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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Conversations with Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong, who ruled China from October 1949 until his death in September 1976, shaped the ideological underpinnings of China's international relations and played a pivotal role in crafting relations with China's allies and enemies. This collection brings together conversations held between Mao and foreign leaders from both within and outside of the communist bloc in order to offer insights into Mao's worldview and major developments in China's domestic history and foreign relations. See also the collection: Conversations with Zhou Enlai. (Image: President Richard Nixon Shaking Hands with Chairman Mao Tse-tung, 21 February 1972, NAID 194759)

  • July 18, 1960

    Mao Zedong’s Talk at the Beidaihe Central Committee Work Conference (Excerpt)

    Mao Zedong declares that, in the absence of Soviet assistance, China must rely only upon itself in its pursuit of technological modernity and socialism.

  • October 04, 1960

    Main Points of Chairman Mao’s Conversation with Premier Abbas on September 30, 1960

    Mao Zedong expressed Chinese support of the Algeria revolution against French colonialism to the Provision Government of the Algerian Republic President Ferhat Abbas.

  • November 19, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mao Zedong and Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

    A diplomatic meeting of a global communist delegation. Many topics are discussed, including: the domestic situation in Cuba, especially the economic situation (for example: sugar sales); American influence and counter-revolutionaries; and comparison to the domestic situation in other Latin and Central American countries, such as: Peru, Colombia, Brazil, etc.).

  • December 17, 1960

    Memorandum of Chairman Mao's Conversation with Sihanouk on 17 December 1960

    Mao Zedong and Norodom Sihanouk discuss the deteriorating situation in Laos.

  • January 06, 1961

    From the Journal of S. V. Chervonenko, Record of Conversation with Mao Zedong on 26 December 1960

    Ambassador Chervonenko records an unexpected and surprisingly warm meeting with Mao in which the leader talks about his lessened role in the Chinese government.

  • February 08, 1961

    Record of Conversation from Chairman Mao’s Reception of French Senator François Mitterrand

    Mao Zedong and Francois Mitterrand discussed interests and conflicts over the Algeria Revolution and sought ways to peacefully reconcile differences.

  • March 04, 1961

    Cable from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Chairman Mao's Conversation with Cuban Women's Delegation and Ecuadorian Cultural Delegation'

    The Cuban women's and Ecuador cultural delegations questioned Mao Zedong's opinions on distinguishing the different categories of revolutions, such as the People's Revolution and Colonial Revolution; different approaches of revolutions, such as the Cuban Revolution versus Latin American revolution; and how to protect physical cultural resources.

  • April 19, 1961

    Memorandum of Chairman Mao Zedong and Cuban Cultural Delegation

    A diplomatic meeting between China's Chairman Mao Zedong and Cuba's Cultural Delegation Education Minister. They discuss educational and cultural affairs of both Cuba and China.

  • April 24, 1961

    Transcript of Talks during Chairman Mao’s reception of Prince Souvanna Phouma and Prince Souphanouvong

  • September 28, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mao Zedong and Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos

    A conversation about the situation in Brazil. Cuba's diplomatic relations to other countries around the world are also discussed, especially as they relate to the recent U.S. blockade of Cuba.

  • October 02, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mao Zedong and Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos in Beijing

    A conversation about the situations in Venezuela and Peru in regards to their foreign relations with Cuba. Both countries also offer a comparison to the overall situation in both Latin and Central America.

  • June 29, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation, Albanian Labor Party Delegation with Mao Zedong

    The delegation from the Albanian Labour Party meets with Chairman Mao Zedong, where both parties express disapproval toward Krushchev's policies of De-Stalinization. The Albanian delegates reaffirm their belief in the general Communist party of the USSR, despite Krushchev's actions.

  • September 29, 1962

    Record of Conversation from Chairman Mao and Comrade Jiang Qing’s Reception of Mme. Hartini Sukarno

    Mao Zedong and Mme. Hartini Sukarno discuss developments in Indonesia, including the role of Chinese military assistance in putting down rebellions, as well as relations among the Afro-Asian nations.

  • January 05, 1963

    Record of Conversation from Chairman Mao's Reception of Indonesian Deputy Chief Minister Suban Delhi

    Conversation regarding Sukarno's recent illness, Asian-African unity against imperialism, and the situation in West Irian, among other issues.

  • February 15, 1963

    Memorandum of Chairman Mao Zedong’s Conversation with Prince Sihanouk

    Mao Zedong and Norodom Sihanouk exchange views on capitalist and imperialist countries, particularly on India, the US, Thailand, Yemen, and Iraq.

  • March 06, 1963

    Record of Conversation from Chairman Mao's Reception of the Delegation of the Brazilian Communist Party (The New Party)

    Chairman Mao addresses the communist compulsion to revolution and past cases of revolutionary activities like the Cuban experience.

  • March 13, 1963

    Cable from the CCPCC International Liaison Department and the Foreign Ministry, 'Key Points of the Conversation from Chairman of the CCP CC Comrade Mao Zedong’s Reception of the Soviet Ambassador to China Comrade Chernovenko'

    Mao Zedong discusses the relationship between China and the Soviet Union and the debate between the two Parties, proposes a meeting for fraternal discussion, and commits to countering Western imperialism.

  • May 17, 1963

    Memorandum of Conversation from Chairman Mao's Reception of the Delegation of the Brazilian Communist Party (The Old Party)

    Chairman Mao discusses Manuel Jover Telles's visit to China, the Brazilian economy, and factions within the Brazilian government.

  • April 18, 1963

    Meeting of Mao Zedong and Brazilian Communist Party (PCB) Delegation

    Chairman Mao and Telles discuss prospects for revolution, the 1927 revolution, and U.S. imperialism, among other shared concerns.

  • February 08, 1964

    Record of Conversation from Chairman Mao Zedong's Reception of the Cambodian Ambassador to China Sisowath Sirik Matak

    Mao and Matak discuss Western imperialist collaboration with India, attempts to overthrow the Cambodian government, and the situation in Vietnam, among other topics.