” and “the cessation of the public polemics between Communist Parties” and about your willingness to do your utmost “to help strengthen the unity of the communist movement”. But the facts show the complete falsity of your fine words. Both before and since the delivery of your letter, you have never ceased your attacks on the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties. At every single meeting of the international democratic organizations in the last few months, you have energetically preached and pushed your wrong line and conducted activities against China. Already in the middle of February this year, that is, three weeks before your letter of March 7, you made an anti-Chinese report and adopted an anti-Chinese decision at the Plenum of your Central Committee, at which six thousand people were present, declaring that you would “publicly explain” the “mistakes” of the CPC and “come out openly and strongly” against it.
All this clearly reveals that in writing the letter of March 7 you were simply playing a two-faced game. Under the guise of “deep concern for the settlement of the differences and for the unity of the international communist movement”, you were diligently preparing a new onslaught against the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties and hatching a big plot for openly splitting the socialist camp and the international communist movement.
We have given you repeated explanations of our consistent stand on public polemics. Since you have ignored our repeated advice, obdurately provoked and extended the public polemics and made massive public attacks upon us and other fraternal Parties, we and the other fraternal Parties are of course entitled to make public replies according to the principle of equality among fraternal Parties. It is our right to reply as much as you attack us.
Our press has not yet finished replying to your Open Letter of July 14, 1963. We have not yet started — to say nothing of completing — our reply to the more than two thousand anti-Chinese articles and other items which you published after your Open Letter and to the great number of resolutions, statements and articles in which scores of fraternal Parties have attacked us. How can we be asked to give up our right of public reply when you have issued such a mass of resolutions, statements, articles, books and pamphlets attacking the Chinese Communist Party without ever publicly revoking them?
On many public occasions, including international meetings, you have violated the fundamental theories of Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary principles of the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement by spreading and pushing your general line of “peaceful transition”, “peaceful competition” and “peaceful coexistence”, and have set your minds on uniting with U.S. imperialism, the common enemy of the people of the whole world, to oppose the national liberation movement, the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and to undermine the unity of the socialist camp and the international communist movement. You have tried to impose your erroneous line on fraternal Parties and on the international democratic organizations. How can you expect us and all other Marxist-Leninists to keep silent about these foul deeds of yours and about such important questions of principle affecting the future of the world revolution and the destiny of mankind? And how can you expect us to refrain from exposing and publicly opposing your revisionist and divisive errors and from publicly stating our position and views?
You said earlier that in starting the public polemics at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU you were “acting in Lenin’s manner”, yet you say now in your letter that to refrain from public polemics is “the behest of V. I. Lenin”. Which of your two statements is correct? If you really want a cessation of the public polemics, does that not mean your 22nd Congress was wrong? And are you ready to admit your mistake?
The anti-Chinese report and decision of the February Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU published on April 3, 1964 and the ensuing events make it all the more clear that your call for a cessation of the public polemics was intended solely to gag us so that you could have a free rein to push ahead with your revisionist and divisive line.
Regarding the question of talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties and a meeting of representatives of all fraternal Parties, the proposal we made in our letter of February 29, 1964 was as follows: The talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties should be resumed in October so as to make preparations for a meeting of representatives of all fraternal Parties; in order to make further preparations for the meeting of representatives of all fraternal Parties, the two Party talks should be followed by a meeting of representatives of seventeen fraternal Parties, the meeting of representatives of all fraternal Parties should be convened after the completion of preparations, so that it will be a meeting of unity on the basis of the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism.
In your letter of March 7, 1964 you disagree with this reasonable proposal of ours and charge us with deliberate stalling. You want the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties to be held in May, the preparatory meeting of representatives of fraternal Parties in June-July and the international meeting of all fraternal Parties in autumn this year.
At first glance you are most eager and enthusiastic. But it is not for the purpose of eliminating differences and strengthening unity that you have put forward this pressing timetable. On the contrary, more and more facts testify that it is a step in your plot to accelerate an open split in the international communist movement.
On February 12 this year you sent a letter directed against the Communist Party of China to fraternal Parties and behind our backs. Your letter of February 22, 1964 to us divulged that in that anti-Chinese letter you had called for a “rebuff” to us and threatened to “take collective measures”. At the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU on February 14-15 this year you decided to “come out openly and strongly against the incorrect views and dangerous actions of the leadership of the CPC”. This means that you have pushed the cartridge into the chamber and are ready to press the trigger. In such circumstances, is it not utterly hypocritical of you to suggest that Sino-Soviet talks be held in May this year for “the speediest possible settlement of existing differences”?
We would like to ask the comrades of the CPSU: Why were you in such a great hurry? Was it not your intention, upon our rejection of your proposal for holding the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties in May 1964, to use it as a pretext for brazenly and unilaterally calling an international meeting and effecting an open split?
The consistent stand of the Chinese Communist Party is to uphold unity and oppose a split. We have worked unswervingly for the elimination of differences and the restoration of unity. At the same time, we are fully aware that our difference with you is a grave one involving a whole series of fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism. It began with the 20th Congress of the CPSU and was aggravated at the 22nd Congress and later. It is obviously impossible for such long-accumulated differences of principle to be solved overnight. Time and patience are needed.
When in our letter of February 29, 1964 we proposed that the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties should be resumed in October this year, our chief consideration was to have seven months for doing a number of things by way of preparation. For instance, we would have to receive a copy of the letter of February 12, 1964 which you sent to fraternal Parties and acquaint ourselves with its contents; we would like to see the magic weapons you threatened to use, such as “openly stating our views”, “publishing documents and material”, giving “the most resolute rebuff” and applying “collective measures”; and we would have to answer your attacks and react to your new magic weapons. All this would take time.
It is regrettable that to date you have still groundlessly refused to give us a copy of your letter of February 12, 1964 to fraternal Parties in spite of our repeated requests. It must be understood that this is a letter attacking us, and since you have given it to many fraternal Parties, why do you particularly deny it to us? We have the right to ask you to send us a copy. Now we again request you to send us the letter. If you go on refusing, our request will stand for ten thousand years.
As for your magic weapons, at least you have produced a few beginning with April 3 this year. It seems that you have now warmed up and have a lot more to say. But we still do not know what other magic weapons you have and what your “most resolute rebuff” and “collective measures” really are.
In these circumstances, how can the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties and the international meeting of fraternal Parties be successful? What will there be to say except for quarrels ending up in a fruitless adjournment, or a final open split with each side going its own way? Can it be that you are resolved to have an open split?
Comrades! We are against a split. Before all your vaunted magic weapons are produced, before each side’s case and intentions are made clear, and before full preparations are completed, the holding of talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties and of an international meeting of fraternal Parties can only lead to a split, and to this we cannot agree.
Judging by present circumstances, not only is it impossible to hold the two-Party talks in May, but it will also be too early to hold them in October. We consider it more appropriate to postpone them till some time in the first half of next year, say May. And if either the Chinese or the Soviet Party then considers that the time is still not ripe, they can be further postponed.
The timing of the preparatory meeting for the meeting of representatives of all Communist and Workers’ Parties will depend on the results of the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties. The composition of the preparatory meeting can be decided through consultation among fraternal Parties, but we still consider it appropriate for the preparatory meeting to consist of the seventeen fraternal Parties proposed in our letter of February 29, 1964, namely, the Parties of Albania, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, the Soviet Union and Viet Nam, and the Parties of Indonesia, Japan, Italy and France.
In principle we are not against increasing the number of participants in the preparatory meeting. But we cannot agree with the proposal, put forward in your letter, that it should be increased from seventeen to twenty-six fraternal Parties. For the situation now is vastly different from that in 1960. There are two Parties in some of the countries mentioned in your list. In Australia, for instance, there is a Party represented by E. F. Hill and another by L. L. Sharkey. The former is a Marxist-Leninist and the latter a revisionist Party. A similar situation obtains in Brazil. Obviously you and we differ as to which of these Parties should attend the meeting. In another case, that of India, the Dange clique have degenerated into pawns of the Indian big bourgeoisie and big landlords and into renegades from communism. How can the Dange clique of renegades be allowed to participate in a meeting of fraternal Parties? In our opinion, if the membership of the preparatory meeting is to be increased, the first consideration should be given to those fraternal Parties which uphold Marxism-Leninism and which are waging heroic revolutionary struggles.
As for the meeting of representatives of all Communist and Workers’ Parties, we hold that it must be a meeting of unity on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and that it should definitely not become a meeting for a split. Therefore, ample preparations have to be made and it should not be called in a hurry. This is our consistent attitude and it is also the attitude of many other fraternal Parties, including some which have ideological differences with us. In the past you, too, approved of this attitude. In your letter to us of November 29, 1963, you agreed that conditions should be created so that the meeting “will lead not to a split in the world communist movement but to the genuine unity and solidarity of all the fraternal Parties and all the forces of peace and socialism”. If you do not want an immediate open split, you should not be in too much of a hurry to call the international meeting in the coming autumn. We advise you to think this over calmly: it would be better to hold the international meeting of fraternal Parties later rather than earlier, or even not to hold it, in these circumstances.
There is now no international organization like the Third International nor any body like the permanent bodies of the Third International which were entitled to call international meetings. In these circumstances, it would be wrong and impermissible for one or more Parties to make a unilateral decision to call a meeting of representatives of all Communist and Workers’ Parties in violation of the principles of consultation and the attainment of unity among the fraternal Parties. To do so would be illegitimate and entirely wrong and would lead to grave consequences. This is clear to you, to us and to all the other Communist and Workers’ Parties. If, in arrogant disregard of the advice of our Party and of many other fraternal Parties, the Central Committee of the CPSU should cling to its own course, hurriedly convene such a meeting by calling together those Parties that support its wrong, revisionist and divisive line, and treat it as a meeting of representatives of all the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the world, you would then be strongly condemned by the working class, the revolutionary people and all genuine Marxist-Leninist parties throughout the world, you would cast to the four winds the banner of unity which you profess to uphold, and would have to bear the responsibility for a split. Do you want to do this? Do you want to put yourselves in such an inextricable predicament? We are saying this in all sincerity and clearly pointing to where interests or dangers lie, so do not say that you have not been forewarned.
We maintain that a series of preparatory steps are necessary in order to make the international meeting of fraternal Parties a success, and that these should include the holding of talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties and of bilateral or multilateral talks among fraternal Parties, the convening of a preparatory meeting by fraternal Parties and the reaching of unanimous agreement at this meeting. Judging by present circumstances, it may require perhaps four or five years, or even longer, to complete these preparations.
Our views are based on deep concern for the unity of the socialist camp and the international communist movement. We hope that they will receive your serious and earnest consideration.
Furthermore, we would like to ask you to reconsider the proposal we made in our letter of February 27 this year, namely, that our two Parties reach an agreement, by which each side will, on an equal basis, publish in its own press the documents, articles and other material which both sides have published or will publish in criticism of each other. Although you rejected this proposal in your letter of March 7, 1964, you failed to give any really tenable reason. You have one-sidedly published many statements vilifying the Chinese Communist Party, and yet you prevent the members of the CPSU and the Soviet people from reading our replies and becoming acquainted with our actual position and views; this is indeed a deliberate attempt to inflame hostility between the Chinese and Soviet peoples. If you have real faith in the members of the CPSU and the Soviet people as well as in yourselves, you will find no reason whatever not to reach an agreement with us on this question.
The documents of the February Plenum of your Central Committee and the Pravda editorial of April 3, 1964 divulged information from the letters exchanged between the Central Committees of the Chinese and Soviet Parties since November 1963 and distorted the facts, in an attempt to delude the members of the CPSU, the Soviet people, and people everywhere else unfamiliar with the true state of affairs. In order to clarify matters and give the true picture, the Central Committee of the CPC deems it necessary to publish in full all the letters exchanged between the Chinese and Soviet Parties since November 1963. These comprise: the letters of the Central Committee of the CPSU dated November 29, 1963, and February 22 and March 7, 1964, and the letters of the Central Committee of the CPC dated February 20, 27 and 29 and May 7, 1964. We hope that you will be able to do likewise and will publish the full text of this exchange of letters between our two Parties in your own press.
With fraternal greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
February 20, 1964
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
We have learnt from a number of quarters that the Central Committee of the CPSU recently sent to fraternal Parties a letter which is directed against the Communist Party of China. This letter distorts the facts of the current public polemics in the international communist movement, manufactures lies slandering the Chinese Communist Party and instigates a so-called “struggle against the great-power and Trotskyite views and the factional and disruptive activities of the Chinese leaders”. This letter has not, however, been sent to the Chinese Communist Party, from which it has been kept a secret.
It must be noted in all seriousness that, while crying for a halt to public polemics under the presence of desiring unity, the leaders of the CPSU are engineering a new campaign against the Chinese Communist Party and other Marxist-Leninist parties behind the back of the Chinese Communist Party and are unscrupulously engaging in sectarian, factional and divisive activities. Throughout the recent years the leaders of the CPSU have been wearing one face in public and another in private, and saying one thing and doing another. Your vicious two-faced tactics are a gross violation of the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties laid down in the 1960 Statement as well as of proletarian internationalism.
You have launched the present campaign against the Chinese Communist Party on the new pretext that the CPC has not yet replied to your letter of November 29, 1963. But we would like to ask: Why were you free for a long time to act wilfully and refuse to accept the advice of fraternal Parties against bringing inter-Party differences into the open before the enemy and their proposal for a halt to public polemics, whereas the CPC must regard the letter from the leaders of the CPSU as God’s will and give an immediate and affirmative reply or else be charged with the major crime of insubordination? Why are you privileged to publish thousands of lengthy articles and other items attacking us, whereas we may not make any reply to set the facts straight and distinguish truth from falsehood? A journey has to be made step by step, and problems have to be solved one by one. Your letter will be answered in due course. Your self-important and domineering attitude in maintaining that you can attack whenever you please and that we must stop as soon as you cry halt has fully exposed your inveterate habit of great-power chauvinism and posing as the “father party”.
The present grave act of the leaders of the CPSU to create a split has once again brought to light the intrigue you have been carrying on in behalf of a sham unity and a real split.
The Communist Party of China has been consistent in its stand of firmly defending the purity of Marxism-Leninism, upholding the revolutionary principles of the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement, and on these foundations safeguarding the unity of the international communist movement, the unity of the socialist camp and the unity of the Chinese and Soviet Parties and our two peoples. This stand of ours will never change. We obey the truth and the truth only and will never trade in principles.
The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party delegated Comrade Peng Chen, member of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat, to convey our views orally to Comrade Chervonenko, the Soviet Ambassador to China, on the afternoon of February 18.
We would like in all seriousness to repeat our request that the Central Committee of the CPSU send us a copy of the letter directed against the CPC, which it has recently addressed to fraternal Parties. We shall make our reply after studying this letter,
With fraternal greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
February 27, 1964
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has received your letter of February 22, 1964. The characteristic feature of this letter is the prodigality of the abuse — such as “unseemly”, “a clumsy attempt to lay one’s own fault at somebody else’s door”, “rude” and “ridiculous” — with which you try to evade the questions of substance which we raised in our letter of February 20, 1964. This is really a poor performance.
You accuse us of behaving like “the real culprit crying ‘stop thief’”. In fact, it is you who are playing the trick of “the real culprit crying ‘stop thief’” to divert attention and steal away because you have been caught red-handed in sectarian, factional and divisive activities and confronted with irrefutable evidence. But however much you may quibble and sophisticate, you cannot deny the following facts. First, you have actually sent a letter behind our backs to fraternal Parties, a letter which is specifically directed against the Chinese Communist Party.
Second, you are actually planning behind our backs to take “collective measures” from which the Chinese Communist Party will be excluded, and to go a step further in splitting the international communist movement.
In our letter of February 20, we point out that you “are unscrupulously engaging in sectarian, factional and divisive activities”, that you adopt “vicious two-faced tactics”, and that you have the “inveterate habit of great-power chauvinism and posing as the ‘father party’”. Your most recent letter proves that these criticisms completely fit the facts and are entirely correct.
Have you not repeatedly professed a desire to improve relations and uphold unity? If you really have such a desire, you ought to admit that right is right and wrong is wrong. One had better be honest. This is the only way to bring about a real settlement of problems. There is no other alternative.
You begin your letter with the assertion that you have the “right not to answer at all” the letter of the Central Committee of the CPC to the Central Committee of the CPSU, whereas we have repeatedly made it clear that we will answer your letter of November 29, 1963 in due course. We have advised you against impatience because we have not yet completed our reply to your numerous attacks. Whereupon you have flown into a rage as if we had committed a monstrous crime. Please think the matter over calmly: can this be described as treating fraternal Parties as equals?
Far from examining your own errors and publicly acknowledging and correcting them in all seriousness according to Lenin’s teachings, you deny facts, call white black and turn on us by slanderously accusing us of factional activities. You even produced the Belishova case of June 1960 as an important piece of evidence against us. But you have lifted a rock only to crush your own toes. Our exchange of views with the responsible comrades of a fraternal Party on the international communist movement was above-board, entirely normal and beyond reproach. On the other hand, your intrigues on the question of Belishova cannot stand the light of day. You made Belishova your tool for subverting the leadership of a fraternal Party and country and for disrupting the unity of the socialist camp and the international communist movement. The Albanian comrades have exposed your intrigues and handled the Belishova case in the proper way.
It is the leaders of the CPSU themselves who have been conducting “the most genuine behind-the-scenes factional activity against a fraternal Party”. As early as January 1960, that is, five months before the Belishova case, you delegated Comrade Mikoyan to meet the leading comrades of Albania in an effort to engineer activities against the Chinese Communist Party. Instances of such behind-the-scenes factional activity on your part were cited by Comrade Kapo, head of the Albanian delegation, in Comrade Khrushchov’s presence on June 24, 1960, at the Bucharest meeting of representatives of the fraternal Parties of the socialist countries.
Yet acting like “knights for a day”, you state in your letter that you will “publish documents” and “openly state our views”. Moreover, you declared on September 21, 1963 that you would give us a “most resolute rebuff”. Have you not played enough of such tricks? Have you not divulged enough information? Were these to be enumerated, we could cite a wealth of facts beginning from the 20th Congress of the CPSU. You are well aware of this and we do not need to waste our ink. Now you are again making an empty threat, and, to be blunt, this can only frighten people with weak nerves. In our opinion, all your bluster simply reminds one of a paper tiger. It is like a pewter-pointed spear. Please produce all the magic weapons in your treasure box for our enlightenment — the “most resolute rebuff”, the “open statement of our views”, “collective measures” against the CPC, documents and materials, and what not.
If you do not fear the truth and the masses and if, instead of treating them as rabble, you have faith in the political consciousness and discernment of the members of the CPSU and the Soviet people, we propose that our two Parties reach an agreement, by which each side will, on an equal basis, publish in its own press the documents, articles and other material both sides have published or will publish in criticism of each other.
You accuse us of committing a blunder by “demanding”* [* Following the Chinese usage, this word was translated into “request” and not “demand” in the English version of the February 20 letter of the Central Committee of the CPC to the Central Committee of the CPSU. — Translator] instead of “requesting” that you send us a copy of your letter of February 12. In Chinese usage, these two words do not imply as big a difference as you describe. But since you take it so seriously and even make it an excuse for refusing to give us the letter of February 12, which is directed against the CPC, well then, we are now complying with your wish and request that you send us a copy of the letter which you gave the other fraternal Parties on February 12. It is our earnest hope that you will do so.
With fraternal greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
February 29, 1964
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
This letter from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is in reply to the letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dated November 29, 1963.
The Chinese Communist Party has always regarded the safeguarding and cementing of the unity of the international communist movement as its sacred duty.
The unity of the Communists of all countries is not that of a club, it is the revolutionary unity of people guided by a common theory and fighting for a common ideal. The unity of the international communist movement can only be based on the revolutionary teachings of Marx and Lenin. Without this basis there can be no proletarian internationalist unity.
The differences between us and the leaders of the CPSU involve a number of major problems of principle concerning Marxist-Leninist theory and the whole international communist movement. These problems of principle must be solved if our differences are to be eliminated and the unity of the Chinese and Soviet Parties is to be strengthened.
The views we have expressed in our reply of June 14, 1963 to the letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU, that is, our proposal concerning the general line of the international communist movement, and in our articles about the international communist movement published both before and after that reply, are in full accord with Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary principles of the 1957 Declaration and the 1960 Statement.
In this letter we would like to state our views on a number of questions raised in your letter.
The Government of the People’s Republic of China has consistently held that the question of the boundary between China and the Soviet Union, which is a legacy from the past, can be settled through negotiation between the two governments. It has also held that, pending such a settlement, the status quo on the border should be maintained. This is what we have done over the past ten years or more. Had the Soviet Government taken the same attitude, both sides could have lived in amity along the border and preserved tranquillity there.
With the stepping up of anti-Chinese activities by the leaders of the CPSU in recent years, the Soviet side has made frequent breaches of the status quo on the border, occupied Chinese territory and provoked border incidents. Still more serious, the Soviet side has flagrantly carried out large-scale subversive activities in Chinese frontier areas, trying to sow discord among China’s nationalities by means of the press and wireless, inciting China’s minority nationalities to break away from their motherland, and inveigling and coercing tens of thousands of Chinese citizens into going to the Soviet Union. Not only do all these acts violate the principles guiding relations between socialist countries, they are absolutely impermissible even in the relations between countries in general.
Among all our neighbours it is only the leaders of the CPSU and the reactionary nationalists of India who have deliberately created border disputes with China. The Chinese Government has satisfactorily settled complicated boundary questions, which were legacies from the past, both with all its fraternal socialist neighbours except the Soviet Union, and with its nationalist neighbours such as Burma, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the exception of India.
The delegations of our two governments started boundary negotiations in Peking on February 25, 1964. Although the old treaties relating to the Sino-Russian boundary are unequal treaties, the Chinese Government is nevertheless willing to respect them and take them as the basis for a reasonable settlement of the Sino-Soviet boundary question. Guided by proletarian internationalism and the principles governing relations between socialist countries, the Chinese Government will conduct friendly negotiations with the Soviet Government in the spirit of consultation on an equal footing and mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. If the Soviet side takes the same attitude as the Chinese Government, the settlement of the Sino-Soviet boundary question, we believe, ought not to be difficult, and the Sino-Soviet boundary will truly become one of lasting friendship.
We have always had a proper appreciation of the friendly Soviet aid which began under Stalin’s leadership. We have always considered that the Soviet people’s friendly aid has played a beneficial role in helping China to lay the preliminary foundations for her socialist industrialization. For this the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people have expressed their gratitude on numerous occasions.
In recent years the leaders of the CPSU have habitually played the benefactor and frequently boasted of their “disinterested assistance”. When commemorating the fourteenth anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance in February this year, Pravda, Izvestia and other Soviet propaganda media again beat the drum to the same tune. We have not yet made a systematic reply in the press, but we must point out that, so far from being gratis, Soviet aid to China was rendered mainly in the form of trade and that it was certainly not a one-way affair. China has paid and is paying the Soviet Union in goods, gold or convertible foreign exchange for all Soviet-supplied complete sets of equipment and other goods, including those made available on credit plus interest. It is necessary to add that the prices of many of the goods we imported from the Soviet Union were much higher than those on the world market.
While China has received aid from the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union on its part has also received corresponding aid from China. No one can say that China’s aid to the Soviet Union has been insignificant and not worthy of mention. Here are some examples:
Up to the end of 1962 China had furnished the Soviet Union with 2,100 million new roubles’ worth of grain, edible oils and other foodstuffs. Among the most important items were 5,760,000 tons of soya beans, 2,940,000 tons of rice, 1,090,000 tons of edible oils and 900,000 tons of meat.
Over the same period, China furnished the Soviet Union with more than 1,400 million new roubles’ worth of mineral products and metals. Among the most important items were: 100,000 tons of lithium concentrates, 34,000 tons of beryllium concentrates, 51,000 tons of borax, 270,000 tons of wolfram concentrates, 32.9 tons of piezoelectric quartz, 7,730 tons of mercury, 39 tons of tantalum-niobium concentrates, 37,000 tons of molybdenum concentrates and 180,000 tons of tin. Many of these mineral products are raw materials which are indispensable for the development of the most advanced branches of science and for the manufacture of rockets and nuclear weapons.
As for the Soviet loans to China, it must be pointed out that China used them mostly for the purchase of war matériel from the Soviet Union, the greater part of which was used up in the war to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea. In the war against U.S. aggression the Korean people carried by far the heaviest burden and sustained by far the greatest losses. The Chinese people, too, made great sacrifices and incurred vast military expenses. The Chinese Communist Party has always considered that this was the Chinese people’s bounden internationalist duty and that it is nothing to boast of. For many years we have been paying the principal and interest on these Soviet loans, which account for a considerable part of our yearly exports to the Soviet Union. Thus even the war matériel supplied to China in the war to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea has not been given gratis.
The Soviet experts working in China were invariably made welcome, respected and trusted by the Chinese Government and people. The overwhelming majority of them were hard-working and helpful to China’s socialist construction. We have always highly appreciated their conscientious work, and still miss them to this day.
You will remember that when the leaders of the CPSU unilaterally decided to recall all the Soviet experts in China, we solemnly affirmed our desire to have them continue their work in China and expressed the hope that the leaders of the CPSU would reconsider and change their decision.
But in spite of our objections you turned your backs on the principles guiding international relations and unscrupulously withdrew the 1,390 Soviet experts working in China, tore up 343 contracts and supplementary contracts concerning experts, and scrapped 257 projects of scientific and technical co-operation, all within the short span of a month.
You were well aware that the Soviet experts were posted in over 250 enterprises and establishments in the economic field and the fields of national defence, culture, education and scientific research, and that they were undertaking important tasks involving technical design, the construction of projects, the installation of equipment, trial production and scientific research. As a result of your peremptory orders to the Soviet experts to discontinue their work and return to the Soviet Union, many of our country’s important designing and scientific research projects had to stop halfway, some of the construction projects in progress had to be suspended, and some of the factories and mines which were conducting trial production could not go into production according to schedule. Your perfidious action disrupted China’s original national economic plan and inflicted enormous losses upon China’s socialist construction.
You were going completely against communist ethics when you took advantage of China’s serious natural disasters to adopt these grave measures.
Your action fully demonstrates that you violate the principle of mutual assistance between socialist countries and use the sending of experts as an instrument for exerting political pressure on fraternal countries, butting into their internal affairs and impeding and sabotaging their socialist construction.
Now you have again suggested sending experts to China. To be frank, the Chinese people cannot trust you. They have just healed the wounds caused by your withdrawal of experts. These events are still fresh in their memory. With the leaders of the CPSU pursuing an anti-Chinese policy, the Chinese people are unwilling to be duped.
In our opinion, all the countries in the socialist camp should handle the question of sending experts in accordance with the principles of genuine equality, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, mutual assistance and internationalism. It is absolutely impermissible for any country unilaterally to annul or scrap any agreement or contract concerning the sending of experts. Any country which violates such an agreement or contract should, in accordance with international practice, compensate the other side for the losses thus inflicted. Only thus can there be an interchange of experts on a basis of equality and mutual benefit between China and the Soviet Union and among countries in the socialist camp.
We would like to say in passing that, basing ourselves on the internationalist principle of mutual assistance among countries in the socialist camp, we are very much concerned about the present economic situation in the Soviet Union. If you should feel the need for the help of Chinese experts in certain fields, we would be glad to send them.
Nobody is in a better position than you to know the real cause for the curtailment of Sino-Soviet trade over the last few years. This curtailment was precisely the result of your extending the differences from the field of ideology to that of state relations.
Your sudden withdrawal of all the Soviet experts working in China upset the schedules of construction and the production arrangements of many of our factories, mines and other enterprises and establishments, and had a direct impact on our need for the import of complete sets of equipment. Such being the case, did you expect us to keep on buying them just for display?
Moreover, in pursuance of your policy of further imposing restrictions on and discriminating against China in the economic and commercial fields, since 1960 you have deliberately placed obstacles in the way of economic and trade negotiations between our two countries and held up or refused supplies of important goods which China needs. You have insisted on providing large amounts of goods which we do not really need or which we do not need at all, while holding back or supplying very few of the goods which we need badly. For several years you have used the trade between our two countries as an instrument for bringing political pressure to bear on China. How could this avoid cutting down the volume of Sino-Soviet trade?
From 1959 to 1961, our country suffered extraordinary natural disasters for three years in succession and could not supply you with as large quantities of agricultural produce and processed products as before. This was the result of factors beyond human control. It is utterly unreasonable for you to attack China on this account and blame her for this reduction in trade.
Indeed, but for China’s efforts the volume of Sino-Soviet trade would have decreased even more. Take this year for example. China has already put forward a list of 220 million new roubles’ worth of imports from the Soviet Union and 420 million new roubles’ worth of exports to the Soviet Union. But you have been procrastinating unreasonably, continuing to hold back goods we need while trying to force on us goods we do not need. You say in your letter, “In the course of the next few years the USSR could increase its export to China of goods in which you are interested. . . .” But your deeds do not agree with your words.
You constantly accuse us of “going it alone” and claim that you stand for extensive economic ties and division of labour among the socialist countries. But what is your actual record in this respect?
You infringe the independence and sovereignty of fraternal countries and oppose their efforts to develop their economy on an independent basis in accordance with their own needs and potentialities.
You bully those fraternal countries whose economies are less advanced and oppose their policy of industrialization and try to force them to remain agricultural countries forever and serve as your sources of raw materials and as outlets for your goods.
You bully fraternal countries which are industrially more developed and insist that they stop manufacturing their traditional products and become accessory factories serving your industries.
Moreover, you have introduced the jungle law of the capitalist world into relations between socialist countries. You openly follow the example of the Common Market which was organized by monopoly capitalist groups.
All these actions of yours are wrong.
In the economic, scientific, technical and cultural spheres, we stand for relations of co-operation of a new type, based on genuine equality and mutual benefit, between China and the Soviet Union and among all the socialist countries.
We hold that it is necessary to transform the present Council of Mutual Economic Assistance of socialist countries to accord with the principle of proletarian internationalism and turn this organization, which is now solely controlled by the leaders of the CPSU, into one based on genuine equality and mutual benefit, which the fraternal countries of the socialist camp may join of their own free will. It is hoped that you will favourably respond to our suggestion.
The public polemics were provoked by you. We maintained that differences in the international communist movement should be settled through inter-Party discussions. But you insisted on bringing them into the open. Beginning with the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, you imposed public polemics on the entire international communist movement in violation of the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties as laid down in the 1960 Statement, and you asserted that to do so was to “act in Lenin’s manner”. What you did was a bad thing. You created difficulties for fraternal Parties and rendered a service to the imperialists and reactionaries. Now, with the extensive unfolding of the public debate, the truth is becoming clearer and clearer and Marxism-Leninism is making more and more progress. What was a bad thing is becoming a good thing.
In the course of this great debate, the Communists, proletarians, working people, revolutionary intellectuals, and other people who have an interest in opposing imperialism and reaction have become more discerning and increasingly awakened politically, and their revolutionary enthusiasm and theoretical level have been greatly enhanced. The effect of the public debate is the opposite of what you intended. It leads more and more people away from the bad influence of the baton and makes them think over problems independently. Thus, as with the other debates in the history of the international communist movement, the present debate is undoubtedly the prelude to a new revolutionary upsurge.
When you wanted to start public polemics against the fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties, you said that such polemics represented “the only correct and genuinely Marxist-Leninist position of principle” and were “in the interests of the whole world communist movement”. Yet now that the public polemics have more and more clearly exposed your revisionist features and placed you in an increasingly disadvantageous position, you declare that they “are doing great harm to the communist movement” and that it would be “most wise” and “in the interests of the solidarity of the world communist movement” to stop them. What truth or principle is to be found in you when you say one thing one day and another the next? Which of your statements do you expect others to believe? And which do you expect others to obey?
As to the proposal for stopping the public polemics, you seem to have forgotten that it was put forward by the Workers’ Party of Viet Nam as early as January 1962. Similar proposals were put forward by the Communist Parties of Indonesia and of New Zealand. They all won our immediate approval. But you turned a deaf ear to them and, far from stopping the public polemics, you kept extending them. Why must others accept your proposal the instant it is made?
You also seem to have forgotten that in our letter to you of March 9, 1963 we said, “On the suspension of public polemics, it is necessary that our two Parties and the fraternal Parties concerned should have some discussion and reach an agreement that is fair and acceptable to all.” You ignored our proposal. On July 20, 1963 when the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties were drawing to a close, we proposed to write into the communique: “. . . our two Parties and the fraternal Parties concerned should make joint efforts to seek a reasonable basis for achieving a fair agreement on the cessation of public polemics, which is acceptable to all.” Once again you turned down our proposal.
In your letter you state that “it would be correct not to concentrate attention on the problems on which there are differences between us but to let them wait until the heat of passion has cooled, to let time do its work”. Again, you seem to have forgotten that as far back as October 10, 1960 we pointed out in our written statement at the drafting committee of the twenty-six fraternal Parties that “as to the questions on which unanimity cannot be achieved for the time being, it would be better to leave them open than to reach a forced solution” and that “time will help us eliminate the differences”. You then categorically rejected our proposal. In your letter of November 5, 1960 to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which you circulated during the 1960 meeting of the fraternal Parties, you declared, “To wait for the ‘verdict of history’ would be a grave error fraught with serious consequences for the entire communist movement....” But now you suddenly make a turn of 180 degrees on this question and say that we should let the differences wait. What are you up to? To put it plainly, you are merely resorting to this trick to deprive us of the right to reply, after you yourselves have heaped so much abuse on the Chinese Communist Party and other Marxist-Leninist parties.
While the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties were in progress in Moscow, despite our repeated sincere advice you published your Open Letter to Party organizations and all Communists in the Soviet Union on July 14, 1963 in order to curry favour with U.S. imperialism and to reach an agreement with it on the monopoly of nuclear weapons. You then launched an anti-Chinese campaign on an unprecedented scale. According to incomplete statistics, between July 15 and the end of October 1963 the Soviet press carried nearly two thousand anti-Chinese articles and other items.
Meanwhile, under your influence the leaders of the fraternal Parties of socialist countries — the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, the Bulgarian Communist Party, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party — have also published a great number of articles and other items against China.
You say in your letter that “the differences and sharp polemics are doing great harm to the communist movement”. If you really think so, don’t you find you ought to reproach yourselves, to ask yourselves why you again and again insisted on attacking and slandering the Chinese Communist Party and other Marxist-Leninist parties in a big way?
You also say in your letter that the difficulties of other fraternal Parties should be taken into account. We have always given full consideration to the difficulties of other fraternal Parties. It was for this very reason that we repeatedly advised the leaders of the CPSU against bringing the controversy into the open. But following the leaders of the CPSU, the leaders of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of many capitalist countries, for example, the Parties of France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Austria, West Germany, Greece, Portugal, Britain, the United States of America, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Australia, Ceylon, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Algeria — as well as the Dange clique, who are renegades from the Indian proletariat — published many articles attacking the Chinese Communist Party and other Marxist-Leninist parties, and some adopted resolutions, issued statements or open letters to Party members, or even unscrupulously attacked or expelled comrades adhering to the Marxist-Leninist stand. Did they ever take their own difficulties into account when they were doing all this? Did you ever take their difficulties into account when you were supporting them in all this?
These fraternal Parties have attacked us in numerous articles and other items, but we have all along exercised great restraint. We have replied to none of them except to a part of the attacks of the leaders of the Communist Parties of France, Italy and the U.S.A. We have merely reserved our right of reply. How was it possible for us to create difficulties for them when we have never disturbed them? If they have difficulties, these are of their own making.
Even after your letter of November 29, 1963 you and your followers did not stop your anti-Chinese propaganda. You attacked us by name in the Pravda articles, “Why Mislead?” and “The Soviet-Chinese Treaty — Fourteen Years”, in the Izvestia article “An Important Document”, in “The World in a Week” in the magazine Za Rubezhom, and in many other articles and items. In addition, you have recently published books against China, such as Talks on Political Subjects, Our Leninist Party, A Treaty that Purifies the Atmosphere . . ., The Leninist Teaching of the Party and the Contemporary Communist Movement and The General Crisis of Capitalism and Foreign Policy, in which you make comprehensive and concentrated attacks on the Chinese Communist Party. You have also distributed pamphlets attacking China through your embassies abroad and your delegates to international mass organizations. As for the articles and other items your followers have published in the meantime, we shall not dwell on them here.
Moreover, since November 29, 1963 you have raised acute controversial questions and provoked debates at the Warsaw meeting of the World Peace Council, the Prague meeting of the Executive Bureau of the World Federation of Trade Unions, the Berlin meeting of the Bureau of the Women’s International Democratic Federation, the Budapest meeting of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Students, and at a number of other international meetings. At these meetings, while we, together with the delegates from other countries, were actively promoting the struggle of the people of the world for peace, supporting the national liberation movement and calling for a united front against U.S. imperialism, you on your part extolled U.S. imperialism and created splits by insisting on adopting resolutions in support of the tripartite treaty by which you allied yourselves with the United States against China.
All this provides ample proof that you say one thing and do another and that your cry for an end to public polemics is utterly false and demagogic.
While you have published so many articles and other items against China, we have so far printed only seven articles in reply to your Open Letter. We have not yet completed our reply to the important questions you raised in the Open Letter, and have not even started to reply to the questions you raised in your other anti-Chinese articles. In all our articles we have adduced facts and used reasoned arguments. How can it be said that they are “shaking the friendship and unity of the peoples of the socialist community and weakening the anti-imperialist front”? Do not these phrases neatly fit your own voluminous and unreasonable material and your countless lies and slanders?
You have used every conceivable term of abuse in attacking the Chinese Communist Party and called us a host of names such as “dogmatists”, “left adventurists”, “pseudo-revolutionaries”, “newly-baked Trotskyites”, “nationalists”, “racists”, “great-power chauvinists”, “sectarians”, “splitters”, and people “falling into the company of the forces of imperialist reaction”, “having an itch for war” and “assuming the role of right-flank man in the line-up of the American ‘maniacs’, West German revanchists and French extremists”. In short, according to you the Chinese Communists are undoubtedly one hundred per cent arch-reactionaries. If so, we would like to ask: How can such fine fellows as you, who call yourselves one hundred per cent Marxist-Leninists, talk of unity with those bad fellows whom you consider more hateful than the enemy? How are you going to wind up the whole affair? Do you propose to come forward with a public statement admitting that all your attacks on the Chinese Communist Party are lies and slanders and removing all the labels you have stuck on it? Or will you insist that we accept your verdict, give up the revolutionary banner of Marxism-Leninism and kowtow to your revisionist line?
It is now perfectly clear that our differences with you involve the questions of whether or not to adhere to the fundamental theories of Marxism-Leninism and whether or not to adhere to the revolutionary principles of the Declaration and the Statement, as well as a whole series of important questions of principle, such as the following:
Are the U.S. imperialists the sworn enemies of the people of the world, or are they sensible emissaries of peace? Are they overlords who determine the destiny of mankind?
What is the reliable way to prevent the imperialists from unleashing a world war and to safeguard world peace?
To defend world peace and serve the interests of revolution, should we unite the workers, peasants, revolutionary intellectuals, the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolutionaries among the national bourgeoisie, and all other forces of the world that can be united, and form the broadest possible united front in a common struggle against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys? Or should we pin all our hopes on U.S.-Soviet collaboration?
When the Indian reactionaries attack socialist China, should proletarian internationalism be observed and the Indian reactionaries’ provocations be denounced, or should they be helped with arms to fight the brothers of the Soviet people?
Are the Titoites renegades or comrades? Are they a special detachment of U.S. imperialism or not? Is Yugoslavia a socialist country or not?
Is the socialist camp needed or not? On what principles is the unity of the socialist camp to be strengthened?
Should we actively support all the oppressed peoples and nations in their revolutionary and class struggles for emancipation, or should we forbid and oppose their revolutions?
Was Stalin a great Marxist-Leninist, or was he a murderer, a bandit and a gambler?
Should a socialist country maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat, or should it use the so-called state of the whole people and the so-called party of the entire people to pave the way for the restoration of capitalism?
These questions admit of no equivocation but must be thoroughly straightened out. How can issues of such magnitude be evaded? If they were, there would be no distinction between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism and dogmatism, between Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism, between the Communist and the social democratic parties, or between communism and capitalism.
You frequently threaten others with a “most resolute rebuff”. In fact, people have had plenty of experience of your tactics, whether hard or soft, bitter or sweet. It was you who exerted military, economic and political pressure on Albania, severed diplomatic relations tore up agreements and broke off trade relations with her. It was you too who scrapped contracts with China, withdrew experts, discontinued aid and carried out subversive activities against her. The Chinese Communist Party and all other Parties adhering to Marxism-Leninism will never be misled by honeyed words or bow under pressure or barter away principles. If you are indeed ready to deliver a “most resolute rebuff” worthy of the term, “openly state our views”, “publish documents and material”, take “collective measures” or what not, well then, please do whatever you intend to do.
Despite the fact that the differences have grown to their present serious proportions, the Chinese Communist Party is willing to do its best for the restoration and strengthening of unity. In your letter of November 29 you merely cry for a halt to the public polemics without putting forward any concrete measures for solving the problem. We now propose to you the following concrete measures for the solution of the problem, and we hope you will consider them and give us an answer.
(1) For the cessation of the public polemics it is necessary for the Chinese and Soviet Parties and other fraternal Parties concerned to hold various bilateral and multilateral talks in order to find through consultation a fair and reasonable formula acceptable to all and to conclude a common agreement.
(2) The Chinese Communist Party consistently advocates and actively supports the convening of a meeting of representatives of all Communist and Workers’ Parties. Prior to the meeting adequate preparations should be made, and difficulties and obstacles should be overcome. Together with the other fraternal Parties, we will do everything possible to ensure that this meeting will be a meeting of unity on the basis of the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism.
(3) The resumption of talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties is a necessary preparatory step for making the meeting of the fraternal Parties a success. We propose that the talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties be resumed in Peking, from October 10 to 25, 1964.
(4) In order to make further preparations for the meeting of representatives of all fraternal Parties, we propose that the Sino-Soviet talks be followed by a meeting of representatives of seventeen fraternal Parties, namely, the Parties of Albania, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, the Soviet Union and Viet Nam, and the Parties of Indonesia, Japan, Italy and France.
UNITE UNDER THE BANNER OF MARXISM-LENINISM!
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
November 29, 1963
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Comrade Mao Tse-tung
The Communist press has recently published documents in which the Marxist-Leninist parties have publicly expounded their positions on fundamental questions of the international communist movement which have been raised in the debate that has unfolded. These documents show that there are serious differences in the communist movement, differences in the understanding and interpretation of the fundamental theses of the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings. We will not conceal the fact that, like many other fraternal Parties, irrespective of their position, we are seriously concerned over the fact that the differences which have arisen are constantly becoming deeper and the scope of the questions under debate is constantly widening, while the sharp public polemics are assuming forms impermissible in relations among Marxist-Leninists.
Particularly disquieting is the fact that the differences on ideological questions are being transferred to interstate relations and are manifesting themselves in the field of concrete policies, thus shaking the friendship and unity of the peoples of the socialist community and weakening the anti-imperialist front. The strength and attention of the fraternal Parties are being deflected from the solution of urgent problems of socialist construction and from the struggle against imperialism.
This situation in the communist movement grieves us greatly. We have more than once declared, and now reiterate, that the abnormal relations between the CPC and the CPSU are dividing the communist forces and benefiting only our enemies who on their part are seeking in every way to play on the contradictions and making use of the existing difficulties for their own anti-communist aims.
Of course Parties like the CPSU and the CPC, standing at the head of the world’s two biggest states, can go on with their work even if the polemics continue. We agree that for our two Parties, even in such circumstances, as you said to the Soviet Ambassador Comrade Chervonenko, the skies will not fall, and grass and trees will continue to grow, women to bear children and fish to swim in the water.
But we cannot fail to see that the differences and sharp polemics are doing great harm to the communist movement. We also have no right to fail to think of those detachments of the communist movement which are forced to carry on the struggle against imperialism in extremely difficult and complex circumstances. Such Parties rightly consider that they require friendship with both the CPSU and the CPC. All Marxist-Leninist parties draw strength from the unity and solidarity of the communist movement for the overcoming of difficulties.
The Communists of all countries want unity of action. And they are right — without unity of action our struggle against the class enemies will be many times harder.
In the present circumstances, the most important and urgent task of the Marxist-Leninists is to prevent an undesirable development of events, and to turn the events from the zone of danger towards normalization, towards the strengthening of co-operation and unity among all the fraternal Parties and socialist countries. Lenin’s injunctions that each Party must be conscious of its high responsibility for our common cause, and be ready to give first place to the fundamental interests of the communist movement are now timelier than ever.
Firmly following the Leninist course of the world communist movement as expressed in the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has considered, and still considers, itself duty bound to do all it can for the strengthening of unity.
We understand, of course, that the elimination of the difficulties that have arisen in the world communist movement requires great exertion by all the Marxist-Leninist parties. In this letter, we wish to give our views on the contribution which our two Parties could make towards the solution of this problem.
As before, we hold to the position that, despite existing serious differences, there is an objective basis for the improvement of relations between the CPSU and the CPC and between our countries — the basis being the common fundamental interests of our two peoples and our common tasks in the struggle for socialism and communism, the support of the revolutionary workers’ movement and national liberation movement, and the struggle for peace against the aggressive schemes of the imperialists.
One cannot fail to see that, besides the questions over which differences have arisen, there are also positions on which we are fully united or at least very close in our views. We have, objectively, a common position on such basic questions as the class struggle, the struggle against imperialism for the victory of the working class and all the working people, and the dictatorship of the proletariat which is established, as is seen from the experience of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, for the destruction of those forces which offer resistance to the construction of socialism after the victory of the proletarian revolution. Although our interpretations on these questions are not in all respects the same as yours, we are deeply convinced that a calm and unprejudiced understanding of our present discussion and the elimination from it of everything that is non-essential and fortuitous will reveal wide possibilities not only for the preservation of our co-operation along many lines but also for its growth and strengthening.
Now that the CPSU and the CPC, as well as other fraternal Parties, have stated their views on the questions in dispute, it would be correct not to concentrate attention on the problems on which there are differences between us but to let them wait until the heat of passion has cooled, to let time do its work. We are certain that life will demonstrate the correctness of the Marxist-Leninist line. At the same time, we could develop our co-operation in those spheres where favourable possibilities exist. Such co-operation is in the interest not only of the Soviet Union and China but also of all the peoples of the socialist community.
Concretely speaking, we propose that, notwithstanding the differences, we should place at the centre of our mutual relations the development of co-operation for the sake of strengthening friendship between the Soviet Union and China and among all the socialist countries and fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties, and of co-ordinating actions in the various international organizations for our common aim of defending peace and combating imperialism.
Particularly great possibilities exist for the strengthening of ties between the People’s Republic of China and the USSR in the economic field and in the fields of scientific-technical co-operation and culture. In this letter, we would like to make a series of practical proposals, the realization of which could serve the cause of strengthening friendship between our countries.
The CC CPSU anticipates that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, on its part, will take concrete steps in this direction, particularly since the Premier of the State Council of the PRC, Comrade Chou En-lai, is reported in the press to have declared in recent talks with foreign personalities and journalists that China intends to develop contacts with the Soviet Union and other socialist states, that China is greatly interested in the development of trade and other economic contacts and that the PRC adheres to the Five Principles of peaceful coexistence. The Premier of the PRC said that China, on her part, will resist the efforts of the imperialists to use the existing differences in order to undermine the unity of the socialist community. Such a point of view coincides with the declarations which the CC CPSU and the Soviet government, on their part, have frequently made.
The interests of both sides permit one to conclude that it would already be possible today to talk of concrete steps for setting things right in Soviet-Chinese co-operation.
Specifically, it would be possible to start in the immediate future to draw up jointly agreed preliminary plans for the exchange of goods between the PRC and the Soviet Union. In the course of the next few years the USSR could increase its export to China of goods in which you are interested, and the import of goods from China to the USSR, which would be in the interest both of our economy and of yours.
As is known, the Protocol of May 13, 1962 concluded by the governments of our two countries provides for the renewal next year of negotiations concerning the delivery to the People’s Republic of China of whole sets of equipment the manufacture of which was postponed for two years at the request of the Chinese side. If your side shows interest, it would be possible in our view to come to an understanding on the broadening of technical aid to the PRC in the building of industrial enterprises and specifically to discuss the possibility of aid in the development of the petroleum industry and the building of enterprises in the mining and other industries on terms beneficial to both our countries.
Once again we affirm our readiness to send Soviet specialists to the People’s Republic of China should you consider it necessary.
The Soviet Union is now drawing up her Five-Year Plan for 1966-70. China too is drawing up her third Five-Year Plan. For this reason, now is a good time to discuss the possibilities of developing trade and other ties between our countries and to provide for corresponding measures in the plans for the national economies of both countries. Of course, it is never too late to start on the good work of strengthening co-operation between the USSR and the PRC, but it would be better to make a start now.
Both our countries would undoubtedly benefit from the broadening of scientific-technical co-operation and also from the development of cultural ties of many kinds. We consider that these questions could be the subject of mutual consultation and negotiation between the appropriate organs of the Soviet Union and the PRC. In making these proposals, we are naturally willing to consider attentively all your views on the widening of the cooperation between the Soviet Union and the Chinese People’s Republic in the economic, scientific-technical, cultural and other fields. We understand, of course, that such ties and co-operation can develop provided you consider this beneficial to China. We on our part are convinced that it would be mutually beneficial to both China and the Soviet Union.
It is well known that economic ties are the type of cooperation in which all nations are particularly interested. Economic ties have great significance even in the relations between countries with different social systems. They create favourable conditions for implementing the principle of peaceful coexistence and help the improvement of relations among states. Extensive economic ties are all the more necessary among socialist countries, which are bound together by a common social system and common aims. Such ties are an important factor in the construction of socialism and communism and in utilizing the advantages of international socialist division of labour, and they help in strengthening the friendship among fraternal peoples, achieving new successes in the economic competition with capitalism and uniting all anti-imperialist revolutionary forces. The development of such co-operation would be a gain for China and the Soviet Union, for the socialist camp and the cause of world socialism.
We understand, of course, that each nation builds socialism and communism by relying mainly on its own forces, because no one except the people of a given country will build socialism there. But it is also evident that co-operation among socialist countries facilitates and accelerates the construction of socialism by each nation. The restoration and strengthening of the economic cooperation between our countries will help not only to accelerate the growth of the national economies of the USSR and China and the economy of the entire socialist system, but also to create favourable conditions for normalizing relations in other fields.
Highly favourable pre-conditions exist for the development of co-operation between the Soviet Union and China. Our countries possess a variety of natural wealth and have accumulated considerable experience in economic and scientific-technical co-operation. It is well known how beneficial was the influence exerted by Soviet-Chinese economic co-operation on the course of socialist construction in the People’s Republic of China and also on the economic growth of the Soviet Union. It is all the more to be regretted that economic co-operation and trade between the Soviet Union and the Chinese People’s Republic has not only failed to grow in recent years but on the contrary has constantly shrunk.
Experience shows that the development of trading, economic and other ties improves the atmosphere in mutual relations and helps to straighten out other problems on which the relations between our countries depend. And such problems unfortunately do exist and demand solution.
You will probably agree that the situation which has arisen in recent years along different sections of the Soviet-Chinese border cannot be regarded as normal. The Soviet government has already proposed that friendly consultations take place to define the boundary in different sections precisely, considering that this will result in the removal of the causes of the present misunderstanding. Recently you, too, spoke in favour of solving this question on the basis of mutual consultation. In this connection, we are transmitting a relevant document to you.
Statements have recently been made in China concerning the aggressive policy of the Czarist government and the unjust treaties imposed upon China. Naturally, we will not defend the Russian Czars who permitted arbitrariness in laying down state boundaries with neighbouring countries. We are convinced that you, too, do not intend to defend the Chinese emperors who by force of arms seized not a few territories belonging to others. But while condemning the reactionary actions of the top-strata exploiters who held power in Russia and in China at that time, we cannot disregard the fact that historically-formed boundaries between states now exist. Any attempt to ignore this can become the source of misunderstandings and conflicts; at the same time, they will not lead to the solution of the problem. It would be simply unreasonable to create territorial problems artificially at the present time, when the working class is in power and when our common aim is communism, under which state borders will gradually lose their former significance. We have all the possibilities for fully eliminating border frictions of any kind and thus showing the peoples an example of truly friendly relations between two socialist states.
We should also create conditions favourable to the improvement of relations on the Party level and avoid anything that might aggravate the difficulties that have arisen in the communist movement. That the overcoming of the differences in the communist movement is a complex matter, demanding time and serious effort, is something we are fully aware of. But what is important is to go step by step in this direction, to show Leninist concern for the strengthening of the unity of the world communist movement on a principled Marxist basis, to bar any acts whatsoever that might undermine unity and to repulse factionalists and. splitters.
We are of the opinion that even in the present complex situation there is a possibility of preventing the polemics that have spread from getting out of control, and of directing matters towards the strengthening of unity and solidarity between the CPC and the CPSU and among all the fraternal Parties. The CC CPSU has more than once advocated the cessation of public polemics. We again repeated this proposal on October 25 and November 7, 1963. The Soviet press has ceased to publish materials of a polemical character. In this letter we call once more on the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to do everything necessary for the cessation of public polemics and of other activities that harm the unity of the international communist movement and the unity of the socialist countries. We do not propose a general cessation of the exchange of views on questions of principle concerning world developments, but desire only that it should take place in the forms provided for by the Statement of the fraternal Parties in 1960 — through mutual consultation, negotiations and exchanges of letters.
In making these proposals, the CC CPSU bases itself on the consideration that they will help strengthen confidence and create more favourable conditions for the preparation of a world meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties. Recently, the CPSU and the CPC, like many other fraternal Parties, have more than once advocated the convening of such a meeting. We now reaffirm this position of ours. At the same time, we underline yet again that it is the duty of all Parties to help in the creation of a situation which will render such a meeting fruitful, so that it will lead not to a split in the world communist movement but to the genuine unity and solidarity of all the fraternal Parties and all the forces of peace and socialism.
These are some of our views on the concrete measures that might be taken with the aim of overcoming the difficulties that have arisen.
Please understand us correctly — our letter is dictated exclusively by concern for the strengthening of unity. We may differ in our understanding of this or that ideological problem, or in our estimates of specific phenomena of social development — life will correct those who are mistaken. But one must never even for a minute, under any circumstances, forget about the highest duty of Communists — to build the unity of the socialist community and of the entire front of the struggle against capital. The peoples trust the Communists. And we are called upon to justify their trust. Let us, by our common efforts, clear the way for the strengthening of co-operation, and take concrete measures to this end.
The CPSU and the Soviet people cherish friendly feelings for the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China and wish to strengthen the brotherhood built up in the struggle for socialism and communism. The CC CPSU is filled with determination to do all it can to achieve a turn of events for the better and to strengthen the unity of the world communist movement and the friendship between the Chinese and Soviet peoples.
The CPSU guides itself unswervingly by the line of the world communist movement and firmly defends the principles of the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings of 1957 and 1960. Our Leninist party is waging a historic struggle for the building of communism in the USSR, for peace, democracy, and the national independence of peoples, for the strengthening of the world socialist community and the entire anti-imperialist revolutionary front, for the proletarian revolution and the cause of international socialism, and this accords with the interests of all the peoples.
The CC CPSU calls on the CC CPC, on its part, to undertake practical steps for the strengthening of the unity of the fraternal Parties on the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism in the struggle for the great cause of socialism.
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, N. Khrushchov (signed)
February 22, 1964
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The Central Committee of the CPSU has received your letter of February 20, 1964.
The rude tone and the unworthy and insulting methods in relation to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to which you resort in this letter give us the moral right not to answer it at all. And if we have nevertheless considered it expedient to reply to you, we are doing so only in order to eliminate the possibility of any speculation or attempt to mislead the uninformed.
You express a simulated indignation at the fact that the letter of the CC CPSU dated February 12 this year, addressed to many fraternal Parties, was not sent to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and represent this almost as an attempt to conceal the content of this letter from you and as “sectarian” and “factional activity by the CPSU”.
How do matters stand in reality? It was no accident that we did not send you the letter of February 12 this year. In the past few months alone, the CC CPSU has repeatedly approached the leadership of the CPC both verbally and in writing with proposals that measures be jointly taken for strengthening the unity of the socialist community and the international communist movement. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has not considered it necessary even to reply to our proposals. You ignored the proposals for normalizing the situation in the communist movement which the CPSU delegation advanced during the Moscow talks in July 1963. You did not reply to the letter of the CC CPSU dated November 29, 1963, which contained a concrete programme of action for eliminating the existing differences. In exactly the same way no answer was given to the repeated verbal approaches of leaders of the CPSU to the leadership of the CPC made through Comrades Teng Hsiao-ping, Peng Chen, Liu Hsiao and Pan Tze-li.
If you care to refer to the above-mentioned documents and material, it will be easy for you to convince yourselves that they discuss the very same problems about which the CC CPSU wrote briefly to the fraternal Parties in its letter of February 12 this year.
While not answering our letters, you at the same time unfolded a widespread campaign against the CPSU and other Marxist-Leninist parties and sharply intensified schismatic factional activity in the international communist movement and the democratic organizations. In an article on February 4 this year, the newspaper Renmin Ribao openly called for a split in the communist movement and demonstrated the unwillingness of the CPC leadership to reply to the positive proposals contained in the letter of the CC CPSU dated November 29, 1963.
In these circumstances, in the interests of the unity of the communist movement and desirous of stating its Marxist-Leninist viewpoints which are being libellously assailed by the Chinese press, the CC CPSU considered it necessary to discuss the question at the February Plenum of the Central Committee and thereafter openly to state its views. The CC CPSU decided to inform the fraternal Parties of this.
We had to tell them frankly that our proposals had not evoked any positive response from the leaders of the CPC and that, broadening their schismatic activity, the latter were continuing to intensify the attacks on the common course of the world communist movement. We declared that we shared the opinion of all the fraternal Parties standing genuinely on the positions of the Declaration and the Statement that it was necessary to give a rebuff to the schismatics and take collective measures for strengthening the unity of the communist movement on the principled basis of Marxism-Leninism. We once again asserted the desirability of calling a meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties, concerning which you yourselves made repeated declarations at one time.
Our letter condemned the intention of the leadership of the CPC to create a factional bloc with a special programme under its own hegemony.
This is what was discussed in the February 12 letter of the CC CPSU.
Our principled position on all the questions contained in the February 12 letter was known to you long before we approached the fraternal Parties. Before approaching them in this letter, we tried more than once to discuss questions concerning the strengthening of the unity of the communist movement with the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and it is no fault of ours that all these efforts produced no result. Insofar as you persistently failed to reply to our repeated letters and approaches and, what is more, presented them as expressions of our weakness, it was unnecessary and indeed useless to send you our letter of February 12.
After all this, one can only be surprised at your allegations that the CPSU “is engineering a new campaign against the CPC” “behind the back of the CPC”, adopting “two-faced tactics” and “engaging in divisive activities”. It is not difficult to see that the intention of the leadership of the CPC in exaggerating the matter of the February 12 letter and distorting the real meaning of this step by the CC CPSU by every means represents yet another clumsy attempt to lay its own fault at somebody else’s door and to shift to the CPSU the responsibility for the difficulties that have arisen in the communist movement exclusively through the fault of the CPC leadership.
As the saying goes among our people, this is using a well-known method, in which the real culprit cries, “Stop thief.”
If one is to look for real double-dealers and schismatics acting “behind the backs of the fraternal Parties”, one must speak of those who have carried on factional activity for many years, and must go to those who openly argue for the necessity of a split in the communist movement and even declare it to be “an inexorable law”. How, for instance, is one to regard the following fact? As early as June 1960 Comrade Liu Shao-chi and other CPC leaders, in their talks with an Albanian delegation, slandered the CPSU, deliberately distorted the external and internal policies of our Party and tried to set the Albanian public leaders against the CPSU. These actions by the Chinese leadership evoked the just indignation of members of the Albanian delegation who openly said so to the Chinese comrades and informed the CC CPSU.
This is nothing but the most genuine behind-the-scenes factional activity against a fraternal Party.
One could cite innumerable facts and, if necessary, publish documents that expose the behind-the-scenes activity of the CPC leadership against the CPSU and other fraternal Parties, carried on over a number of years. Representatives of fraternal Parties already spoke about this to you directly at the Bucharest and Moscow meetings.
As for the CPSU, we do not conceal our views and activities from any fraternal Party, including the CPC to whose representatives we have repeatedly explained our views and standpoints on all the most important questions.
The CC CPSU has utilized its right, possessed by every Communist Party, to enter into consultation on whatever problems are of concern to it. Notwithstanding the fact that in your article of February 4 you permitted delirious invective against our Party and its leadership, the CC CPSU has not allowed itself to be provoked and has not taken the path of squabbling on the principle of “spearpoint against spearpoint”. While considering it necessary to give a rebuff to your schismatic activity, we have decided, utilizing Party channels, to consult anew with the Central Committees of fraternal Parties and let them know the steps we plan for strengthening the unity of the communist movement. This is in full conformity with the principles and norms for relations between Marxist-Leninist parties which are stipulated in the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings.
The approach of the CC CPSU to the fraternal Parties in its letter of February 12 was dictated by our Party’s profound concern for the liquidation of the abnormal situation which has now arisen in the communist movement. It reflects the basic interests of all the Marxist-Leninist parties, the interests of the defence of the purity of Marxism-Leninism.
As for your attempts to juggle with words like “great-power chauvinism”, “self-important”, “domineering”, “inveterate habit of posing as the ‘father party’”, “God’s will”, etc. we have to tell you that the use of such expressions only testifies to the weakness of your position and to your wish in this way to cover up your own activities, which you try to ascribe to us.
For four years the fraternal Parties of the whole world have been appealing to the CC CPC to approach the matter from the point of view of the common interests and to cease its attempts to impose its erroneous “general line” on the world communist movement. However, the leadership of the CPC has not only failed to heed the opinion of fraternal Parties but with growing ambition is posing as the sole heir of the founders of Marxism-Leninism and the supreme judge of the theory and practice of communism. After all, it is none other than the leadership of the CPC that is attempting to dictate to the Communist Parties of the capitalist countries when they should begin the revolution and by what paths they should accomplish it. This leadership of the CPC pronounces irrevocable sentence on which country should be considered socialist and which not. It is the same leadership that affixes to whole Parties the labels of “correct” or “incorrect” and, depending upon whom it likes, declares some to be “outstanding Marxists” and others “modern revisionists”.
Your great-power habits also appear in your last short letter when, addressing the CC CPSU, you demand that it send to you its letter of February 12. You do not request, but demand. One asks, by what right? Can it really be that you consider that anyone will take your tone seriously, become frightened and rush as fast as his legs can carry him to fulfil your every demand? This is not merely rude but simply ridiculous.
Your letter and its deliberately rude tone compel us to reflect once again: with what purpose was it sent? After all, nobody will believe that such an unseemly message was sent in the interests of the strengthening of friendship with the CPSU, of which you ceaselessly talk to your own people and the international communist movement, thus deceiving them. Anyone who acquaints himself with this letter will see that it is aimed at the aggravation of differences and the exacerbation of the situation in the communist movement.
If the leaders of the CPC genuinely care for the solidarity and unity of the communist movement, they should leave their erroneous path, cease schismatic activity and take their stand in the same ranks as all the world’s fraternal Parties.
On its part, the CC CPSU is always ready to do everything in its power for the unity of the world communist movement on a principled Marxist-Leninist basis.
Our Party, which places the interests of the unit, of the world communist movement above all else, expresses its willingness to continue to make exertions for normalizing relations with the CPC.
The CC CPSU expresses its firm conviction that the world communist movement will overcome the existing difficulties, unite its ranks even more closely under the banner of Marx-Engels-Lenin, and achieve new successes in the struggle for the great cause of the working class, for the victory of the national liberation movement, for the cause of peace and the security of the peoples, for the victory of communism.
With ardent fraternal greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
March 7, 1964
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
The CC CPSU has received your letter of February 27, 1964. We have studied it carefully. We must tell you frankly that your letter has greatly astonished us. In this letter you again lavishly employ such words as “divisive”, “factional” and “sectarian”, by means of which you attempt to accuse our Party of some sort of behind-the-scenes activity against the CPC.
Recently you have been trying more and more often to place the blame for the emergence of the differences and the exacerbation of the struggle on the shoulders of the CPSU. The meaning of all these attempts is perfectly clear to us — you wish to justify your own actions and inflame the differences by shifting the responsibility to others.
We can say with a clear conscience that we have no responsibility whatsoever for the situation that has been created. The CPSU and other Marxist-Leninist parties have made and are making every effort to settle the differences with the Communist Party of China on the basis of the principles in the Declaration and the Statement of the Moscow meetings. In its attitude toward your Party, the CC CPSU has at all times proceeded from the position of not allowing the intensification of differences. At first we thought that the divergences that arose several years ago were fortuitous. We did not wish to believe the information we received that the Chinese comrades were acting behind our backs and taking a line of exacerbating the struggle. We have striven at all times for mutual relations of the greatest brotherhood and confidence.
The CC CPSU is well aware are of the importance of friendship between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of China and between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, whose relations must be built on the foundation of the teachings of Marxism-Leninism. We have more than once written and stated to you — as we did for instance at the time when Comrade Liu Hsiao, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the U.S.S.R., left Moscow in October 1962 — our sincere desire that the friendship between the CPSU and the CPC should remain as good as it was before 1958. This was what we most ardently hoped for. But now, unfortunately, we see that these hopes are not being realized.
The central point of the letter of the CC CPC of February 27 is in fact a proposal for the intensification of public polemics. In proposing the conclusion of an agreement on mutual publication of critical materials directed against one another, what you desire is, in essence, that the polemics between the Parties should embrace the peoples of our countries.
You must understand, comrades, that were one to publish your articles which contain so many unjust assertions and slanders against the internal and external policy of the Soviet Union, and which go so far as to assert that the “restoration of capitalism” is taking place in the U.S.S.R. and that it has entered into “collusion with American imperialism”, it would only arouse a feeling of legitimate indignation among the Soviet people. Naturally, the Soviet press would not leave such attacks unanswered. And all this would mean not taking the line of strengthening the friendship between the great peoples of the Soviet Union and China but taking the line of inflaming hostility, mistrust and unfriendliness between them.
Indeed, the polemics you are conducting have long ago gone beyond the bounds of ideological dispute and been turned by you into a weapon for the struggle against the CPSU and the entire world communist movement. You pour torrents of dirt over our Party and our country, and are in essence employing the same tactics as that of the opponents of the Soviet state, who try to divide the people from the Party and the Party from the leadership. Such actions are impermissible, and calculations based on them are simply naive. Your attacks on the CPSU, which has rich experience of struggle against the Trotskyites, the Right opportunists and the nationalists, and against external enemies, are only promoting the even greater unity of Soviet Communists and the entire Soviet people around their militant communist vanguard.
In telling the Party the truth about your subversive activities, we have always maintained and continue to adhere to self-restraint and a quiet tone of voice, and never permit any insults toward the fraternal Communist Party of China, its leaders and the Chinese people. Please consider what would happen if we too were to take your path and reply to you with the same abuse that you heap on us, and call upon the Chinese people to fight against their leadership. If we took this path, what sort of Communists or leaders of Communist Parties would we be, or what sort of followers of the teachings of Marxism-Leninism who are confronted with the tasks of struggle to build a communist society? Communism does not mean the inflaming of enmity among nations; on the contrary it means their unification into a single fraternal family, regardless of nationality, colour of skin and language, for the irreconcilable struggle against exploiters and imperialism.
Guided by these very considerations, the CC CPSU in its letter of November 29, 1963 again proposed the cessation of public polemics and put forward a constructive programme for the improvement of Soviet-Chinese relations and the normalization of the situation in the communist movement. At the same time, the publication of polemical material in Soviet newspapers and periodicals was discontinued. All the fraternal Parties recognized these actions as expressions of the good will of the CPSU and hopefully expected that the leadership of the CPC would support our initiative.
Unfortunately the CC CPC did the opposite. While deliberately delaying an official answer to our appeal, in fact you replied to it by inflaming the polemics, by intensifying schismatic activities in the communist movement and by directing even more slanderous accusations at the CPSU and other Marxist-Leninist parties. This campaign culminated in the Renmin Ribao and Hongqi article of February 4, 1964 which proclaimed that the Soviet Union, together with American imperialism, was the “arch-enemy” of People’s China and contained impermissible insinuations concerning our Party and its Central Committee. The article of February 4 represented an attempt to provide some kind of theoretical basis for schismatic activities and to declare that a split in the communist movement was a phenomenon conforming to laws. This disgraceful document, like other similar material, was distributed in huge numbers and broadcast all over the world by radio in Russian and other languages.
In these circumstances, we could no longer remain silent, we had to tell the whole truth about the words and the actual deeds of the Chinese leadership so that the Plenum of the CC CPSU could discuss and appraise the situation that had arisen and speak its weighty word. After discussing the question of the struggle waged by the CPSU for the unity of the communist movement, the February Plenum of the CC CPSU, at which six thousand Party activists were present, unanimously approved the line of the Presidium of the Central Committee.
In full conformity with the accepted principles governing relations in the communist movement, the CC CPSU considered it its duty to inform fraternal Parties of our intention to publish the relevant materials of the Plenum in the press and to rebuff the schismatic activities of the leadership of the CPC.
It is quite understandable that there was no sense at all in sending you our letter addressed to other fraternal Parties. This would have been useless, if only because we had already repeatedly approached you with the same questions and received no answer. The letter of the CC CPSU of February 12 contained no secrets, it contained nothing we had not talked about to the leadership of the CPC much earlier. Nonetheless, you decided to use this letter as a pretext for accusing the CPSU of “behind-the-scenes . . . anti-Chinese” activity. It is appropriate first of all to ask: Has a Communist Party no right to address letters to whomever it considers necessary? Do we demand that the CC CPC give us an account of its correspondence?
But this is not the whole matter. We have already told you how absurd such accusations are, particularly when made by those who have actually carried on behind-the-scenes subversive activities against fraternal Parties over several years. We can cite many examples of how the CC CPC, acting behind the backs of Marxist-Leninist parties and their leadership, is inspiring the creation of anti-Party schismatic groups and trying to unite them in opposition to the world communist movement.
Losing its sense of reality, the CC CPC attempted to present us with an ultimatum — it demanded that it be sent the letter of the CC CPSU of February 12. When we politely explained that no Communist Party should permit itself to talk to another in the language of ultimatums, you alleged, obviously obscuring the issue, that there is no difference between the words “request” and “demand” in the Chinese language.
We hold a much higher opinion of the Chinese language. The Chinese are a great people with an ancient culture and understand the shades of meaning between “request” and “demand” perfectly well. It may even happen that the words are the same but the music is quite different. Incidentally, the word “request” was found in the Chinese language, after all, when there was a desire to use it. We hope that from now on the language of ultimatums will be excluded forever from our relations.
Why, then, was it found necessary to permit oneself to address a fraternal Party in this way? Why was your entire letter of February 27, like the preceding ones, written in an exceptionally rude and impertinent tone, and studded with imprecations and insulting expressions? To irritate us, to force us to depart from principled ideological and communist positions and embark upon a “squabble at the mouth of the well”? Apparently these were indeed your intentions.
Seeking political capital, you constantly deck yourselves out as “knights” of equality and at the same time try to convince people that the CPSU is clinging to the role of a “father party”. We cannot avoid the impression that all this is done solely to enable you to fill the role of a “father party” yourselves. But times are different now. Even in Stalin’s lifetime this role had become obsolete, although he did take such a position. By permitting abuses of power within our Party and in relation to fraternal Parties and annihilating people who had opinions of their own, he forfeited people’s confidence and destroyed his own prestige. During and after the war, Stalin himself apparently felt that one should not order Parties about at one’s own will. This, in particular, was one of the reasons for the dissolution of the Comintern.
After Stalin’s death our Party, having analyzed all these things in an honest and Marxist-Leninist way, took steps to correct the situation that had arisen. On its own initiative, the CC CPSU corrected Stalin’s errors and restored the Leninist principle of equality in its relations with fraternal Parties and countries. We withdrew our troops from countries where they had previously been stationed, including the troops from Port Arthur. We liquidated the economic joint companies in China and in other countries and took a number of other measures. It is not superfluous to note that the CC CPC at one time fully approved these steps taken by our Party and set a high value on them.
We still stand on the same positions. Today the situation is not what it was, for instance, in 1919: today Lenin is no longer alive, and no one living can take his place. It is only collectively that the Marxist-Leninist parties can work out a common line for the communist movement. There are no “father” or “son” parties, nor can there be any, but there is and must be a family of fraternal Parties with equal rights and collective wisdom. Success will never attend efforts to impose one’s own views on people in disregard of their opinions and to attach labels to all who disagree with such views. That is why, even today, we call on you yet again to think over your viewpoints and carefully to weigh up where they can lead you. That is why, despite your incessant assaults on the CPSU and other Marxist-Leninist parties, we have exercised patience and are continuing to exercise it and are ready to make every effort to normalize the situation and strengthen the solidarity of the international communist movement.
The CC CPSU has repeatedly expressed the view that the best thing for the interests of the working class and of the revolutionary movement and for the cause of world socialism today would be the cessation of the public polemics between Communist Parties. Once again we propose — let us proceed in all matters from the principles of the Declaration and the Statement, and discuss disputed questions at meetings between fraternal Parties or at international conferences among them. The discussions should proceed with tact and self-respect, with an understanding of the full responsibility we bear in our actions, so that the dispute may not lead to a split and do damage to the holy of holies — the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the cause of socialism.
We have no right to forget the behest of V. I. Lenin, who warned that dissensions among Communists serve to benefit the imperialists. “If discussions,” said V. I. Lenin, “then arguments; if arguments, then dissensions; if dissensions, it means the Communists have become weaker: then press on, seize the moment, take advantage of their weakening. This has become the slogan of the world that is hostile to us. We must not forget this for an instant.” (Collected Works, Fourth Russian ed., Vol. 32, pp. 144-145).
If you had really been interested in strengthening the unity of the international communist ranks, then you should have accepted our proposals long ago, listened to the voice of reason and taken account of the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the Marxist-Leninist parties. The more stubbornly you persist in your intention to inflame the polemics and in your schismatic activities, the more will the Communists and all the progressive forces have grounds to be convinced that the CC CPC is not guided by the interests of socialism at all, but by incorrectly conceived national — in effect — nationalist, selfish interests.
We could refute point by point the slanderous accusations against the CPSU made off-handedly in the letter of the CC CPC of February 27, but we do not consider it necessary to do so now. What is the use of arguments, when you have no intention of seriously entering into the essence of the questions but instead simply pour yet another bucket of dirt over our Party?
We will not fall for any provocation but will proceed along Lenin’s path in one family together with the Communists of the whole world. The CC CPSU again expresses its confidence that the Communist Party of China will sooner or later find the correct path to unity with this family. The sooner this happens, the better. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union will continue to struggle for the unity of all fraternal Parties on Marxist-Leninist and proletarian-internationalist principles, and on the basis of the Declaration and the Statement, the programmatic documents of the world communist movement.
We have also received your letter of February 29. From this letter, which is a belated answer to ours of November 29, 1963, it is evident that you have rejected all the proposals we made for the sake of a radical improvement of Soviet-Chinese relations, of the strengthening of friendship and co-operation between the peoples of the USSR and the PRC, and of the unity of the ranks of the world communist movement. The whole spirit of your letter demonstrates that the CC CPC is not concerned with improving relations between our Parties and countries but instead is inventing various accusations against the CPSU and the Soviet Union. We resolutely repudiate all your libellous attacks on the CPSU and the Soviet Union.
The CC CPSU will give its answer to this letter and will show the real meaning of your distortion of the ideological-political views of our Party and its practical activities; it will re-establish the truth.
But in our present letter we deem it necessary to set forth our position on the question that worries the whole communist movement — that of ways to overcome the differences and attain unity and solidarity among the fraternal Parties.
We note that after many months of stalling and delay the CC CPC has agreed with our view concerning the necessity of continuing the bilateral meeting of representatives of the CPSU and the CPC, and of afterwards preparing and calling a meeting of all the Communist and Workers’ Parties.
The CC CPSU takes a positive view of this fact and considers it to be its internationalist duty to do its utmost, in the course of these projected meetings and discussions, to help strengthen the unity of the communist movement and the solidarity of the fraternal Parties on a Marxist-Leninist platform.
At the same time, we do not understand your motives for delaying for a long period the talking of these measures for which the time is fully ripe. By now it is perfectly clear what harm has been done to the communist movement as a result of your exacerbation of polemics and your factional activity in its midst. The questions demanding discussion have fully emerged, and the aim of the meetings is perfectly clear. Moreover, one cannot ignore the fact that the majority of the Marxist-Leninist parties are ever more urgently stressing the necessity for an international meeting.
The delaying of the bilateral meeting between representatives of the CPSU and the CPC is all the more inexplicable. Eight months have already passed since the first meeting, and you propose postponing the second for another period of similar length at a time when the speediest possible settlement of existing differences is urgently required for the improvement of the relations between two Parties and countries, and in the interests of the unity of the international communist movement and all democratic and revolutionary forces so that they can activize their joint struggle against imperialism. It is very important that our Parties should not be diverted into endless argument but concentrate our main attention on the solution of the immense tasks confronting us in the building of socialism and communism and on the struggle against our common enemy — imperialism.
Your proposal that the meeting of representatives of the CPC and the CPSU be held as late as October 1964 means in fact that the meeting of fraternal Parties would be delayed by at least a year, that the settlement of the existing differences would thus be further postponed and that these differences would be further exacerbated. In our opinion, this would only bring harm to the fraternal Parties and the whole world communist movement.
We also fail to understand the motives by which you were guided in making the proposal that a preparatory meeting be called composed of representatives of only seventeen fraternal Parties (Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Viet Nam, GDR, China, Korea, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, USSR, Czechoslovakia, Indonesia, Japan, Italy and France).
We consider it appropriate to hold the preparatory meeting with the participation of representatives of all the fraternal Parties that were on the drafting committee of the Moscow Meeting of 1960 and that jointly prepared the Statement (Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Viet Nam, GDR, China, Korea, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, USSR, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, German Federal Republic, Great Britain, Finland, Argentina, Brazil, Syria, India, Indonesia, U.S.A., Japan and Australia).
This composition, covering the main areas of the revolutionary movement, was then approved by all the fraternal Parties, and experience showed it to be helpful to the successful conduct of the 1960 Meeting and the formulation of its documents. Naturally our Party, which is charged with the duty of calling the international conference, will approach all the Parties and consult with them.
Guided by all these considerations, the CC CPSU proposes:
1. That the meeting of representatives of the CPSU and the CPC be continued in Peking in May 1964.
2. That the preparatory meeting of representatives of twenty-six fraternal Parties be called in June-July 1964.
3. That the international meeting be held, with the agreement of the fraternal Parties, in the autumn of 1964.
The CC CPSU emphasizes that for the successful implementation of all these measures it is necessary that there be a cessation of public polemics and an abandonment of all types of subversive and schismatic activity in the socialist community and the communist movement.
We hope that the CC CPC will agree to these proposals and will make its constructive contribution to the preparation and implementation of the projected measures. Our proposal of these measures is prompted by deep concern for the settlement of the differences and for the unity of the international communist movement, and these measures are in accord with the fundamental interests of the peoples of the socialist countries, the working class and the working people of all countries, and with the interests of communism.
With comradely greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Document List | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung