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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-Japanese Relations

Once war time enemies, relations between China and Japan were often quite cordial and pragmatic during the Cold War. The two countries normalized relations in 1972 and engaged in wide ranging cooperation, economic and political, from the late 1970s through the 1980s.

  • May 06, 1946

    From the Diary of V.M. Molotov, Reception of the Chinese Ambassador to France, Jing Tai, on 6 May 1946 at 3:00 p.m. in the Soviet Embassy in Paris

    The conversation is concerning the "German question" in terms of the conditions and aftermath of the surrender. PR China sees the negotiation on Germany as becoming an agreement that might apply similar to the question on the Japanese surrender. For this reason Jing Tai asks Molotov to allow China to take part in the negotiations on Germany. The trials of Japanese war criminals were also discussed.

  • June 20, 1948

    Memorandum of Conversation, Soviet Ambassador to China, N. V. Roshchin with the President of the Chinese Republic Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek] on 2 June 1948

    Report from Soviet Ambassador to China Roshchin on a conversation he had with Jiang Jieshi. The two discuss Japan; Jieshi remains vague on his opinions of the handling of the Japanese situation, but admits that the American approach has some flaws. Roshchin concludes that the Chinese should be watched with respect to Japan.

  • February 01, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai

    Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai discuss Chinese Communist Party contacts with the US, recognition of the coalition government, and the Chinese attitude toward foreign property.

  • January 14, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Hu Qiaomu

    Mao Zedong gives instructions to Hu Qiaomu on how to write about recent developments within the Japanese Communist Party.

  • January 22, 1950

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Mao Zedong, Moscow

    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.

  • 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."

  • December 12, 1970

    Memorandum of Conversation between Romanian Deputy Premier Gheorghe Radulescu and Zhou Enlai during a Visit to China between 20-26 November 1970

    Gheorge Radulescu informs Zhou Enlai that the United States desires to improve Sino-US relations and discuss China's representation in the UN. Zhou states that China does not accept the proposal for Taiwan to remain a member of the UN as an autonomous region of China, because, in that case, other countries could ask that the same be done for Tibet and Xinjiang. Zhou notes the ongoing border disputes with the Soviet Union. Zhou also discusses Japan's growing economy and the threat of renewed Japanese militarism.

  • March 07, 1971

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Le Duan, and Pham Van Dong

    China and Vietnam’s role in East Asia and the world.

  • June 25, 1971

    Minutes of the Romanian Politburo Meeting Concerning Nicolae Ceauşescu's Visit to China, North Korea, Mongolia, and Vietnam

    These are the minutes of a meeting of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party discussing Romanian leader Nicolae Ceauşescu's 1971 visit to China. Ceauşescu reports on his visits to Chinese enterprises, universities, and laboratories, and acknowledges the achievements of the Cultural Revolution. The report on China is followed by comments on his subsequent visits to North Korea, Vietnam, and Mongolia. Finally, the discussion turns to Moscow's criticism of Ceauşescu's anti-Soviet statements during his stay in the Middle East.

  • December 15, 1972

    Secret Telegram from Moscow to Warsaw, No. 13698

    This gives a short overview of Chinese foreign policy in light of Communist and Soviet attitudes and perceptions in China. A possible Soviet response to such attitudes is suggested.

  • February 28, 1973

    Note on the Meeting with Comrade O.B. Rakhmanin, Deputy Head of International Department of CC

    This document notes changes in Chinese policy that has led to difficult relations with the Soviets, and problems caused by comments made by Mao Zedong. It also discusses other aspects of Chinese foreign policy, such as their attitude and actions towards the U.S. and Japan.

  • January 21, 1974

    Secret Telegram No. 901 - From Moscow to Warsaw

    Nowak reports on how the Chinese are using anti-Soviet propaganda at home and abroad to undermine Soviet influence and encourage possible coups. He notes that this is especially seen in Sino-Japanese relations and recent visits by Japanese politicians to China.

  • July 25, 1975

    Prime Minister Miki – President Ford Meeting Discussion Outline

    An extensive overview of international issues bearing on the US-Japan relationship, including the situations in the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

  • July 21, 1978

    Negotiations for the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty

  • June, 1980

    East German Report on the Eleventh Interkit Meeting in Poland, June 1980

    Report from the East German representatives on the 11th Interkit meeting held in Poland. This was the first meeting attended by the Vietnamese.

  • March 24, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting)'

    Ambassador Katori describes the outline of talks held between Prime Minister Nakasone, Cabinet Minister Abe, and Premier Zhao Ziyang.

  • March 24, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – Korean Peninsula Affairs)'

    Nakasone and Zhao Ziyang discuss economic exchanges between South Korea and China, trilateral talks between the two Koreas and the US, and visits between divided Korean families.

  • March 24, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – International Affairs)'

    Nakasone and Zhao Ziyang review Chinese and Japanese views on the Soviet Union's military build up and the Cambodian issue.

  • March 24, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – Economic Cooperation, Economic Exchange)'

    Zhao Ziyang and Nakasone Yasuhiro review the current state of Sino-Japanese economic relations, including loans, financial aid, and scientific and technological cooperation.

  • March 24, 1984

    Cable from Ambassador Katori to the Foreign Minister, 'Prime Minister Visit to China (Summit Meeting – Bilateral Relations)'

    Zhao Ziyang and Nakasone Yasuhiro discuss Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges and Japan's security policies.