China: the Struggle Within: U.S. Bombs Vietnam on Eve of China Trip

U.S. Bombs Vietnam on Eve of China Trip

February 16, 1972

After over 20 years of officially pretending that the People's Republic of China didn't exist, U.S. imperialism has dramatically reversed itself, and is sending President Nixon to Peking. This startling decision is still causing reverberations in ruing class circles, and foreign capitalist governments allied to the U.S. are trying to figure out the significance this turn in U.S.-Chinese relations will have for them. Within the international working class movement, a number of interpretations of the visit have been offered. Some see the visit as purely a victory for the Asian revolution, and speak of Nixon going to Peking "on his knees."

It is absolutely true that U.S. imperialism has suffered a disastrous defeat in Asia. The Vietnamese liberation fighters have demonstrated their superiority on the battlefield in spite of overwhelming odds in technology and materiel. Beginning with the abdication of Johnson and continuing through the publication of the Pentagon Papers, Workers World has again and again printed to the signs of a serious crisis within the U.S. ruing class brought about by their defeats in Vietnam. The U.S. has also learned that it could not bring about the counterrevolutionary overturn of the People's Republic of China, even with a combination of military encirclement, two hot wars on China's borders in Korea and Vietnam, a political cold war, and a total economic embargo. The revolutionary dynamic in China spurred on its economic growth, and the U.S. was helpless to stop it.

After so many failures, it is obvious that imperialism is now trying a new tactic But it would be terribly wrong for anyone in this country to think that their basic strategy is altered in any way. That strategy is based on implacable hostility to the socialist mode of production, both at home and abroad, and the absolute necessity, for the survival of their system, to find new avenues to exploit the workers and oppressed in every comer of the globe.

Nixon feels he has a great deal to gain, internally and internationally, from this visit. Here at home, he is creating a new image in an election year. Richard Nixon the reactionary is transformed, via the medium of continuous television coverage of has trip, into a man of peace and understanding, trying to seek a solution to the world's problems, and ready to go to the ends of the earth to find it. This is the hypocritical mask the chief executive of imperialism has donned, while at the same time he directs the murderous bombings going on in Vietnam, imposes a wage freeze on American workers, proposes a budget that would again saddle the people with a staggering arms bill that cannot help but drive up inflation, and commands the never ending war against Black America with its Atticas and Baton Rouges.

While he is dealing for the first time with 700 million Chinese, he will not be taking one representative of the Black news media with him. In the hordes of newsmen who will be sending back tons of laudatory copy, not one will be accredited to any of the hundreds of Black newspapers, news services, or radio stations in this country. Is any more evidence needed that Nixon and his collaborators who have arranged this trip remain diehard racists?

Nixon is not going to China to beg for mercy or to turn over a new leaf. He is going in an attempt to bolster up imperialism, get out of the crisis of the last decade, and explore the possibilities of new diplomatic alignments to achieve the same old ends.

People's China is of course aware of this. To believe otherwise would be to grossly underestimate the political astuteness and experience of her leaders. And, after many years of harassment and isolation, China has every right to try and normalize state relations with the U.S., just as she has done with many other capitalist countries.

But it is not necessary to invite the head of state of the most murderous, oppressive regime in the world to visit China for a week in order to reach an understanding on the normalization of state relations. This can be done, and was done in Lenin's day, through an exchange of diplomats in a way that all the workers and oppressed can see there are no deals being made over their heads China has in the past correctly criticized the revisionist Soviet leaders for sacrificing the international struggles of the workers and oppressed to the narrow national interests of the Soviet Union Now the Soviet revisionists are having a field day returning the criticism, hoping they can thereby justify their own conduct toward the imperialists.

It is particularly inappropriate for People's China to receive Nixon at thus time. Each day the news of U.S. bombings in Vietnam is more horrendous than the last. There was speculation last summer when the visit was first made public that this would mean an immediate tapering off of the war. This has not happened and the Nixon visit is seen in the eyes of the world through the smoke and flames of the U.S. war in Vietnam. This is not to say that the Vietnamese should not take advantage of Nixon's visit, if at all possible, to further negotiations for a U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia. We note that Le Duc Tho, senior North Vietnamese negotiator at the Paris peace talks, will be arriving in Peking the day before Nixon. Peking is certainly as good a place as Paris for any negotiations, and the Vietnamese are correct to take advantage of any situation that presents itself. However, Nixon's trip to Peking at this time strengthens the U.S. politically in its overall world position, just at a time when the Vietnamese war had brought U.S. influence in the world to an all-time ebb. We do not think this can help either the Vietnamese or -- in the long run -- the revolutionary masses of China.

Speculation is abundant in the U.S. press that Nixon hopes to reach an understanding with China against the Soviet Union. The Wall Street Journal, by its very name directed to the corporate ruling class, speaks of a "Sino-U.S. tie to harass the Russians." The New York Times is also discussing the possibility of U.S.-Chinese cooperation against the Soviet Union in Asia. While much of thus may be "trial balloon" journalism intended to alarm the Soviet leaders and make the split with China irrevocable, it shows how quickly the imperialists take advantage of any opening to split the socialist countries from each other. Only a short while ago they were talking of the "dogmatism" of the Chinese vs. the more "reasonable" attitude of the Soviets.

The profound changes wrought all over the world -- and in the U.S. particularly -- in the last decade should prove even to the skeptical that great leaps in consciousness arise from uncompromising struggle The interests of the workers and oppressed in every country lie in deepening that struggle, tearing off the mask from imperialism, exposing the rulers of this country for the racists and oppressors that they are. We think that this end would be served more effectively if People's China were to say: "No imperialist murderers are welcome in this land of workers and peasants!"

Main menu Book menu