SOME ASPECTS OF PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM OF STALINIST SOVIET UNION

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SOME ASPECTS OF PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM OF STALINIST SOVIET UNION

- K. RAMKOTESH | 05.03.2018 07:24:00pm

In the run up to the 2nd World War some crucial events of a far reaching nature took place in the Far East. In the 1930s and the 1940s, Japan had planned to attack the USSR and seize the Soviet Far East for its mineral wealth as stated by Oshima, the former Japanese Ambassador to Germany. Though a neutrality pact was signed between the USSR and Japan in 1941, the Japanese imperialists planned to attack the former after its military strength was fully weakened in the west by the German onslaught (the Japanese were strongly rebuffed in a border incident by the Soviets in 1937). This would facilitate the seizure of Soviet Far East as easy as possible.

In 1937 the USSR and China signed a non-aggression pact. Therefore the USSR protested against the Japanese barbaric bombing of Chinese cities and the aggression of Japan. In 1938 and 1939 the USSR gave 250 million dollars of loans to China and as part of this aid provided 600 aeroplanes and a large arsenal of war equipment to combat the Japanese aggression. 100 Soviet volunteers laid down their lives defending the freed and independence of China.

During the 2nd World War, Japan hampered Soviet shipping and blocked the ports and sea boundaries of the USSR. Towards the close of the war at the Yalta conference of the USSR, the UK and USA the Soviet government under Stalin confirmed its commitment to take action against Japan a few months after the end of the war in Europe. Three months after the Nazi surrender in Europe, the USSR honoured the undertaking to come to the aid of the Japanese enslaved countries of Asia. This step was also dictated by the security interests of the Soviet state and the need for a lasting peace in Far East.

Further the Japanese colonial quest led to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in the Chinese North East, followed by the gradual conquest of the whole eastern half of China, the richest and highly developed part of the country. But the western powers took affective measures against Japanese aggression in the Far East. Owen Lattimore, the American historian admits that the USA and UK regarded Japan as a force for strengthening the colonial system and as a good watchdog against Soviet Union. As a result of this, the USSR was forced to station 40 military divisions in the area though it desperately needed them in the life and death struggle against Germany.

Three military operations were planned by the USSR leadership in the Far East - one in Manchuria with the objective of smashing the powerful Japanese Kwantung army (almost a million strong with a powerful arsenal of weapons threatening the Soviet state) and liberating North East China and North Korea and bring lasting peace the Far East, Second driving out the Japanese forces from Southern Sakhalin. Third was the Kurile Islands.

On 9th August, 1945 Soviet armed forces went on an offensive assisted by the Peoples Liberation Army and partisan forces. The experienced Soviet forces overcame the fierce resistance of the Japanese in spite of adverse meteorological conditions. In 10 days the bulk of the Kwantung Army surrendered along with its huge arsenal of weapons. Soviet troops liberated Manchuria, the town of Dalny (Dairen) and Port Arthur, North Korea and captured South Sakhalin and Kurile Islands in 24 days. In scale and mobility, this campaign occupies a leading place in the battles of the Second World War.

The dynamics of Politics in China shifted from anti-colonial struggle against Japan to the struggle for power between the forces of Chiang Kaishek and Peoples Liberation Army led by the C.P.C. The P.L.A. of China arrived in Manchuria in great numbers and recruited local people in to the army and also received the huge arsenal of weapons of the surrendered Kwantung Army from the Soviet forces. This incident qualitatively changed the balance of forces between the P.L.A and the forces of Chiang Kaishek in Manchuria in particular and China in general. The latterʹs well trained army (about half-a-million in strength) entered Manchuria and occupied cities and railways in accordance with the understanding of the Kuomintang and the P.L.A. The Soviet forces left Manchuria in 1946.

After the defeat of the Chiang Kaishek and the formation of the Peoples Republic of China, the USSR and China signed a treaty of friendship, alliance and mutual assistance. The P.R.C. found a major source of strength in the close ties with the USSR. The Chinese leader Mao firmly sided with socialism as against capitalism. The infant P.R.C. with its ideological affinity to the USSR, needed Soviet Aid and protection to forestall western intervention like the one that occurred in Siberia after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917.

The archival record of the conversation between Mao and Stalin indicates that both the leaders were interested in preserving peace and tranquillity in the region and mutually assisting one another in the struggle to achieve peace, though both perceived a threat of aggression from the West. So Stalin assured China that the USSR would continue to support the former and station Soviet troops in Port Arthur and withdraw them only when Japan enters into a peace agreement with China. He affirmed discomfort for stationing their troops on foreign soil, unlike Western and Eastern Colonialists.

In the course of the conversation Stalin informed Mao that USSR was ready to render assistance in the industrialisation of the economy and the training of personnel in the vital sectors of defence such as aviation and naval warfare (liberation of Formosa or Taiwan also figured in the discussion). Mao perceived a real threat of aggression from Japan with American encouragement. So Stalin assured him that all possible assistance required in the defence of P.R.C. would be given. The USSR was ready to accede to whatever P.R.C. needed and most important of all was the readiness to treat P.R.C. as an equal partner in the course of the conversation between them.

The U.S.S.R. offered concessional credit of 300 million dollars to P.R.C. at a rate of 1% (as against 2% to peoples Democracies in Europe) as its economy was devastated. Further an air force regiment was gifted to P.R.C. for its defence and the liberation of Tibet. Further as a sign of goodwill and cordiality, the Soviets returned to the P.R.C. the industrial equipment taken away as reparations from the Japanese in Manchuria, valued at 2 million dollars by an American reparations specialist.

Later in 1952, a P.R.C. delegation headed by Chouen Lai visited Moscow and met Stalin, the latter was ready to provide industrial equipment, design and training of workers and specialists. More import was the agreement for providing military weapons to 60 divisions at the time of the crucial Korean war, with American aggression at the doorstep of the P.R.C. Weapons for 10 divisions were transferred by P.R.C. to Korea (3 for North Korea and 7 for P.R.C. units in Korea). Further weapons for 42 divisions were being sent to Korea by the P.R.C. Stalin declared that it was necessary to send trained divisions to Korea to fight the Americans and promised to equip the P.R.C. with artillery so vital to defeat the Americans (immense artillery was used to destroy the Germans in the 2nd World War). Further he stressed the key role played by machine tools in the manufacture of artillery guns and the production of shells. He offered 5 anti-aircraft artillery regiments to the Koreans. Also 10 more artillery regiments were being considered as aid to assist the Koreans to deal with the American bombardment of Korea. He also promised everything possible would be done to arm the Chinese and the Koreans against the Americans. He was forthright in offering Soviet assistance in manufacturing planes and tanks. Further he stressed upon the important task of defeating the Americans in Korea in order to gain Taiwan.

On the question of Soviet assistance to the planning system in the P.R.C., Stalin offered all possible help in the industrialisation and the methodology for the planned development of Chinese economy.

Despite their own urgent needs, the Soviets despatched to China large numbers of scientists, technicians and military advisors.

Finally Stalin welcome address to the Chinese delegation in 1949 throws some light on the fraternal relations between different parties. He frankly said : " The Chinese delegation stated in its report that the C.P.C. will obey the decisions of the Communist Party of Soviet Union. It seems strange to us. The party of one state submits to the party of another state. Such things have never happened and it is not permissible. Both parties should bear responsibility to their people, mutually consult on some issues, mutually help each other, and when difficulties encounter, closely rally . . . ."





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