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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 15, 1955

CABLE FROM YAO ZHONGMING, 'ON THE PREMIER PASSING THROUGH BURMA WHILE PARTICIPATING IN THE ASIAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE'

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    The Chinese ambassador to Burma reported to the Chinese Foreign Ministry about the estimated itinerary and security conditions in Burma for Zhou Enlai’s visit.
    "Cable from Yao Zhongming, 'On the Premier Passing through Burma while Participating in the Asian-African Conference'," March 15, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 207-00065-07, 22-24. Translated by Jeffrey Wang. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110002
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Office please handle this accordingly

Priority: Special Rush

From: Burma

Date: 15 March 1955

Already Forwarded to: Chairman, [Liu] Shaoqi, [Zhou] Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, [Peng] Dehuai, [Deng] Xiaoping, Chen Yi, [Xi] Zhongxun, [Yang] Shangkun, Foreign Ministry, Su Yu, [Wang] Jiaxiang, [Li] Kenong, Central Public Ministry

On the Premier Passing through Burma while Participating in the Asian-African Conference

Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Premier’s route to the Afro-Asian conference passes through Burma came to [our] understanding through the telegram of March 10:

(1) Through initial knowledge of the route within Burma, in terms of security and transportation; there seems to be no problem. (See telegram of February 25). We have already sent comrade Li Peng to Lashio and Bhamoto conduct on the ground survey, details will be reported later.

(2) If the border crossing is done by automobiles then there will be no difficulties after reaching Kyugok. It requires investigation to know whether the bridge from Wanding[3] to Kyugok allows for smooth passage. When superiors pass through Yunnan there might be a clearer understanding (we should immediately reinforce guards at the bridge). After reaching Kyugok, then there should be a highway of twenty six miles (by automobiles it will require a little more than one hour) between Wanding and Muse[4]. After reaching Muse, take a Burmese flight to Yangon, otherwise it is possible to drive to Bhamo from Wanding and then take a flight from [Bhamo]. The distance of this section of the highway is one hundred and sixteen miles; there is a part of the road near Namhkam[5] that is mountainous, the speed of automobiles must be slow. [It is also possible] to take automobiles from Kyugok to Lashio, the distance of this section’s highway is [text illegible] six miles, the road is flat and wide for the entire trip. However the trip is longer going from Kyugok to Bhamo and then to Lashio; traveling by automobiles will take a longer time; for safety reasons, it is better not to take either of the two roads.

(3) Both U Nu and [ambassador] U Hla Maung once expressed to us that they hope our Premier can pass through Burma, and expect [the Premier] to reach there before April 13; U Nu also once mentioned that he hopes [the Premier] can come by plane, in order to avoid trouble on the road. I think if we decided to travel by road, U Nu will make security arrangements along the road, and it is very likely [they] will receive [us] at the border. For reasons of confidentiality, we did not tell the Burmese side [that our Premier will be traveling to Burma] in advance. However [we] still need to express to U Nu at the appropriate time that our Premier has decided to accept his invitation and pass through Burma. [In addition we need to] ask for security and transportation arrangements along the way; otherwise they will not be able to make preparations [in time], and will push the responsibility around. Under the situation that it becomes absolutely necessary and to avoid causing resentment on the Burmese side, we can consider negotiating with them; when the time comes we will send an armed [convey] to escort the premier to Muse.

(4) In order to fully understand the actual situation along the route in Burma, we will try and strive to have the embassy send people to [survey] Kyugok, Muse and the highway along the route. In addition we will expect one or two cadres who have experience with security work to be sent here from [China]. More than one of our embassy’s cadres are staying in Muse to collect intelligence regarding public security of this region using the pretext of working on building another consulate. In addition, we suggest sending some expert cadres from [China] to Wanding in order to strengthen reconnaissance of Kyugok, Meng-you [sic], Muse, Namhkam, etc. places. Before our Premier goes to Burma, we should first receive [him] at Wanding or Kunming, all of this must be conducted in a manner that would not expose our intentions.

(5) When the Premier passes through Burma, [we] must strive to produce further influence with great effect upon Burma; especially since U Nu recently heard a lot of absurd talk from [Foster] Dulles, [Anthony] Eden and Plaek Pibulsonggram.  Our premier can use this opportunity to talk with [U Nu] and put heads together with Nehru and Na-sa [sic] in Yangon; together we can exchange views on the Afro-Asian conference, naturally this would have significant meaning.

Yao Zhongming
15 March [1955]