TELEGRAM, MAO ZEDONG TO LIU SHAOQI, 18 DECEMBER 1949CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citation"Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi, 18 December 1949" December 18, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Pei Jianzhang et al., Zhonghua renmin gongheguo waijiaoshi [A Diplomatic History of the People's Republic of China] (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 1994), 17-8. Translation from Shuguang Zhang and Jian Chen, eds., Chinese Communist Foreign Policy and the Cold War in Asia: New Documentary Evidence, 1944-1950 (Chicago: Imprint Publications, 1996), 128 http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110393
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Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi, 18 December 19491
(1) [I] arrived in Moscow on the 16th and met with Stalin for two hours at 10 p.m. (Beijing time). His attitude was really sincere. The questions involved included the possiblity of peace, the treaty, loan, Taiwan, and the publication of my selected works.
(2) Stalin said that the Americans are afraid of war. The Amerians ask other countries to fight the war [for them], but other countries are also afraid to fight a war. According to him, it is unlikely that a war will break out, and we agree with his opinions.
(3) With regard to the question of the treaty, Stalin said that because of the Yalta agreement, it is improper for us to overturn the legitimacy of the old Sino-Soviet treaty. If we abolish the old treaty and sign a new one, the status of the Kurile Islands will be changed and the United States will have an excuse to take them away. Therefore, on the question of the Soviet Union's thirty-year lease of Lushun [Port Arthur], we should not change it in format; however, in reality, the Soviet Union will withdraw its troops from Lushun and will let Chinese troops occupy it. I expressed that too early a withdrawal [of the Soviet troop from Lushun] will create unfavorable conditions for us. He replied that the Soviet withdrawal of troops [from Lushun] does not mean that the Soviet Union will stand by with folded arms [in a crisis]; rather, it is possible to find ways through which China will not become the first to bear the brunt. His opinion is that we may sign a statement, which will solve the Lushun problem in accordance with the above-mentioned ideas, and that by doing so, China will also gain political capital [zhengzhi ziben]. I said that it is necessary for us to maintain the legitimacy of the Yalta agreement. However, public opinion in China believes that since the old treaty was signed by the GMD [Guomindang; Kuomintang, KMT], it has lost its ground with the GMD's downfall. He replied that the old treaty needs to be revised and that the revision is necessarily substantial, but it will not come until two years from now.
(4) Stalin said that it is unnecessary for the Foreign Minister [Zhou Enlai; Chou En-Lai] to fly here just for signing a statement. I told him that I will consider it. I hope that the commercial, loan, and aviation agreements will be signed at the same time, and the Premier [Zhou Enlai] should come. It is hoped that the Politburo will discuss how to solve the treaty problem and offer its opinions.
1 After leaving Beijing by train on 6 December 1949, Mao Zedong arrived in Moscow on 16 December and stayed in the Soviet Union until 17 February 1950. Liu Shaoqi was put in charge during Mao's absence. When Mao was in Moscow, he maintained daily telegraphic communications with his colleagues in Beijing, and all important affairs were reported to and decided by him.