Now that the Hua Kuo-feng faction of the Chinese Communist party is firmly in control of the People’s Republic any number of Maoist concepts have been slated for the waste basket of history.
One of the most recent to go is the late Chairman’s guerrilla strategy of “people’s war” which long insisted that men, not weapons, were the key factor in war and had China preparing for a guerrilla defense against an invader.
The popularity of this concept with the American and European New Left of the ’60s aside, what this meant essentially was that within the overall allocation of money for Chinese state capitalism, much was spent on the industrial sector for development and little on the military leaving the Chinese armed forces equipped with weaponry dating from the 1950s.
According to the Feb. 8, 1977 New York Times, the Chinese news agency Hsinhua disclosed that massive conferences on the modernization of defense have taken place in China and the military (which played a key role in the arrest of the Gang of Four last year) will be pushing for a larger defense budget. According to the Times, “The Chinese are particularly short of advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and associated electronic equipment.”
The purpose of large expenditures of limited Chinese capital on military hardware coincides with strengthened official rhetoric about the expected attack from the Soviet Union and a desire for accommodation with U.S. imperialism.
At a graduation ceremony at Peking’s Institute of Diplomacy last August, a speech just released and attributed to Keng Piao, a senior foreign relations official, shed new light on what has previously appeared to be the unresolvable issue of U.S. support of Taiwan. Keng sees U.S. presence in that area as beneficial, letting the U.S. “guard the coast of the East China Sea so that we can have more strength to deal with the (Soviet) power in the North and engage in state construction.”
Keng stated that although China sees both the U.S. and the Soviet Union as enemies (intra-imperialist rivalry:), the Soviets represent a greater threat, and the U.S. must understand that detente with Russia is “not a positive way of solving the world problem.”
To secure the Chinese position, Keng stated, “We will invite more American guests who are influential in United States political and military circles and in U.S. society.” This desire to warm up to capitalist politicians and right-wing military men in the U.S. should certainly come as no surprise to anyone after the nauseating spectacle of then-president Nixon being welcomed to China in 1972, but there is even a larger picture of Chinese foreign relations which shows them to be among the most reactionary in the world.
Behind the official propaganda about “world revolution” lies the Chinese support of brutal dictators like the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, the right-wing butchers of Chile, and China’s hailing of the NATO alliance of Western imperialist nations against the Soviet Union.