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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Conversations with Zhou Enlai

Zhou Enlai served as Premier of the People's Republic of China from October 1949 until his death in January 1976 and concurrently as the first Foreign Minister from 1949 through 1958. His involvement and influence on China's foreign policy was immense.(Photo: Zhou Enlai is received by Ion Gheorghe Maurer during a visit to Romania in June 1966.)

  • 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.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on 15 November 1949

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Chinese Premier Enlai. Zhou Enlai puts forth some future military plans of the PLA. Specifically, the plans to enter Tibet following liberation in Xinjiang and Sichuan, and to attack Hainan are discussed. He adds that the losses incurred in the Battle of Shantou will inform the eventual attack on Formosa.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on 10 November 1949

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Zhou Enlai speaks on behalf of Mao Zedong, expressing the Chairman's desire to make a visit to Moscow.

  • January 31, 1950

    Memorandum of Conversation, Charge d’Affaires of the Soviet Embassy with Chinese Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai on 9 December 1949

    Description of a discussion between the Soviet Charge d'Affaires in the PRC and Zhou Enlai, covering Mao Zedong's trip to Moscow and recognition of the PRC by England, Burma, and India.

  • February 12, 1950

    From the Journal of Ambassador Roshchin: Top Secret Memorandum of Conversation of the Ambassador of the USSR in China N.V. Roshchin with Zhou Enlai

    Roshchin, Soviet Ambassador to China, reports on his conversation with Zhou Enlai regarding the territory of Xinjiang; plans to draft an agreement on the transfer of Manchuria from the Soviet Union to the People's Republic of China; and settling the issue of payment for Soviet specialists in China. Zhou Enlai has also asked Roshchin to inform his Soviet counterparts that 14 February would be the most convenient date to sign the Sino-Soviet agreements, as that will allow the media sufficient time to report on the treaty prior to the Chinese new year celebrations beginning on 16 February.

  • February 13, 1950

    From the Journal of Vyshinsky: Top Secret Memorandum of Conversation with Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai

    Vyshinsky reports to Stalin that Zhou Enlai wishes to publish the completed Sino-Soviet agreements. Doing so, Zhou believes, will legitimate the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China in the eyes of the world, particularly the democratic countries. However, because an agreement on publication had not previously been made, Vyshinsky tells Zhou that this is not yet possible. Vyshinsky informs Zhou that he will consult the Soviet government on this matter and report back without delay.

  • July 27, 1951

    From the Diary of N. V. Roshchin: Memorandum of Conversation with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai on 24 July 1951

    Discussion between Soviet Ambassador to the PRC Roshchin and Zhou Enlai regarding the conflict in Korea. Zhou states that the war effort is a drain on China's domestic economy, but that it will bounce back once the war is won. Also describes Chinese relations with capitalist countries. Notes that the CCP lacks technical specialists of any sort.

  • August 20, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai concerning the extension of the Port Arthur agreement, the construction of a Sino-Mongolian railroad to the Soviet Union, and the situation in Korea. On the issue of Korea, they discussed sending arms shipments to China and Chinese arms production; the possibility of a Chinese offensive in Korea; and the return of POWs. Stalin reaffirmed his commitment to assisting China in the war in Korea.

  • September 03, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai on the Chinese Five-Year Plan, the Ulan-Bator-Pinditsiuan railroad, and arms sales/production. They also discussed the Korean war, Burma, and Tibet.

  • September 04, 1952

    Record of a Conversation between Stalin, Kim Il Sung, Pak Heon-yeong, Zhou Enlai, and Peng Dehuai

    Soviet and North Korean officials discuss the military situation in Korea and the status of armistice talks.

  • September 19, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai focusing on the Korean War. They discussed the exchange of POWs (and the Mexican proposal), peace negotiations, Chinese cooperation with India and Burma, and the creation of regional organizations. They also mentioned Germany (reunification), the situation/reforms in Xinjiang, Taiwan and Chiang Kaishek (Jiang Jieshi), and military aid.

  • May 22, 1953

    Remarks of Premier Zhou Enlai receiving the Burmese Government Labor Commission

    Zhou Enlai asks that Burma avoid trading and cooperating with the United States.

  • February 02, 1954

    From the Journal of Ambassador Pavel Yudin: Memorandum of Conversation between Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai

    A conversation between Soviet Ambassador to China Pavel Yudin, CCP Secretary Liu Shoaqi and Prime Minister Zhou Enlai. The primary topic of discussion was the ongoing Gao Gang case, and his attempts to split the Communist Party. The cohesion and unity of the Party was of primary concern, as both feared Gao Gang's power and influence over the party may threaten the country's political stability as a whole.

  • February 13, 1954

    From the Journal of Ambassador P. F. Yudin: Record of a Conversation with Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai on 13 February 1954

    Yudin records a conversation he had with Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai, who described events in the "Gao Gang Affair," discussing at length the anti-party activities of Gao Gang and Rao Shushi.

  • March 09, 1954

    From the Journal of Ambassador Pavel Yudin: Memorandum of Conversation with Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai

    A conversation between Soviet Ambassador to China Pavel Yudin, CCP Secretary Liu Shaoqi and Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai. The primary topic of discussion was the Gao Gang case and the attempts to splinter the Chinese Communist Party.

  • May 01, 1954

    Cable from Zhou Enlai, 'Regarding a Meeting with British Foreign Secretary Eden'

    Zhou Enlai, Molotov, and Eden discuss the Korea issue, the Indochina issue, Sino-British relations, British-American relations, and the issue of five powers.

  • May 14, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Anthony Eden

    Zhou Enlai and Anthony Eden discuss Geneva Conference proceedings related to the Korea and Indochina issues. Zhou expresses concerns for the French proposal on Indochina and states that China supports the North Vietnamese proposal. Zhou and Eden agree that a military armistice should be decided on, although they disagree on specific issues surrounding an armistice.

  • June 01, 1954

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Georges Bidault

    Bidault and Zhou discuss the need to come to an agreement on troop regrouping and the composition and role of the supervisory committee for Indochina.

  • June 18, 1954

    Minutes, Meeting between Zhou Enlai and the Australian Minister for External Affairs, Richard Casey (Summary)

    Zhou and Casey discuss issues of Korean unification, PRCs recognition in the UN, and Indochina. Zhou insists that if a nation establishes military bases in another country's territory, it is for aggressive reasons.

  • June 22, 1954

    Minutes, Zhou Enlai’s Meeting with Jean Chauvel

    Chauvel confirms a meeting for Zhou with the French Prime Minister, and suggests that both countries announce the meeting at the same time to thwart distorted media coverage of the two countries. The two agree that the conference must continue. Also, Chauvel hands Zhou a proposal for a special committee to decide the composition of the supervisory committee.