China: the Struggle Within: Behind the Test Ban Negotiations -- and the Position of the People's Republic of China

Behind the Test Ban Negotiations
and the Position of
the People's Republic of China

July 26, 1963

We are for a test ban. More than that, we are for completely banning and prohibiting the use and manufacture of all nuclear weapons and for the total destruction of existing stockpiles.

But the people of the world must be made fully aware of the fact that the mere prohibition of certain types of nuclear testing does not at all mean a slowdown of the U.S. imperialist drive toward war.

Even more so, the people must know that a partial or limited test ban of the type now being negotiated is cynically calculated by the U.S. to be of a military advantage to them at the expense of the socialist countries.


The masses of people throughout the whole world are of course clamoring for peace. But imperialism, behind words of peace, continues to arm, visiting death and destruction wherever it can get away with it and prepares for nuclear war.

A partial or limited banning of nuclear tests may come about as the result of an agreement coming out of the Moscow Conference between the U.S., Great Britain, and the USSR.

Marxists will never deny the necessity or the permissibility of a socialist country entering into a concrete agreement with the imperialists on matters of disarmament.

But it is one thing to execute a specific agreement with an imperialist power. It is another thing entirely to sow illusions about the peaceful intentions of imperialism and to deceive the masses about the aggressive character of imperialism and its congenital tendency towards militarism and war.

History has shown that it is possible for belligerents to abandon the use of this or that particular weapon in a general war. Thus it was that during the Second World War poison gas was not used by any of the belligerents. That was due primarily to the fact that the advantages to either side mutually cancelled each other out.


If Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini -- or for that matter the U.S. (who, after all, dropped the atomic bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) had entertained the slightest notion that they could have won the war or gained a substantial advantage by the use of poison gas, they would not have hesitated to use it. Certainly they had experimented with it and had large quantities of it.

The presumed desire of the Kennedy Administration to ban nuclear weapons, starting with a limited ban on nuclear testing, is certainly not motivated by any humanitarian or peaceful considerations. To say anything of the sort is a fraud and a deception upon the masses. The motivation for the partial ban, if and when it is agreed upon in Moscow, arises from the fact that U.S. imperialists believe that it will give them a military advantage over other countries. A partial test ban does not mean that the U.S. will not continue to manufacture and stockpile more bombs. It already has 25,000 warheads and merely seeks to stop testing certain types which are no longer militarily useful, at least for a while.

Thus it is plain that it is a hardheaded offer based strictly on military advantage, and devoid of any kind of sentiment for peace.

The primary political purpose of the maneuver of the Kennedy Administration is to bar the Chinese People's Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons for self-defense against U.S. imperialist aggression. It is merely trying to utilize the negotiations with the Soviet leaders as a ploy against China.


The Chinese People's Republic has made crystal-clear its position on nuclear war and the production and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. This it did only recently in an editorial in the July 19 issue of The Chinese People's Daily.

This states that the "Chinese Government always stands opposed to nuclear war and has consistently advocated the total prohibition of nuclear weapons. We stand for a ban on the use, manufacture, stockpiling and testing of nuclear weapons and for the destruction of all existing weapons.

A clearer and more forthright statement could scarcely be made. As anyone can plainly see, the Chinese are not only for banning tests and banning the manufacture of more bombs, but for the complete destruction of all existing nuclear weapons as well, and for their prohibition of manufacture and use in the future.

All the Kennedy Administration has done is to offer to eliminate certain types of testing. Yet it is the Chinese who are maliciously and deliberately accused, day in and day out, of being for nuclear war.


The Chinese Government, however, is not blind to the purpose of the current test ban negotiations on the part of the Kennedy Administration. The People's Government knows that it is aimed largely against China and as a "trap for the Soviet Union." The Kennedy Administration would like to see the Chinese People's Republic disarmed, and itself armed to the teeth.

It was incorrect, to say the least, for the leadership of the USSR to begin any kind of negotiations on such critical issues, without full consultation and agreement with the Chinese People's Republic. In carrying on the negotiations with the U.S., while at the same time carrying out a campaign of vilification against the Chinese CP, Khrushchev has not only undermined the strength of the socialist countries and the international communist movement, but the Soviet Union itself.

It is now plain that he has embarked upon a course that is most dangerous to the cause of world socialism and the destiny of mankind itself. No greater error can be made than to underestimate this danger.

Main menu Book menu