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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 17, 1974

CHINESE PLANS FOR RECEIVING THE BURMESE WEIGHTLIFTING TEAM

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

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    Sport and politics become intertwined as China seeks to improve relations with Burma by receiving a Burmese weight lifting team.
    "Chinese Plans for Receiving the Burmese Weightlifting Team," June 17, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Guangdong Provincial Archives 316-A1.2-56-106. Obtained for CWIHP by Hongwei Fan and translated by Max Maller. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118247
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On 15 June, the Burmese weight lifting team visited China. The Guangdong Provincial Sports Committee’s welcoming plan contained the following: “In 1967, the Ne Win government was anti-Chinese. Relations between our two countries were getting steadily more hostile. In recent years, China-Burma relations have taken a turn for the better. Our two countries’ economic, cultural and sporting connections have grown year after year…At present, Ne Win’s government faces ponderous difficulties. Internally, he campaigns for ‘socialism’; internationally, he claims ‘neutrality’ and ‘nonalignment’. He attempts to strike a ‘balance’ between China, the United States and the Soviet Union. He wishes to uphold friendly relations with us, but in Communist Party matters he still treats us with wariness. Therefore, the welcome we extend should implement Mao Zedong’s revolutionary foreign relations road, basing itself on zealous efforts and a workmanlike spirit to give them a friendly, warm reception. During the reception, praise appropriately the Burmese people’s success in safeguarding independence, national sovereignty, and the development of the sporting industry. Do not actively discuss issues related to the Communist Party of Burma, Ne Win’s ‘socialism’, etc. If they bring these up, state your position according to the party line on foreign matters. If you are met with provocation, then decline to respond. Speaking practically and realistically, announce our state’s success in socialist construction and revolution. During the match, remember to stick to the ‘friendship first, competition second’ strategy. Resist over-competitive ‘trophyism’ and world power chauvinism.