A gathering of Maoist cadre at an undisclosed location in Chhattisgarh. (File photo)

A 72-page document by the central committee of the CPI (Maoist) has attacked China for “integrating itself in the global capitalist-imperialist order” and denounced it as the “enemy of working class movements across the world.”

The document “China’s Social Imperialism” was first written in Telegu last year , the year that marked the 50th anniversary of the historic Naxalbari uprising . It has now been done up in English and Hindi for wider circulation.

The document lambasts China’s “imperialist tendencies” for arms sales, resource extraction , political  interference in other countries and deploying capital on unfavourable and exploitative terms in Third World countries   — all of which has been voiced by detractors of China ‘s Belt and Roads Initiative in recent years.

The document sees China’s ‘social imperialism ‘ as a global competitor of American capitalism driven imperialism and describes it as an “enemy of working class movements” all over the world.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist), which came into existence on September 21, 2004, through the merger of the Maoist Communist Centre of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist–People’s War), has earlier accused China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of having betrayed Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM) and the world’s proletarian movement by allowing itself to be integrated into the world capitalist movement. It has looked upon Deng Xiao-Ping and his successors in China as revisionists.

The CPI (Maoist) upholds the legacy of the 1967 Naxalbari uprising whose leaders defies Mao and raised the slogan “China’s chairman in our chairman, China’s road is our road.”

In an interview given after the formation of the CPI (Maoist), the party general secretary Ganapathy, had said in an interview: “The reversals in the Soviet Union (1956) and then in China (1976) and the conversion of the Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) and the CPC (Communist Party of China) into revisionist parties fuelled rightist and revisionist parties throughout the world.

“The restoration of capitalism in these former socialist societies and the disintegration of the socialist camp had a very negative impact on the advance of the world revolution. Utilising the situation of this setback, the imperialists went on an ideological and political offensive against communism trying to show it as being outdated and floating various new forms of dissent theories.

“On the other hand, most of the genuine communist revolutionary forces were in disarray and ideological and political confusion was rife with no international centre. It is these factors that have resulted in the relative weakening of the Maoist forces today. In addition, the massive, genocidal repression unleashed on all revolutionary forces (as witnessed in Indo-China, Latin America, and now Asia) further created impediments in growth. ”

Ganapathy credited Mao for “correctly interpreting Marxism-Leninism in the Chinese context,” but denounced the Deng clique for undermining socialism in China under the pretext of practising socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The CPI (Maoist) document carries that forward and its ideological formulation could be seen as a damming indictment of Xi Jinping’s latest formulation of “Socialism with Chinese characteristics “.

It stresses the need for a “correct interpretation of Marxism Leninism and Mao (MLM) thought.

“If Maoist parties emerge in various countries and take concrete tactics, under a correct strategy, they are bound to advance. To do so, there is a need to correctly grasp MLM; know the nature of the imperialist era and grasp the historical task of the world working class and its vanguard parties; politically mobilise and lead the masses in the class struggles and advance the revolutionary wars to success.”

The Chinese believe that in highlighting the role of the rural masses, Mao merely interpreted Marxism-Leninism in the light of the conditions prevailing in China and made it work there. They call his ideas Mao’s Thoughts and have not elevated them to the level of a new ideology to supplement Marxism-Leninism.

On the other hand, the Maoists outside China, including those in India, have elevated Mao’s Thoughts to a new ideology applicable to rural societies and called it Maoism, a characterisation with which the Chinese do not agree. The Maoists outside China project themselves as genuine Maoists and describe the leaders of China as pseudo-Maoists because of their alleged betrayal of MLM.

The CPI (Maoist) document blamed the “social-imperialist and comprador bourgeoisie of China” for doing away with the ideological struggle in China to focus on economic stability and capitalist restoration.

“The bourgeoisie in the Chinese Communist Party only too gladly abandoned People’s War and internationalist obligations, as we see in China since 1976.Today there is no socialist China to fulfill its internationalist obligations.”

This characterisation of China by the Indian Maoists is not only a direct ideological challenge to Xi Jinping’s formulations and his efforts to hang on to the coattails of the Chinese revolutionary legacy.

It also means the Indian Maoist movement which is violent and underground cannot expect any support from China, ideological or tactical.

Though weakened in the last three years, the Indian Maoists have strong presence in 12 states where they have regularly attacked security forces and pulled off stunning ambushes.

They have been belatedly accused of infiltrating urban protest movements as well and the Indian government says the arrest of several top left wing intellectuals is linked to a Maoist plan to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

That claim has, however, been rubbished by human rights groups in India and abroad.

Subir Bhaumik

Subir Bhaumik is a Kolkata-based senior journalist. He can be reached at:

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