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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 26, 1964

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY REPORT, EXCERPTS OF GENERAL NE WIN’S INTERNAL CONVERSATIONS, THE CURRENT SITUATION AND ITS SOLUTIONS

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

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    Excerpts from Ne Win's conversations with Burmese officials and criticisms of the economic situation as a result of his policies.
    "Chinese Foreign Ministry Report, Excerpts of General Ne Win’s Internal Conversations, the Current Situation and its Solutions," June 26, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-01226-01. Obtained for CWIHP by Hongwei Fan and translated for CWIHP by Max Maller. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118241
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In June 1964, he summoned Wu Baying [sic] and wolfishly harangued him, saying, “You [have] made a mess of the economy. As of now I am letting you continue, but if you fail, do not bother coming to see me, just commit suicide.”

On May 5, 1964, at the Revolutionary Committee’s hearing, he said, “How this recent series of economic measures could have failed is beyond me. I do not know what the outcome will be. What’s done is done, and must be seen through to the end. We cannot abandon it halfway.” He criticized the head of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry [pinyin: Ding Pei], saying, “Fix what you have done to the economy.”

“Ne Win’s economic conduct has elicited strong disapproval from every level of society. Even military officials are dissatisfied, and have expressed a general feeling of bitterness and anxiety at the present circumstances. For one [sic] there is resentment on the part of normal laborers and farmers in the populace as well as capitalist businessmen. Peasants complain that the government purchase price for agricultural goods is not fair and that they suffer unduly. Buyers who pay in cash say that their money is worthless since the currency is in complete disuse. Nor can agricultural goods be exchanged for basic necessities. Workers complain that they cannot find work, that their salaries go unpaid, and that their lives lack safeguards. And capitalist businessmen complain that they have been muscled out by nationalization, leaving them without any business.”