Fizz's answer to Has post-revolutionary China ever backed down in international (plus SARs, TAR and cross-straits) affairs? quotes Wikipedia's Sino-Soviet border conflict; Eastern border: Heilongjiang (1969):

Speaking at a banquet held at the Romanian embassy in Beijing on 23 August 1968, Zhou Enlai denounced the Soviet Union for "fascist politics, great power chauvinism, national egoism and social imperialism". He went on to compare the invasion of Czechoslovakia to the Americans in the Vietnam War and more pointedly to the policies of Adolf Hitler towards Czechoslovakia in 1938 to 1939. Zhou ended his speech with a barely veiled-call for the people of Czechoslovakia to wage guerrilla war against the Red Army.

While the answer suggests a comparison to Russian "activities" in Ukraine might be interesting, I'm more interested personally how these might play for a Taiwanese audience in 2022.

But that aside for now at least, I'd like to find out what the full content of the speech was. To that end I'd like to ask:

Question: What exactly did Zhou Enlai say about the Czech-Soviet situation in a speech at the Romanian embassy in Beijing on 23 August 1968? Is an English translation available?

  • note: This question is not suitable for History SE per all the comments and answers to How is History SE not like Skeptics SE? How to best parse this phrase? It was a political speech by a politician in a political setting.
    – uhoh
    Oct 21, 2022 at 4:57
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    How is this relevant to the politics of today? Have you read the comments and answer to politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5836/… In particular, why would a speech given over 50 years ago, and about the relationship between two European countries have any relevance to Taiwan. Is it frequently quoted as "de facto policy of the PRC", or given as an example of hypocracy in current Taiwanese politics (for example). My feeling is that unless a much clearer relevance to current politics is made, that this should be closed.
    – James K
    Oct 21, 2022 at 5:41
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    OK, but just keep in mind this is Mao grandstanding to assume leadership of the Communist world over Brezhnev (after first breaking with Krushnev). China and Russia will have brief border war a year later. Mao saying one thing against an "enemy" 50 years ago and China having a different position now isn't all that surprising and there is probably not all that much to be learned. Agreeing with James. I say Mao because Zhou certainly didn't stray far from his guidance on this speech. Oct 21, 2022 at 6:08
  • @JamesK you can go downvote Fizz's answer and leave a comment indicating that it is not relevant to the politics of today and link to the same meta. You have not yet read the question I have not yet posted nor seen how I've written it, so I think your criticism of it is — at a minimum — premature. Perhaps you can't think of an answer that you can write that's relevant to the politics of today, but that doesn't mean that others won't be able to.
    – uhoh
    Oct 21, 2022 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


A transcript is indeed available, and was published in the supplement to the 34th edition in Volume 11 of the Peking Review, on August 23rd. This issue may be found here.

I won't reproduce the whole speech, but in brief, it condemns the "Soviet revisionist leading clique" for "perpetrating towering crimes" in Czechoslovakia, and expresses the support of the Chinese Government for the people's "heroic struggle of resistance to Soviet military occupation".

Zhou then goes on to compare the Soviets to Hitler in Czechoslovakia, and the US in Vietnam - as the quote you found says - and accuses the "revisionist clique" of having "degenerated into a gang of social-imperialists and social-fascists". The 'barely-veiled call' your source describes is probably the following excerpt:

We are convinced that the Czechoslovak people with their glorious revolutionary tradition will never submit to the Soviet revisionist military occupation but will surely continue to rise and carry on the revolutionary struggle against the Soviet revisionist leading clique and the revisionist leading clique at home, whereas by their perverse acts The Soviet revisionist leading clique and its followers will only hasten their complete downfall as well as the total collapse of the entire modern revisionist bloc.

The speech ends with a cry of "Defeat to U.S. imperialism! Defeat to Soviet revisionism! Victory to the people! Long live the friendship between the Chinese and Rumanian peoples!"

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    One needs to keep in mind that non-"revisionist" means "stalinist-maoist labor camps enabling regime", so their expectations of Czech resistance is anything but a democratic velvet revolution.
    – alamar
    Oct 22, 2022 at 9:17

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