Pravda on the Sino-Soviet split (1967)


In February 1967 the Soviet state newspaper Pravda published the following editorial, reflecting on the Sino-Soviet split and condemning Mao Zedong and his cohort in China:


“During the past half century our party and our people have more than once had to withstand fierce attacks by hostile forces against the first socialist state in the history of mankind… It can be said that never before has such a fierce campaign been waged against it as the one launched by the present leaders of China…

In their shameless violations of the existing standards and customs of international law, the Chinese authorities go to lengths which even the most reactionary of imperialist governments have rarely permitted themselves…

What are the organisers of the campaign of hatred against the Soviet Union trying to achieve? The facts show that the persons who are today directing the policy of China are setting themselves the goal not only of bringing up the Chinese people in a spirit of enmity towards the USSR, but of worsening Soviet-Chinese relations to the limit, and, in the last analysis, bringing those relations to the point of a complete break…

It was by no means accidental that they fired their first shots in the political war against the Soviet state and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union shortly after the failure of the ill conceived policy of the “Great Leap” and the “People’s Communes.” As the scale of the setbacks in domestic policy… became increasingly clear, the intensity of the anti-Soviet campaign grew more and more…

Mao Zedong’s group has long been attacking its own party. The most elementary standards and principles of inner party life – the elective nature of party bodies, the responsibility of leaders to the party and party organisations, publicity in the discussion of the party line, etc. – have been trampled underfoot in China. The cult of the personality of Mao Tse-tung has reached absurd lengths and has become actual idolatry…”

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