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China's foreign policy has been as much a source of controversy as American policy in Asia in the fourth of the special series on China. David Massingale of Cornell University analyzes China's foreign policy as he believes taking views at his presentation was made during a conference held by the University of Chicago Center for Policy Study. With the support of the Johnson Foundation of race in Wisconsin the newest fact about Asia is not time that's very old. The new Fact is really the United States which has inherited a major position in that part of the world primarily as a result of the consequences of World War 2. And it is the and I would also have to say in the same connection the. Re extension of Russian power which had been moving in the easterly direction since the middle third of the 18th century. So that what one has is the. Redevelopment of a new pattern of conflict and
rivalry in a ship. Of different origin and different born in the 19th century. But the basic fundamentals of this it seems to me have not been shaped by the. In the main in the longest sense by the emergence of a communist regime. But where there are indigenous inherent in the situation. That the Chinese Communist stamp on this has given it a special character. But problems there would have been an very weighty one. Whatever the complexity of a regime that came to rule in Peking in full force and vigor in one thousand forty nine. As did the Chinese Communist Party. The thesis I would. Would like to present to you today is that. Communist China's foreign policy. Since 1949 has been an attempt to secure her national and her revolutionary objectives. By adopting certain elements.
Of the Maoist of Maoist strategic principles. To international politics. The Chinese Communist Party acquired a very distinctive character. Because of its unique application. Of certain political military. Concepts to the Chinese revolution. It was the first Communist Party. Which had been successfully able to apply. The traditional communist revolutionary tactics of the united front from the Lao. And the Popular Front from about. We have to go back a little bit perhaps understand that but traditionally. They had been communist attempts to take power in capitalist states and revolved around attempting to organize a lower. State have the so called United Front of workers peasants. Other areas to seize power at the top to take power away from the police. Or in periods of
dangerous doll and developed the concept after 935 when the socialist state was confronted by a stronger capitalist powers. The Popular Front from above and which communist parties in other countries were encouraged to enter into coalition governments or united front from the top elements with any groups that would oppose say such powers as Germany Japan. Or Italy. The Maoists were the first ones to really combine the Chinese Communists with the first ones to really combine a concept of organizing both. The revolutionary spat upon the bottom and at the same time to engage in certain kinds of tactical alliances with noncommunist units at the top of the service. But the purpose of defending against stronger immediately stronger enemies. This concept had become fully spelled out. By Mao I think is. Certainly as late as.
1040. And it was working about this. I think a basic dynamic pattern of bias. That I counted a great deal becoming a success I'm going to explain the international implications of this in a moment. I think that the principal contribution innovation of the Chinese Communist Party was. Not its emphasis on arms struggle as has been pointed out or the present case of a revolution. But the but the inordinate skill the tinies had. As organizational leaders and developers. As a group that could tell how to go about organizing an alliance. That was broader than its communist base. Had consistently controlled by the proletarian elements that directed it. It was this strategy I would contend in broad terms that the Chinese Communists thought of when they came to power and forty nine is also being applicable to the
conditions of international life. They did not regard. The Civil War and the issues raised in China as limited by boundaries. But saw that China is on Revolutionary Struggle as part of an international one that stems direct Stickley from a Marxist Leninist interpretation of politics. There is no the difference is the distinction between international. And Internet and and national events is largely an artificial one for the class struggle and international relations have to be explained as one as growing out of one in the same context. So that the Chinese Communist Party began. Its. Began its. Approach to international. Relations. From the classic to camp. Communist conception of world events that is that there were. There were
communists and progressive units on the one side in the imperialist camp on the other. And there was never any possibility of a neutral or a third path in between. This part of the of the two camp idea. Had. Had been expressed earlier in Lenin but it became came again to the foreign 1047 when the Soviet Union kicked off their side of the Cold War. And the Chinese immediately identified with this concept of the world it was fully consistent not only with the internal line of the Chinese at the time but also of their their broader international orientation the world events. So the two camp idea is important. Because I don't think down to the present time and through all the evolutions of Chinese policy in no sense as it has as this basic conception that the world is divided into two camps. Between friends and enemies to use mouse dichotomy in internal affairs between imperialists and progressives on the extra front has remained a basic
not just an idea but a strategic conception in the sense that one is looking in terms of alliances between two camps. Your camp which is the good guys composed of the communists. So it's the China of course the socialist camp and in the early days led by the Soviet Union the people's democracies the liberation movements in our countries and progressive quote unquote peoples any place in the world a camp that was both a supernatural national in the sense that it made appeals to people beyond national boundaries. And National in the sense that it allowed a communist party to unite with those forces parties nations and leaders in various parts of the world who could be seen as part of this camp for the purposes of carrying on this this total struggle with. With the imperialist adversary. Over time this conception of the two camps. Has changed and altered. Narrowing and contracting is the Chinese Communist Party we have seen. Has
seen. The world situation evolve and its interests and the direction of that struggle best advanced. But the basic idea that the world is composed of two camps and that there the twain shall never meet is a basic consideration which has never been abandoned in their in their foreign policy considerations. Now. Almost at the beginning. I might even say before the Chinese Communist Party came to power. They began to. Exert a molding and shaping influence on this common communist concept. Of the two camp division of the world. They had accepted the common terms lying. And forty eight. Were now not only because they believed in the basic dimension of it. But also because. The threat to the movement at the time at least is
divine design by Stalin It was very much concerned with the West. Form of national communism the practice but the Communist movement as a result of Tito's decision not to accept Soviet controls in Yugoslavia. The Chinese did not want. To convey. Anything or to to sound any fears in the Kremlin that they might themselves be a Tito was a threat. And consequently endorsed the concept of the two camps which which eliminated the idea sharply attacked the idea that there could be such a thing as national communism and dispense or as distinct from its membership in the international proletarian Association. It is that internationalist duties toward the communist movement. Were an indispensable part of being a genuine nationalist Communist Party. Even though in subsequent years the Chinese were to become from one point of view the most strident advocates of a national Communist position. But from the very beginning I'm talking now
about 1948 the Chinese party had a very special conception of this two camp division and within the Communist side of that camp. A very special idea about the conduct of relations between communist parties distinctive. Chinese interpretations of how this would work out in practice began to take place very early. The very fact that the Chinese offered people before they went came to power but certainly at that date to stablish relations with a number of countries. Which under the prevailing common turn of mind at the time had been described as in the imperialist camp. Already indicating signified a modification of the Stalinist version of the two camp idea. You remember than 47 when Stalin kicked off his side of the Cold War. Anybody who didn't submit to the to the communist revolution in its country attempted to oppose that party and didn't. How is American policy wherever it was was automatically pushed into the camp of
imperialism and the reactionaries. Well the Chinese could go along with this while they were a revolutionary movement when they came to power in 1950 However the situation looked rather different. Wanting to be recognized having a two China problem you might say and. At that time they also very much wanted to get the recognition from other countries particularly their their Asian neighbors and they were quite prepared to begin. From the start. To accept relations with a battery of countries. Under the common form line at the time had been. Written off. As enemies of the. Of the progressive forces and the enemies of the Communist communist world. At the age an Australasian trade union conference in 1949 the Chinese took a second initiative in broadening the beginning to move in the direction of getting some flexibility. Of offering or asserting that the
Chinese communist revolutionary. Yeah the so-called Pap of Mao they don't. Should become the PAP of the communist parties of Asia and Africa the colonial and semi colonial countries. The PAP of Mao they don't comprise the four point program which. Conveniently can be. Abbreviated to mean that. Communist party should form a united front. With progressives and any anti-imperialist anti feudal forces in that country. Second that they should organize again. Emphasis is on organizing and forming organize a Communist Party. To organize the leadership of that party in the country. Third to discipline and trained by patient and prolonged effort. A Communist Party organisation and apparatus and for. Whenever and wherever armed struggle from liberated base areas which might be the main point of the struggle. In many of these countries this is
the. Famous speech and programme. Which has subsequently been held up as sort of being the Chinese attempt to take over the Asian communist movement and to urge upon it at the time of 1949 a revolutionary partisan guerrilla warfare strategy similar to that of the Chinese Communists had employed in the last days of the war the going in and out. But if you read this document carefully and later Chinese statements it becomes clear. That the emphasis in all of this. The. Material. Was not an arms struggle. But an organization. On the organization of United Front efforts on the organization of the Communist Party. On the organization of the leadership element direction of criticism and self-criticism in are in other words to develop that particular kind of organizational prerequisites which had been the foundations of communist power in China. Now what was the situation in
1949. As a result of it I'm off to camp he says in part perhaps because of the Calcutta youth conference in the Southeast Asian communist uprisings that began in July of 1948 and scratched on some of them losing some of them winning and. Even down to the present day one might say. The situation was such. That the Asian communist movement headed by and large at the time the Chinese came to power had already entered into the period of the ebbing there I should say the ebbing of revolutionary momentum rather than the flow of it. To borrow a phrase from Stalin. Except in Vietnam and to a lesser much lesser extent in Malaya it was only in India and in Indochina that a communist movement had successfully. Been able to do in that country what the Chinese Communist Party had been able to do in China namely to capture the. Capture of the vanguard of a. National Liberation Movement a form of nationalism. In other countries the
situation was such that the nationalist leaderships in these countries had successfully resisted. Communist. Revolutionary insurgency. Which had been stimulated and encouraged by the Kremlin. But all of these revolutionary movements I should hasten to point out. Had lacked the kind of organization the kind of preparation and careful creation of a peasant worker peasant alliance and base that had been the foundations of power of the Chinese Communist Party had been ill prepared ill conceived ill lad. And poorly conducted. And in most countries they did and in every single Asian country where there was anything like a legitimately popular nationalist regime these communist movements were crushed and crushed bloodily in the Indonesian case an attempted coup took place and so kind of got on the radio and in about a three and a half minute speech unleashed a bloodbath that didn't stop for about four months in the Indonesian Communist Party it was liquidated
from about 25000 people to 800 in the space of a few days. Similar setbacks took place in most of the other Asian car. Most of the Asian countries. Consequently the what the Chinese Communist Party urged at the time. Was not that these parties. Take on. Partisan guerrilla warfare which they were quite well of at the time had resulted. In almost every instance an agent dramatic defeats and setbacks but the Asian communists but rather that these parties as I think leaked out tease meaning was that these parties were in need of a drastic overhaul. And that they had to create the kind of united front the worker peasant Alliance the organization of a Communist Party apparatus which had been so indispensable in China. Consequently I think it is not a fair interpretation. And not a Wasn't it wouldn't have been a very sensible interpretation for the Chinese to take the position that the armed revolutionary phase was then in vogue throughout Asia. It did have some
validity in those countries where the preconditions and necessary. Prerequisites had already been established. Consequently. At a very early beach at a very early stage I would say almost from the inception of the. Chinese Communist movement. Peking had already. Initiated some basic modifications in this original. In the in the original international situation in their policies that have been inherited so to speak from the Stalinist era. Stalin's indiscriminate promotion of conflict between communist parties and nationalist regimes no longer wholly fitted. Wholly fit a Chinese communist interest when they when they come to power. It's still said it's Darwin's interest because he was interested in creating couple anyplace in the world where that was likely to undermine the foundations of American power and thus prevent the consolidation of the North Atlantic Alliance in Western Europe. So these these considerations still room large and Stalin's judgement and
loom increasingly less large in Chinese Communist evaluations. It was not an However until the Korean War period. That the Chinese Communists were able to free themselves. Somewhat more. Slowly than they had previously. And to begin to explore the possibilities. Of actually widening. The notion of a coalition in the two camp idea in which the Communists or the progressive element would contain more than just the. Original communist parties and communist states. First of all the. Countries of Asia by and large with the exception of Japan and the Philippines. Had in the main resisted the American. Effort. To organize them into actions against China. Though the Chinese seem to fear this would be very much the result of the Korean War but it turned out that the countries of India Burma Indonesia
Ceylon and others were not the lackeys that the Chinese thought that the common turned out them out to be. They were quite prepared to carry out their own independent initiatives they were neutral rather than puppets. The emphasis. Therefore on the possibility of exploring what was called at the time a peace. Movement. And the beginnings of the idea of peaceful coexistence began to creep in the Chinese foreign policy in 1951 as early as a matter of fact as Jim and I came to be one and I want to underline that date. Because the Soviet Union has been given the credit and has generally been are and has generally been proposed as the one that favors peaceful coexistence with the Chinese do not. Actually at the time of the height of the. Cold War once dowen was very much opposed to this idea. Except in relation to Europe. It was the Chinese Communists who had who were the first ones to emphasize the doctrine of peaceful coexistence. And they began to do it in 1051. It didn't acquire
prominence in the Soviet Union until 1954 and not really until 1956. So I'm afraid that the historical record is that it's the Chinese who have to be. Who have to be either hailed or criticize its power be or get it. With a matter of having. Having begun the peaceful coexistence initiative. In a moment we'll get to the to the to the. Distinctions in the definition of that term which will become the critical areas of dispute between the Chinese and the Russians. But it's important I think to remember that a very early stage the Chinese began. To see the possibility of expanding the idea. Of a zone a camp that would include as it had in China when they attempted to mobilize intellectuals Petit boys was a national boys was the only groups that could be allied to oppose the Japanese and later allied to oppose the Grumman down they began to use very much this conception in relation to the to
this to a strategy internationally. It would be possible between the Soviet Union and China and the peaceful and the peace. Peoples democracies. To. Admit. Additional elements of from particularly from the Afro-Asian world which would make up a noncommunist component of this anti-imperialist camp and together compose a coalition or an alignment which would be used against the main enemy namely the United States or in communist jargon the imperialist camp. This began to break through on the Chinese side in 1951 as a result of Korea and because of some internal necessities of Chinese Communist policy. It didn't really get. Far into the into the organized age until 1954. With the developments of the Sino-Indian treaty on Tibet and commerce and the Tibetan autonomous region of China. It was stimulated by China's participation at the Geneva Conference agreements in 1000 diptych born July. Where one must remember the Chinese were quite
prepared to to put the damper on the Viet Minh aspirations to complete the reunification of Vietnam. And they did this also largely in service of an interest. In in placating the Asian neutrals and making it apparent to them or hoping to sell the line that it was possible to have a peaceful coexistence with China provided. There could be a basis of agreement for an Opposition policy to the United States. So in this sense. The the notion of waging the revolution against noncommunist units that might be useful in opposing the United States became dysfunctional. To a larger strategic interest in organizing the broadest possible coalition to oppose the United States. It also had another. Important meaning. And that was the. The conviction of the Chinese by 1954 55. That
it was pot if it could be possible in the Asian context. To reduce. Nationalist. Non-aligned countries beers of Time-Out or communism or Chinese intervention in their affairs. And if that would provide a basis to work out this kind of a Maoist United Front international alignment that would ease the United States out of the area. Then over the long run. These same communist parties that had been nurtured encouraged in the forty nine fifty one period get about the business of reorganizing and building a Marxist Leninist party not one of these blabby weak puppets of Stalin that had been the characterization of communist parties in this Dollon era. Then the stronger more organized dedicated indoctrinated bigger as tiny as bigger as communist parties in foreign countries in Asia were over the long run being capable. Of seizing the nationalist image. Of revolution and modernization. From noncommunist elites which it was already clear by 54 55.
Evidence those symptoms of decay corruption dishonesty and the lack of a nation building epic in their own body politic. Which made them. Which made them vulnerable to a long term competition with their communist parties whether on peaceful democratic parliamentary grounds or in terms of a revolutionary struggle for the people's support. So that in the broadest sense the bando formula so-call represented a rather important and I think sophisticated. Formulation of Chinese interests on the revolutionary side and on the national interest side that represented the high watermark so to speak of this attempt to apply the Maoist idea of a united front. Between communism and nationalism for the purposes of defeating the main enemy in this case the United States that the Soviet Union and China comprised on the on the international level. The
unit that had been symbolized by the tinies Communist Party and its worker peasant alliance. In the internal civil war in China. That they attempted to bring into this coalition. Admixtures of nonaligned neutralise progressive or revolutionary forces whatever their Whether or not organized or led by Communist movements and to directly use in the struggle against the imperialist powers. Obviously had this strategy succeeded. The Chinese would have. Envisioned the creation I think of a. An Asian environment. What the Bandung strategy meant in effect was a Monroe Doctrine in Asia. China was prepared to abandon any idea of interfer interfering in the internal affairs of the countries of Asia. But the. Kicker was these countries were also to oppose any interference in these countries affairs by the
United States. And that later became the rub. There was then to be no Tiny's interference. But there was also to be no interference or there was to be resistance to the interference about side Asian powers by this collectivity of nationalism and communism in Asia if they could agree on the matter of the five principles of Bandung which in a sense come down to. You don't give me any trouble and give you any trouble. This situation would obviously have lept China. In the most strategic position. The largest the most dominant country in Asia and unquestionably over a long period of time. It seemed that the Chinese. Developments in China. Industrialisation Gration of ideas. And the weakness of and the incompetence of many of the regimes around them would subsequently have produced the evolution of events Baber papering communist solutions which the unquestionably
unquestionably the Chinese desired over the long run. Over the short run however they were not particularly interested in these games. They were much more concerned with the matter. But the matter. Of removing the United States and in that game they were anxious to work with anyone who could who could play or could play a role in Napa. And the question of the transition to power of communist parties was not only a matter for these parties to decide on their own. It was a matter of historical evolution and development and it would have to respond to specific conditions and situations just as it had to respond to specific conditions and situations in China. You've just heard Professor David musing goal of Cornell University discussing China's foreign policy. Professor Ms Engle will conclude his discussion in the next program in the series. These programs are based on a special conference on China held by the University of Chicago Center for Policy Study with the support of the Johnson
Foundation of race in Wisconsin. They were produced for radio by the University of Chicago. This is the national educational radio network.
China: Policy and perspective
China's foreign policy, part one
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University of Chicago
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This program, the first of two parts, features a lecture on Chinese foreign policy by David Mozingo of Cornell University.
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A series of talks from the University of Chicago dealing with current events in China.
Global Affairs
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Producing Organization: University of Chicago
Speaker: Mozingo, David P.
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University of Maryland
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Chicago: “China: Policy and perspective; China's foreign policy, part one,” 1967-10-31, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
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APA: China: Policy and perspective; China's foreign policy, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from