CPI(M) CC Delegation’s Visit to China – IV

Sitaram Yechury

During the course of discussions with the leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC), their assessment regard¬ing the present international situation and the international Communist movement alongwith many ideolog¬ical issues figured.

The Chinese leaders emphasised that while one arm of the present developmental process in China is that of economic reform and opening up to the outside world, the other arm, was the firm adherence to the four cardinal principles (adherance to the socialist road; Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong thought; people’s democratic dicta¬torship; and the leadership of the Communist Party) and the strengthening of socialism with Chinese characteris¬tics.

A series of public campaigns are conducted by the CPC on these issues and a vast network of party schools contin¬uously train and re-train Party members on ideological matters. Our delegation had the opportunity to visit the party school at the Yunnan province. The school was established in 1950. In 1991, the school was given the status of an administrative college with the authority to issue formal recognised degrees and diplomas. It, therefore, combines both the tasks of imparting ideolog¬ical training to party members as well as functioning like a normal educational institution awarding degrees. It has 457 faculty members, of whom 368 are party mem¬bers.

One important activity of this school is to conduct study and research in Marxism-Leninism and Deng Xioping theory. Apart from research scholars, party cadres are regularly sent by the lower committees for training. There are three types of training that are given. One is a short duration ten-day course. The second is a six-month regular course. And, the third is an oppor¬tunity for party cadres to improve their educational level through regular classes or through correspondence courses. Over the last twenty years, the school has trained more than one lakh students. The school con¬ducts various courses in revolutionary theory and phi¬losophy and also on party building and party history. The faculty informed us that they follow the method of criticism and self-criticism and study theory by inte¬grating the subjective with the objective.

We were informed that similar schools exist in all the provinces apart from Central Committee school in Beij¬ing. Even some lower level committees have such schools in larger provinces.

The courses in such schools are continuously updated with the party’s current assessment of the international and domestic situation and the main tasks worked out by Central and provincial committees.

Explaining their assessment of the international situa¬tion, the CPC leaders told our delegation that peace and development will remain the main themes of the twenty first century. They were optimistic that the twenty first century will offer more opportunities than chal¬lenges for the struggle towards socialism. The circum¬stances also, they think, will be more favourable than unfavourable, hence the opportunities should be seized to counter the challenges.

According to them, there are certain important features of the present international situation that need atten¬tion. The first is the global tendency that is propel¬ling the world to move towards multi-polarity. While on the one hand, such a development, after the bipolar Cold War period has ended, is conducive, on the other, United States of America is seeking to act as the only super power. Its vision of a “new world order” is leading to increased efforts to impose its hegemony and power politics in the world. Basing themselves on more than 3 per cent economic growth continuously for the last 96 months and seeing no challenge after the collapse of the USSR, USA is assuming the role of world policeman. Its arrogance in Kosovo (note: much of these discussions took place at the end of March and beginning of April, 1999), its efforts to bypass the United Nations and to expand NATO are all indications of its power politics. According to them, USA seeks to encircle remaining socialist bases like China. They informed us that the CPC is alert about such designs.

The second feature is regarding the true nature of economic globalisation. This, according to them, is becoming clearer with the potential to cause severe economic damage, virtually overnight, like it happened in South East Asia. Initiatives for globalisation remain in US hands and they seek to replace the notori¬ous gunboat diplomacy by financial methods. This poses serious threats to sovereignty and economic security of third world countries. On the other hand, globalisation also offers possibilities for expanding economic activi¬ty and, hence, achieving development. China, they informed us, is prepared to face this dual nature of globalisation.

The third feature is the attempt by developed capitalist countries to consolidate their position and grip over the world economy. These countries are currently going through a new phase of adjustments and reforms to achieve these objectives. The European Union, the free trade zones, are reflection of such efforts. Europe and the USA are acting in tandem in this regard.

Finally, the CPC leaders said that though the Cold War has ended, Cold War mentality exists as evidenced by the spate of military interventions, mainly by the USA. These should be seen alongwith the efforts of USA to hijack United Nations as a cover for its operations.

International Communist Movement

The most difficult period for the international Commun¬ist movement, according to the CPC leaders, is over. The collapse of socialism in the USSR and Eastern Europe was and will remain a major setback. According to them, it is inevitable that socialism will eventually replace capitalism. But the process will be long and protracted mixed with success and failure. The CPC regards Marxism as a science with unlimited vitality and should there¬fore develop according to the changing situation adher¬ing to the basic principles, its revolutionary essence and substance. While the content of socialism will, in essence, be the same in all the countries, the pattern can be of difficult forms. Experience has shown that the Soviet pattern is not the only one. Every Communist Party has to explore suitable forms according to their concrete conditions. In this regard, they feel, there is a need for increased interaction between Communist Parties on the basis of equality.

The Chinese leadership also emphasised that a correct assessment of the present-day world capitalist develop¬ment must be undertaken. A sober understanding of its long term processes and vitality must be made. They informed us that the Central Committee of the CPC was seriously undertaking the task of equipping all party committees and leading cadres with proper understanding of the present day world developments.

In sum, our delegation’s visit to China was an experi¬ence which helped us gather more information regarding how China is making stupendous strides of economic development while at the same time conscious of the problems of growth of tendencies alien to socialism. The CPC leadership repeatedly emphasised that they are combating such trends and shall preserve and strengthen the socialist character of China.

The visit has resulted in a better understanding of current developments in china and the discussions reinforced the mutual desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two giant Asian neigh¬bours.