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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China and South Asia

South Asia was one of the most important regions in China's international relations and foreign policy. Drawn largely from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archives, this collection sheds light on China's relations with India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in particular. In the absence of similar sources from South Asia, these documents, moreover, are also invaluable to the study of South Asia in context of the Cold War. (Photo: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, meets Mao Zedong (right) in October 1956.) (See also: Sino-Indian Border War, 1962.)

  • October 19, 1954

    Minutes of Chairman Mao Zedong’s First Meeting with Nehru

    Mao Zedong and Nehru discuss Sino-Indian relations, the political situation in Asia, and the role of the United States in world politics.

  • October 19, 1954

    Minutes of the First Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and Nehru

    Zhou Enlai and Nehru discuss French and Portuguese colonialism in India and China, the Sino-American conflict, conflict in the Taiwan Straits, and the China issue at the United Nations.

  • October 20, 1954

    Excerpt from Premier Zhou Enlai's Second Meeting with Nehru

    Zhou and Nehru ponder American foreign policy and whether the US wants "to create tension."

  • October 20, 1954

    Talking Points from Premier Zhou Enlai’s Second Meeting with Nehru

    Zhou and Nehru cover a large range of topics relating to China and India's international relations. The conversation begins by discussing the issue of Taiwan, in relation to China, then moves to the "adverse effects" of American involvement in the Afro-Asian region. The two then discuss the upcoming Afro-Asian conference.

  • October 20, 1954

    Minutes of the Second Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and Nehru

    Zhou and Nehru continue to discuss the regional situations in Asia and Africa and the overarching foreign policy views of China and India.

  • October 21, 1954

    Talking Points from Premier Zhou Enlai’s Third Meeting with Nehru

    Zhou Enlai and Nehru discuss Sino-Indian relations, as well as China and India's views toward Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

  • October 21, 1954

    Minutes of the Third Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and Nehru

    Zhou and Nehru discuss developments in South Asia and Southeast Asia.

  • October 22, 1954

    Key Points of the Conversation between Song Qingling and Nehru

    Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Song Qingling, former Chinese nationalist and second wife of Sun Yat-Sen, discuss Taiwan, Australia's position on China's entrance to the United Nations, and the impact of governmental censorship on Chinese foreign policy.

  • October 22, 1954

    Abstract of Talk between Nehru, Chen Yun, and Vice Premier Li Fuchun

    Record of conversation between Indian and Chinese delegations, on a wide variety of issues in China. Conversation covers the structure of Chinese government, management of the bureaucracy, handling of finances, and plans for improving education and productivity levels.

  • October 23, 1954

    Minutes of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Second Meeting with Nehru

    Mao and Nehru have an extensive discussion about global affairs, the legacy of World War II, and the likelihood of another world war.

  • October 26, 1954

    Minutes of the Fourth Meeting between Premier Zhou Enlai and Nehru

    Zhou Enlai and Nehru touch on issues related to Yugoslavia, Pakistan, the Geneva Conference, and Indonesia.

  • October 26, 1954

    Minutes of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Third Meeting with Nehru

    Om the final day of Nehru's visit, he and Mao discuss Soviet technical assistance and relations with Burma.

  • February 23, 1955

    Cable from Huan Xiang, 'Indian Premier Nehru’s View on Resolving the Taiwan Issue'

  • August 25, 1955

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou's Reception of Ambassador Raghavan

    Zhou Enlai talked to Raghavan about two issues in the Sino-American talks: The release of American expatriates in China and the issue of Chinese expatriates in the US. Regarding the former, Zhou reaffirmed Chinese willingness to cooperate. According to him, there was no restriction and all American expatriates who apply would be able to return to the US. In the cases of Americans who violated Chinese law, however, it was necessary to proceed case by case and it was impossible to release them all at the same time as Washington demanded. On the second issue, the US admitted that they had placed limitations on the return of Chinese expatriates in the past. These restrictions had been lifted then but due to the number of Chinese expatriates and the pressure from Taipei, the problem could not be solved at once. Both countries agreed to let India act as a proxy for China and the UK act as a proxy for the US in this issue. Zhou and Raghavan went on to discuss some wording problems as well as the attitudes of both parties and the UK.

  • October 08, 1955

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry to the Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Office, 'Can Pakistan Establish a Consulate in Kashgar?'

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry asks officials in Xinjiang whether Pakistan should be allowed to open a consulate in Xinjiang.

  • October 29, 1955

    Cable from the Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Office to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'On the Pros and Cons of Pakistan Establishing a Consulate in Xinjiang'

    The Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Office responds to the query about Pakistan opening a consulate in Xinjiang.

  • November 05, 1955

    Minutes of Conversation between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and the Newly Appointed Indian Ambassador to China Ratan Kumar Nehru

    Zhou Enlai and the newly appointed Indian Ambassador discuss Nehru's health, the next Asian-African Conference, the Sino-American talks on Taiwan, the Macau issue, and the ambassador's previous experience in China.

  • January 04, 1956

    Abstract of Conversation between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Pakistani Ambassador to China Sultanuddin Ahmad

    Zhou Enlai and Sultanuddin Ahmed discussed the Kashmir issue and the consequences of the Soviet stance. China also expressed its disapproval with Pakistani involvement in the Manila Treaty, the Baghdad Pact and Islamabad's military agreement with the US.

  • May 17, 1956

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, 'Pakistani President’s Exclusive Conversation with American Reporters'

    The Pakistani President stated that Islamabad's warming relationship with the PRC did not mean a move away from the US. He reaffirmed Pakistani commitment to the Southeast Asian defense treaty and the Baghdad Pact while urging the US to recognize the PRC and advocating an increase in Sino-Japanese trade.

  • May 31, 1956

    Memorandum of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of Ambassador R.K. Nehru

    Premier Zhou Enlai and Ambassador Nehru discuss the Korean ceasefire, the role of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee, the Sino-American ambassadorial talks, and the situation in Indochina.