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Imperialism Is Nothing to Fear
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(May 7, 1960)

Welcome, friends. We are friends. We stand on the same front in common struggle against imperialism and colonialism. Most of the imperialist countries do not recognize China. They had virtually ruled China for over 100 years, which turned the country to great poverty, to a state of poverty and blankness. Poverty means deprivation, and blankness means that a lot of people are illiterate. That state of affairs has begun to change. In the past China was an independent country in name only; in reality it was a semi-colony of imperialism. Only after decades of struggle did we win liberation. The armed struggle lasted for 22 years. The whole of Chinese mainland was basically liberated in 1949; only Taiwan is still under the occupation of imperialism. At present, U.S. imperialism has established many military bases in the Orient, such as in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, South Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan-military bases that pose a great threat to us.

Westerners allege that we Chinese are no good, since we are colored people. They allege that colored people are all no good, that they can accomplish nothing and are neither hygienic nor noble-minded. To them, our race seems no better than you Africans. Westerners also allege that you are no good, but they will not help you develop your industry. The little bit of industry you have managed to develop belongs to the imperialists. So our position is identical to yours.

It is very good for you now to be united. The whole of Africa is united and has become politically awakened, or is in the gradual process of awakening. Your Africa has a population of over 200 million. As you have become united, awakened and organized, imperialism is afraid of you. Imperialism tries to spread feelings of terror. The imperialists kill people or kill people through their running dogs. In China they killed our people through Chiang Kai-shek. Your countries may also have such stooges who do things at the will of imperialism. They are very few in number, at most one out of ten or maybe even fewer. Therefore, the people with whom you can unite are nine out of ten or maybe even more. In fact, imperialism is nothing to fear. Imperialism makes propaganda every day about how powerful it is in order to scare us.

For a period of time in the past we Chinese were afraid of U.S. imperialism and of its running dog Chiang Kai-shek, because they killed people or used other means; for instance, arresting and putting them in jail. In short, they attempted to make us fear them to subdue our fighting spirit. We Chinese were awakened step by step, and gradually we became no longer afraid. We fought face to face against imperialism and its running dogs. To begin with, we were barehanded and did not know how to fight a war. We learned from the imperialists. As you oppress us, should we not oppress you in turn? As one out of ten people oppresses the remaining nine of us, isn't it possible for the nine of us to unite and drive the one away? We concluded we could do so. If one person oppresses the remaining nine of us, it would be unreasonable for the nine of us not to unite and drive him away. Therefore we made revolution for decades. And did we not end in victory?

Our enemy, Chiang Kai-shek, had huge foreign backing, that of none other than U.S imperialism. He had powerful military forces, munitions, factories and weapons provided by foreigners. He had warships, heavy guns, tanks and airplanes. These we did not have-no heavy guns, no airplanes and no tanks. We had only rifles and light guns. Where did we get them? They were not produced by our munitions factories, but seized, captured in war. It was through Chiang Kai-shek that U.S imperialism sent us rifles and guns, hence we had rifles and guns. Later we acquired tanks and heavy guns that enabled us to fight major battles. By 1949 we had basically liberated the mainland. Their air force dropped bombs over our heads every day, but this did not frighten us. In the end it turned out that they were afraid of us, not the other way round. Not only was China Kai-shek afraid of us, but the Americans were also afraid of us somehow, because we had united over 90 percent of the people. It is the people who are most important and primary; weapons are secondary and less important. As long as the people are united, arms in hand, imperialists and colonialists will be afraid of us. Of course, fighting a war is not the only means; there are other means, too.

Of the countries that you friends come from, some have not gone through war to seize political power, such as Guinea. In Algeria the war is still going on, which has helped Guinea. Guinea friends also see things this way. Since half a million French troops have been tied up by the Algerians in their country, France does not have many troops left. Imperialism has occupied too many places and made too many things in its business. A Chinese saying goes that he who tries to catch ten fleas with ten fingers gets none. Because imperialism has made too many things in its business, it cannot get everything under control. Now the United States has occupied too many places in the world. You see, in Asia, Latin America and Africa there are many countries where the United States has military bases. Furthermore, it attempts to dominate Europe. In the past few days some changes have occurred in the international situation. The people of South Korea had no other way out but to rise up against Syngman Rhee, a running dog of the United States. As the people of South Korea rose up, protesting, revolting and demonstrating in the hundreds of thousands, Syngman Rhee collapsed, although he had 75 divisions, while the masses of the South Korean people did not have a single rifle. However, as soon as they rose up, Syngman Rhee collapsed. Of course, the problem is not solved yet. The Americans are still in South Korea and they have chosen a new running dog. The struggle of the South Korean people is likely to go on. The masses in Turkey have also risen up against the running dogs of the United States. So we have been holding mass rallies these days in support of the South Korean people and the Turkish people. The Japanese people are rising up, too. In two days there will be a broad mass campaign. I have learned that hundreds of thousands or even millions of people will rise up against the government of Kishi Nobusuke for entering into a military alliance with the United States. We shall also hold a mass rally to support the masses of the Japanese people.

Some of you may say that South Korea, Japan and Turkey are far from the United States; therefore people are not afraid of the United States and dare to rise up against its running dogs. But please look at Cuba. Where is Cuba? Very close to the United States, only half an hour by flight. In the beginning the Cuban people were barehanded. The Cuban ruler Batista had killed over 20000 Cubans in just a few years. You may say that China is a big country, with a large population. Cuba is by no means a big country, with only six million people and so close to the United States, and Batista killed as many as 20000 people. In November 1956 Fidel Castro, a national hero of Cuba, led 82 people in a boat from Mexico to Cuba. They were defeated by the Fidel Castro and his younger brother, Raul Castro. They had to move to the mountainous areas and conduct guerrilla warfare. They fought for more than two years, seizing a lot of rifles and guns and even tanks. Batista had to run away. You see, the Cuban people were barehanded at the beginning, whereas the Batista regime was armed to its teeth, with such a big country as the United States in its support and so close. However, when the people united, they drove Batista away. Has any one of you ever been to Cuba? If not, we suggest that you go to Cuba for a visit. For such a small country to dare to make revolution right beside the United States makes it highly necessary to study the Cuban experience. In that sense, the Cuba revolution has world significance. All the people in Latin-America welcome the people's government of Cuba.

The anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist struggle of Africa has even greater world significance. Instead of one country, many countries are in revolution; instead of millions of people, tens of millions of people and even more are involved in revolutionary struggle for national liberation. We entirely sympathize with you; and we stand foursquare behind you. At the same time, we regard your struggle as support and help for us. We also regard the struggle in Cuba as helping us, as well as the struggle of the whole of Latin America. The struggles of countries such as South Korea, Turkey, South Vietnam and Japan have helped us, too. All the people in Asia have helped us. Of course, first of all the socialist countries have assisted us. The Soviet Union has assisted us. Besides the socialist countries, the broad anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist struggles of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America have assisted us. By diverting the enemy's strength they reduce the pressure on us. As you have assisted us, we are obligated to assist you. We support and help each other.

At the same time, we support the conference of the big powers. The summit meeting of four countries to be held in France is also a means. To use an expression in Chinese, this is called walking on two legs. To talk with them at the table at the big-power conference is one leg; the anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist struggle of the people in Asia, Africa and Latin America is the other. With two legs one can stand and walk well. With one leg missing one cannot walk. We believe you agree that a world war should not be fought. We are opposed to a world war. However, we are for the people of various countries oppressed by imperialism to have the right to rise up against their oppressors. In order to avert a world war, the people of various countries should rise up against their oppressors. I can mention some examples to be more concrete. Algeria has pinned down half a million French troops. Should a world war break out, France would have fewer forces to participate in the war, since it has only so many troops. The rising of the South Korean people has tied up the U.S. forces stationed in South Korea. The rising of Turkish people will tie up the U.S. forces stationed in Turkey. If the Japanese people also rise up, they will pin down more U.S. forces. Some people say that if you want world peace, you should not oppose imperialism, lest imperialism be displeased. According to them, no country should wage anti-imperialist struggles. In my view, it is better to walk on two legs. The rising of the people in various countries against their oppressors is one leg, an important one at that, maybe the primary one. To talk with the oppressors at the table at the big-power conference on disarmament, on the solution of the German question and so on is another leg. With these two legs on the move, it would be difficult for a world war to break out. If there were only one leg, it could not be assured that imperialism would not launch a world war. Imperialism is good at deception. Imperialism also has two legs, one being deception, the other, oppression. To the deception of imperialism we are skeptical like you. Then why should we support the big-power conference? To avail ourselves of the opportunity to see things and to expose that leg of theirs is faulty.

I agree with the idea expressed by the Algerian friend just now that countries like or roughly similar to Algeria should be prepared for long-term struggle. It is helpful to be mentally prepared. There are difficulties, sometimes great ones. As I said before, as for the struggle in China, the armed struggle alone took 22 years, whereas your struggle has lasted for only six years. In the 22 years we committed several mistakes, namely, two opportunist mistakes of the "left" deviation, costing heavy losses to our strength. Before the Long March our military strength had been 300000 troops, but fewer than 30000, less than a tenth, survived, owing to our mistakes. It is important not to waver at a moment like that. Which were stronger, 30000 or 300000? Because we had learned our lessons, our fewer than 30000 troops were even stronger than the 300000. Later on, our army had the opportunity to grow, and when the Japanese surrendered in 1945, it became one million strong. In 1946 the United States and Chiang Kai-shek attacked us. The United States did not send its own troops, but helped Chiang Kai-shek fight against us. As a result, we lost many places, many cities. Chiang Kai-shek launched an all-out attack on us, and we adopted the tactics of withdrawal in order to wipe out the enemy's effectives. In one year we fought ten campaigns. Although we lost a lot of places, we put out of an action more than 100 divisions of enemy forces. Only then did we launch counterattacks. By 1949 we were in the superior position, whereas Chiang Kai-shek's troops were inferior, most having been annihilated by us. We liberated many big cities, such as Shenyang, Beiping, Tianjin, Ji'nan and Zhengzhou. We captured their places and wiped out their main forces. Only then did they ask for peace and send representatives to Beinping. We then adopted the method of walking on two legs. We knew that they asked for peace in order to deceive us. However, if we had not talked peace, the common people would not have believed us; they would have thought Chiang Kai-shek loved peace, whereas we loved war. Well, then, let us talk peace! Send your delegation! It was then that they sent a delegation, which negotiated with us for some three weeks. We told them they should surrender their arms and give their political power to us. Their representatives signed the agreement and sent people back to Nanjing, the seat of the Kuomintang government, asking for approval. They said no. they would not surrender their arms or give up their political power. That tore up their mask of "peace." They refused to sign and we crossed the Yangtze River the next day, stretching out the other leg. The enemy often tries to deceive us; we should be clear about this. Sometimes it is necessary to accept proposals for negotiation and to expose them during negotiation. This is the way two legs walk. It is not surrendering to the enemy; rather it is making the enemy surrender. For instance, the people of the world now demand disarmament, with which we concur, and we should like to see if the United States disarms or not. If they do, so much the better. If they do not, it will prove that they are deceiving. The enemy should be exposed by one method or another. In fact, peaceful negotiation is also a method to expose the enemy. This is our view. We do not believe that Eisenhower loves peace very much. How can an imperialist love peace? What they love is colonialism.

We are pleased to note that so many of our African friends have done away with superstition. Superstition number one is to be afraid of imperialism. You have done away with this and are not afraid of imperialism anymore. However, I believe there are still some people among the 200 million of your African population who are afraid of imperialism, who entertain superstition of imperialism or illusions of it. Therefore you have to work on them. In eight or tenth years there will gradually be more and more people, maybe 100 million or more out of 200 million, who will rise up and be entirely free from superstition and not afraid of imperialism. By then victory will be certain. More often than not, people bear much superstition. The superstition of imperialism is but one kind. Another kind is not to believe in one's own strength, to regard it as too small. The western world is considered good for everything, whereas we yellow people, black people and brown people are considered good for nothing. This is a kind of superstition, too. How could we be good for nothing? I believe whatever the white people can do, we can do, too, and we can do it even better than they, because they are very few in number, only hundreds of millions. Besides, we should differentiate among the white people; not all of them are bad people. Only one tenth is bad people, whereas mine tenths are good ones. They may be taken in for the time being. They are not yet awakened politically, but some day they will be here I mainly refer to the proletariat and others who sympathize with them, such as the working people, including the farmers. Among those who are really afraid of nuclear war there are white people, too, including some capitalists. There are contradictions among the imperialist countries, which gives us room to maneuver. They are not that united. The Americans and the British are not that united, nor are the Americans and the West Germans. Adenauer does not see eye to eye with the British. Therefore, for workers the world over and patriotic people oppressed by imperialism there are many allies.

From our own experience, in terms of strategy one must not be afraid of the enemy. Imperialism is weakened, and one, two, even three of its ten fingers have been cut off. In the Soviet Union there are no tsars anymore. The country has become a Leninist Soviet Union. China is also free from the rule of imperialism. Besides these two countries, there are ten more socialist countries. In all the countries the fingers of imperialism have been cut off. Other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America have won independence. Still others are struggling for it. It can be said that the remaining fingers of imperialism have been injured. For example, Cuba is right beside the United States and it has driven away the running dogs of the United States. In Algeria there is a large chunk of liberated area. Guinea has become independent. In Africa there are more independent countries. It seems a big storm is gathering in Africa. The same kind of storm is also in the making in Latin America. Some people say that in recent years the national liberation movements in Asia have fallen off. Yet on July 14, 1958, a revolution happened in Iraq. In the war over the Suez Canal in 1956, imperialism did not win; Egypt did. Furthermore, the people in South Korea and Turkey have risen in the past few weeks. Seemingly, the Japanese people are very hopeful, too. So now imperialism cannot get to sleep. Friends say that some of our counties have difficulties and worries. We think there is a side of happiness and a side of worry. Looking at imperialism, I can see only the worry side and not the happy one. You think the United states can get to sleep? I don't believe it can. For them, it is just like the Chinese saying: A chain of 15 pails draws well water, seven up and eight down. Therefore, we have full reason to despise them in terms of strategy, to be confident that the imperialist system is doomed and that people the world over will surely stand up. In terms of tactics, we should be cautious. We should carefully study every step to be taken. We should pay attention to them. We should take our work seriously. To combine the two, strategically we should despise the enemy, but tactically we should take them seriously. Only by so doing can one dare to think, dare to speak and dare to act.

You wish to look at the Chinese experience, which we much welcome. Maybe some of our experience has reference value for you, including the experience of revolution and that of construction. However, I should like to warn you friends that China has its own historical conditions, whereas you have yours. The Chinese experience can be only for your reference.

Our unity is to be celebrated. Because of it, we shall surely win. Our victories are to be celebrated. Let us be united and strive for more victories.

(PLA Daily)

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