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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.

  • October 30, 1975

    Conversation between Federal Chancellor Schmidt and the Chairman of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong, in Beijing

    Federal Chancellor Schmidt and Mao Zedong discuss the potential for attack by the Soviet Union and European security.

  • October 31, 1975

    Conversation between Federal Chancellor Schmidt and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping in Beijing

    Schmidt and Deng Xiaoping discuss Soviet nuclear capabilities and threats to other countries. Deng Xiaoping expresses his desire to continue these conversations.

  • 1976

    Analysis of China's Foreign Policy by the Czechoslovak Embassy in Beijing

    This document examines Chinese attempts to foster Western European integration as a counterbalance to the US. Also discussed is the relationship between NATO countries and China and its impact on Soviet-Sino relations, military cooperation between China and Western Europe, and the relations between China and West Germany.

  • August 26, 1976

    Conversation between Foreign Minister Genscher and Chinese Ambassador Wang Shu

    A conversation between West German Foreign Minister Genscher and Chinese Ambassador Wang Shu about European security and developments in Africa. The Foreign Minister expresses interest in a visit to Germany by the Chinese Foreign Minister.

  • November 29, 1976

    Cable from Ambassador Wickert to the Foreign Office, 'Benefits of Relationship with China for the Alliance'

    West German Ambassador Wickert reports to the Foreign Office about Chinese foreign policy following Mao Zedong's death.

  • June, 1977

    East German Report on the Ninth Interkit Meeting in Berlin, June 1977

    This report was issued after the ninth Interkit meeting in East Berlin, which featured an official Cuban delegation. The document addresses the Chinese question after the death of Mao Zedong. According to this report, the internal disputes inside the Chinese Communist Party persist under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. The economic problems that China faces are still unresolved. In its foreign relations, China is staying the course by maintaining relations with Western countries, especially with the US. These relations are considered to be detrimental to international détente and directed against the interests of the Soviet Union and the Socialist countries.

  • June, 1977

    East German Report, 'China after Mao Zedong'

    This study gives an account on the domestic and foreign policies of China after the death of Mao Zedong. The first part of the document is dedicated to the domestic policies of the Chinese government. It analyzes the ideological backgrounds of the new leadership as well as the economic situation, while emphasizing unsolved problems in industry and agriculture. A closer look at Beijing's defense spending leads the authors to the conclusion that China is enhancing its military potential and preparing for war.

  • October 27, 1978

    Conspect of Conversations with V. I. Potapov, Chief of Romanian Sector of CPSU CC Section

    V.I Potapov informs about a visit to Bucharest of the CPSU delegation led by A. A. Gromyko and the discussions regarding the “Bessarabian question,” criticism of the CPSU regarding RSR’s relations with the USA and NATO and independent relations with China, RSR’s distancing from the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries in terms of foreign policy.

  • December, 1978

    East German Report on the Tenth Interkit Meeting in Havana, December 1978

    This report, issued after the tenth Interkit meeting in Havana, addresses China's domestic and foreign policies. China is said to be obstructing the process of international détente by developing relations with NATO and West Germany. The report condemns the Chinese interference in Romanian, Yugoslavian and Korean politics. The authors believe that China is trying to divide the Socialist countries into two opposing groups. The newly intensified Chinese-US relations are criticized, as is China's policy of allowing more Western influence to shape its domestic policies and economic strategies.

  • March 01, 1979

    Information regarding the Visit of the Study Group of the CC PUWP in China

    Talks about the development of trade and economy in Poland, and the need to develop Chinese relations with Poland, which can be done by developing the Chinese language more in Poland.

  • August 05, 1979

    Annex A/4: Relations between the PCI and the CCP

    An invite to the Chinese to continue the development of bilateral relations on the basis of a spirit of mutual respect but with a stronger frequency of meetings and exchanges. It also contains a note of July 30, 1979 and July 31, 1979, where the representatives of the Italian Communist Party respond to the speech given by Feng Xuan and Li Yimang.

  • September 26, 1979

    Antonio Rubbi, 'Note Reserved for Comrade Berlinguer'

    In this note to Enrico Berlinguer dated September 26, 1979, Antonio Rubbi delivers a report on his meeting on September 25, 1979, with the Chinese chargé d’affaires and cultural attaché. The topics discussed included the visit of two Italian journalists to China, the invitation to the FGCI to visit China and the upcoming 30th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

  • March 21, 1980

    Antonio Rubbi, 'Note for Comrade Berlinguer'

    A cover letter dated March 21, 1980, from Antonio Rubbi relaying the notes of a PCI delegation to Beijing from March 11 to 13, 1980

  • March 21, 1980

    Developments in the Situation in Italy and the PCI's Policy

    Bullet points of the Italian Communists presentation to the Chinese given on March 11, 1980, on the internal and international situation.

  • March 21, 1980

    Notes from the Meeting with Feng Xuan, Member of the Central Committee and Deputy Minister of the International Liaison Department of the CC (Peking, 3 November 1980)

    On March 11, 1980, Feng introduces the internal situation of the CCP and the reason for the anticipation of the XII Congress, the return of the Secretariat with Hu Yaobang in it, and the rehabilitation of Liu Shaoqi.

  • April 11, 1980

    The People's Republic of China from the Third Plenary Session (18-22 December 1978) to the Fourth Plenary Session (25-28 September 1979) of the Central Committee (XI) of the CCP

    This document drafted by the Ambassador Francisci in Beijing on April 11th was received by the PCI on April 14th 1980. It, is an account of the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CCP (December 18-22, 1978), the 2nd Plenary Session of the 5th People’s National Assembly (June 18-July 1, 1979) and of the National Assembly of the 5th People’s National Assembly (June 15-July 2, 1979) and 4th Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CCP (September 25-28, 1979). In the conclusion the Ambassador Francisci drafts an interesting analysis of the anti-Dengist and pro-Dengist social groups within China.

  • April 11, 1980

    The People's Republic of China from the Third Plenary Session (18-22 December 1978) to the Fourth Plenary Session (25-28 September 1979) of the Central Committee (XI) of the CCP

    This document drafted by the Ambassador Francisci in Beijing on April 11th was received by the PCI on April 14, 1980. It is an account of the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CCP (December 18-22, 1978), the 2nd Plenary Session of the 5th People’s National Assembly (June 18-July 1, 1979) and of the National Assembly of the 5th People’s National Assembly (June 15-July 2, 1979) and 4th Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CCP (September 25-28, 1979). In the conclusion the Ambassador Francisci drafts an interesting analysis of the anti-Dengist and pro-Dengist social groups within China.

  • May 19, 1980

    Letter, Enrico Berlinguer to Hu Yaobang

    This document dated May 19, 1980, is the draft version of a letter to Hu Yaobang in which Enrico Berlinguer thanks the Secretary General for the hospitality received during his visit to China.

  • May 19, 1980

    Letter, Enrico Berlinguer to Hu Yaobang

    This document dated May 19, 1980, is the final version of a letter to Hu Yaobang in which Enrico Berlinguer thanks the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CCP for the hospitality received during his visit to China.

  • June 18, 1980

    East German Record of a Meeting of Delegation Leaders at the Eleventh Interkit Meeting in Poland

    This record of a meeting of the delegation leaders attending the 11th Interkit meeting addresses China's strategy in the area of international relations. The document expresses concern regarding Beijing's policies and calls for unity among the Communist countries. International issues discussed include Soviet-Korean relations, i.e., the Belgrade meeting between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and his Korean counterpart Kim Il Sung. Conditions in Albania, Romania, and Yugoslavia, and the positions of these countries within the Communist bloc, are critically assessed. Another topic is the improvement of anti-Maoist propaganda.