Maoists warn of threat from new capitalists

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 April, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 April, 1996, 12:00am

Powerful Maoists in the Communist Party have issued an internal paper warning against the threats posed by hostile foreign forces and the 'new class' of capitalists.

The document, entitled 'Domestic and Foreign Influence on State Security - a Preliminary Study of the Major Threats', is being circulated among senior cadres and intellectuals in Beijing.

It claims that as a result of the emergence of the 'new class' of private entrepreneurs, 'the latent contradictions and conflicts among the classes [in China] will be exacerbated and radicalised'.

The paper, which is believed to have been penned by commissars close to veteran ideologue Deng Liqun warned against a 'smokeless warfare' being waged by so-called neo-imperialists to 'Westernise, divide up, and weaken China'.

'The battle between socialism and capitalism is still being staged in the world arena,' the document said. 'Who wins and who loses has yet to be resolved.' It added that 'hostile foreign forces' would make use of every opportunity to promote China's transition to capitalism through 'peaceful evolution'.

The paper pointed out that in the wake of economic development since the late 1970s, the socio-economic structure and ideological climax had changed due to the rise of private capital and the influx of Western ideas.

It said tough action must be taken by party authorities to thwart threats to state security and 'the very survival of socialism'.

This is the second time in half a year that the leftists, or remnant Maoists, have tried to pressure the administration of President Jiang Zemin to adopt a more conservative line.

Last October, the ideologues circulated a so-called 10,000-character petition to Mr Jiang warning against similar dangers to communist orthodoxy.

Partly as a result of the Maoists flexing their muscles, Mr Jiang himself has coined conservative slogans such as 'talk more about politics' and 'pay more attention to ideological and political work'.

Western diplomats who have seen a copy of the second document said, however, that the ideologues had this time been more careful about not offending the followers of Deng Xiaoping .

Unlike the 10,000-character petition, which hinted that Mr Deng's reforms were 'quasi-capitalist', the new document cited merits of economic reform such as raising the nation's overall strength.

The diplomats said as a result of the confrontation between China and the United States over the Taiwan issue, conservative ideologues were set to dominate the media and propaganda scene in the near future.