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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 11, 1957

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN SYRIA, 'THE SITUATION OF AMBASSADOR CHEN’S VISIT TO THE SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER'

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    The Chinese Ambassador to Syria and the Syrian Foreign Minister discuss the timing of the Second Asian-African Conference and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Syria, 'The Situation of Ambassador Chen’s Visit to the Syrian Foreign Minister'," February 11, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 107-00250-06, 51-52. Translated by Jeffrey Wang. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114822
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Please have the Asia Africa Department handle this

Forward to: Zhang, Zhang_ftn0, Ji, Liu, Qiao, office, Asia Department, Asia Africa Department, International Department, Journalism Department, Research Center

Priority: Send by shipping

From: Syria

Date: 11 February 1957

Already forwarded to: Chairman, [Liu] Shaoqi, [Zhou] Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, [Deng] Xiaoping, [Peng] Dehuai, Chen Yi, [Xi] Zhongxun, [Yang] Shangkun, [Wang] Jiaxiang, [Li] Kenong, [Lu] Dingyi, Central Propaganda Department, Central United [command], Investigation Department, Military Intelligence

The Situation of Ambassador Chen’s Visit to the Syrian Foreign Minister

Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Ambassador Chen established a relationship with the foreign minister of Syria; on the 5th he once congratulated [the Syrian foreign minister]’s successful visit to India and Pakistan with the president of Syria. In addition [we] made our first trip to see [Salah al-Din] al-Bitar under the reason of wanting to thank the [Syrian] foreign minister for treating our journalism representatives with a banquet. He discussed the following few points:

(1) When the Syrian president and foreign minister visited India, they talked with [Jawaharlal] Nehru about the issue of holding the Second Afro-Asian Conference; Nehru feels that the current conditions are not yet ripe. Syria on the other hand hopes the [conference] can be held as early as possible. Al-Bitar hopes that the Chinese government can attempt to have the conference held as early as possible via diplomatic channels. [Al-Bitar] wants Ambassador Chen to tell our government.

(2) Al-Bitar mentioned he wants Ambassador Chen to study views related to the Israel and Palestine issue. He said the views of the Arab countries towards Israel include two points:

(1) Israel is a tool of imperialism;

(2) Not only so, Israel itself is imperialism, its existence is for [the purpose of] invading Arab [lands].

It is easier for you to understand the first point, but the second point is not easy to understand. Israeli occupation of Palestine can be compared to a hypothetical occupation of your Shanghai by imperialists, this is not tolerable. He mentioned when Syrian parliament members visited China, they once discussed this issue with us; from today onwards they want to discuss this [issue] in depth with us.

When our embassy and other representatives interacted with various people in Syria, they often encountered the same question like the one I mentioned. The embassy should conduct further study on this question and consider it further.

(3) Al-Bitar claimed that this time the United Nations General Assembly passed a second resolution regarding the withdrawal of Israeli troops because India and Yugoslavia brought forth the draft, which was why Arab countries did not oppose. However, he personally believes that the passage of this resolution is encouraging Israeli invasion.

[Chinese] Embassy in Syria

11 February [1957]