Sino-Soviet Split Document Archive
Source: Letter of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China in reply to the letter of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union dated July 30, 1964. Peking: Foreign
Languages Press, 1964; pages 9-15.
OCR and HTML: Juan Fajardo, for marxists.org, July 2020.
To the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China
The Central Committee of the CPSU has sent to all the fraternal Parties its letter of June 15 addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The letter sets our positions on the basic questions connected with the existing differences in the international communist movement, and also advances concrete proposals on measures for strengthening its unity.
Up to the present, an absolute majority of the fraternal Parties have spoken out in favour of the necessity for collective action to overcome the difficulties which have sprung up in our ranks. They advocate the holding of a new international meeting of representatives of the Communist and Workers’ Parties, and, moreover, many Parties insist that the convening of the meeting must not be postponed for a long time.
The Central Committee of the CPSU sees in this position taken by the fraternal Parties new evidence of their great concern for the fate of the communist movement and of their awareness of the high responsibility which the current situation imposes on Communists.
Marxist-Leninists cannot shut their eyes to the fact that the differences which sprang up in our ranks four years ago not only have not lost their acuteness but are becoming more and more serious. Ideological differences have grown into open conflict which can lead to a split in the international communist movement if measures are not taken. All this is rather adversely affecting the activities of the Communist Parties, especially those in the capitalist countries, doing harm to the entire world communist movement and undermining the unity of the world socialist system, and it may weaken the attractive force of the ideas of socialism.
More and more facts show that our class enemy is reckoning on making every possible use of the discord in the ranks of the Communists. Imperialist reaction, especially in the U.S.A., is stepping up its activities, striving to strengthen its positions and launch an offensive against the workers’ movement, the national liberation movement and the democratic movement, trying to undermine the unity of the socialist countries and intensifying the threat of war.
No genuinely Marxist-Leninist Party can remain indifferent in the face of such developments. No one else can solve the problems confronting the communist movement on behalf of us Communists. No one Party alone is able to undertake the solution of the problems affecting the interests and fate of the whole movement. Here common collective efforts are essential by all the fraternal Parties and all Marxist-Leninists. The fraternal Parties have come precisely to these conclusions, in persistently advocating the organization of a new international meeting as the tested method for overcoming differences and working out common positions.
As is known, at the 1957 meeting the fraternal Parties unanimously adopted the following decision: “Entrust the Communist Party of the Soviet Union with the function of convening Meetings of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in consultation with the fraternal Parties.”
Up to the present, necessary consultations have been held, the question of convening an international meeting of the Communist Parties has been discussed in a sufficiently detailed and thorough way, and the positions of all the Communist Parties have become manifest. The job now is to shift the solution of the problem to a practical basis. Taking into consideration the clearly expressed will of the absolute majority of the fraternal Parties, the CC of the CPSU considers that the time is ripe to begin preparatory work for the convening of an international meeting. We hold that, already this year, a drafting committee should be convened. In so far as it has already become clear in the process of preliminary exchange of views that the question of the composition of the drafting committee could become a new obstacle to its convening, we regard as the only reasonable way out the convening of the drafting committee with the same composition with which it worked during the preparations for the 1960 meeting, that is, comprising the representatives of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the following twenty-six countries: Australia, Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Hungary, Viet Nam, the German Democratic Republic, West Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, the PRC, Korea, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Rumania, the USA, Syria, the USSR, Finland, France, Czechoslovakia and Japan.
The CC of the CPSU invites the representatives of the fraternal Parties listed above to come to Moscow by December 15, 1964, so as to start on the practical work of preparation for an international meeting.
Undoubtedly, it would conform to the common wish if the committee could start working with its full membership from the beginning. However, in our opinion, the committee should also begin its work in the case that any of the twenty-six Communist Parties fails to send its representatives by the appointed time.
In accordance with the experience of past meetings, the drafting committee will prepare drafts of the principal documents to be submitted to the international meeting for discussion. The committee could discuss the whole range of questions concerning the holding of the international meeting and put forward its proposals on them. The drafting committee should send its proposals and recommendations on all these questions to all the fraternal Parties.
The CC of the CPSU expresses the conviction that, despite the complicated situation in the communist movement, there is every ground for the drafting committee to cope with its task successfully. After the committee has accomplished the necessary preparatory work, the international meeting should be convened at the time set by the committee.
On the aims and perspectives of the meeting, the CC of the CPSU has stated its views in its letter of June 15. We want to stress once again that for us the question of the meeting is inseparably linked up with the problem of preserving and strengthening the unity of the world communist movement. The meeting will be called not to condemn anybody, to “excommunicate” anybody from the communist movement and the socialist camp, to attach insulting labels, or to throw irresponsible charges at each other — this would lead only to further divisions, and not to the strengthening of unity. We consider that the meeting should concentrate its efforts on finding out the things in common which unite all the fraternal Parties, and on seeking ways to overcome the existing differences.
In the opinion of the CC of the CPSU, each fraternal Party could state its viewpoint at the meeting in a frank and matter-of-fact way, so that its viewpoint can be considered in working out the common line and joint decisions, and it should also listen to the opinions of other Parties.
Apparently, the starting point of the work of the new meeting will be the decisions of the previous meetings — the Declaration of 1957 and the Statement of 1960 in which the general line of the world communist movement was laid down. At the same time, reaffirming the principles of the Declaration and the Statement, the new meeting might sum up the past stage, exchange experiences, go over the whole complex of problems confronting world communism, and, in accordance with the shifts that have taken place in the international situation, enrich and develop the ideas of the Declaration and the Statement and creatively consider and solve new problems. Collectively to analyse the new economic and sociopolitical phenomena and processes which have occurred in the past four years since the last international meeting, to coordinate appraisals and positions and to enrich and concretize the common political line accordingly'— this, in our opinion, is the most important task of the new international meeting.
Like other fraternal Parties, the CPSU fully realizes that the holding of the meeting in a situation in which there are acute differences is a difficult and complicated matter. It is possible that in the course of the meeting unanimity may not be reached on all questions at once, however hard all the consistent supporters of unity may strive to do so. Nevertheless, we are deeply convinced that this, too, would not mean the “formalization” of the split or the creation of obstacles to the further seeking of ways to unity. In that case, it should be possible to try to reach agreement that the participants of the meeting should undertake the obligation to take account of the opinions of all the fraternal Parties, conscientiously co-operate in those fields in which common positions and interests are found, and refrain in the future from any actions which aggravate the difficulties and only gladden the class enemies.
We hope that all the fraternal Parties will consider these proposals with due attention, make use of the time before the convening of the meeting to make a profound study of the situation that has arisen in the communist movement and make constructive contributions to the discussion and the search for ways to overcome the difficulties.
It is our deep conviction that there are no insurmountable obstacles to the international meeting starting its work as soon as drafts of documents are prepared by the drafting committee — about the middle of 1965. The representatives of all the eighty-one Parties which participated in the meeting of 1960 may take part in the international meeting. The refusal of this or that Party to join in this collective work cannot serve as a ground for further delays in carrying out measures for which the time has matured with the aim of working out ways and means of strengthening the international unity of the Marxist-Leninists of the whole world.
Being convinced that the above proposals conform to the highest interests of world communism and to the interests of strengthening the solidarity of all the progressive and revolutionary forces of our times, and that these proposals express the will of the absolute majority of the Marxist-Leninist Parties, the CC of the CPSU expects that the proposed measures will be carried out in good time and be crowned with success.
In order to enable us to keep all the fraternal Parties informed of the preparatory work for the meeting, we request you to communicate to us the composition of your delegation to take part in the work of the drafting committee.
With Communist greetings,
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
July 30, 1964