The recently concluded 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) attracted the close attention of communist and progressive forces around the world.
In that regard, shortly before the opening of the Congress, Comrade Gennady Zyuganov, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), gave an extensive interview to the leading Chinese newspaper, Guangming Ribao.
Acclaiming the CPC’s century of struggle, the Russian communist leader noted that: “Over the past hundred years the CPC dramatically changed the destiny of the Chinese people. It liberated them from the shackles of semi-colonial dependence, national humiliation and economic enslavement and made the people masters of their land and their destiny. Under the leadership of the CPC the working people of China have driven out foreign invaders, established and consolidated their power and built a middle-income society.”
Speaking of his Chinese counterpart, Zyuganov said: “Xi Jinping is flesh of the flesh of the great Chinese people.” He further noted that the Chinese leader’s father, Comrade Xi Zhongxun, is “a representative of the first generation of Chinese revolutionaries. He was among the founders and leaders of the revolutionary base in the liberated regions of the Shanxi and Gansu provinces and organizers of political work in the People’s Liberation Army of China.”
Noting that the ideas contained in Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era are “universal in character,” and that they “constitute a major innovative contribution to the development of the Marxist theory”, Zyuganov continued: “Writing about socialist society in 1890, Friedrich Engels pointed out that it is not ‘something given once and for all.’ And the great thinker stressed: ‘Like any other social system it should be seen as subject to constant changes and transformations’ … Marx, Engels and Lenin have repeatedly stressed that the characteristics of the socialist social and economic system manifest themselves in the practice of socialist construction in each individual country. Life has vindicated these theoretical premises: a socio-economic system cannot be created according to a single template. Historical experience shows that transition to socialism calls for a combination of the fundamental ideas of Marxism-Leninism and the real state of affairs.”
After speaking about the present situation regarding relations between Russia and China, and such related topics as the conflict in Ukraine, the heightened imperialist hostility and threats to both Russia and China, and the related moves to rehabilitate and revive fascism and militarism and reverse the correct verdicts passed in 1945, Comrade Zyuganov concludes:
“The CPRF is preparing to mark the centenary of the formation of the USSR. Moving along the path of building socialism our country has achieved great successes which have an intransient significance for the whole human race. In 1917 Russia was the first to breach the international front of imperialism and embark on the building of a new society. Following this path under the leadership of the Communist Party the Soviet people have created the most advanced economy for that time, raised living standards, developed science and culture, vanquished fascism and conquered outer space. In the 21st century the relay of victories and accomplishments has been confidently taken from the USSR by socialist China…
“It is only by working persistently to strengthen the unity of the Russian and Chinese people and build up our joint efforts in the struggle against the West’s neo-colonial aspirations that we can uphold the sovereignty of our countries. As Stalin would have said in a similar situation, we will either do it quickly, or we will be crushed.”
We are pleased to republish the full text of this important interview. It was originally published in English on the website of the CPRF.
Speaking at the International Forum of the CPC and Marxist Parties organized by the Communist Party of China you noted that the centenary of the CPC which was marked a year ago was an outstanding milestone in the history of the Chinese people which had great resonance in many countries. How do you assess the successes achieved by the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China during the 101 years of revolutionary development?
During its more than a century-long existence the Communist Party of China has traversed a glorious path of creative endeavor. Following its initial goal and fulfilling its mission of social restructuring it managed to unite the popular masses and launch the struggle for a great resurgence of the country on the basis of the values of peace, labor, justice, humanism and progress. In this struggle it has achieved outstanding historic results. Over the past hundred years the CPC dramatically changed the destiny of the Chinese people. It liberated them from the shackles of semi-colonial dependence, national humiliation and economic enslavement and made the people masters of their land and their destiny. Under the leadership of the CPC the working people of China have driven out foreign invaders, established and consolidated their power and built a middle-income society. Today the Chinese look to the future with complete confidence and are making the history of their great Motherland in the new era. Within a historically brief space of time a massive leap has been made toward creating a high-tech industry and dramatically raising people’s living standards. Along with dynamic economic growth long-term stability of the Chinese society has been ensured. This is extremely important for the country as a whole and for each concrete individual. Socialist China is an indisputable leader on many key parameters.
The resolution of the VI Plenum of the CC CPC of the 19th Convocation “On the Main Achievements and the Historical Experience of the Party’s Hundred-Year Struggle” notes that by its successes the CPC has demonstrated the vital might of Marxism: “The scientific character and validity of Marxism have been fully tested in China. In China the popular and practical character of Marxism has been fully put into practice and its openness and modernity have been fully vindicated… Thanks to this an important turn in favor of socialism has taken place on the world scale in the historical evolution and rivalry between the socialist and capitalist ideologies and social systems.”
Almost ten years have passed since Comrade Xi Jinping was elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. What do you think about how China has been led during this period in terms of politics, economics, security, culture and international cooperation?
Comrade Xi Jinping is an outstanding statesman of our time. In terms of the scale of influence on global processes his figure occupies a special place in the galaxy of the best known politicians who are constantly written about by the world mass media. Very much on our planet depends on the decisions being taken with his participation.
Xi Jinping is flesh of the flesh of the great Chinese people. His father, Xi Zhongxun, an honest man infinitely dedicated to the Party’s cause, stood at the sources of the revolutionary movement in China. He is a representative of the first generation of Chinese revolutionaries. He was among the founders and leaders of the revolutionary base in the liberated regions of the Shanxi and Gansu provinces and organizers of political work in the People’s Liberation Army of China, one of the pioneers of the policy of reform and openness. He has inherited the best qualities from his father. He continues to uphold his deep faith in the inevitable triumph of the ideals of labor, justice, humanism and progress and hence the ideals of socialism.
The ideas of Xi Jinping about socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era actualize all the fundamental tenets of Marxism. Universal in character, they constitute a major innovative contribution to the development of the Marxist theory. Xi Jinping’s conceptual approaches provide an important key to the understanding of the ongoing processes in the world and explain why the PRC has made such a dramatic breakthrough toward new development horizons.
Under Xi Jinping’s leadership, following the path of deepening the policy of reform and openness, the CPC did away with poverty and built a middle-income society. It has scored real successes in ensuring all-round supremacy of law and compliance with strict party discipline. One of the key ingredients of the success of Xi Jinping’s policy has been the strengthening of the people’s faith in its own culture, without which it is impossible to implement the “Chinese dream.”
Contemporary political leaders bear huge responsibility for the destiny of the Earth and its inhabitants. State leaders of all countries should pass on the relay of peace to the following generations, energetically contribute to the conservation of the environment, and to the progress and prosperity of the world civilization.
Unfortunately, the leaders of the main Western countries are very remote from understanding this lofty mission. Being in thrall to racial and ethnic prejudice, they still see the planet as a source of colonial plunder and gain, as a vast “field of opportunities” for imperialistic expansion. Seeking to impose its hegemony on the rest of the world, the West is prepared to put the world on the brink of war with the use of the most lethal weapons.
The aggressive policy of the USA and its satellites brings pain and suffering to the peoples of the planet. Dangerous experiments of military bio-laboratories constitute a heinous crime against humanity and call for a resolute condemnation by the international community. Support of Fascism, escalation of the Ukraine conflict and encouragement of insane missile attacks of the Bandera followers on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant illustrate the inhumanity of the Western leaders’ policy and their utter disdain of the goals of sustainable development. Sabre-rattling off the shores of the PRC, the United States and its vassals merely demonstrate that they are capable of pursuing an absolutely destructive course. It is an openly terrorist policy! There is nothing humane or creative about it!
Speaking at the UN headquarters in Geneva in January 2017 Xi Jinping said that “the destiny of the world must be in the hands of all the countries, international rules should be written jointly by all the countries, the globalization issues should be resolved together and the results of development should be available to all.” He stressed that the idea of the common destiny of humankind embodies the loftiest ideals and China’s commitment to building a wonderful world. It reflects the hopes of the peoples for a new, peaceful and just order. That is why it has the sympathy and powerful support of a growing number of countries.
The CPRF has always come out against the globalists’ attempts to put the future of civilization under threat. Our clear-cut and unambiguous position on the recent events around Ukraine and Taiwan has been reflected in concrete steps and political statements of the party with calls for actions aimed at curbing the insanity of the Western “hawks,” establishment of lasting peace, and prevention of provocations with the use of nuclear and biological technologies.
You have repeatedly stressed that the Chinese communists do not simply develop the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, but set an example for the whole planet. Their experience takes on a universal character and merits profound discussion and study. You have noted that the Chinese comrades have brought out the fourth volume of the series of books devoted to Xi Jinping’s governance system. I have three volumes of this series and I hope to get the fourth volume in Russian.
The resolution “On the Main Achievements and the Historical Experience of the Hundred-Year Struggle of the Party” adopted by the VI Plenum of the CC CPC of the 19th convocation reads in part: “Xi Jinping’s thoughts about socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era constitute modern Chinese Marxism, the Marxism of the 21st century, the quintessence of Chinese culture and the Chinese spirit, they mark a new leap in the Sinoization of Marxism.” What do you think of this conclusion?
Writing about socialist society in 1890 Friedrich Engels pointed out that it is not “something given once and for all.” And the great thinker stressed: “like any other social system it should be seen as subject to constant changes and transformations.”
The state system of any country depends directly on the level of its socio-economic development, the historical legacy, cultural traditions and the balance of social class forces. Socialism in China was born under certain conditions. It grew stronger in the confrontation with foreign invaders, in the struggle of the working people for freedom and independence. Its development involved difficult quests and the making of decisions that transformed the whole country.
Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a vivid manifestation of the social creativity of the Chinese Communist Party and people. The rapid development of your country has become a major achievement in the development of the human civilization. The PRC today has an advanced state system. It has institutional advantages and a huge potential for self-improvement. The properties and features Marxism has acquired in Chinese reality have determined the creative potential of this system.
Marx, Engels and Lenin have repeatedly stressed that the characteristics of the socialist social and economic system manifest themselves in the practice of socialist construction in each individual country. Life has vindicated these theoretical premises: a socio-economic system cannot be created according to a single template. Historical experience shows that transition to socialism calls for a combination of the fundamental ideas of Marxism-Leninism and the real state of affairs. As Deng Xiaoping pointed out, “the combination of the overall truth of Marxism-Leninism and the reality of a concrete country is the universal truth.”
Socialism in the PRC has colossal creative potential. It is based on a truly scientific theory and practical experience of the revolution, building and reform. Proceeding from the basic principles of Marxism, The CPC has created a socio-political system which takes into account the national realities of China, its historical tradition, the strength and wisdom of the people. The party has transformed its practical experience into systemic results whose fruitfulness has been felt by the country and seen by the whole world. This enables it to look to the future with confidence while implementing the main principles of scientific socialism and preserving the shining idiosyncrasy of national culture.
Could you comment on the current state of relations between Russia and China? How do you see Russia-China relations developing after the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China?
I believe that the relations between Russia and China today are at a higher level than at any time during the past decades. It is not by chance that at the official level they are described as “relations of all-embracing partnership and strategic interaction.” There is no exaggeration in this assessment. The broad cooperation between China and Russia at the present stage is marked by intensive dynamism, common perception of the key world problems, a solid legal basis and active popular support of the course for a rapprochement between our countries.
The foundation of the current relations between Russia and China is very strong. It does not depend on short-term political expediency. Its key components are dynamic trade and economic relations and sustained mutual understanding on key issues on the international agenda, support of the UN and work to strengthen its role in world affairs. Moscow and Beijing have similar or identical positions on international security issues.
There is much that brings us together. Geographical, mental, historical and spiritual proximity. Shared views on the sources of global challenges and threats which are increasingly felt in the modern world.
On August 3, 2022 the Presidium of the CC CPRF came out with a Statement, “He Who Plays with Fire Will Burn Himself,” devoted to the situation around Taiwan. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, followed by a visit of members of the US Congress to Taipei, were steps that provoke confrontation between the USA and China. Such actions, aimed at sowing chaos in the Asia Pacific region, undermine international stability.
The actions of high-ranking Washington officials have highlighted the fact that the US ruling circles are captives of old neo-colonial prejudices. It looks as if Washington is set to continue behaving in this aggressive and provocative manner.
The CPRF has always pointed to Washington’s inadmissible behavior in the world arena.
Today the United States and its satellites are pursuing a policy of revising the results of World War II. With active US support justification and even heroization of Nazi criminals and their accomplices is taking place in Ukraine and the Baltic states. Strange voices of “experts” calling for a “reappraisal” of the World War II events in Asia are being increasingly heard. All this contradicts the historical truth and leads to the denial of the decisive role of the USSR and China in the Victory over German Nazism and Japanese militarism.
Today the question of recognition or non-recognition of the outcome of World War II has become one of the key topics on the international agenda. The USA is using it to try to destroy the existing world order, establish its hegemony by force, derive geopolitical dividends from the weakening of its growing rivals. I believe that one way of countering this at the legal level could be international legal recognition of the facts of genocide of the Soviet and Chinese peoples during World War II by Europe “united” under Hitler and militarist Japan.
Further, a legal assessment should be given of the actions of current state and political leaders who encourage Fascism and are complicit in the perpetration of crimes against peace and humanity. The chieftains of the Nazi Reich were indicted for just this kind of actions. I think a legal assessment of the crimes today could be given by an ad hoc international court similar to the Nuremberg tribunal.
We see all too well how the American imperialists build their policy of provocations. They are fostering Fascism and increasingly threatening biological and radiation security of the planet. In Europe Russia is the main US target. Hostilities are conducted against our country with the hands of its East European satellites, in the first place Bandera Ukraine. That is why the CPRF supports the special military operation to de-militarize and de-Nazify Ukraine. The success of this operation would mark an important step toward de-escalation in a vast region of the world.
The actions of American puppets cause great harm to world peace. Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries are salient examples of this in Europe. Their Russophobic policy, the course for severing historical links and escalation of the confrontation with Russia is in glaring contradiction to the interests of durable peace and security in the region. These actions, profoundly anti-people and anti-history, are extremely dangerous.
The pro-American regimes are pawns in the grand chess game being played by the United States. Their representatives are often used to stoke up international tensions, and that includes dirty provocations against Russia and China. Developments in Ukraine, the situation around Taiwan, the cobbling together of the AUKUS bloc, the blowing up of branches of the Nord Stream gas pipeline and much else demonstrate the growing involvement of American satellites in implementing Washington’s strategy. This is the result of the wish of the US ruling circles to “share responsibility” and use others’ resources to further their ends.
Destabilization of the situation in Central Asia is one of the key tasks of the US in redrawing the world political map. This task meets the interests of the US ruling circles which are committed to “twin containment of Russia and China.” The policy of “twin containment” of our countries can and must be effectively counter-acted. This is possible through close coordination and consolidation of efforts. It is exceedingly important for Russia and China to have a common approach to the problems of the region and to see eye-to-eye on matters of economic activity, information policy, defense and security.
The CPRF is strongly supportive of the course for an all-round rapprochement between Russia and China. We consider the broadening of cooperation between our countries to be an important prerequisite for tapping new opportunities. It cannot be ruled out that the need may arise in the near future to create a powerful economic and military-political bloc capable of being an alternative to the American model of globalization.
— Could you say a few words to the readers of Guangming Daily? What are your hopes for the development of friendship between the peoples of China and Russia? And what would you wish the people of China?
Your newspaper is very popular and highly respected in the People’s Republic of China. I am glad to be able to address your readers with the best wishes of success and peace, happiness and well-being.
In particular, I would like to express my hope and confidence that our fraternal peoples will jointly overcome the most acute challenges of the modern world. The historical process is so tortuous that we should all be “on our guard.” We should work persistently to strengthen our mutual understanding, to act together and win together!
The CPRF is preparing to mark the centenary of the formation of the USSR. Moving along the path of building socialism our country has achieved great successes which have an intransient significance for the whole human race. In 1917 Russia was the first to breach the international front of imperialism and embark on the building of a new society. Following this path under the leadership of the Communist Party the Soviet people have created the most advanced economy for that time, raised living standards, developed science and culture, vanquished Fascism and conquered outer space. In the 21st century the relay of victories and accomplishments has been confidently taken from the USSR by socialist China.
The Soviet experience has shown that it is impossible to effectively counteract the West without building up economic might, without strengthening the defense capability and without uniting the efforts of progressive forces on the planet.
It is only by working persistently to strengthen the unity of the Russian and Chinese people and build up our joint efforts in the struggle against the West’s neo-colonial aspirations that we can uphold he sovereignty of our countries. As Stalin would have said in a similar situation, we will either do it quickly, or we will be crushed.
The great legacy of our friendship is the best guarantee of the joint journey of our peoples toward a bright, just and happy future!