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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-Soviet Relations

This is a collection of primary source documents that discuss the Soviet-Chinese relationship during the Cold War. Composed largely of cables, memos, and telegrams, this collection spans the 1930s through 1959, or the period prior to the split. See also The Sino-Soviet Split, 1960-1984. (Image, Soviet propaganda poster, "Friends Forever.")

  • November 07, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation of Soviet Ambassador Roshchin with Deputy Chairman Zhu De on 24 October 1949

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Zhu De. Zhu De notes that PLA progress through Southern China is meeting little resistance, although it is slowed by the lack of available gasoline. De puts forth his opinion that Chinese success in Xinjiang will depend on mechanized agricultural aid from the Soviets.

  • 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 Chairman Mao Zedong on 20 October 1949

    Record of a dinner between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Mao Zedong. Roshchin notes that the mood of dinner is very friendly, with each man toasting the other and the other's country. The two also discuss China's desire to establish diplomatic relations with Albania.

  • 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.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin: Memorandum of Conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong on 16 October 1949

    Soviet Ambassador to China Roshchin records his conversation with Chairman Mao Zedong where he congratulates Mao on the successes of the People's Liberation Army. Mao assures Roshchin that China will not take up diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and that it will officially recognize the GDR once the Soviet Union does.

  • December 16, 1949

    Record of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Chairman of the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China Mao Zedong on 16 December 1949

    First meeting between Mao and Stalin. The two discuss war and peace, as well as the question of the new treaty between China and the USSR. Stalin voices himself against signing a new treaty, citing the Yalta agreement. Mao promises to reconsider his position. Mao says he is in favor of keeping Soviet troops in Port Arthur. Stalin promises not to "run away" from China. Mao requests a credit of 300 million dollars, as well as the Soviet aid in liberating Taiwan. Stalin warns Mao not to give the Americans a pretext to intervene in China. Mao says that several countries are interested in establishing diplomatic relations with China but that China should wait before doing so. Stalin agrees with this strategy.

  • December 18, 1949

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi, 18 December 1949

  • December 19, 1949

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai, 19 December 1949 (excerpt)

  • December 20, 1949

    Kovalev Report to Stalin on a Conversation with Mao

    Kovalev reported to Stalin on his converation with Mao Zedong. He said Mao intended to suggest two options for Stalin's consideration. The first one is to discuss Soviet-China treaty and other aggrements and then sign them. The second option is to discuss wiouthout formalizing these into agreeements.

  • December 22, 1949

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to the Central Committee of the CCP

    Mao Zedong offers instructions on the impending trade agreement with the Soviet Union.

  • December 24, 1949

    Report, Kovalev to Stalin

    Kovalev discusses seceral questions on the policy and pratice of the CCP CC. Topics include: data on the economic situation in the country, the Chinese working class, the Chinese peasantry and the land reform, the CCP, the Chinese press, the Chinese state apparatus, the Chinese army, the Chinese intelligentsia, the Chinese attitude toward the national bourgeoisie, the Chinese attitude toward foreign capital, the class struggle in China, and Chinese foreign policy.

  • January 01, 1950

    Memorandum, Conversation of Mao and USSR Ambassador to China N.V. Roshchin on 1 January 1950

    Mao Zedong informs Roshchin that India and Burma had expressed interest in establishing diplomatic relations with China, and that the UK may follow suit. The Chinese position, Mao said, is to agree to negotiations if these governments renounced their ties with the Guomindang. Mao and Roshchin also discussed the military situation and the question of Japanese POWs. Mao did not the POWs right away because the Chinese legal system was not developed enough. He also informed Roshchin of his intention to curtain stay in the USSR.

  • January 02, 1950

    Cable, Mao Zedong to the Central Committee of the CCP

    Mao Zedong informs the Central Committee of "an important breakthrough" in his talks with Stalin, and asks that Zhou Enlai immediately come to Moscow to conclude a new Sino-Soviet treaty.

  • January 03, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to CCP CC, 4 a.m., 3 January 1950

  • January 05, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to CCP Central Committee

    Mao Zedong urges the Central Committee to ensure the secrecy of the Sino-Soviet negotiations for a new treaty.

  • January 06, 1950

    Conversation between A. Vyshinsky and Mao Zedong, Moscow

    In this conversation Mao and Vyshinskii talk about Sino-Soviet economic cooperation, including Soviet aid in rebuilding the Jilin power plant and provision of fuel supplies. The conversation the turns on the question of Japanese POWs. Mao wants to leave them in the USSR for a while longer, and Vyshinskii agrees. Finally, Mao tells Vyshinskii that he is of the opinion that the USSR and China must sign a new treaty of alliance, to which Vyshinskii (possibly unaware of the TASS interview) replies that he sees difficulties in this.

  • January 07, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Zhou Enlai and CCP CC

    Mao Zedong updates Zhou Enlai on the Sino-Soviet negotiations and Sino-Soviet cooperation at the United Nations.

  • January 10, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to CCP CC and CCP Northwest Bureau, 10 January 1950 (Excerpt)

  • January 13, 1950

    Cable, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi

    Mao Zedong gives instructions on Sino-Soviet military cooperation and makes personnel appointments to the Chinese armed forces.

  • January 17, 1950

    Conversation, V.M. Molotov and A.Y Vyshinsky with Mao Zedong, Moscow, 17 January 1950

    In this conversation Molotov reads out to Mao the part of Acheson's Jan. 12 statement about the Soviet take-over of Manchuria, Mongolia and Xinjiang. Molotov proposes that the Chinese Foreign Ministry issues a refutation. Mao suggests that Xinhua should do that, but Molotov disagrees, and Mao promises that the Foreign Ministry will issue a statement. Mao, for his part, mentions several US probes to establish relations with Communist China, but notes that his policy is to keep the Americans at arms' length, and, in fact, to force them to leave China altogether. Towards the end Molotov and Mao discuss China's representation at the UN (Molotov asks that China appoint a representative, something that Mao appears reluctant to do), and China's representation at the Allied Control Council for Japan.