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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-Soviet Border Conflict, 1969

 The Sino-Soviet Border Conflict of 1969, taking place in the context of the broader split between the Chinese Communist Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, occurred as a result of a territorial dispute relating to Damanskii or Zhenbao Island. For other collections on Sino-Soviet relations, see Making of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1945-1950; Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1950-1959; Sino-Soviet Split, 1960-1984; and Sino-Soviet Rapprochement, 1985-1989.

  • December 27, 1967

    East German Report on First Interkit Meeting in Moscow, December 1967

    Report from the East German representatives on the Interkit meeting held from 14-21 December in Moscow. Describes the meetings agenda and the drafting of a joint assessment on China. Notes that the "Soviet comrades were attributing extraordinary high importance to the undertaking" and were very concerned about Chinese anti-Sovietism.

  • March 01, 1969

    Polish-Soviet Talks in Moscow

    Gomulka and Brezhnev discuss Sino-Soviet border skirmishes. Brezhnev claims the Chinese are preparing for their Congress and trying to "cement the moods of enmity toward the USSR." They also discuss the possibility of improved Sino-American ties.

  • March 02, 1969

    Soviet Report to East German Leadership on Sino-Soviet Border Clashes

    Soviet report summarizing Sino-Soviet military clashes along the border and the island of Damansky.

  • March 11, 1969

    Embassy of the GDR in the PRC, 'Note about the Inaugural Visit of Comrade Ambassador [Gustav] Hertzfeldtt with the Acting Ambassador of the USSR in the PR China, Comrade Yelisavetin, on 10 March 1969'

    Notes on acting Ambassador of the USSR in the People’s Republic of China Alexei Yalisavetin’s remarks to German Democratic Republic Ambassador Gustav Hertzfeldtt about what he viewed as China’s troubling anti-Sovietism as well as the PRC’s attempt at rapprochement with America and West Germany. Yalisavetin also discussed the eventuality of Mao Zedong’s death and named Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, and Yao Wenyuan as likely successors.

  • March 15, 1969

    Mao Zedong's Talk at a Meeting of the Central Cultural Revolution Group (Excerpt)

    Mao Zedong claimed that the whole country should be prepared against the Soviet Union's invasion.

  • March 22, 1969

    Zhou Enlai's Report to Mao Zedong and Mao's Comments

  • March 24, 1969

    Col. Mieczysław Białek, 'Record of Conversation with RSR Military Attaché Office'

    The Romanian military attaché discusses the Sino-Soviet border conflict and the state of Sino-North Korean relations. The Polish attaché describes Romania as being "under a considerable Chinese influence.

  • April 01, 1969

    Embassy of the GDR in the PRC, 'Note about a Working Breakfast of the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors of the Fraternal Countries on 28 March 1969 in the Bulgarian Embassy'

    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 border incident at the Ussuri River, among other recent developments in China.

  • April 02, 1969

    Telegram to East German Foreign Ministry from Ambassador to China

    East German Ambassador Oskar Fischer reports on Soviet attempts to meet with Mao or Zhou Enlai about the on-going Sino-Soviet border dispute.

  • April 03, 1969

    Report, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Lin Biao, 3 April 1969

  • April 28, 1969

    Embassy of the GDR in the PRC, 'Note about a “Club Talk” of the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors of the fraternal countries on 25 April 1969 in the Embassy of the GDR'

    Ambassadors to China from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and Mongolia discuss Chinese border provocations, the ninth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, and other aspects of Chinese domestic and foreign policy.

  • 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.

  • June 12, 1969

    Note Number 760 from Geoffroy Chodron de Courcel to Michel Debré, 'Chinese Foreign Policy'

    The French Ambassador in Great Britain reports new details on border clashes between China and the Soviet Union in Xinjiang-Kazakhstan, Chinese diplomacy in the Third World and with the West, and the state of Sino-British relations.

  • June 26, 1969

    Letter from Mario Crema to Pietro Nenni

    Crema outlines the current trends of Chinese foreign policy as Chinese mission leaders abroad gradually return and border tensions with the USSR arise.

  • July 16, 1969

    Record of a Conversation [with] H. Humphrey in the Izvestiya Newspaper's Editorial Offices

    L.N. Tolkunov and Hubert Humphrey discuss Soviet-American and Sino-Soviet relations, as well as domestic politics in the United States.

  • August 23, 1969

    Telegram from Aurel Duma to Corneliu Manescu Concerning the Conversation with Zhou Enlai

    Telegram from Aurel Duma detailing his meeting with Chinese premier Zhou Enlai. Enlai remarks that China believes Soviet citizens to be unhappy with the anti-China stance taken by the USSR. He also discusses Soviet interventions in Chinese territory, specifically Xinjiang.

  • August 28, 1969

    The CCP Central Committee's Order for General Mobilization in Border Provinces and Regions

  • September 11, 1969

    Note of Conversation between Ion Gheorge Maurer and Zhou Enlai on 11 September 1969

    Zhou Enlai describes his his meeting with Aleksey Kosygin to Ion Gheorge Maurer. The Enlai and Kosygin agree that they will keep the status quo along the Sino-Soviet border, as to not let it come to violence. They also agreed verbally to rework the old border treaties, created in the imperial era. Enlai holds that there are too many differences between China and the USSR to work out easily, but Maurer states that it is a good start.

  • September 11, 1969

    Soviet Report, Information on A.N. Kosygin’s Conversation With Zhou Enlai

    A.N. Kosygin met with Zhou Enlai, Li Xiannian, and Xie Fuzhi in an effort to improve strained relations between the Soviet Union and China. The main focus was the on-going Sino-Soviet border dispute. Kosygin also proposed the expansion of trade relations and economic cooperation as well as the normalizing of railroad and aviation connections. Significantly, the Soviet premier also acquiesced when Zhou declared that Beijing would not curtail its political and ideological criticism of the Soviet Union.

  • September 18, 1969

    Letter, Zhou Enlai to Alexei Kosygin