Mao Zedong and Nicolae Ceausescu discuss China's international reputation as a dogmatic dictatorship, especially among other Communist countries. They also discuss ping pong and scientific progress, specifically nuclear weapons and space exploration.
June 11, 1971
GDR Embassy in Bucharest, 'Assessment regarding the Visit by the Party and Government Delegation of the RSR under the Leadership of Gen. Ceauşescu to the PR China from June 1 to June 9, 1971'
This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation
Bucharest, June 11, 1971
regarding the visit by the Party and Government delegation of the RSR [Socialist Republic of Romania] under the leadership of Gen. Ceauşescu to the PR China from June 1 to June 9, 1971.
1. Ceauşescu’s visit to the PR China was conducted on the initiative of the leadership of the RCP. The trip was originally envisioned for October of this year in conjunction with Ceauşescu’s visit to Japan. According to information from the local Korean embassy, the DPRK declined connecting the Japan visit with a visit to the DPRK.
2. The visit, which was carried out directly after the XXIV. Party Conference of the CPSU, was aimed at demonstrating before the whole world the independent, nationalist policy of the RCP, which is maneuvering between the great powers. It was also apparently meant to create a counterbalance to the CPSU party conference, which has sustainably strengthened the leading role of the CPSU within the international communist and workers’ movement and which unambiguously spoke out against the course of the Chinese leadership.
Ceauşescu’s visit is anti-Soviet in character and benefits primarily the Chinese leadership ad its great-power-chauvinist policy.
With this visit, the RCP leadership also negated the Marxist-Leninist assessment of the XXIV. Party Conference regarding the international situation, regarding ICWM and regarding the policies of the CCP, as well as acting against the unity of the socialist community of states and the process of further consolidation in the ICWM.
3. The anti-Soviet position of the CCP and of the RCP is expressed multiple times not only in the speeches, but also in the communiques. In underscoring multiple times, the independent policy of the RCP, the building up of socialism by one’s own strength, the struggle for sovereignty and independence from the power of the so-called superpowers, Zhou Enlai strengthened the nationalist position of the RCP and attempted to fix them to further isolation and distancing from the socialist community of states, in particular from the USSR – to an anti-Soviet position.
Although Ceauşescu avoided attacking the Soviet Union directly, he corresponded to this attitude in so far as he reinforced the known position of the RCP, that every communist and workers’ party must set their own strategy and tactic in keeping with national particularities and that there is no warrant for the existence of a center in the ICWM.
4. The repeated confirmation of the correctness of the policies of the Chinese leaders by Ceauşescu goes beyond the heretofore neutral attitude regarding the dispute provoked by the Chinese leaders with the USSR and contributes subjectively and objectively to the strengthening of PR China’s position and compromises the continued process of consolidating the unity and solidarity of the ICWM.
It confirms the assessments of the Warsaw Treaty states that have been repeatedly met, that left-wing and right-wing deviations from Marxism/Leninism converge in anti-Sovietism.
5. The RCP is attempting to intensify relations with the CCP and the PR China in political and economic matters and to support the PR China in international relations as much as possible without coordinating with the other brother parties.
6. With the visit, extensive press coverage and the complete publishing of speeches the Chinese leadership was granted for the first time the opportunity to set forth its anti-Soviet policy and great-power-chauvinism in a socialist country of the Warsaw Pact as well as before the international public sphere on a large scale.
The Romanian side has reinforced the Chinese leaders in the continuation of this policy in which it explicitly underscored that the CCP is conducting a Marxist-Leninist domestic and foreign policy and is providing an essential contribution to strengthening of socialism in the world and of all anti-imperialist forces.
7. The visit does not depict, as the RCP purports, a contribution to general understanding, to the friendship and unity of all socialist countries, but rather is aimed against the unity and solidarity of the Warsaw Pact states and against the consolidation of the ICWM.
The “mediating role” that the RCP envisions for itself [exact phrasing unclear] serves only the nationalist policy of the RSR and is meant to demonstrate the growing role of small and middle-sized states in relation to the great powers.
Proceeding from that, it cannot be excluded that the RSR undertook a certain “mediation” within relations between the PR China and the USA as well the BRD during the visit.
8. The reporting in the Romanian mass media was unusually extensive. The cordial atmosphere, the triumphant reception of Ceauşescu, and the excitement of the Chinese people for the RCP’s policy was emphatically emphasized.
The literal reproduction of all speeches in which was declared over and over that relations between the RSR and PR China rest on the principles of Marxism/Leninism and proletarian internationalism and that phenomenal successes in the construction of socialism and in the struggle for sovereignty and independence have been achieved convey a picture of a far-reaching consensus of views of both parties and governments.
9. In accordance with the whole course of the visit, the communique is also an expression of the CCP’s and the RCP’s anti-Soviet position that is directed against the unity and solidarity of the socialist community as well as the ICWM. In contrast to the clear positions in various speeches, in particular from Zhou Enlai’s speech and Ceauşescu’s at the meeting in Beijing, the position in the communique is simply presented in a blurrier fashion.
It is clearly recognizable that the Chinese side essentially determined the character of the communique without being able to set the Romanian side to open attacks against the Soviet Union. This is particularly expressed in the assessment that “the development of the current international situation is proceeding more to the benefit of the peoples of the world and to the detriment of American imperialism and all reactionaries”, which decisively differs from the assessments of the Moscow consultation of the ICWM.
Ceauşescu’s announcement in his meeting speech in Beijing that not only “identical” but also “converging” opinions be spoken of in the communique was not confirmed.
10. Members of the delegation included:
Gen. Ion Georghe Mauerer, member of the Executive Committee, of the Standing Presidium of the Central Committee of the RCP, Chairman of the Ministerial Committee; Gen. Mansa Manesou, member of the Executive Committee, of the Standing Presidium, Secretary of the Central Committee of the RCP, Deputy Chairman of the State Council; Gen. Dumitru Popa, Member of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the RCP, First Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee of Bucharest; Gen. Ion Iliescu, Deputy Member of the Executive Committee, Secretary of the Central Committee of the RCP; Gen. George Macovesu, Member of the Central Committee of the RCP, First Deputy Foreign Minister; and Gen. Aurel Dumc, Member of the Central Committee of the RCP, Romanian Ambassador to Beijing.
The head of the Chinese delegation and official interlocutor was Zhou Enlai.
Worth noting is that Mao Zedong and Lin Piao only appeared once, namely when Ceauşescu and the members of both delegations were received on the 3rd day of their stay.
The visit was concluded with the signing of a joint communique. An invitation for a visit of a party and government delegation from the PR China to the RSR was expressed.
During the stay in the PR China there was a meeting between Ceauşescu and Norodom Sihanouk, the head of state of Cambodia and Chairman of the United National Front, about which a communique was released.
11. First opinions from the CD regarding Ceauşescu’s visit to the PR China
- The Soviet comrades assess that the visit is renewed evidence for the neutral position of the RCP in the dispute with the revisionist policy of the CCP. In the speeches from both sides, an anti-Soviet position was expressed. The visit and the speeches are directed against the further consolidation of the socialist community of states and the ICWM. It is an open attempt by the Chinese side to discourage the RSR from a further [word unclear] with the USSR. It is not yet foreseeable what further damage or effects this visit will have on the entire ICWM. Similar opinions were also expressed by comrades from the Polish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Czechoslovakian embassies.
- The visit was assessed as unusually valuable for the improvement of the international climate by the embassy committee of the Yugoslavian embassy. Ceauşescu has again shown that also the small and middle-sized states can make an important contribution. The visit will also contribute to an improvement of relations between Yugoslavia and the PR China.
- A Japanese diplomat expressed that the visit was directed against the national interests of Japan. Zhou Enlai’s speech contained insulting statements about Japan. Since Ceauşescu did not contradict them, they will have to consider whether Ceauşescu’s visit in the fall of this year to Japan can still be carried out.
- Belgian and French diplomats expressed that the visit was not only directed against the role and position of the USSR but also against the policy of the USA.
- A diplomat at the American embassy assessed the visit as a great success for the Romanian policy of independence and sovereignty.
It was expressed vis-à-vis a staff member of the Soviet embassy that the positions of the RCP and CCP in their stance regarding the USSR lay very close together.
It was expressed by the Soviet side that some of Ceauşescu’s statements did not please the Americans, but the essential thing for the USA is that the contrasts between the PR China/RSR and the Soviet Union be deepened further.
- Dr. Hoffman –
1. Ex. MfAA. Gen Fischer.
2. Ex. MfAA. Dept. SOE.
3. Ex. MfAA. Dept. ZID.
4. Ex. Central Committee SED, Dept. Int’l Associations.
5. Ex. Embassy, Political Division.
This document examines the visit of the general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, Nicolae Ceauşescu, to China. This visit is seen by East Germany as evidence of anti-Soviet sentiments. The Romanian endorsement of Chinese politics is strongly criticized, as it is seen to strengthen China's position and to weaken the cohesion of the Warsaw Pact. Ceauşescu's visit to China is said to have met with a positive response in the US.
Associated People & Organizations
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].