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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.

  • 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

    Information about A.N. Kosygin’s Conversation With Zhou Enlai on 11 September 1969

    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

  • September 22, 1969

    Stenographic Record of Meeting of Khabarovsk Regional and City Party Officials

    Stenographic records of a meeting of Soviet Communist Party officials and activists in the regions bordering the People’s Republic of China. They respond to news of the meeting between Aleksei Kosygin and Zhou Enlai in Beijing on 11 September1969. Although they all applauded Kosygin’s meeting with Zhou, some speakers noted that little change in the border situation had been observed since their encounter eleven days before. Relations along the border remained tense with regular incursions from Chinese citizens into Soviet territory.

  • October 01, 1969

    Mao Zedong's Conversation with North Korean Official Choe Yong-geon (Excerpt), 1 October 1969, at the Tiananmen Gate

    Mao Zedong listed the common sense and common interests that China and North Korea share.

  • October, 1969

    Polish-Soviet Talks in Moscow

    Excerpts from Polish-Soviet talks that focus on the China question. Brezhnev posits that the Chinese were the source of ideological divergence, and more specifically that their attitude has progressed to anti-Sovietism and anti-communism. Included is a report from a meeting with Zhou Enlai, who in discussing Czechoslovakia said a "process of bourgeoisie transformation and corruption was taking place over there, which is normal for all of the socialist countries." He attributed the cultural revolution with cutting off the roots of corruption in China.

  • October 06, 1969

    Notes from a Conversation between Comrade Rakhmanin and Comrade Bruno Mahlow on Chinese Leadership and the Situation in China

    Rakhmanin discusses the topics addressed by Zhou Enlai and Comrade Kosygin in a recent meeting. He highlights such topics of conversation as Chinese/Soviet border lines, propaganda issues, Chinese domestic disturbances and foreign policies issues.

  • October 07, 1969

    Zhou Enlai's Talk at a Meeting of the Chinese Delegation Attending the Sino-Soviet Border Negotiation (Excerpt)

  • 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.

  • December 29, 1969

    Note on Exchanges of Opinions by the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors of Hungary, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, Bulgaria, Poland, and Mongolia on the Subject of 'The PRC Position vis-a-vis the Socialist Countries' on 21 November and 3 December

    Ambassadors of Hungary, GDR, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, Bulgaria, Poland, and Mongolia discuss the development of socialism and Maoism in the PRC in relation to other countries in the socialist camp.

  • December 31, 1969

    Letter, A. Grechko to the CPSU CC

    A. Grechko conveys the Ministry of Defense's views on negotiations between the Soviet Union and China.

  • January 06, 1970

    Embassy of the GDR in the PR China, 'Note about the “Club Meeting” of the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors of Hungary, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, Poland, Bulgaria, and Mongolia on 19 December 1969 in the Embassy of Mongolia'

    Ambassadors to China from Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, and Mongolia discuss Chinese preparations for war, Maoist groups in Western Europe and Japan, and other aspects of Chinese foreign policy.

  • January 10, 1970

    Embassy of the GDR in the PR China, 'Note about the “Club Meeting” of the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors of Hungary, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, Poland, Bulgaria, and Mongolia on 9 January 1970 in the Embassy of the PR Poland'

    Ambassadors to China from Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria, and Mongolia discuss the situations in Guangzhou and Shanghai, Chinese preparations for war, Chinese anti-Sovietism in the New Year Editorial, and Chinese foreign relations.

  • March 10, 1970

    Embassy of the GDR in the PR China, 'First Assessment of the Course of the Chinese Leadership “Preparation for a Scenario of War and a Scenario of Disaster, Everything for the People”'

    This document contains the East German (GDR) Embassy in China’s summary and preliminary evaluation of Chinese foreign policy aimed at achieving super power status, domestic militarization in China, and efforts to foster political unity around Maoist ideology.

  • July 31, 1970

    Untitled Soviet report on Soviet-Chinese negotiations on border issues

    This report, prepared by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, states Moscow's readiness to resume negotiations with Beijing on the issue of border clashes along the Soviet-Chinese border.

  • August 27, 1970

    Embassy of the GDR in the PR China, 'Note about a Conversation of the Ambassador of the GDR in the PR China, Comrade Hertzfeldt, with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the PR China, Qiao Guanhua, on 24 August 1970 between 17:00 and 18:00 hours'

    A discussion about the East Germany, West Germany, and the Sino-Soviet border conflict.

  • September 16, 1971

    German translation of a Russian-language information from the CPSU Central Committee sent to GDR leader Erich Honecker

    A report on Sino-Soviet and Sino-American relations with a discussion of Maoist policy. Specific attention is called to Sino-Soviet border disputes.

  • January 04, 1972

    Information # 2 / 72 for the Members and Candidates of the Politburo of the Central Committee, 'Information about the So-Called Disputed Territories at the Soviet-Chinese Border'

    A report, produced by the CPSU and shared with the East German SED, on the Sino-Soviet border conflict. The CPSU analyzes China's position on the disputed territories in their shared border, and how the Soviet Union ought to respond.

  • May 21, 1973

    Sixth Interkit Meeting, Record of Meetings with Oleg Rakhmanin and Konstantin Katushev

    These are the records of two meetings on the occasion of the Sixth Interkit Meeting. The first of these involves a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Oleg Rakhmanin, while the second is a meeting with the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Konstantin Katushev. Both address relations between China and the Soviet Union. The documents discuss the Sino-Soviet border clashes, the Soviet security policy in the Far East and Siberia, and the position of countries such as Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania, as well as the critical situation in Vietnam and Cambodia.