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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China-Western Europe Relations

 This collection follows China's relations with countries in Western Europe from the early 1950s through the 1980s. It includes documents from China, Italy, France, West Germany, and other countries. See also the Digital Archive collection: Sino-French Normalization, 1964.For materials on China's relations with Eastern Europe, see China-Eastern Europe Relations. (Image: The Chairman of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong (r), welcomes CSU Chairman Franz Josef Strauß (l). The politicians met on January 16, 1975 in Beijing, China.)

  • August 02, 1972

    Note from State Secretary Freiherr von Braun, 'Meeting of MP Dr. Schröder with Mr. Foreign Minister in Hinterthal on July 30, 1972'

    Trip report on Dr. Gerhard Schröder's visit to China and an agreement signed by the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister expressing interest in normalizing relations with West Germany.

  • August 07, 1972

    Ambassador Pauls, Washington, to Foreign Office, 'German China Policy'

    A message from West German Ambassador Pauls about German-Chinese relations and the possible problems it could pose for the German-American relationship.

  • October 12, 1972

    Department Head van Well to Foreign Office, 'China Visit by the Foreign Minister'

    Report on a West German Foreign Ministry delegation to China lead by Walter Scheel exploring the possibility of opening diplomatic relations. In meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei they discuss detente, Chinese mistrust of the Soviet Union, and the CSCE.

  • October 13, 1972

    Telex from Department Head van Well, 'China Visit by the Foreign Minister'

    In a meeting with Foreign Minister Walter Scheel, Zhou Enlai expressed support for West Germany’s proposal to join the United Nations, discussed European security, and the China's mistrust of the Soviet Union.

  • October 26, 1972

    Draft of a Planned East German Demarche, to be Read to the Chinese Ambassador, Against Chinese Statements on the Occasion of the Establishment of Chinese-West German Diplomatic Relations and Walter Scheel's Visit

    This document is a demarche to be delivered to the Chinese ambassador in East Berlin. It was written by Erich Honecker, the general secretary of East Germany's Socialist Unity Party, on the occasion of the establishment of diplomatic relations between West Germany and the People's Republic of China (PRC). Honecker says the West German government is pursuing a revisionist policy and does not accept the post-war separation of Germany. Honecker assesses the role of Bonn in international relations as detrimental to the entire Socialist camp and regards the visit of West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel to Beijing, as well as diplomatic relations between China and West Germany, as damaging the interests of East Germany. He asks China to reconsider this policy, with reference to East Berlin's support for the PRC's territorial claims to Taiwan/Formosa. According to a marginal note, the demarche was never delivered.

  • November 27, 1972

    Report by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on Talks Between Zhou Enlai and Walter Scheel

    These statements by the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) concern talks between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and West German Foreign Minister Walter Scheel. The CC assesses the improvement of relations between China and West Germany as adverse to the interests of East Germany and of Socialism. China is criticized for not supporting the idea of a European conference on security and cooperation and for sustaining the role of organizations such as the European Economic Community and NATO. The CC expresses disagreement with China's abstention from the disarmament process and with its position within the UN.

  • June 06, 1973

    Telex from Ambassador Pauls, Beijing, to Foreign Office

    Ambassador Pauls reports a conversation with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua about the possibility of a Soviet attack on China and Chinese "Second strike capability."

  • July 09, 1973

    Report by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on China's Policy toward Western Europe and Opposition against the CSCE

    This document contains information prepared by the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) on China's European policy and Chinese opposition to the convocation of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). It states that China's overall goals are diametrically opposed to those of the European Socialist countries and their Communist parties, with Beijing identifying the Soviet Union as its primary enemy. In this light, the Soviet leadership maintains that actively confronting China in ideological and political terms remains one of the most important tasks of the Warsaw Pact countries.

  • July 18, 1973

    Preparatory Materials for East German Protest Against the Intended Establishment of a Chinese Trade Representation in West Berlin

    These documents are related to East Germany's protest against the intended establishment of a Chinese trade representation in West Berlin. The East German Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses that West Berlin cannot be regarded as part of West Germany. Therefore, by initiating diplomatic relations with West Berlin without considering the existence of the internationally acknowledged Four Power Agreement on Berlin between the US, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, China is deliberately acting against the interests of East Germany.

  • July 18, 1973

    Letter from the Deputy Minister of the GDR Council of Ministers to Comrade Hermann Axen

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the GDR asks the PRC to comply with the status of West Berlin as part of the GDR.

  • August 02, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the Head of the China Desk in the East German Foreign Ministry and the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, Tji Hai-yuan

    This is a memorandum on a conversation reflecting the differences of opinion between the head of the China Desk in the East German Foreign Ministry and the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy Tji Hai-yuan with regard to the intended establishment of a Chinese trade representation in West Berlin. East Berlin is clearly concerned such a step might favor West Germany's alleged goal of winning sovereignty over West Berlin, in violation of the Four Power Agreement. Tji states that he does not understand the East German position, and that the activities of Chinese diplomats in West Berlin are in accordance with international law. He rejects the notion that these relations might conceivably harm the interests of East Germany.

  • October 10, 1973

    Verbatim Transcript of the First Meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai and Pierre Trudeau discuss Canada's overarching foreign policy positions and Sino-Canadian relations. Trudeau says that Canada wants to be "a strong country with a strong identity."

  • October 11, 1973

    Meeting of Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Zhou Enlai at the State Guest House (Diaoyutai)

    Zhou Enlai offers Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau an extensive history of the Chinese Civil War and Chinese Revolution. Zhou also comments on China's foreign policy positions toward and views on the Soviet Union, nuclear war, Bangladesh, revisionism, and great power hegemony, among other topics.

  • November 24, 1973

    Cable from Ambassador Pauls to the Foreign Office

    A cable from Ambassador Pauls about a meeting between Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and Federal Minister Genscher about Soviet expansionism and Europe’s defensive readiness.

  • December 03, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in East Berlin and the Head of the West Berlin Press Office on China's Intention to Establish a Trade Representation and Consulate in West Berlin

    This is a memorandum of a conversation between the first secretary of the Soviet embassy in East Berlin, Rodin, and the director of the West Berlin Press Office, Günter Struve, with regard to China's intention to establish a trade representation in West Berlin. Apart from stressing that by initiating diplomatic relations with West Berlin, China is not implicitly acknowledging the existing international agreements, Rodin makes clear that East Germany will not rescind the rules on obligatory currency exchange for citizens of Western states.

  • December 18, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation Between the Head of the Far Eastern Department in the East German Foreign Ministry Liebermann and Chinese Ambassador Peng Guang-wei on China's Intention to Establish Diplomatic Presence in West Berlin

    This memorandum of conversation between the Head of the Far East Department in the East German Foreign Ministry Liebermann and Chinese Ambassador Peng Guang-Wei refers to China's intention to establish diplomatic relations with West Berlin. The East German side stresses the fact that countries such as Hungary and Bulgaria also established diplomatic relations with West Berlin taking into considerations the conditions posed by the international law and that China should do the same.

  • June 14, 1974

    Cable from Ambassador Pauls to the Foreign Office, 'China – Federal Republic'

    West German Ambasador to China, Rolf Pauls, summarizes the current status of relations between China and West Germany and recommends increasing political contacts and political relations.

  • May, 1975

    Itinerary of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping's Visit to France from 12 to 17 May 1975

    Itinerary for the visit of Deng Xiaoping, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, to France. Deng's visit includes meetings with Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and Foreign Minister Jean Sauvagnargues, as well as visits to a farm outside Paris and the Phenix nuclear reactor in Marcoule.

  • May 12, 1975

    Record of Conversation between French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac and Vice Premier of the People's Republic Deng Xiaoping

    French Prime Minister Chirac and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping discuss economic relations and technology exchange between China and France. They also discuss the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and issues of collective security in asia.

  • May 13, 1975

    Record of Conversation between French President Giscard d'Estaing and Vice Premier of the People's Republic Deng Xiaoping: First Meeting

    French President Giscard and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping discuss the current international situation, including the balance of power between the Soviet Union and the United States and issues of European unity and security. They also discuss the current situation in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos following the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.