Red China: The Self-Bound Gulliver

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 10)

stronger economically and politically than ever before.

But Mao, the arrogant outcast, is seldom turned from a course of action because it may be difficult—either for him or his country. In his first major speech in six years, he denounced the "enslavement" of American Negroes, declared that he was "firmly convinced that, with the support of more than 90% of the earth's population, American Negroes will be victorious in their just struggle."

Wooing Brothers. Mao's minions have been beating the racial drum at huge pro-Negro rallies in major Chinese cities. In an 18-month period, 87 African delegations traveled to Peking, and red-carpet welcomes are given such visitors as Burundi's Queen Therese Kanyonga and Somalia's Prime Minister Abdirascid Scermarche. Chinese propagandists in Kenya are using the slogan: "We black brothers must unite!"

Red China is also wooing its yellow and brown brothers in the Asian Communist parties, with considerable success in Japan, Ceylon and, of all places, New Zealand. North Viet Nam's wispy leader, Ho Chi Minh, is ambiguous about his loyalties, but must reflect that Red China is next door while Russia is far away. Indonesia's Red chief, D. N. Aidit, walks a zigzag line, and Burma, typically, has two Communist factions—one for Mao, one for Khrushchev.

To Western eyes, Red China seems a Gulliver tied hand and foot by its own deficiencies. In Mao's dreams, China is a giant that first stood up when the Communists took power in 1949, and already towers militarily over the Lilliputian nations of Asia.

R Trouble. The view from Washington is at least consistent: it holds that, whatever the posture of the Chinese giant, Mao's regime legally does not exist. As for Moscow, it is employing against China the richly vituperative vocabulary built up in long years of excoriating imperialists, Trotskyites, deviationists and running dogs of fascism. The Russians called Mao a "foul liar" who is "trying to destroy the unity of the socialist camp" and charged the Red Chinese leaders with being "ready to sacrifice hundreds of millions of people in a nuclear conflict to establish world Communism." Peking trod just as heavily on Khrushchev's toe by asking who it was who "irresponsibly played with the lives of millions by recklessly introducing rockets into Cuba and then humiliatingly withdrawing them." What really outraged the Russians was Red China's presumption. Izvestia spluttered that in 1961 China equated its winning of the world championship in table tennis with the first Soviet manned space flight, and ridiculed Peking's claim that the multi-stage rocket carrier was a Chinese invention of the 9th century. The Russians added witheringly that the Chinese were even incapable of pronouncing the letter R and always said, "R-R-Revolution."

Pandas & Tigers. It would seem obvious that Mao Tse-tung has enough trouble at home without looking for it abroad. The Great Leap Forward, launched with such fanfare in 1958, was intended to bring quick success in 1) building a pure Communist state, and 2) making China over into a first-class world power. Instead, the Leap's frenzied mobilization of peasants into communes, the setting up of backyard blast furnaces, and the 24-hour-a-day speedup in the

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10