American Imperialism Is Closely Surrounded by the Peoples of the World 1964
China and the United States were enemies in the cold war Since the Communist victory in China in 1949, the United States enforced an embargo on the People’s Republic of China. The 1960s were a time of increasing tension, as the United States became involved in a land war in Southeast Asia, as well as various adventures in Africa. In this short message of support to the people of the Congo, Mao reflects his and the Chinese government’s view of America as the world’s biggest imperialist aggressor Yet Mao draws on Chinese revolutionary experience to claim that protracted resistance by people in any area of the world will ultimately prevail over American imperialism. In hindsight we can see that Mao was more accurate in his hopes for the Vietnamese than the African fighters, but his call still rings around the world for groups that take up arms against what they see as a U.S.-dominated international economic order (such as the Shining Path in Peru and Marxist rebels in Nepal). In this message, Mao also makes one version of his famous claim that U.S. strength is a “paper tiger” The virulent anti-Americanism of this piece is representative of the rhetoric of the 1960s (paralleled by American denunciations of “Red China”). Thus it was stunning when a few years later, in the early 1970s, Mao and U.S. president Richard Nixon opened trade relations and joined forces against the Soviet Union.