This speech may be read in conjunction with the excerpt of J.V. Stalin s ‘From the Conversation with the Delegation of the CC CP of China in Moscow' dated 11th July 1949. (www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv16n1/china.htm)
I never liked flatterers, and when I am flattered, I feel an aversion to it. The fact that I am talking about the successes of the Chinese Marxists and that the Soviet people and the peoples of Europe should learn from you, does not mean that I ingratiate with you or speak to you in a complimentary manner.
Due to the conceit of the leaders of the revolutionary movement in Western Europe, after the death of Marx and Engels, the social-democratic movement in the West fell behind in its development. The centre of the revolution in the West shifted to the East, and now it has moved to China and East Asia.
I say that you already play an important role, and you certainly should not become conceited. But at the same time I would argue that the responsibility entrusted to you, rises higher. You must fulfil your duty to the revolution in East Asia.
Perhaps, on the general questions of the theory of Marxism, we Soviet people are stronger than you. However, if we talk about the application of Marxist principles in practice, then you have such a great experience that we should learn from you. In the past, we learned a lot from you.
One nation should learn from the other. Let it be a small nation – it still has a lot to teach us.
The Chinese delegation stated in its report that the CPC will obey the decisions of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It seems strange to us. The party of one state submits to the party of another state. Such things have never happened and it is not permissible. Both parties should bear responsibility to their people, mutually consult on some issues, mutually help each other, and when difficulties encounter, closely rally – this is true. Your participation in today’s meeting of the Political Bureau is a kind of relation between the parties. This is the way it should be...
[May the CPC join the Cominform?] Yes, it may. But I believe that it is not absolutely necessary. Why? Because there is a fundamental difference between the position of the new democracies of Eastern Europe and China’s position. Because of this the policies in both cases should not remain the same. In my opinion, two points distinguish China from the countries of Eastern Europe
The first moment. China has long been under the yoke of imperialism, which, I believe has not abandoned threats to China yet. Currently, China needs to make enormous efforts to resist pressures from imperialism. This is the most characteristic feature of the present Chinese situation. But such a moment is not typical for the new democracies.
The second point. The Chinese bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie in Eastern Europe are not one and the same. The bourgeoisie of Eastern Europe disgraced itself by collaboration with the Nazis during the Nazi occupation, and then it evacuated together with them. As a consequence, the proletariat was able to establish its dictatorship and got every reason to confiscate enterprises owned by the bourgeoisie. Afterwards the proletariat quickly entered the path of socialism.
In fact, it is not a proletarian dictatorship, but people’s democracy in Eastern Europe; the parliament and the national front are the forms of its manifestation.
Totally a different situation arises in China. During the Japanese occupation the Chinese bourgeoisie did not surrender to the Japanese and did not leave together with the Japanese. When the Chinese people rose to fight against America and Chiang Kai-shek, it also cooperated neither with any Americans nor with Chiang Kai-shek. Therefore, the Chinese revolutionary government had no reason to oppose the national bourgeoisie and take its enterprises under the management of the Chinese revolutionary government.
China still cannot establish the revolutionary power of the proletarian dictatorship. The revolutionary power existing today in China is essentially a democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants, and the United National Front, the Political Consultative Committee are the forms of its manifestation. This is radically different from the dictatorship of the proletariat which actually exists in Eastern Europe, in the form of people’s democracy, parliament and the fatherland front.
The above two points determine a possible existence of considerable differences between the policies in China, and the policies in the countries of Eastern Europe. Consequently, the entry into the Cominformburo by the CPC does not correspond to the moment.
The situation in East Asia has much in common with the situation in China, and allows the possibility of organisation of the union of the communist parties of East Asia; it is more necessary and timely than joining the Cominformburo by the CPC.
It might be premature to organise an alliance of the communist parties of Eastern Asia; because the USSR is a country located both in Europe and in Asia, so far it will take part in the union of the communist parties of East Asia.
You do not have to worry about getting recognition from the imperialist states, especially about how they treat you. You have a good line of conduct – trade with capitalist countries. They have already faced the imperialist crisis. I believe this will accelerate the recognition. And now you should trade with them...
Dialogue between Stalin and Mao Zedong //Problems of Far East. 1992. No. 1-3. pp. 78-80, 82.
I.V. Stalin, Sochinenia, Tom 16, chast’ 2, Yanvar' 1949-Fevral' 1953, Moskva, 2012, pp. 85-87.
Translated from the Russian language by Dr. Elena LavrinaClick here to return to the September 2014 index.