Vice-Premier Chen Yi:
A New and Great Anti-U.S. Revolutionary Storm is Approaching
Replies to “Akahata” Correspondent
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #2, Jan. 7, 1966, pp. 5-9.]
On December 30, 1965, Vice-Premier Chen Yi answered important questions put by Takano Yoshihisa, Peking correspondent of the Japanese paper “Akahata.” Following are the questions and answers. -Ed.
One Can Never Be “Excessive” in Combating Aggression
Question: The press conference given by Vice-Premier Chen Yi on September 29, 1965, in Peking has had great repercussions throughout the world. In particular, the view has arisen among some people that “excessively tough” words were used in expressing China’s determination to fight against the U.S. imperialist policy of aggression. What do you think of this reaction?
Answer: I have also read about this reaction. I can understand how it has arisen, but I cannot agree with it.
I believe that most of those who think my words “excessively tough” do so because they are not acquainted with the facts of the ruthless aggressions committed by U.S. imperialism. U.S. imperialism has forcibly occupied China’s territory of Taiwan, is constantly intruding into China’s territorial waters and air space and is making frequent military provocations against China. It has surrounded China with a chain of military bases directed against her. It is steadily expanding its war of aggression in Vietnam. And recently it has publicly called China the “enemy number one of the United States.” It may be asked, under these circumstances what other policy can we adopt than that of resolute struggle against the U.S. policy. of aggression? One can never be “excessive” in combating aggression. The fact is that the U.S. imperialists are too truculent and tyrannical.
Of course, there are other people who have described my words as “excessively tough” out of ulterior motives. They are obsessed with the idea of peaceful coexistence with the U.S. aggressors, whereas I said a resolute struggle must be waged against the U.S. policy of aggression. So how can they not feel my words “excessively tough”?
U.S. imperialism is the enemy of the Chinese people; it is also the common enimy of the people of the whole world. It is subjecting nearly every country to its threat, control, interference or aggression, with the aim of attaining world hegemony. For this purpose, it has built up the biggest war machine in human history. It has more than 2,200 military bases and installations on foreign soil and has sent over one million aggressor troops abroad. In these circumstances, it is only natural for China, as a socialist country, to resolutely oppose the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war and resolutely support all oppressed peoples and nations in their just struggles for freedom and independence. Otherwise, she would be betraying her internationalist duty.
Firm opposition to the U.S. policies of aggression and war is in the fundamental interests of the people of the world. I am deeply confident that this just stand of ours accords with the interest of the people of the world and will surely win their sympathy and support.
Excellent General Situation in Asia and Africa
Question: Recently, there have been great upheavals in Asia and Africa, such as the postponement of the African-Asian conference and the coup d’etat in Indonesia. Some people are spreading the view that China is isolated. What is your view of the recent turbulent situation in Asia and Africa? Moreover, I would like to ask for your estimate of how the international situation, and particularly the Afro-Asian situation, will develop in 1966.
Answer: It is true that great upheavals have recently occurred in Asia and Africa. This is a manifestation of the deepening of the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggles of the Asian and African peoples. Although some adverse currents have appeared in certain areas in Asia and Africa, the general situation in these continents is excellent; it is most favourable to the Afro-Asian peoples and most unfavourable to U.S. imperialism and its lackeys. In this connection, I wish to emphasize the great international significance of the heroic Vietnamese people’s struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation. Suffering one defeat after another, U.S. imperialism has come to the end of its tether in its war of aggression against Vietnam. It has met with firm opposition and strong condemnation by the people of the whole world, the American people included. President Ho Chi Minh has called on the Vietnamese people “to be determined to persevere in the fight and to undergo sacrifices for 10 or 20 years or a longer time, till complete victory.” The brilliant victories won by the Vietnamese people in their struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation are inspiring the fighting will of the people of the whole world. This is the most important factor in the current situation in Asia and Africa. At the same time, tempestuous struggles against imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism headed by the United States have arisen everywhere—in Japan, south Korea, the Congo (Leopoldville) and Southern Rhodesia. The surging revolutionary struggles of the Asian and African peoples against imperialism are the main current in the situation in Asia and Africa.
Not reconciled to their defeats, imperialism and reaction headed by the United States are throwing in all their forces to suppress the forces of revolution in Asia and Africa in an attempt to undermine the Afro-Asian peoples’ cause of unity against imperialism. If the Afro-Asian peoples’ struggles have met with some set-backs in individual areas, these are only temporary phenomena. The course of advance of a people’s revolutionary struggle is never straight, it is bound to be wavelike.
Contrary to the view spread by some people, China is not isolated. Take the case of the postponement of the Second African-Asian Conference, to which you have referred. Together with many other Asian and African countries, China initiated the holding of the Second African-Asian Conference. When the situation became unfavourable to its success, China and many other Asian and African countries, proceeding from the consistent stand of upholding Afro-Asian solidarity, proposed to postpone the conference. The Second African-Asian Conference was postponed, and the imperialist plot to split the Afro-Asian countries was foiled. China has stood with the overwhelming majority of the Afro-Asian countries, and we do not feel alone. Again, take the case of U.S. obstruction to the restoration of China’s legitimate rights in the United Nations. It is precisely in 1965 that for the first time the United States has failed to muster a majority on this question in the United Nations. The number of those who follow the United States is getting smaller and smaller, while that of China’s supporters is growing bigger and bigger. How can it be said that China is isolated?
China is not isolated, and I am confident that she never will be. The reason is that the Chinese people firmly stand on the side of the people who are subjected to control, bullying, exploitation and oppression by imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism headed by the United States and the reactionaries in various countries, and who constitute over 90 per cent of the world’s population. Although certain individuals in Afro-Asian countries have joined the imperialists’ anti-Chinese chorus because they have entered into the service of imperialism, and although the modern revisionists are also supporting the anti-Chinese hullabaloo, they are after all a small handful. The broad masses of the people of the world want friendship with China. We have friends all over the world. And with the steady development of the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys, China will definitely have more and more friends. It is those who aid and abet U.S. imperialism and cry out against China that are becoming increasingly isolated.
The year 1966 will witness the further deepening and expansion of the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggles of the people of the world and will witness still greater victories for them. In the coming year, the national-democratic revolutionary movement may still meet with new difficulties and set-backs in certain areas of Asia and Africa, and adverse currents may still arise. We Afro-Asian peoples and revolutionary and progressive parties, organizations and individuals must be vigilant and prepared for this.
No reactionary current can prevent the victorious advance of the revolutionary people of the world. The hundreds of millions of Afro-Asian people are determined to carry their revolutionary struggles against imperialism headed by the United States and its lackeys through to the end. They are advancing wave upon wave in their valiant and dauntless march. This constitutes the main current of our era which no force on earth can stop. There are already signs of an approaching new and great anti-U.S. revolutionary storm in Asia and Africa and the whole world.
We Have No Illusions About U.S. Imperialism
Question: The U.S. imperialists am still pursuing the policy of “escalation” in Vietnam. Particularly, after McNamara’s recent visit to south Vietnam, they have sent large U.S. reinforcements there, intensified their bombing of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and extended their aggression against Laos and Cambodia, thus aggravating the tension. How will China cope with this situation in Indo-China?
Answer: You are perfectly right. U.S. imperialism is continuing its policy of “escalation” in Vietnam. While intensifying its war of aggression against Vietnam, it is preparing to extend the war to Laos and Cambodia, to the whole of Indo-China. In the meantime, it has instructed the Sato government of Japan and Pak Jung Hi puppet clique in south Korea to conclude the “Japan-ROK Treaty” in order to hasten the revival of Japanese militarism and has instigated the Indian reactionaries to launch constant provocations on the Sino-Indian border. It is quite obvious that U.S. imperialism is directing the spearhead of its aggression against the Indo-Chinese peoples, the Chinese people, the Korean people and all the Asian countries and peoples who refuse to be its slaves, and that it is trying through the instrumentality of the Japanese reactionaries to plunge the Japanese people into the disaster of a new war and launch a general war of aggression in Asia.
We have no illusions about U.S. imperialism, and we have made full preparations. We resolutely support the peoples of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Korea and Japan and all other peoples suffering from U.S. imperialist aggression in carrying their fight against U.S. imperialism through to the end. No matter what tricks U.S. imperialism plays and no matter how it “escalates” the war, it will never be able to change this just stand of ours.
We are very glad to see that more and more Americans have come to realize that it is the United States that is bullying China, not vice versa. They have begun to take action against the Johnson Administration’s policies of aggression and war. Nevertheless, the iron-clad fact confronting us is that the spearhead of U.S. imperialist aggression is more and more clearly directed against China. If U.S. imperialism insists on extending the war to China, we cannot but resolutely take up the challenge and we will not call off the battle until complete victory. Together with the other peoples of Asia and the whole world, we will do our part in overthrowing U.S. imperialism, which is the arch-aggressor and arch-warmonger of our time.
Soviet Leaders’ Ulterior Motives in “Aiding” Vietnam
Question: The people of China and the whole world have given material and moral support to the Vietnamese people in their struggle. In this connection, in the spring of 1965 the rumour was spread through the medium of the Western press that China was holding up the transport of Soviet aid material to Vietnam. This rumour has recently cropped up again. Would you please tell me the facts of the matter?
Answer: China has abided by agreement and punctually transported the military material for Vietnam which the Soviet Union asked us to help transport. And this has always been done free of any charge. Such is the truth of the matter. It is an absolutely deliberate slander to say that China has held up the transport of Soviet military material for Vietnam.
The Soviet Union is the largest European socialist country. If it really wanted to help the Vietnamese people, if it really wanted to support and help their struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation in an effective and all-round way, it could have taken all kinds of measures in many fields to immobilize forces of the United States and constantly exposed the U.S. plots of peace talks. But the Soviet leaders have not done so; on the contrary, they have in fact been giving the United States every facility, so that it can concentrate its forces against Vietnam and continuously spread smokescreen of peace talks to becloud world opinion. In these circumstances, who can believe that the Soviet leaders are giving genuine support to Vietnam?
The Soviet leaders are evading the major issue when they deliberately reduce the important political question of supporting the Vietnamese people’s struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation to a matter of “transit of aid material for Vietnam,” to say nothing of their complete lack of justification on the latter question. The Soviet leaders harp on the fact that the Soviet Union has no common borders with Vietnam, as if all aid material for Vietnam has of necessity to go through China. This is not true. There are sea routes between the Soviet Union and Vietnam. Why can’t Soviet military material for Vietnam be shipped by sea as is that of other countries? But the Soviet Union dare not take the sea routes. It has asked us to transport all of its military material for Vietnam. We know very well what are the things we have helped it to transport. Both in quantity and quality, they are far from commensurate with the strength of the Soviet Union. But the Soviet leaders are boasting about this meagre aid and have constantly and everywhere spread the rumour that China is obstructing the transit of Soviet aid material for Vietnam. Naturally, this cannot but strengthen people’s conviction that their so-called aid to Vietnam is given with ulterior motives. In reality, the Soviet leaders have not been sincerely helping the Vietnamese people to carry their struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation through to the end, but want to make use of their so-called aid to control the Vietnamese situation and bring the Vietnam question into the orbit of U.S.-Soviet collaboration. Otherwise, why should they have been continuously and groundlessly slandering the Chinese people, who are giving full support to the struggle of the Vietnamese people?
No Good End for U.S. Cat’s-Paws
Question: The Sato cabinet of Japan has railroaded through the “Japan-ROK Treaty” in an attempt to push Japan on to a more perilous path. What are your views on the recent policies of the Sato government? How do you envisage the future relations between Japan and China?
Answer: The forcible passage of the “Japan-ROK Treaty” by the Sato cabinet is a grave step taken by U.S. imperialism in its scheme to enlarge its war of aggression in Asia; it is also a grave step taken by the Japanese reactionaries to accelerate the revival of militarism and the organization of a Northeast Asia military alliance, a step which marks their determination to take an open part in U.S. wars of aggression. The spearhead of aggression of the “Japan-ROK Treaty” is directed against Korea, and likewise against China and other Asian countries.
This act of the Sato government is in direct contravention of the interest of the Japanese people and the fundamental interest of the Japanese nation. All those who are willing to be cat’s paws of U.S. imperialism in its extension of aggression and in its plot to “use Asians to fight Asians” will certainly come to no good end.
The Japanese and Korean peoples have already gone into action to oppose the “Japan-ROK Treaty” and the aggressive schemes of the U.S. imperialists and the Japanese reactionaries.
The Communist Party of Japan and the other democratic and progressive forces in Japan are uniting the people on a broader and broader scale and are unfolding a gigantic struggle against the “Japan-ROK Treaty,” the revival of Japanese militarism and the U.S. imperialist aggression in Vietnam and other Asian countries. The Japanese people will never allow U.S. imperialism to turn Japan into a military base for expanded wars of aggression. They will never consent to become cannon-fodder for the U.S. aggressors. They will never permit the Japanese reactionaries to commit aggression against the fraternal peoples of Korea, China and other Asian countries in collaboration with the U.S. imperialists.
Under the leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party headed by Comrade Kim Il Sung, the heroic Korean people have achieved brilliant successes in socialist revolution and socialist construction following their great victory in the War of Liberation of the Fatherland. The Korean people have sufficient experience and strength to frustrate the aggressive schemes of the U.S. and Japanese reactionaries.
The Chinese people firmly support the heroic Japanese and Korean peoples in their great struggle against the U.S. and Japanese reactionaries.
Ever since it entered office, the Sato government has been following U.S. imperialism and working hard to undermine the positive results accumulated over the years in Sino-Japanese relations. No improvement in Sino-Japanese relations is possible unless the Sato government changes its policy of tailing after U.S. imperialism, reviving Japanese militarism and being hostile to China.
The Chinese and Japanese peoples have always been friendly to each other. In recent years, the fraternal Japanese people have worked tirelessly for the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations and won great successes. We are sincerely grateful for this. I firmly believe that Sino-Japanese relations will eventually be normalized through the joint efforts of the Japanese and Chinese peoples.
Ever-Victorious Thought of Mao Tse-tung Guides Us On
Question: China will start her Third Five-Year Plan in 1966. In the context of the present internal and external situation, what special features and character does it have as compared with the two previous five-year plans?
Answer: The central content of our Third Five-Year Plan is to further develop the national economy, raise the people’s standard of living and strengthen national defence on the basis of the results of the First and Second Five-Year Plans.
We had great difficulties in our socialist construction in the Second Five-Year Plan period because our country encountered three consecutive years of natural calamities, because there were some shortcomings and mistakes in our practical work, and because, on top of this, Khrushchov abruptly tore up several hundred agreements and contracts and withdrew all the Soviet experts within a month. After strenuous work of readjustment, we have achieved tremendous successes under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and Chairman Mao Tse-tung, and our economy has been further strengthened and developed in the last few years. In 1965 we have paid up our foreign debts and become a state free from all foreign debt. We have overfulfilled the annual state plan ahead of schedule in the output of major industrial products, such as iron, steel, coal and petroleum. We have gathered very good harvests. There is an ample supply of commodities on the market, and prices remain stable. Our country is entering a period of new upsurge, a period of all-round development in industrial and agricultural production.
As our country embarks on the Third Five-Year Plan, she is richer in experience in socialist construction, there are broader foundations for regeneration through self-reliance, and the revolutionary spirit of our people is more vigorous than ever. Of course, we shall still encounter difficulties of one kind or another along our path of socialist revolution and socialist construction. For instance, some areas in our country were hit by drought in 1965, and natural calamities may occur again in the coming years. Take another example. U.S. imperialism is now scheming to spread its war of aggression against Vietnam to China. All such factors must be taken into account in the drawing up of our Third Five-Year Plan.
Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and Chairman Mao Tse-tung, the Chinese people are continuing to develop the revolutionary tradition of thrift and hard work, firmly executing the policy of attaining national prosperity and strength through self-reliance, and striving to fulfil the Third Five-Year Plan. Our people are determined, in a short historical period, to build China into a socialist power with modern agriculture, modern industry, modern defence and modern science and technology. We are convinced that, under the guidance of the brilliant and ever-victorious thought of Mao Tse-tung, we can surely attain our goal whatever happens in the world.
* * *In conclusion, let me take this opportunity to pay high tribute to the Communist Party of Japan and the Japanese people who are engaged in a heroic struggle. May the Communist Party of Japan and the Japanese people win still greater victories in the coming year in their struggle against the U.S. imperialists and the Japanese reactionaries.