WE MUST ADHERE TO SOCIALISM AND PREVENT
PEACEFUL EVOLUTION TOWARDS CAPITALISM
November 23, 1989
The liberation and development of Africa cannot be accomplished in just a few years. The world is so full of colonialism, neocolonialism, hegemony and power politics! It is more difficult than it used to be for small, poor countries, so they have to struggle even harder.
The United States and the Soviet Union have held talks that showed an encouraging tendency towards disarmament. We are happy to see this. I looked forward to the end of the Cold War, but now I feel disappointed. It seems that one Cold War has come to an end but that two others have already begun: one is being waged against all the countries of the South and the Third World, and the other against socialism. The Western countries are staging a third world war without gunsmoke. By that I mean they want to bring about the peaceful evolution of socialist countries towards capitalism.
We are not surprised at the developments in Eastern Europe. These changes were bound to take place sooner or later. The trouble there started from inside. The Western countries have the same attitude towards China as towards the East European countries. They are unhappy that China adheres to socialism. The turmoil that arose in China this year also had to come about sooner or later. We ourselves were partly to blame. As you know, two of our General Secretaries fell because of their failure to deal with the problem of bourgeois liberalization. If China allowed bourgeois liberalization, there would inevitably be turmoil. We would accomplish nothing, and our principles, policies, line and three-stage development strategy would all be doomed to failure. Therefore, we must take resolute measures to stop any unrest. Whenever there is unrest in future, we must stop it, so as to maintain stability.
Western countries criticize us for violating human rights. As a matter of fact, they are the ones who have violated human rights. How many Chinese people were killed or wounded when the United States helped Chiang Kai-shek fight the civil war? And how many Chinese volunteers were killed or wounded when it supported South Korea in the Korean War? And that’s not counting the immeasurable losses inflicted on our people during a century of aggression by colonialists and imperialists, including the United States! So they have no right to talk about human rights.
We used to say that the United States and the Soviet Union were seeking hegemony. Now at their summit meeting the Group of Seven have been seeking hegemony and playing power politics too. After we put down the rebellion, the Group of Seven summit meeting issued a declaration imposing sanctions on China. What qualifies them to do that? Who granted them the authority? Actually, national sovereignty is far more important than human rights, but they often infringe upon the sovereignty of poor, weak countries of the Third World. Their talk about human rights, freedom and democracy is only designed to safeguard the interests of the strong, rich countries, which take advantage of their strength to bully weak countries, and which pursue hegemony and practise power politics. We never listen to such stuff. Nor do you. Even in the past when we were quite weak, we ignored them.
When we started fighting in the Jinggang Mountains, we had only a few thousand men. Through 22 years of incessant war we eventually defeated the imperialists and the forces they supported, and the Chinese people stood up. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, we also encountered enormous difficulties. The civil war had just ended, problems were piling up at home, and abroad we were fighting a war to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea. Actually, it was China and the United States who fought that war. The United States was a big power, and China was comparatively weak, especially in equipment. However, justice triumphed, and the United States had to sit down and hold talks with us in Panmunjom.
China’s determination to adhere to socialism will not change. At the Thirteenth National Party Congress we decided on the strategy of “one central task, two basic points”. We had put forward that idea ten years ago, but it was at the Thirteenth Party Congress that we summed it up in this phrase. We shall never deviate from this strategy. No threat can daunt us. Our Party was born amid threats and matured amid threats. It struggled for 28 years before it founded the People’s Republic. Anyway, things are much better than before. So long as socialism does not collapse in China, it will always hold its ground in the world.
(A talk with Julius Kambarage Nyerere, former President of Tanzania, Chairman of the Tanzanian Revolutionary Party and Chairman of the South Commission.)