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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China-Europe Relations

Europe and China were undoubtedly the most important third actors in the Cold War system. As territorial entities and political and economic actors located at the crossroads of the mutual spheres of action of the two superpowers, they played a key role in the evolution and reshaping of the bipolar system. This collection charts China's relations with Europe, and as it moved from East to West throughout the course of the Cold War.

  • November 27, 1968

    Italian Policy towards the People’s Republic of China

    An Italian Foreign Ministry report on future policies leading to Italy's recognition of the People's Republic of China and Beijing's admission to the United Nations.

  • December 18, 1968

    Memorandum from Department Head Egon Bahr, 'Establishment of Relations with the Communist States in Asia'

    Bahr discusses the possibility of West Germany establishing relations with China, Mongolia, North Korea, or North Vietnam.

  • December 20, 1968

    Note from the Director General of Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Chinese Issue'

    The Italian Foreign Ministry reviews changes in Chinese foreign policy and approaches Italy ought to take towards normalization relations with China.

  • January 30, 1969

    Note Gérard de la Villesbrunne to the Foreign Minister, 'New Interest of Western Diplomacy towards China: Hopes and Illusions'

    The French Consul General in Hong Kong notes a spike in China's diplomatic activities with Western Europe, Japan, and the U.S., but concludes that China, "still concerned by internal questions, does not seem to be willing to respond to the openings of non-communist countries with as much enthusiasm as hoped for in the West."

  • February 07, 1969

    Secret Note from the Italian Embassy in Paris to Rome

    Via the Italian Embassy in Paris, the Chinese Government indicates that it is willing to establish diplomatic relations with Italy as long as three general principles are adhered to.

  • February 07, 1969

    Handwritten Note from the Minister of Foreign Affairs

    In response to a note from the Chinese Embassy in Paris, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pietro Nenni acknowledges that there is only China.

  • April 25, 1969

    Telegram Number 1797/1800, 'Chinese Foreign Policy'

    The French Ambassador to London reports that China is eager to open up diplomatic relations with Italy and Canada and to enter into negotiations with the United States.

  • May 16, 1969

    Note Number 399 from Pierre Cerles to Michel Debré, 'China and Eastern Europe'

    Pierre Cerles provides an assessment of Chinese foreign policy toward Eastern Europe during the 1960s within the context of the Sino-Soviet split, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Cultural Revolution, and China's own internal leadership divisions.

  • June 12, 1969

    Note Number 760 from Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel to Michel Debré, 'Chinese Foreign Policy'

    The French Ambassador in Great Britain reports new details on border clashes between China and the Soviet Union in Xinjiang-Kazakhstan, Chinese diplomacy in the Third World and with the West, and the state of Sino-British relations.

  • June 23, 1969

    Note from Department Head Ruete, 'Meeting with the Bonn Xinhua Representative on June 13, 1969'

    A West German diplomat meets with a Xinhua correspondent to discuss China's relations with Bonn

  • June 26, 1969

    Letter from Mario Crema to Pietro Nenni

    Crema outlines the current trends of Chinese foreign policy as Chinese mission leaders abroad gradually return and border tensions with the USSR arise.

  • July 14, 1969

    Note from Ambassador Caruso for Ambassador Vinci

    The Italian delegation to the UN decides to vote in favor of the assignment of the Chinese seat to the PRC.

  • September 30, 1969

    Letter no. 428 from Franco Maria Malfatti to Aldo Moro

    Malfatti reports his observations of the Chinese ambassador, who displayed a strong position against the Soviet Union and Taiwan.

  • September 30, 1969

    Letter no. 429 from Franco Maria Malfatti to Aldo Moro

    Malfatti reports on his impression of the prospects of negotiations with the Chinese in regards to establishing diplomatic relations.

  • October 01, 1969

    Letter from Aldo Moro to Franco Mario Malfatti

    Moro discusses the ongoing negotiations at the UN concerning the recognition of the People's Republic of China.

  • October 06, 1969

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Note of Asia-Oceania Department, 'Sino-French Relations'

    Following the peak of the Cultural Revolution, the French Foreign Ministry concludes that Sino-French relations "have shown signs of détente, which, in the current context, represents important progress."

  • October 10, 1969

    Telegram Number 1930-33, 'China and the European Socialist Countries'

    Etienne Manac’h reports that although China may soon re-appoint ambassadors to Eastern Europe, officials from Poland and Czechoslovakia are skeptical of China's policies toward their countries.

  • October 28, 1969

    Telegram Number 2142-08, 'Conversation with the Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs (Europe)'

    Luo Guibo is curious about developments in West German-Soviet relations and the Conference on European Security, while Etienne Manac’h inquires about China's appointment of ambassadors to Europe.

  • November 05, 1969

    Note Number 969 from M. Jacques Roux to Maurice Schumann, 'Divided Countries: Germany and China'

    M. Jacques Roux describes and compares West German-East German relations and China-Taiwan relations, reporting that, as Beijing opens up with Western countries, it is concurrently demanding that they break relations with Taipei.

  • November 17, 1969

    Aldo Moro’s Notes on Letter no. 61

    Moro considers the different options in regards to establishing relations with the People's Republic of China and maintaining relations with Taiwan.