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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Conversations with Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong ruled China from October 1949 until his death in September 1976. Mao's influence on China's foreign policy during the Cold War was immense, as he determined the major ideological underpinnings of China's international relations and played a pivotal role in determining both China's allies and enemies. This collection brings together conversations held between Mao and foreign leaders from both within and outside of the communist bloc in order to offer insights into Mao's worldview and major developments in China's domestic history and foreign relations.

  • January 30, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Mao discusses the military situation in China, which he states is heavily in the favor of the CCP. Mao discusses the plans for finishing off the Guomindang forces, which are to be delayed a couple months. Mao discusses China's standing compared to Russia's. Mao discusses his own standing among the Soviet leaders.

  • January 31, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Mao discusses the formation of a coalition government and when best to form the government. Mao discusses his strategies against Bai Chongxi and the strength of the CCP forces. Mao also discusses the representative office of the VKP(b) CC with the CCP CC, running the military districts, Guomindang naval forces, the conditions of workers, the cadres, professional unions, working youth and women, talks with the Guomindang government, foreign trade, and the foreign policy of the CCP.

  • February 03, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong converse about the mediation talks between the CCP and the Guomindang, Yugoslavia, coordination between the communist parties of the Asian countries, and the history of the CCP.

  • February 04, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong discuss the independence of Mongolia, the independence movement in Xinjiang, the construction of a railroad in Xinjiang, CCP contacts with the VKP(b), the candidate for Chinese ambassador to the USSR, aid from the USSR to China, CCP negotiations with the Guomindang, the preparatory commisssion for convening the PCM, the character of future rule in China, Chinese treaties with foreign powers, and the Sino-Soviet treaty.

  • February 05, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong discuss the situation within the CCP, the workers' question, the military situation an the CCP's tasks, and Rittenberg and Ma Haide. (Evening)

  • February 05, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong discuss the role of foreign capital in China, Chinese intelligentsia, the role of criticism and self-criticism in the CCP, CCP tasks in the army, the level of China's industrial development, the Chinese attitude toward foreign property, and the road and character of the Chinese revolution. (Day)

  • February 06, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong

    Anastas Mikoyan and Mao Zedong discuss Outer Mongolia, the Sino-Soviet treaty, the situation of the national minorities in China, the economic policy of the CCP, the structure of state power, the head of the Chinese government, the "new situation" and the cadres, the Soviet loan to China, the CCP CC plans for February-March, and the youth movement.

  • May 17, 1949

    Cable, Kovalev to Stalin, Conversation with Mao Zedong on 12 May 1949

    Kovalev relays to Stalin a conversation with Mao concerning the military situation in China, the choice for leader of the central government, and Wang Ming's appraisal of his incorrect activity.

  • May 18, 1949

    Telegram from the leader of the group of Soviet specialists in Northeast China to the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers about the results of the Chinese-Korean talks on military cooperation

    A telegram from the leader of the group of Soviet specialists in Northeast China to the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers about the results of Chinese-Korean talks on military cooperation.

  • May 23, 1949

    Cable, Kovalev to Stalin, Report on the 22 May 1949 CCP CC Politburo Discussion

    Kovalev reports to Stalin on the politburo meeting. the discussion concerned the economic situation in China, the military situation in China, and a previous conversation between Mao and American ambassador John Leighton Stuart.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong on 20 October 1949

    Record of a dinner between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Mao Zedong. Roshchin notes that the mood of dinner is very friendly, with each man toasting the other and the other's country. The two also discuss China's desire to establish diplomatic relations with Albania.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin: Memorandum of Conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong on 16 October 1949

    Soviet Ambassador to China Roshchin records his conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong where he congratulates Mao on the successes of the People's Liberation Army. Mao assures Roshchin that China will not take up diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and that it will officially recognize the GDR once the Soviet Union does.

  • December 16, 1949

    Record of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Chairman of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China Mao Zedong on 16 December 1949

    First meeting between Mao and Stalin. The two discuss war and peace, as well as the question of the new treaty between China and the USSR. Stalin voices himself against signing a new treaty, citing the Yalta agreement. Mao promises to reconsider his position. Mao says he is in favor of keeping Soviet troops in Port Arthur. Stalin promises not to "run away" from China. Mao requests a credit of 300 million dollars, as well as the Soviet aid in liberating Taiwan. Stalin warns Mao not to give the Americans a pretext to intervene in China. Mao says that several countries are interested in establishing diplomatic relations with China but that China should wait before doing so. Stalin agrees with this strategy.

  • December 18, 1949

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi, 18 December 1949

  • December 20, 1949

    Kovalev Report to Stalin on a Conversation with Mao

    Kovalev reported to Stalin on his converation with Mao Zedong. He said Mao intended to suggest two options for Stalin's consideration. The first one is to discuss Soviet-China treaty and other aggrements and then sign them. The second option is to discuss wiouthout formalizing these into agreeements.

  • January 01, 1950

    Memorandum, Conversation of Mao and USSR Ambassador to China N.V. Roshchin on 1 January 1950

    Mao Zedong informs Roshchin that India and Burma had expressed interest in establishing diplomatic relations with China, and that the UK may follow suit. The Chinese position, Mao said, is to agree to negotiations if these governments renounced their ties with the Guomindang. Mao and Roshchin also discussed the military situation and the question of Japanese POWs. Mao did not the POWs right away because the Chinese legal system was not developed enough. He also informed Roshchin of his intention to curtain stay in the USSR.

  • January 06, 1950

    Conversation between A. Vyshinsky and Mao Zedong, Moscow

    In this conversation Mao and Vyshinskii talk about Sino-Soviet economic cooperation, including Soviet aid in rebuilding the Jilin power plant and provision of fuel supplies. The conversation the turns on the question of Japanese POWs. Mao wants to leave them in the USSR for a while longer, and Vyshinskii agrees. Finally, Mao tells Vyshinskii that he is of the opinion that the USSR and China must sign a new treaty of alliance, to which Vyshinskii (possibly unaware of the TASS interview) replies that he sees difficulties in this.

  • January 17, 1950

    Conversation, V.M. Molotov and A.Y Vyshinsky with Mao Zedong, Moscow, 17 January 1950

    In this conversation Molotov reads out to Mao the part of Acheson's Jan. 12 statement about the Soviet take-over of Manchuria, Mongolia and Xinjiang. Molotov proposes that the Chinese Foreign Ministry issues a refutation. Mao suggests that Xinhua should do that, but Molotov disagrees, and Mao promises that the Foreign Ministry will issue a statement. Mao, for his part, mentions several US probes to establish relations with Communist China, but notes that his policy is to keep the Americans at arms' length, and, in fact, to force them to leave China altogether. Towards the end Molotov and Mao discuss China's representation at the UN (Molotov asks that China appoint a representative, something that Mao appears reluctant to do), and China's representation at the Allied Control Council for Japan.

  • January 22, 1950

    Record of Talks between I.V. Stalin and Chairman of the Central People's Government of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong

    Conversation between Stalin and Mao concerning a proposed treaty of friendship and alliance between the USSR and China. Discussion includes: the prospects of future Japanese aggression, the Chinese-Eastern Railway (Mao and Stalin disagree on who should run its administration), the Port Arthur agreements (including the question of the port of Dalny), and economic cooperation. The economic cooperation focuses on a Soviet credit program for economic development in China, as well as the question of arms shipments to China. There is also discussion of Tibet.

  • May 14, 1950

    Telegram from Roshchin to Stalin

    Soviet Ambassador to China N.V. Roschin relays a Chinese assessment of the armed forces in North Korea and South Korea and the possibility of China and North Korea signing a treaty of friendship, alliance, and mutual aid.