The Great Debate between Revolutionary China and the Revisionist Soviet Union

Mao Tse-tung and Enver Hoxha

Mao Tse-tung and Enver Hoxha

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The Great Debate between Revolutionary China and the Revisionist Soviet Union

In just under three years after the death of Joseph Stalin (in March 1953) the Soviet Revisionists, under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, had enough confidence in their strength to be able to denounce Stalin (but basically all the revolutionary developments in Soviet society since the October Revolution of 1917) at a closed session of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union held in February 1956.

The calculated manner in which this denunciation was planned caused confusion in the International Communist Movement (obviously the aim) and allowed those cowards and social democrats who had been allowed to wheedle themselves into Communist Parties throughout the world to throw their hands up in horror and create even more confusion – with the result that the movement was weakened worldwide.

Khrushchev’s speech was just the start of the attack upon revolutionary Socialism, Marxism-Leninism and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The lack lustre defence of those principles by the majority of the Communist and Workers Parties throughout the world (or at least in the majority of their leadership and a not inconsiderable number of the members) only served to encourage the Soviet revisionists to go further in their destruction of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in the first workers and peasants socialist state. One of the victims of that development was Khrushchev himself who was thrown out when he had done what was needed at the time. He quickly reached his sell by date.

Only two parties in the position of holding state power were united on the struggle against the revisionists – the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania. Below are pamphlets produced by the Chinese Party which record what was to become known as the ‘International Polemic’ – an ideological battle between revolutionaries and revisionists which pleased capitalism and imperialism but which, ultimately, made revolutionary forces throughout the world stronger in that the issues of what separated revolutionaries from the rest were clearly delineated.

In China this ideological struggle was further developed during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 – initiated by Chairman Mao Tse-tung as the only opportunity for the workers and peasants to remain in control of the society they had been building since 1949. This debate was also carried on in the pages of the magazines produced at the time, principally the weekly political and informative magazine Peking Review but also in China Reconstructs and China Pictorial.

The standpoint of the Party of Labour of Albania can be read in the many documents they produced from the 1950s onwards (into the 1980s) as well as the pages of the monthly, theoretical magazine Albania Today and the writings of the Albanian leader, Enver Hoxha.

Prelude

More on the Historical Experience of the Proletarian Dictatorship, a summary of a discussion at an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China focusing on the question of Stalin, which appeared in Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] on December 29, 1956. (London: CPGB, 1957), 32 pages.

Collections of Early Documents

In Refutation of Modern Revisionism, 7 major editorials and articles from May-June 1958. (Peking: FLP, 1958), 102 pages. Consists of the following documents:

  • Resolution on the Moscow Meetings of Representatives of Communist and Workers’ Parties, adopted May 23, 1958 by the 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CCP.
  • Modern Revisionism Must Be Repudiated, Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] editorial of May 5, 1958.
  • Modern Revisionism Must Be Fought To The End, Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] editorial of June 4, 1958.
  • Yugoslav Revisionism — Product of Imperialist Policy, by Chen Po-ta, Hongqi [Red Flag], June 1, 1958 issue.
  • Yugoslav Revisionism Is Just What U.S. Imperialism Needs, by Kang Sheng, Renmin Ribao, June 14, 1958. In Refutation of Modern Revisionism’s Reactionary Theory of the State, by Wang Chia-hsiang, Hongqi, June 16, 1958 issue.
  • The More They Try to Hide, the More They are Exposed — On Tito’s Speech of June 15, by Renmin Ribao Commentator, June 26, 1958.

Whence the Differences? a large book containing most of the early English language articles and pamphlets in the condemnation of revisionism that were published in China. [This new title is on the photographic reprint of the volume done by New Era publishers in Bath, England around 1970. The original edition published in China is entitled Workers of All Countries, Unite, Oppose Our Common Enemy! (Peking: FLP, 1963)], 402 pages. Consists of the following documents:

Workers of All Countries, Unite, Oppose our Common Enemy!, Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] editorial, Dec. 15, 1962.

The Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us, Renmin Ribao editorial, Dec. 31, 1962. Leninism and Modern Revisionism, Hongqi [Red Flag] editorial, No. 1, 1963.

Let Us Unite on the Basis of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement, Renmin Ribao editorial, Jan. 27, 1963.

Whence the Differences? — A Reply to Thorez and Other Comrades, Renmin Ribao editorial, Feb. 27, 1963.

More on the Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us, by the editorial department of Hongqi, Nos. 3-4, 1963.

  • I. Introduction
  • II. The nature of the present great debate among communists
  • III. Contradictions in the contemporary world
  • IV. War and peace
  • V. The state and revolution
  • VI. Despise the enemy strategically, take him seriously tactically
  • VII. A struggle on two fronts
  • VIII. Workers of all countries, unite!

A Comment on the Statement of the Communist Party of the U.S.A., Renmin Ribao editorial, March 8, 1963.

A Mirror for Revisionists, Renmin Ribao editorial, March 9, 1963.

Individual Early Pamphlets

Long Live Leninism, (Peking: FLP, 1960) Consists of three parts:

  • Long Live Leninism!, by the Editorial Department of Hongqi.
  • Forward Along the Path of the Great Lenin!, by the Editorial Department of Renmin Ribao.
  • Unite Under Lenin’s Revolutionary Banner, by Lu Ting-yi. 58 pages

The Struggle Between Two Lines at the Moscow World Congress of Women, six statements, articles and reports. (Peking: FLP, 1963), 70 pages. [Our apologies for the darkened paper in the copy scanned, though it is still quite legible.]

The Truth About How the Leaders of the CPSU have Allied Themselves with India against China, by the Editorial Department of Renimin Ribao [People’s Daily], Nov. 2, 1963, and including an article reprinted from Pravda as an appendix. (Peking: FLP, 1963), 60 pages.

Formal Inter-Party Letters

A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement: The 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 of March 30, 1963, June 14, 1963, (Peking: FLP, 1963), 124 pages. Includes as appendices 3 letters from the the CC of the CPSU (Feb. 21, 1963; March 9, 1963; and March 30, 1963). This is one of the most important and most famous documents in the entire history of the world Communist movement.

Seven Letters Exchanged Between the Central Committees of the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, (Peking: FLP, 1964), 84 pages. Includes 4 letters from the CC of the CCP in 1964 (Feb. 20; Feb. 27; Feb. 29; and May 7) and 3 letters from the CC of the CPSU (Nov. 29, 1963; Feb. 22, 1964; and March 7, 1964).

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 June 15, 1964, July 28, 1964, (Peking: FLP, 1964), 60 pages. (Includes the CPSU letter being responded to.)

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, August 30, 1964, (Peking: FLP, 1964), 24 pages. (Includes the CPSU letter being responded to.)

Letter of Reply Dated March 22, 1966 of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, (Peking: FLP, 1966), 16 pages. (Includes the CPSU letter of Feb. 24, 1966 being responded to.)

The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement

The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement published in Peking by the Foreign Languages Press in 1965, 604 pages.

Individual articles in this collection, most of which are Comments on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and are jointly written by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi, are also available here in individual pamphlet form:

Other Pamphlets from the Great Debate

A Comment on the March Moscow Meeting, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi, March 23, 1965, 42 pages.

A Great Victory for Leninism – In Commemoration of the 95th Anniversary of the Birth of Lenin, Hongqi [Red Flag] editorial, #4, 1965. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 19 pages.

Carry the Struggle Against Khrushchov Revisionism Through to the End – On the Occasion of the Second Anniversary of the Publication of ‘A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement’, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi [Red Flag], June 14, 1965, 24 pages. [Our apologies; we were unable to remove part of the underlining in this pamphlet.]

Refutation of the New Leaders of the CPSU on ‘United Action’, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi, Nov. 11, 1965, 44 pages.

The Leaders of the CPSU are Betrayers of the Declaration and Statement, by the editorial department of Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily], Dec. 20, 1965, 16 pages.

Confessions Concerning the Line of Soviet-U.S. Collaboration Pursued by the New Leaders of the CPSU, by Commentator in Hongqi [Red Flag], Feb. 11, 1966, (Peking: FLP, 1966), 24 pages.

Some Questions Concerning Modern Revisionist Literature in the Soviet Union, by Hsiang Hung and Wei Ning. Also includes Selected Statements by Sholokhov, the Renegade Author, compiled by Chang Chun, and The True Features of the Renegade Sholokhov, by Tsai Hui. (Peking: FLP, 1966), 72 pages.

Smash the Big U.S.-Soviet Conspiracy! by Observer of Renmin Ribao, Feb. 20, 1967, about collusion and joint attempts by the U.S. and the Soviet Union to end the revolutionary war in south Vietnam. (Peking: FLP, 1967), 22 pages.

Advance Along the Road Opened Up by the October Socialist Revolution: In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jiefangjun Bao [Liberation Army Daily], Nov. 6, 1967, 40 pages. Includes also Comrade Lin Piao’s Speech at the Peking Rally Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Nov. 6, 1967.

How the Soviet Revisionists Carry Out All-Round Restoration of Capitalism in the U.S.S.R., reference material from articles in Renmin Ribao and from Hsinhua News Agency, (Peking: FLP, 1968), 88 pages.

Total Bankruptcy of Soviet Modern Revisionism, six articles including two speeches by Chou En-lai, August-September 1968. (Peking: FLP, 1968), 92 pages.

Ugly Performance of Self-Exposure, by Chung Jen, originally published in Chinese in Renmin Ribao, August 14, 1969. (Peking: FLP, 1969), 24 pages.

An Outspoken Revelation, Hsinhua News Agency, April 16, 1970 dispatch. (Peking: FLP, 1970),  22 pages.

Leninism or Social-Imperialism? – In Commemoration of the Centenary of the Birth of the Great Lenin, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jiefangjun Bao, April 22, 1970, 78 pages.

Cheap Propaganda, 5 commentaries by Hsinhua Correspondent about hypocritical calls by the Soviet Union for disarmament, August-December 1973, 40 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1974)

Ghost of Confucius, Fond Dream of the New Tsars, 3 commentaries by mass criticism groups and by a Hsinhua correspondent. (Peking: FLP, 1974), 49 pages.

Ugly Features of Soviet Social-Imperialism, a collection of articles from 1973-1975 exposing the Soviet Union as an imperialist power and international exploiter. (Peking: FLP, 1976), 96 pages. Includes:

  • The Superpower Label for Soviet Revisionism Cannot be Removed, by Fan Hsiao
  • The Brezhnev Clique is Following in Hitler’s Footsteps, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
  • A Black Line Running Through Two Dynasties — on the new tsars justifying old tsars’ aggression and expansion, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
  • Soviet Union — Superpower and Super-Exploiter, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
  • C.M.E.A. — Soviet Revisionism’s Instrument for Neo-Colonialism, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
  • Sinister Programme of Neo-Colonialism — Soviet revisionists’ vicious motives in peddling theory of ‘international division of labour’ in Third World, by Chai Chang
  • Honey on Lips, Murder in Heart — Social-imperialist nature of Soviet revisionists’ ‘military aid’ to Egypt exposed, by Fan Hsiu-chu and Chung Tung
  • Where is the ‘Dawn of Peace and Co-operation’?, by Mei Ou
  • Warsaw Treaty Organization — Soviet Social-Imperialism’s Tool for Aggression, by Ming Sung
  • Essence of Soviet Revisionists’ ‘All-Europe Economic Co-operation’, by Cheng Wei-min
  • Outright Deceit, Ulterior Motives — On Soviet revisionists peddling ‘Asian collective security system’ in Southeast Asia, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
  • Repulse Wolf at Front Gate, Guard Against Tiger at Back Door, by Jen Ku-ping

Social Imperialism: The Soviet Union Today, a collection of articles from Peking Review from 1975-1976, 148 pages. (Berkeley: Yenan Books, 1977).

The Soviet Union Under the New Tsars, by Wei Chi, 100 pages.

Documents from Parties and Individuals in Other Countries Critising Soviet Revisionism (Published in China)

Raise Higher the Revolutionary Banner of Marxism-Leninism, 3 articles by the Korean People’s Worker’s Party from 1962 and 1963 opposing revisionism, 44 pages. [Note: Our apologies for the condition of the pamphlet we scanned, which was literally falling apart. We scanned it in color to increase the contrast of the black print with the yellowed pages.] (Peking: FLP, 1963)

Certain International Questions Affecting Malaya, from the Malayan Monitor, Jan. 31, 1963. (Peking: FLP, 1963), 24 pages.

Reply to Khrushchov – Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil, including the abridged text of the resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil of July 27, 1963, and also the article The Great Theory of Marxism-Leninism is Bound to Triumph on Our Continent, by José Duarte, originally from the Brazilian journal A Classe Operária, Aug. 16-31, 1963. (Peking: FLP, 1964), 32 pages.

Statement of Ten Central Committee Members of the Ceylon Communist Party, October 27, 1963. Also includes To All Marxist-Leninists Inside the Ceylon Communist Party (Nov. 17, 1963). (Peking: FLP, 1964), 44 pages.

‘Theory’ and Practice of the Modern Revisionists, by Jacques Grippa, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belgium, a speech delivered at the Higher Party School fo the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on June 10, 1964. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 60 pages. [Note: Although Grippa initially supported China during the Sino-Soviet Split, he then began to oppose China during the GPCR, and in 1968 actually gave a speech in support of Liu Shaoqi!]

Malayan People’s Experience Refutes Revisionist Fallacies – Sixteenth Anniversary of the Malayan People’s Armed Struggle, June 30, 1964, 24 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1965)

On the Intrinsic Nature of N.S. Khrushchov’s Peaceful Co-Existence Line, an article by Observer in Akahata, organ of the Communist Party of Japan, Nov. 22, 1964. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 62 pages.

On Interventions in and Subversive Activities Against the Democratic Movements of Our Country and Our Party by the CPSU Leadership and the Institutions and Organizations Under its Guidance, an article in Akahata, organ of the Communist Party of Japan, June 22, 1965. (Peking: FLP, 1966), 54 pages.

Border Disputes and Military Confrontations and Incidents Between China and the U.S.S.R.

Down With the New Tsars! a collection of statements and articles condemning the incursion of military forces of the revisionist Soviet Union onto China’s Chenpao Island in the Wusuli River in Heilungkiang Province. (Peking: FLP, 1969), 78 pages.

Down With the New Tsars! – Soviet Revisionists’ Anti-China Atrocities on the Heilung and Wusuli Rivers, photo-filled pamphlet, (Peking: FLP, 1969), 76 pages.

Statement of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (May 24, 1969), regarding the border dispute with the Soviet Union. Also includes the Note of the Hsinhua News Agency on the Publication of the Full Text of the Soviet Government’s Statement of March 29 (May 24, 1969). (Peking: FLP, 1969), 48 pages.

Statement of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (October 7, 1969), regarding the border dispute with the Soviet Union. Also includes the Document of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC—Refutation of the Soviet Government’s Statement of June 13, 1969 (Oct. 8, 1969), (Peking: FLP, 1974), 2nd printing, 40 pages.

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Communist Party of China (CPC) – history, resolutions and documents

In a Yenan cave house - Hsin Mang

In a Yenan cave house

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Communist Party of China (CPC) – history, resolutions and documents

Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party, adopted by the Enlarged Seventh Plenary Session of the Sixth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on April 20, 1945, 72 pages. This is the revised translation from the Appendix to the 3rd edition of the pamphlet Our Study and the Current Situation, by Mao Tse-tung. (Peking: FLP, 1962)

Thirty Years of the Communist Party of China: An Outline History, by Hu Chiao-mu, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951), 100 pages.

Documents of the National Conference of the Communist Party of China, held in March 1955. Includes: the Communiqué, the resolution on the draft of the first 5-year plan, the resolution on the anti-Party bloc of Kao Kang and Jao Shu-shih, and the resolution on the establishment of central and local control committees. (Peking: Oct. 1955), 68 pages.

Documents of the Sixth Plenary Session (Enlarged) of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, a supplement to People’s China, Dec. 1, 1955, 24 pages.

Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of China, Volume 1: Documents, (Peking: FLP, 1956), 332 pages.

Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of China, Volume 2: Speeches, (Peking: FLP, 1956), 388 pages.

Eighth Congress of the Communist Party of China, Volume 3: Greetings From Fraternal Parties, (Peking: FLP, 1956), 266 pages.

Constitution of the Communist Party of China and Report on the Revision of the Constitution of the CPC by Teng Hsiao-ping. This is the Party Constitution adopted by the Eighth National Congress on Sept. 26, 1956. The report of the the revision of the Constitution was delivered by Teng Hsiao-ping [Deng Xiaoping] at that Congress on Sept. 16, 1956. (Peking: FLP, 1956), 118 pp.

Second Session of the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, seven reports and resolutions, including Report on the Work of the Central Committee of the CCP to the Second Session of the Eighth National Congress by Liu Shao-chi. (Peking: FLP, 1958), 99 pages.

Training Successors for the Revolution is the Party’s Strategic Task, 3 articles on this topic including the title article by An Tzu-wen from Hongqi, Nos. 17-18, 1964. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 68 pages.

Absorb Proletarian Fresh Blood – An Important Question in Party Consolidation, Hongqi [Red Flag] editorial, #4, Oct. 14, 1968. (Peking: FLP, 1968), 34 pages.

Communique of the Enlarged Twelfth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, adopted on Oct. 31, 1968. (Peking: FLP, 1968), 32 pages.

The Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Documents), including the Report to the Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China delivered by Lin Piao; The Constitution of the Communist Party of China; lists of members of the Central Committee and the Politburo; and several press communiques. (Peking: FLP, 1969), 206 pages. Lin Piao’s Report issued as a separate small pamphlet, 112 pages.

The Constitution of the Communist Party of China, adopted by the Ninth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, April 4, 1969. (Peking: FLP, 1969), 52 pages.

Hold Aloft the Banner of Unity of the Party’s Ninth Congress and Win Still Greater Victories, editorial of Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jifangjun Bao, June 9, 1969. (Peking: FLP, 1969), 26 pages.

Communists Should Be the Advanced Elements of the Proletariat – In Commemoration of the 49th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China. (Peking: FLP, 1970), 20 pages.

Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Communist Party of China: 1921-1971, (Peking: FLP, 1971), 60 pages.

The Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Documents), (Peking: FLP, 1973), 138 pages.

The Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China (Documents), (Peking: FLP, 1977), 270 pages.

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1st October – Declaration of the People’s Republic of China

Mao Tse-tung October 1949

Mao Tse-tung October 1949

In the autumn of 1949, in front of thousands of people in Tienanmen Square, Mao Tse-Tung, Chairman of the Communist Party of China stood on the podium over the Gate of Heavenly Peace (which gives its name to the square) and made a short speech which was to see the country follow a road for which millions had fought and died during the majority of the first half of the 20th century. The date was 1st October, the speech, the Declaration of the People’s Republic of China.

After a bloody war against the Japanese invaders and then an equally bloody civil conflict against the United States supported Nationalist forces of the Kuomintang, under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese people had, as Mao declared a number of times during that period, ‘stood up’.

No longer would the Chinese people be treated as slaves for the invading powers; no longer would imperialist powers (both minor and major) treat China as a country they could do with as they liked; no longer would the people kowtow to the Emperors who ensconced themselves in the palace at his back; no longer would the workers and peasants live in abject poverty whilst the wealth of their country was being enjoyed elsewhere; no longer would peasants be abused by avaricious and cruel landlords; no longer would the fate of poor Chinese women be that of concubines or prostitutes; no longer would it be necessary for Chinese families to migrate and face racism and humiliation in far off countries in efforts to achieve a better standard of living.

Although there were still pockets of Nationalist opposition at the time of the declaration the new government set about challenging and changing what had become the lot of the majority of the Chinese people.

As had happened immediately after the Russian Revolution, another country with a peasant majority, one of the first tasks was to take the land from the landlords and distribute it amongst the peasants who worked the land.

Laws were passed to free women from the shackles of feudalism and patriarchy, where they were often treated as no more than chattel; education that had been denied to all but a privileged few was to be made universal; health care was to be made free for all and care of the elderly was to be an obligation of the State. This was the start of the era of the ‘iron rice bowl’, when State employees (which encompassed most workers in the cities as industry as well as ‘white collar’ jobs were all part of the nationalised structure) were guaranteed a job for life and access to the other welfare benefits.

But the construction of socialism is not easy. Within a year of the declaration of the People’s Republic thousands of Chinese volunteers went off, yet again, to war, this time to prevent the United Nations troops from intervening in North Korea.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s different movements sought to learn from some of the mistakes made in the Soviet Union culminating in the Great Socialist Cultural Revolution that started in 1966. Although these mass political movements sought to prevent the restoration of capitalism in China a very short time after the death of Chairman Mao in September 1976 those who had been denounced during the Cultural Revolution had engineered a successful coup against the revolutionaries and started to dismantle all those advances in the construction of socialism that so many had fought for after Mao’s declaration on October 1st 1949.

(Why they were able to do so, and in such a short space of time is an issue that Marxist-Leninists-Maoists need – at some time in the future – to analyse and try to understand.)

The 38 years since the death of the Chairman have not been good for China. In agriculture the communes and collective farms have been broken up and privatised – although not without resistance as news leaks out of countless battles between farmers and the security forces.

Because there is no work in the countryside the whole demographic of the country is changing. Young people leave the villages to find work in the Special Economic Zones where they work in the factories to produce all the consumer goods that working people in the west buy with money they don’t have. Any family life is more or less destroyed as children remain in the villages with their grandparents and only see their parents twice a year – at Chinese New Year and during the National Holiday which is celebrated at this moment, the beginning of October. (There used to be a third occasion, the May Day holiday, but that was reduced to a couple of days in 2007, too short a time for people to make the long journeys necessary to travel to their home towns.)

Industries have been privatised and State enterprises broken up and organised in a way no different from what exists under capitalism. The once proud People’s Liberation Army, set up under the principal of ‘serving the people’ has transformed itself into an oppressor of the people and generals and other high officials have gorged themselves at the trough of the people’s wealth.

Millionaires and billionaires abound and now the biggest market for luxury goods in the world is now the ‘People’s’ Republic of China, but a republic that is in the hands of the people in name only and led by renegades who besmirch the achievements of the once glorious Communist Party of China.

The Chinese people, in the main, have accepted these changes. They now have ‘things’, consumer goods which were in short supply in the early years of the Republic. But these ‘things’ have been ‘gained’ at a price. The ‘iron rice bowl’ has been smashed to smithereens; education is being privatised, as is health; the once independent country that ‘stood up’ in 1949 is now allowing itself to be controlled and influenced by the very same countries that spent the first part of the 20th century trying to destroy and humiliate the Chinese people in general; and – in some ways even more disgraceful – China is turning into an imperialist power and exploiting and using its military strength to oppress people in other countries, especially a number of countries in Africa.

Why the Chinese people have allowed this happen I don’t know. But then I don’t understand why this situation has been allowed to develop in a number of other countries where, at one time, the people had ‘stood up’, proud, independent and with a perspective on the future that wasn’t based on exploitation and oppression.

So if 65 years ago there was a sense of optimism at the time of Chairman Mao’s declaration what are the main subjects presented in the current edition of Beijing Review, the long-established foreign language publication of the People’s Republic?

A boasting of the level of Outbound Direct Investment; a celebration of the floatation of the e-commerce company Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange in September, the largest amount of trading in one company in one day ever; a call for more private (read foreign) capital investment in China’s oil, natural gas, banking and railway enterprises; boasts about the unsustainable rates of growth in China outstripping those of the United States by factors of 5 or 6; and boasts of how the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of China will soon overtake that of the US and become the biggest in the world.

But this all comes at a price. And that price is always paid by the poorest in society. They can either accept it or pick up the baton that was carried by the Maoist Communist Party of China for many years but which has been dropped and trampled in the dust.

The people of China are yet again on their knees. How long will it be before a future leader stands over the Gate of Heavenly Peace and pronounce such inspiring words as the Chairman did on Saturday 1st October 1949?