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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 during the Cold War. This collection, drawn largely from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archive, sheds light on China's relations with India, Pakistan, and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) from 1949 onwards. It includes high-level records of conversation between Chinese and South Asian leaders, Chinese embassy dispatches from the region, and other types of records. See also the Digital Archive collection on the Sino-Indian Border War, 1962. (Photo: The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, meets Mao Zedong (right) in October 1956.) (

  • September 09, 1959

    Meeting Minutes between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanfu and Ambassadors from Fraternal Countries on the Tibet Issue

    Chinese Vice Foreign Minister convened a meeting with ambassadors from several countries to discuss the Tibet issue. Zhang accused India of trying to wage an anti-Chinese campaign, presented several documents and maps as well as explained the history of the dispute.

  • November 07, 1959

    Premier Chou En-lai's [Zhou Enlai's] Letter to Prime Minister Nehru

  • February 05, 1960

    Prime Minister Nehru's Letter to Premier Chou En-lai [Zhou Enlai]

  • March 16, 1960

    Letter, G. Parthasarthi to S. Dutt

    The letter contains a copy of articles on the peaceful utilization of atomic energy and research work in the nuclear science in China, which could help Indian experts to understand China’s capabilities in the nuclear science.

  • March 21, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese People's Committee to Defend World Peace and Combat U.S. Aggression and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the Chinese delegates for the Indian Peace and Disarmament Conference and the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Assembly.

  • April 02, 1960

    Note, G. R. Walker to H. L. Khanna

    The note contains articles on the peaceful utilization of atomic energy and other achievements in nuclear science by China, which were shown to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai by Prime Minister Nehru.

  • April 20, 1960

    Record of Conversation between Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou Enlai

    Record of conversation between Nehru and Zhou discussing the Sino-Indian border dispute and recent situation in Tibet. Two leaders exchanged their views on the issues.

  • April 20, 1960

    Record of the Talks between PM [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou [Zhou Enlai] held on 20th April, 1960, from 5 p.m. 7 p.m. at the Prime Minister's Residence

    Record of conversation between Indian PM Nehru and Chinese Premier Zhou explaining their own nation's rights over the contested border area. They disagree with each other on the basic facts.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Vice-President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

    Vice-Prisident Radhakrishnan discussed the historical mutual friendship between China and India. He indicated that the mutual friendship will help to solve the border dispute. Zhou replied that the historical disputes shall be resolved by the new government.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Conversation between R.K. Nehru and Zhou Enlai

    PM Nehru first asked Premier Zhou regarding the political situation in Middle East, paticularly U.A.E, Syria and Egypt. Then, Nehru expressed his concern on the revolt in Tibet 1959. Zhou addressed the Tibet incident was China's domestic affairs.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Talks between PM [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou En Lai [Zhou Enlai] held on 21st April, 1960 from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.

  • April 22, 1960

    Notes on the Conversation held between Sardar Swaran Singh and Marshal Chen Yi

  • April 22, 1960

    Record of Talks between P.M. [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou En Lai [Zhou Enlai] held on 22nd April, 1960 from 10 A.M. to 1.10 P.M.

    Record of conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Jawaharlal Nehru discussing the dispute on Sino-Indian border. Zhou stated his views on historical facts, common ground and proposals.

  • April 23, 1960

    Record of Talks between P.M. [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou En-lai [Zhou Enlai] held on 23rd April, 1960, from 4.30 p.m. 7.45 p.m.

    PM Nehru stated to Premier Zhou regarding his viewpoints on Sino-Indian border disputes by referring the historical legacy.

  • April 23, 1960

    Notes on Conversation held between Sardar Swaran Singh and Marshal Chen Yi on 23rd April, 1960, at Agra

    Swaran Singh and Chen Yi discuss the dispute over the boundaries of the Sino-Indian border.

  • April 24, 1960

    Record of Talks between P.M. [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou En Lai [Zhou Enlai] held on 24th April, 1960, from 10.30 a.m. to 1.45 p.m.

    Nehru and Zhou Enlai discuss the dispute over the boundaries of the Sino-Indian border. They argue for national sovereignty and claimed the rights to control the border.

  • June, 1960

    From the Diary of S. V. Chervonenko, Memorandum of Conversation with the General Secretary of the CC CCP, Deng Xiaoping, 17 May 1960

    Deng Xiaoping discuss Khrushchev's speech regarding the American U-2 spy plane shot down by the Soviet Union in May 1960 and the Eisenhower administration's attempted cover up. He also discussed Zhou Enlai's visit to India and continued tensions between India and China.

  • August 22, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation Between Deputy Minister Geng and Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Khan Abdur Rahman Khan at Ambassador Khan’s Banquet for Vice Premier Chen

    Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Khan and Chinese Deputy Minister Geng discuss Sino-Afghani trade, Sino-Pakistani relations, and the status of Pakistani and Chinese nationals in Indonesia. While both officials express hope that Sino-Pakistani relations will improve and any Sino-Pakistani border issues will soon be resolved, Geng expresses his displeasure with Pakistan's long-standing opposition to the restoration of China's seat at the UN.

  • September 02, 1960

    Note, Homi Bhabha to Shri Y. D. Gundevia

    Homi Bhabha writes to Prime Minister Nehru about India's international status as a country possessing a plutonium plant but not a nuclear weapons program.

  • March 29, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai Receives Soviet Ambassador to China Stepan Chervonenko

    Chervonenko informed Zhou Enlai of the Indian invitation and the Soviet Union's decision to send its delegation to the Indian Communist Party's Sixth Congress