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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 24, 1962

MEMORANDUM GIVEN TO VICE MINISTER ZHANG HANFU BY THE SOVIET AMBASSADOR (TRANSLATION)

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation

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    The Soviet Union states that, as of April 24, at least 10,000 individuals from Xinjiang have crossed into the USSR.
    "Memorandum Given to Vice Minister Zhang Hanfu by the Soviet Ambassador (Translation)," April 24, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-01764-04, 11. Translated by 7Brands. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121616
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Appendix II

Memorandum Given to Vice Minister Zhang Hanfu by the Soviet Ambassador (Translation)

According to reports from Soviet border defense posts, recently, some residents of the People’s Republic of China have crossed the border into the Soviet Union from Yili [Ili] and Tacheng [Qoqek] counties of the People’s Republic of China. Incomplete statistics show that a total of approximately 10,000 people have crossed the border, and that some 6,000 of them crossed the border on 22 April. As the exodus was large, the Soviet border defense posts tried in vain to stop them from entering Soviet territory.

Soviet border guards explained to the citizens of the People’s Republic of China who crossed the border that it was not right for them to do so and tried to persuade them to return to their own territory. Regrettably, however, these actions were to no avail, and the [size of the] exodus increased.  

Our border guards reported that the vast majority of the people who crossed the border did not bring with them any property or personal belongings and were in desperate need of assistance. Naturally, this created difficulties for the Soviet authorities, as they were unprepared to receive foreigners, not to mention, so many foreigners.

For the sake of the friendly relations between our two nations, Moscow believes that it is imperative to notify our Chinese friends of this situation.

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