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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.)

  • 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."

  • September 27, 1958

    Letter, Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the Chinese Communist Party, on the Soviet Union's Readiness to Provide Assistance to China in the Event of an Attack

    In the wake of the Taiwan Strait Crisis, the Soviet Union promises to intervene in the event of a nuclear attack on China from the United States.

  • October 02, 1958

    Memorandum of Conversation of Mao Zedong with Six Delegates of the Socialist Countries, China, 2 October 1958

    To the other delegates, Mao discusses their shared goal of defeating imperialism, primarily through peaceful methods. He stresses widespread Marxist reeducation of the Chinese people and increased Chinese industrial and agricultural production as means for improvement. Mao also reminds them that socialist nations must be firmly united under the leadership of the Soviet Union to fight colonialism and imperialism, and while the communes are necessary to organize locally, the party remains the core administrative unite of communized peoples.

  • October 05, 1958

    Letter, Mao Zedong to Huang Kecheng and Peng Dehuai

    Mao sends instructions for a temporary cease to the shelling of Jinmen Island.

  • October 05, 1958

    Meeting Minutes, Zhou Enlai’s Conversation with S.F. Antonov on the Taiwan Issue (excerpt)

    Speaking with Soviet Charge d'Affaires Antonov, Zhou Enlai analyzes the American response to the Chinese bombing of Jinmen Island.

  • November 02, 1958

    Letter, Mao Zedong to Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, Huang Kecheng

    Mao suggests resuming the bombardment of Jinmen Island on November 3, 1958.

  • November 25, 1958

    Mao Zedong, 'The Western World Will Inevitably Split Up'

    Mao comments that the West is moving toward its final disintegration.

  • November 29, 1958

    Memorandum of Conversation of the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chen Yi, at Dinner in the Soviet Embassy in Honor of the Ambassadors of the Socialist Countries in China, 8 November 1958

    The Chinese Minister of Foreign affairs, Chen Yi, proclaims that the PRC and Chinese communist party are organizing the completion of the “great leap” of economic construction in China, thanks to the aid of the USSR and other socialist countries. He notes that the USA is not as strong as it seems, the relationship between the PRC and the USSR is growing stronger, and visits to China by ambassadors of the socialist countries are highly encouraged.

  • October 02, 1959

    Discussion between N.S. Khrushchev and Mao Zedong

    Khrushchev and Mao discuss current political situations in Tibet, India, Indochina and Taiwan.

  • October 14, 1959

    From the Journal of Ambassador S.F. Antonov, Summary of a Conversation with the Chairman of the CC CPC Mao Zedong

    October 1959 conversation between Mao Zedong and the Soviet diplomat and sinologist S.F. Antonov, in which Mao attempted to reassure the Soviets that China would not provoke war with the United States or with its Asian neighbors. In his conversation with Antonov, Mao attempts to lessen the impact of China’s displeasure with Soviet policies. He tries hard to show his agreement with Moscow on every issue—the United States, Taiwan, India, Tibet, disarmament.

  • August 30, 1960

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Edgar Snow

    Zhou Enlai talks with American journalist Edgar Snow about disputes between China and the U.S. Zhou refutes Western rumors that China has given up on peaceful coexistence with the West. Zhou says that China is willing to use peaceful settlements on disputes between China and the U.S. Zhou talks extensively about the Taiwan issue. Zhou believes that there are two main aspects to the Taiwan issue which needs to be addressed separately. The first is international dispute between the U.S. and China over Taiwan. The second aspect is the domestic dispute between CCP and Chiang Kai-shek over Taiwan. Lastly, Zhou says that the problems over principles needs to be solved before specific problems are addressed.

  • April 20, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Recommendations based on Developments in the Current Situation'

  • April 20, 1961

    Notes of Meeting between Boussouf, Benaouda, and Belhocine and the Chinese Ambassador

    Minutes of a meeting, on April 20, 1961, between Algerian representatives, Boussouf, Benaouda, and Belhocine, and a Chinese ambassador. In the meeting, which was called to discuss issues regarding weapons supplies from the Chinese, both sides discuss ensuing negotiations between Algeria and France. Also mentioned is Algeria's meeting with a United States ambassador, and the United States desire for compromise between Algeria and France.

  • September 21, 1961

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Bernard Law Montgomery

    Premier Zhou speaks with Viscount Montgomery of Alamein about propositions to ease international tensions. Zhou agrees with Montgomery's three propositions one of which is withdrawal of foreign troops from other countries territory. Zhou proposes withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea and Taiwan cross straits. Also, on the Taiwan issue, Zhou says that there is only one China and Taiwan is a part of China. Zhou believes that Taiwan issue is a internal domestic issue that should not be discussed by the UN.

  • August 08, 1963

    Statement [from Mao Zedong] Appealing the People of the World to Unite against the Racial Discrimination of American Imperialism [and to] Support Black Americans' Opposition of Racism

    At the request of Robert F. Williams, a former NAACP leader who fled to Cuba, Mao condemns racism against black Americans in the United States. He discusses several notable events in the American civil rights movement, from the Little Rock Crisis of 1957 to the then-upcoming March on Washington, and calls on "enlightened people of all races around the world" to support the struggle of black Americans.

  • August 12, 1963

    Record of Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai, Vice Premier Chen Yi, and Pakistani Ambassador Raza

    Zhou Enlai, Chen Yi, and Ambassador Raza coordinate China and Pakistan's strategies toward the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. They also discuss Sino-American relations.

  • December 19, 1963

    Record of the Third Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nasser

    Zhou Enlai describes the state of Sino-American relations and Sino-Indian relations. Zhou and Nasser also discuss the Egyptian economy and Sino-Egyptian relations.

  • January 23, 1964

    Cable from Li Qingquan, 'Talks with Beaumarchais about the Issue of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and France'

    Li Qingquan and and Beaumarchais discuss the issue of "two China's" in the normalization of relations between China and France.