After the collapse of the German Nazi regime, and with the major role of the Soviet Union in this process, numerous countries from Eastern Europe became “people's democracies”.
This was the case for Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, the German Democratic Republic, Rumania and Albania; Yugoslavia was among them but betrayed really quickly in favour of US imperialism.
The situation in those countries was the following: the new regime established was protected from the reactionary forces by the red army. Because of this, the patriotic front organized by the communists was able to develop democracy, crush the fascists and move slightly to a first level of socialism.
In some countries, like Czechoslovakia, the Communist Party was the strongest force; in most of the others, Poland and Hungary in particular, the situation was the opposite, and therefore hindered by huge difficulties.
But there were two others countries in Asia where the process was very similar. The red army didn't liberate the country, but was a strong strategical backing for the communist armed forces who liberated China and the Northern part of Korea.
When the Communist Party managed to liberate China in 1949 and formed the “People's Republic”, it thus became, in practice, a country similar to the “people's democracies” in Europe. It was not socialism that was organized, but a union of the progressive forces under the leadership of the Communist Party.
Mao Zedong, on June 30, 1949, in a document in Commemoration of the Twenty-eighth Anniversary of the Communist Party of China, called “On the people's democratic dictatorship”, explained:
“Up to now the principal and fundamental experience the Chinese people have gained is twofold:
(1) Internally, arouse the masses of the people. That is, unite the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie, form a domestic united front under the leadership of the working class, and advance from this to the establishment of a state which is a people's democratic dictatorship under the leadership of the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.
(2) Externally, unite in a common struggle with those nations of the world which treat us as equals and unite with the peoples of all countries. That is, ally ourselves with the Soviet Union, with the People's Democracies and with the proletariat and the broad masses of the people in all other countries, and form an international united front.
"Victory is possible even without international help." This is a mistaken idea. In the epoch in which imperialism exists, it is impossible for a genuine people's revolution to win victory in any country without various forms of help from the international revolutionary forces, and even if victory were won, it could not be consolidated.
This was the case with the victory and consolidation of the great October Revolution, as Lenin and Stalin told us long ago. This was also the case with the overthrow of the three imperialist powers in World War II and the establishment of the People's Democracies. And this is also the case with the present and the future of People's China.
If the Soviet Union had not existed, if there had been no victory in the anti-fascist Second World War, if Japanese imperialism had not been defeated, if the People's Democracies had not come into being, if the oppressed nations of the East were not rising in struggle and if there were no struggle of the masses of the people against their reactionary rulers in the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and other capitalist countries -- if not for all these in combination, the international reactionary forces bearing down upon us would certainly be many times greater than now.
In such circumstances, could we have won victory? Obviously not. And even with victory, there could be no consolidation.”
China was, indeed, in a deep crisis, after the rule of the warlords and the Japanese imperialist war of aggression. It would take years to come back juste to a pre-war economical situation, in a country which was even before that already semi-colonial semi-feudal, as well as to organize practically the new state at all levels.
The People's Liberation Army liberated the country from imperialism and broke the comprador bourgeoisie – the military situation was positive, as in Eastern Europe. But the new society, the “new democracy”, had to be build – a difficult construction, of the same kind as in Eastern Europe.
In 1949, the Communist Party had finally won over the semi-colonial aspect of China, through the agrarian revolution which ended the semi-feudal aspect. Nevertheless, the goal was now to establish the New Democracy. In this sense, Mao Zedong, on September 21, 1949, made an opening address at the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference called “The Chinese People Have Stood Up!”.
He presents the Chinese situation in this way:
“Our revolutionary work is not completed, the People's War of Liberation and the people's revolutionary movement are still forging ahead and we must keep up our efforts. The imperialists and the domestic reactionaries will certainly not take their defeat lying down; they will fight to the last ditch.
After there is peace and order throughout the country, they are sure to engage in sabotage and create disturbances by one means or another and every day and every minute they will try to stage a come-back. This is inevitable and beyond all doubt, and under no circumstances must we relax our vigilance.
Our state system, the people's democratic dictatorship, is a powerful weapon for safeguarding the fruits of victory of the people's revolution and for thwarting the plots of domestic and foreign enemies for restoration, and this weapon we must firmly grasp.
Internationally, we must unite with all peace-loving and freedom-loving countries and peoples, and first of all with the Soviet Union and the New Democracies, so that we shall not stand alone in our struggle to safeguard these fruits of victory and to thwart the plots of domestic and foreign enemies for restoration. As long as we persist in the people's democratic dictatorship and unite with our foreign friends, we shall always be victorious.
The people's democratic dictatorship and solidarity with our foreign friends will enable us to accomplish our work of construction rapidly. We are already confronted with the task of nation-wide economic construction. We have very favorable conditions: a population of 475 million people and a territory of 9,600,000 square kilometers. There are indeed difficulties ahead, and a great many too. But we firmly believe that by heroic struggle the people of the country will surmount them all.
The Chinese people have rich experience in overcoming difficulties. If our forefathers, and we also, could weather long years of extreme difficulty and defeat powerful domestic and foreign reactionaries, why can't we now, after victory, build a prosperous and flourishing country?
As long as we keep to our style of plain living and hard struggle, as long as we stand united and as long as we persist in the people's democratic dictatorship and unite with our foreign friends, we shall be able to win speedy victory on the economic front.
An upsurge in economic construction is bound to be followed by an upsurge of construction in the cultural sphere. The era in which the Chinese people were regarded as uncivilized is now ended. We shall emerge in the world as a nation with an advanced culture.”