Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive
Source: Whence the Differences? - A Reply to Thorez
and Other Comrades. Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1963. The original article, of which this is a
translation, appeared in Renmin Ribao, February 27, 1963.
OCR and HTML: Juan Fajardo, for marxists.org, April 2010.
Comrade Thorez, General Secretary of the French Communist Party, and certain other members of the C.P.F. have a prominent place in the present adverse current of attacks on the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties, a current which is undermining the unity of the international communist movement. Since the latter part of November 1962, they have made numerous statements in quick succession attacking the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties and published many related inner-Party documents. The following are among the main ones:
Thorez’ speech at the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party on December 14, 1962;
The report on problems relating to the international situation and to the unity of the international communist and working-class movement, made by R. Guyot, member of the Political Bureau of the C.P.F., at the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the C.P.F. on December 14, 1962;
The resolution on problems relating to the international situation and to the unity of the international communist and working-class movement adopted by the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the C.P.F. on December 14, 1962;
The editorial written by R. Guyot in l’Humanité, organ of the Central Committee of the C.P.F., on January 9, 1963;
The article entitled “War, Peace and Dogmatism”, which appeared on the same day in France Nouvelle, a weekly published by the Central Committee of the C.P.F.;
Ten successive articles attacking the Chinese Communist Party by name in l’Humanité from January 5 to January 16, 1963;
The article entitled “In What Epoch Do We Live?” in France Nouvelle on January 16, 1963;
The pamphlet entitled Problems of the International Communist Movement, published by the Central Committee of the C.P.F. in January 1963, containing fifteen documents attacking the Chinese Communist Party written by C.P.F. leaders over the last three years, including Thorez’ speech at the Moscow Meeting of the fraternal Parties in November 1960 and his subsequent report on the Moscow Meeting to a Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the C.P.F.;
The article by R. Guyot in l’Humanité on February 15, 1963.
The main content of these statements has already been published in the Renmin Ribao of February 24. It is evident from these statements that in the recent anti- Chinese chorus and in the emulation campaign against the Chinese Communist Party, Thorez and other comrades have been particularly energetic and have out-done many other comrades in assailing the Chinese Com-munist Party.
Besides their assaults on us, Thorez and other comrades have levelled malevolent attacks at the Albanian Party of Labour, censured the fraternal Parties of Korea, Burma, Malaya, Thailand, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Japan and even gone so far as to assail the national-liberation movement, which is heroically fighting imperialism and colonialism. They have slanderously alleged that the “sectarian and adventurist” positions taken by the Chinese Communist Party “have found some echoes in certain Communist Parties, particularly in Asia, and within nationalist movements”, and that they “feed the ‘Leftism’ which exists at times in these Parties and movements”. The attitude of certain French comrades towards the revolutionary cause of the oppressed nations is indeed shocking. They have truly gone too far in disrupting the unity of the international communist movement.
The Chinese Communist Party has long held, and still holds, that differences between fraternal Parties should and must be settled within our own ranks, and through full and comradely discussion and consultation on an equal footing in accordance with the principles set forth in the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. In no instance have we been the first to launch public criticism of any fraternal Party or to provoke public debate. Nevertheless, it would be a miscalculation for anyone to suppose that he can take advantage of our correct stand of giving first place to the interests of unity against the enemy and that he can launch public attacks on the Chinese Communist Party at will without evoking a deserved rebuff.
We should like to tell those comrades who have wantonly attacked the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties: The fraternal Parties are equal. Since you have publicly lashed out at the Chinese Communist Party, you have no right to demand that we should refrain from publicly answering you. Similarly, since you have made public and vicious attacks on the Albanian Party of Labour, the Albanian comrades have the full and equal right to answer you publicly. At present, certain comrades of fraternal Parties, while talking about a halt to the public polemics, are themselves continuing to attack the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties. This double-faced attitude actually implies that only you are permitted to attack others and that it is impermissible for others to reply. This will never work. In the words of an old Chinese saying, “Courtesy demands reciprocity. It is discourteous not to give after receiving.” In all seriousness we feel it necessary to bring this point to the attention of those who have been assailing the Chinese Communist Party.
In attacking the Chinese Communist Party, Thorez and other comrades have touched on the nature of our epoch, the appraisal of imperialism, war and peace, peaceful coexistence, peaceful transition, and other questions. But a close look reveals that they have merely repeated other people’s stale arguments. Since we have already answered their erroneous arguments on these questions in our editorials entitled “Workers of All Countries, Unite, Oppose Our Common Enemy!”, “The Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us” and “Let Us Unite on the Basis of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement”, and also in the editorial entitled “Leninism and Modern Revisionism” in the periodical Hongqi, there is no need here to go over the same ground again.
It is worth pointing out that in their speeches, reports and articles, Thorez and the other comrades use a great many words to distort the facts, confound right and wrong and mislead the people, thus seeking to make the Chinese Communist Party shoulder the responsibility for under-mining the unity of the international communist movement and creating a split. They endlessly repeat that the differences in the international communist movement “were in particular the act of the Chinese comrades”, and that the differences arose because the Chinese comrades “have not yet fundamentally accepted the theses of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union”. They also allege that the greater the lapse of time since the first and second Moscow Meetings of the fraternal Parties, the more does the position of the Chinese comrades “diverge from the theses which they had nevertheless approved and voted for”.
Since Thorez and other comrades have brought up the question of who is responsible for the emergence of differences in the international communist movement, let us discuss it.
Whence the differences in the international communist movement? Thorez and other comrades state that these differences arose because the Chinese Communist Party did not accept the theses of the 20th Congress of the CPSU. This very statement is a violation of the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties as set forth in the Moscow Declaration and Statement. According to these two documents which were jointly agreed upon, the fraternal Parties are equal and independent in their relations. No one has the right to demand that all fraternal Parties should accept the theses of any one Party. No resolution of any congress of any one Party can be taken as the common line of the international communist movement or be binding on other fraternal Parties. If Thorez and other comrades are willing to accept the viewpoints and resolutions of another Party, that is their business. As for the Chinese Communist Party, we have always held that the only common principles of action which can have binding force on us and on all other fraternal Parties are Marxism- Leninism and the common documents unanimously agreed upon by the fraternal Parties, and not the resolutions of the congress of any one fraternal Party, or anything else.
As for the 20th Congress of the CPSU, it had both its positive and negative aspects. We have expressed our support for its positive aspects. As for its negative aspects, namely, the wrong viewpoints it put forward on certain important questions of principle relating to the international communist movement, we have held different views all along. In talks between the Chinese and Soviet Parties and at meetings of fraternal Parties, we have made no secret of our views and have clearly set forth our opinions on many occasions. But in the interests of the international communist movement, we have never publicly discussed this matter, nor do we intend to do so in the present article.
The facts are clear. The differences in the international communist movement in recent years arose entirely because certain comrades of a fraternal Party had violated the Moscow Declaration which was unanimously agreed upon by all the Communist and Workers’ Parties.
As is well known, the 1957 Moscow Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, basing itself on Marxism-Leninism, eliminated certain differences among the fraternal Parties, reached agreement on the current major issues in the international communist movement, and produced the Moscow Declaration as a result of comradely consultation and collective effort. The Declaration is the common programme of the international communist movement. Every fraternal Party has proclaimed its accept ance of this programme.
If the Declaration had been strictly adhered to by all the fraternal Parties in their practice and had not been violated, the unity of the international communist movement would have been strengthened and our common struggle advanced.
For some time after the Moscow Meeting of 1957, the Communist and Workers’ Parties were fairly successful and effective in their united struggle against the common enemy, and above all against U.S. imperialism, and in their struggle against the Yugoslav revisionists, who had betrayed Marxism-Leninism.
But, because certain comrades of a fraternal Party repeatedly attempted to place the resolutions of the congress of one Party above the Moscow Declaration, above the common programme of all the fraternal Parties, differences within the international communist movement inevitably ensued. Particularly around the time of the Camp David talks in September 1959, certain comrades of a fraternal Party put forward a series of erroneous views on many important issues relating to the international situation and the international communist movement, views which departed from Marxism-Leninism and violated the Moscow Declaration.
They contravened the Moscow Declaration’s scientific thesis that imperialism is the source of modern wars, and that “so long as imperialism exists there will always be soil for aggressive wars”. They incessantly proclaimed that even while the imperialist system and the system of exploitation and oppression of man by man continue to exist in the greater part of the world, “already in our times, the practical possibility is being created of banishing war from the life of society finally and for ever”, and “a world without weapons, without armed forces and without wars” can be brought into being. They also predicted that 1960 would “go down in history as a year in which the long-cherished hope of mankind for a world without weapons and armies and a world without wars begins to come true”.
They contravened the thesis of the Moscow Declaration that in order to prevent another world war we should rely on the joint struggle of the socialist camp, the national-liberation movement, the international working class and the mass movement of the peoples for peace. They pinned their hopes for defending world peace on the “wisdom” of the heads of the major powers, holding that the historical fate of the present epoch is actually decided by individual “great men” and their “wisdom”, and that summit meetings of the major powers can determine and change the course of history. They made such statements as: “We have already said more than once that it is only the heads of governments who are invested with great powers, who are able to settle the most complicated international questions.” They portrayed the Camp David talks as a “new stage”, a “new era” in international relations, and even “a turning point in the history of mankind”.
They contravened the thesis of the Moscow Declaration that the U.S. imperialists “are becoming the centre of world reaction, the sworn enemies of the people”. They were especially ardent in lauding Dwight Eisenhower, the chieftain of U.S. imperialism, as one who had “a sincere desire for peace”, who “sincerely hopes to eliminate the state of ‘cold war’”, and who “also worries about ensuring peace just as we do”.
They violated the Leninist principle of peaceful co-existence between the two different social systems as set forth in the Moscow Declaration, and interpreted peaceful coexistence as nothing but ideological struggle and economic competition, saying: “The inevitable struggle between the two systems must be made to take the form exclusively of a struggle of ideas and peaceful emulation, as we say, or competition, to use a word more common in the capitalist lexicon.” They even extended peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems to the relations between oppressor and oppressed classes and between oppressor and oppressed nations, maintaining that for all countries peaceful coexistence is the road leading to socialism. All this rep-resents a complete departure from the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint of class struggle. They thus actually used the pretext of peaceful coexistence to negate the political struggle against imperialism and for the liberation cause of the people of all countries, and to negate the inter-national class struggle.
They contravened the thesis of the Moscow Declaration that U.S. imperialism vigorously seeks “to enmesh the liberated peoples in new forms of colonialism”, and proclaimed far and wide that imperialism could help the underdeveloped countries to develop their economies on an unprecedented scale, thus virtually denying that it is the nature of imperialism to plunder the underdeveloped countries. They made such statements as: “General and complete disarmament would also create entirely new opportunities for aid to the countries whose economies are still underdeveloped and need assistance on the part of more developed countries. Even if only a small part of the money released by the termination of the military expenditure, of the great powers were devoted to such aid, it could open up literally a new epoch in the economic development of Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
They contravened the thesis of the Moscow Declaration that in our day the liberation movement of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples and the revolutionary struggle of the working class of various countries are powerful forces for the defence of world peace, and counterposed the national-liberation movement and the people’s revolutionary struggle in various countries to the struggle for the defence of world peace. Although they occasionally spoke of the necessity of supporting national liberation wars and people’s revolutionary wars, they repeatedly stressed that “a war under contemporary conditions would inevitably become a world war”, that “even a tiny spark can cause a world conflagration” and that it was necessary to “oppose all kinds of wars”. This amounts to making no distinction between just and un-just wars and to opposing wars of national liberation, people’s revolutionary wars and just wars of all kinds on the pretext of preventing a world war.
They contravened the thesis of the Moscow Declaration that there are two possibilities, peaceful and non-peaceful, with regard to the transition from capitalism to socialism, and that “the ruling classes will never relinquish power voluntarily”, and laid a one-sided stress on the “growing immediate possibility” of peaceful transition, alleging that peaceful transition “is already a realistic perspective in a number of countries”.
From this series of erroneous views, one can only draw the conclusions that the nature of imperialism has changed, that all its insuperable inherent contradictions no longer exist, that Marxism-Leninism is outmoded and that the Moscow Declaration should be cast aside.
But no matter what pretexts they may resort to, whether “diplomatic language” or “flexibility”, the comrades of a fraternal Party who spread these erroneous views cannot cover up their deviations from Marxism- Leninism and from the principles of the 1957 Moscow Declaration or absolve themselves from their responsibility for the creation of differences in the international communist movement.
Such is the origin of the differences in the international communist movement which have arisen in recent years. How did these differences come to be exposed before the enemy?
Thorez and other comrades allege that the differences were brought into the open with “the Chinese Communist Party’s publication of the pamphlet Long Live Leninism! in all languages in the summer of 1960”. But what are the actual facts?
The truth is that the internal differences among the fraternal Parties were first brought into the open, not in the summer of 1960, but on the eve of the Camp David talks in September 1959 — on September 9, 1959, to be exact. On that day a socialist country, turning a deaf ear to China’s repeated explanations of the true situation and to China’s advice, hastily issued a statement on a Sino-Indian border incident through its official news agency. Making no distinction between right and wrong, the statement expressed “regret” over the border clash and in reality condemned China’s correct stand. They even said that it was “sad” and “stupid”. Here is the first instance in history in which a socialist country, instead of condemning the armed provocations of the reactionaries of a capitalist country, condemned another fraternal socialist country when it was confronted with such armed provocation. The imperialists and reactionaries immediately sensed that there were differences among the socialist countries, and they made venomous use of this erroneous statement to sow dissension. The bourgeois propaganda machines at the time made a great deal of it, saying that the statement was like a “diplomatic rocket launched at China” and that “the language of the statement was to some extent like that of a stern father coldly rebuking a child and telling him to behave himself”.
After the Camp David talks, the heads of certain comrades were turned and they became more and more in-temperate in their public attacks on the foreign and domestic policies of the Chinese Communist Party. They publicly abused the Chinese Communist Party as attempting “to test by force the stability of the capitalist system”, and as “craving for war like a cock for a fight”. They also attacked the Chinese Communist Party for its general line of socialist construction, its big leap forward and its people’s commune, and they spread the slander that the Chinese Party was carrying out an “adventurist” policy in its direction of the state.
For a long time these comrades have eagerly propagated their erroneous views and attacked the Chinese Communist Party, banishing the Moscow Declaration from their minds. They have thus created confusion within the international communist movement and placed the peoples of the world in danger of losing their bearings in the struggle against imperialism. Comrade Thorez can no doubt recall what was vigorously propagated at the time in the organ of the French Communist Party, l’Humanité, “Between Washington and Moscow a common language has been found, that of peaceful coexistence. America has taken the turning.”
It was in those circumstances and for the sake of up-holding the Moscow Declaration, defending Marxism- Leninism and enabling the people of the world to under-stand our point of view on the current international situation that the Chinese Communist Party published, on the ninetieth anniversary of Lenin’s birth, the three articles, “Long Live Leninism!”, “Forward Along the Path of the Great Lenin!”, and “Unite Under Lenin’s Revolutionary Banner!”. Although we had already been under attack for more than half a year, we set store by unity and made imperialism and Yugoslav revisionism the targets of the struggle in our discussion of the erroneous views which contravened the Moscow Declaration.
Thorez and other comrades turned the truth upside down when they alleged that the publication of the three articles was the point at which the differences in the international communist movement were brought into the open.
In May 1960, the American U-2 spy plane intruded into the Soviet Union, and the four-power summit meeting in Paris was aborted. We then hoped that the com-rades who had so loudly sung the praises of the so-called spirit of Camp David would draw a lesson from these events, and would strengthen the unity of the fraternal Parties and countries in the common struggle against the imperialist policies of aggression and war. But, contrary to our hopes, at the Peking Session of the General Council of the World Federation of Trade Unions held early in June of the same year, certain comrades of fraternal Parties still refused to denounce Eisenhower, spread many erroneous views and opposed the correct views put forward by the Chinese comrades. It was a fact of particular gravity that late in June 1960 someone went so far as to wave his baton and launch an all-out and converging surprise attack on the Chinese Communist Party at the meeting of the fraternal Parties in Bucharest. This action was a crude violation of the principle that questions of common interest should be solved through consultation among fraternal Parties. It set an extremely bad precedent for the international communist movement.
Thorez and other comrades have alleged that the delegate of the Albanian Party of Labour “attacked the Communist Party of the Soviet Union” at the meeting in Bucharest. But all the comrades who attended the meeting are very well aware that the Albanian comrade did not attack anyone during the meeting. All he did was to adhere to his own views, disobey the baton and take exception to the attack on China. In the eyes of those who regard the relations between fraternal Parties as those between patriarchal father and son, it was indeed an appalling act of impudent insubordination for tiny Albania to dare to disobey the baton. From that time on they harboured a grudge against the Albanian comrades, employed all kinds of base devices against them and would not be satisfied until thet had destroyed them.
After the Bucharest meeting, some comrades who had attacked the Chinese Communist Party lost no time in taking a series of grave steps to apply economic and political pressure, even to the extent of perfidiously and unilaterally tearing up agreements and contracts they had concluded with a fraternal country, in disregard of international practice. These agreements and contracts are to be counted, not in twos or threes or in scores, but in hundreds. These malicious acts, which extended ideological differences to state relations, were out-and-out violations of proletarian internationalism and of the principles guiding relations among fraternal socialist countries as set forth in the Moscow Declaration. Instead of criticizing their own errors of great-power chauvinism, these comrades charged the Chinese Communist Party with the errors of “going it alone”, sectarianism, splitting, national communism, etc. Does this accord with communist ethics? Thorez and other comrades were aware of the facts, yet they dared not criticize those who actually committed the error of extending political and ideological disputes to the damage of state relations, but on the contrary charged the Chinese comrades with “mixing problems of state with ideological and political questions”. This attitude which confuses right and wrong and makes black white and white black is indeed deplorable.
It is clear from the foregoing facts that the aggravation of differences in the international communist movement after the Moscow Meeting of 1957 was due entirely to the fact that with respect to a series of important issues certain fraternal Party comrades committed increasingly serious violations of the common line unanimously agreed upon by the fraternal Parties and of the principles guiding relations among fraternal Parties and countries.
The fact that Comrade Thorez disregards the facts and perverts the truth is also strikingly manifested in his distortion of what actually happened at the 1960 Moscow Meeting. He has charged that the Chinese Communist Party “did not approve the line of the international working-class movement . . . and thus created a difficult situation” for the meeting.
For the good of the international communist movement we prefer not to go into detail here about what went on at this internal meeting of the fraternal Parties; we intend to give the true picture and clarify right and wrong at the proper time and place. It must be pointed out here, however, that the Chinese Communist Party was an initiator of the 1960 Meeting of all the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the world. We made great efforts to bring about its convocation. During the meeting, we upheld Marxism-Leninism and the Moscow Declaration of 1957 and opposed the erroneous views put forward by certain comrades of fraternal Parties; at the same time, we made necessary compromises on certain questions. Together with other fraternal Parties, we made concerted efforts to overcome a variety of difficulties and enabled the meeting to achieve positive results, reach unanimous agreement and issue the Moscow Statement. These facts alone give the lie to Thorez and certain other comrades.
After the Moscow Meeting of 1960, the fraternal Parties should have strengthened the unity of the international communist movement and concentrated their forces for the common struggle against the enemy in accordance with the Statement to which they had unanimously agreed. In the Resolution on the Moscow Meeting of Representatives of the Communist and Workers’ Parties adopted at the Ninth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held in January 1961, we pointed out:
The Communist Party of China, always unswervingly upholding Marxism-Leninism and the principle of pro- letarian internationalism, will uphold the Statement of this Meeting, just as it has upheld the Moscow Declaration of 1957, and will resolutely strive for the realization of the common tasks set forth by this document.
In the two years and more that have passed, the Chinese Communist Party has faithfully carried out the common agreements of the international communist movement and devoted sustained efforts to upholding the revolutionary principles of the Moscow Declaration and Statement.
Yet Thorez and other comrades have charged that after the Moscow Meeting of 1960 the Chinese Communist Party “continued to express divergences on essential aspects of the policy worked out in common by all the Parties”, and that “the positions taken by the Chinese comrades are prejudicial to the interests of the whole movement”.
Since the Moscow Meeting of 1960, who is it that has committed increasingly serious violations of the Moscow Declaration and Statement with respect to a number of issues?
Shortly after the Moscow Meeting there was a further deterioration in the relations between the Soviet Union and Albania. Comrade Thorez has tried to shift the responsibility for this deterioration onto the Chinese Communist Party. He has accused China of failing “to use its influence to bring the leaders of the Albanian Party of Labour to a more correct understanding of their duty”.
In fact, the Chinese Communist Party has always maintained that the relations between fraternal Parties and fraternal countries should be guided by the principles of independence, equality and the attainment of unanimity through consultation as laid down in the Moscow Declaration and Statement. We have consistently upheld this view in regard to Soviet-Albanian relations. It has been our earnest hope that the relations between the two countries would improve and we have done our internationalist duty to this end. We have offered our advice to the Soviet comrades many times, stating that the larger Party and the larger country should take the initiative in improving Soviet-Albanian relations and settle the differences through inter-Party consultation on an equal footing, and that even if it were not possible to settle some differences for the time being, they should exercise patience instead of taking any steps that might worsen relations. Accordingly, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party wrote to the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, expressing the hope that the question of Soviet-Albanian relations would be resolved through consultation.
But no consideration was given to our sincere efforts. A number of incidents occurred — the withdrawal of the fleet from the naval base of Vlore, the recall of experts from Albania, the cessation of aid to Albania, interference in her internal affairs, etc.
The Chinese Communist Party was pained by these crude violations of the principles guiding relations among fraternal countries. On the eve of the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party once again gave the Soviet comrades comradely advice concerning the improvement of Soviet-Albanian relations. But to our surprise, at the 22nd Congress there occurred the grave incident in which the Albanian Party of Labour was publicly named and attacked, and the odious precedent was thus created of one Party using its own congress to make a public attack on another fraternal Party. In defence of the principles of the Moscow Declaration and Statement guiding relations among fraternal Parties and in the interest of unity against the enemy, the delegation of the Chinese Communist Party attending the Congress explicitly stated our objection to a course of behaviour which can only grieve those near and dear to us all and gladden the enemy.
It is a matter for regret that this serious and just attitude of ours should have been censured. One comrade even said, “If the Chinese comrades wish to contribute to normalizing relations between the Albanian Party of Labour and fraternal Parties, there is hardly anyone who could do more than the Communist Party of China to help solve this problem.” What did this remark mean? If it meant to hold the Chinese comrades responsible for the deterioration of Soviet-Albanian relations, that was shirking one’s own responsibility and trying to impute it to others. If it meant that the Chinese comrades should help to bring about an improvement in Soviet-Albanian relations, we would point out that some comrades actually deprived other fraternal Parties of the possibility of effectively contributing to the improvement of those relations by completely ignoring our repeated advice and by obdurately exacerbating Soviet-Albanian relations even to the length of openly calling for a change in the leadership of the Albanian Party and state. After the CPSU Congress these comrades broke off the Soviet Union’s diplomatic relations with the fraternal socialist country of Albania without any scruples. Did this not convincingly demonstrate that they had not the slightest desire to improve relations between the Soviet Union and Albania?
Thorez and other comrades have blamed the Chinese press for “spreading the erroneous propositions of the Albanian leaders”. We must point out that the Chinese Communist Party has always opposed bringing inter- Party differences into the open and that it was certain comrades of a fraternal Party who insisted on doing this and maintained, moreover, that not to do so was in-consistent with the Marxist-Leninist stand. In these circumstances, when the differences between the Soviet Union and Albania came into the open, we simultaneously published some of the material on both sides of the controversy in order to let the Chinese people understand how matters actually stood. Can it possibly be considered right that certain comrades of a fraternal Party may repeatedly and freely condemn another fraternal Party, may say that its leaders are anti-Leninist, that those leaders want to earn the privilege of receiving an imperialist hand-out of thirty pieces of silver, that they are executioners with blood on their hands, and so on and so forth, while this fraternal Party is not allowed to defend itself, and other fraternal Parties are not allowed to publish material on both sides of the controversy simultaneously? Those who claim to be “completely correct” have published one article after another attacking Albania, but they are mortally afraid of the Albanian comrades’ replies, they dare not publish them and are afraid of others doing so. It simply shows that justice is not on their side and that they have a guilty conscience.
Furthermore, Comrade Thorez and other comrades accuse the Chinese Communist Party of having “trans-ferred into the mass movements the differences which may exist or arise among communists”, referring especially to the Stockholm Conference of the World Peace Council in December 1961, where, they say, the Chinese Communist Party “counterposed the struggle for national liberation to the struggle for disarmament and peace”.
But this is the diametrical opposite of the facts. It is not the Chinese comrades but certain comrades of a fraternal Party who have injected the differences between fraternal Parties into the international democratic organizations. They have repeatedly tried to impose on these international democratic organizations their own wrong line, which runs counter to the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. They have counterposed the struggle for national liberation to the struggle for world peace. In disregard of the widespread desire of the masses represented by these organizations to oppose imperialism and colonialism, to win or safeguard national independence, these comrades insist on making “every effort for disarmament” the overriding task and they energetically peddle the wrong idea that “a world without weapons, without armies, without wars” can be realized while imperialism and the system of exploitation still exist. It is this that has given rise to continual sharp controversies in these organizations. Similar controversies broke out at the Stockholm Conference of the World Peace Council in December 1961. The demand made by certain persons at this conference was that colonial and semi-colonial peoples living under the bayonets of imperialism and colonialism should wait until the imperialists and colonialists accept general and complete disarmament, renounce their armed suppression of the national independence movement and help the underdeveloped countries with the money saved from disarmament. In fact, what these persons want is that, while waiting for all this, the oppressed nations should not fight imperialism and colonialism or resist the armed suppression by their colonial rulers, for otherwise, they say, a world war would be touched off, causing the death of millions upon millions of people. Proceeding from precisely this absurd “theory”, these persons have vilified the national independence movement as a “movement for piling up corpses”. It is these persons, and not the Chinese comrades, who violated the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement.
The two most recent major issues in the international situation were the Caribbean crisis and the Sino-Indian border conflict. The stand taken by the Chinese Communist Party on these issues conforms entirely with Marxism-Leninism and with the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. Yet in this connection Thorez and other comrades have made vicious attacks on the Chinese Communist Party.
With regard to the Caribbean crisis, Thorez and the other comrades have accused China of wanting to “bring on a war between the Soviet Union and the United States and so plunge the world into a thermonuclear catastrophe”. Do the facts bear out this charge? What did the Chinese people do during the Caribbean crisis? They firmly condemned the acts of aggression perpetrated by U.S. imperialism, they firmly supported the five demands of the Cuban people in defence of their independence and sovereignty, and they firmly opposed the attempt to impose “international inspection” on Cuba which was made for the sake of an unprincipled compromise. In all this, what exactly did we do that was wrong? Did not the French Communist Party’s statement of October 23, 1962 also call for “vigorously protesting U.S. imperialism’s warlike and provocative actions”? Did not l’Humanité of the same date condemn the U.S. aggression as “pure and simple aggression prepared a long time ago against Cuba” and did it not appeal to the people of all countries as “a matter of urgency that the peoples reinforce their solidarity with Cuba and intensify their struggle”? May we ask Comrade Thorez: In thus supporting the Cuban people and opposing U.S. aggression, did you, too, want to plunge the world into a thermonuclear catastrophe? Why was it all right for you to do this at one time, and why has it become a crime for China consistently to do the same thing? Plainly the reason is that, following the baton, you suddenly changed your stand and began to hold forth about the need for “reasonable concessions” and “sensible compromise” in the face of the U.S. acts of aggression. That is why you turned your artillery from the Yankee pirates to those fraternal Parties which have consistently maintained a correct stand.
Worse still, certain comrades in the C.P.F. have vilified all who stand firm against the U.S. aggressors, calling them such insulting names as “heroes of the revolution-ary phrase” and accusing them of “using fine words” and “speculating on the admiration which the Cuban peo-ple’s courage has legitimately inspired”. These comrades said that “against hydrogen bombs courage alone is not sufficient” and “let us beware of sacrificing Cuban breasts on the altar of revolutionary phrases”. What kind of talk is this? Whom are you accusing? If you are accusing the heroic Cuban people, that is disgraceful. If you are accusing the Chinese people and the people of other countries who oppose the U.S. pirates and support the Cuban people, does this not expose your support of the Cuban people as an utter fraud? As Thorez and certain other French comrades see it, if those who do not possess hydrogen bombs support the Cuban people, they are simply using “fine words” and indulg-ing in “speculation”, while the Cuban people who do not possess hydrogen bombs must submit to the countries which have them, sell out their state sovereignty, accept “international inspection” and allow themselves to be sacrificed on the altar of U.S. imperialist aggression. This is naked power politics. It makes an unqualified fetish of nuclear weapons. It is no way for Communists to talk.
We should like to say to Thorez and the other comrades that the eyes of the people of the world are clear; it is not we but you who have committed mistakes in connection with the Caribbean crisis. For you have tried to help out the Kennedy Administration, which provoked the crisis in the Caribbean, by insisting that people should believe the U.S. promise not to attack Cuba, although the Kennedy Administration has itself denied having made any such promise. You have defended those comrades who committed both the error of adventurism and the error of capitulationism. You have defended infringements upon the sovereignty of a fraternal country. And you are making the fight against the Chinese Communist Party and other Marxist-Leninist Parties, rather than the fight against U.S. imperialism, your prime concern.
On the Sino-Indian boundary question, Thorez and other comrades have accused China of lacking the “minimum of goodwill” for a settlement of the dispute. This charge is ludicrous.
We have already had occasion to deal at length with the Chinese Government’s consistent stand for a peaceful settlement of the Sino-Indian border issue and with the ef-forts it has exerted in this connection over a number of years. At the moment, the situation on the border has begun to relax, as a result of the serious defeat which the Indian forces sustained in their massive attacks and of the cease-fire and withdrawal which the Chinese forces effected on China’s initiative after having fought back successfully in self-defence. The three years and more of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute have furnished conclusive proof that the Chinese Government has been absolutely right in waging a necessary struggle against the reactionary policy of the Nehru government of India.
The surprising thing is that when a fraternal socialist country was facing the Nehru government’s provocations and attacks, certain self-styled Marxist-Leninists should abandon the principle of proletarian internationalism and assume a “neutral” stand. In practice, they have not only been giving political support to the anti-China policy of the Nehru government, but have been supplying that government with war materiel. Instead of condemning these wrong actions, Thorez and other comrades have described them as a “sensible policy”. What has happened to your Marxism-Leninism and your proletarian internationalism?
Time and again, Comrade Thorez has denounced China’s policy towards India as benefiting imperialism. As early as 1960, he said that the Chinese Communist Party “gives Eisenhower the opportunity to obtain a welcome in India which he would not have received in other circum-stances”. To this day, some French comrades are repeatin9999999essary to dwell on the fact that one of the objects of the Nehru government in stirring up conflict on the Sino- Indian border was to serve the needs of U.S. imperialism and secure more U.S. aid. We would only like to ask Comrade Thorez and certain other members of the C.P.F.
Is it possible you have forgotten that Eisenhower was accorded not only a welcome in India but a rousing welcome in France too. Comrade Thorez sharply criticized a number of elected Communist municipal and general councillors of the Paris region at the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party for not attending the reception to welcome Eisenhower when the latter was visiting Paris in September 1959. To quote Comrade Thorez, “It is necessary to say that we considered it a mistake that in spite of the decision of the Political Bureau, which had wanted the elected municipal ancillors of the Paris region to be present, they were not all present at the reception for Eisenhower at the Town Hall. That was an erroneous position. I have also criticized it since my return. (Comrade Thorez had just re-turned from a trip abroad — Ed.) I wish to repeat that the Political Bureau had taken a correct decision but that it did not know how to secure its application.” (l’Humanité, November 11, 1959.) If the Chinese Communist Party is to blame for the welcome Nehru gave to Eisenhower, who is to blame, we would like to ask Comrade Thorez, for his endeavours to get all the elected Communist municipal and general councillors of the Paris region to attend the reception welcoming Eisenhower? From the class viewpoint of Marxism, no one need be surprised at Nehru’s welcome to Eisenhower, but when a Communist Party leader shows such eagerness to welcome the chieftain of U.S. imperialism and uses such stern language in criticism of comrades for failing to at-tend the reception, one cannot help being amazed.
These two issues, the Caribbean crisis and the Sino- Indian border question, have once again thoroughly exposed the line and policy followed by those who claim to be “completely correct” and shown them to be contrary to Marxism-Leninism and the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. Nevertheless, they did not draw the proper lessons or show any desire to correct their er-rors and return to the path of Marxism-Leninism and the Moscow Declaration and Statement. Instead, angrier and more red-faced than ever, they have slid further and further down the wrong path; and in an effort to divert people’s attention and cover up their mistakes, they have started a still bigger adverse current directed against the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties, a current that is destructive of the unity of the international communist movement.
Several fraternal European Parties held their congresses between November 1962 and January 1963. At these congresses, by careful arrangements, a disgusting situation was created in which large-scale and systematic public attacks were made on the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties by name. In particular, at the recent congress of the German Socialist Unity Party, this adverse current reached a new high in the attacks on the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties and the disruption of the unity of the international communist movement. At this congress, certain comrades, while talking about ending the attacks, continued violently to assail the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Parties and, moreover, they openly tried to reverse the verdict on the traitorous Tito clique. Can these comrades deceive anybody by their double-dealing? Obviously not. Such double-dealing just shows that they are not sincere about stopping the polemics and restoring unity. In particular, it must be pointed out that the question of how to treat the Tito clique is a major question of principle. It is not a question of how to interpret the Moscow Statement but of whether to defend it or tear it up. It is not a question of what attitude to take towards a fraternal Party, but of what attitude to take towards traitors to the communist cause. It is not a question of helping comrades rectify the mistakes they have made, but of unmasking and denouncing enemies of Marxism- Leninism. Adhering faithfully to Marxism-Leninism and the Moscow Statement, the Chinese Communist Party will never allow the common agreement of the fraternal Parties to be either doctored or scrapped, will never allow traitors to be pulled into our ranks, and will never agree to any trading in Marxist-Leninist principles or bartering away of the interests of the international communist movement.
From the facts cited above one can clearly see that on a whole series of questions it is not we but certain comrades of fraternal Parties who have been committing increasingly serious violations of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement. It is not we but certain comrades of fraternal Parties who have failed to try to remove the differences among fraternal Parties in ac-cordance with these two common documents, but have on the contrary exacerbated these differences. It is not we but certain comrades of fraternal Parties who have fur-ther exposed to the enemy the differences among fraternal Parties and publicly attacked fraternal Parties by name and with increasing violence. It is not we but cer-tain comrades of fraternal Parties who have counter-posed to the common line of the international communist movement their own erroneous line and who have thus exposed the socialist camp and the international communist movement to the more and more serious danger of a split.
From the facts cited above, one can also clearly see that Thorez and certain other comrades of the French Communist Party have been taking a surprisingly irresponsible attitude towards the present serious debate in the international communist movement. They have been resorting to deception, blocking information, concealing facts and distorting the views of the Chinese Communist Party in order to be able to make unbridled attacks on it. This is certainly not the proper way to carry on a debate, nor does it show a responsible attitude towards the members of the French Communist Party and the French working class. If Thorez and the other comrades dare to face the facts and believe themselves to be right, they ought to publish the material of the Chinese Communist Party which explains its views, including the relevant articles we have published recently, and let all the members of the French Communist Party and the French working class learn the truth and decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. Comrade Thorez and the other comrades! We have already published your statements accusing us. Will you do the same? Do you have that kind of statesmanship? Do you have that kind of courage?
Comrade Thorez and certain other comrades of the French Communist Party have distorted facts and re-versed right and wrong to an extent that is really astonishing and yet they keep on calling themselves “creative Marxist-Leninists”. Very well, let’s look at this kind of “creativeness”.
We note that prior to 1959 Thorez and the other com-ades rightly pointed out that U.S. imperialism was the leader of the forces of aggression and that they denounced the U.S. government’s policies of aggression and war. But on the eve of the Camp David talks someone said that Eisenhower hoped for “the elimination of tension in the relations between states”, and so Thorez and the others vied with each other in lauding Eisenhower and decided that the parliamentary deputies of the French Communist Party should welcome this “peace emissary”. This was a complete turn of 180 degrees in response to the baton.
We also note that in September 1959 after de Gaulle had issued a statement about “self-determination” for Algeria in which he totally refused to recognize her independence and sovereignty, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party issued a statement which rightly exposed this as a “purely demagogic manoeuvre”. At that time Comrade Thorez him-self said that it was “nothing but a political manoeuvre”. But in little more than a month, as soon as a foreign comrade said that de Gaulle’s statement had “great significance”, Comrade Thorez severely criticized the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party for having made a “false appreciation”, declaring that the Political Bureau’s original statement had been “hasty, precipitate”. This was another complete turn of 180 degrees in response to the baton.
We note further that in the past Thorez and the other comrades correctly denounced the revisionist programme of the Yugoslav Tito clique, saying that the Tito clique was accepting “the subsidies of the American capitalists”, and that these “capitalists clearly do not bestow them in order to facilitate the construction of socialism”. But recently someone spoke of “helping” the Tito clique “to resume its place in the great family of all fraternal Parties”, and so Thorez and other comrades began to talk a great deal about “helping the League of Yugoslav Communists to return once again to the fold of the great communist family”. This was another complete turn of 180 degrees in response to the baton.
We also note that a year or so ago when the Chinese Communist Party opposed the practice of one Party publicly attacking another fraternal Party at its own congress, someone condemned this as being “contrary to the Marxist-Leninist stand”. And then, Comrade Thorez followed him by saying that the Chinese comrades were “wrong” to take such an attitude, which was “not right”. Recently, someone continued the attacks while saying that open polemics should halt, and so certain comrades of the French Communist Party again followed suit and said this was “sensible, Leninist”. This was still another turn in response to the baton.
Instances of this sort are too numerous to mention. Turning about in this way and following the baton so unconditionally cannot possibly be regarded as indicative of the normal relationship of independence and equality that should exist among fraternal Parties, but rather of abnormal feudal, patriarchal relationships. Some comrades apparently believe that the interests of the proletariat and of the people in their own country may be disregarded completely, that the interests of the inter-national proletariat and of the people of the world may also be completely disregarded, and that it is good enough just to follow others. Is it right to go east or is it right to go west? Is it right to advance or is it right to retreat? — about all such questions they do not care at all. What someone else says, they repeat word for word. If some-one else takes one step, they follow with the same step. Here there is all too much ability to parrot and all too little of Marxist-Leninist principle. Are “creative Marxist-Leninists” of this kind something to be proud of?
However much Comrade Thorez and certain other comrades of the French Party publish in order to slander and viciously attack the Chinese Communist Party, they cannot in the least sully the glory of the great Chinese Communist Party. These practices of theirs run counter to the desire of all Communists to remove differences and strengthen unity and they are not in keeping with the glorious tradition of the French working class and the French Communist Party.
The working class and the labouring people of France have a long and glorious revolutionary tradition. In their heroic endeavour to found the Paris Commune the French working class set a brilliant example for the proletarian revolution in all countries of the world. The Internationale, the immortal battle-march created by two outstanding fighters and gifted songsters of the French working class, is a clarion call to the people of the world to fight for their own emancipation and carry the revolution to the end. Founded under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the French Communist Party gathered together a vast number of the finest sons and daughters of the French people and waged determined struggles jointly with the French working class and the labouring people. In the resistance movement against fascism the French people under the leader-ship of the French Party enriched the revolutionary tradition of the French working class and showed dauntless 33 heroism. In the post-war period the French Communists played an important role in the struggle to defend world peace, to preserve democratic rights, to better the living conditions of the working people and to oppose monopoly capital. The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people have always had the greatest respect for the French Communist Party and the French working class.
Comrade Thorez and the other comrades have repeatedly stressed that the Chinese comrades should correct their mistakes. But it is Comrade Thorez and the others, and not we, who really need to correct mistakes. In spite of the fact that we have no alternative but to debate with Comrade Thorez and certain other French comrades in this article, we sincerely hope that they will honour the history of the French Communist Party and treasure their own record of militant struggle for the cause of communism. We hope that they will take the basic interests of the international communist movement to heart, correct their errors which are out of keeping with the revolutionary tradition of the French proletariat, out of keeping with the glorious tradition of the French Communist Party and out of keeping with their oath of dedication to communism, and will return to the banner of Marxism-Leninism and to the revolutionary principles of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement.
As always, the Chinese Communist Party firmly up-holds the unity of the socialist camp, the unity of the international communist movement and the unity of the revolutionary people throughout the world, and opposes any disruption of this unity by word or deed. As always, we firmly uphold Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary principles of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement, and we are against all words and deeds that run counter to these revolutionary principles.
Naturally, the occurrence of one kind of difference or another in the international communist movement can hardly be avoided. When differences do occur, and especially when they concern the line of the movement, the only way to strengthen the unity of the international communist movement is to start from the desire for unity and, through serious debate, to eliminate these differences on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. The question is not whether to debate, but through what channels and by what methods to conduct the debate. We have always maintained that debates should be conducted only among the fraternal Parties and not in public. Although this stand of ours is irrefutable, it has been under attack by certain comrades of fraternal Parties. After having publicly attacked us and other fraternal Parties for more than a year, they have now changed their tune and say they want to stop open polemics. We should like to ask: Do you or do you not consider now that the public attacks you have been making on fraternal Parties were a mistake? Are you or are you not ready to admit this mistake and to apologize to the fraternal Parties you have attacked? Are you truly and sincerely ready to return to the proper course of inter-Party consultation on the basis of equality?
In order to eliminate differences and strengthen unity, the Chinese Communist Party has many times proposed, and still holds today, that a meeting of the representatives of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of all countries should be convened; moreover, the Chinese Communist Party is ready to take the necessary steps together with all the fraternal Parties to prepare the conditions for the convening of such a meeting.
One of the preparatory steps for such a meeting is the cessation of the public polemics which are still going on. The Chinese Communist Party made this proposal long ago. We are of the opinion that in ceasing public polemics the actions must suit the words, and that the cessation must be mutual and general. While professing to terminate these polemics, some persons have continued to make attacks. Actually they want to forbid you to strike back after they have beaten you up. This will not do. Not only must attacks on the Chinese Communist Party cease, the attacks levelled at the Albanian Party of Labour and other fraternal Parties must also stop. Moreover, it is absolutely impermissible to use the pre-text of stopping polemics in order to forbid the exposure and condemnation of Yugoslav revisionism, because this violates the provision of the Moscow Statement on the obligation to expose further the revisionist leaders of Yugoslavia. Some persons now want to oust the fraternal Albanian Party of Labour from the international communist movement on the one hand, and to pull in the renegade Tito clique on the other. We want to tell these people frankly that this is absolutely impossible.
A necessary step for preparing such a meeting is to hold bilateral and multilateral talks among the fraternal Parties. This was proposed by the Chinese Communist Party as far back as ten months ago. We have always been willing to have talks with all the fraternal Parties which share our desire to eliminate differences and strengthen unity. As a matter of fact, we have had such talks with a number of fraternal Parties. We have never refused to hold bilateral talks with any fraternal Party. In their statement of January 12 the Executive Committee of the British Communist Party alleged that the Chinese Communist Party had not accepted the CPSU’s request “for joint discussion”. It has been said they were told this by another Party. However, we must point out in all seriousness that this is a sheer fabrication. We wish to reiterate that we are ready to hold talks and to exchange views with any fraternal Party or Parties in order to facilitate the convening of a meeting of representatives of the Communist Parties of all countries.
At present the imperialists, and particularly the U.S. imperialists, are stepping up their policies of aggression and war, are frantically opposing the Communist Parties and the socialist camp, and are savagely suppressing national liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the people’s revolutionary struggles in various countries. At this juncture all Communist Parties, the proletariat of the world and the people of all countries are urgently calling for the strengthening of the unity of the socialist camp, the unity of the international communist ranks and the unity of the people of the whole world against our common enemy. Let us eliminate differences and strengthen unity on the basis of Marxism- Leninism and on the basis of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement! Let us work together to strengthen our struggle against imperialism, to win victory for the cause of world peace, national liberation, democracy and socialism, and to attain our great goal of communism!
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