The Great Debate Between Revolutionary China and the
Revisionist, then State-Capitalist, Soviet Union
Publications and Documents which are Now Difficult to Find
In this section of BannedThought.net we are collecting together many of the publications and documents from the Mao era in China which focus on what has been called “The Great Debate” between revolutionary China and the revisionist (and then state-capitalist and social-imperialist) Soviet Union. Bourgeois ideologists in the West generally call this the Sino-Soviet Split—prone, as they are, to trying to remove the class-struggle essence from the debate, and falsely re-framing it along purely national lines.
While Maoist China did its best to get its views in this Great Debate spread to all the world, the U.S. and many other countries tried to prevent this spread of revolutionary ideology. For this reason, many of the pamphlets and materials below were not all that easy to find even during the period of this Great Debate. And over time they have become ever more difficult to locate. Quite a few are available on the Internet, but spread across a large number of different sites. And a number of the documents below do not seem to be available at this time anywhere else on the Internet.
Even the materials from the Soviet revisionist side of this Great Debate are now becoming fairly difficult to locate, though echos of them continue reverberating in pseudo-revolutionary and social-democratic circles on the “Left”. For these reasons we intend to include many of them here as well. Note that the Chinese side, when issuing pamphlets directly responding to Letters from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), invariably included the CPSU letters as well.
It should be noted that some of the documents in this section, and in the other sub-sections of BannedThought.net on the Mao Era, were written by (or positively refer to) Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, Lin Biao, or other individuals who themselves became targets of the revolution at various points. We are including such materials here—despite their errors (or crimes!)—as part of our documentary record of the Chinese revolution and its internal and international class struggles.
In addition to the documents from China itself in the Maoist period we have sections below with comments about that era, both contemporary comments and retrospective commentaries written much later.
If you know of other materials which should be posted here, or if you have other comments or suggestions, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- “More on the Historical Experience of the Proletarian Dictatorship”, a summary of a discussion at an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China focusing on the question of Stalin, which appeared in Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] on December 29, 1956. Pamphlet format, (London: CPGB, 1957), 32 pages. Searchable PDF Image Format [1,509 KB]
- Collections of Early Documents:
- “In Refutation of Modern Revisionism”, 7 major editorials and articles from May-June 1958. (Peking: FLP, 1958), 102 pages. Searchable PDF Image Format [5,117 KB] Consists of the following documents:
- “Resolution on the Moscow Meetings of Representatives of Communist and Workers’ Parties”, adopted May 23, 1958 by the 2nd Session of the 8th National Congress of the CCP.
- “Modern Revisionism Must Be Repudiated”, Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] editorial of May 5, 1958.
- “Modern Revisionism Must Be Fought To The End”, Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] editorial of June 4, 1958.
- “Yugoslav Revisionism — Product of Imperialist Policy”, by Chen Po-ta, Hongqi [Red Flag], June 1, 1958 issue.
- “Yugoslav Revisionism Is Just What U.S. Imperialism Needs”, by Kang Sheng, Renmin Ribao, June 14, 1958.
- “In Refutation of Modern Revisionism’s Reactionary Theory of the State”, by Wang Chia-hsiang, Hongqi, June 16, 1958 issue.
- “The More They Try to Hide, the More They are Exposed” — On Tito’s Speech of June 15, by Renmin Ribao Commentator, June 26, 1958.
- [Book:] Whence the Differences?, a large book containing most of the early English language articles and pamphlets in the condemnation of revisionism that were published in China. [This new title is on the photographic reprint of the volume done by New Era publishers in Bath, England around 1970. The original edition published in China is entitled Workers of All Countries, Unite, Oppose Our Common Enemy! (Peking: FLP, 1963)], 402 pages. Searchable PDF Image Format [11,735 KB] Consists of the following documents:
- “Workers of All Countries, Unite, Oppose our Common Enemy!”, Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily] editorial, Dec. 15, 1962.
- “The Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us”, Renmin Ribao editorial, Dec. 31, 1962.
- “Leninism and Modern Revisionism”, Hongqi [Red Flag] editorial, No. 1, 1963.
- “Let Us Unite on the Basis of the Moscow Declaration and the Moscow Statement”, Renmin Ribao editorial, Jan. 27, 1963. Also available in a separate pamphlet: PDF Format [1,910 KB]
- “Whence the Differences? — A Reply to Thorez and Other Comrades”, Renmin Ribao editorial, Feb. 27, 1963. Also available in a separate pamphlet: PDF Format [2,373 KB]
- “More on the Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us”, by the editorial department of Hongqi, Nos. 3-4, 1963.
- I. Introduction
- II. The nature of the present great debate among communists
- III. Contradictions in the contemporary world
- IV. War and peace
- V. The state and revolution
- VI. Despise the enemy strategically, take him seriously tactically
- VII. A struggle on two fronts
- VIII. Workers of all countries, unite!
- “A Comment on the Statement of the Communist Party of the U.S.A.”, Renmin Ribao editorial, March 8, 1963. Also available in a separate pamphlet: Searchable PDF Format [26 pages; 269 KB]
- “A Mirror for Revisionists”, Renmin Ribao editorial, March 9, 1963. Also available in a separate pamphlet: PDF Format [20 pages; 299 KB]
- Individual Early Pamphlets:
- “Long Live Leninism”, (Peking: FLP, 1960) Consists of three parts:
Searchable PDF Text Format [58 pages; 353 KB]
- “Long Live Leninism!”, by the Editorial Department of Hongqi.
- “Forward Along the Path of the Great Lenin!”, by the Editorial Department of Renmin Ribao.
- “Unite Under Lenin’s Revolutionary Banner”, by Lu Ting-yi.
- “The Struggle Between Two Lines at the Moscow World Congress of Women”, six statements, articles and reports. (Peking: FLP, 1963), 70 pages. [Our apologies for the darkened paper in the copy scanned, though it is still quite legible.] PDF Format [4,578 KB]
- “The Truth About How the Leaders of the CPSU have Allied Themselves with India against China”, by the Editorial Department of Renimin Ribao [People’s Daily], Nov. 2, 1963, and including an article reprinted from Pravda as an appendix. (Peking: FLP, 1963), 60 pages. PDF Format [3,096 KB]
- Formal Inter-Party Letters:
- “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement: The Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Reply to the Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of March 30, 1963”, June 14, 1963, (Peking: FLP, 1963), 124 pages. Includes as appendices 3 letters from the the CC of the CPSU (Feb. 21, 1963; March 9, 1963; and March 30, 1963). This is one of the most important and most famous documents in the entire history of the world Communist movement. Searchable PDF Format [3,466 KB]
The CCP document (letter) itself (without the prior CPSU letters) is also available elsewhere on the Internet in a PDF version at: https://archive.org/details/AProposalConcerningTheGeneralLineOfTheInternationalCommunistMovement and in an HTML version at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/PGL63.html and also at: https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sino-soviet-split/cpc/proposal.htm
- “Seven Letters Exchanged Between the Central Committees of the Communist Party of China and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union”, (Peking: FLP, 1964), 84 pages. Includes 4 letters from the CC of the CCP in 1964 (Feb. 20; Feb. 27; Feb. 29; and May 7) and 3 letters from the CC of the CPSU (Nov. 29, 1963; Feb. 22, 1964; and March 7, 1964). PDF Format [4,177 KB]
- “Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Reply to the Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Dated June 15, 1964”, July 28, 1964, (Peking: FLP, 1964), 60 pages. (Includes the CPSU letter being responded to.) Searchable PDF Format [2,837 KB]; Second copy (darker print): PDF Format [2,508 KB]
- “Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in Reply to the Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Dated July 30, 1964”, August 30, 1964, (Peking: FLP, 1964), 24 pages. (Includes the CPSU letter being responded to.) PDF Format [781 KB]
- “Letter of Reply Dated March 22, 1966 of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union”, (Peking: FLP, 1966), 16 pages. (Includes the CPSU letter of Feb. 24, 1966 being responded to.) PDF Format [781 KB]
- The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement:
- [Book:] Complete volume by that title published in Peking by the Foreign Languages Press in 1965, 604 pages: PDF Format [2,014 KB]
Also available online in an elegant viewable PDF version at: https://archive.org/details/ThePolemicOnTheGeneralLineOfTheInternationalCommunistMovement and available online in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/PGLtc.html
Also available in reprinted form in German (including documents from the Soviet side of the debate, and Khruschchev’s “Secret Speech” in 1956 condemning Stalin), 326 pages: German: PDF Format [15,752 KB]
- Individual articles in this collection, most of which are Comments on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and are jointly written by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi, are also available here in individual pamphlet form:
- “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement” [Available above.]
- “The Origin and Development of the Differences Between the Leadership of the CPSU and Ourselves”, Comment I. Not yet available for download directly from this site; however, this pamphlet is available in HTML format from: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/OD63.html and also from https://www.marxists.org/subject/china/documents/polemic/cpsu.htm
- “On the Question of Stalin”, Comment II. PDF Format [4,481 KB] This pamphlet is also available in a high quality PDF version elsewhere online at: https://archive.org/details/OnTheQuestionOfStalin, and in an HTML versions at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/QS63.html and at: https://www.marxists.org/subject/china/documents/polemic/qstalin.htm
- “Is Yugoslavia a Socialist Country?”, Comment III, Sept. 26, 1963, 56 pages. PDF Format [3,187 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/IYS63.html
- “Apologists of Neo-Colonialism”, Comment IV, Oct. 22, 1963, 44 pages. PDF Format [2,367 KB] Another online higher-quality PDF version of this document is at: https://archive.org/details/ApologistsOfNeo-colonialismCommentOnTheOpenLetterOfTheCentral and an HTML version is available at: https://www.marxists.org/subject/china/documents/polemic/neocolon.htm
- “Two Different Lines on the Question of War and Peace”, Comment V, Nov. 19, 1963, 44 pages. PDF Format [2,964 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/QWP63.html
- “Peaceful Coexistence — Two Diametrically Opposed Policies”, Comment VI, Dec. 12, 1963, 56 pages. PDF Format [2,923 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/PC63.html
- “The Leaders of the CPSU are the Greatest Splitters of Our Times”, Comment VII, Feb. 4, 1964, 70 pages. PDF Format [3,503 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/GS64.html
- “The Proletarian Revolution and Khrushchov’s Revisionism”, Comment VIII, March 31, 1964, 74 pages. PDF Format [3,688 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/PRKR64.html
- “On Khrushchov’s Phoney Communism and Its Historical Lessons for the World”, Comment IX, July 14, 1964, 84 pages. PDF Format [4,235 KB]; Alternative copy (different layout, 120 pages): Copy 2: PDF Format [3,531 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/KPC64.html and at: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/1964/phnycom.htm
- “Why Khrushchov Fell”, editorial in Hongqi, Nos. 21-22, 1964. (Peking: FLP, 1964), 20 pages. PDF Format [681 KB] Also available in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/WKF64.html
- Other Pamphlets from the Great Debate:
- “A Comment on the March Moscow Meeting”, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi, March 23, 1965, 42 pages. PDF Format [1,223 KB]
- “A Great Victory for Leninism — In Commemoration of the 95th Anniversary of the Birth of Lenin”, Hongqi [Red Flag] editorial, #4, 1965. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 19 pages. PDF Format [767 KB]; Also available as published in Peking Review, #19, May 7, 1965, at: http://massline.org/PekingReview/PR1965/PR1965-19-GreatVictoryLeninism.pdf [PDF, 4 pages, 684 KB]
- “Carry the Struggle Against Khrushchov Revisionism Through to the End — On the Occasion of the Second Anniversary of the Publication of ‘A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement’”, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi [Red Flag], June 14, 1965, 24 pages. [Our apologies; we were unable to remove part of the underlining in this pamphlet.] PDF Format [1,135 KB]
- “Refutation of the New Leaders of the CPSU on ‘United Action’”, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao and Hongqi, Nov. 11, 1965, 44 pages. PDF Format [1,945 KB]
- “The Leaders of the CPSU are Betrayers of the Declaration and Statement”, by the editorial department of Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily], Dec. 20, 1965, 16 pages. PDF Format [634 KB] Also available in HTML format at: https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sino-soviet-split/cpc/betrayers.htm
- “Confessions Concerning the Line of Soviet-U.S. Collaboration Pursued by the New Leaders of the CPSU”, by Commentator in Hongqi [Red Flag], Feb. 11, 1966, (Peking: FLP, 1966), 24 pages. PDF Format [1,137 KB]
- “Some Questions Concerning Modern Revisionist Literature in the Soviet Union”, by Hsiang Hung and Wei Ning. Also includes “Selected Statements by Sholokhov, the Renegade Author”, compiled by Chang Chun, and “The True Features of the Renegade Sholokhov”, by Tsai Hui. (Peking: FLP, 1966, 72 pages. PDF Format [3,279 KB]
- “Smash the Big U.S.-Soviet Conspiracy!”, by Observer of Renmin Ribao, Feb. 20, 1967, about collusion and joint attempts by the U.S. and the Soviet Union to end the revolutionary war in south Vietnam. (Peking: FLP, 1967), small pamphlet, 22 pages. PDF Format [481 KB]
- “Advance Along the Road Opened Up by the October Socialist Revolution: In Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution”, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jiefangjun Bao [Liberation Army Daily], Nov. 6, 1967, 40 pages. Includes also “Comrade Lin Piao’s Speech at the Peking Rally Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution”, Nov. 6, 1967. PDF Format [1,525 KB]
- “How the Soviet Revisionists Carry Out All-Round Restoration of Capitalism in the U.S.S.R.”, reference material from articles in Renmin Ribao and from Hsinhua News Agency, (Peking: FLP, 1968), 88 pages. PDF Format [4,026 KB]
- “Total Bankruptcy of Soviet Modern Revisionism”, six articles including two speeches by Chou En-lai, August-September 1968. (Peking: FLP, 1968), small pamphlet format, 92 pages. PDF Format [2,259 KB]
- “Ugly Performance of Self-Exposure”, by Chung Jen, originally published in Chinese in Renmin Ribao, August 14, 1969. (Peking: FLP, 1969), small pamphlet format, 24 pages. PDF Format [589 KB]
- “An Outspoken Revelation”, Hsinhua News Agency, April 16, 1970 dispatch. (Peking: FLP, 1970), small pamphlet format, 22 pages. PDF Format [426 KB]
- “Leninism or Social-Imperialism? — In Commemoration of the Centenary of the Birth of the Great Lenin”, by the editorial departments of Renmin Ribao, Hongqi and Jiefangjun Bao, April 22, 1970, 78 pages. PDF Format [10,998 KB]
- “Cheap Propaganda”, 5 commentaries by “Hsinhua Correspondent” about hypocritical calls by the Soviet Union for disarmament, August-December 1973, 40 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1974) PDF Format [1,496 KB]
- “Ghost of Confucius, Fond Dream of the New Tsars”, 3 commentaries by mass criticism groups and by a Hsinhua correspondent. (Peking: FLP, 1974), 49 pages. PDF Format [2,197 KB]
- “Ugly Features of Soviet Social-Imperialism”, a collection of articles from 1973-1975 exposing the Soviet Union as an imperialist power and international exploiter. (Peking: FLP, 1976), 96 pages. PDF Format [4,614 KB] Includes:
- “The Superpower Label for Soviet Revisionism Cannot be Removed”, by Fan Hsiao
- “The Brezhnev Clique is Following in Hitler’s Footsteps”, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
- “A Black Line Running Through Two Dynasties — on the new tsars justifying old tsars’ aggression and expansion”, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
- “Soviet Union — Superpower and Super-Exploiter”, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
- “C.M.E.A. — Soviet Revisionism’s Instrument for Neo-Colonialism”, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
- “Sinister Programme of Neo-Colonialism — Soviet revisionists’ vicious motives in peddling theory of ‘international division of labour’ in Third World”, by Chai Chang
- “Honey on Lips, Murder in Heart — Social-imperialist nature of Soviet revisionists’ ‘military aid’ to Egypt exposed”, by Fan Hsiu-chu and Chung Tung
- “Where is the ‘Dawn of Peace and Co-operation’?”, by Mei Ou
- “Warsaw Treaty Organization — Soviet Social-Imperialism’s Tool for Aggression”, by Ming Sung
- “Essence of Soviet Revisionists’ ‘All-Europe Economic Co-operation’”, by Cheng Wei-min
- “Outright Deceit, Ulterior Motives — On Soviet revisionists peddling ‘Asian collective security system’ in Southeast Asia”, commentary by Hsinhua Correspondent
- “Repulse Wolf at Front Gate, Guard Against Tiger at Back Door”, by Jen Ku-ping
- [Book:] Social Imperialism: The Soviet Union Today, a collection of articles from Peking Review from 1975-1976, 148 pages. (Berkeley: Yenan Books, 1977). Searchable PDF Format [5,076 KB]
- “The Soviet Union Under the New Tsars”, by Wei Chi, 100 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1978) Searchable PDF Format [11,853 KB]
- Documents from Parties and Individuals in Other Countries Critizing Soviet Revisionism (Published in China):
- “Raise Higher the Revolutionary Banner of Marxism-Leninism”, 3 articles by the Korean People’s Worker’s Party from 1962 and 1963 opposing revisionism, 44 pages. [Note: Our apologies for the condition of the pamphlet we scanned, which was literally falling apart. We scanned it in color to increase the contrast of the black print with the yellowed pages.] (Peking: FLP, 1963) PDF Format [2,683 KB]
- “Certain International Questions Affecting Malaya”, from the Malayan Monitor, Jan. 31, 1963. (Peking: FLP, 1963), 24 pages. PDF Format [1,317 KB]
- “Reply to Khrushchov — Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil”, including the abridged text of the resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Brazil of July 27, 1963, and also the article “The Great Theory of Marxism-Leninism is Bound to Triumph on Our Continent”, by José Duarte, originally from the Brazilian journal A Classe Operária, Aug. 16-31, 1963. (Peking: FLP, 1964), 32 pages. PDF Format [1,344 KB]
- “Statement of Ten Central Committee Members of the Ceylon Communist Party”, October 27, 1963. Also includes “To All Marxist-Leninists Inside the Ceylon Communist Party” (Nov. 17, 1963). (Peking: FLP, 1964), 44 pages. PDF Format [1,770 KB]
- “‘Theory’ and Practice of the Modern Revisionists”, by Jacques Grippa, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belgium, a speech delivered at the Higher Party School fo the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on June 10, 1964. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 60 pages. [Note: Although Grippa initially supported China during the “Sino-Soviet Split”, he then began to oppose China during the GPCR, and in 1968 actually gave a speech in support of Liu Shaoqi!] PDF Format [2,712 KB]
- “Malayan People’s Experience Refutes Revisionist Fallacies” — Sixteenth Anniversary of the Malayan People’s Armed Struggle, June 30, 1964, 24 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1965) PDF Format [930 KB]
- “On the Intrinsic Nature of N.S. Khrushchov’s Peaceful Co-Existence Line”, an article by Observer in Akahata, organ of the Communist Party of Japan, Nov. 22, 1964. (Peking: FLP, 1965), 62 pages. PDF Format [3,129 KB]
- “On Interventions in and Subversive Activities Against the Democratic Movements of Our Country and Our Party by the CPSU Leadership and the Institutions and Organizations Under its Guidance”, an article in Akahata, organ of the Communist Party of Japan, June 22, 1965. (Peking: FLP, 1966), 54 pages. PDF Format [2,639 KB]
- Border Disputes and Military Confrontations and Incidents Between China and the U.S.S.R.:
- “Down With the New Tsars!”, a collection of statements and articles condemning the incursion of military forces of the revisionist Soviet Union onto China's Chenpao Island in the Wusuli River in Heilungkiang Province. (Peking: FLP, 1969), 78 pages. PDF Format [3,531 KB]
- “Down With the New Tsars! — Soviet Revisionists’ Anti-China Atrocities on the Heilung and Wusuli Rivers”, photo-filled pamphlet, (Peking: FLP, 1969), 76 pages. PDF Format [13,254 KB]
- “Statement of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (May 24, 1969)”, regarding the border dispute with the Soviet Union. Also includes the “Note of the Hsinhua News Agency on the Publication of the Full Text of the Soviet Government’s Statement of March 29” (May 24, 1969). (Peking: FLP, 1969), 48 pages. PDF Format [1,210 KB]
- “Statement of the Government of the People’s Republic of China (October 7, 1969)”, regarding the border dispute with the Soviet Union. Also includes the “Document of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC—Refutation of the Soviet Government’s Statement of June 13, 1969 (Oct. 8, 1969)”, (Peking: FLP, 1974), 2nd printing, 40 pages. PDF Format [1,363 KB]
Magazines from China, Mostly from the Maoist Era (which include much material about the Great Debate)
- Peking Review/Beijing Review entire issues and individual articles: http://www.massline.org/PekingReview/ [This archive now has all of the issues from its beginning in March 1958 through 1988, including all the issues from the GPCR period, and thus covers the full period of the Great Debate with the revisionist and then state-capitalist Soviet Union. The material in almost all the pamphlets listed above also appeared in Peking Review.]
Contemporary Foreign Commentary about China During the Maoist Era
(Containing at least some materials related to the Great Debate)
- Far East Reporter Pamphlet Series (Maud Russell)
- Anglo-Chinese Educational Institute
- Chinese Policy Study Group (London)
- U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association:
- Miscellaneous Foreign Commentary, articles, pamphlets, etc.
Retrospective Commentary about the Great Debate (in whole or in part)
- “Chinese Foreign Policy during the Maoist Era and its Lessons for Today”, by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the U.S. (40 pages, January 2007) All socialist states face a continuing, and at times acute, contradiction between the necessity of defending the socialist country—including through making agreements with imperialist and reactionary states—and the goal of promoting and supporting the world revolution. This paper examines how socialist China handled this tension during four periods between 1949 and 1976. It contrasts the strong internationalist support given to the Korean people and to the Vietnamese and other struggles for national liberation in the 1960s, with the development of bourgeois nationalist lines around the 1955 Bandung Conference and the reactionary “three worlds theory” of the early 1970s. This paper also takes on the view that nationalist governments and their leaders, not revolutionary people’s movements, are the most important challenge to imperialism in the world today. PDF Format (1,208 KB); MS Word Format (200 KB)
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