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March 10, 1980

Evaluation of Chinese Policies toward Eastern Europe by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation


March 3, 1980
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As can be drawn from existing information, which has been confirmed through discussions with ambassadors of socialist countries as well as through statements of other diplomatic representatives, Beijing’s policy vis-à-vis the socialist countries has become noticeably active recently. In light of the fact that imperialist circles in the USA have set course for an intensification of the international situation, the Chinese leadership, which is pursuing a path of further playing along with imperialism, has strengthened its efforts aimed at undermining the positions of the socialist community. Beijing’s goals are becoming sufficiently, clearly apparent and are as before directed at demolishing the unity and determination of the brother countries, causing friction between them, setting them against the Soviet Union, disturbing the certainty of the actions of the socialist countries, including also on the China question, and finally attempting to bring them under Beijing’s influence. 

In the context of differentiated approaches, the Chinese leadership is attempting to divide the socialist countries into different groups. Based on discussions with ambassadors in Moscow and Berlin, it is clear that China is developing far-reaching relations with such countries as Romania, Yugoslavia and the DPRK and supports the nationalist tendencies in their politics with all conceivable measures in hopes of building a sort of grouping and being able to set these countries against the socialist community. The hostile character of Chinese policy has been reinforced vis-à-vis other socialist countries, of which unrelenting attacks and pressure on SRV, on Cuba, on LPDR and on the MPR are evidence, among others. In China’s attitude toward PR Bulgaria, the HPR, the PR Poland and the CSSR, a two-faced tactic of linking pressure and promises is practiced: on the one hand, rude interventions into their internal affairs and an open ignoring of their interests continue, and on the other hand, the readiness to develop relations on a mutually beneficial basis is assured. Beijing speculates that it can push the aforementioned countries to positions of “neutrality” vis-à-vis its course, if not achieve still more. 

The Chinese leadership makes use of far-reaching measures of demagoguery and deception. In discussions with diplomats of socialist countries in Berlin, Chinese representatives assert that China’s struggle against the USSR need not worry the other socialist countries, that the development of relations between the PR China and these countries could even foster the improvement of Soviet-Chinese relations, that the expansion of relations between these countries and China corresponds to their national interests and could bring them great advantages in trade matters, among others. 

Beijing’s attempts to invade various aspects of life and activity of the socialist community have perceptibly increased. Chinese representatives are striving to activate their connections to official institutions and agencies, societal organizations, educational facilities, organs of the press and mass media, they make contacts with all kinds of social strata, above all with the intelligentsia and youth, send out invitations to various events in the embassies of PR China on a large scale. Information about the inner life of the country of residence, about decisions made by organs of the party and state, about the economic situation and about military capability, about armed forces and armaments is collected. Under the cover of “study from experience” attempts are made to send Chinese delegations to and to receive delegations in PR China from many a socialist country. In this way, for example, the Chinese side expressed the wish to use the insights collected about the organization of the national economies of Hungary, the GDR, and Bulgaria.  

There are indications that the Chinese could agree to review their position vis-à-vis the governing parties of some socialist countries and to establish party contacts with them. Party relations are developing already with Yugoslavia and Romania; for the first time in years, a Chinese party delegation traveled to take part in the RCP’s party conference. The Chinese leadership, which according to its nature denies the universal legitimacy of the development of revolutionary processes and of the socialist economic development in this or any country, resorts anew to the concept of the “national model” of socialism and raised the Yugoslavian model as a leader, for example. 

Beijing’s subversive activity nevertheless has a negative effect on particular socialist countries, even if in a limited fashion. As it appears, one portion of the functionaries do not always recognize the meaning of the Chinese tactic and in many cases do not rebuff Beijing’s hegemonic policy effectively. What is more: facts prove that responsible representatives of particular brother countries are striving with regards to the official position of their parties to unhinge many import lines of their relations with China from the scope of multilateral coordination and that, in particular cases, steps toward the expansion of relations with PR China have been undertaken without considering the state of relations between China and other countries. 

By all appearances, the Chinese tactic of a differentiated approach, of speculating on this or any other nuance and change in the domestic political and economic situation of particular socialist countries will not only be continued through all sorts of occasional difficulties but could also be further expanded in the near future. It may be assumed that the Chinese attempts to infiltrate the various aspects of life in socialist countries will be intensified further in the future. 

Under these circumstances an important task consists of counteracting the subversive activity of Beijing in the socialist countries effectively and systematically and thwarting its objectives of rattling the unity of the socialist countries and influencing their attitudes. This depends on allowing the reinforced attempts by Chinese representatives to infiltrate the various areas of life in socialist countries to fail. Using the example of Beijing’s latest maneuver, work should be constantly done to explain the dangerousness of the Chinese tactics of varied approaches and of the attempts to infiltrate the socialist countries. This danger increases in the context of the fact that the undermining tactics of Chinese representatives is ever closer coordinated with imperialist circles, above all the United States, and their secret services. 

The dishonest nature of the Chinese assertions must be unmasked. China is “worried” about improving relations with socialist countries, is concerned about their interests and even their security. In reality, the Chinese policy is fully and entirely directed against the socialist countries and against their security, especially when one considers the constant calls to the USA, Japan and western European countries to build a “broad international front” with China, the drive by the NATO countries for enhanced armaments, among others with missiles and atomic weapons. Beijing argues in favor of economic integration and the military-political consolidation of the West and attempts simultaneously and increasingly to undermine the positions of the Warsaw Pact organization and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. 

One must also consider that, as the facts prove, the changes occurring in China’s domestic politics, including the rehabilitation of Liu Shaoqi at the 10th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the restaffing of the highest offices with experienced political functionaries that were victims of the “Cultural Revolution,” do not mean a renunciation of China’s hostile policy vis-à-vis the socialist countries. In contrast, it can be expected that this policy will be pursued in a more nuanced manner. 

The dangerous character of the Chinese leadership’s course aimed at undermining the unity of the socialist countries and its hypocritical attempts to separate relations between the socialist countries and China from the Soviet-Chinese relations should wake people from illusions regarding their intentions on that front, where the carrying out of Soviet-Chinese negotiations is also used for this purpose. 

As the results of the Moscow round of the Soviet-Chinese negations show, about which the leadership of the brother countries have also been informed, the Chinese leadership does not have the intention, at least currently, of achieving real agreements regarding the normalization of relations between the USSR and PR China. For this reason, they present blatantly unacceptable preconditions and reject the constructive suggestions made by the Soviet side, which are directed at the development of the principles of relations between the two countries and their political-judicial foundation. As regards to the second round of negotiations, it is currently difficult to say anything since declarations about the “inappropriateness” of their implementation currently appear in the Chinese press. Recent events prove the escalation of Beijing’s hostilities vis-à-vis the Soviet Union. 

In light of the hostile character of China’s policy vis-à-vis the socialist countries and its increasing aggressiveness, it is still more urgently necessary to approach the development of economic relations and scientific-technological cooperation with the PR China in a deliberate and level-headed fashion, in particular in areas that are meaningful for the for the enhancement of its military-industrial potential. Beijing’s attempts to take for itself particular socialist countries through auspicious perspectives for cooperation in the realm of trade and the economy lack any real basis and only present a tactical maneuver to influence these countries. Currently, Beijing regards orienting itself towards the West and not towards the development of trade and economic relations with the countries of the socialist community as more advantageous. 

The Chinese are ready for arbitrary promises; however, as experiences show, including the much-touted experiences of relations with Romania and Yugoslavia, they are not in possession of the currency and material resources to uphold these promises. For example, as the Yugoslavian ambassador expressed in a conversation with me, only a fourth of the planned exchange of goods with the SFRY was realized in 1979. China is not only an unreliable partner, but also misuses trade and economic relations frequently as leverage against socialist countries (SRR, MVR, Albania) and refuses to fulfill the assumed commitments out of purely political grounds. 

It is important to continue consistently the constant and comprehensive coordination of our approach against the Beijing and its attempts to shake the unity of the socialist countries through a sophisticated approach. Under the current conditions, since the Chinese leadership has reinforced their subversive activity within the states of the socialist community, a strict adherence to the criteria for approaching matters of bilateral relations between socialist countries and PR China, which were worked out at meetings of the departments for international liaisons of the brother parties’ Central Committees, acquires still greater meaning. This implies that Beijing’s closer relations with the USA (as in particular their actions in Indochina and Afghanistan attest) will take ever more dangerous forms and is directed against the interests of peace and the process of détente. In the situation that has arisen, decisive resistance to the increasing attacks on the socialist community of nations from imperialists, reactionaries and Chinese hegemony is increasingly current. 

A watchful manner is necessary regarding Beijing’s and its representatives’ behavior in socialist countries, vis-à-vis its attempts to infiltrate various aspects of domestic life in these countries and to expand its influence on various strata of the population, in particular on the youth and a certain part of the technical, scientific, and artistic intelligentsia. It is important not to loosen surveillance of the contacts of Chinese representatives and to regulate their visits to various organizations, agencies, research and academic institutions, as well as limiting visits to events in Chinese embassies. 


P.A. Abrasimov
Number 104/4 – Inf. 
March 6, 1980


This document addresses China's alleged bid to undermine the unity of the Socialist countries while maintaining special relations with Romania, Yugoslavia, and North Korea. Chinese foreign policy is seen as interfering in the domestic affairs of the Socialist states. By maintaining contacts with Western countries and by encouraging further armament of NATO, China is undermining the position of the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet evaluation assesses China as an unreliable partner in international relations and advises that all contacts of the Chinese government with foreign organizations or authorities be closely monitored.

Document Information


Included in the document reader for the international conference "China and the Warsaw Pact in the 1970-1980s" held by CWHIP and the Parallel History Project March 2004 in Beijing. Translated by Samuel Denney.


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Leon Levy Foundation and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars