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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 15, 1950

LETTER FROM ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG, LIU SHAOQI, ZHU DE, AND NIE RONGZHEN

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

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    Zhou Enlai reports on the Soviet plans to strengthen the air force, presumably as a show of force to the American side.
    "Letter from Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, and Nie Rongzhen," November 15, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC),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), 498. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114230
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Chairman [Mao Zedong] and Liu [Shaoqi], Zhu [De], Nie [Rongzhen]:

Zakharov just told [us] that Filippov [Stalin] sent a telegram, suggesting that, in order to enhance the Soviet Air Force’s [ability] to do battle with the American Air Force in our military’s rear areas, [they] plan to send 120 more M-15 jet planes and add, in two batches, to the organizations of the Belov Air Division, and also set up an Air Force organization to command them.  Zakharov’s opinion is that, besides using the airports in Andong, Anshan, Liaoyang and Shenyang, one more airport must be built rapidly near Andong [Dandong].  Yesterday [we] discussed this and decided on the location as Gushan, west of Dadonggou.  Filippov sent the telegram, and is waiting for the  Chairman’s answer.  Now a telegram draft has been drawn up, so please give permission to send it out.

It is believed that the proposal of adding more planes was put forward by Zakharov because of the Soviet planes’ military exploits in the Northeast (shot down 23 American planes in 12 days).  Meanwhile, the Soviet planes’ strengthening of backup for the Chinese armies is a show of force to the Americans.  This is presumably the main reason why Filippov decided to strengthen the Soviet air force.

Zhou Enlai

Night of November 15 [1950]