The visit to China by eight communist parties from seven countries in western Europe drew to a close in Beijing on Thursday afternoon (August 18), in talks with Communist Party of China (CPC) central committee member He Yong.

On behalf of the European delegation, CPB general secretary Robert Griffiths made the following remarks:
'Dear Comrade He Yong,
And other comrades of the Communist Party of China.
  On behalf of the whole delegation, I wish to thank the international department and the central committee of the CPC for arranging this visit. I would also like to thank all the CPC members in the provinces, cities and villages who have made this such an enjoyable - as well as educational - experience for us, especially those comrades who have accompanied us throughout our stay, and who reflect so well on your party.
  Nobody can doubt the immense scale of the economic and social development that is taking place in China. You are transforming a country the size of a continent into a modern technological society. 
  The CPC has taken on the responsibility to lead a society of 1.3 billion people with courage, boldness and a deep commitment to 'serve the people'.
  In the Western media, of course, every achievement made by China is credited to the introduction of Western capital and the market. Every problem or weakness in your society, on the other hand, is attributed to the Chinese Communist Party and to socialism.
  In the Communist Party of Britain, we would make a more balanced assessment. We believe that Communist Party rule and the role of central economic planning and a large public sector are central to the enormous advances made by China over the past 30 years.
  It is also significant that during the international economic crisis since 2008, the Chinese economy has continued to grow. Your state-owned and centrally-directed banking sector has used its financial stimulus to invest in vital infrastructure projects. This has  not only maintained economic demand, employment and living standards in China, but has also enabled economies and peoples in the Third World to escape the worst impact of the international crisis - something that did not happen during the main capitalist crises of the 20th century.
  In Britain and the other countries of our delegation, the financial stimulus to the banks has been used to guarantee the position of shareholders, to rebuild capital reserves and - especially in Britain - to fund another round of speculation on the commodity and stock markets. Bank debt has been nationalised and turned into sovereign debt, while the profits remain privatised.
  The austerity programmes imposed by governments with the backing of the EU and the IMF are intended to place the whole burden of even bigger public debt on the working class and the people generally. 
  This is not the basis on which to secure economic recovery, social stability or sounder public finances. Cuts in military spending can release funding for industrial investment and social programmes. But cuts in social and welfare spending will further depress economic demand, and increase social inequality both within and between the countries of Europe. 
  The governments of Britain, Europe and the USA should take the Chinese road and invest in growth, employment, green technology, and social justice. And take the banking sector into public ownership.
  The parties in our delegation do not have a common position as far as the European Union is concerned. It would be remarkable, therefore, if we all shared the same assessment of China's current path of development. For its part, the Communist Party of Britain congratulates the CPC on its magnificent economic and social advances. We understand the path you have decided to take. 
  But we would be failing in our duty as friends and comrades if we did not mention the risks and dangers that go hand in hand with the benefits and opportunities. Comrade Deng Xiaoping acknowledged that, with reform and opening up, not only fresh air comes in through the opened window, but flies enter as well. 
  You are rightly enjoying the fresh air. But we are from the lands of the flies. We know how monopoly capital and the so-called free market can distort economic development, breed social inequality and alienation, degrade culture and the environment, and corrupt the political system.
  Currently, our parties are all engaged in building mass movements of struggle against austerity and privatisations, against the dictatorship of monopoly capital. The Communist Party of Britain, like other parties, campaigns against imperialism's military interventions in Afganistan, Pakistan and Libya. 
  We can have no illusions about capitalism and imperialism. It remains today, as China found in the past, a system of exploitation and expansion, with an inherent tendency to militarism and war. 
  We appreciate China's policy of peaceful co-existence. We understand that you cannot allow your country to be provoked into dangerous confrontations.
  Yet many millions of people across the world now look to China to use every peaceful avenue to curb the aggressive, interventionist agenda of the USA, Britain and other imperialist powers.
  You have the solidarity of our parties in taking on the very  serious responsibility that humanity places upon you.
  Whatever assessments our parties might make of China's current path of development, you have shown great warmth, openness and generosity in hosting our visit. You have given us more facts with which to seek the truth. 
  This experience renews our determination to strengthen the links between our communist parties on the basis of independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each others' internal affairs. We are all revolutionaries who want a peaceful, prosperous and harmonious world for our children and the generations to come.
  Long live the Communist Party of China!
  Long live the international communist movement!'