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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 14, 1950

LETTER FROM ZHOU ENLAI TO STALIN

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

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    Zhou Enlai requests military equipment and support for Chinese operations from the Soviet side, and asks for instructions on solving the issue of command relationships between the North Korean, Chinese, and Soviet forces.
    "Letter from Zhou Enlai to Stalin" October 14, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC),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. 3 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2008), 404-405. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114216
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Comrade Stalin:

Concerning the telegram Comrade Mao Zedong sent to me on October 13 and your reply telegram of [October] 14, I would like to ask the following questions. Please give your instructions:

(1)  After the dispatch of the 16 regiments of jet planes, can the Soviet Volunteer Air Force dispatch bombers to North Korea to support the Chinese armies’ military operations?

(2)  Besides dispatching the Volunteer Air Force to participate in military operations in North Korea, can the Soviet government also dispatch protective air forces to be stationed near all large Chinese coastal cities?

(3)  Besides the above-mentioned two items, the Chinese government still needs to order a batch of other types of planes and their associated equipment to equip our own air force.  I will send the requisition list by telegram after I return to Beijing.  

(4)  To accelerate the building of airports where jet planes can land, the Chinese government requests the Soviet government to supply steel plates to be laid at 4 airports.

(5)  Besides air planes, tanks, artillery and naval equipment, the Chinese government requests the Soviet government to grant credits for the purchase of cars, critical industrial-military engineering equipment and other types of industrial-military engineering equipment.

(6)  Can the Soviet government provide us in half a year with 15,000 vehicles of all types, but, first of all, with 5,000 load-carrying vehicles?

(7)  The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will enter North Korea for military operations as volunteers. When it undertakes military operations in cooperation with the North Korean People’s Army, how should [the question of] the mutual command relationship be decided?

(8)  When the Soviet Volunteer Air Force participates in North Korean military operations, how should [the question of] the command relationship with the Chinese Volunteer Army be decided?

In addition, attached is the Chinese government’s requisition list for the first batch of artillery of all types and its associated equipment from the Chinese government.  Please give approval.

With special regards.

Bolshevik Greetings!

Zhou Enlai

October 14, 1950

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