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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 06, 1950

TELEGRAM FROM ZHOU ENLAI TO WANG JIAXIANG

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

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    The Chinese side is anxious for the dispatchment of advisors and ammunition that was requested from the Soviet Union, for use in aviation institute drills and for military campaigns in Dinghai, Jinmen, and Taiwan.
    "Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Wang Jiaxiang" May 06, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 2 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2008), 375-376. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114201
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Ambassador Wang [Jiaxiang]:

This is to acknowledge the receipt of telegrams from both [April] 26 and [April] 28.

(1) As discussed with the advisor, Lieutenant Kotov, the 43 advisors mentioned in the air force’s new requisition form (April 13) will be needed for three air regiments, one division command organ and three technology services teams formed from the group of pilots who are graduating in May.  As our military cadres have absolutely no experience in directing an air force, this group of advisors is truly needed.  In addition, among the twelve advisors requested in the February 11 letter from Mao Zedong to Stalin, five are needed for the air force headquarters and seven are needed for organizing nationwide meteorological services.  Moreover, among the 205 advisors requested in the February 15 requisition form from Mao Zedong to Stalin, 164 are being used for expanding aviation institutes and 41 are being used for the formation of an air force marine division.  [The request for] these 205 advisors was reviewed by the Soviet Ministry of Defense and they were believed necessary.  Now students for the expansion of the institutes have arrived and the armed forces for forming the air force marine division are being deployed.  Therefore, [we] need to urge them to send over these 205 advisors quickly.

(2) In the requisition form attached to the February 11 letter from Mao Zedong to Stalin, [we] ordered a quantity of ammunition.  This was purchased for the six aviation institutes for use in drills.  At that time, we estimated that the institutes could utilize our domestically-collected American- and Japanese-style explosives.  So explosives have not been ordered for purchase, while ammunition has to be purchased due to its different calibers. The time has come for live-fire drills at all aviation institutes, but there is still no sign of this batch of ammunition.  [We] are awaiting it anxiously.  So [you] should urge them to send [the ammunition] quickly, or otherwise the completion of the education plan will be delayed, and this will influence battle [plans].  In addition, the 100,000 rounds that Liu Yalou ordered in the March 8 letter to Shtemenko were bought for use by all the institutes in air defense due to the fact that, at that time, Jiang’s bandits intended to bomb all big cities in China.  Now it seems that this batch of ammunition may or may not be purchased.  It does not hurt to buy them because shells will be needed in the future.  Ammunition needed in the first part of the recently-sent requisition form is intended for use in the Dinghai campaign; ammunition needed in the second part is intended for use in the Jinmen campaign.  Ammunition needed in the third part is intended for use in the Taiwan campaign.  So [the requests] are not duplications.

(3) Concerning what was decided about coastal guns in consultation with the naval advisors, please handle according to the naval order attached to the letter from Zhou to Bulganin.

Zhou Enlai

May 6 [1950]