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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.)

  • May 31, 1956

    Memorandum of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of Ambassador R.K. Nehru

    Premier Zhou Enlai and Ambassador Nehru discuss the Korean ceasefire, the role of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee, the Sino-American ambassadorial talks, and the situation in Indochina.

  • June 22, 1956

    Minutes of Zhou Enlai’s Meeting with Burmese Ambassador U Hla Maung

    Zhou Enlai and U Hla Maung discuss the overseas Chinese in Burma and Burma's ties to Taiwan.

  • October 14, 1956

    Notes of an Interview with Zhou Enlai

    Zhou Enlai describes China's desire to gain international recognition. However, the question of Taiwan as one out of "Two Chinas" makes it difficult to agree internationally, since Great Britain and the United States recognize Taiwan and not PR China as the legitimate Chinese government. Hong Kong and the US endeavor to gain control of Chiang Kai-Shek's Taiwan are also discussed.

  • November 02, 1956

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou’s receiving of the Hungarian Ambassador to China Ágoston Szkladán on his Farewell Visit

    Zhou Enlai and Hungarian Ambassador to China Ágoston Szkladán discuss the ongoing Hungarian Revolution, and Szkladán asks for economic assistance from the other Communist countries for this issue.

  • January 11, 1957

    Notes from the Completed Discussions of 11 and 12 January 1957 between the Delegates of the Chinese People’s Republic and Poland (Excerpts)

    Gomulka describes the 1956 Polish protests and his confrontation with Soviet authorities.

  • January 21, 1957

    Summary of the Two Conversations between Premier Zhou and Prime Minister Khan of Afghanistan

    Zhou Enlai and Mohammed Daoud Khan agree to strengthen cooperation between China and Afghanistan.

  • February 16, 1957

    Premier Zhou Enlai Receives Pakistani Ambassador Ahmed, and Accepts Letter From Pakistani Premier Suhrawady Explaining the Kashmir Issue

    Zhou Enlai and Pakistani Ambassador Ahmed discuss the Indian-Pakistani dispute over Kashmir, the likelihood of a military conflict in the region, and the possibility that such a conflict could be used by the United States to its advantage.

  • June 13, 1957

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Premier Zhou’s Conversation with Ambassador Nehru'

    Premier Zhou Enlai and Indian Ambassador Ratan Kumar Nehru exchanged views on Taiwan Incident and situation in West Asia.

  • January 08, 1958

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Soviet Ambassador Yudin (Excerpt)

    Zhou Enlai discusses the withdrawal of the Chinese People's Volunteers from North Korea with Ambassador Pavel Yudin and North Korea's views on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

  • February 06, 1958

    Abstract of Conversation: Premier Zhou and Ambassador Nehru

    Indian Ambassador to China Nehru and Premier Zhou discuss Sino-British relations, focusing on Britain's position on Chinese representation at the United Nations. According to the Premier, Britain is acceding to American demands and allowing the United States to create 'two Chinas.'

  • February 19, 1958

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 19 February 1958

    Zhou Enlai gives a speech regarding the positions expressed in the joint Statement of the DPRK and PRC governments and confirms the friendship of the two states.

  • September 30, 1958

    Memorandum of Conversation: Premier Zhou Receives Indian Ambassador to China Parthasarathy

    Premier Zhou and Ambassador Parthasarathy discuss Chinese representation at the United Nations, progress at the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks in Warsaw, and the ongoing crisis in Taiwan. Zhou expresses frustration with American intransigence regarding Taiwan, particularly its insistence on a ceasefire, which Zhou views as an attempt "to fool the people of the world," and vows that China will continue to fight in Taiwan.

  • October 05, 1958

    Meeting Minutes, Zhou Enlai’s Conversation with S.F. Antonov on the Taiwan Issue (excerpt)

    Speaking with Soviet Charge d'Affaires Antonov, Zhou Enlai analyzes the American response to the Chinese bombing of Jinmen Island.

  • November 22, 1958

    Record of Conversation from the Premier's Reception of the Korean Government Delegation

    Zhou Enlai and Kim Il Sung discuss the economic situation, electricity production, agricultural production, cooperativization, and the military in North Korea, as well as the withdrawal of the Chinese People's Army from the DPRK. Zhou and Kim also touched on issues relating to U.S.-Japan relations, inter-Korean relations, Chinese development, the Great Leap Forward, U.S. global strategy, Korean nationals in Japan, and Taiwan.

  • February 19, 1959

    Record of Premier Zhou Enlai's Talk with Vietnamese Government Economic Mission

    Zhou Enlai and Le Thanh Nghi review Chinese economic aid to North Vietnam.

  • September 20, 1959

    Communique from the Talks held between Ishibashi Tanzan and Zhou Enlai

    Ishibashi Tanzan met with Zhou Enlai and both agreed that "the peoples of China and Japan should hold hands and contribute to peace in Far East and the world."

  • April 20, 1960

    Record of Conversation between Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou Enlai

    Record of conversation between Nehru and Zhou discussing the Sino-Indian border dispute and recent situation in Tibet. Two leaders exchanged their views on the issues.

  • April 20, 1960

    Record of the Talks between PM [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou [Zhou Enlai] held on 20th April, 1960, from 5 p.m. 7 p.m. at the Prime Minister's Residence

    Record of conversation between Indian PM Nehru and Chinese Premier Zhou explaining their own nation's rights over the contested border area. They disagree with each other on the basic facts.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Vice-President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

    Vice-Prisident Radhakrishnan discussed the historical mutual friendship between China and India. He indicated that the mutual friendship will help to solve the border dispute. Zhou replied that the historical disputes shall be resolved by the new government.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Conversation between R.K. Nehru and Zhou Enlai

    PM Nehru first asked Premier Zhou regarding the political situation in Middle East, paticularly U.A.E, Syria and Egypt. Then, Nehru expressed his concern on the revolt in Tibet 1959. Zhou addressed the Tibet incident was China's domestic affairs.