Lia Biao on American imperialism (1965)


In September 1965 the People’s Daily published an essay by Chinese defence minister Lin Biao, attacking American imperialism in Asia. It is typical of the anti-American rhetoric by Chinese communist leaders in the 1950s and 1960s:


“Since World War II, American imperialism has stepped into the shoes of German, Japanese and Italian fascism and has been trying to build a great American empire by dominating and enslaving the whole world. It is actively fostering Japanese and West German militarism as its chief accomplices in unleashing a world war. Like a vicious world it is bullying and enslaving various peoples, plundering their wealth, encroaching upon their sovereignty and interfering in their internal affairs. It is the most rabid aggressor in human history and the most ferocious common enemy of the people of the world. Every people or country in the world that wants revolution, independence and peace cannot but direct the spearhead of its struggle against US imperialism.

Just as the Japanese imperialist policy of subjugating China made it possible for the Chinese people to form the broadest possible united front against them, so the U.S. imperialists’ policy of seeking world domination makes it possible for the people throughout the world to unite all the forces that can be united and form the broadest possible united front for a converging attack on U.S. imperialism.

At present, the main battlefield of the fierce struggle between the people of the world on one side and US imperialism and its lackeys on the other is the vast area of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the world as a whole, this is the area where the people suffer worst from imperialist oppression and where imperialist rule is most vulnerable. Since World War II, revolutionary storms have been rising in this area, and today they have become the most important force directly pounding US imperialism…

The struggles waged by the different peoples against US imperialism reinforce each other and merge into a torrential world wide tide of opposition to US imperialism. The more successful the development of people’s war in a given region, the larger the number of US imperialist forces that can be pinned down and depleted there. When the US aggressors are hard pressed in one place, they have no alternative but to loosen their grip on others. Therefore the conditions become more favourable for the people elsewhere to wage struggles against US imperialism and its lackeys…

US imperialism relies solely on its nuclear weapons to intimidate people. But these weapons cannot save US imperialism from its doom. Nuclear weapons cannot be used lightly. US imperialism has been condemned by the people of the world for its towering crime of dropping two atom bombs on Japan. If it uses nuclear weapons again, it will become isolated in the extreme. Moreover, the US monopoly of nuclear weapons has long been broken. US imperialism has these weapons but others have them too. If it threatens other countries with nuclear weapons, US imperialism will expose its own country to the same threat. For this reason, it will meet with strong opposition not only from the people elsewhere but also inevitably from the people in its own country. Even if US imperialism brazenly uses nuclear weapons, it cannot conquer the people, who are indomitable…

History has proved and will go on proving that people’s war is the most effective weapon against US imperialism and its lackeys. All revolutionary people will learn to wage people’s war against US imperialism and its lackeys. They will take up arms, learn to fight battles and become skilled in waging people’s war, though they have not done so before. US imperialism like a mad bull dashing from place to place, will finally be burned to ashes in the blazing fires of the people’s wars it has provoked by its own actions.”