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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 29, 1958

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION OF THE CHINESE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, CHEN YI, AT DINNER IN THE SOVIET EMBASSY IN HONOR OF THE AMBASSADORS OF THE SOCIALIST COUNTRIES IN CHINA, 8 NOVEMBER 1958

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    The Chinese Minister of Foreign affairs, Chen Yi, proclaims that the PRC and Chinese communist party are organizing the completion of the “great leap” of economic construction in China, thanks to the aid of the USSR and other socialist countries. He notes that the USA is not as strong as it seems, the relationship between the PRC and the USSR is growing stronger, and visits to China by ambassadors of the socialist countries are highly encouraged.
    "Memorandum of Conversation of the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chen Yi, at Dinner in the Soviet Embassy in Honor of the Ambassadors of the Socialist Countries in China, 8 November 1958," November 29, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF f. 0100, op. 51, p. 432, d. 6, l. 173-75. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Austin Jersild. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116827
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SECRET.  Copy No. 3

From the Diary of P.F. Yudin

29 November 1958

No. 466

Memorandum of Exchange

Of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Chen Yi, at dinner in the Embassy of the USSR in the PRC in honor of the ambassadors of the socialist countries in China, 8 November 1958

Today in his speech at dinner Chen Yi said that the communist party and government of the PRC now is organizing the Chinese people for the rapid completion of the “great leap” in the economic construction of China.  The communist party of the Soviet Union, the Soviet government, and the entire Soviet people has rendered to China great aid in the fulfillment of this grand task.  Great help has also been rendered to the PRC by the socialist countries.  Therefore, said Chen Yi, allow me again to congratulate the CPSU and the Soviet government, as well as all the countries of the socialist camp headed by the USSR for this great aid.  To us, the socialist countries, the USA is not terrifying, even though in various countries of Asia and Africa the Americans have a presence.  In fact an invasion by the United States of America is very complicated and difficult and they are not so strong and terrifying as they often seem to people.  An example of the weakness of the USA is the retreat in the area of the Near and Middle East, and also the events in the Taiwan Strait.  Another example of the weakness of America is the fact that the Americans, not having agreed from the start with the establishment by a series of countries of the 12 mile strip of territorial shoreline, in fact do not take concrete measures to ignore this decision.  If the Americans are in fact as strong as they maintain, how does this conform to their retreat on a series of the aforementioned issues?

The Chinese People’s Republic, further continued Chen Yi, in all its actions relies on the strength and support of the Soviet Union and the entire camp of socialism headed by the USSR.  An example of the strengthening from day to day of the unbreakable friendship between the PRC and the USSR is the last communication of the Chair of the Soviet Ministers of the USSR Cde. Khrushchev in connection with events in the Taiwan Straits to the effect that ‘an invasion of the PRC is an invasion of the USSR.’  This announcement, emphasized Chen Yi, has had a highly positive response in the PRC and ‘created an astounding impression on the USA, which feels like it has been burned by a Chinese pepper.’  Let us thank the USSR and the other socialist countries for their help to the PRC in the Taiwan question.  In our decisive struggle against the USA, we will, indeed, rely on the powerful support of the USSR and the entire socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union.  I want to convince all those in attendance at tonight’s dinner, especially emphasized Chen Yi, that using the support of the USSR and the other socialist countries in the Taiwan question, we, the Chinese, together with others in this region do not want to permit any form of adventurism, and dedicate all our strengths to the fact that we will not give the imperialists cause for the unfolding of any so-called local wars.

We, Chinese communists, further said Chen Yi, view the Chinese revolution as the continuation of the October revolution.  The PRC in its practical activities believes that it can adapt the general characteristics of Marxism-Leninism to concrete Chinese conditions, adapt it to the so-called ‘Chinese climate’ and that no additions to this body of teaching will take place.  This idea, said Chen Yi, is often expressed by Mao Zedong.

Relations of fraternal friendship exist between the PRC and the USSR and all the other socialist countries.  We are prepared to respond to any questions that interest the fraternal countries.  Therefore we welcome requests to the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Relations with the Fraternal Parties of the CCP CC on a wide variety of questions that interest the fraternal countries.  And regarding all questions of interest to you, said Chen Yi to the ambassadors of the socialist countries attending the dinner, you can come to me personally.  We would welcome trips by the ambassadors of the socialist countries throughout our country; trips will be limited to 20 kilometers, jokingly added Chen Yi, for representatives of the capitalist countries.

The battle for the increase in the production of iron and steel, further said Chen Yi, has occupied our attention related to Chinese responsibilities in trading agreements; currently we have an insufficient supply of a variety of goods.  In regard to this I want to communicate to you, comrades, said Chen Yi, that today c. Zhou Enlai gave the order to fulfill all responsibilities taken by China within the next 50 days that remain until the end of this year.

Report by Embassy attaché R.Sh. Kudashev

USSR Ambassador to PRC, P. Yudin

4 – zb

1 – c. Gromyko

2 – c. Andropov

3 – c. Zimianin

4 – for filing

Ful. Kudashev

22 November 58

No. 853