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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.)

  • March 05, 1964

    Note number 150, 'Visit of M. Ho Ying'

    Henri de Bourdeille reports on his meeting with the Chinese Ambassador following the establishment of relations between France and China.

  • April 02, 1965

    Record of Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and the President of Pakistan Ayub Khan

    Zhou, Ayub Khan, and Zulfikar Bhutto discuss the Vietnam War, China's relations with the US and the Soviet Union, the Second Asian-African Conference, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

  • April 12, 1967

    Hungarian Workers Party CC Minutes of Meeting held on 12 April 1967

    Members of the Hungarian Central Committee discuss recent trips to Moscow and Budapest. Those involved debrief the group on discussions at both locations over the domestic situation in China and its possible repercussions for international communism.

  • April 16, 1968

    [Mao Zedong's] Statement of Support for Black Americans’ Struggle Against Violence

    Mao discusses the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and connects the struggles of Black Americans to the struggles of oppressed people around the world. He calls for people around the world to unite against American imperialism.

  • October 29, 1968

    Telegram Number 5186/92, 'Chinese Foreign Policy'

    Relying on British assessments of the situation in China, the French Ambassador in London reports that Chinese foreign policy is the outcome of debates between anti-Soviets and anti-Americans within the CCP.

  • November 20, 1968

    Telegram Number 2206/09, 'NATO Ministerial Council'

    French diplomat Lucien Paye assesses Chinese foreign policy in the aftermath of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and speculates that China wishes to exploit differences within the NATO camp.

  • June 10, 1969

    Embassy of the GDR in the PRC, 'Note about the “Club Meeting” of the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors of the Fraternal Countries on 6 June 1969'

    Notes on a meeting between the Ambassadors to China of the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, the Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Mongolia, and Poland in which they discussed a broad range of domestic and international concerns related to the People’s Republic of China including the Cultural Revolution, Vietnam, and provocations at the Soviet border. They report throughout on conversations with other Ambassadors in China.

  • September 30, 1969

    Letter no. 428 from Franco Maria Malfatti to Aldo Moro

    Malfatti reports his observations of the Chinese ambassador, who displayed a strong position against the Soviet Union and Taiwan.

  • December 16, 1969

    Letter, Y. Andropov to the CPSU CC

    Andropov reports that Chinese diplomats stationed in the USSR are actively trying to discredit the Soviet Union, particularly in regard to the border dispute.

  • March 12, 1970

    Memorandum for Mr. Henry A. Kissinger, the White House, from Theodore L. Eliot, Jr.

    Theodore Eliot advises Henry Kissinger that "the United States should avoid becoming involved in an issue which could seriously damage our efforts to improve relations with Peking."

  • June 16, 1970

    Brief Summary of Conversation between Comrades Zhou Enlai and Kang Sheng on 16 June 1970 with Myself [Kadri Hazbiu] and Cmrade Xhoxhi Robo

    Kadri Hazbiu has a wide ranging talk with Zhou Enlai, covering American imperialism, Sino-North Korean relations, Sino-Albanian relations, and Sino-Romanian relations, among other topics.

  • April 14, 1971

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Graham Steenhoven

    Zhou Enlai speaks with President of the U.S. Table Tennis Association, Graham Steenhoven, after the 31st annual World Table Tennis Championships. Steenhoven thanks Premier Zhou for inviting the U.S. ping-pong team and U.S. journalists to China. U.S. journalists ask Zhou to comment on the American hippie movement. Steenhoven extends an invitation to the Chinese ping-pong team to visit the U.S.

  • June 21, 1971

    Transcript of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and William Attwood

    American journalist William Attwood asks Premier Zhou whether the primary obstacle between the U.S. and China is Taiwan, how China plans to reunify with Taiwan, and how China plans to address differences in living standards after reunification. Zhou says that China's stance on the Taiwan issue is that Taiwan belongs to China and the U.S. should not to interfere in China's domestic matters, withdraw its armed forces from the Taiwan straits, and respect China's sovereignty. Zhou believes that living standards will only be improved when Taiwan reunifies with the mainland.

  • July 26, 1971

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the GDR, Far Eastern Department/ United States Department, 'Assessment of the Invitation to President Nixon to visit the PR China'

    An analysis of Sino-American relations following the Nixon's invitation to visit China, US interests driving the rapprochement with China, and the potential effect of this relationship in the Asia-Pacific region.