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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.

  • July 09, 1973

    Report by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on China's Policy toward Western Europe and Opposition against the CSCE

    This document contains information prepared by the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) on China's European policy and Chinese opposition to the convocation of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). It states that China's overall goals are diametrically opposed to those of the European Socialist countries and their Communist parties, with Beijing identifying the Soviet Union as its primary enemy. In this light, the Soviet leadership maintains that actively confronting China in ideological and political terms remains one of the most important tasks of the Warsaw Pact countries.

  • July 18, 1973

    Preparatory Materials for East German Protest Against the Intended Establishment of a Chinese Trade Representation in West Berlin

    These documents are related to East Germany's protest against the intended establishment of a Chinese trade representation in West Berlin. The East German Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses that West Berlin cannot be regarded as part of West Germany. Therefore, by initiating diplomatic relations with West Berlin without considering the existence of the internationally acknowledged Four Power Agreement on Berlin between the US, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, China is deliberately acting against the interests of East Germany.

  • July 18, 1973

    Letter from the Deputy Minister of the GDR Council of Ministers to Comrade Hermann Axen

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the GDR asks the PRC to comply with the status of West Berlin as part of the GDR.

  • August 02, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the Head of the China Desk in the East German Foreign Ministry and the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, Tji Hai-yuan

    This is a memorandum on a conversation reflecting the differences of opinion between the head of the China Desk in the East German Foreign Ministry and the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy Tji Hai-yuan with regard to the intended establishment of a Chinese trade representation in West Berlin. East Berlin is clearly concerned such a step might favor West Germany's alleged goal of winning sovereignty over West Berlin, in violation of the Four Power Agreement. Tji states that he does not understand the East German position, and that the activities of Chinese diplomats in West Berlin are in accordance with international law. He rejects the notion that these relations might conceivably harm the interests of East Germany.

  • October 11, 1973

    Meeting of Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Zhou Enlai at the State Guest House (Diaoyutai)

    Zhou Enlai offers Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau an extensive history of the Chinese Civil War and Chinese Revolution. Zhou also comments on China's foreign policy positions toward and views on the Soviet Union, nuclear war, Bangladesh, revisionism, and great power hegemony, among other topics.

  • November 24, 1973

    Cable from Ambassador Pauls to the Foreign Office

    A cable from Ambassador Pauls about a meeting between Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and Federal Minister Genscher about Soviet expansionism and Europe’s defensive readiness.

  • December 03, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in East Berlin and the Head of the West Berlin Press Office on China's Intention to Establish a Trade Representation and Consulate in West Berlin

    This is a memorandum of a conversation between the first secretary of the Soviet embassy in East Berlin, Rodin, and the director of the West Berlin Press Office, Günter Struve, with regard to China's intention to establish a trade representation in West Berlin. Apart from stressing that by initiating diplomatic relations with West Berlin, China is not implicitly acknowledging the existing international agreements, Rodin makes clear that East Germany will not rescind the rules on obligatory currency exchange for citizens of Western states.

  • December 18, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the Head of the Far Eastern Department in the East German Foreign Ministry Liebermann and Chinese Ambassador Peng Guang-wei on China's Intention to Establish Diplomatic Presence in West Berlin

    This memorandum of conversation between the Head of the Far East Department in the East German Foreign Ministry Liebermann and Chinese Ambassador Peng Guang-Wei refers to China's intention to establish diplomatic relations with West Berlin. The East German side stresses the fact that countries such as Hungary and Bulgaria also established diplomatic relations with West Berlin taking into considerations the conditions posed by the international law and that China should do the same.

  • March, 1974

    East German Report on Seventh Interkit Meeting in Budapest, March 1974

    This report, issued after the seventh Interkit meeting in Budapest, addresses unsolved socio-economic problems and internal party disputes in China. The new military strategy of the People's Republic as well as its economic development are examined. Beijing's foreign relations with Western countries, especially with the US, are considered to be detrimental to international détente. The attendees condemn China for stockpiling nuclear weapons and missiles in preparation for a military confrontation with the Soviet Union, for extending its influence in developing countries, for strengthening the position of NATO, for interfering with the domestic policies of Vietnam, and for supporting the military junta in Chile.

  • June 14, 1974

    Cable from Ambassador Pauls to the Foreign Office, 'China – Federal Republic'

    West German Ambasador to China, Rolf Pauls, summarizes the current status of relations between China and West Germany and recommends increasing political contacts and political relations.

  • January 31, 1975

    Urgent Note Regarding “the Visit” of K. Mijal in Beijing

    Deputy Foreign Minister Czapla describes the treatment of a leader of a Polish opposition party in Beijing

  • May, 1975

    Itinerary of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping's Visit to France from 12 to 17 May 1975

    Itinerary for the visit of Deng Xiaoping, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, to France. Deng's visit includes meetings with Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues, as well as visits to a farm outside Paris and the Phenix nuclear reactor in Marcoule.

  • May 12, 1975

    Record of Conversation between French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and Vice Premier of the People's Republic Deng Xiaoping

    French Prime Minister Chirac and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping discuss economic relations and technology exchange between China and France. They also discuss the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and issues of collective security in asia.

  • May 13, 1975

    Record of Conversation between French President Giscard d'Estaing and Vice Premier of the People's Republic Deng Xiaoping: First Meeting

    French President Giscard and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping discuss the current international situation, including the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States and issues of European unity and security. They also discuss the current situation in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos following the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.

  • May 14, 1975

    Record of Conversation between French President Giscard d'Estaing and Vice Premier of the People's Republic Deng Xiaoping: Second Meeting

    French President Giscard and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping discuss economic issues, including development funding and international aid for Third World countries, as well as the recent oil crisis.

  • May 26, 1975

    Telegram, French Ambassador to China Claude Arnaud to French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, No. 998/1000, 'Follow-up to the Visit of M. Deng Xiaoping to France'

    French Ambassador Claude Arnaud reports that Princess Ashraf Pavlavi, sister of the Shah of Iran, met with Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping in Beijing. Deng had recently returned from a trip to France and he "advised the princess to make sure that Iran will tighten and deepen its links to France."

  • June, 1975

    East German Report on the Eight Interkit Meeting in Ulaanbaatar, June 1975

    This report, issued after the eighth Interkit meeting in Ulaanbaatar, addresses the domestic and foreign policies of China and the anti-Maoist propaganda measures to be undertaken by Socialist countries. There are no great expectations for a collapse of Maoism, even though the Chinese economy is developing slowly. China is acquiring nuclear weapons and missiles in preparation for an armed conflict. Beijing's foreign relations with Western countries are considered to be detrimental to international détente and directed against the interests of the Soviet Union and the Socialist countries.

  • June 19, 1975

    Cable from Ambassador Pauls to the Foreign Office, 'German-Chinese Relations'

    A cable from Ambassador Pauls about a conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua about developments in Europe and the Chinese assessment of the global situation after the end of the Vietnam War.

  • September 06, 1975

    Note regarding the Meeting between Ilie Verdeț and Ji Denggui

    Ji Denggui and Ilie Verdeț discuss bilateral relations between China and Romania, nuclear proliferation and diarmament, Soviet-American relations, Comecon, European security, US policy toward Taiwan, Japan-Soviet relations, and economic development in China and Romania, among other topics.

  • September 10, 1975

    Letter to the GDR Council of Ministers, 'Information about Recent Issues of PRC Domestic and Foreign Policy – Directives for the Code of Conduct of GDR Representatives towards the Representatives of the PR China'

    In the midst of China's apparent "struggle against Maoism," East German diplomats review Chinese foreign and domestic policies and the state of bilateral relations.