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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 22, 1974

MAO ZEDONG, 'ON THE QUESTION OF THE DIFFERENTIATION OF THE THREE WORLDS'

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

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    Mao Zedong decsribes his Theory of Three Worlds, claiming that the “First World” is made up of the rich and nuclear armed USSR and US, the “Second World” refers to Japan, Europe, Australia, and Canada, and the “Third World” covers the undeveloped countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
    "Mao Zedong, 'On the Question of the Differentiation of the Three Worlds'," February 22, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Translation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Party Literature Research Center under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, eds., Mao Zedong on Diplomacy (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1998), 454. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119307
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Chairman Mao Zedong (hereinafter referred to as Mao): We hope the Third World will unite. The Third World has a large population!

President Kenneth David Kaunda (hereinafter referred to as Kaunda): That’s right.

Mao: Who belongs to the First World?

Kaunda: I think it ought to be world of exploiters and imperialists.

Mao: And the Second World?

Kaunda: Those who have become revisionists.

Mao: I hold that the U.S. and the Soviet Union belong to the First World. The middle elements, such as Japan, Europe, Australia and Canada, belong to the Second World. We are the Third World.

Kaunda: I agree with your analysis, Mr. Chairman.

Mao: The U.S. and the Soviet Union have a lot of atomic bombs, and they are richer. Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada, of the Second World, do not possess so many atomic bombs and are not so rich as the First World, but richer than the Third World. What do you think of this explanation?

Kaunda: Mr. Chairman, you analysis is very pertinent and correct.

Mao: We can discuss it.

Kaunda: I think we can reach agreement without discussion, because I believe this analysis is already very pertinent.

Mao: The Third World is very populous.

Kaunda: Precisely so.

Mao: All Asian countries, except Japan, belong to the Third World. All of Africa and also Latin America belong to the Third World.

(From the verbatim record)

CHINESE (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

毛泽东: 希望第三世界团结起来。第三世界人口多啊!

卡翁达: 对。

毛: 谁是第一世界?

卡: 我想应该是那些剥削者和帝国主义者的世界。

毛: 第二世界呢?

卡: 是那些已经变为修正主义分子的人。

毛: 我看美国、苏联是第一世界。中间派,日本、欧洲、澳大利亚、加拿大,是第二世界。咱们是第三世界。

卡: 我同意主席先生的分析。

毛: 美国、苏联原子弹多,也比较富。第二世界,欧洲、日本、澳大利亚、加拿大,原子弹没有那么多,也没有那么富,但是比第三世界要富。你看这个解释好不好?

卡: 主席先生,你的分析很确切,十分准确。

毛: 研究一下吧。

卡: 我想不用研究,我们的意见就可以取得一致,因为在我看来,这个分析已经很确切了。

毛: 第三世界人口很多。

卡: 确实如此。

毛: 亚洲除了日本,都是第三世界。整个非洲都是第三世界,拉丁美洲也是第三世界。

根据中央文献出版社、世界知识出版社一九九四年出版的《毛泽东外交文选》 刊印。