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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 19, 1946

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION OF THE SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO CHINA A.A. PETROV WITH THE CHINESE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS WANG SHIJIE

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

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    Soviet Ambassaodr Petrov reports on a conversation with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Shijie. Shijie raises concerns about disputes between the Soviet and Chinese administration over the withdrawl of Soviet troops from the region and the control of property seized from the Japanese during the war. Petrov also raises the issue of Anti-Soviet demonstrations and propaganda in China.
    "Memorandum of Conversation of the Soviet Ambassador to China A.A. Petrov with the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Shijie," February 19, 1946, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF f. 0100, op. 34, 1946, p. 253, d. 20, l. 68-71. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Austin Jersild. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116794
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Secret

Copy No. __

19 February 1946

Memorandum of Conversation

Of the USSR ambassador in China, A.A. Petrov,

with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Shijie,

19 February 1946

I.

On the 19th of February I visisted Wang Shijie at his request.  After an exchange of pleasantries according to protocol, Wang Shijie informed me of the following:

“After the conclusion of the Chinese-Soviet Treaty I considered and consider it my duty tirelessly to labor on the strengthening of friendship between our two countries.  Although my possibilities are limited, I do everything I can so that the Chinese side fully fulfills all of its responsibilities that are part of the Sino-Soviet Treaty.  For example, I did everything I could to compel the fulfillment of the procedures connected with the recognition of the independence of Outer Mongolia.  In the course of the past 2-3 months , a series of difficulties have arisen in the question of the bringing of Manchuria into Chinese administration and with the help of Your embassy these difficulties were overcome.  At present a dispute has arisen between us over questions of economic collaboration in Manchuria.  I am prepared to ask Zhang Jiaao and Jiang Jingto to return to Manchuria in order again to exchange opinions with the representatives of the Red Army dispatched there to work on economic problems.  I hope that the Soviet side will adopt measures to overcome these emerging difficulties, and the negotiations between Zhang Jiaao and Jiang Jingto with the representatives of the Red Army will conclude in success.

In my opinion, now it is necessary to come to agreement on the more important problems, and the official agreement can be concluded after the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the acceptance by us of Manchuria.  I have heard that General I.V. Stalin and V.M. Molotov support such a view.

The resolution of the problem by such means will help us eliminate the arising false rumors that the negotiations in Manchuria have been conducted in an unfree environment in conditions of pressure from within and so on.

I hope that You, Ambassador, from your side will dedicate all your efforts to the successful resolution of the question of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, and the adoption in Manchuria of Soviet-Chinese economic collaboration in this part of China.”

I noted that both sides should address their efforts to finding a path to the achievement of an agreement.

Then I asked whether or not Wang Shijie could inform me of something new in regard to the statement of the Soviet government that I made to Jiang Jieshi on 21 January of this year.

Wang Shijie answered that, as he communicated to me during our discussion on 1 February, the Chinese government immediately after the capitulation of Japan worked out a “Statute about the Disposal of Property of the Enemy,” agreed to by all state and private enterprises of the enemy confiscated and examined by the Chinese government, as part of reparations to pay for losses caused to China by Japan.

The previously mentioned “Statute about the Disposal of Property of the Enemy,” said Wang Shijie, is being examined not only for Manchuria, but for all of China.  The declaration of the Economic Council at the headquarters of Jiang Jieshi in Manchuria, which the Soviet government refers to in their declaration of 21 January, also was done on the basis of this “Statute.”

Wang Shijie indicated that it says in the declaration of the Soviet government that the Soviet government views Japanese industry, having been in service of the Guangdong  Army, as trophies of the Red Army.  In such a way, emphasized Wang Shijie, the theoretical view of the Soviet government about the property of the enemy diverges from that of the Chinese government.  Regarding this Wang Shijie added that he cannot think of a way to reconcile these opinions.

I said that this issue has a highly important significance and that not to achieve agreement in this will make it difficult to overcome difficulties in the negotiations and come to an agreement.

Wang Shijie said that theoretically there are differences between our opinions, but in practical terms they are close to one another.  On the one hand, the Soviet government views the property of the enemy as a trophy of the Red Army, and in addition will pass on part of it to the Chinese government, and proposes the joint exploitation of another portion; on the other hand the Chinese government views the property of the enemy as part of the Japanese reparations r

endered to China, and also agrees to identify a specific quantity of the enterprises for joint Soviet-Chinese exploitation.

Wang Shijie asked if I would suggest any information about deadlines for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Manchuria.

I responded negatively.

II.

I told Wang Shijie that I would like to direct his attention to the anti-Soviet demonstration which took place 16 February in Chongqing, which was accompanied by the distribution of anti-Soviet literature and slogans with slanderous accusations against the USSR, and I declared a decisive protest in connection with this demonstration.  Such a course of activity, I added, does not further the resolution of the difficult problems that have arisen, complicates the situation, and does not correspond to alliance relations existing between our countries.  Further I also referred Wang Shijie to the systematic anti-Soviet campaign that is conducted in the pages of the Chinese press.

“The Chinese government and I personally,” declared Wang Shijie, “is doing everything [to insure] that such events will not take place in the future.  I constantly try to stop the irresponsible declarations of the press about the Soviet Union.  A month ago among students there were brochures distributed about the USSR, and I demanded that this be stopped.  The Chinese government  tries to correct public opinion so that it would help the development of mutual understanding between us and friend relations between the USSR and China, but it is not always successful.”

I noted that regarding the information of Wang Shijie about the measures taken by the Chinese government to stop anti-Soviet acts in the future, I emphasized that responsibility for the demonstration of 16 February and for the anti-Soviet campaign in the press can never be removed from the Chinese authorities.

Wang Shijie said that he does not in any form want to defend those who organized the demonstration, and repeated that from his side measures will be taken to prevent such things in the future.

Second Embassy Secretary M. Kapitsa was present at the discussion.

USSR Ambassador in China

  1. Petrov

3 copies sent

1st  copy to c. V.M. Molotov

2nd copy to c. S.A. Lozovskii

3rd copy filed with embassy

21.II.46.