Last month in this space we discussed the Chinese perspective on the world, as authoritatively defined by Lin Piao in his article "Long Live the Victory of the People's War!" commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the victory over the Japanese invaders. The Chinese view, in briefest summary, is that the decisive struggle in the world today is between United States imperialism and the rising tide of revolution in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The revolutionary movement in the advanced capitalist countries has been "temporarily" held back; and the socialist countries, while they have a duty to support the liberation struggles of the colonial and semi-colonial countries, are not going to fight anyone unless they are attacked.* The Chinese believe that their victorious struggle against the Japanese invaders and then against their own reactionaries points the way to the other subjugated countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The war in Vietnam is the latest chapter in the story, and it will certainly be followed by many others. While Lin Piao does not attempt to forecast the future (beyond confidently predicting the defeat of imperialism), the impression is dearly conveyed that the Chinese expect the imperialist forces to be increasingly overextended and gradually worn down to the point of exhaustion; and the logical inference is that at some stage of the process the revolutionary movement in the imperialist countries will be reactivated and will play its part in the final victory of the world revolution.
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.