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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 23, 1977

INTELLIGENCE NOTE, POLISH EMBASSY IN BUCHAREST, 'THE CURRENT STATUS OF ROMANIA-PRC RELATIONS'

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    Report from the Polish Embassy in Romania on the current status of Romania-Chinese relations. The report concludes that "friendship with China remains a permanent element in the strategy of the Romanian foreign policy" as this relationship is " designed as a counterbalance for Romania in their relations with the Soviet Union and other countries of the socialist community." It predictions that relations will improve in the future.
    "Intelligence Note, Polish Embassy in Bucharest, 'The Current Status of Romania-PRC Relations' ," December 23, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland, D-I-R-0-2413-10-77, 1. Obtained and Translated by Adam Burakowski. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116933
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 Bucharest, 23rd  XII  1977.    

                                                                                                          Classified

                                                                                                          App. To no 0-24-33-77

                                                                                                          Copy No 1

Intelligence Note

The current status of Romania – PRC relations:

In the sphere of relations between parties, the RCP recognizes the principle of the exclusive competence of each party to determine its own revolutionary strategy and tactics, to determine its own method of constructing socialism and - according to the RPK - any ideological differences between parties are the result of specific historical development of each country. Moreover - this has been emphatically confirmed by N. Ceausescu in his paper at the December Conference of the Party. The RCP expresses the view that it will never get involved in condemning other parties and will seek to eliminate differences of opinions through direct talks between the leaders of the interested parties. This view finds its practical expression in the policy of Romania towards China.

Additionally to the proclaimed principles,  the foundation of Romanian - Chinese relations lies in the RCP's  policy of balancing between the USSR,  fellow socialist countries and the PRC. This method has been consistently maintained to the present time, as evidenced by the attitude of the RCP, presented in connection with the death of Mao and the recent intensification of contacts between Bucharest and Beijing after the visit of L. Brezhnev and the the PCC WP [the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact] in Bucharest. The role played by the Romanian - Chinese relations in the foreign policy of the SRR may be described by the statement of the RCP's Secretary-General, N. Ceauescu, for radio and TV in Israel: "Relations with the Soviet Union, Romania's neighbor, are an important factor in Romanian policy, as well as relations with the People's Republic of China and all the other socialist countries."

Unclear situation inside China after Mao's death probably contributed to the slowing down of mutual contacts. Romanian side wanted to wait until the balance of power in the leadership of the CCP has been clarified. There were some reconnaissance missions carried out by the party and government delegations headed by the members of the leadership of the RCP. At the beginning of November  1976, a member of Political Executive Committee, Deputy Prime Minister of the SRR, Paul Niculescu[-Mizil], visited the PRC; there was also a  visit of G. [heorghe] Oprea, a member of Political Executive Committee, Deputy Prime Minister of the SRR and then at the end of December of the same year, a visit of the Political Executive Committee deputy member and the  Secretary of the CC RCP – t.[efan] Andrei.

As the position of the new team, with Kuo Hua Feng at the helm became more stable, after an  ongoing process of consolidation, there was a resurgence of Romanian - Chinese contacts towards their further development and improvement of bilateral relations.

The exchange of letters with Hua Kuo Feng showed that both parties are committed to develop a friendly and comprehensive cooperation. This was clearly expressed by N. Ceauescu in his speech at the joint meeting of the CC RCP, the Great National Assembly and the Supreme Council of Social and Economic Development, on 28th March this year. Starting from this period we have noticed an increasing activity in the relations between the SRR and the PRC. The exchange of  party, government, military and mass organizations' delegations has intensified, /over 20/,  including the visit of  "friendship of the Romanian people" delegation, headed by a member of the Political Executive Committee, Deputy Prime Minister Paul Miculescu and Romanian youth delegations, headed by the president's son, Nicu Ceauescu, which took place in the autumn of this year. Chairmen of the major Chinese trade, parliamentary and military delegations have been received by the Secretary-General of the of the RCP.

Cultural exchange also revived. An exhibition of Romanian paintings opened last autumn in Beijing and an exhibition of Chinese photographic in art Bucharest.


Military cooperation occupies a unique position in  SRR - PRC relations, as a subject of dynamization  in this field in recent months, especially in connection with a 4-year agreement on cooperation. Last April, a mixed commission on cooperation and collaboration in the area of defense industry was established. Deputy Defense Minister for Arms and Technology, Colonel-General V. Ionel.  Chairs the Romanian party on this commission.

The intensity of contacts may be illustrated by the exchange of seven military delegations in 1977. Noteworthy is the fact that 52 Romanian engineers and technicians have been staying on the training course, organized by the Chinese defense industry, since July this year. The same number of Chinese experts is in SRR. This, of course, has probably an influence on the overall bilateral relations.

Trade volume between the SRR and the PRC, has had an upward trend for over the last two years and reached 340 M rub in 1977, reaching the level of year 1975/325 M rub/. Total trade with the PRC accounts for about 4% of the total foreign trade turnover of the SSR. Despite the relatively rapid growth of trade between the two countries, the PRC is not a partner which could decisively influence the economic development of SRR. Romania imports mainly consumer products and raw materials from the PRC / oil 500 thousand tons, coke 250 thousand tons /, and exports machinery and equipment / 70 deliveries - tankers, drilling rigs, tankers, trucks /. It is assumed that sales will grow steadily in 1980 but there are serious problems of pricing the goods in the trade between the two countries.

Active cooperation in the field of science and technology and the exchange of scientific research experience needs to be emphasized / for example in December there was a large delegation of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Romania /. The Chinese want to capture through SRR a number of licensed and technology products, which they would not normally get from other socialist countries.  

Generally, both sides intensely seek to boost trade and economic cooperation. Deputy Prime Minister [Ion] Pan's  December trip to Beijing, among other things, serves  this purpose. The crowning achievement of the present intensification of contacts would be a meeting of the leaders of the two countries. Under some favorable conditions a meeting between the leader of the PRC and N. Ceauescu may materialize in 1978. It is Hua Kuo Feng who should pay the visit, however, there is a possibility that the leaders might meet at the so-called. technical stopover on the occasion of President N. Ceausescu's planned visit to some Asian countries, including Vietnam and the DPRK.

Conclusions: Friendship with China remains a permanent element in the strategy of the Romanian foreign policy.

They are designed as a counterbalance for Romania in their relations with the Soviet Union and other  countries of the socialist community. This tendency may exhibit different trends. Evidence currently available, however, allows us to believe that this evolution is likely to go in the direction of further strengthening and expansion of  relations with the PRC. It also seems realistic to think that these relations, carried out in the spirit of the 11th Congress resolutions and then confirmed by the current  RCP conference in December, will develop in such a way that cooperation with the Soviet Union and other socialist countries  are not infringed.

I Secretary PPL Embassy

Florian Uryzaj