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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. Zhou's involvement and influence on China's foreign policy was immense. This collection features hundreds of conversations that Zhou held with leaders from dozens of countries. See also the Digital Archvie collection: Conversations with Mao Zedong. (Photo: Zhou Enlai is received by Ion Gheorghe Maurer during a visit to Romania in June 1966.)

  • February 25, 1955

    Abstract of Conversation: Chinese Premier Zhou receives Trevelyan

    Zhou Enlai and Trevelyan debated on the nature of the Manila Treaty and its implications for the Geneva Agreement.They also discussed the issue of the Dai Autonomous Region between China and Thailand and the legal status of Taiwan.

  • April 03, 1955

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of Ambassador U Hla Maung

    U Hla Maung and Zhou Enlai discuss the logistics of Zhou's travel to Burma, and U offers Zhou some gifts from the Burmese government. They also discuss a western plot to sabotage the China-Burma relations.

  • April 03, 1955

    Minutes of Premier Zhou Enlai’s Meeting with Indonesian Ambassador Arnold Mononutu

    Indonesian Ambassador to China and Zhou Enlai talked about the Ambassador's plan to accompany Zhou Enlai to Burma before coming to Indonesia for the Asian-African Conference. They also discussed lodging for the Chinese delegation in Jakarta as well as the principle of non-interference in other countries' affairs.

  • April 16, 1955

    Summary of the Talks between Premier Zhou and Nehru and U Nu

    Summary of the meeting between the Burmese, Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers. The three wished that permanent economic and political institutions could be set up at the Bandung Conference but expressed doubt on that possibility and on whether these institutions could work as desired. Besides, Zhou Enlai proposed the issuance of a document to express the participants' common aspirations. The issue of the Five Principles was also touched upon.

  • May 26, 1955

    Minutes of Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and British Charge d'Affaires Humphrey Trevelyan

    Zhou briefed Trevelyan about China’s position in Taiwan issue that was produced in a document produced by PRC National People’s Congress Standing Committee in response to Britain’s request.

  • July 13, 1955

    Minutes of Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and British Charge d'Affaires Con O'Neill

    O’Neill passed on US position on the Sino-US talks in Geneva to Zhou. Zhou and O’Neil exchanged the positions of both countries regarding the talks and the dispute regarding the repatriation of the Chinese and American nationals to their country of origins.

  • 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 20, 1955

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou’s Reception of the Japanese Parliamentary Delegation in China and the Japanese Academic and Cultural Delegation in China

    Zhou Enlai and a group of Japanese officials and academics discuss the wartime history and present status of Japan-China relations. They also touch on US-Japan relations and economic conditions in China and Japan.

  • 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 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.

  • June 22, 1956

    Minutes of Zhou Enlai’s Meeting with Burmese Ambassador U Hla Maung

    Zhou Enlai and U Hla Maung discuss the overseas Chinese in Burma and Burma's ties to Taiwan.

  • October 14, 1956

    Notes of an Interview with Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai describes China's desire to gain international recognition. However, the question of Taiwan as one out of "Two Chinas" makes it difficult to agree internationally, since Great Britain and the United States recognize Taiwan and not PR China as the legitimate Chinese government. Hong Kong and the US endeavor to gain control of Chiang Kai-Shek's Taiwan are also discussed.

  • November 02, 1956

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou’s receiving of the Hungarian Ambassador to China Ágoston Szkladán on his Farewell Visit

    Zhou Enlai and Hungarian Ambassador to China Ágoston Szkladán discuss the ongoing Hungarian Revolution, and Szkladán asks for economic assistance from the other Communist countries for this issue.

  • January 11, 1957

    Notes from the Completed Discussions of 11 and 12 January 1957 between the Delegates of the Chinese People’s Republic and Poland (Excerpts)

    Gomulka describes the 1956 Polish protests and his confrontation with Soviet authorities.

  • January 21, 1957

    Summary of the Two Conversations between Premier Zhou and Prime Minister Khan of Afghanistan

    Zhou Enlai and Mohammed Daoud Khan agree to strengthen cooperation between China and Afghanistan.

  • February 16, 1957

    Premier Zhou Enlai Receives Pakistani Ambassador Ahmed, and Accepts Letter From Pakistani Premier Suhrawady Explaining the Kashmir Issue

    Zhou Enlai and Pakistani Ambassador Ahmed discuss the Indian-Pakistani dispute over Kashmir, the likelihood of a military conflict in the region, and the possibility that such a conflict could be used by the United States to its advantage.

  • 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.

  • January 08, 1958

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Soviet Ambassador Yudin (Excerpt)

    Zhou Enlai discusses the withdrawal of the Chinese People's Volunteers from North Korea with Ambassador Pavel Yudin and North Korea's views on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

  • February 06, 1958

    Abstract of Conversation: Premier Zhou and Ambassador Nehru

    Indian Ambassador to China Nehru and Premier Zhou discuss Sino-British relations, focusing on Britain's position on Chinese representation at the United Nations. According to the Premier, Britain is acceding to American demands and allowing the United States to create 'two Chinas.'