The First Amendment; China After Mao
The First Amendment then to three people weekly examination of civil liberties in the media and the 1970 produced by Radio Boston cooperation with the Institute for democratic communication at Boston University the host of the program is the director Dr. Broder group.
On this edition guest is Professor Ross to Rhyl of Harvard University whose new book published by the future of China. Oh. Roster real is the author of the Eight hundred million the real China and flowers on an iron tree among his other books he's born in Melbourne Australia educated in Melbourne and Harvard Universities and is a professor of Government at Harvard. And many of you have seen his articles in The Atlantic and in many other of the press organs. He has visited China in 1064 nine hundred seventy one seventy three and seventy five. This new book explaining what is happening in China and what has happened in the comparatively recent past I think is a very important treatise. And roster let me ask you this question at the start. The American public is a little baffled by our China policy we we know they were. Establishing on time with the Chinese but none of us know what it means. From your point of view what should our China policy be in this period. After Mao.
Well we have to align the history of the matter with the strategic aspect of the matter. The history of it is that we backed the wrong side in the Chinese Civil War and rather unexpectedly that wrong side jank I Schick. Clung on to life and his son leads a very prosperous out between Taiwan and so in a theoretical sense the Chinese civil war still goes on and we are stuck with the recognition of the losing side that in no way could be considered the government of the whole of China.
That's the historical aspect the strategic aspect is that since the United States failed to provide Vietnam.
And since Nixon and Kissinger essentially And I think rather brilliantly covered up the reality of that by seeking detente with China and thus throwing a garment to a new era of peace in Asia and forgetting all that was supposed to have been. Struggled for in Vietnam since that's occurred then America and China have almost no conflict of interest apart from this Taiwan issue.
And both of them have a massive set of parallel interests in countering Soviet path in Asia and other parts of the world. So we've got a conflict between the history of the matter and the current strategy of the matter and as I see it Mr. Kotter Mr. Vand son now resolved to try and align those things. It's not that difficult because the.
We can give up the shadow on Taiwan and hang on to the substance by that I mean breaking relations with Taiwan and giving up the defense treaty with the Nationalists which will be done and probably done within a couple of years. It's not going to bring about a rupture of relations between Americans and the people of Taiwan. Try a cultural exchange but there will be non-governmental. In that sense I think we can rescue the substance though giving up the the shadow would to our association with the Chinese which is continuing.
And in any way impress the Chinese with the need for. Certain liberalization in the direction of popular individual freedom. And by asking that question I accept fully the non Wilsonian thesis that in regard to China we should accept the de facto government the government of the Chinese people one out of every four people on earth. And I'm not ideologically pressing for our concept but would it have a beneficial effect in the future upon the Chinese this relationship with the United States. Upon the individual Chinese.
Not really the population as you mention is vast and if you take the foreign trade as a proportion of the total Chinese economy it's it's tiny. I mention foreign trade because that's the sector in which foreign influence really hits China the most they don't allow publications in but they do have about 15 billion U.S. dollars worth of foreign trade each year. And yet in per capita terms it's tiny or in terms of whether a Chinese household has foreign goods. You know that just doesn't have foreign goods. What the Chinese import are all capital goods to make chemical fertilizer plants to make steel plants. So my answer to the question is that. Anything coming from outside on China. Has very little influence there's only twice in the history that I've had anything big come from outside. The first was Buddhism and the second was communism.
Well Buddhism has been lost and very much I think there it's another big subject that communism is probably undergoing such drastic changes in China that Moxon Lenin and Stalin wouldn't recognize very much of what's left.
There is a pressure for freedom in China at the moment and I don't think it's got anything a tool to do with voices coming in from outside. In this new book I've got a translation I made of the a poster that I saw in Shanghai 1975. I wouldn't call it a cry for freedom it's a cry for constitutionalism for fixed procedures forward hearing to the charters as written in this case the the man had objected that he'd put up a big character wall post a new authorities had to tone it down and he was saying. The Constitution guarantees it. Even in Ethiopia he said the students who used such posters and yet alas here in the homeland of the big character poster I'm apparently not allowed to do it. Now the interesting thing about these posters is that they're my only done by young people and they're done by people who who take Marxism for granted.
But they want democracy within Marxism. Now that's a very unexpected development in a way. It's certainly got nothing to do with the influence of the West. I think it's got to do with social change within China. That's to say because of the the very success of the Communist Party and raising literacy giving people education giving them more access to communication.
Some security from from want on a daily basis. At that point the overthrow of the so-called gang of four headed by junking Mao's second wife.
The Shanghai group and seemed to accompany the overthrow of their ideas about rigidity in I guess the outward sign and peripherals I would be in the opera but in the press in films in party publications in attitude toward the military an attitude toward the Soviet Union and attitudes toward the United States is that overthrow of this particular group itself. The leading thing that has happened or is it the accession of this man who you said would not be known outside of his hometown. Who are quote saying the important thing the fact of the up security of this man.
In a way been I don't think it's quite either I think the first thing is that Maher has grown. And the second thing is that the generation has almost gone and I put those two points ahead of either the evils of the ultra leftist gang of four all the characters of the of Mr hwat whom I think I remarked he said.
A humble man with every reason to be so. Now to the point about Mao is that he lasted so long. I mean he was the MOX and the DE Lenin and the Stalin all wrapped into one of the Chinese revolution. He analyzed the old order.
He led the Caesar path and he was still there for twenty seven years of the task of building up a new order that gave him a unique stature that no one in any other major revolution has had if only because they didn't last so long. So doing without them is it. So from a massive challenge to China how do you have a political system that's been used to being presided over by one demi god above with the masses.
How do you shift gears from when you did point out. Because he was so ancient. So wisdom and so so long lived that the adoration of the public especially the masses seem to have been toward the chew and Laurie who they trusted because he was number two because he was pragmatic. They seem to have something that no other ration toward Mr. Tang but they seem to have some feeling of regard for a man like Mr. Ting who twice could be purged twice comes back is very pragmatic. Is the new leadership of China going to be practical more than theoretical.
Yes because idiology changes I don't think idiology disappears but its relation to policy changes in China's case ideology evolve as a response to two things One was to colonialist pressure on China and the second was to the land problem to landlordism those two things really shaped miles generation. Now the landlords are gone and China stood up in the world and is running its own household. Those are the two basic reasons why audiology can be Sime.
As I mention in internal affairs I think it means that Marxism in China is going to. Be. Face the challenge of democracy externally idiology gets challenge because their past is the past of a third world nation nonwhite they were exploited they were caught up like a melon as mass said but their future which of which they have a very lively perception is as a great power. They don't compare themselves with Africans or all the Latin Americans. They compare themselves with Russia and America. So the past was a third world country the future a superpower.
And that's another reason why the ideology has to change because it was an ideology of an exploited nation.
So change rather than an end to deal with what about the relationships with the Soviet Union rushed through oh you imply that the People's Liberation Army.
And its leadership was suspected by Mao being very conservative and one which might make an accommodation if left unguarded with the Soviet Union. You also suggest correct me if I'm wrong you also suggest that Mr Tang This man has been resurrected twice and that he is less dogmatic than we would have been about an arrangement with the Soviet Union. Now with the ideological flexibility allows for both an accommodation with the United States and the Soviet Union at the same time.
Yes I've got to as you mention the chapter in the book where I really predict that there will be. An improvement in relations between Russia and China. And I also feel that Mr. Tang would push this more than Mr. hua. The point there is that Juarez Miles boy he was Mal's choice and Tang was the best. Why are and so why are these more inclined to carry on mouse anti Russian ism than Tang if it doesn't seem practical for ting to do it then I don't think he'd want to do it and in fact it isn't very practical because it costs China a hell of a lot of money and resources at a time when modernization at home is the top priority.
Well here we are lambasting the Russians with the Carter President Carter's human rights program representing the administration getting nowhere fast with the Russians who are becoming more centralist and authoritarian in a rather typical European. Not necessarily communist semi-fascist communist authoritarian way toward the press toward popular freedom. What problems are we going to face if this liberality within China eases the problems of the Russians with the one group that they have been lambasting and using as a pawn in their press worrying about war and threatening war to their people.
You mean in the event of a improvement of a rapprochement with Russia. Well here we get to. Would it make the Russians more stolid in their anti libertarianism. You see it's not going to be a return to the old intimacy the communist church does is split.
I like that phrase because going to church you know the Protestant and Catholic if we can look at Russia and China in those terms and just they've developed their own way of life their own sociology and they are different entities and you can't put them back together again. All we are talking about and all I'm predicting is that the triangle will become a real triangle at the moment it's not we are benefiting because relations between the U.S. and China and Russia are both better than relations between the Chinese and the Russians and so leverage belongs to Washington at the moment.
Detente on the Moscow Peking flank of the triangle would simply make things a little more. Equal than they are on those three flanks it would be a business like relation where the name of the game is leverage and the protection of interests not intimacy not lines not logical solidarity all not in that context I would expect that to vote in Russia and in China you'd have a separation of foreign and domestic policy.
Foreign policy would be discussed in a relatively real politic sense and not get caught up with passions about what's happening within the other country.
How do you think the third world now you mention that China very soon is not to be accepted as a third world country as well as like the Chinese have always viewed themselves as the Ancient Kingdom looking upon all others as coming into the field late in terms of civilization. What is going to be the attitude of the Third World as this second monolith of the communist world becomes more technocratic and and traditional.
Well there are already strains between China and many of its third world friends some of them arise because of the bomb. China's got the bomb and she intends to.
To go ahead with the nuclear weapons program. Some of them arise because of China's obsession with Russia. I would so these are the two greatest reasons for tensions between China and some of its third world friends like Tanzania is a case in point Tanzania just does not agree with China that the main problem in Africa is Russia. It thinks the main problem in Africa is the neo colonialism and watch races and much of South Africa.
But on the other side to belayed you're right you see still a very important factor in our world and maybe it's not going to become less important as time goes on and the Chinese do have this the unshakeable solidarity of being nonwhite. And that they share. And of course we'll go on sharing with the world.
But this would imply then that if they strike that posture naturally that they will also make some sort of accommodation in a reasonable time with India. Because it wouldn't be natural for China then to take the lead in its own continental area and try to align itself with all people who take the position that they are nonwhite.
Well it had has been some improvement in relations with with India. My mind goes back to 75 when a senior Chinese leader made a prediction to me that looks quite interesting today. We were discussing Vietnam and we were discussing India and of course both of them were being discussed by this Chinese minister in terms of Russian influence behind the scenes.
And he suddenly said we think that India will throw off Russian influence before Vietnam does.
And in fact with the fall of Mrs. Gandy in the coming of Mr. deciding the improvement of relations between India and America.
It does look quite a good prediction three years later and I think it's the reason why Delhi and Peking quietly moving a little bit closer to each other. Just as of course Vietnam and China have Ridge. The people in their relationships.
The Soviets. We are told are actively supporting Vietnam in the war with Cambodia the Chinese we are told are actively supporting Cambodia for want of something else to do or because of the Soviet position with. We are also told that genocide is going on. Does this in any way disturb the Chinese leadership that they are supporting a regime that is murdering its own people. If we are to believe the reports.
I can't judge any more than anyone else how terrible the situation is in Cambodia. I think it's certainly a bad situation. I can say that the Chinese are anxious about the internal Cambodian situation and they have had many discussions with Cambodia.
And Mr. Tang has been and Interestingly the Chinese since the widow of Premier Joran lie. To pan to I think one can say to reason with the Cambodians.
Moreover the real issue between Cambodian Vietnam is I believe not the border but to the internal situation in Cambodia. That's to say what Vietnam really wants is not something different at the border but they want a new regime in Cambodia. Now Vietnam's reasons for wanting that are not the same as international humanitarians reasons bit Naam once. As they've always wanted a federation of Indochina headed by them so China's dilemma is that China doesn't want that and even if they do object to the policies of the non-pain government they don't want to risk that in upsetting that government. They would play into the hands of Vietnam changing gears radically.
ROSS The Chinese have always in effect said not only the time of Mao but in the time of Jiang come to us. You want to talk to us come to us we don't go to see you come to China if you want to talk.
What if we set up a theoretical situation that quote fing comes to Washington.
Given all of the inadequacies his worries about placating the People's Liberation Army his worries about the Shanghai group which is always to be distrusted whether they're out of power or not his worries about coming to power illegitimately even though ratification was legitimate. He had his message from from our time is met is with you in charge I have no fear of something. What do you have authority to deal for China. Could could he come with some confidence or is that to prevail. Is it too early for that sort of thing for anybody to leave China representing China in the West.
I think you would come with full authority the full normalization of relations between China and America. We will not.
De-stabilize this triangle we were talking about. I think the relations on all sides of the triangle are now likely to be neither the warlike nor intimate. I think it's gone beyond the austerity called austerity and the tensions but detente in both cases. Now the reason I say that in answer to your question is that a few years ago the Gang of Four and others objected to the US opening the door to America because they wanted to keep an even handed policy toward the two superpowers. Now why are we in coming to Washington which of course he would only do after Washington's broken relations with Taiwan would really be crystallizing that even handed policy. And I don't think that step would be supported by all factions in Peking. The the Army wants.
An improvement of relations with Russia but I think it's quite possible for why are acting together with Tang as he has to do.
To keep good relations with America and at the same time improve relations with Russia. And I'm not sure that people in Washington think that's an awfully bad thing.
No I'm not aware that he has ever left China and that he's left for the first time this year he went to Korea to Korea which is not a very distant trip but surprisingly distant for a man who's never left his own country. He went by train. He went back by train.
It would be difficult for such a person or persons of his group to deal with it not that they lack the experience that you En lai had perhaps Tang has by being outside by knowing the outside world by being part of the earliest struggles in which he was rejected by this group accepted by that went to Paris and met the Americans saw the Russians it was an education that these people lack.
Well the education aspect of it is very important I think we should get the Chinese here simply because of first hand knowledge of America would change some of their ideas. You think back to the effect on Khrushchev of his visit to America. Tremendous. Turning point in his thoughts about the Western world. Same would be true of the Chinese but their negotiating approach is to get the principle very clear in advance and I think this is partly the answer to your question they they don't go into open ended negotiations and in this sense one man speaking for them is not such a problem. John and I had great diplomatic skills but the line that he was pushing was always Miles line it the conclusion is arrived at before you arrive physically on the scene and then you ratify the conclusion.
There's the ceremonial aspect to it which is rather typically Chinese that you would not show conflict in the outside conflict would all be done in an enclosure so that there would be harmony on the outside is not good if played got no agreement and they can't move on an issue.
What they do is A. They remained passive. They pretend that they don't want something at the Times for instance when they didn't think they could get any progress in Taiwan they pretended they didn't want progress.
Well you would you have said it absolutely fascinating only the beginning of the discussion and I must say that your book is amusing superlative now scintillating and provocative roster really author of The Future of China just published by Del appreciate you coming for this edition. Bernard Reuben.
The First Amendment and a free people weekly examination of civil liberties in the media 1970 the program is produced in cooperation with the Institute for democratic communication at Boston University.
Why didn't you deviate radio Boston which is solely responsible for its cartoon.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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