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May 13, 1959

From the Meeting of the Delegation of the Party of Labor of Albania with Comrade Mao Zedong on 13 May 1959

This document was made possible with support from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

From the meeting of the delegation of the Party of Labor of Albania with comrade Mao Zedong on 13 May 1959

In addition to comrade Mao Zedong, the following were present at the reception: The General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party comrade Deng Xiaoping; the Secretary of the CC of the CCP comrade Wang Jiaxiang; member of the CC of the CCP and Deputy Director of the [International Liaison Department] comrade Wu Xiuquan.

The reception lasted for one hour and ten minutes. Comrade Mao spoke during the reception:

I welcome you to our country. It is a very good thing that we meet with you today. You are in the West, and we are in the East, and now we are comrades; we have become good friends.

We welcome you warmly. The comrades have reported to me that you have worked well. We greet your country and your party. You are brave and courageous in fighting against [Yugoslav leader Josip Broz] Tito; you are not afraid of Tito.

Comrade Hysni said that our people have a saying: A good hero has many friends.[1] We have good friends and good comrades.

Comrade Mao answered by thanking him and by saying that it is true that we have many friends, some of whom we get to see and some of whom we do not get to see often, but they are nevertheless our friends. The populations of the capitalist and colonial countries are our friends. On the surface, we do not get to see them, but the time will come when we will see them. For example, until 14 July 1958, the Iraqis did not seem to be on our side, but look now how many friends we have in Iraq. A single day—14 July—brought so many friends to us. A very reactionary regime used to rule Lebanon, but now we can call them our friends who nevertheless waver.

We are not alone and we have never been alone.

Comrade Mao asks about when Albania obtained its independence. Comrade Hysni provides him with explanations. Then he asked about the country’s various occupiers, and explanations were provided to him, including about the territorial dismemberment of Albania. Mao then asked how many Albanians are there today outside of the current borders of the country. Explanations were provided to him, including about the Titoite politics against Kosova. He asked about the number of displaced people from Kosova to Turkey and the pretexts employed by the Titoites in carrying out this displacement of Albanians from Kosova. This issue was explained to him in detail, and he listened very attentively. He looked at all the comrades and said: You are young in age but have been at war. He emphasized: War has tempered you and the people who have been tempered by war are most trustworthy. You waged your war, and therefore only you have the right to lead the state, whereas the feudal bourgeoisie has no right to lead and is incapable of doing so.

Approving what comrade Mao says, comrade Hysni also noted that our party is young but that it has raised us, educated us, taught us,[2] and then he spoke very briefly about the results that have been achieved in the socialist construction of our country. He emphasized the great assistance provided to our country by the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, as well as from China, both in terms of material assistance and experience. He emphasized that we learned a lot of valuable things in China.

In answering, comrade Mao said: In terms of the application of our experience, keep in mind your concrete conditions. We also have received and continue to receive great assistance from you—first and foremost, from the Soviet Union, and then, secondly, from the friendly countries of the people’s democracies, including your country. Your strength is great—for example, the struggle waged against Tito which you have carried out very well, without a single compromise, bravely. Some other countries that are close to Yugoslavia have not waged this struggle with such a force. But we must understand some of their internal reasons. For example, East Germany, which was recognized by Yugoslavia a little while ago, has fought against revisionism but not a lot. On the surface, they have fought differently from us, but nevertheless they have fought. In our view, the party of East Germany is a very good party, a Marxist-Leninist one, and they have worked well.

A delegation came to visit us a while ago, and we spoke with them. We are on their side.

Our two people, the Chinese and the Albanians, are closely tied to one another not only because we have people’s governments, enjoy close relations, and have diplomatic relations, but also because we are tied by the Moscow declarations.

Your position is of great importance both from the political and military point of view. You are in the Mediterranean. The countries of the Mediterranean are complicated. France, Italy, Turkey, and Greece (although this last one is a little different) diligently subscribe to imperialist politics. Even [Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel] Nasser has been wavering recently. He is not waging a good fight against imperialism now. He has started to fight against the Soviet Union, against communism, against us. In our time, the bourgeois revolution cannot last for more than ten years. It quickly changes course. This is a historical fact. We have our own example; in 1924, there was cooperation between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang, but after two years, or two and a half (1926-1927) they betrayed [us]. Nasser also cooperated with socialist countries for a period of two years, two and a half years. He also behaved like [Chinese nationalist politician and leader] Chiang Kai-shek. This shows that they are bourgeois. The countries of Asia and Latin America, which used to be colonies or half-colonies, fight against imperialism at first, until they achieve freedom. But after a while, they begin to fight against communism. If there are events that shake up the world and affect them, they get close to us, as with Chiang Kai-shek and the war against Japan. He joined forces with us. If the imperialists take over the Suez Canal again, they will again join us. Therefore, the true and faithful friends are only the proletarians, the workers.                  

We do not expect that bourgeois states be our permanent friends. This is why we say that the communist parties, the workers of various countries, are our friends. The reactionaries in these countries, the bourgeoisie, are our enemies.

The Han reactionaries (Chiang Kai-shek and company) and the Tibet reactionaries are also our enemies.

We are internationalists, not nationalists. We have also fought against the reactionaries of our country like Chiang Kai-shek and company, just as you have faced internal reactionary enemies of this sort, and defeated them.

We are friends of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. This friendship is based on our Marxist-Leninist ideology.

We believe in truth. We do not care about what nationality Marx belonged to; we know that he was a German Jew, but he was different from the Jews of today, and he was the leader of the workers of the entire world. We are communists; we learn from Marxism. I believe in Marx, Engels, and Lenin, although I have never met them. I believe in them because the truth is with them. Perhaps you have met Tito (comrade Hysni confirms) but this does not mean that the people you have met are good people. Tito is an example. I have not met Tito, but I have met [Yugoslav politician Aleksandar] Ranković and [Yugoslav politician Edvard] Kardelj. They are not good people. They are determined Titoite supporters.     

Comrade Hysni spoke briefly about our relations with Yugoslavia, about the hostile activities of the Yugoslav revisionists against our country ever since the wartime, from 1942 until today, about the conspiracies, the sabotage, and the latest trials against Titoite agents.

After comrade Mao listened very attentively to the explanations of comrade Hysni, he said: You have attained victories and successes vis-à-vis your enemies. It is a very good thing that you have uncovered these elements. The traitors are valuable to you. By fighting against these traitors, you grow stronger and smarter. I have spoken with the Hungarian comrades about the events of 1956, which have helped them a lot. The Hungary of today is very different from the previous Hungary. They have waged an internal struggle. This served to educate the Hungarian proletariat very well. By way of these events, the Hungarian party rebuilt the government, the army, and reeducated the masses.

There have also been bad elements in the history of our party, as there have been temporary events that served to strengthen us. In 1957, the biggest event was the anti-rightist struggle, involving some 100,000 rightist elements that surfaced within and outside of the party.[3] There was an internal struggle here also. But they fought with weapons in Hungary, whereas the fighting against the right here was carried out with words. After this struggle, our state and party grew stronger. This is an unavoidable struggle, a good thing. The rightists are rightists and they cannot change. The traitors in Tibet are rightists also, educated by the English and the Indians. They were not on our side from the beginning. But their betrayal is a good thing, because it helped us to accelerate the reforms in Tibet.

Tibet is very large, 1,200,000 square kilometers, but it has a small population. In Tibet, they are Buddhists. But everything must proceed from what is right, and their right is not noble. The people’s masses are slaves. They are good, demand reforms, and they have collaborated with us. They comprise 95 percent of the population, so even in Tibet we are not alone. And even within the five percent, some are closer to us, because there are leftists and moderates even amongst them.                    

At the end, comrade Hysni thanked again the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party for the opportunities given to our delegation so that we learn from the experience of the Chinese Communist Party, and thanked comrade Mao for the valuable conversation with the delegation.              

Comrade Mao asked that his regards be presented to comrade Enver, comrade Mehmet and all the comrade leaders of the Party of Labor of Albania.  

After the conversation, comrade Mao posed for pictures with the delegation of our Party and greeted us all the way to the cars where we departed.

P.S. General Secretary Deng Xiaoping and two other secretaries were present at the airport the following day, in the morning. Deng Xiaoping once again asked specifically that greetings be conveyed to comrade Enver and to comrade Mehmet.


[1] Translator’s note: The original Albanian expression is “Trimi i mirë me shokë shumë.”

[2] Translator’s note: The words “taught us” has been added by hand, whereas the typed word “successfully” has been crossed out.

[3] Translator’s note: The Anti-Rightist Campaign was launched in 1957.

Mao and Kapo discuss Albania's history and its present day struggle with Yugoslavia. Mao reviews the CCP's own history as well as developments in Tibet.

Document Information


Arkivi Qendror Shtetëror (Central State Archives, Tirana, Albania), Fondi 14/AP, Marrëdhëniet me Partinë Komuniste të Kinës, V. 1959, Dos. 5, Fl. 1-6. Contributed and translated by Elidor Mëhilli.


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