A delegation of the Communist Party USA started a tour of China and Vietnam on November 30th.
The delegates will meet with Marxist theoreticians and trade unionists in Shenzen and Beijing, China. In Vietnam they will visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The delegation, which was invited by the Communist parties of Vietnam and China, includes CPUSA National Chair Sam Webb, Executive Vice-Chair Jarvis Tyner, International Secretary Pamela Saffer and Labor Commission Chair Scott Marshall.
The last CPUSA delegation to visit China was in March 2002 and consisted of Webb, Vice Chairman Scott Marshall, African American Equality Commission Chairwoman Debbie Bell and International Secretary Marilyn Bechtel.
That group was the first official party delegation since then National Chairman Gus Hall visited China with a delegation in 1988.
The CPUSA was and is, a mainstream communist party, aligned to the Soviet Union and theoretically opposed to China since the early ’60s, Sino/Soviet split.
In the last few years Russia and China have been steadily rebuilding political and economic ties, particularly through the Shanghai Co-operation Organistion.
As Western defence policy has been predicated on Chinese/Russian emnity, the security implications of a new Sino/Russian alliance are huge.
While little researched and even less regarded, the CPUSA is one of the most powerful and influential parties in the world movement.
The fact that the CPUSA has sent two high level delegations to China in four years, after sending only one in 40 years, will not make the 6 o’clock news.
It is however a very significant event in the world of power politics.