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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China and the Middle East/North Africa

This collection features materials on China's relations with countries in the Middle East and North Africa, primarily during the Mao period. The majority of documents concern China's relations with Egypt and Algeria. The collection includes the records of conversations between Chinese leaders and Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ben Bella, Ferhat Abbas, Ali Sabri, and other preeminent leaders from the MENA region.

  • September 23, 1956

    Telegram from A. Mikoyan to the CPSU Central Committee

    Peng Dehuai tells Mikoyan that the Chinese Communist Party fully supports the denunciation of Stalin's personality cult, partly because after the Chinese revolution, Stalin insisted that the new government take an inclusive approach to opposition parties. Peng also discusses Mao Zedong's recent meeting with the Egyptian ambassador.

  • February 11, 1957

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Syria, 'The Situation of Ambassador Chen’s Visit to the Syrian Foreign Minister'

    The Chinese Ambassador to Syria and the Syrian Foreign Minister discuss the timing of the Second Asian-African Conference and the Arab-Israeli conflict

  • April 10, 1957

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'The Premier's Discussion with the Indonesian Ambassadors on Convening the Second Afro-Asian Conference'

    In a meeting with the Indonesian ambassador, Zhou Enlai emphasized that it was important that many countries would attend the second Asian-African conference and that China wanted the conference to bolster solidarity rather than be a place for argument.

  • June 13, 1957

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Premier Zhou’s Conversation with Ambassador Nehru'

    Premier Zhou Enlai and Indian Ambassador Ratan Kumar Nehru exchanged views on Taiwan Incident and situation in West Asia.

  • November 21, 1957

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, 'Egyptian Newspaper Carries Its Correspondent’s Report on the Conversation between Amer and Chairman Mao'

    An Egyptian reporter published an article on National Defense Minister Amer's visit to the Soviet Union. There he thanked Mao for China's support during Egypts struggle for independence.

  • October 04, 1960

    Main Points of Chairman Mao’s Conversation with Premier Abbas on September 30, 1960

    Mao Zedong expressed Chinese support of the Algeria revolution against French colonialism to the Provision Government of the Algerian Republic President Ferhat Abbas.

  • April 20, 1961

    Notes of Meeting between Boussouf, Benaouda, and Belhocine and the Chinese Ambassador

    Minutes of a meeting, on April 20, 1961, between Algerian representatives, Boussouf, Benaouda, and Belhocine, and a Chinese ambassador. In the meeting, which was called to discuss issues regarding weapons supplies from the Chinese, both sides discuss ensuing negotiations between Algeria and France. Also mentioned is Algeria's meeting with a United States ambassador, and the United States desire for compromise between Algeria and France.

  • October 14, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation from the Meeting between Vice Premier Chen Yi and the Albanian Ambassador to China Reis Malile

    Chen Yi and Reis Malile discuss Sino-Albanian trade and Syria's secession from the United Arab Republic.

  • November 26, 1962

    Cable from Li Qiangfen, 'Charge d’Affaires Li Presented the Premier’s Letter from the 11th'

    Abdullah as-Sallal expresses support for China in the Sino-Indian Border Conflict and asks for Chinese economic assistance.

  • December 17, 1963

    Record of the Second Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nasser

    Zhou and Nasser discuss developments in and relations with Libya, Tunisia, Israel, Palestine, Morocco, Yemen, and Mauritania, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement and the proposed second Asian-African Conference.

  • December 19, 1963

    Record of the Third Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nasser

    Zhou Enlai describes the state of Sino-American relations and Sino-Indian relations. Zhou and Nasser also discuss the Egyptian economy and Sino-Egyptian relations.

  • December 20, 1963

    Record of Premier Zhou Enlai's Calling on President Nasser

    Zhou and Nasser discuss domestic conditions inside of Egypt, the Sino-Indian border war, and the possibilities for a nuclear weapons free zone in Africa and the Middle East.

  • August 06, 1964

    Memorandum of Conversation from the Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and the Algerian Ambassador to China Mohamed Yala

    Zhou Enlai and Mohamed Yala exchange views on the situation in Vietnam and across Africa, while discussing the Second Asian-African Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement

  • August 17, 1964

    Record of Conversation from Chairman Mao’s Reception of the Algerian Ambassador to China Mohamed Yala

    List of Mao and Yala's main points of discussion, including successful party building, battling imperialism, and suppressing counter-revolutions, as well as record of their conversation regarding the state of Algeria's foreign relations with Vietnam, the US, and others.

  • October 19, 1964

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Algeria, 'Reactions to China's Testing of a Nuclear Bomb'

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Algeria describes positive responses of foreign government officials stationed in Algeria on China's first nuclear weapons test.

  • October 22, 1964

    Cable from Chen Jiakang, 'Riyadal's Views on China's Testing of an Atomic Bomb'

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the United Arab Republic [Egypt] describing a positive conversation between Chinese Ambassador Chen Jiakang and Foreign Minister of the United Arab Republic Mahmoud Riad on China's testing of an Atomic Bomb.

  • March 23, 1965

    Mao Zedong, 'We Hope the Arab Countries Will Unite'

  • March 30, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Delegation in Algeria to the Foreign Ministry, 'Main Points of Conversation with Ben Bella '

    Ben Bella shares his views on the revolutionary situation in Africa, particularly developments in the Congo.

  • March 31, 1965

    Record of the Second Meeting between Premier Zhou and President Ben Bella

    Ben Bella and Zhou Enlai discuss a range of issues, including the Vietnam War, the Sino-Soviet split, the Second Asian-African Conference, China's status at the UN, Algerian foreign policy, and developments in the Congo and elsewhere in Africa.

  • June 19, 1965

    Record of Conversation between Premier Zhou and Premier Sabry

    Zhou and Enlai and Ali Sabry discuss developments in Algeria, prospects for the Second Asian-African Conference, Egypt's tenuous food situation and trade relations with countries such as Argentina, Canada, and the US, and the latest news from Vietnam.