Article published in the newspaper “Zeri i Popoullit”
This article from “Zeri i Popoullit” newspaper shows the principled stance of the Party of Labor of Albania against the Chinese invasion of Vietnam in response to aggression from the nationalist China-backed Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia. It also shows the PLA and Enver Hoxha’s opinion on the Pol Pot regime. The invasion of Vietnam by the Chinese revisionists begins the era of Chinese social-imperialism.
— Espresso Stalinist
February 21, 1979
THE CHINESE AGGRESSION AGAINST VIETNAM
The attack which the Chinese leadership, headed by Deng Xiaoping, has undertaken against Vietnam, is an event which makes the already complicated and disturbed international situation even more grave. Therefore, what is going on now on the Sino-Vietnamese border should be judged with cool heads, frankly and fairly. This must be done for the sake of the peoples, in the interests of the peoples and not in the interests of those ruling classes who are manoeuvring in these troubled situations behind the backs of the peoples and to their detriment.
Ten years ago the Soviet revisionist leaders ordered their tanks to advance on Prague. Czechoslovakia was subjected to a barbarous aggression which was condemned with great indignation and anger by the whole progressive world. This act of the leaders of the Kremlin demonstrated in practice that the Soviet Union had been transformed completely into an imperialist superpower. With its perfidious and brutal aggression against Vietnam, revisionist China, too, acted in the same way as the Soviet Union did in 1968 against Czechoslovakia.
The Chinese revisionists emerged openly before the world as an imperialist superpower, seeking spheres of influence and «living space». The chiefs of Beijing threw off their disguises. They did not wait until the year 2000, until they had completed their «modernizations» and transformed China into a great power equal to the Soviet Union and the United States and capable of competing with them for world domination. Their imperial dreams, their great-power obsession and their war-mongering ideology blinded their eyes and clouded their judgement. By sending their troops to attack Vietnam, the rulers of Beijing showed that their policy is a chauvinist and hegemony-seeking policy. The attack on Vietnam is a logical consequence of the social-imperialist line formulated by the Chinese leadership long ago, when Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai were alive, and put into practice now by Deng Xiaoping and Hua Guofeng.
In order to save face, the Chinese leadership declare that their attack on Vietnam has a «punitive character». This claim is an expression typical of the old imperialist gun-boat policy applied by colonialists and neo-colonialists. China has attacked an innocent country and a heroic people who have never inflicted any harm on mankind but, on the contrary, have rendered it brilliant service while bearing the burden of extraordinary sacrifices and sufferings. Vietnam resisted and defeated American imperialism, the most ferocious enemy of the peoples and all mankind.
The people of Vietnam have never done any harm to the Chinese people, either, but, on the contrary, have been their friends. Throughout the centuries, however, the Vietnamese people have suffered continually at the hands of the rulers of China. Even in the war against American imperialism, the Chinese leadership, like the Soviet social-imperialist leadership irrespective of some slight aid they provided, hindered and damaged the anti-imperialist warof the people of Vietnam. At the time when the whole of Vietnam, from south to north, was in flames by the bombs of the giant American «B-52» aircraft, Nixon was welcomed with great honours in Beijing, and Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai made deals with the president of the United States to the detriment of the Vietnamese
The Party of Labour of Albania has publicly condemned the dangerous policy pursued by China and has warned of the dangers which it presents for international peace and security. The analysis which our Party has made of the Chinese theory of «three worlds» and its ideological basis — «Mao Zedong thought», of the Chinese plans to transform their country into a big power and of the actions of China in the international arena, made it clear that it would not be long before China launched direct armed attacks on the freedom, independence and sovereignty of peoples. It has pointed out also that the feverish efforts and the aims of China to become a superpower, which would counterbalance both the United States of America and the Soviet Union, could not fail to lead to new frictions, to conflagrations and to wars which might have a local character, but could also have the character of a world war.
With the open aggression which they undertook against Vietnam the Chinese social-imperialist revisionists have exposed themselves even worse. Their political hypocrisy and false slogans have become even more obvious. China has posed and still poses as a socialist state, but it turns out that it is a phoney socialist state like the Soviet Union, a state which maintains a socialist disguise in order to deceive the peoples. It claims that it is a country of the «third world», but it turns out that it puts itself in this «world» in order to extend its domination there. And just like American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, when this cannot be achieved in «peaceful ways», it tries to do it through violence and war. All these years China has claimed through the mouths of its leaders, from Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping, that «it will never seek hegemony», that «it will never attack first», that «no Chinese soldier will ever be found on foreign territory», etc. There is no end to the stale Chinese slogans. But what are the Chinese soldiers after now in Vietnam where they are killing the people and destroying the country with fire and sword, just as the American imperialists did only a few years before?
China launched its military attack on Vietnam because it is guided by the aggressive superpower ideology of «filling the vacuums», by the chauvinist concept that the peoples ought to live under its shadow, that they must submit to the dictate of the great power, obey and pay tribute to «the middle empire». It attacked Vietnam because it has joined in the game of superpowers, because it seeks to compete with them for spheres of influence. The fact that the aggressive attack against Vietnam was undertaken immediately after the return of Deng Xiaoping from the United States of America (1) implies that it enjoys the blessing and support of American imperialism. China’s aggression against Vietnam was designed in Beijing and approved in Washington.
In his speeches in the United States, Deng Xiaoping declared openly, in fascist style, that «China was going to teach Vietnam a good lesson». And none of his official hosts disapproved of or denied this. The admiring stand which the American imperialists are taking now towards the Chinese aggression shows that they have given it the green light. Deng Xiaoping returned to China on February 8, 1979, whereas the Chinese aggression against Vietnam was launched on February 17 of the same year.
This is obvious, also, from the fact that now the American government is trying to put China, which has attacked Vietnam, on the same plane as Vietnam because, allegedly, it has attacked Cambodia. In Cambodia, the Cambodian people, communists and patriots, have risen against the barbarous government of Pol Pot, which was nothing but a group of provocateurs in the service of the imperialist bourgeoisie and of the Chinese revisionists, in particular, which had as its aim to discredit the idea of socialism in the international arena.
Even Prince Sihanouk, who was incarcerated for nearly four years in Pnom Pen, has spoken publicly at UNO about the crimes of the Pol Pot government and its extermination of the Cambodian people. The anti-popular line of that regime is confirmed, also, by the fact that the Albanian embassy in the Cambodian capital, the embassy of a country which has given the people of Cambodia every possible aid, was kept isolated, indeed, encircled with barbed wire, as if it were in a concentration camp. The other embassies, too, were in a similar situation.
The Albanian diplomats have seen with their own eyes that the Cambodian people were treated inhumanly by the clique of Pol Pot and Yeng Sari. Pnom Pen was turned into a deserted city, empty of people, where food was difficult to secure even for the diplomats, where no doctors or even aspirins could be found. We think that the people and patriots of Cambodia waited too long before overthrowing this clique which was completely linked with Beijing and in its service. When the first conflicts broke out on the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, the view of socialist Albania was, and the world is witness to this, that disagreements between the two neighbour countries should be resolved through talks and without the interference of the Chinese or Soviet social-imperialists. But this was not done. On the contrary, the Pol Pot group, incited by Beijing, brought out in Pnom Pen daily communiques in which they announced that thousands of Vietnamese were being kill led by its army on Vietnamese territory.
It was quite apparent that this provocative and warmongering activity was supported and carried out for the expansionist aims of Deng Xiaoping, Hua Guofeng and on their account. And why should Deng Xiaoping not support and back the clique of Pol Pot and Yeng Sari when he has rehabilitated all the scum of Chinese reaction, when he has returned property, money and power over the plants and factories to the big bourgeoisie, the men of the Kuomintang and all the counter-revolutionaries, and has turned China into a social-imperialist capitalist country, as our Party has rightly described it? The bourgeoisie in the party and the bourgeois intellectuals are in power in China. There this scum is considered the élite, while they demand that the working class bend its head and work for the «modernizations». It was precisely these capitalists, the clique of Deng Xiaoping and Co., who kept Pol Pot in power in Cambodia and now, after he has been overthrown, are trying with every means to restore him. The Chinese leadership are trying to cover up the aggressive act they undertook against Vietnam with the absurd pretext that Vietnam is seeking «small-scale hegemony», thinking that in this way they will be excused for the large-scale hegemony of China.
But the question must be asked: Why do the Chinese imperialists allegedly have the right to defend the barbarous fascist Pol Pot group, and Vietnam does not have the right to support the revolutionaries and the people of Cambodia to build a free, independent and sovereign country? The Vietnamese government has officially and publicly rejected the Chinese allegation that it is aiming to set up a federation of Indochina and has declared that Vietnam wants the peoples of this zone to live free, in friendship and independence, each in its own country.
We Albanians can make the following criticism of the Vietnamese and we have already made it directly to them: neither in the time of the war against the Americans nor at the present time are an alliance with the social-imperialist Soviet Union or any other imperialist state and their joining Comecon justifiable. They are harmful and dangerous, both to Vietnam itself and to other peoples. The Chinese aggression against Vietnam has all the hallmarks of fascism. The Chinese justifications for their barbarous aggression undertaken in Vietnam seem to be taken word for word from Hitler who, in his time, claimed that he invaded Czechoslovakia because the Sudeten Germans were being mistreated, and invaded Poland because men sent by the Poles had committed acts of sabotage and murders on German territory. But who can believe the leaders of Beijing that it is Vietnam which has sent its men to ruin «the peaceful life of Chinese border towns and villages», and that China was obliged to retaliate?
The Chinese pretexts are pretexts which all the imperialists have used and continue to use to start and justify their aggressions. The aim of subjugating and enslaving the people of Vietnam in order to open the way south to the new Chinese expansion cannot be hidden with a fig leaf. As a result of the aggressive acts of China and its expansionist aims, a dangerous hotbed of war has been created in Indochina. Its flames are threatening the peoples of other countries.
Our Party has publicly denounced the policy of the Chinese social-imperialists towards Vietnam and has condemned their pressures and interference in its internal affairs and the threat which this policy presents for the peoples of Asia. The Chinese social-imperialists have interfered gravely in the internal affairs of Vietnam; for their
own expansionist ambitions they are fanning up the conflict between Cambodia and Vietnam and so on. When the Chinese leadership behaves in this way with Vietnam, with a country which, up till yesterday, it considered a fraternal country and close friend, what can the other countries of Asia think about the Chinese policy? Can they put any trust in it?
The genuine revolutionaries, patriots and anti-imperialists, honest people everywhere in the world, with great force and indignation condemn the Chinese leadership which has caused new sufferings and hardships for the heroic Vietnamese people, and understand the great danger with which other countries are threatened. The peoples of Asia must be concerned that what China is doing today against Vietnam it might do against them tomorrow.
The aggression which China has undertaken against Vietnam cannot end otherwise than with grave and ignominious defeat for it. We are confident that the Chinese attack will be repelled without the aid of anyone from outside and that the Vietnamese people will be vigilant against the dangers which come not only from Chinese social-imperialism, but also from American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism.
The people of Vietnam have been put to the test and have proved that they are an heroic and invincible people. They are fighting for a just cause and will triumph, just as they triumphed over the United States of America. The fate which the American imperialists suffered in Vietnam awaits the Chinese social-imperialists, too. China will be exposed and even more isolated by world opinion. And those cliques who pose as democratic, even as communist, which for their own immediate interests do not defend the just cause of Vietnam, will suffer for this one day. This is where the policy of empty words about «defence of the peoples» and the allegedly non-aligned policy leads. He who does not support Vietnam today supports the warmongers.
The aggression against Vietnam must make the Chinese people think, too. They must open their eyes and see to what disasters their revisionist chiefs are leading them. The aggression which they have undertaken against Vietnam is aimed not only against the people of that country, but also against the Chinese people themselves. Such a great people as the Chinese people have permitted their chauvinist leadership to attack a friendly fraternal people, at a time when they want to heal the grave wounds inflicted by 30 years of war and rebuild their devastated country.
We appeal to the fraternal Chinese people to reflect and refuse to permit the adventurers who remain at the head of them, to lead them into imperialist wars against other peoples, to refuse to permit them to incite world war. We are hopeful that the Chinese people will not permit such a thing, that they will not allow themselves to be made answerable to history.
The Albanian people, who have always stood beside the Vietnamese people, who have assisted them wholeheartedly and sincerely wished them well, protest against this criminal act undertaken against them by the Chinese social-imperialists and demand an immediate end to this criminal aggression.
The Albanian people are and will always be with the heroic Vietnamese people and will defend their just cause. We are fully confident that just as the fraternal Vietnamese people have resisted and triumphed over other colonialists and imperialists, they will emerge triumphant again over the perfidious attack by the Chinese social-imperialists.
From the newspaper «Zëri i popullit», February 21, 1979