Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Chinese Communists Tone Down Message on National Day

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Chinese Communists Tone Down Message on National Day

Article excerpt

CHINA'S Communist Party began its 43rd year in power yesterday by toning down the alarm over alleged subversion that it sounded after the collapse of the Soviet Communist Party.

The comparatively subdued warning about the popular rejection of communism abroad appeared to bolster reports that paramount leader Deng Xiaoping has cautioned against portraying China as the world's last stronghold of Marxism.

Mr. Deng seeks to curtail publicly the role of Marxism in China's foreign affairs so as to conciliate other countries and keep Beijing focused on challenges at home, according to Chinese sources.

Still, internal documents circulated among officials show that Beijing views foreign affairs - particularly the downfall of communist regimes abroad - through a lens inked by orthodox communism, they say.

In speeches and official editorials, Beijing declared that China will never abandon communism and just vaguely referred to Marxism's retreat in other countries.

"As socialism develops, there will be times of big steps forward and times of temporary setbacks," Liberation Army Daily said in a front-page editorial Wednesday.

"In the end socialism will smash the terrifying waves and reach the shores of victory," the newspaper said, predicting the demise of capitalism.

Premier Li Peng, in a toast at a National Day reception Monday, also did not echo the chorus of recent official diatribes about the alleged efforts of "hostile forces at home and abroad" to undermine the Communist regime.

Mr. Li's toast omitted warnings about alleged overseas attempts to promote what Communist leaders call the "peaceful evolution" of China toward capitalism and democracy. The official alarm reached an unprecedented pitch last month.

Instead, Li extended a hand to other countries, including those in Western Europe and the United States. …

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