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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China and the Middle East/North Africa

This collection features materials on China's relations with countries in the Middle East and North Africa, primarily during the Mao period. The majority of documents concern China's relations with Egypt and Algeria. The collection includes the records of conversations between Chinese leaders and Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ben Bella, Ferhat Abbas, Ali Sabri, and other preeminent leaders from the MENA region. (Image: Zhou Enlai (left) during his tour of Egypt, with Gamal Abdel Nasser.)

  • September 10, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 14 (Overall Issue No. 17)

    This issue begins with orders related to grain conservation. It also includes a statement regarding the departure of Japanese who stayed in China after World War II and documents that address China's exclusion from the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Other sections cover cooperation between Chinese and East German scientists, Sino-Egyptian trade negotiations, and regulations for graduate students in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  • October 29, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 18 (Overall Issue No. 21)

    This issue includes a statement from Mao about the establishment of agricultural cooperatives. Other sections discuss plans for the Sixth Plenary Session of the Seventh CCP Central Committee, the Sino-Egyptian trade agreement, and trade negotiations between China and Ceylon (later Sri Lanka). Furthermore, it includes a joint statement from Peng Zhen, General Secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and the head of a delegation from the Japanese Diet, Kanbayashiyama Eikichi.

  • December 21, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 22 (Overall Issue No. 25)

    This issue includes a report about trade between China and Syria as well as an announcement from the Sino-Czechoslovakian Cooperative Science and Technology Committee. Other sections discuss the management of religious work, industry, and the organization of different bureaus, including the Central Archives, within the State Council.

  • March 13, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 10 (Overall Issue No. 36)

    This issue begins with a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about American efforts to delay and obstruct the Sino-U.S. ambassadorial talks. It also announces and discusses a Sino-Lebanese trade agreement. Other sections cover the organization of local People's Committees, the socialist transformation of rural private businesses, wholesale and retail improvements for department stores, and the transfer of six "natural villages" (自然屯) from Hebei Province to Liaoning.

  • April 16, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 14 (Overall Issue No. 40)

    In this issue, Zhou Enlai congratulates the Prime Minister of Morocco, Mbarek Bekkay, and the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Tahar Ben Ammar, after both countries won their independence. One section announces a Sino-North Vietnamese civilian air transport service agreement; while another features a Sino-Soviet agreement to develop various industries and build a railway between Lanzhou and Aktogay (now in Kazakhstan). Finally, other sections discuss managing cooperatives, higher education, and provincial administrative concerns.

  • April 23, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 15 (Overall Issue No. 41)

    This issue begins with statements about Sino-Sudanese and Sino-Egyptian trade talks. It also discusses strengthening the National Archives and the status of landlords in Anhui Province. Among other concerns, such as tax exemptions for agricultural production cooperatives that plant more tree saplings, two sections address promoting standard Mandarin and guiding primary school students to read children's literature.

  • May 28, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 20 (Overall Issue No. 46)

    This issue announces the establishment of official Sino-Egyptian relations and features a letter that Zhou Enlai wrote to Gamal Abdel Nasser. Other sections discuss mobilizing young people to plant trees, holding national university entrance exams, and preparing for Children's Day.

  • June 05, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 21 (Overall Issue No. 47)

    As with the previous issue, this one continues to discuss Sino-Egyptian relations and includes an invitation from Zhou Enlai for Gamal Abdel Nasser to visit China. Peng Dehuai also extends an invitation to the Egyptian Minister of Defense, Abdel Hakim Amer. Other sections cover teaching plans for normal or pedagogical schools (including early education), the cultural and entertainment tax, and various provincial administrative concerns.

  • June 29, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 24 (Overall Issue No. 50)

    In this issue, Zhou Enlai congratulates Gamal Abdel Nasser on the final withdrawal of foreign troops from Egypt. Several sections cover factory safety and various administrative concerns, such as dividing Inner Mongolia into different banners.

  • July 12, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 26 (Overall Issue No. 52)

    This issue features a copy of the telegram that Mao Zedong sent to Gamal Abdel Nasser when he won the Egyptian presidential election. It also includes messages that the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Khim Tit, exchanged with Zhou Enlai after their respective countries signed an economic aid agreement. Other sections discuss checking the implementation of the First Five-Year Plan, educational matters, funded medical treatment for retired state agency employees, and various provincial administrative concerns, such as transferring districts from Jiangxi to Anhui Province.

  • July 20, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 27 (Overall Issue No. 53)

    This issue includes messages that Zhou Enlai exchanged with Syrian Foreign Minister Salah al-Din Bitar after Syria officially recognized China. It also features a statement about an invitation from Zhou Enlai for Afghan Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud Khan to visit China and his acceptance. Other sections discuss regulations for the organization of various local People's Congresses and People's Committees and wage reform.

  • August 16, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 30 (Overall Issue No. 56)

    This issue covers a Sino-Lebanese trade agreement. It also features a letter that Zhou Enlai wrote to thank the government of Czechoslovakia for agricultural machinery. Other sections address Chinese support for the recently nationalized Suez Canal, transforming private industries into socialist ones, and assigning jobs to university graduates.

  • August 22, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 31 (Overall Issue No. 57)

    This issue begins with a joint Sino-Syrian statement about the decision to exchange ambassadors and establish embassies in their respective countries. It also outlines plans for Nepali Prime Minister Tanka Prasad Acharya and Lao Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma to visit China. Other sections address industrial and agricultural matters, newspaper subscriptions for different organizations, and provincial administrative concerns.

  • August 31, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 32 (Overall Issue No. 58)

    This issue begins with a joint statement from Premier Zhou Enlai and Lao Prime Minister Prince Souvanna Phouma. It also includes a notice about Chinese aid to Mongolia and a letter that Zhou Enlai sent to the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Yemen, Saif al-Islam Muhammad al-Badr, after the kingdom decided to recognize China. Other sections discuss industrial concerns, handling damaged commercial goods, staff recruitment for different bureaus, and wages for university graduates.

  • September 23, 1956

    Telegram from A. Mikoyan to the CPSU Central Committee

    Peng Dehuai tells Mikoyan that the Chinese Communist Party fully supports the denunciation of Stalin's personality cult, partly because after the Chinese revolution, Stalin insisted that the new government take an inclusive approach to opposition parties. Peng also discusses Mao Zedong's recent meeting with the Egyptian ambassador.

  • September 29, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 35 (Overall Issue No. 61)

    This issue first discusses the problem of the Suez Canal in Egypt. It also addresses Sino-Nepalese relations, the establishment of Sino-Yemeni relations, and whether the Sino-American ambassadorial talks should consider the US-China trade embargo. Other sections cover domestic topics such as disaster relief and student dropouts.

  • October 10, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 36 (Overall Issue No. 62)

    This issue begins with a Sino-Egyptian agreement to promote cultural cooperation. It also outlines organizational guidelines for the Preparatory Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Other sections cover emergency relief for professional folk art performance troupes, holding performances, and various provincial administrative concerns.

  • October 31, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 39 (Overall Issue No. 65)

    This issue begins with a joint statement from Premier Zhou Enlai and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. It also covers Sino-Egyptian trade and outlines organizational guidelines for the "expert bureau." Other sections discuss relaxing the rural market, problems related to rural finances, and managing teachers' benefits.

  • November 10, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 40 (Overall Issue No. 66)

    This issue begins by denouncing British and French aggression against Egypt during the Suez Canal Crisis. It also includes a Chinese statement about the Soviet Declaration "to Strengthen Friendship and Cooperation [with] Other Socialist States," which acknowledges tensions between socialist countries and the need to address people's demands in Hungary and Poland. The next sections feature a message from Zhou Enlai to János Kádár, who would lead Hungary after the failed Revolution of 1956, and Sino-Nepali correspondence.

  • November 17, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 41 (Overall Issue No. 67)

    This issue commemorates the 90th birthday of Sun Yat-sen and continues to decry British and French aggression in Egypt. It also affirms Sino-Burmese relations after former Burmese Prime Minister U Nu visited China as Chairman of the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League. Other sections cover the need for labor protection, establishing and expanding local people's committees, and problems with work assignments for university graduates.