It Is Not Right to Receive Nixon in Beijing. We Do Not Support It

Enver Hoxha

Letter to the CC of the CP of China

August 6, 1971
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Comrade Mao Zedong

Dear comrades,

The leadership of our Party thanks you for the information which comrade Zhou En lai sent us through our ambassador in Beijing in connection with the coming visit of Nixon to China.

Comrade Xhorxhi Robo, who made a special trip to Tirana, gave us an extensive report on the talk which he had with comrade Zhou En lai about the assessments of the Chinese leadership in connection with the coming visit of Nixon to China, about the international situation and the internal situation in the United States of America, and about the questions raised in the meeting of comrade Zhou En lai with Kissinger and the stand of the Chinese side towards them.

Our ambassador informed us that, according to your information, Nixon has been asking for more than two years to go to China and that contacts at various levels have been made for the organization of this visit. The talks with Nixon are described by you as an escalation of the earlier Sino-American talks in Warsaw. The ambassador transmitted to us your assessment that the situation in the USA has altered greatly in recent years, that America is on the eve of a revolutionary outburst and that the Americans are in a difficult situation, that they cannot continue the war, want to ease the tense situation, to withdraw their troops and their military bases from foreign countries, in order to avoid being involved in fighting and creating new hotbeds of war, and to aid their puppets only with money and weapons so that Asians fight Asians. Our ambassador transmitted to us your opinion that Nixon's visit to China assists and is in line with the people's diplomacy, that the meetings with the top strata of the USA assist links with the people and encourage changes among the American people, that the talks with Nixon, whether or not successful, will be in favour of China and will not result in any damage for it.

The leadership of our Party studied the important problem you placed before us with the greatest seriousness... We agree that we have to do with an important issue, because, as you define it, Nixon's visit to Beijing is part of your great strategic plan.

We trust that you will understand the reason for the delay in our reply. This was because your decision came as a surprise to us and was taken without any preliminary consultation between us on this question, so that we would be able to express and thrash out our opinions. This, we think, could have been useful, because preliminary consultations between close friends, determined co-fighters against imperialism and revisionism, are useful and necessary, and especially so, when steps which, in our opinion, have a major international effect and repercussion are taken.

We base our opinions and judgements on this problem of great importance for the present and the future of the struggle against American imperialism on the great Marxist-Leninist theory and strategy... This strategy, which makes the Marxist-Leninist parties invincible, consists of the resolute, principled and uncompromising struggle on two fronts, both against imperialism, headed by American imperialism, and against modern revisionism, headed by Soviet revisionism, of the struggle against all reactionaries and in support of the revolution and the peoples' national liberation struggle, for the triumph of socialism and communism. This strategy of ours envisages close alliance with the peoples who are struggling, with the revolutionaries of the whole world, in a common front against imperialism and social-imperialism, and never alliance with Soviet social-imperialism allegedly against American imperialism, never alliance with American imperialism allegedly against Soviet social-imperialism. The touchstone which distinguishes us Marxist-Leninists from the various anti-Marxists is the stern, uncompromising class struggle, a blow-for-blow fight to the finish on two fronts simultaneously, against American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism.

In the course of our great struggle our two parties have employed and will employ various tactics, but these have served and must always serve this strategy... It is clear that this great strategy frightens and terrifies both American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, which are making attempts to defeat our strategy, therefore our parties will apply and defend it courageously in any circumstances or situations.

In this favourable revolutionary situation... People's China, socialist Albania, the peoples and progressive states of the world must have their say and impose their will in order to thwart the diabolical, war-mongering and enslaving plans of the American; Soviet and other imperialist great powers.

It is understandable and has always been clear to us that for the good of the peoples and the revolution the great China of Mao Zedong should talk and establish diplomatic relations with various states of the world, including the United States of America.

Considering the Communist Party of China as a sister party and our closest co-fighter, we have never hidden our views from it. That is why on this major problem which you put before us, we inform you that we consider your decision to receive Nixon in Beijing as incorrect and undesirable, and we do not approve or support it. It is also our opinion that Nixon's announced visit1 to China will not be understood or approved of by the peoples, the revolutionaries and the communists of different countries.

American imperialism is the number one enemy of the peoples. The United States of America, with President Nixon at the head, is involved in a great conflict today with all the peoples, especially with the Vietnamese people, against whom it has been carrying on a savage and barbarous aggression without precedent in history for 12 years. Today the peoples of the world are waging a life-and-death struggle, with arms and with every other means, to destroy the oppressive and enslaving plans of the greatest enemy of mankind, American imperialism. This supreme interest of the peoples and their struggle ought to .be the basis of the policy of our two parties and governments. They must always have this interest in view in all their activities, especially in regard to relations with the United States of America and with the Soviet revisionists.

It is not hard to understand the desire of Nixon, who, it seems, has long been asking to go to China, because this is in conformity with the two-pronged tactics of American imperialism of brandishing weapons and waving the olive branch, in conformity with its aims to disguise its imperialist features, to deceive the peoples and to soften China.

In the history of the communist movement there are many examples of talks at various levels between opponents. Historical parallels cannot be made, because they took place in different conditions and times and on different problems. However, our great teachers have shown that talks should be held when they are truly indispensable when they serve the cause of the revolution and socialism, that the aggressive aims of the opponent must be kept clearly in mind, and that the situation and the opponent must be assessed correctly.

The talks which you are going to hold with Nixon would have been acceptable to progressive world opinion in certain given conditions, if they were sure to bring benefit to the anti-imperialist struggle, to the revolution in general, and to China in particular.

A condition sine qua non for talks with the Americans at such a high level is that they should be conducted in conditions of equality at least, which means that the USA should first recognise the government of the People's Republic of China as the only lawful government which represents the Chinese people and lift the obstacles to the admission of China to the UNO, remove the American occupation troops from Taiwan, withdraw the 7th Fleet from Chinese coastal waters, stop its aggression on the borders of China. This would be a great defeat for the American policy. After this, we believe, it would be possible to advance gradually towards the solution of major international problems.

In these conditions steps could be undertaken for talks, with no need, in our opinion, to jump immediately from a very low-level to a top-level meeting of personalities of the two states, China and the United States of America, simply because Nixon has apparently frequently expressed his desire for such a meeting. In our opinion, this meeting cannot be considered a simple escalation of talks, but a complicated escalation which will have consequences, because it is difficult to understand how the talks can be upgraded in this way and the desire of the American president met at a time when the United States has dropped all that huge quantity of bombs on Vietnam and extended the aggression to Cambodia and Laos, when the war is still going on and the American attacks are continuing furiously, one after the other, on the peoples of Indochina, when the People's Republic of China, Albania, the heroic people of North and South Vietnam and all the revolutionary peoples are standing as solid as granite, fighting and unmasking the aggressive policy of the government of Nixon, this enemy of all the peoples of the world. In our opinion, this meeting in these conditions is wrong both in principle and as a tactic.

It seems to us that it cannot be claimed that the talks with Nixon, whether they succeed or fail, will be equally in favour of China and will not cause any harm. On the contrary, regardless of the results of the talks, the very fact that Nixon, who is known as a rabid anti-communist, as an aggressor and murderer of peoples, as the representative of the blackest of American reaction, is to be received in China has many minuses and will bring many negative consequences to the revolutionary movement and our cause.

There is no way in which Nixon's visit to China and the talks with him can fail to create harmful illusions about American imperialism and its strategy and policy among the ordinary people, among the nations, among the revolutionaries. It will exert a negative influence on the resistance and struggle of the American people themselves against the policy and aggressive activity of the government of Nixon, who will seize the opportunity to run for president again. Nixon's visit to China will weaken the upsurge of revolt against American imperialism everywhere in the world. Thus, we think American imperialism will be given the possibility to ensure a period of relative calm which it will try to exploit to consolidate its positions, to gather strength and prepare for new military adventures.

It is not hard to guess what the Italian workers who clashed with the police and demonstrated their repugnance to Nixon's recent visit to Italy, the Japanese workers who did not allow Eisenhower even to set foot on their territory, and the peoples of Latin America who protested and rose against the Rockefellers and all the other envoys of the Washington government, will think. Only the Yugoslav Titoites and the Rumanian revisionists welcomed President Nixon to their capitals with flowers.

The talks with Nixon place a weapon in the hands of the revisionists to devalue all the struggle and the great polemic in which the Communist 'Party of China has engaged for exposure of the Soviet renegades as allies and collaborators of American imperialism, enabling them to put the stand of China towards American imperialism on a par with the line of betrayal and collaboration which the Soviet revisionists follow towards it. This gives the Khrushchevite revisionists the opportunity to wave their banner of false anti-imperialism more vigorously and to intensify their demagogy and lies in order to draw the anti-imperialist forces behind them. Already the Soviet revisionists have begun to exploit Nixon's visit to China to fan up nationalist and chauvinist sentiments under the pretext that a Sino-American alliance aimed against the Soviet Union is under way. By all these means they aim to strengthen the positions of the revisionist cliques in power and weaken the revolutionary positions of China.

Nixon's visit to China will also encourage the centrist trend and provide its partisans with arguments to prove the “correctness” of their opportunist line. The Italian followers of Togliatti and the Rumanians are declaring openly that now new perspectives are also opened in connection with the re-establishment of unity in the communist movement and that the differences between China and the Soviet Union can be resolved in this way. These are the desires of inveterate revisionists and opportunists who have seized the opportunity to present the differences between the Communist Party of China and the revisionist leadership of the Soviet Union not as profound ideological differences over cardinal issues of principle, as they are in reality, but as disagreements on a simple state level which can be solved by means of direct meetings and talks between top state personalities.

The visit of the American president to China cannot fail to arouse questions, indeed misunderstandings, among ordinary people, among whom doubts may be created that China is changing its stand towards American imperialism and is joining in the game of superpowers.

It is not fortuitous that the capitalist and revisionist world has welcomed Nixon's initiative to go to China with such enthusiasm. All the propaganda of the imperialists, revisionists, Titoites, Rumanians and others in a joint chorus is praising China and America for this new advance in the relations between them. The Soviet, Titoite, Rumanian and other modern revisionists... say that China has taken a new course on the rails of the policy of unprincipled compromises. They think they will extract important political, ideological and economic benefits from this.

In our opinion, all this cannot fail to cause confusion and disorientation in the ranks of the revolutionary and anti imperialist forces, indeed in the ranks of the Marxist-Leninists, and cannot fail to encourage the spread of the pacifist trend and illusions about the peaceful road.

In our opinion, these are major minuses. To underestimate the situation which Nixon's visit to Beijing will create would be a great mistake, and we think that these minuses cannot be compensated with certain hypothetical results which may be achieved in the meeting with Nixon who, like the imperialist spawn he is, is cunning.

Allow us also to express some ideas of ours in connection with certain specific problems of the international situation, rather with the aim of making our views more precise on some questions which we think are debatable, while at the same time recognising that your information about the development of international events, and especially about events in the United States of America, may be more complete.

It is true that American imperialism is now in great difficulties at home and abroad. The American people are showing marked signs of being weary of the policy of aggression and international tension pursued by Nixon and his predecessors in the White House. The protests and demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, the revolts of the blacks and students have increased in recent years. The machinery of the American economy is creaking under the heavy burden of the expenditure for the war in Indochina, the armaments race and inflated military budgets. Inflation is not stopping and the army of the unemployed is growing. While the contradictions with the capitalist countries of Europe are increasing, American influence and prestige are steadily declining. The peoples' struggle against American imperialism is mounting and extending everywhere in the world.

Nevertheless, without .overestimating or underestimating the enemy, the picture of the situation in the United States of America today does not impel us to the conclusion which you have reached, that America is caught up in a great revolutionary storm.

The big popular protests and demonstrations in the United States .of America against the war which is being waged in Vietnam, and the other movements .of the masses are a fact, but they have to do only with opposition to a given activity, to a concrete act of the American government, and only indirectly affect the whole of its aggressive line. They do not transcend this limit. As regards their economic situation, the ideology which inspires them, their way of life, customs, traditions, links, etc., the American people are far from being on the eve of the revolution. A great deal of water will flow under the bridges over the American rivers before that time comes. We are convinced that it will come, but it will take a great deal of work and a great struggle.

In Western Europe the movement of the masses, which has long-standing traditions, is much more extensive and powerful than in the USA. Its overall political trend and class character are evident. Nevertheless, here, too, it cannot be said that the revolutionary storm is blowing up and that the revolution is imminent. To judge otherwise would mean to create harmful illusions and the revolutionary forces could easily fall into extremist errors, especially into ultra-leftist errors.

Likewise, we think that your estimation that, as a result of the defeats they have suffered, the Americans want to ease the tense situation, to withdraw their troops and military bases from foreign territories, to avoid being involved in fighting and creating other hotbeds .of war, is not accurate. This way of judgement creates the impression as if there is a general retreat of American imperialism .on all fronts today, a thing which creates only harmful illusions and a demobilization of the anti-imperialist forces.

American imperialism still has great economic, political and military strength to resist and undertake new aggressions. The war budget and the armaments race and the race to perfect armaments, which are the main indicator of its war-mongering and aggressive policy and aims, have not diminished, but on the contrary, are increasing from year to year at very rapid rates. American imperialism will never give up its strategic aims of war and aggression. Otherwise it would not be imperialism.

If the USA thinks that the puppet governments alone will fight the peoples and America will assist them .only with money and weapons, this means that American imperialism would sign the death warrant for its puppets and itself. There must be no illusion in this direction. Even though it suffers defeat and is obliged to withdraw from some country, this does not mean that American imperialism will not attempt to interfere in and .organize aggressions against other countries.

War, aggression, oppression and enslavement .of the peoples are in the nature .of imperialism. They stem from the very essence .of its exploiting system. It is known that in .order to exist the United States of America needs continuous economic, political and military expansion for the purpose of keeping the peoples in bondage and sucking their blood. Otherwise imperialism dies and the way is opened to revolts, insurrections and revolutions. For this reason, we believe, that the United States of America will never dismantle its military bases in foreign territoriesand will not withdraw its troops deployed abroad of its own accord. This will be achieved only when it is forced to do it by the struggle of the peoples.

In our opinion, the task of the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries is to arouse the peoples in struggle against imperialism and revisionism, to build up their confidence intheir own inexhaustible strength, to make them conscious that today they are capable of successfully resistingthe attacks of the imperialists, old and new, and defeating their aggressive plans...

We have supported and will support with all our might the indisputable right of the People's Republic of China to liberate Taiwan. Taiwan is an inseparable and inalienable part of the People's Republic of China. Our government will always resolutely oppose the theory of “two Chinas”, of “one China and one Taiwan”, of the “independence” of Taiwan, or of the “indefinibility” of Taiwan's position. As hitherto, the People's Republic of Albania will struggle to ensure that People's China occupiesthe place which belongs to it in the United Nations and that the Chiang Kai shek usurpers are expelled from it.

Our people, likeall the peoples of the world, have admired the aid which the People's Republic of China has given and is still giving directly to the Vietnamese people and their heroic war against the American aggressors, as well as its aid for their cause in the international arena...

In regard to the war in Vietnam, the stand of our Party is already known to you. We have been and are opposed to the Paris talks. This we have told the Vietnamese comrades openly. Regardless of this, we have supported and support the just struggle of the people of Vietnam unreservedly and we consider their victory decisive for the whole peoples' anti-imperialist struggle.

The continuation of the American aggression in Vietnam and the whole of Indochina is a major issue which isconcerning all the peoples. The Vietnamese problem can be solved only when the United States of America puts an end to the war in Vietnam, demolishes all its military bases and withdraws its last soldier from that country. We are convincedthat the Vietnamese people will triumph and that victory belongs to the Vietnamese themselves who are fighting arms in hand and shedding their blood. The last word on .any settlement of the Vietnamese problem belongs to the Vietnamese themselves, theirs is the indisputable right to decide their own fate.

The American imperialists and their satellites as well as the Soviet revisionists with their armed forces, which they have deployed on the border with China, have tried to organise a ring of fire around China and to threaten its freedom ,and independence. In this direction the friendship which is developing between the Soviet revisionists and the reactionary Sato government is significant. We have always been and are beside you in the sacred struggle to oppose and destroy these hostile plans of American imperialism, the Soviet revisionists and the various reactionaries.

We fully approve your stand that the views of China about the Soviet Union were not expressed to Kissinger. However, it seems to us that between us there ought to be common opinions about the political actions which the Soviet revisionists might undertake, at least against China and Albania, in the existing circumstances.

The views of the American imperialists about the Soviet Union expressed to you by Kissinger should not have been kept secret from us. Knowing that American imperialism is allied with Soviet social-imperialism and that they are co-ordinating their actions, it seems to us that these views cannot affect only the Far East, but must also affect Europe. If you had informed us of what Kissinger said about the Soviet Union, we would have been more fully armed to discover more thoroughly the American and Soviet moves on the chess-board of Europe.

We support the struggle which the People's Republic of China is waging against Japanese militarism and its expansionist policy in Asia, especially in the direction of Korea, Taiwan, etc. Together with the active support which China gives the struggle of the Japanese people against the reactionary Sato government and the Japan-American alliance, this correct stand is an important contribution to building up the revolutionary struggle in Japan, which is especially important to restraining the aggressive plans of American imperialism and Japanese militarism.

American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism have stepped up their efforts to incite Japanese militarism, Indian reaction, and that of several other countries against China and the free countries of Asia. In this context, we appreciate the efforts which People's China is making to strengthen the united front of the peoples of China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, as well as its efforts to strengthen and extend its contacts and links with the Japanese, Indian, Pakistani and other peoples.

We think that the strikes and demonstrations in America are important, but more important are the awakening of the peoples of India, Japan and all Asia, first, and their hurling themselves into revolution... Likewise, the great importance which Lenin gave to the triumph of the revolution in such big countries as China, India and other countries of the East for the outcome of the world revolution is well known.

British imperialism created splits and antagonisms between the peoples of India and Pakistan and we Marxist-Leninists must oppose the exploiting and aggressive aims of the American imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists who continue to incite the peoples of these two countries against each other. India and Pakistan are ruled by the reactionary bourgeoisie which is nowhere as powerful as American imperialism. They constitute a weak link.

Our two parties never for a moment forget that the struggle against American imperialism must be waged sternly, not only in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but also in Europe. We have pointed out that People's China, together with its true Marxist-Leninist friends, ought to play a bigger role in Europe. You know our policy in regard to Europe, a policy which is for revolution, against NATO and the Warsaw Treaty, against the new Soviet-West-German treaty and against the revisionist schemes over European security. We think that the policy of American imperialism in Europe is very complicated. Despite the contradictions the United States has with its partners, its traditional links with Britain and France must always be taken into account.

We agree with you that in order to establish contacts with the peoples the people's diplomacy must be applied. This is the open and sincere diplomacy which serves socialism, the peoples' liberation struggle and the extension and growth of the revolutionary upsurge of the masses in the capitalist countries.

However, just as diplomatic relations are not the only way to establish links with the people, contacts with the people are not necessarily established through meetings with the chiefs, either. The influence of socialist countries is exerted, first of all, through the policy which they pursue, the anti-imperialist and anti-revisionist struggle they wage, the consistent, principled stands they maintain towards the vital problems which preoccupy the world, and the solidarity and unreserved support which they give the peoples' revolutionary and liberation struggle.

Until recently the People's Republic of China has not had diplomatic relations and direct contacts with many capitalist countries, but this has not hindered it from exerting a great influence on the revolutionary and liberation movement in the world, just as it has not prevented the peoples of different continents from admiring, supporting and defending China...

Vietnam not only does not have diplomatic relations with the United States of America, but for a very long time has been at war with it. Nevertheless, thanks to its just fight, precisely today the sympathy of the peoples of the world and of the American people for the Vietnamese people is greater than ever. The valiant and courageous stand of Vietnam is the factor which, more than any other, ishelping to radicalise the masses of the American people who come out in the streets with the national flag of Vietnam and portraits of Ho Chi Minh.

The most that can be achieved at meetings and talks with the chiefs of capitalist countries is the settlement of certain given problems. However, they can never be turned into a factor the influence of which increases the revolutionary upsurge of the masses, especially when the masses are discontented and have been set in motion against the policy and actions of their rulers. On the contrary, in such cases meetings and talks might create illusions among the people about the imperialist or revisionist chiefs, might create an atmosphere of waiting among the masses and reduce the level of the struggle of the masses.

Moreover, the establishment of diplomatic relations is not always useful to this struggle: For example, we do not accept to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet revisionists because, as is known, they have committed great crimes and launched furious attacks against Marxism-Leninism, the People's Republic of Albania in particular, and on their own initiative broke off diplomatic relations with us. Our Party has demanded that they make a public self-criticism over everything they have done against Marxism-Leninism and our country. If they do not do this, it would seem as if we assume at least a part of the blame for the breach of relations and we would give the Soviet revisionist chiefs arguments to justify their hostile stands and actions they have taken hitherto against Marxism-Leninism and Albania in the eyes of the Soviet peoples. This would not be in favour of the Soviet peoples and their anti-revisionist struggle, but would assist the Brezhnev clique to consolidate its position.

Or, let us consider the case of our relations with Yugoslavia. Diplomatic and trading relations and some cultural exchanges exist between our two countries. And these relations exist, not only without making contact with the Titoite chiefs, but indeed in principled ideological struggle against them. The polemics with and the ideological struggle against Titoism, which is reflected fully and all-sidedly in the materials and documents which our Party continues to publish, goes on without interruption. However, the fact that now Yugoslavia is threatened by Soviet social-imperialism has not prevented us from declaring that in case of aggression we shall stand beside the peoples of Yugoslavia. In this way we have strengthened our contacts with the peoples of Yugoslavia...

We must utilise the favourable circumstances, created not from the desire of our enemies, but from our correct line and resolute struggle, in our favour and in favour of the revolution, whenever the opportunity presents itself, while always safeguarding the principles and dignity of our socialist states...

For our part we want to assure you that the line and stands of the Party of Labour of Albania will always remain unalterably principled and consistent. We will fight American imperialism and Soviet revisionism uncompromisingly and consistently. Possibly these enemies, individually or together, or by inciting their allies and lackeys, will undertake aggressive adventures against us. We shall fight them unhesitatingly to the finish, to victory...

For the Central Committee of the PLA
First Secretary
Enver Hoxha

1 Made an accomplished fact.

Published for the first time from the original in the CPA
Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, Vol. IV, The “8 Nëntori” Publishing House, Tirana, 1982

Click here to return to the April 2006 index.