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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Conversations with Zhou Enlai

Zhou Enlai served as Premier of the People's Republic of China from October 1949 until his death in January 1976 and concurrently as the first Foreign Minister from 1949 through 1958. Zhou's involvement and influence on China's foreign policy was immense. This collection features hundreds of conversations that Zhou held with leaders from dozens of countries. See also the Digital Archvie collection: Conversations with Mao Zedong. (Photo: Zhou Enlai is received by Ion Gheorghe Maurer during a visit to Romania in June 1966.)

  • February 01, 1949

    Memorandum of Conversation between Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai

    Anastas Mikoyan and Zhou Enlai discuss Chinese Communist Party contacts with the US, recognition of the coalition government, and the Chinese attitude toward foreign property.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on 15 November 1949

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Chinese Premier Enlai. Zhou Enlai puts forth some future military plans of the PLA. Specifically, the plans to enter Tibet following liberation in Xinjiang and Sichuan, and to attack Hainan are discussed. He adds that the losses incurred in the Battle of Shantou will inform the eventual attack on Formosa.

  • December 01, 1949

    From the Diary of N.V. Roshchin, Memorandum of Conversation with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on 10 November 1949

    Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Roshchin and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Zhou Enlai speaks on behalf of Mao Zedong, expressing the Chairman's desire to make a visit to Moscow.

  • January 31, 1950

    Memorandum of Conversation, Charge d’Affaires of the Soviet Embassy with Chinese Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai on 9 December 1949

    Description of a discussion between the Soviet Charge d'Affaires in the PRC and Zhou Enlai, covering Mao Zedong's trip to Moscow and recognition of the PRC by England, Burma, and India.

  • February 12, 1950

    From the Journal of Ambassador Roshchin: Top Secret Memorandum of Conversation of the Ambassador of the USSR in China N.V. Roshchin with Zhou Enlai

    Roshchin, Soviet Ambassador to China, reports on his conversation with Zhou Enlai regarding the territory of Xinjiang; plans to draft an agreement on the transfer of Manchuria from the Soviet Union to the People's Republic of China; and settling the issue of payment for Soviet specialists in China. Zhou Enlai has also asked Roshchin to inform his Soviet counterparts that 14 February would be the most convenient date to sign the Sino-Soviet agreements, as that will allow the media sufficient time to report on the treaty prior to the Chinese new year celebrations beginning on 16 February.

  • February 13, 1950

    From the Journal of Vyshinsky: Top Secret Memorandum of Conversation with Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai

    Vyshinsky reports to Stalin that Zhou Enlai wishes to publish the completed Sino-Soviet agreements. Doing so, Zhou believes, will legitimate the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China in the eyes of the world, particularly the democratic countries. However, because an agreement on publication had not previously been made, Vyshinsky tells Zhou that this is not yet possible. Vyshinsky informs Zhou that he will consult the Soviet government on this matter and report back without delay.

  • July 27, 1951

    From the Diary of N. V. Roshchin: Memorandum of Conversation with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai on 24 July 1951

    Discussion between Soviet Ambassador to the PRC Roshchin and Zhou Enlai regarding the conflict in Korea. Zhou states that the war effort is a drain on China's domestic economy, but that it will bounce back once the war is won. Also describes Chinese relations with capitalist countries. Notes that the CCP lacks technical specialists of any sort.

  • August 18, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee

    Zhou reports on the initial plans for his visit to Moscow and some of the conversations he's held concerning the Korean War.

  • August 20, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai concerning the extension of the Port Arthur agreement, the construction of a Sino-Mongolian railroad to the Soviet Union, and the situation in Korea. On the issue of Korea, they discussed sending arms shipments to China and Chinese arms production; the possibility of a Chinese offensive in Korea; and the return of POWs. Stalin reaffirmed his commitment to assisting China in the war in Korea.

  • August 22, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee

    Zhou reports on his meetings with Soviet counterparts. The discussions concerned the Lüshun Port, a possible Sino-Soviet-Mongolian railway, and rubber.

  • August 28, 1952

    Cable, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee

    Zhou reports on the latest negotiations with the Soviet Union concerning the Changchun Railway, the Lüshun Port, and a rubber agreement. Zhou and Molotov also discussed the possibility of signing peace treaties with Japan.

  • September 01, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao

    Zhou and Molotov discuss a Sino-Soviet-Mongolian railway, the rubber trade, and editorial changes to several forthcoming Sino-Soviet agreements.

  • September 03, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai on the Chinese Five-Year Plan, the Ulan-Bator-Pinditsiuan railroad, and arms sales/production. They also discussed the Korean war, Burma, and Tibet.

  • September 04, 1952

    Record of a Conversation between Stalin, Kim Il Sung, Pak Heon-yeong, Zhou Enlai, and Peng Dehuai

    Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean officials discuss the military situation in Korea and the status of armistice talks.

  • September 06, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao [Zedong] and the Central Committee

    Zhou Enlai and Stalin discuss Soviet assistance for the Chinese economy and military.

  • September 14, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong]

    Zhou and Stalin discuss the Korean War POW issue as well as the United Nations.

  • September 16, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong] and the Central Committee

    Zhou Enlai updates Mao Zedong on the latest conversations with Stalin and other members of the Soviet leadership. Topics of discussion included Soviet technical assistance to China, developments in the Korean War, the United Nations, and the formation of a regional organization for Asia.

  • September 18, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to Chairman Mao

    Zhou Enlai reports that Pavel Yudin is concerned about the size of volume two of 'The Selected Works of Mao Zedong.' Yudin makes several suggestions for resolving this problem.

  • September 19, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai focusing on the Korean War. They discussed the exchange of POWs (and the Mexican proposal), peace negotiations, Chinese cooperation with India and Burma, and the creation of regional organizations. They also mentioned Germany (reunification), the situation/reforms in Xinjiang, Taiwan and Chiang Kaishek (Jiang Jieshi), and military aid.

  • September 20, 1952

    Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee

    Zhou and Stalin discuss potential meetings with representatives from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan.