China and the Anti-Colonial

The Chinese youth delegation to the World Congress of (Socialist) Youth in Baghdad in 1960 was exemplary in its organization of newly independent and non-aligned nations around China’s banner as a leading world force for liberation.  

As was reported to the Centralrat of the Free German Youth, this qualified the Chinese as having taken a divergence from peaceful coexistence Soviet line, calling China’s position “radical and basically akin to Trotskyite.”  Yet at Baghdad, marking the Soviets and their friends with discomfort, China was successful in pulling along the following coalition:

“Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, League of Black-Africa Students in France, the west African Student League as well as one similar Latin American organization [Algerien, Tunis, Morocco, Verband der Studenten-Schwartzafrikas in Frankreich, des westafrikan Studentverband sowie einige latinamericansiche Verbaende].”

Isn’t it precisely because the Chinese have evacuated from any such pretenses of opposing (rather than mastering and malignantly augmenting) Western economic methods and systems that some angry voices are now raised against the PRC in the Maghreb?   

When was the last time you heard a Chinese delegate rumbling angrily about French colonial legacies in the Maghreb/northern Africa?  Chinese oil companies are more than happy to fill the discursive void, but the slow extinguishing of the ardent, believing leftist wing over the course of the early 1970s left Chinese people apparently exhausted for having any definite opinions at all about China’s role in Africa, much less the PRC’s model filling the void in terms of, say, rural development for governments and people’s war for revolutionaries.  


“Ueber die Entwicklung der Gegensaetze des chinesischen Studentverbundes mit dem Internaitonaler Studentenband (ISB) [Regarding the Creation of a Dialogue between the Chinese Student League and the International Organization of Students],” Memorandum from G. Sommer to Egon Ehrlich in the International Relations Central Committee of the Free German Youth, 5 September 1963, SAMPO Bundesarchiv, Berlin, Germany, DY 24/ folder 6409.  

See also:

“Bericht der Delegation des Zentralrates der Freie Deutsche Jugend zum Studium der Arbeit des Kommunistische Jugendverbandes Chinas [Report of the Delegation of the Central Committee of the Free Germany Youth in the Study of the Work of the Chinese Communist Youth Organizations],” undated, 1959, 67 pages, SAMPO Bundesarchiv, Berlin, DY 24 / folder 6409.  (incorrect citation for above content! changes TBA) 


Image courtesy Case Western Reserve University (clink link for 8/29 announcement of lecture by Dr. Julia Strauss in Cleveland)
Image courtesy Case Western Reserve University (clink link for 8/29 announcement of lecture by Dr. Julia Strauss in Cleveland)