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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


July 23, 1936

[An interview from Edgar Snow's interview with comrade Mao Tse-tung, 23 July 1936.]

Question: In actual practice, if the Chinese revolution were victorious would the economic and political relationship between Soviet China and Soviet Russia be maintained within the Third International or a similar organization, or would there probably be some kind of actual merger of governments? Would the Chinese Soviet Government be comparable in its relation to Moscow to the present government of Outer Mongolia?

Answer: I assume this is a purely hypothetical question. As I have told you, the Red Army is not now seeking the hegemony of power but a united China against Japanese imperialism.

The Third International is an organization in which the vanguard of the world proletariat brings together its collective experience for the benefit of all revolutionary peoples throughout the world. It is not an administrative organization nor has it any political power beyond that of an advisory capacity. Structurally it is not very different from the Second International, though in content it is vastly different. But just as no one would say that in a country where the Cabinet is organized by the social-democrats, the Second International is dictator, so it is ridiculous to say that the Third International is dictator in countries where there are communist parties.

In the U.S.S.R., the Communist Party is in power, yet even there the Third International does not rule nor does it have any direct political power over the people at all. Similarly, it can be said that although the Communist Party of China is a member of the Comintern, still this in no sense means that Soviet China is ruled by Moscow or by the Comintern. We are certainly not fighting for an emancipated China in order to turn the country over to Moscow!

The Chinese Communist Party is only one party in China and in its victory it will have to speak for the whole nation. It cannot speak for the Russian people or rule for the Third International but only in the interest of the Chinese masses. Only where the interests of the Chinese masses coincide with the interests of the Russian masses can it be said to be obeying the will of Moscow. But of course this basis of common benefit will be tremendously broadened, once the masses of China are in democratic power and socially and economically emancipated like their brothers in Russia.

When Soviet government have been established in many countries, the problem of an international union of soviets may arise, and it will be interesting to see how it will be solved. But today I cannot suggest the formula, it is a problem which has not been and cannot be solved in advance. In the world of today with increasingly close economic and cultural intimacies between different states and people, such union would seem to be highly desirable, if achieved on a voluntary basis.

Clearly, however, the last point is of utmost importance; such a world union could be successful only if every nation had the right to enter or leave the union according to the will of its people, and with its sovereign intact, and certainly never at the 'command' of Moscow. No communist ever thought otherwise, and the myth of 'world domination from Moscow' is an invention of the fascists and counter-revolutionaries.

The relationship between Outer Mongolia and the Soviet Union, now and in the past, has always been based on the principle of complete equality. When the people's revolution has been victorious in China, the Outer Mongolian republic will automatically become a part of the Chinese federation, at its own will. The Mohammedan and Tibetan people, likewise, will form autonomous republics attached to the China federation.

Question: With the achievement of victory of a Red movement in China, do you think that revolution would occur quickly in other Asiatic colonial or semi-colonial countries such as Korea, Indochina, the Philippines, and India? Is China at present the 'key" to the world revolution?

Answer: The Chinese revolution is a key factor in the world situation and its victory is heartily anticipated by the people of every country, especially by the toiling masses of the colonial countries. When the Chinese revolution comes into full power, the masses of many colonial countries will follow the example of China and win a similar victory of their own…

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung