The "Communist” ruling clique in China can scarcely conceal their jubilation over the volte-face in Russian policy since the recent Congress of the Soviet Communist Party touched off the new Party line of vilifying Stalin. But the Chinese go further in attacks on Stalin than Moscow—the beating of Stalin with proverbial scorpions started in an attack in an article on April 4th, that is, considerably before Kruschev’s much publicised speech on Stalin's misdeeds, published in The People’s Daily (the equivalent in China of the Times in this Country). The Russian attacks until that time had been confined to the period covering the last years of Stalin's life, but the Chinese went back as far as the late 1920's during the Civil War in China between the Communist Party and the Nationalists and show that by the Chinese Communist Party following Stalin’s dictates “the result was that instead of isolating the real enemy we isolated ourselves and inflicted blows on ourselves which benefited the real enemy." The Chinese level a variety of charges against Stalin including one that “Stalin failed to draw the lessons from particular, local and temporary mistakes on certain issues and so failed to prevent them from becoming serious errors involving the whole nation over a long period of time!!" The Russian ruling-class, for whom Stalin was for many years the chief spokesman, have in fact piled up quite an imposing lot of treacheries against their Chinese "Communist" comrades. Firstly, there, was Stalin's instructions to the Chinese Communist Party to co-operate with the Nationalists. The Nationalists, emboldened by this policy, suddenly turned on the Communists and butchered them in their thousands. Stalin abandoned them.
Chou-en lai, the present Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, was one of the Communist leaders in Shanghai who by a remarkable chance escaped. Mao-Tse Tung and the rest of those elsewhere who escaped are not likely to forget this formerly unpaid debt to Stalin that they now have a chance to work off. Secondly, during the blockade of the Chinese Communists by the Nationalists it was the Soviet advisers under the control of Stalin who advocated the disastrous policy of static warfare. It was when this policy was abandoned that the Chinese Communist Armies became more mobile and became more successful. But this was learning the hard way and meanwhile Chinese Communists were driven by the Soviet advisers like pigs to the slaughter.
But there was also the question of Stalin's disastrous theory to overcome. Stalin considered peasants as being merely the “packhorses of civilisation" and that no revolutionary party could be built on them. The advice therefore to the Chinese was to capture the cities and thus to get the city proletariat into the revolt—no workers, no Communism. That was the Russian dogma—but it was in the cities that the Nationalists were the strongest and the Communists were not able to hold a single large city, being repulsed with tremendous losses.
At the conclusion of the second world war when the Japanese capitulated to Russia their arms and ammunition and their control of Manchuria and China were handed over by Statin not to the Communists who had borne the brunt of the Chinese war against the Japanese but to their mortal enemies the Nationalists. Thus was the Chinese civil war again precipitated, plunging the population into all the horrors that a civil war can cause.
The Chinese Communists could not be expected to miss a chance to vent their spleen on Stalin—their pet aversion—and all this is thoroughly understood by those in power in Russia at the moment. Mao Tse Tung was the only leader of the Soviet bloc countries who did not go to Moscow for Stalin’s funeral.
The latest developments in the Soviet Union cannot be understood properly if one fails to see them in the perspective of Soviet relations with other countries, and Soviet/Chinese relations occupy, in this respect, a position of special importance. Foreign policies of capitalist countries are intimately linked with their need for foreign trade. Industrial enterprises usually are concerned with development of their production. Sometimes the effect of many concerns all expanding as best they can produces an overall picture of haphazard development whereby the existing markets can no longer absorb the products produced and it becomes imperative to expand these markets and enter new ones. This is where foreign policy can be useful such as in opening the way for trade by friendly relations and by conducting trade treaties. The State Capitalist economy of Russia is no exception to all this.
The Chinese were quick to press their advantage. Chou En-lai visited India and Burma, where he signed with Nehru and U.Nu the five principles of co-existence. His participation in the Bandung Conference, together with visits of other Chinese leading personalities, has enhanced Peking's prestige in Asia.
Long before they visited this country, Bulganin and Krushchev in October, 1954, went to Peking. At the close of the visit a communique was issued containing a number of political and economic concessions by the Soviet Union to China. Since then Russian policy has been to make further concessions to China. They also went on a barnstorming tour of other Asian countries and outdid the Chinese by offering economic concessions to successfully expand Russian trade.
The violent attacks on Stalin by the Chinese Communists should not be ascribed to personal bitterness. Were this the case, then surely these attacks would have been made at the times when Stalin perpetrated those foul actions and personal feelings were running high. Presumably it was not advisable in the interests of the budding capitalism of China to bring these points up before. There is little emotion entering into the apparent friendships between Capitalist groups either within the “Communist" block or the “Democratic” group. “Friendship" is merely an expression of foreign policy which is liable to change to suit altered conditions. Capitalist friendship frequently conceals throat-cutting, their advice may be pitted with treachery (as the Chinese Communist found out to their cost), co-operation may camouflage competition and co-existence conceal moves to “liberate” and exploit weaker groups.
The attacks on Stalin by the Chinese should be considered as the expression of one expanding power to a rival, and, incidentally, as revealing the stresses and contradictions in Capitalist relations of the type that this system of society continually throws up.