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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China-Europe Relations

Europe and China were perhaps the most important "third actors" in the Cold War system. As territorial entities and political and economic actors located at the crossroads of the mutual spheres of action of the two superpowers, they played a key role in the evolution and reshaping of the bipolar system. This comprehensive collection charts China's relations with Europe, and as it moved from East to West throughout the course of the Cold War. For collections focused on China's relations with Eastern and Western Europe, see, respectively, China-Eastern Europe Relations and China-Western Europe Relations.

  • November 03, 1970

    Letter from President Giuseppe Saragat to Aldo Moro

    President Saragat discusses the dilemma between recognizing mainland China and respecting the sovereignty of Taiwan.

  • November 03, 1970

    Telegram Number 4549/52, 'Sino-Hungarian Relations and the Indochina Problem'

    Etienne Manac’h, reporting on a thaw in relations between China and Hungary, suggests that the PRC seeks "a greater zone of autonomy vis-à-vis the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe."

  • November 20, 1970

    Memorandum from Department Head Oncken, 'Establishment of Relations with the People's Republic of China and Albania'

    West German diplomats explore whether or not Bonn could or should normalize relations with China and Albania.

  • November 28, 1970

    Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Italian Republic and the People’s Republic of China

    Italy establishes diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

  • December 30, 1970

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Political Affairs, Asia-Oceania, Note, 'State of the Chinese Question after Canada and Italy’s Recognition of Beijing and After the UN Discussion'

    Following the normalization of relations between Canada and Italy and China, the French Foreign Ministry speculates how China's status at the United Nations may change in the near future.

  • June 03, 1971

    Minutes of Conversation between Nicolae Ceausescu and Mao Zedong in Beijing on 3 June 1971

    Mao Zedong and Nicolae Ceausescu discuss China's international reputation as a dogmatic dictatorship, especially among other Communist countries. They also discuss ping pong and scientific progress, specifically nuclear weapons and space exploration.

  • August 06, 1971

    Letter of Enver Hoxha, Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania, to Mao Zedong, Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party

    In a letter to Chairman Mao and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Enver Hoxha wrote, on behalf of the Labor Party of Albandia, about Albania's position regarding President Nixon's upcoming visit to China. Albania did not approve nor support this visit due to American imperialism and U.S. protests against Marxism-Lenninism.

  • November 06, 1971

    Polish Embassy in Bucharest, 'Memorandum Regarding Romania's Relations with the European Socialist Countries After Ceaușescu's Visit to Beijing'

    The Polish Ambassador reports that Ceausescu's visit to China had chilled relations with the countries of the Warsaw Pact. The report then discusses Romanians relations with the Soviet Union and Hungary in more depth.

  • January, 1972

    The International Activities of the Chinese Leadership and Conclusions for the Practice of the GDR's Relations with the PR China

    The GDR Foreign Ministry outlines the current shifts in the PRC's foreign policy within the international community under the Mao group.

  • April 15, 1972

    Telegram from the Director of Department II to the Ambassador in Beijing regarding the Conversation with Chinese Diplomats in Moscow

    A Polish diplomat reports on new developments in Chinese foreign policy toward Europe, Japan, and Indonesia.

  • July 03, 1972

    East German Report on the Fifth Interkit Meeting in Prague, July 1972

    This East German report, issued after the Interkit meeting in Prague, addresses the domestic and foreign policies of China. It makes reference to internal conflicts destabilizing the Chinese leadership. China is said to be enhancing its military potential, especially in the area of missiles and nuclear weapons. Its aims in foreign policy are to acquire a leadership position in the so-called "Third World", to expand its relations with capitalist countries, to damage the unity of the Socialist bloc, and to obstruct the foreign relations of the Soviet Union. Considering the increase of influence of China on North Korea, Romania, and Vietnam, as well as on the Communist parties in Spain and Italy, the Socialist countries must improve their anti-Maoist propaganda efforts.

  • August 02, 1972

    Note from State Secretary Freiherr von Braun, 'Meeting of MP Dr. Schröder with Mr. Foreign Minister in Hinterthal on July 30, 1972'

    Trip report on Dr. Gerhard Schröder's visit to China and an agreement signed by the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister expressing interest in normalizing relations with West Germany.

  • August 07, 1972

    Ambassador Pauls, Washington, to Foreign Office, 'German China Policy'

    A message from West German Ambassador Pauls about German-Chinese relations and the possible problems it could pose for the German-American relationship.

  • October 12, 1972

    Department Head van Well to Foreign Office, 'China Visit by the Foreign Minister'

    Report on a West German Foreign Ministry delegation to China lead by Walter Scheel exploring the possibility of opening diplomatic relations. In meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei they discuss detente, Chinese mistrust of the Soviet Union, and the CSCE.

  • October 13, 1972

    Telex from Department Head van Well, 'China Visit by the Foreign Minister'

    In a meeting with Foreign Minister Walter Scheel, Zhou Enlai expressed support for West Germany’s proposal to join the United Nations, discussed European security, and the China's mistrust of the Soviet Union.

  • October 26, 1972

    Draft of a Planned East German Demarche, to be Read to the Chinese Ambassador, Against Chinese Statements on the Occasion of the Establishment of Chinese-West German Diplomatic Relations and Walter Scheel's Visit

    This document is a demarche to be delivered to the Chinese ambassador in East Berlin. It was written by Erich Honecker, the general secretary of East Germany's Socialist Unity Party, on the occasion of the establishment of diplomatic relations between West Germany and the People's Republic of China (PRC). Honecker says the West German government is pursuing a revisionist policy and does not accept the post-war separation of Germany. Honecker assesses the role of Bonn in international relations as detrimental to the entire Socialist camp and regards the visit of West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel to Beijing, as well as diplomatic relations between China and West Germany, as damaging the interests of East Germany. He asks China to reconsider this policy, with reference to East Berlin's support for the PRC's territorial claims to Taiwan/Formosa. According to a marginal note, the demarche was never delivered.

  • November 27, 1972

    Report by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on Talks Between Zhou Enlai and Walter Scheel

    These statements by the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) concern talks between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel. The CC assesses the improvement of relations between China and West Germany as adverse to the interests of East Germany and of Socialism. China is criticized for not supporting the idea of a European conference on security and cooperation and for sustaining the role of organizations such as the European Economic Community and NATO. The CC expresses disagreement with China's abstention from the disarmament process and with its position within the UN.

  • May 21, 1973

    Sixth Interkit Meeting, Record of Meeting with Boris Ponomarev and Konstantin Katushev

    This record of a meeting with the secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Boris Ponomarev, and with the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Konstantin Katushev, addresses the anti-Soviet course adopted by Beijing. The discussion specifically refers to relations between China and the Communist parties of Albania, Romania, Australia, France, Italy, and New Zealand. The document also assesses the situation in Anwar el-Sadat's Egypt, in Hafez al-Assad's Syria, in Iraq, and in Yemen, the main idea being that the Socialist countries should support the development of progressive Arabic states.

  • May 21, 1973

    Sixth Interkit Meeting, Record of Meetings with Oleg Rakhmanin and Konstantin Katushev

    These are the records of two meetings on the occasion of the Sixth Interkit Meeting. The first of these involves a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Oleg Rakhmanin, while the second is a meeting with the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Konstantin Katushev. Both address relations between China and the Soviet Union. The documents discuss the Sino-Soviet border clashes, the Soviet security policy in the Far East and Siberia, and the position of countries such as Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania, as well as the critical situation in Vietnam and Cambodia.

  • June 06, 1973

    Telex from Ambassador Pauls, Beijing, to Foreign Office

    Ambassador Pauls reports a conversation with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua about the possibility of a Soviet attack on China and Chinese "Second strike capability."