Pioneer of the Research on Issues related to the Soviet Union
Xing Guangcheng (hereinafter referred to as Xing): teacher Liu, the Youth Research Center of Humanities and Social Sciences has held the activity of “learning and talking with members of the Department of Science and members of the Honor Department of Science”, organizing some young academic key people and academic pacesetters of our Academy to develop learning and consultation activities for all members. Through this indepth interview, we shall record academic achievements and research experiences of ancient experts in proper form, and we plan to compile a book, so as to provide valuable learning materials for young scholars. You are a member of the Honor Department of Science, and a long standing leader enjoying high prestige and commanding universal respect, and a famous scholar.
Liu Kepeng (hereinafter referred to as Liu): in my eyes, you are a spirited young person.
Xing: teacher Liu, I am your student, and my masters and doctors dissertations were completed under your guidance. Maybe, I can not say that I have profoundly and comprehensively mastered your academic thoughts, but I try my best to learn and take experience from them. I know that you have researched the world economy for many years and have had profound achievements in politics, economics, foreign affairs, ideology, and culture of the Soviet Union and countries in Eastern Europe, with a systematical Marxist Theory base. In addition, you have mastered English, Russian, and French through self-study. And you can explore, from several angles, national and international issues.
When you worked in the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, you did some profound research on the issues of the Soviet Union, compiling or writing several reports, theses, and materials. In 1999, your collected works were published in the Scholars Collection of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. And this year, we also published another Theses Collection for you. Can you introduce the main thoughts behind your Theses Collection?
Liu: yes, in 1999, my collection was published by the Chinese Social Sciences Press. It is the collection of many articles from when I was engaged in the research on issues of the Soviet Union from 1979 to 1999. These articles approximately reflect my development process towards the research on issues of the Soviet Union in this period. In several articles in the 1970s and the 1980s, I mainly discussed internal and external theoretical and policy issues of the Soviet Union. Since the 1990s, after the upheaval occurred in the Soviet Union, I have mainly rethought, looked back, and re-known some important issues of the Soviet Union. On the basis of this, I researched and understood the historical lessons of the Soviet upheaval. Because of this my research field was enlarged. The main issues involved in research are: issue of new era after war, issue on building socialism with Chinese characteristics of Deng Xiaoping, reasons and lessons for the worsening and fracture of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Party, and the profound discussion on the socialist model of Stalin. And I mainly researched the reasons and historical lessons of the Soviet upheaval in this era.
In accordance with the contents, these articles can be divided into three classes.
The first class is articles mainly discussing issues of the new era and socialism after the war. Mainly discussing important meanings of theories in the era of Deng Xiaoping, the relationship between the new times appearing after the war and current socialist movement and the spirit at the time of Deng Xiaoping’s theory of socialism.
The second class is academic articles mainly discussing issues of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Party and Soviet hegemonism. At the beginning of the 1980s, in the article discussing the social system evolution of the Soviet Union and sources of hegemonism, I put forward that the Soviet Union is a kind of transformative socialism, namely it went against the principles of scientific socialism in some important principle areas. In the 1970s, the Soviet economy became difficult day by day, because it implemented a highly centralized management system and maladjusted economic proportion caused by arms expansion and war preparation severely hindered the development of productivity. At present, the Soviet model must change. We implemented political and economic system reform in China, to get rid of the Soviet model, to eliminate all kinds of factors making the change of the socialist system, and to insist on the socialist road. Therefore, seriously summarizing historical lessons for the evolution of the Soviet socialist system has important meaning for us to insist on the socialist road with Chinese characteristics.
The third class is academic articles mainly discussing the reasons and historical lessons of Soviet upheaval. In these articles, I analyzed era sources for Soviet upheaval form the angle that the Soviet Union fell behind the new era after the war; I analyzed economic sources of Soviet upheaval from a profile, such as the militarization of the Soviet economy; I analyzed basic reasons for the failure of the Soviet Union from the wrong guiding ideology. Exploring the reasons and lessons for the upheaval and break up of the Soviet Union, the first socialist country in the world, has significant theoretical and realistic meaning.
Xing: teacher Liu, I have read your articles on discussing the new times and socialism after the war. You have pointed out important meanings in the era of Deng Xiaoping and scientifically analyzed the relationship between the new times that appeared after the war and the current socialist movement, and the spirit at the time of Deng Xiaoping’s theory of socialism. Can you talk about your main views in this area?
Liu: ok. Firstly, in these articles, I point out that the postwar era theory of Deng Xiaoping, namely regarding peace and development as the theme, is the theoretical conclusion gained after Deng Xiaoping profoundly investigated the change of postwar historical conditions, and is an important component of Deng Xiaoping Theory, and is the new development of the theory of the war and revolution age formulated by Lenin at the beginning of the 20th century under different historical conditions.
Secondly, this new era theory provides new thoughts and methods for solving all kinds of social contradictions. Era sources why the Soviet Union declined and stagnated after the war pay little attention to researching the new features that appeared after the new era after the war, insisting on obsolete era views, not adapting the requirements of the new era, and running in the opposite direction of the new era. Under the guidance of the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics of Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese Communist Party researched the change of the new era after the war with the combination of the realities in China. In addition, in reform and opening-up, the Chinese Communist Party follows the pace of the new era after the war, keeps pace with the era, and ceaselessly breaks through rules and regulations of Soviet socialist construction. Therefore, it becomes the driving force and source for us to gain remarkable brilliant achievements since the beginning of twenty-years of Chinese socialist construction.
Thirdly, with the combination of Chinese realities and current realities, Deng Xiaoping Theory answers urgent theoretical issues in practice of the current era, grasps the essential issue of what is socialism and how to build socialism, and points out clearly the main direction of how China can accelerate the construction of socialism with Chinese characteristics with the use of chances under the new situation of internationally large changes. The emergence of socialism with Chinese characteristics regarding Deng Xiaoping Theory as guidance marks that the historical development of world socialism enter a new stage and a new historical stage, which has basic differences with traditional socialism and where modern socialism booms, is coming. Socialism with Chinese characteristics regarding Deng Xiaoping Theory as guidance reflects the requirements of the development of socialism in the new era after the war.
Xing: your analysis is in-depth. To a large extent, our research on Soviet socialism issues is developed from the angle of the international communist movement. In fact, the world socialist movement has its own development laws. As for this point, we can conclude many experiences and lessons. And it is necessary for us to conclude experiences for socialist reform and development in China correctly.
Liu: yes. I will talk about the relationship between Deng Xiaoping Theory and Chinese reality:
Firstly, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a kind of socialism regarding science and technology as the primary productive force and respecting knowledge and talents. Secondly, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a kind of socialism regarding economic construction as the center and developing productivity as the basic task, and productivity should be developed by relying on high technology. Thirdly, socialism with Chinese characteristics is the socialism of reform and opening-up. Deng Xiaoping pointed out: “the development of China can not do without the world” and “the objective which shall be achieved by reform is that we must catch up with the era”. Fourthly, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a kind of socialism regarding the confirmation of the socialistic market economical system as the objective of reform. We are in a new era where socialism and capitalism compete and coexist, so we must learn how to compete in international markets. Fifth, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a kind of socialism pursuing the external policy of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The new era after the war is an era where peace and development are the theme. However, under the environment of maintaining peace and development, we must have fight. In order to maintain peace and development, we must oppose hegemonism and power politics.
Xing: teacher Liu, people in educational circles in China, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia have universally acknowledged you as a pioneer of the research on the issues facing China, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. I know that from 1958 to 1966, you served as the Deputy Director General of Soviet and Eastern Europe Bureau of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. From 1969 to 1977, you served as leader of the Eastern Soviet Group of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, taking charge of connection affairs and investigation work with each party in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. From 1976 to 1980, you served as the Director of the Soviet Institute of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. From 1981 to 1985, you served as the Director of Soviet and Eastern Europe Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Secretary. You are Researcher of Soviet and Eastern Europe Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Member of Academic Committee, Professor of Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Master Instructor and Doctoral Supervisor for Soviet Issue. You have served as part-time professor in Beijing University since 1979, and you have served as part-time professor in China Foreign Affairs University since 1985. You have served as Vice Chairman of Chinese Soviet and Eastern Europe Society since 1982, as Consultant of Chinese Soviet and Eastern Europe Institute since 1985, and as Consultant of Foreign Socialism Institute since 1986. In addition, you also serve as Director of International Economic Association and Association for International Understanding of China.
When you worked at the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, you participated in meetings and negotiations between the Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Party and other Parties in Eastern Europe countries several times, and you have joined in the writing of documents and articles about the relationship of the Chinese Communist Party. Once when I visited you, you showed me a photo taken when you accompanied Chairman Mao on a visit to Moscow. Chairman Mao’s expression was very kind, and you talked with the leaders of the Soviet Union whilst sitting beside Chairman Mao like a university student. When you worked at the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, you deeply researched the relationship between China and the Soviet Union, compiling or writing several reports, theses, and materials, such as Issues on the Relationship between China and the Soviet Union and Several Issues on Hegemonism and so on. After you transferred to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, you cooperated with Wu Renzhang and Li Jingjie, compiling research reports, such as Evolution of Soviet Social System and Domestic Sources of Hegemonism, and theses, such as Issues on the Relationship between China and the Soviet Union and Brief Analysis of Sources of Soviet Hegemonism and so on. In the aspect of researching the relationship between Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Party, and between China and the Soviet Union, you are an authoritative researcher, and you have participated in many events.
If you recall the Sino-Soviet great debate in the 1960s and reasons and lessons for the worsening and breaking up of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Party, what do you think we can learn from this?
Liu: recalling the Sino-Soviet great debate and the reasons and lessons for the worsening and break up of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Party still has important theoretical and realistic meaning.
Firstly, learn from mistakes of chauvinism. The main reason for the break up of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Party was the Soviet Party’s chauvinism, which regards me as the core, and issuing orders. While in the debate, our Party made the mistake of making indiscreet remarks or criticisms and imposing views on others. We shall learn a lesson from them.
Secondly, It is natural for the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Party to have differences in internal and external policies, because their situations are different. In the aspect of internal policies, each country has its own national conditions, which can not be interfered with by strangers. In the aspect of external policies, for example, policies towards the Soviet Union, they can be solved through negotiation or coordination. However, at that time, we were lacking in investigation and research towards the new conditions, so the break up of the Chinese Communist Party and Soviet Party was unavoidable finally.
Thirdly, learn the lesson of speaking “blah”. When talking about the Sino-Soviet great debate, Deng Xiaoping said: “through the practice of more than twenty years, looking back at it, both sides have spoken a lot of blahs” and “real Marxists must recognize, inherit, and develop Marxism-Leninism in accordance with current conditions”. So-called “blah” indicates that both sides said many words and expressions about Marxism-Leninism and placed “labels” on it mutually, but they didn’t combine the realities that developed and changed after the war. Khrushchev criticized Stalin, but he still inherited Stalins mode fundamentally and continuously pursued the theory and path of “left” dogmatism saved by Stalin. The fight China had with America and India from the 1950s to 1960s is a kind of due course for guarding national interests. However, Khrushchev blamed China for “dogmatism”, “nationalism”, and” “Left” adventurism, which is also “blah”.
Xing: teacher Liu, you have thought about the reasons for the disintegration of the Soviet Union after the Soviet Union disintegrated, writing many articles and research reports on this. We can say that your achievements in scientific research in recent ten years are related to the reasons and lessons of Soviet upheaval. You analyzed era sources of Soviet upheaval from the angle that the Soviet Union fell behind the new era after the war; you analyzed economic sources of Soviet upheaval from a profile, such as the militarization of the Soviet economy; you analyzed the basic reasons for the failure of the Soviet Union from the angle of the wrong guiding ideology. Exploring reasons and lessons for the upheaval and break up of the Soviet Union, the first socialist country in the world, has significant theoretical and realistic meaning. In your opinion, what are the main lessons for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the subversion of the Soviet Party?
Liu: the main lessons are: firstly, in an undeveloped country, it is a long-term and historical task for the working class to wrest political power and to build socialism. Being eager to transfer to communism will destroy social productivity. Secondly, under present historical conditions, you must have new policies to develop productivity. “Developed” is a dynastic and comprehensive concept. Whether socialist countries can be called “developed” countries or not, you must consider economic, social, scientific, and technological levels achieved by developed capitalist countries at present. Thirdly, in the Soviet Union, the foundation of “Left” adventurism is very deep, with theoretical limitations, requirements for pragmatism in politics, and influences of personality cult and dogmatism. This is a remarkable lesson. In addition, in economics, the Soviet Union self-displays for a long time, because the yield index of some products are the first in the world, in fact, it has played the role of self-comforting and self-anesthesia, and we must learn a lesson from this. Under current conditions, the meanings of quantity index are limited, but the saving level, quality level, and the development level of science and technology of fuels and raw materials are more important.
Xing: how to analyze the in-depth reasons for the upheaval in the Soviet Union?
Liu: I have some immature opinions: firstly, the Soviet upheaval is the result of the combined action of many factors. The general reason is that the traditional socialist model hasn’t been reformed for a long time, deviating from requirements of the new era after the war day by day. Secondly, after Stalin, through several leaders, the trend of the ossification of the Soviet socialist model can not be corrected? Its basic reason is that a privileged bureaucratic class with enormous power and unsupervised has been formed in the highly centralized Soviet socialist model. Thirdly, on one hand, Soviet party policy system where rights are highly centralized by one person and party and government administration is one that breeds a privileged bureaucratic class, so that Soviet socialism can not be reformed for a long time and politics and the economy tend to be stopped, which prepared objective conditions for the Soviet upheaval; on the other hand, and at the same time, the Soviet party policy system where rights are highly centralized by one person, and party and government administration prepared subjective conditions for Soviet upheaval. In my opinion, this is a real and profound crisis for the Soviet Party. I extremely appreciate Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s analyses. When he said Stalin has seriously destroyed the socialist legal system and “the Great Cultural Revolution” in China, Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out: “individuals don’t have responsibilities, but there are basic, comprehensive, stable, and long-term issues for a leading system and an organizational system. This kind of systematical issues may concern whether the party and country will change, which shall be valued highly by all the party members.” These are the profound conclusions of Comrade Deng Xiaoping towards Soviet and Chinese historical lessons. For the privileged bureaucratic class with enormous power and unsupervised leads to upheaval, this paragraph by Comrade Deng Xiaoping is worthy of consideration.
Xing: your statement inspires me. That is to say, the reasons for the Soviet upheaval are multiple and comprehensive. However, a super power, like the Soviet Union, when it collapses all at a once is because of the accumulation of all historical factors and mutual effects of various realistic factors. Soviet upheaval has internal causes and external causes.
Liu: I understand this issue like this. Since August, 1991, domestic political situation of the Soviet Union has changed sharply. And the event on August 19th, 1991, was a turning point. The failure of this incident accelerated the evolutionary course of the Soviet Union from various aspects. After this incident failed, under the coordination of Mikhail Gorbachev, the right wing force raised the movement of anti-communist and anti-socialist and comprehensively wrested political power, regardless of the Soviet constitution and related laws. In a short time, the Soviet Union was no longer recognizable. And the total situation is: the Soviet Communist Party which has been in power for more than seventy years ceased to innovate, which was in a state of disintegration; Soviet political power was usurped by anti-communist and anti-socialist power; the original Soviet federation collapsed finally. This collapse is a basic change in the 70-year history of the Soviet Union, and it is also the most severe setback for Soviet socialism.
The main reason for the Soviet upheaval is in the Soviet Union. During this change, there was the influence of western capitalist countries implementing peaceful evolution, but it was an external cause and not the main reason, the domestic reason was the main reason.
Domestic reasons can be divided into two:
Firstly, several mistakes were made by Mikhail Gorbachev in reform, which it is said as the direct and recent reason for the Soviet upheaval. That is to say, the so-called reform initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev deviated from Marxism-Leninism and scientific socialism from theory to policy. Because of this wrong road “reform”, the Soviet Union has struck deep crisis in various fields, such as ideology, politics, economics, nationality and so on, and the Soviet Communist’s nature, effect, and position have changed basically, forces of anti-communist and anti-socialist got in power, and the Soviet Union has disintegrated.
Secondly, there are reasons in the history of the Soviet Union. That is to say, the Soviet Union has accumulated a lot of problems and many contradictions have appeared in theory, politics, economics, nationality, and party construction and so on. The Soviet Union has not reformed for a long time, so these contradictions and problems have accumulated. If the reform policies of Mikhail Gorbachev were right, these contradictions and problems may be remitted and solved gradually; but the so-called reform policies of Mikhail Gorbachev were wrong and deviated from Marxism-Leninism. Under the drive of this kind of wrong policy, contradictions and problems which have accumulated throughout Soviet history for a long time appeared and were highlighted, and the situation of an overall crisis and severe turbulence formed later. It was inevitable that the right wing forces of anti-communist and anti-socialist took advantage of the favorable situation to usurp political power, the Soviet Union disintegrated, and the Union collapsed.
Xing: teacher Liu, I extremely admire your attainments academically. And at the same time, as your student, I strongly feel that an enormous spiritual force inside you is influencing you all the time. You not only supervise me in study, but also guide me in ideology. Since I have known you since 1983, I have deeply felt your strength for pursuing the socialist cause and communist ideal.
Liu: I am eighty-eight years old this year, and I have experienced a lot. In the aspect of reflections on life, I have more than you young people. I was born in Changtu county of Liaoning province on July 28th, 1919. From 1932 to 1938, I went to the Liaoning Changtu County Middle School, Tianjin Nankai High School, and Gansu Middle School in Tianshui of Gansu province in succession. I pursued the communist cause when I was a student, so I joined the Liberation Vanguard of the Chinese Nation in 1936. In 1938, I hurried off to Yan’an. From 1938 to 1939, I studied in the Advanced Class of Shanbei Public School. I feel deeply when I recall the situation surrounding my studies in Shanbei Public School. When Shanbei Public School was established in Yan’an, Chairman Mao Zedong said: “because of Shanbei Public School, China will not die out” to students who would hurry off to the anti-Japanese front. What I learned at Shanbei Public School firms my faith and pursuance of the communist cause. In 1938, I joined the Communist Party of China. And then, I threw myself into revolutionary practice. From 1940 to 1944, I served as a teacher of Marxism-Leninism and Philosophical Theory in North China Union University in the Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei border area. During this period, I gave classes to students, and at the same time I researched intensively revolution theory and studied systematically the basic theories of Marxism-Leninism. I learned and studied, so did many young teachers at that time.
After the Anti-Japanese War, I returned to the Northeast of China. In 1945, I served as Vice Minister and Secretary General of the Organization Department of the Sino-Soviet Friendship Association. In 1946, I served as Vice Minister of the Propaganda Department of Xi’an County Party Committee of Liaobei province of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Deputy Manager of Xi’an Mine. From 1946 to 1948, I served as Political Secretary of Liaoning Provincial Party committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. From 1949 to 1952, I served as Production Minister and Vice Chairman of Shenyang General Union. From 1952 to 1953, I served as Office Administrator of Shenyang Municipal Party Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. From this working experience, you can see that I have been engaged in party and government administration and labor union work. When I worked for the party and government administration and labor union in Liaoning province, I deeply researched the countryside, industrial production, and labor union. In 1947, I published Rich Peasants in Liaoning Province, which was collected in Investigation on South Manchuria Villages. I have published articles in the People’s Daily, Northeast Daily, and Shenyang Daily, discussing production and management and labor competition in state-owned enterprises. In 1953, Liaoning People’s Press published my book Labor Union is the School of Communist. It states that I love researching issues.
Xing: teacher Liu, at that time your area of focus was academic research. Why did you transfer to international affairs?
Liu: it was arranged by the organization. From 1953 to 1958, I served as a researcher at the All China Federation of Trade Unions. And I mainly researched economic and social issues of capitalist countries (especially undeveloped countries) and prepared documents for WFTU to attend the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East. I have written several articles, such as Labor Party and England Labor Movement, Japanese Economic Problems, and Several Issues in Economy of Undeveloped Countries and so on. Since I returned to China in 1958, I have been engaged in connecting issues of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe work.
Xing: teacher Liu, you can work for the Party and China positively and actively regardless of position; you put interests of the Party, China, and the People first regardless of difficulties and hardships experienced by you. Since I became your master degree candidate in 1983, you have always educated me how to build long-range communist ideal and objective, how to conduct myself, how to be in correspondence with the Party Central Committee in politics, and how to expand my theoretical research range and study intensively academia and so on. You always supervise and urge me to read the original books of classic writers, but at that time I did not understand its true meanings. After I started work, I gradually feel that it is very important for us young people to read the original books of classic writers. Afterwards, in the process of writing the book Seventy-year High-level Decision-making in the Soviet Union, I have read classic books for over ten years, such as Selections of Marx and Engels, Lenin Collections, Stalin Collections, and Selections of Mao Zedong and so on. Through reading them, my view has been widened, and my theoretical bases have been deepened, and my political consciousness has been enhanced. And at this time, I feel that your instructions were invaluable.
Liu: I am very satisfied with you. We are scholars, but we are not ordinary scholars, and we have our own ideologies. And this ideology is Marxism. We can not leisurely analyze complicated domestic issues and international issues without the basic principles of Marxism. We shall always regard Marxism as our guiding ideology for research. Learning of the Soviet Union and Eastern Union is a comparatively particular research field, and it is always restricted in politics and state relations. No matter what changes occur on an international level and in state relations, I always think that we must insist on the principle of seeking truth from facts in work and a sharp spirit towards science.
Xing: after I served as Director of the Institute, you taught that I should insist on the correct political direction in academic research and research the upheaval in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from a Marxist standpoint, viewpoint, and method. The subversion of Soviet Communism and the Soviet Union is an extremely serious topic, and the Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Institute shall deeply research this issue with indispensability. During “the Eleventh Five-year Plan”, the Institute will deeply research Leninism. Our Institute researches Leninism as an academic project, and it is worthy of the energy spent on it. Carry out academic research such as seeking truth from facts. You can make scientific conclusions only through seeking truth from facts and provide beneficial thinking for the socialist cause.
Liu: it is good. It is necessary for the Institute to seize the research on Leninism. Our Institute is an Institute researching issues of the Soviet Union, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Russia is the birth place of Leninism, so we must put the theoretical and practical research of Leninism in an important position. Other Institutes can not research Leninism specifically, but our Institute must research Leninism. Someone in China said that Leninism was out of date, which indicates that they don’t understand the basic meanings and strategic meanings of Leninism Theory. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is implementing a Marxist Theory and Construction project, the Leninism Theory research engineering of our Institute can coordinate the general engineering of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. It is also necessary for our Institute to co-research Leninism’s theoretical and practical issues with other Institutes.
Xing: teachers Liu, your academic research direction is issues of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, mainly researching political and economic conditions of the Soviet Union, the relationship between China and the Soviet Union, socialist theoretical, political, and economic system reform of the Soviet Union, and various problems in the social development of the Soviet Union and its historical experiences and so on. And your research center has been discussing important experiences and lessons of the Soviet Union in the aspect of socialist theory and practice for more than seventy years, which can be regarded as a reference for building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Liu: I mainly research issues of the Soviet Union, involving aspects of politics, economy, and foreign affairs. Seen from this layer of research, it is very wide. However, the aim for researching international issues is for the development and prosperity of China, and the foothold for the research of international issues must be in the national interests of China. I pay much attention to gathering and clearing up basic materials of Russia and countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We can make scientific conclusions only through comprehensively mastering and deeply and objectively analyzing the basic materials of Russia and countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In order to achieve seeking truth from facts, we must start from materials and conditions of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Xing: your academic position and academic achievements have gained wide admiration of people in the same occupation at home and abroad. You have been to many countries to participate in academic activities, such as America, Japan, the Soviet Union, and Bulgaria and so on. In the council of scholars of China and America held in 1979, your academic dissertation Issue on the Relationship between China and the Soviet Union was highly praised by people participating in this council. You are famous in academic circles for your expertise in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. You have been invited to give lectures and to take part in academic discussion in many places. You push forward the development of disciplines of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe when you served as Director of the Soviet Institute of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the CPC and Eastern Soviet Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, making great contributions to pushing forward the research on learning about the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. After Soviet and Eastern Europe Society in China was established, you served as Vice Chairman. Using this academic platform you have organized and coordinated academic activities of Soviet and Eastern Europe Society in China, strengthening communications between people in your field overseas.
Liu: I am flattered. I have had some experiences when I served as Director. Firstly, the Institute should strengthen foreign academic exchanges, which can not only enhance the overall international position of the Institute but also get to know yourself as well as the enemy. You should keep in touch with Institute Organizations of research-object countries and contact constantly with related organizations of western countries, which are good for our Institute. Secondly, strengthening the contact and academic exchange with related organizations in China can generate good academic effects. Thirdly, the Institute must have a good academic discussion atmosphere and equal academic discussions.
Xing: teacher Liu, current scientific research personnel in our Institute have a younger average age. A large quantity of young doctors has taken up scientific research posts in our Institute. Our Institute has put forward an item of “youth grow engineering”, aiming at pushing forward academic research of young scholars and cultivating them to grow in politics and business as soon as they can. What good suggestions do you have?
Liu: I am gratified that we have qualified successors in our Institute. It is necessary to push forward “youth grow engineering” and to build a batch of talents with both ability and political integrity. In educational circles in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, a batch of excellent academic masters shall appear.
Xing: in conclusion, you must have many reflections on life; can you summarize them in several sentences?
Liu: I am nearly ninety years old. I appreciate one sentence by Menci, namely “not being ashamed to others”.
Xing Guangcheng, male, Director of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Researcher, Doctoral Supervisor, and Doctor of Law; Vice Chairman of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia Society in China. He has taken a refreshing course in International Political and Economic Institute of Russia Academy of Sciences. From 2001 to 2002, he served as Visiting Professor of Slavic Research Center of Japanese Hokkaido University.
Translated by Feng Weijiang.
Editor: Wang Daohang