“They will shoot us”

After the death of Stalin, the threat of global war has passed for a while, and the new leadership of the Soviet Union switched part of their attention to Communist China and African countries for the allies in the socialist bloc. In the end it turned out that cooperation with Moscow was ready not all, and only for the money. About how in those years was built the Soviet Union’s relations with China and African countries said Professor MSU and HSE Apollon Davidson and chief researcher of the Institute of the Far East wounds Yuri Galenovich in the discussion of the Council on foreign and defense policy “the Bridge through the decades: the cold war in 1953 and 2018”. The meeting was held in the lecture hall of the cultural center “ZIL”. It was moderated by the chief editor of the magazine “Russia in global politics” Fyodor Lukyanov. “the Tape.ru” down the main points.

Apollon Davidson: In the second half of the 1950s, I wrote a thesis about Africa, and then it seemed absolutely ridiculous. It was believed that the cold war only two players — the USA and the USSR, so East and Africa were not needed. It is noteworthy that at the time was just coming of a third world country. But for the USSR it didn’t matter.

In 1954, closed Moscow Oriental Institute. And in 1955 hosted the Bandung conference countries of Africa and Asia, and here is our guide suddenly realized that this is an important area. The first foreign trip of Nikita Khrushchev and at that time Prime Minister Nikolai Bulganin was not in Europe but in India and Pakistan. At the twentieth party Congress in February 1956 a part of Soviet geopolitics proclaimed East and Africa. This solution had somehow to justify — why still we do not pay attention to them? As always, I decided to find someone to blame — in this case, the Orientalists, and as reported in his speech, Politburo member CPSU Anastas Mikoyan, saying, “in their scientific pursuits are only reached Jesus Christ”.

Yuri Galenovich: I managed to graduate from the Institute of Oriental studies. Then there were rumors that it was closed after the Chinese government protested, why we’re studying them. Although then came the replacement of the Institute, but lost the experience, knowledge, library, video footage — science had suffered great damage.

In 1956 Anastas Mikoyan came to China to explain what had happened after Stalin’s death, why the great leader has ceased to be such. When he went to China, visited the construction of the big bridge of Wuhan on the Yangtze river. I was as an interpreter attached to the Mikoyan. On that trip, Mikoyan was with Rashidov, the first person in Uzbekistan and maybe even in the whole Central Asia. Leaving China, before you go up the stairs to the plane, Mikoyan asked me where I studied Chinese. I answered. Then he turned to Rashidova and said, “you see, we dispersed the Moscow Institute of Oriental studies, and he helps us”.

As Mikoyan explained that the great leader has ceased to be such? When a person is alive and when he is the leader, it feels like forever that he was the most intelligent, but his decisions are the right ones. In 1953 Stalin died, and Mao Zedong was alive. And it’s played probably a major role in the perception of the Chinese colleagues that told our leaders about the twentieth Congress and what happened there with the cult of personality of Stalin. In China, it was understood that there is no Stalin, and Mao. And that means that the Soviet people have to navigate.

I Think Stalin believed that the Soviet Politburo there is only one person who understands what East and China, is a Mikoyan. Because he was from the “East”, as did Stalin from Armenia.

In 1949, a few months before the announcement of the establishment of people’s Republic of China, Stalin sent to China is gone. It was the first summit between the top Soviet and Chinese Politburo. It was a secret visit. At the time Mikoyan was already called the ear of Stalin.

the Situation was extremely difficult.

Comrade Mao Zedong always thought that the Soviet Union wanted to control China, to dominate it and impose him something. But the evidence never was. In 1949, during these meetings, Mikoyan listened to what they said the Chinese comrades, and only once intervened in their argument, when Mao said that after the establishment of people’s Republic of China will be several youth organizations — students, workers, peasants and other. Mikoyan said the Soviet experience shows there should only be one such Association for the whole country. Mao Zedong was very offended, angry and interrupted Mikoyan, who then say no more for several days said. Mao Zedong then said: “in our own terms, and we will act as we see fit”. Interestingly, in the end, the whole of China was created a single Union of Communist youth of China.

But extremely important was the fact that the USSR never imposed anything on China.

Davidson: I Have the impression that Stalin really needed to master Central and Eastern Europe, as for the other regions it didn’t bother him.

I’d like to tell you about the channel of understanding that had existed between America and our country during the cold war.

In the early 1960-ies, particularly after the Cuban missile crisis, so it was sharpened, it seemed — the world faces the Third world war. This situation was resolved when the first America, then the USSR realized that must be some channel of communication, due to some miscommunication not happened something terrible. This channel has created. The first meeting was at the American Dartmouth College. In the future, the meeting became known as the Dartmouth conferences. They existed 30 years — from the early 1960s to the early 1990s years.

it was never mentioned in the information space. These meetings were every year. They absolutely openly discussed questions of mutual relations in all aspects. In the early 1990-ies the President Boris Yeltsin decided that we have so good relations with the United States that no such channels are no longer needed. I think now they would be very useful.

Fyodor Lukyanov: if such expert diplomacy today? It is clear that the political atmosphere we have is disgusting, but the question now is not about her. I have the feeling that the level of trust today, even among professionals unspeakably worse than then. Now, there are no common starting points, even for disagreement. We live as if in different realities. In addition, now everything is transparent — that certainly was not in Soviet times. Secret information leaks, including the network. On the one hand, the necessary level of mutual reflection that we have achieved with the United States. But whether it is the question.

Galinovic: In the 1970-ies I worked in the UN Secretariat and to lead the external relations Department, which was all the information centres of the UN and NGOs. This work has allowed us to better understand the relationship between Washington and Beijing, in what condition they then were. I had the opportunity to meet influential Americans, including Cyrus Vance. This man is often asked for advice, he directed Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger. In 1974 Vance as the highest then the representative of the American elite was going to China and asked me — who they need to talk to someone in China power. It is hard to imagine that the Americans asked us a question! I told him to Deng Xiaoping. Then for many it was unthinkable thing — he was arrested, ostensibly played no role, and only returned to senior posts. Cyrus Vance met with him and was satisfied.

And when at the end of the 1970s the Americans were going to establish diplomatic relations with China, through Yevgeny Primakov was organized two trips to our country for the most important American sinologists. They came here, attended conferences and traveled around the country, there was an exchange of opinions about things that interested both parties.

These contacts have produced some results for the Soviet side. For example, when it became known about resignation of the President Richard Nixon, I asked Vance, who among American politicians have the chance to take his place. “Take note on Carter”, he told me. Soon Jimmy Carter became President of the United States.

In China, I spent 15 years. All this time I was interested in what is happening there. I had to translate the conversations of many politicians, for example, Kosygin, Mao, and others. When you’re sitting there like a Buddha, you gradually begin to understand who is who, who does what.

In 1967, two years before the events on the island Damanski, I brought to the attention of his leadership in Mead of the Soviet Union that the Chinese will shoot us at the border. I realized this through simple observation.

there were some contacts between translators on a very high level. In 1984, we have not yet existed established ties with China, and Moscow hosted the exhibition of Chinese books. There I met a Chinese who was a translator at the highest level. After returning to China he became Secretary of the Central Committee. He wanted to meet with the Deputy head of the Department of the CPSU Central Committee. At this level, tried to establish contact. In 1988 the first Chinese delegation was in the Central Committee of the CPSU. In China, there are always alternatives, there has always been and, I hope, there are people who do not want any war nor to exacerbate relations and to forge them. And when these people were in power, then it gave its fruits.

idea: is still with us, and maybe even in Europe and America have a wrong impression about the allegedly most backward peoples. I witnessed how the filmmakers came to Africa to make her not be what she really was, and what she thought of white people. The locals, being represented by the pygmies and Bushmen, took off their European clothes, wore what they wore to their ancestors 200 years ago, and was shot. And when the foreigners left, they returned home and wore regular clothes.

Soviet schoolchildren in the 1950s and early 1960s, years studied the textbook in which Africa is allotted only two pages. One of the fragments, in particular, said: “Africans are forced to produce and deliver rubber. And if any village rubber enough passed, then it was filled with people from another tribe of cannibals. Since the late nineteenth century to the end of the First world war the population of the Congo decreased three times.” It turns out, everyone ate. And it was written by the famous scientist, historian Vladimir Tails!

If we talk about how the Soviet leadership reacted to the events in Africa, some understanding of this process they had. The most important thing: if you with some people or country want to do something, it needs primarily to know the country and the people. But, unfortunately, it was on the other line. Not through knowledge, but through “we teach them, we’ll shoot them”.

Another book already all of Africa, published in 1984, in its creation was attended by many well-known experts. It is divided into two parts: “the Situation in the countries of socialist orientation” and “Position in other countries.” The question arises: what kind of socialist-oriented countries?

If some leader said he was in favor of Marx, Engels, Stalin, although he about their ideas knows nothing, they give him money. Many embassies had such a position — Advisor on the construction of the party. The idea was that in other countries to establish political parties in our sense.

Thus some understanding of the processes in individual people, but a policy that was going on and that really influenced the science, look as imposing some artificial scheme. Then it was thought that the countries of, say, Tropical Africa, can jump over several stages — from primitive society to socialism.

you Can refer to an earlier period — the 1920s and beginning of 1930s. When it was Lenin’s idea of a worldwide proletarian revolution. Cases East and Africa has largely been taken over by the Comintern. The people who worked there and developed the Leninist idea in the mid 1930s. Then when again in 1956 became interested in the East and Africa, revived the idea of mozorientation. Now this idea continues to exist, but to a lesser extent.

Janov: in the Soviet period In the framework of Gosteleradiokompaniya were the editors of broadcasting in Africa and China — the international service. In childhood, in the 1970-ies, I was in these editions, there was a mountain of letters. Soviet radio broadcast on some African languages, which did not say no one in the world, including in those countries themselves. I think, at all costs ideology, some sort of memory from it was to remain. Many things have been done, and probably not everything was wasted. Unfortunately, this work was carried out briefly, and now we have this even close.

Galinovic – I have received such letters. On the radio I was talking about the Peng Dehuai. He was a man, which, when Mao had the guts to tell him that he’s wrong that his policies killed tens of millions of people during the great proletarian cultural revolution. Mao killed pan Dehuai. Along the way, in China at the time, led the seven — Chairman of the CPC Central Committee, five Vice-chairmen and Secretary General. From the seven against Mao and his cultural revolution were the four, and Mao was only two, including Deng Xiaoping who advocated a cultural revolution and he himself suffered from it. Deng Xiaoping together with Mao Dzeduna were enemies of the Soviet Union, because in the history of the twentieth century only the two of them in the role of world leaders called all of humanity with them to create a “World United front in the struggle against Soviet revisionism”, that is against our country and people. None of this China today is not denied. Mao Dzeduna Deng Xiaoping was needed as people sharing his views toward the Soviet Union.

Chinese people are very independent. Once Liu Shaoqi, Mao’s successor, said, “If Europe was Marx, why China cannot be a Luxury” — on a stage set itself, the Chinese leader. The current leader of China XI Jinping and modern party of Marxism took, from their point of view, the most important thing — political regime. Everything is allowed in the economy, foreign policy, but the political regime invincible — there should be no one who contradicts you.

L. of Course, the Soviet Union had an interest in spreading their ideology in Africa and Asia, the rivalry and all that. But, nevertheless, the idea of justice, which in the ideal inherent in the socialist doctrine, Marxism, was definitely attractive to developing countries. This idea happened?

idea: somewhere in Europe this is already happening. But for Africa and the Middle East, there is the concept of “socialism” is primarily associated with anti-colonialism and the struggle against capitalism.

it’s Always been that we supported the country’s so-called third world, which pledged allegiance to socialism, not even knowing what it is. For Africa and the Middle East socialism — is primarily anti-colonialism and the struggle against capitalism. And the West, primarily America, simply supported those who were against the Soviet Union. It has always been, and now it is in one form or another continues.

Now in America there are new ideas about what kind of policy is China against the United States. Some American experts on China concluded that in the 40-50 years since the establishment of U.S.-China relations, China lied to America, saying that he is poor and weak and needs the support of the US, the more the two countries have a common enemy — the USSR. And only now Americans are beginning to realize that in fact, the Chinese consider them their rivals.

What ties offers the Chinese leadership to its population? The first is a common blood that unites all Chinese people, wherever they may be. They by birth belong to China. Secondly, it is the multiplicity — “Us the most in the world.” In China the name of the party translates as “Party of the common property”, and today this property became people. The population of China owns the item Communist party, which seriously cut off from his people.

When the Chinese Communists seized power, their newspaper was called “Liberation”, and when he came to power, it changed to “People”. China’s policy today is to persuade all, and to impose the idea that all countries depend on them.

In the world there is a situation when there are two competing powers — China and America. Why China? For the first time in the history of mankind in the hands of the leaders of the Central Committee of the Communist party of China is the whole military, economic and other power of one-fifth of the population.