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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 23, 1953

MAO ZEDONG’S REMARKS AT THE BANQUET FOR THE NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT DELEGATION

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Mao Zedong discusses the significance of the signing of the Sino-North Korean Economic and Cultural Cooperation Agreement at a banquet for a North Korean government delegation. Dismissing that China's aid to North Korea is one-sided, Mao notes that North Korea "helped" China by being in the front line of the struggle against imperialism. North Korea protected China by preventing the imperialists from crossing the Yale River.
    "Mao Zedong’s Remarks at the Banquet for the North Korean Government Delegation" November 23, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRCFMA 203-0003-01. p. 1-3. Obtained for NKIDP by Shen Zhihua and translated for NKIDP by Jeffrey Wang. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114167
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Today we celebrate the signing of the Economic and Cultural Cooperation Agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China. We have also issued a communiqué. Tonight we will broadcast this agreement and the communiqué. This is a major event.

The peoples of our two countries were united during wartime. We were also untied prior to the [Korean] War. The war [simply] further consolidated the unity between the peoples of our two countries.

This agreement is an agreement for mutual assistance. It is possible that some people believe that this agreement only helps one side. The assistance to Korea from the Soviet Union, China, and the other people’s democracies is genuine. First of all, without the help of the Soviet Union, the war would have been difficult. Without the help of China, the people’s democracies, and people from all over the world who dislike imperial invasions, the war would not have been easy. The Chinese people sent the [People’s] Volunteer Army and various kinds of material [aid] to help the Korean people. If [you] believe that this assistance was one-sided, [however], and if [you] believe that the Korean people did not help us, then [you] are incorrect.

The Korean people are brave. They can handle suffering; [they are] courageous; [they are] disciplined; [they are] not afraid of hardship; we [the Chinese people] cannot match them in these respects. We should learn from [their example].

In the fight against imperialist invasion—in the fight against the imperialist’s invasion of China—the Korean people helped us. Without the heroic struggle of the Korean people, China would not be secure. Had the enemy not been beaten back away from the Yalu River, China’s development would not be secure. The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and the Korean People’s Army, as well as the people of Korea, struggled together and achieved victory together; [our] assistance was mutual. [The victory in the Korean War] helped the Soviet Union, China, and the entire democratic camp, as well as peace loving people all over the world. This point should be taught to the people.

Millions of Korean people carried out a heroic struggle for three-years; [but] they paid a heavy price in beating back the imperialist’s invasion. Their victory is an international victory, and it is a victory that people all over the world care about.

Today we announced the signing of the Economic and Cultural Cooperation Agreement between our two countries. The cooperation [embodied in the agreement] has the character of mutual assistance. We will help the Korean people recover economically; and once the Korean peoples’ economy recovers, then they will assist us. Because they [the Koreans] are situated at the first line of defense and we are situated at the second line of defense, [we] are the rear area. Therefore, [just as] the Korean peoples’ victory in war was of assistance to us, their economic recovery is also helpful to China. The recovery of each of their factories and the recovery of each of their villages is closely related to us. They have paid a heavy price in both manpower and material, but the result of their struggle has greatly aided us.

I propose to drink to the health of Premier Kim Il Sung and the comrades of the government delegation of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea!