C: Paul Kagame via Flickr under licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://bit.ly/3pHH24B

100 Years of CCP and CPC: Diverging legacy of brother parties

This year marks 100 years since foundation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its Czechoslovak counterpart – KSČ (Communist Party of Czechoslovakia). Both parties set off with the same ”Leninist” pattern but their current shape is quite different from each other.

Both parties organised terror in their countries, which cost thousands of lives in the case of Czechoslovakia and millions in the case of China. The scale matters, but so does the exacerbated extent of Maoist experiments, not matched by any Soviet satellite state in Europe.

Relations between the parties, which both came to power with the help of USSR after the World War II, have been variable. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia have been following the Soviet guidance. After the honeymoon of early 1950s and close ties between PCR and Czechoslovakia, the post-Stalinist conflicts came inevitably. When Beijing and Moscow became foes and then enemies, the comrades in Prague froze their links with China and CPC too.

After the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, the Czech newly established Republic did not manage to outlaw Communism but declared the Communist regime as “criminal”. The Czech Communist Party tried to renew ties to CPC. Fortunately, it became isolated, and so did the CPC because of the Tiananmen massacre, sanctions and dismay of international community. The Czech President Václav Havel, the former human rights dissident, refused to visit Communist China and supported Taiwan instead. At that era, Czech and Chinese comrades somehow followed the model of CPC links to Albania as the only ally of Beijing in 1960s, but then China started to rise again, while attracting international investment and trade attention.

Mr Havel´s successors altered the direction of Czech foreign policy towards friendlier relation with China. The incumbent president, Miloš Zeman, has visited China more times than his Communist predecessors. He even once said that for him China was a model of “stable governance”, which was an outrageous comment for many human rights defenders on the Czech political scene. Official Chinese media often quote Mr Zeman, as an EU political leader confirming the Chinese propagandistic lines. Fortunately, the speaker of the Czech Senate, Mr Miloš Vystrčil, turned the tide by paying Taiwan an official Senate visit in November 2020.

In the meantime, the Czech Communists have started to fade into the abyss of history. The legislative elections in October 2021 can mark their disappearance from the Czech parliament – an ironic gift from voters for their 100th anniversary. Western liberals has always fought that Communists must disappear eventually as it is on the wrong side of history. The CPC apparently is thinking otherwise. After so many decades of terror, and despite committing large human rights abuses and even genocide against Uyghur population, the CPC, together with masses of Chinese population and many Western intellectuals, still think they are the best government China has ever had. Chinese Communists truly are clever, resilient and able to adapt to new circumstances. Despite all these efforts, there is little doubt that Communism, being an evil ideology in its roots, is also obsolete and will be over one day.



George O. Lupa, Czech Republic



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