Monday, February 19, 2024

The open conflict between the USSR and the People's Republic of China in the 1950-1970s

The complex relations between the largest countries where communist parties were in power ran like a red thread through the most important world political events, starting from the second half of the fifties and up to the end of the seventies of the last century. 
The fierce polemic and open confrontation between the Communist Party of China and the CPSU caused an unprecedented split in the international communist movement, the echoes of which are still heard. 
At the moment, it is important to consider the essence of these disagreements and what they eventually led the socialist camp to. Without an assessment of those events, it is impossible to characterize the social and political nature of modern China, since the foundations for turning towards market reforms were laid back in that period.

In general, the coming to power of the Communist Party of China with the support of the Soviet Union had its own specifics from the very beginning. So, the Chinese communists won as a result of the civil war of 1946-49, relying on the peasant masses and receiving a sufficiently large number of weapons from the Red Army in the form of Japanese trophies and direct supplies of ammunition and equipment.

In the days of the formation of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong said: "If the Soviet Union had not existed, if Japanese imperialism had not been defeated... could we have won under such circumstances? Of course not!". [1]

In fact, China at that time became the territory of confrontation between the USSR and the West, led by the United States, and the victory of the Chinese revolution changed the balance of forces in the region. In fact, since the declaration of the People's Republic of China, the country was finally united, foreign colonialists who had been plundering the Celestial Empire since the beginning of the XIX century were expelled, landed estates and remnants of the feudal way of life were abolished.

The CPC immediately carried out radical agrarian reforms, as a result of which many peasants received land and were freed from the oppression of landlords and rich people, and city workers were guaranteed an 8-hour working day and state protection from employers, as well as the right to form trade unions. The path to emancipation and equality of women was opened.

However, there were also their own peculiarities in contrast to the same Great October Socialist Revolution. In addition to the absence of a strong organized working class as a result of the victory of the CCP in the civil war, large detachments of the bourgeoisie were eventually not repressed and expropriated. This is especially true of foreign oligarchs from among ethnic Chinese, the so-called Huaqiao, who have not lost their capital in China. The new leadership of the People's Republic of China, within the framework of the policy of "national unity", preferred to resolve conflict situations with them quite peacefully and maintain ties that were useful already during market reforms and the creation of free economic zones.

A decisive role in determining the further course of the country's development along the socialist path was the rapprochement of the PRC and the USSR, which was of great strategic importance, since it drew the Celestial Empire into the orbit of the socialist camp. Mao Zedong's meeting with Stalin after the formation of the PRC in 1949 was decisive, as an equal Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance was signed between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People's Republic of China for a period of 30 years until 1980.

According to it, the Soviet Union pledged to provide scientific, technical and economic assistance in the industrial modernization of China. As a result, the relationship between the USSR and the PRC in the first half of the 50s of the XX century acquired a qualitatively new character. The friendship and alliance of the two powers received a legislative basis, combining the efforts of the Soviet Union and revolutionary China, increasing their ability to resist US interference in the affairs of the countries of the Far East within the framework of the Cold War.

Thanks to the mutual assistance of the two powers, the PRC managed to avoid the consequences of isolation and economic blockade by the imperialist states and to launch socialist construction with the support of Soviet specialists.

Deterioration of relations between the USSR and China after the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU

The first clash between Beijing and Moscow is considered to be a discussion about the results of the XX Congress of the CPSU and Nikita Khrushchev's report on the cult of Stalin's personality. Despite the fact that the subsequent VIII Congress of the CPC, which raised the topic of China's industrialization, proclaimed reliance on the Soviet experience of socialist construction, these actions of the CPSU leadership became a reason for the CPC, but not a motive for further ideological and political demarcation.

The development of a new party line began in China after the VIII Congress, and the most important reason for it was the report of N.S. Khrushchev. The speech of the Soviet leader against Stalin and his nomination of a number of accusations of carrying out repressions and other acts incompatible with socialist legality were used by the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party to critically approach this experience of the Soviet Union.

In addition, to the indignation of the Chinese and other delegations was the fact that this report itself was read out without their presence behind closed doors, since they were simply not allowed into the meeting room. The text of the report itself was never transmitted to the CPC Central Committee, which led to the fact that Beijing had to formulate its position based on those notes made by Chinese communists from a copy of the draft version of N.S. Khrushchev's speech, as well as from the translation of the publication of the American edition of the New York Times about the last XX Congress of the CPSU. [2]

In fact, using these events in Beijing, they began to form a new party course, since, according to Mao, criticism of the cult of personality shook the basic foundations of the theory of building socialism and they had to solve the theoretical and practical problems that arose independently.

At the same time, it should be noted that the differences expressed by the CPC were used as a pretext for the decisions of the XX Congress of the CPSU, but there were other issues behind this pretext. It is characteristic that for several years after the XX Congress (February 1956), its decisions were fully recognized publicly by the Communist Party of China. Thus, the CPC brochure for April 1956 says: "The XX-th Congress of the CPSU [...] made a number of important decisions. These decisions concern the consistent implementation of Lenin's course on the possibility of peaceful coexistence of countries with different social systems, the development of the Soviet democratic system, consistent observance of the principle of collegiality within the party, criticism of the shortcomings of the party [...] The Congress mercilessly exposed the cult of personality that has long spread in Soviet life, which entailed many mistakes in work and had unpleasant consequences."

In addition, the decisions of the XX Congress were adopted as a guideline for all socialist countries and at a meeting of 12 socialist countries in Moscow in November 1957, where the delegation of the Communist Party of China was headed by Mao himself. The Declaration emphasizes that "the historical significance of the XX Congress of the CPSU for the further development of the international communist movement on the basis of Marxism-Leninism". At the same time, the same Declaration notes that "The Communist and Workers' Parties participating in this Meeting declare that the Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence of the two systems, which has been further developed in modern conditions and decisions of the CPSU Congress, is the unshakable foundation of the foreign policy of socialist countries and a reliable foundation of peace and friendship between peoples." [3]

The same assessment was confirmed in the Declaration of the 81st Communist Party in Moscow in November 1960.

As we will see further, the main deterioration in relations between the two countries occurred after the XXII-th Congress of the CPSU in October 1961. Relations between the USSR and the PRC worsened when the Chinese leadership was not satisfied with the position of the USSR in 1962 on the border dispute with the PRC (October-November 1962), since the USSR considered the invasion of the PRC into India unfair, regarding it as a violation of the agreement between the PRC and India (1954) regulating border disputes between the two countries.

However, going back to the beginning of this process Mao Zedong gave his assessment of the new Soviet leadership at the plenum of the CPC Central Committee on October 9, 1957 as follows: "First of all, we have contradictions with Khrushchev on the issue of Stalin. We do not agree that he is trampling Stalin into the mud. After all, he blames Stalin to the point of outrage. And this already concerns not only one of their countries, but all countries. Our installation of a portrait of Stalin in Tiananmen Square meets the aspirations of the working people of the whole world and shows our main differences with Khrushchev."[4]

This position fully emphasized both the tribute to tradition and continuity in the communist movement, and also demonstrated the independence and independence of Chinese politics, and the fear that total criticism of Stalin's personality could spread to Mao Zedong himself. The fact is that by that time the cult of the personality of its chairman, as the helmsman of the Chinese people, began to develop in the PRC, and this turn of the leadership of the CPSU hit him personally.

Formally correctly criticizing the leaders of the CPSU for the "course of the XX Congress", which was indeed a turning point in the construction of socialism in the USSR, the Chinese leadership made completely incorrect political conclusions. Mao Zedong seriously argued that de-Stalinization was a form of rebirth of the Soviet Union and its rejection of the socialist path of development. Moreover, it was allegedly damage to the process of restoration of the capitalist system. Later, already in the 60s, this attitude would lead to the development by Mao Zedong of a special theory of "social imperialism" in relation to the USSR.

Therefore, these conclusions really became a turning point, as the leadership of the CPC comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to develop an independent line, which was later expressed in a fierce struggle for leadership in the world communist movement and the socialist camp. At the same time, such a position was justified by the need to fight Moscow's revisionism and preserve the principles of Marxism-Leninism, which were now defended exclusively by the Chinese Communist Party, as they themselves were claiming.

However, the defense of these principles was clearly using «ultra-left» radical slogans. In particular, the object of attack by the leadership of the CPC was the thesis of the Soviet Communist Party on the peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism, voiced by Nikita Khrushchev at the same XX Congress of the CPSU. Yes, indeed, this point clearly contradicted the Marxist-Leninist theory, but it can be interpreted as the desire of the leadership of the USSR at that time to avoid a third world war through the so-called peaceful coexistence of the two systems in order to ensure the possibility of calm economic development and socialist construction in those countries where the Communist parties were already in power.

This position was rejected by the leading figures of the Chinese Communist Party, who considered it unrealistic and impossible in principle. In the situation of attempts by imperialism to stop the collapse of the colonial system and unleashed wars and interventions in Indochina, such a view seemed to be a real irony. But if the criticism of such a position of the CPSU was largely justified and correct, then Beijing's attacks on Moscow's thesis about the necessity and possibility of preventing a global war led to the promotion of petty-bourgeois adventurist ideas and slogans that have nothing in common with the class approach and Marxist analysis.

We are talking about the idea of a nuclear world revolutionary war. Thus, at a joint meeting of communist and workers' parties in Moscow in November 1957, the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party announced the concept that even if half of humanity is destroyed in the event of a nuclear conflict, the second, represented by the victorious peoples, "will create a thousand times higher civilization on the ruins of imperialism than under the capitalist system, will build their truly wonderful future."

As we can see, this "revolutionary war" seemed to be a positive phenomenon, despite the death of most of the working class and working people, since in this way it would completely destroy the capitalist basis and this world system itself. At the same time, Mao Zedong and the majority of the CPC leadership were confident that in the end it would be the unconditional victory of the socialist system, despite the fact that the productive forces and large masses of the population in the core of the socialist camp, namely in the USSR, would be destroyed.

Mao even concretized his thoughts within the framework of his report, trying to justify his unsupported optimism about the possible number of dead: "Is it possible to assume how many human casualties a future war may cause? Perhaps it will be one third of the 2,700 million population of the whole world, i.e. only 900 million people. I think it's still not enough if atomic bombs are really dropped. Of course, it's very scary. But it wouldn't be half as bad... If half of humanity is destroyed, then there is still half, but imperialism will be completely destroyed and there will be only socialism in the whole world."[5]

Beijing also proceeded from the idea that large masses of the Chinese population provide undeniable advantages for the PRC, since in the event of a thermonuclear third World War, the losses for the people would not be so critical. Mao Zedong did not rule out the death of 300 million Chinese, but mathematically deduced that the remaining 300 would be able to fully master the deserted lands and establish a new world center of socialism. At the same time, the leadership of the CPC believed in the inevitability of such a global clash in the near future.

This attitude and Beijing's practical policy in the Asia-Pacific region was already clearly in conflict with the foreign policy of the USSR, which then sought to avoid being drawn into local regional conflicts in order to prevent open armed confrontation with the United States. The fact is that in addition to the world revolutionary nuclear war, in 1958-1959 the leadership of the CPC put forward a new line in its foreign policy activities, named in the national style as follows: "sit on a mountain and watch the struggle of two tigers." [6]

This concept was to provoke a conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States and thereby achieve the realization of their strategic interests in the region. In essence, this meant the desire of the Chinese Communist Party to force the Kremlin to follow the path of Mao's theoretical developments about the inevitability of the intensification of the armed struggle of the socialist camp with world imperialism.

It was during this period from 1957-58 that the situation in the waters around the island of Taiwan sharply worsened, where the last Kuomintang forces settled, which received direct military and political assistance from Washington. Then, as now, Beijing demanded the annexation of Taiwan to mainland China and assumed that the USSR would act as one of the participants in the clashes. In response to the shelling of the islands of Kinmen and Matsu in the Taiwan Strait by the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA), the US administration has advanced the forces of its Pacific fleet equipped with nuclear weapons.

At that moment, Moscow took a position of non-interference in the conflict, based on the fact that its escalation was not coordinated with it by the Chinese leadership, thereby actually distancing itself from Beijing's actions. It was only after the new Taiwan conflict began to subside in October 1958 that Nikita Khrushchev sent Eisenhower a formal letter of protest.

Such a denouement of the situation has become another and more serious factor of the separation between the CPSU and the CPC and a turning point in relations between the socialist countries. Beijing's response was the refusal in October of the same 1958 to Moscow's proposal to place a submarine base and a tracking radar station. That is, measures of real protection were rejected on the move in the event of a new aggression by the US Navy.

This fierce controversy between the USSR and the People's Republic of China was also heated up a lot by the domestic political course. The fact is that 1958 Mao Zedong proclaimed a "new general line" in building socialism. The experiment of the "three red banners" (the "general line", the "big race" in industry, as well as the creation of "people's communes" in villages), had terrifying socio-economic consequences. This «ultra-left» course had nothing to do with the Soviet experience and ignored the progressive development of industrialization and collectivization in the 30s, divided into several five-year plans.

As a result of the voluntarist policy, a number of regions of China were seized by famine, and entire sectors of the national economy were paralyzed. The Soviet leadership, not without reason, considered the Chinese attempts to build their own socialist society in three years, without regard to the real backward base and without Moscow's scientific and technical support, erroneous, adventurous and dangerous for the interests of the USSR.

At the same time, in China itself, in 1957, the first anti-Soviet campaign began for the first time. It was unleashed within the framework of the internal political course "let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools compete", when the CPC Central Committee allowed part of the intelligentsia and various near-party and non-party groups to discuss the further development of socialist construction in order to prevent dogmatism and excesses.

As a result, of course, this discussion at the top of Chinese society, which came out of the pre-revolutionary past, led to negative consequences and anti-communist statements. The desire of this creative "elite" to return the capitalist system became clear to everyone. But while the controversy was going on, anti-Soviet sentiments spread by right-wing elements, which were actively broadcast by the party press, sharply strengthened.

All this together created the basis and prerequisites for a sharp cooling of relations and the start of the process of rupture between the largest socialist countries of the world already in the second half of the 50s. Subsequently, the situation only worsened.

Rightly criticizing the opportunistic tendencies and theses of the leadership of the CPSU about the peaceful coexistence of socialism and capitalism and the possibility of the peaceful coming of communists to power, the leadership of the CPC actually went to the other extreme and justified its own course, expressed in the departure from the USSR, which by the end of the 60s led to a fierce conflict, as well as to the formation of the great Han chauvinism and nationalism.

The peak of disagreements in the 60s and a complete gap between Moscow and Beijing

After Beijing refused to host a base of military submarines, Moscow abandoned previous agreements in the field of nuclear energy in 1959, and then the following year withdrew its technical specialists from the construction sites of the Chinese national economy. In 1960, there were reductions in the supply of raw materials, equipment and spare parts. Subsequently, the Soviet government demanded the return of loans granted to China, earlier than planned, starting in 1950.

Naturally, this could not but increase Beijing's hostility, especially since it was painful in a situation when the policy of the "Big Leap" was frankly failing. Then, in 1960, the most serious crisis and famine occurred, which struck millions of residents of the People's Republic of China. In response, the CPC Central Committee began to openly act on the split of the international communist movement, and to consolidate around itself as an alternative center different countries of the socialist camps and communist parties that were somewhat at odds with Moscow.

Thus, in the conflict between the CPSU and the Albanian Party of Labor, the Chinese Communist Party eventually supported the latter, and after the complete rupture of Soviet-Albanian relations in 1962, Beijing signed an agreement with Tirana on the provision of economic assistance. As a result, in the early 60s, the PRC, in addition to Albania, was supported to varying degrees by Romania, the DPRK, and the "leftists" in the national liberation movement of Latin America, Asia and Africa, which created a basis for the formation of communist parties in the world, focused entirely on Beijing.

The Soviet and Chinese leadership did not agree with the assessments of the Caribbean crisis. For the first time openly in the press, Beijing criticized Moscow's foreign policy, calling the deployment of missiles in Cuba adventurism, and their withdrawal - capitulation. The leadership of the USSR, in turn, accused China of an "inflexible" behavior.

But Mao and his associates have already launched a special political offensive against the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Tests in the Atmosphere, Outer Space and Under Water, which was signed by representatives of the USSR, the United States and Great Britain in Moscow on August 5, 1963. This document was of great importance and was supported by more than 90 countries by the end of the year. But China, which at that time was trying to acquire nuclear weapons, came to the conclusion that this treaty was directed against it as a result of a deal between "two superpowers".

Officially, Beijing in its statement pointed out that this treaty is "a "deception", a "betrayal" of the interests of socialist countries and peoples of the whole world," blunted their vigilance against the aggressive policy of imperialist states, leads "to a weakening of the defense capability of the socialist commonwealth" and, moreover, "consolidates the monopoly of the three powers on atomic and hydrogen weapons." [7]

Against the background of the above accusations, it is very interesting that on July 31, 1963, the Chinese Government itself solemnly proclaimed a worldwide program aimed at a complete ban and total elimination of nuclear weapons and existing means of their delivery. According to the Soviet side, the State Council of the People's Republic of China hoped to oppose its own program to the test ban treaty, negotiations on which were initiated by the USSR in early July 1963.

In the same period from 1960 to 1966, the ideological polemic between the CPC and the CPSU escalated, which became the real core of the beginning foreign policy struggle of the USSR and the PRC. An example is a series of articles in the party magazine “Hongqi” - "Red Banner" and “People's Daily Newspaper” - "ZHen'min' zhibao", as well as a report presented by the head of the propaganda department of the CPC Central Committee, Lu Dingyi, released on the eve of the solemn meeting dedicated to the 90th anniversary of Lenin. On the basis of these publications, a special collection "Long live Leninism!" was already released, which became the basis for the "exposure" of the "revisionist schismatic line" of the CPSU leadership.

Naturally, this tendentious pamphlet was issued with the aim of "defending Marxism-Leninism" and overcoming ideological differences within the world communist movement. At the same time, Beijing allegedly relied on the basis of the same Declaration of the 1957 Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties. [8]

In response, the Central Committee of the CPSU prepared and distributed a special letter dated July 14, 1963, which talked about something completely different, and in particular, about the incorrect interpretation of the theses of Lenin's most important works, which were included in the brochure in fragmentary form. In addition, it was pointed out that, on the contrary, the CPC Central Committee distorts the provisions of the Declaration of the Moscow Meeting of 1957.

However, this explanation did not stop the controversy at all. Moreover, since 1963, the CPC Central Committee has been launching a broad propaganda campaign and a number of actions designed already for citizens of the Soviet Union. In particular, by the decision of the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, 11 thousand copies of pamphlets and books containing anti-Soviet propaganda were sent to various institutions and individuals, and two years later their number increased to 45 thousand copies. [9] From this moment, the international radio "Voice of Beijing" begins its work with anti-Soviet broadcasts broadcasting to the territory of the USSR.

With the beginning of this openly hostile propaganda campaign in 1963, Beijing sent an appeal from the Chinese leadership to Moscow through the diplomatic department, which spelled out 25 points on which the CPC Central Committee differed from the position of the Soviet leadership. In these paragraphs, the entire state and social system of the USSR was condemned, allegedly having already reached the bottom of rebirth. In addition, the Central Committee of the CPSU was accused of abandoning the principles of Marxism-Leninism and the world revolution as a whole.

In turn, these events prompted the Kremlin to organize countermeasures to neutralize Beijing's ideological offensive strategy, which could shake many Communist parties and socialist camp countries. As a result, at a special plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU in February 1964, Secretary for Ideology M.A. Suslov made a report in which he called the line of the Communist Party of China a "special course" imbued with "great-power chauvinism and petty-bourgeois adventurism." [10]

Such an assessment of the actions of the Communist Party of China led to even more fierce polemics and to even more serious retaliatory criticism of the CPSU and the USSR as a whole, which made relations between the two communist parties and their countries even more hostile. Beijing tried at this moment to hide behind a revolutionary phrase and ultra-left phraseology, but in assessing the balance of forces in the world and in real practice, it went to the right, which resulted in the development of new theories, which allegedly "enriched" Marxism-Leninism

So, in the early 60s, a new theory of "intermediate zones" is being created, which will be further expanded and refined by Chairman Mao within a few years. To this arbitrary concept, ignoring their class nature and political structure, all countries located between the socialist camp and the United States were recorded, as well as consolidated by the danger of being victims of imperialist aggression from the Pentagon.

But at the same time, Mao Zedong divided these countries into two conditional zones. Thus, the first zone was assigned by the leadership of the Communist Party of China to the states of Latin America, Africa and Asia, called the "Great Helmsman" by the "world peasantry". [11] And the second "intermediate zone" already included industrial countries, including Western Europe, for example, France, where the supposedly local national monopolistic bourgeoisie was "able to fight against American imperialism." [12]

Apparently, then the Chinese leaders were impressed by the conflict between De Gaulle and Washington, which led to France's withdrawal from NATO, but in fact, such a theory untied Beijing's hands in rapprochement with European capitalist powers, which Belgrade did back in 1949 and in the 50s during the conflict with Moscow. Here Mao Zedong actually repeated the political evolution of Joseph Broz Tito, although moving from the left under the guise of the need to foment a world revolution.

In fact, the President of the People's Republic of China set a goal, relying on contacts with the monopolistic bourgeoisie (which also justified China's cooperation with imperialist countries in the above period) and using the contradictions in the camp of capitalism, to mobilize the anti-imperialist potential of the second "intermediate zone". As a result, this theory formed the basis of the foreign policy doctrine of the Chinese leadership, which built up the interstate relations of the People's Republic of China, relying precisely on the theory of "intermediate zones".

Of course, on the one hand, Beijing thus declared the beginning of the struggle for primacy and influence on the third world countries and from among the non-aligned powers, but in fact the turn was made precisely in the direction of the monopolistic and financial bourgeoisie of developed capitalist countries. In particular, ties with the Chinese foreign oligarchs "Huaqiao" have intensified. This suggests that long before Deng Xiaoping's market reforms, an ideological justification for such a shift away from the socialist path of development was being prepared in the depths of the CPC leadership and the establishment of economic and political ties with capitalist countries was justified, ostensibly to repel imperialism.

We see here a typical following of the theory of stages, when in a Menshevik way capitalist countries were divided into zones where bourgeois-democratic revolutions were to take place first, and instead of relying on the working class and the workers of the developed industrial powers, a stake was placed on the monopolistic bourgeoisie, which, according to the Chinese Communists, was ready to resist Washington. This concept, however, later in the early 70s did not interfere at all, but even helped China to fraternize with the United States.

In 1964, after Nikita Khrushchev was removed from all posts, the Soviet leadership attempted to normalize relations with Beijing, but the CPC Central Committee sent an ultimatum to the Kremlin, demanding to cancel all decisions taken at the last congresses of the CPSU and make territorial concessions. If Moscow was ready to discuss controversial issues on the delimitation of borders, it could not abandon the approved concepts of peaceful coexistence. As a result, the ideological and propaganda pressure of the PRC on the USSR not only did not weaken, but also intensified.

By 1965, the Soviet Union was finally elevated to the status of an enemy inside China. The term "threat from the North" has entered propaganda usage. When the first test of atomic weapons took place in the PRC in 1964, it was officially stated that it was done "in the name of protecting sovereignty, against threats to the United States and the great power of the USSR." Although its development itself took place with scientific and technical assistance from Moscow.

The final rupture of relations between the two parties occurred already in March 1966. In an official letter dated March 22, 1966, the CPC Central Committee announced its refusal to send a delegation to the XXIII Congress of the CPSU, thereby effectively announcing that it was openly opposing the CPSU. It is noteworthy that this coincided with the beginning of the "Cultural Revolution", which was announced a little later, when all those who disagreed with the course of Mao Zedong and his supporters inside the CPC were declared Soviet agents.

Accompanied by mutual ideological criticism, the series of unsuccessful attempts by the leadership of the two powers to come to a consensus has ended. All this finally untied the hands of the two opposing sides and gave rise to a structural crisis of Soviet-Chinese relations, affecting all aspects of cooperation between the USSR and the PRC and causing a real split in the international communist movement.

Armed conflict between the USSR and China

Since the complete break between the CPC and the CPSU, Beijing has raised the issue of the return of lands allegedly seized by tsarist Russia from the Celestial Empire at various times. In particular, it was about the territories of the Far East, part of Eastern Siberia, as well as certain regions of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Mao Zedong insisted on the revision of the Russian-Chinese treaties of the XIX century. Beijing has put forward the thesis that tsarist Russia has seized more than 1.5 million square kilometers of "native Chinese lands." 

From this period it is necessary to count the period of the already armed escalation of the situation on the border of the two states. However, contradictions and incidents in the border zone between the countries began to arise since the middle of 1960, and two years later more than five thousand different violations were recorded. One of the first such conflicts was the incident in the Buz-Aigir district in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Then thousands of cattle breeders from China crossed the border and then refused to return to their homeland.

Two years later, there was a simultaneous mass resettlement of Kazakhs, Kirghizs, Tatars and Uighurs to the Soviet Union among 68 thousand people who subsequently received Soviet citizenship. Although the flow of migrants from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region began in 1955 and was associated with different living standards, as well as with national contradictions. Even then, on the outskirts of the PRC, local authorities carried out a chauvinistic Great Han policy towards ethnic minorities, preventing education in the national language and bringing immigrants from the interior regions of China to these lands.

Such migration of ethnic minorities to the USSR was blamed by the Chinese authorities on Moscow, which allegedly carried out "subversive activities" and hostile actions through the Soviet consulates in Kuldzha (YIning) and Urumqi. [13] As a result, after a series of provocations and arrests of diplomats, the Soviet government was forced to liquidate the Consulate General and another representative office in the XUAR.

However, despite this, Beijing's claims grew. Mao Zedong openly touched on territorial disputes with the USSR when, in an interview with the Japanese delegation on July 10, 1964, he announced the seizure by Russia of more than 1.5 million km2 of "native Chinese lands": "They cut off everything that could be cut off. Some say that in addition they want to cut off Chinese Xinjiang and Heilongjiang... More than 100 years ago they cut off the lands east of Lake Baikal, including Boli (Khabarovsk), and Haishenwei (Vladivostok), and the Kamchatka Peninsula. This account has not been repaid, we have not yet settled with them on this account." [14]

But a new round of territorial claims occurred after the famous XI plenum of the CPC Central Committee of the VIII convocation of August 8, 1966, where "the great proletarian cultural Revolution" was announced. [15] Although this decision concerned internal issues related to Mao Zedong's desire to conduct a mass purge of the party and the state apparatus, no one had any doubts about unleashing a new campaign to escalate the conflict with the USSR.

After all, the purges took place under the slogan of fighting revisionism, which was allegedly planted in the party by the long-term influence of Moscow. Since that moment, the anti-Soviet campaign has only intensified throughout the country, which introduced the image of the Soviet Union as a "threat from the North" [16] and destroyed the very idea of friendship between the two countries in the minds of millions of Chinese. We will touch on the results of the cultural revolution later, but it played a very important role in whipping up aggressive sentiments against the first socialist state, as well as in the development of border clashes.

Following Mao and after the epoch-making plenum of the CPC Central Committee, Foreign Minister Chen Yi also announced the existence of territorial disputes with the USSR in May 1966, repeating literally every word of the helmsman and announcing the beginning of an open struggle for the return of "native Chinese lands." It is noteworthy, but the Soviet leadership did not refuse to hold negotiations on disputed territorial issues and in 1964 an agreement was already reached that the islands, including Damansky Island, along the border riverbeds in the Far East should eventually move to the PRC.

However, this agreement has not been officially signed, that is, it has not yet entered into legal force, and the Chinese side has already begun economic development of these territories from that moment. That is, the leadership of the People's Republic of China already considered the islands their own, which was clearly not in the interests of the Kremlin, since in the event of their actual alienation, all other border agreements concluded by the two countries earlier lost their meaning and force. It is through this prism that it is necessary to consider all the bitterness of the struggle that unfolded around these small pieces of land along the Ussuri River.

In the future, after the unhindered capture of these islands and the same Damansky, Beijing could extend its expansion further to the sparsely populated areas of the Far East and Eastern Siberia. Correctly assessing the large preponderance in China's human resources, as well as the internal political instability caused by the cultural revolution, Moscow feared that the CPC leaders might order an offensive on Soviet territories in order to strengthen their positions in a situation of acute power struggle.

And there were such reasons when, under the cries of the Red Guards (Khun Vey Bin) and the official Chinese press about the "inequality" of the existing treaties between the USSR and the PRC, the number of clashes on various sections of the border has increased many times since 1966. Already in December 1967 and January 1968, serious clashes occurred on the island of Kirk, on January 26, 1968 - on the island of Damansky, as well as other islands on the Ussuri River. At that time, namely on January 5, 1968, Soviet border guards arrested Chinese fishermen, but four Chinese citizens died as a result of the incident, which is considered the first fact of bloodshed.

As a result of this escalation, both countries only strengthened their military groups on the border. So, according to the materials of the Soviet special services, the PLA command in 1967 transferred over four hundred thousand fighters to the Amur, Ussuri and Yalu border rivers, where abandoned Japanese defensive structures, overcome by the Red Army in August 1945, were being revived with might and main. [17]

The Soviet Government, for its part, signed with the Mongolian People's Republic in January 1966 the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Mongolian People's Republic". This agreement was considered by the Chinese leadership as a military alliance, and the territory of the MNR as a springboard for an attack on the PRC. These fears were reinforced by the fact that the Soviet army was building missile bases there and had transferred forty divisions to the Chinese border.

In fact, the two powers in which the Communist parties ruled began to measure their military forces and actively prepare for war. The leadership of the CPC Central Committee seriously considered the prospect of a strike on the nuclear facilities of the People's Republic of China, which was capable of destroying all stocks of atomic weapons overnight. Tensions increased at such a pace that already in October 1968, Zhou Enlai declared that "everything can be expected from the USSR, including an attack on China." [18]

In this regard, the Chinese leaders, according to archival data, at the beginning of the 1969, gave the PLA a command to seriously begin preparing an operation to conduct military operations on Damansky Island and adjacent territories. This decision was justified by the fact that an open armed clash was necessary in order to push through the Soviet leadership in order to make concessions, as well as to attract the attention of the world community to the greatest degree of confrontation between the two countries. The latter was necessary in establishing relations and cooperation with the main capitalist countries fighting the USSR.

As a result, the highest point of the conflict was the fighting in March 1969 between the PLA units and the Soviet border guards just for the very island of Damansky, which lasted two weeks. For another five months, new armed clashes arose along the entire perimeter of the Soviet-Chinese border. As a result, such provocative actions of the Chinese army could cause a real war between the two countries.

Only active forceful opposition from the Soviet border guard became the main factor that pushed Beijing to conduct a diplomatic probe in order to carry out negotiations. At the end of March of this year, the USSR government made a statement on the events on Damansky Island, in which it invited the Chinese authorities to resume negotiations on the border, interrupted in 1964. And already in May, the Government of the People's Republic of China issued its statement, in which it called for preserving the borders in the same form and introducing a ban on the use of weapons on both sides.

Already on September 11, 1969, a personal meeting of the heads of government took place, during which A.N. Kosygin reasonably told Zhou Enlai: "The Western press and all forces led by the United States are making every possible effort to push the USSR against the PRC, and in this regard they hope to end socialism and communism. Therefore, the issue of relations between the USSR and the People's Republic of China is of great global importance". [19]

As a result of this meeting, on October 20, 1969, full-scale negotiations on disputed border issues began in the capital of the People's Republic of China, which continued until September 1971, consolidating the status quo. However, the disputed territorial issues were not resolved and new negotiations were resumed only after 1982. It was also not possible to come to an agreement on the resumption of economic cooperation, and the general relations remained hostile. But the most important thing is that after that it was possible to prevent the transition of the critical line, and the very possibility of a full-scale war sharply decreased.

Thus, with the beginning of the Chinese cultural revolution, the relations between the USSR and the PRC became even more aggravated, and 1969 became a truly "black page" in the history of Soviet-Chinese relations, rare threads of economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation in which were finally severed, which in fact nullified the results of two decades of cooperation between the two countries. During this period, ideological differences that took place in the second half of the 50s - the first half of the 60s of the XX century were translated into the plane of national contradictions of the USSR and the PRC.

The leadership of the People's Republic abandoned the idea of friendship with the "elder brother", provoking both political conflicts at the international level and local clashes within certain border territories with the Soviet Union, which resulted in a bloody armed confrontation. Despite the attempts made in the autumn of 1969 to normalize relations, which allowed both sides to move away from the prospect of a large-scale conflict, residual tensions also continued to exist in relations between the USSR and the PRC in the following decades.

The turn of the Chinese Communist Party towards the United States and the West

The new foreign policy of China was formed precisely under the influence of an open armed confrontation with the Soviet Union on its borders and was fixed by the IX Congress of the CPC, held from April 1 to April 24, 1969. The main current goal adopted by the congress was the struggle of the Communist Party and the people of the country against imperialism, the center of which was declared the United States, and at the same time modern revisionism led by the CPSU.

Also at this congress, the concept of the rebirth of the USSR into a social-imperialist state was adopted, which only intensified after the election of Leonid Brezhnev as general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party. According to the new theory, the leadership of the CPSU began to "instill social imperialism and social fascism even more furiously," suppress the Soviet people, carry out a comprehensive restoration of capitalism, and also strengthen the "threat of aggression against our country." [20]

A large place at the IX Congress was devoted to the topic of the upcoming world War, which was covered from the standpoint of the "Great Helmsman" about the international military conflict, according to which "there are only two possibilities: either the war will cause a revolution, or the revolution will prevent a war." [21] At the same time, the main instigators of the global armed struggle were equally indicated by the USA and the USSR.

Most importantly, as a result of the discussion, the Soviet Union was declared the main enemy of the Chinese people. Mao Zedong even agreed in his report that the USSR poses a greater danger to the cause of socialism and world revolution than the United States: "American imperialism is a paper tiger that has long been pierced by the peoples of the world, "social imperialism" is much more deceptive compared to the imperialism of the old brand and therefore much more dangerous."

The threat of Soviet aggression against the PRC seemed quite real to the leadership of the CPC for a number of reasons. First of all, as a result of the direct armed clashes that took place on Damansky Island, which were presented by Chinese propaganda as proof of Moscow's expansionist goals. Another reason for such reasoning was the entry of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia, since the Central Committee of the CPSU could allegedly repeat this already in relation to China.

And the most important reason for Mao Zedong's idea was that the "threat from the North" was a convenient tool for implementing the tasks of China's economic growth in order to overcome backwardness. This was due not only to the mobilization of economic forces and the development of the military-industrial complex in the country, which became a single militarized camp, but also to the prospects of increasing trade and economic cooperation with capitalist countries.

Subsequently, the leadership of the People's Republic of China justified this approach with data that the country's GDP doubled from 1968 to 1976. [22] To put it more simply, the leaders of the CPC, based on the interests of modernization, used the armed conflict with the USSR to implement favorable conditions for cooperation with the West, primarily with the United States.

And in connection with this, a reasonable question becomes why the leading capitalist countries have moved closer to China? The answer is quite simple, since it was the Soviet Union that was considered by Western imperialism as the core of the world socialist system, and the anti-Soviet activities of the Chinese Communist Party made it possible to weaken it as much as possible. Among other things, the domestic Chinese market was opening up for American and European capital and the prospect of using cheap labor was created, which pushed the ruling class of America to reconsider its assessments and political attitude towards Beijing.

The results of this turn of the PRC towards the West were not long in coming, and already on June 25, 1969, the current American president Richard Nixon put forward the so-called "Guam doctrine", as a result of which the United States refused to use its own troops to carry out long-term military campaigns in third world countries. Thus, the tasks of combating the communist movement in Indochina were shifted to American satellites, while continuing to provide military and economic support.

According to this doctrine, US military pressure on China was seriously reduced, as the Pentagon reduced its own contingents of troops in South Korea, South Vietnam, Thailand, and at the end of 1969, the seventh fleet with nuclear weapons also departed from the shores of Taiwan. Accordingly, part of the American troops was also removed from this island, which set the stage for establishing relations between Beijing and Washington.

In response to these steps, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party have gone to the reworking of part of their foreign policy doctrine. In particular, in May 1970, the "Great Chairman" corrected the concept of a world war, presenting it in a different form: "The danger of a new world war still exists, and the peoples of all countries should prepare for it. However, now the main trend in the world is revolution." [23]

Such an ideological construction made it possible to move the prospect of an armed clash with world capitalism to the background and switch forces to implement economic transformations in China itself. Such a reworked theory of peaceful coexistence only in a new wrapper and with Chinese specifics, which made it possible to sharply reduce the degree of confrontation between China and America.

As a result, there has been a dramatic change in relations between the two countries in establishing and developing cooperation in all spheres. In July 1971, the head of the Chinese government Zhou Enlai and Henry Kissinger met, and at the end of February 1972, Richard Nixon arrived in China on an official visit. But even before these new friends arrived in Beijing, Washington lifted the embargo on trade with China, and by 1976, the total trade turnover with the countries of capitalism exceeded the volume of its trade with the socialist countries by 3.2 times. [24]

In fact, even then, starting with the proclamation of the anti-Soviet fiction about "social imperialism" in 1969, the course of reorientation towards the United States was justified and the foundations for market reforms in the future were being created.

The conflict with Vietnam and the triumph of Deng Xiaoping

The departure as a result of the death of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai in 1976, led in subsequent years not only to a change in the generation of leaders and caused a new acute round of intra-party struggle, but eventually logically completed the political evolution of the regime, which had already finally followed the path of introducing bourgeois economic norms and capitalist elements in economic development. This was facilitated by the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States and the reorientation to the imperialist countries of the West.

At the same time, China's anti-Soviet activities around the world continued with renewed vigor, as the general line of struggle against the Soviet hegemonism remained unchanged. The most striking example of this is the direct conflict between the Chinese and Soviet "spheres of influence" in Cambodia (Kampuchea), where in 1975 the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, who were supported by the Communist Party of China, came to power.

In addition to adventures and voluntarism to eliminate "bourgeois cities" and mass terror against dissenting and ethnic minorities, the Maoist leadership of Cambodia followed the path of constant attacks and provocations against neighboring Vietnam, reproducing the rich experience of "senior Chinese comrades" gained in the fight against the Soviet Union.

As a result, in November 1978, Hanoi signed a long-term treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union, providing for military and economic assistance. Then the army of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam launched an offensive on the territory of Cambodia, inflicting a military defeat on the Khmer Rouge regime and establishing a new government friendly to the Vietnamese Communist Party.

After that, an armed conflict between China and socialist Vietnam became inevitable. The reason was that the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party undertook the expulsion of potentially dangerous more than two hundred thousand ethnic Han people who lived in cities and were entrepreneurs and small traders.

In response, China's leaders decided to "teach Vietnam a lesson" and on February 17, 1979, half a million PLA soldiers crossed the border with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The bloody battles lasted for a month, without giving any advantages to the Chinese army, which was eventually forced to shamefully retreat. The Soviet Union politically condemned this invasion and increased its arms supplies to the Vietnamese side.

As a result of these events, Beijing refused to prolong the Soviet-Chinese treaty of 1950, which expired in 1980. This was the lowest point of relations between the USSR and the PRC, as well as the black page of relations between countries that declared the socialist path of development, among which the split was aggravated, leading to direct armed clashes in Asia and to a fierce struggle between the new Maoist and old pro-Moscow communist parties in the capitalist powers.

At the same time, there was a continuous struggle within the CPC from 1976 to 1980, which brought the leader of the "right wing" Deng Xiaoping to power. Mao Zedong's closest associates proved unable to retain power, and a number of them were arrested and brought to trial in the case of the so-called "gang of four".[25] The funny thing is that they were also accused of sympathizing with Soviet revisionism, although on their instructions in April 1976, a terrorist attack was organized outside the USSR embassy in China.

What led to such a development of events, and the improvement of relations between the USSR and the PRC did not happen after the death of the "Great helmsman" and the removal from power of his associates from the "revolutionary headquarters"?

In many ways, this was the result of the past cultural revolution, which led not only to large-scale repressions against the party opposition, but also to the actual defeat of the CPC, public organizations represented by the Communist Youth Union of China, trade unions, pioneer organizations and others, which was the meaning of the slogan "Fire at headquarters!". The Cultural Revolution was a tool in the hands of Mao and his supporters to carry out a gigantic purge of technocrats and "rightists" who opposed the policy of the "Great Leap Forward" at one time and gradually pushed the "Great Helmsman" from power.

As a result of unbridled harassment by the young Red Guards, such prominent figures of the Chinese revolution as Liu Shaoqi and Marshal Peng Dahuai were destroyed, and thousands of communists were killed. In total, up to five million members and supporters of the party fell under the ice rink of purges and repressions. Subsequently, during only the first wave of rehabilitation in 1978, 130 thousand Communists were politically justified.

After the defeat of senior and middle-level cadres, many of whom had experience of participating in the revolution and civil war, careerists and leaders of youth groups, as well as some provincial party functionaries who decided to ride the Red Guards movement, were put forward in their place. They formed the bones of the new nominees, who became a support and part of the inner circle in the last years of the Chairman's rule, both in the party and economic apparatus, and in the army. A typical example is the gray figure of Hua Guofeng as Mao's official successor.

As a result, after Mao's death, the party weakened by purges, which had changed in many ways, was no longer able to straighten the course due to the loss of the traditions of internal democracy, and found itself in power and under the control of marketeers and the right, who took it up under the leadership of the returned Deng Xiaoping. In fact, with his cultural revolution, which Mao carried out to usurp powers and defeat enemies, he disarmed the CCP and opened the way for those whom he formally condemned and fought against.

Deng Xiaoping, who initiated an open trial of the "gang of four", including Mao's closest associates and his wife, actually dealt a serious propaganda and political blow to the remaining "left wing" in the person of the same Hua Guofeng, discrediting him and the entire previous course of the cultural revolution in parallel.

Ideological attitudes "about social imperialism", ardent long-term anti-Sovietism and armed clashes on the border with the USSR, and then with Vietnam, in turn, left no opportunity for the rapid restoration of ties with Moscow. Moreover, Hua Guofeng himself and even Deng Xiaoping, despite further exposure of the cult of the personality of the "Great Chairman" and the Cultural Revolution as a whole, still relied for a long time on Mao's ideological and political baggage, including in the fight against the Soviet Union.

However, the moment is interesting when, in February 1980, at the fifth plenum of the CPC Central Committee, the "new four" from among Mao's remaining associates lost their posts and power finally passed into the hands of "pragmatists".[26] As a result, the terminology of "revisionism", "bourgeois counter-revolution", "restoration of capitalism" applied to the Soviet Union, as well as in the internal party struggle, was recognized as "a manifestation of the "treacherous" ultra-left line of the "quartet"."

As a result of such a right turn, the further ideological struggle with the USSR lost its class basis and all meaning, in connection with which the CPC Central Committee completely curtailed criticism of the internal political course of the CPSU. But this did not affect the foreign policy relations of the two countries in any way until the end of the 80s.

And after Deng Xiaoping announced the policy of four modernizations and market reforms, China has already moved along the path of capitalist development, linking its future with Western investments and the creation of free economic zones. The Soviet experience of socialist construction, as well as the establishment of economic relations with the socialist camp, were no longer needed by Beijing.

Moscow's attempts to establish friendly ties with the new "pragmatic" leadership of the CPC were met with excessive demands from Beijing related to the desire to remove Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Mongolia, and stop supporting Vietnam in the "occupation" of Cambodia. In fact, this meant interference by the leaders of the PRC in the relations of the USSR with other socialist countries, which was unacceptable for the Soviet government.

The situation began to change only in 1986, when the new General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev, during his speeches in Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok, declared the idea of improving relations with the PRC through compromises. And it was only after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and part of the contingent from Mongolia that the “historic” meeting of Deng Xiaoping and Gorbachev took place in Beijing in 1989. At that time, there really were few disagreements between them, since the leadership of the CPSU tried to copy the market reforms of the CPC and actually admitted their previous "mistakes" committed during the period of stagnation.

And when in the USSR, in the late 80s and early 90s, really counter-revolutionary processes and the restoration of capitalism intensified, the CPC Central Committee did not react to them in any way, considering them a normal phenomenon of the triumph of "pragmatism". Only the complete destruction of the Soviet Union somewhat sobered the Chinese leadership, which tried to strengthen the role and power of the ruling party, but in order to control and manage market mechanisms, leading the process of the country's growth into capitalism.


The split between the CPC and the CPSU, starting from the late 50s, led to the most serious consequences and in many ways weakened the core of world socialism in the face of the Soviet Union, which was and remained until the end the center of opposition to the global capitalist system. In fact, this confrontation on the part of Beijing has degenerated into a rivalry with Moscow for leadership and influence on the socialist camp, the international communist movement and non-aligned countries. This gave more opportunities to the imperialist powers, led by the United States, to actively counteract the world revolutionary process.

Criticism of the Soviet leadership after the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU by the Chinese Communist Party was initially justified, but then acquired a tendentious character with fundamentally incorrect conclusions. Despite the negative political processes of de-Stalinization of the late 50s and the presence of negative consequences for the socialist economy as a result of the Kosygin reforms and other transformations of the 60s, which laid contradictions and non-socialist elements in the system, the USSR still did not have a restoration of capitalism and, moreover, it did not turn into a social-imperialist power, as the CPC claimed.

Namely, such accusations were made by Mao Zedong against Moscow, creating an image of the enemy for Chinese workers from the first workers' state and labeling the Soviet government as social revisionism.

It can be concluded that Mao Zedong took advantage of the campaign launched by Nikita Khrushchev to debunk the cult of Stalin's personality in order to form his own independent course in defiance of the leadership of the USSR under the guise of defending the principles of Marxism-Leninism to seize primacy in the world communist movement, which corresponded to his ambitions. At this moment, his own image of the infallible leader of the revolution and the "Great Helmsman" was being formed in the PRC, able to determine the line of all communist parties in the world.

This is evidenced by the course for the implementation of the "Great Leap", proclaimed in 1958, which, according to the idea of the President of the People's Republic of China, was to overcome backwardness in three years and lead the country to socialism. It clearly contradicted the Soviet experience of socialist construction and the documents of the VIII Congress of the CPC, which declared the phased implementation of the five-year plan. As a result, this led to serious consequences for the economy and to mass starvation in China.

In the same way, we can consider the theory of revolutionary nuclear war, which was allegedly proclaimed in response to the concept of peaceful coexistence of countries with different socio-economic systems and adopted at a meeting of communist and workers' parties in Moscow in 1957 on the initiative of the CPSU. If it is necessary to apply criticism to the thesis of peaceful coexistence, then Mao Zedong's idea of a nuclear revolutionary war with the aim of destroying the capitalist system clearly contradicts the class approach and Marxism itself as such.

Beijing sought to use it in order to draw the USSR into a regional conflict with Taiwan to deter the United States or to provoke a third world war, from which, according to Mao, the PRC would emerge victorious, given the enormous human potential of the Chinese people. Such a reactionary chauvinistic idea was dressed up in bright verbal revolutionary clothes, but served the purposes of great power and the growth of nationalist sentiments within the Middle Kingdom.

Another concept of Maoism about "intermediate zones", in turn, formally followed in the wake of the theory of stages, but only externally, as it justified the practical possibility of unification with the national monopolistic bourgeoisie of developed capitalist countries, in order to use its potential as opposed to the imperialism represented by the United States. Although this ideological construction was justified by the objectives of the fight against Washington, it was in fact deliberately misleading, since on the contrary it served the purpose of bringing the PRC closer to the leading capitalist powers.

The theory of "social imperialism" and "social fascism" served the same purpose, turning the USSR into the main enemy of the Chinese people and the entire communist movement. This idea was especially strongly introduced during the Cultural Revolution, when the country was declared a single militarized camp because of the "threat from the North". Such a concept increased nationalist sentiments within China, as it explained the aggressive nature of the Soviet Union and called for the return by force of arms of "native Chinese lands" seized by the tsarist government through the conclusion of unequal treaties.

The fact that Moscow returned the China-Eastern Railway (CER), Port Arthur and the city of Dalny to China in 1950, and was also ready to consider disputed territorial issues in 1964, was not taken into account by the leadership of the PRC. And the theory eventually served to incite bloody clashes on the border with the USSR in 1969. This armed conflict, as well as the very concept of "social imperialism" as a result, became the basis for China's turn towards the West and the restoration of diplomatic and economic relations with the United States in the early 70s. Since that time, Washington has regarded Beijing as its partner and even ally in deterring and weakening the Soviet Union.

In our opinion, all this happened, among other things, due to the lack of a political and organizational center of the communist movement. And here the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 largely affected, since neither the Information Bureau of Communist Parties formed after World War II, nor the annual meeting of Communist and workers' parties could replace the centralized headquarters and achieve ideological unity.

In this regard, it was impossible to fully coordinate and act together in the cause of socialist construction in those countries where the Communists came to power. The organs of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance - CMEA and the Warsaw Pact also did not have the same political powers and capabilities, limiting the strength and capabilities of the socialist camp. Bilateral agreements between the socialist countries also did not solve this problem, and in the event of a change in the conjuncture on the example of China, they lost their meaning, turning into a piece of paper.

Such a situation could not ensure the solidity of the international communist movement, which led to manifestations of voluntarism on the part of the leadership of individual communist parties, as well as to the formation of a number of trends in the construction of socialism with its own deviations and specifics, such as Titoism, Hojaism, Maoism, Juche and others. At the same time, in Western Europe in the 60s, Eurocommunism also appeared, fundamentally contradicting the Marxism-Leninism.

 In this regard, Maoist China largely reproduced the experience and evolution of Yugoslavia in the late 40s - early 50s only disproportionately on a larger scale, departing from the socialist course and entering into friendly cooperation with the West, led by the United States. In this context, Maoism has emerged in the historical arena as a vehicle against the cause of socialism. This process logically ended with Deng Xiaoping's market reforms and the development of Chinese capitalism under the guise of "socialism" with ethnic specifics and the transformation of the PRC into a typical imperialist power.

As a result, we can say that the CPC took advantage of the XX Congress of the CPSU and the opportunistic turn in the CPSU, but behind its position there were theoretical and political issues permeated with nationalist sentiments, which led to unacceptable positions. Thus, during the following decades, the PRC supported, for example, the Mujahideen in Afghanistan or Unita in Angola. This position of the PRC, in turn, was used by the United States to promote its interests.

We can also say that market transformations in China have even become a trigger for counter-revolutionary processes in the socialist camp, as they are used by some parties that have deviated from the laws of socialist construction as an attractive example of the introduction of private capitalist elements into the planned economy. It is noteworthy that a certain group in the leadership of the CPSU, represented by Yuri Andropov, and then Mikhail Gorbachev, seriously considered the experience of Chinese "pragmatists" in the implementation of the new economic policy.

At the same time, Maoism caused enormous damage to the international communist movement, bringing a conscious split in its ranks. So, at the time of the cultural revolution, Beijing set a course for the formation of Maoist political structures around the world. The new "Marxist-Leninist" parties were aggressive schismatic organizations that carried out attacks, including physical ones, on representatives of traditional Communist parties.

In the countries of the third world, they preached in the 60-80s a strategy of guerrilla warfare based on the peasantry. Cambodia (Kampuchea) became a striking example of the successful rise to power of the Maoist guerrillas, where three million civilians were killed in a few years as a result of the unfolding terror. In developed capitalist countries, there was an attempt by the Maoists to rely on the youth and student movement, which led to the creation of numerous sectarian parties.

In fact, Maoism has become the flip side of Eurocommunism, since these phenomena arose in Europe almost simultaneously. It is noteworthy that a number of Maoist parties in the 90s just repeated the social democratic evolution, such as the Dutch Socialist Party, which successfully integrated into the bourgeois parliamentary system. A whole network of Maoist parties still continues to act as Beijing's arm in Latin America, Asia and Africa, splitting the workers' and people's movement and supporting Chinese capitalism and the expansion of China's monopolies around the world.

By initiating a split in the communist movement, Maoism also pretty much discredited Marxism in the eyes of millions of working people both by the fact of armed conflicts between socialist countries and open clashes between parties calling themselves communist, and by perversions as a result of voluntarist attempts at socialist construction.

We must draw lessons from the history of relations between socialist countries on this negative example, so that new generations of communist revolutionaries and proletarian fighters do not repeat mistakes at the next turn of historical development, when capitalism will once again be on the verge of a deadly crisis.

[1] Mao Zedong: "On the Dictatorship of people's democracy." Selected Works, vol. 4. - Beijing, Publishing House of Literature in Foreign Languages, 1976. - ss. 501-518.

[2] Text of Speech on Stalin by Khrushchev as Released by the State Department // The New York Times. 1956. June 5. P. 13.

[3] Declaration of the Meeting of Representatives of Communist and Workers' Parties of Socialist Countries held in Moscow on November 14-16, 1957

[4] Kulik B.T. The Soviet-Chinese split: causes and consequences. M., 2002. p. 79.

[5] Cit. by: Vladimirov O.E. Soviet-Chinese relations in the forties-eighties. M., 1984. pp. 48-49.

[6] Cit. by: Malyavin V.V. Thirty-six stratagems. Chinese secrets of success. M., 2000. p. 67.

[7] The foreign policy of the Soviet Union and international relations: collection of documents. 1963, Moscow, 1964. No. 60. pp. 237, 239, 246.

[8] Cit. by: Kulik B.T. The Soviet-Chinese Split: Causes and consequences. M., 2002. p. 294.

[9] Foreign policy and International Relations of the People's Republic of China. M., 1974. Vol. 2. p. 19.

[10] Cit. by: Russia and China: four centuries of interaction: history, current state and prospects for the development of Russian-Chinese relations. Moscow, 2013. p. 246.

[11] Foreign Policy and International Relations of the People's Republic of China. Moscow, 1974. Vol. 2. p. 11.

[12] Foreign Policy and International Relations of the People's Republic of China. Moscow, 1974. Vol. 2. P. 12.

[13] Cit. by: Fedotov V.P. Half a century together with China: memoirs, notes, reflections. M., 2013. p. 234.

[14] Cit. po: Goncharov S.N. On "territorial claims" and "unequal treaties" in Russian-Chinese relations: myths and reality // Problems of the Far East. 2004. No. 4. p. 119.

[15] Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. URL:

[16] Cit. by: Vladimirov O.E. Soviet-Chinese relations... p. 189.

[17] Goncharov S.N. Negotiations of A.N. Kosygin and Zhou Enlai at the Beijing Airport // About Medieval and Modern China. N., 2006. p. 312.

[18] Cit. by: Kulik B.T. The Soviet-Chinese split ... p. 447.

[19] Elizavetin A.I. The meeting of A.N. Kosygin with Zhou Enlai // Goncharov S.N. About Medieval and Modern China. N., 2006. p. 329.

[20] Cit. by: Kulik B.T. The Soviet-Chinese Split: causes and consequences. M., 2002. pp. 449-450.

[21] Speeches and articles by Mao Zedong of different years, not previously published in print: sat. M., 1976. Issue. 6. p. 261.

[22] Kulik B.T. The Soviet-Chinese split ... p. 453.

[23] Speeches and articles by Mao Zedong ... p. 270.

[24] Kulik B.T. The Soviet-Chinese split ... p. 480

[25] Cit. by: Vladimirov O.E. Soviet-Chinese relations ... p. 266.

[26] Vinogradov A.V. The history of China from ancient times to the beginning of the XXI century: in 10 vol. M., 2016. Vol. 9. p. 170.

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