Forwarded from John Manning (CPUSA and spies)

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Tue Jun 5 21:23:38 MDT 2001

>>The Sino-Soviet dispute was over real issues of revolutionary strategy,
the Chinese making many correct criticisms of the Soviets' policy of
peaceful coexistence.<<

I do not believe this is what was involved at root in the Sino-Soviet
dispute. At the bottom of the rift was the USSR's treatment of China, its
demands that the Chinese subordinate their policies and priorities to the
Kremlin's needs, and Mao's refusal to do so.

The dispute became especially acute because of what the Chinese perceived as
a series of Soviet provocations, including backing out from an agreement to
share nuclear technology with China, Khruschev's suggestion that a joint
Soviet-Chinese navy be created under the Kremlin's command, etc.

The ostensible policy differences between China and the Soviet Union were
not the cause but rather a symptom of the dispute. And history would show in
1972 that the sharp ideological clashes between Moscow and Peking were more
a reflection of the two different situations of those two countries in their
relations with the rest of the world at a specific point in time than of
underlying different political approaches.

That is not, of course, the way left-wing activists in the 1960s became
aware of the dispute. It presented itself largely as an ideological dispute
between Moscow and Peking. In that ideological dispute, things were not
nearly as clear as might be believed. The cults of Stalin and Mao, which
China avidly promoted, for example, were repulsive to many.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Fidler" <rfidler at>
To: "Marxism list" <marxism at>
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: Forwarded from John Manning (CPUSA and spies)

John Manning's account is fascinating. It certainly made me want to read
"Operation Solo". But it also left me with a few questions:

1. Is Manning suggesting that the CPUSA supported the Kremlin in the
Soviet-Chinese dispute simply or mainly because it was getting a million
a year from the USSR? The Sino-Soviet dispute was over real issues of
revolutionary strategy, the Chinese making many correct criticisms of the
Soviets' policy of peaceful coexistence. Surely the CPUSA's position was the
product of its own ideological inclinations. That is why the membership
supported the leadership's hostility to China. They didn't need to be bribed
take that stance, let alone to know the money was coming in (which they

2. Although Manning suggests that the FBI influenced the CPUSA to support
Kremlin against Beijing, he provides no evidence of such influence (although
doubt Washington favoured Khruschev's line over Mao's). So what is the
for his statement that "the FBI...were thus able to bribe the CPUSA, with
funds, for the entire 25 years... and were so able to steer policy during
entire period of development of the Soviet-China split to get the most
disruptive results internationally"?

3. Most interesting is Manning's reference to the Japanese CP's role in
attempting to reconcile the differences between Moscow and Beijing. This was
to me at least. How does one get hold of the JCP's "International Issues"?
what exactly did the JCP propose as some way to "preserve the unity of the
movement"? Didn't the Sino-Soviet dispute have its roots in Moscow's
of the "socialism in one country" approach, i.e. a nationalist strategy for
"building socialism" (which necessarily excluded real socialist
through joint planning, etc.), as well as the greater pressure from
faced by Beijing in the 1950s (U.S. hostility, Korean war, etc.)?

Richard Fidler
rfidler at

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