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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-American Confrontation, 1949-1971

The People's Republic of China and the United States squared off against one another from 1949 through 1971. For other Digital Archive collections on US-China relations, see Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks, 1955-1970, and Sino-American Cooperation, 1972-1989. (Image: Dwight Eisenhower visits Taiwan, June 1960.)

  • May 23, 1949

    Cable, Kovalev to Stalin, Report on the 22 May 1949 CCP CC Politburo Discussion

    Kovalev reports to Stalin on the politburo meeting. the discussion concerned the economic situation in China, the military situation in China, and a previous conversation between Mao and American ambassador John Leighton Stuart.

  • December 07, 1949

    Cable, Zhou Enlai to Wang Zhen

    Zhou Enlai responds to two cables about the activities and whereabouts of George Fox-Holmes, Douglas Mackiernan, and John Hall Paxton.

  • January 10, 1950

    Material on the Conspiratorial Activities of US Vice-Consul in Dihua

  • January 11, 1950

    Discovered US Consulate Reactionary Acts

    A list of items that the Chinese captured from the US consulate in Dihua (Urumqi), Xinjiang.

  • January 13, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi

    Mao Zedong cables to Liu Shaoqi regarding the status of US property and institutions in China, the situation in Hong Kong, and Chinese representation at the United Nations.

  • January 18, 1950

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Liu Shaoqi

    Mao Zedong gives Liu Shaoqi guidance on Chinese foreign policy towards the United States and Great Britain.

  • January 20, 1951

    Report from P. F. Yudin to I. V. Stalin on Meetings with the Leaders of the Communist Party of China, including Mao Zedong on 31 December 1950

    Yudin recounts his meetings with Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Zhou Enlai. In three meetings, Yudin learned more about China's relations with other communist parties in Asia, economic conditions in China, and developments in the Korean War.

  • October 19, 1954

    Minutes of Chairman Mao Zedong’s First Meeting with Nehru

    Mao Zedong and Nehru discuss Sino-Indian relations, the political situation in Asia, and the role of the United States in world politics.

  • January 04, 1955

    Minutes of Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and Soviet Ambassador Pavel Yudin regarding Dag Hammarskjold’s Trip to Beijing

    The Soviet ambassador brought to Zhou Enlai a telegram between the United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and the UN Assistant Secretary-General. The telegram stated that Hammarskjöld was going to visit Beijing for negotiating the release of the US pilots who had served in the Korean War and been captured by the Chinese.

  • January 22, 1955

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou's Reception of the Indonesian Ambassador Arnold Mononutu

    The Indonesian ambassador tells Zhou that the Indonesian government has sent out the letter of invitation inviting China to attend the Asia-African Conference. Indonesia hopes that PRC will send delegation to this conference and that the Chinese premier will visit Indonesia. Zhou Enlai expresses that after the Chinese government receives the official letter of invitation, the government will give official reply.

  • January 28, 1955

    Mao Zedong, 'The Chinese People Cannot Be Cowed by the Atom Bomb'

    Mao Zedong spoke to the Finnish Ambassador Carl-Johan Sundstrom on the history of Chinese wars with European powers and states that China and Finland have had friendly relations. He then addressed the possibility of the U.S. waging an atomic war over Taiwan and how Chinese would respond. Finally, Mao foreshadowed the downfall of U.S. and British ruling classes to the end of tsarist Russia and Chiang Kai-shek should the United States enter another world war.

  • March 21, 1955

    Letter from Humphrey Trevelyan to Zhou Enlai

  • May 27, 1955

    Summary of the Views of Afro-Asian Countries on the Taiwan Issue at the Afro-Asian Conference

    The People's Republic of China maintains that the Taiwan issue was an internal issue of China, and it was the US who created tension by invading and occupying Taiwan.

  • May 17, 1956

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, 'Pakistani President’s Exclusive Conversation with American Reporters'

    The Pakistani President stated that Islamabad's warming relationship with the PRC did not mean a move away from the US. He reaffirmed Pakistani commitment to the Southeast Asian defense treaty and the Baghdad Pact while urging the US to recognize the PRC and advocating an increase in Sino-Japanese trade.

  • May 12, 1957

    Brief Summary of Conversation between Comrade Mao Zedong and the Delegation of the People’s Assembly of the People’s Republic of Albania

    Comrade Mao mentioned that the communism belief closely united western and eastern countries in the socialist camp, and the Asian, African and Arab states are our allies in the war against imperialism. Comrade Rita answered Mao's questions about Albania's domestic situation, such as religion and domestic consumptions. Mao also depicted Chinese ancient tale the Monkey King to Rita, explaining the revolution situation in China.

  • June 13, 1957

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Premier Zhou’s Conversation with Ambassador Nehru'

    Premier Zhou Enlai and Indian Ambassador Ratan Kumar Nehru exchanged views on Taiwan Incident and situation in West Asia.

  • February 06, 1958

    Abstract of Conversation: Premier Zhou and Ambassador Nehru

    Indian Ambassador to China Nehru and Premier Zhou discuss Sino-British relations, focusing on Britain's position on Chinese representation at the United Nations. According to the Premier, Britain is acceding to American demands and allowing the United States to create 'two Chinas.'

  • September 05, 1958

    Speech, Mao Zedong at the Fifteenth Meeting of the Supreme State Council (excerpt)

    Mao Zedong speaks about American foreign policy and the tense international situation following the Chinese decision to begin shelling Jinmen Island in the Taiwan Strait.

  • September 08, 1958

    Speech, Mao Zedong at the Fifteenth Meeting of the Supreme State Council (excerpt)

    Mao speaks about the strategy behind the bombardment of nationalist-controlled Jinmen Island in the Taiwan Strait, stating that Taiwan is a "is a steel noose and it ties America’s neck."

  • September 10, 1958

    Telegram, Mao Zedong to Ho Chi Minh

    Mao informs Ho Chi Minh that he should not be concerned by the Chinese bombardment of Jinmen Island, as "the Americans are afraid of fighting a war."