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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks, 1955-1970

Although China and the United States were without formal diplomatic relations until 1979, the two countries agreed to maintain communications through a special mechanism, the Sino-American “Ambassadorial Talks” in Warsaw, Poland, which lasted from August 1955 through February 1970. This collection presents documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archives on the first fourteen meetings of the Ambassadorial Talks. For other Digital Archive collections on US-China relations, see Sino-American Confrontation, 1949-1971, and Sino-American Cooperation, 1972-1989.

  • August 28, 1955

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions for Ambassador Wang'

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry offers Ambassador Wang instructions for his upcoming dinner with U. Alexis Johnson.

  • August 30, 1955

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions for the 12th Meeting of the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks'

    The Foreign Ministry suspected that the US was trying to buy time using ridiculous excuses. China must prevent the US from doing so. The Ministry instructed Wang different responses to give in various scenarios, and asked Wang to change the word in the text “as soon as possible” to “expeditiously.”

  • September 05, 1955

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions for the 13th Meeting of the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks'

    According to the Ministry, it seemed that the US had agreed with the text of the agreement, and that the US was about to drop its emphasis on having China promise an exact time to release American civilians. The Ministry still instructed Wang to stand firm on China’s stance in case the US pressed the issue once again in the next meeting.

  • September 09, 1955

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions for the 14th Meeting of the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks'

    The Foreign Ministry's instructions regarding revising the draft, the preferred words, and the exchange of text and the information to release to the US after reaching an agreement.

  • 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.

  • September 19, 1958

    Letter, Mao Zedong to Zhou Enlai

    Mao responds to a letter from Zhou Enlai summarizing the Chinese-American ambassadorial meeting in Warsaw September 15 on the Taiwan Strait crisis.

  • 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.

  • 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.