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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.

  • September 25, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 16 (Overall Issue No. 19)

    This issue includes reports about wages for government staff and employment for People's Liberation Army soldiers once they leave active duty. It also features a statement from the Chinese and American ambassadors about the repatriation of citizens held in either country. Other sections cover topics such as the administration of local People's Broadcasting Stations, the administration of railways, and plans to improve physical education in primary and secondary schools.

  • October 15, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 17 (Overall Issue No. 20)

    This issue begins with reports about granting awards for military service as well as about economic development and the national plan in 1954. It also covers the then-ongoing Sino-American ambassadorial talks, features a report about Chinese mineral reserves, and includes instructions for the storage of autumn grain.

  • December 30, 1955

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1955, No. 23 (Overall Issue No. 26)

    This issue begins with a statement about the American violation of the Sino-U.S. ambassadorial agreement to repatriate citizens held in either country. It also discusses a Sino-Soviet agreement to combat crop diseases and to engage in pest control. Other sections cover light industries, art and cultural work in factories and mines, and protections for young people.

  • January 16, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 02 (Overall Issue No. 28)

    This issue begins with an announcement from the Chinese, Mongolian, and Soviet governments about the completion of a connective railway. Zhou Enlai and the Chinese government also recognize the independence of Sudan. Other sections discuss the ongoing Sino-American ambassadorial talks, retirement and sick leave benefits for state employees, and the simplification of Chinese characters.

  • January 30, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 04 (Overall Issue No. 30)

    This issue covers the Sino-American ambassadorial talks. It also discusses the employment of People's Liberation Army soldiers once they are discharged. Other sections address propaganda for miners and workers during the Spring Festival and formatting documents for the State Council.

  • February 06, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 05 (Overall Issue No. 31)

    Several sections of this issue address agricultural development and production. It also includes a statement about U.S. State Department misinterpretations of the Sino-American ambassadorial talks. One section discusses winter vacation activities for students in primary, secondary, and normal (pedagogical) schools.

  • March 13, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 10 (Overall Issue No. 36)

    This issue begins with a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about American efforts to delay and obstruct the Sino-U.S. ambassadorial talks. It also announces and discusses a Sino-Lebanese trade agreement. Other sections cover the organization of local People's Committees, the socialist transformation of rural private businesses, wholesale and retail improvements for department stores, and the transfer of six "natural villages" (自然屯) from Hebei Province to Liaoning.

  • March 19, 1956

    Statement released by the Department of State (Press Release 115) commenting on a Chinese Communist Statement of March 4

    The United States responds to a Chinese statement concerning the ambassadorial talks.

  • March 22, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 11 (Overall Issue No. 37)

    This issue discusses the distortion of facts in a March 6 US State Department statement about the Sino-American ambassadorial talks. Two sections address calculating years of work experience for military personnel after they change careers and the way that others should treat them in the workplace. Finally, several reports consider various provincial administrative concerns, such as the division and merging of different counties.

  • 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 20, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 23 (Overall Issue No. 49)

    This issue addresses the temporary withdrawal of Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission inspection teams from designated North and South Korean ports. It also discusses the Sino-American ambassadorial talks, results from the national economic plan for 1955, and environmental and industrial concerns. One section addresses the problem of reducing illiteracy among opera and drama artists.

  • September 29, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 35 (Overall Issue No. 61)

    This issue first discusses the problem of the Suez Canal in Egypt. It also addresses Sino-Nepalese relations, the establishment of Sino-Yemeni relations, and whether the Sino-American ambassadorial talks should consider the US-China trade embargo. Other sections cover domestic topics such as disaster relief and student dropouts.

  • October 26, 1956

    Gazette of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, 1956, No. 38 (Overall Issue No. 64)

    This issue begins with a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about American efforts to deliberately obstruct the Sino-US ambassadorial talks and prevent cultural exchange. It also discusses topics such as wage reforms for new joint public-private ventures, purchasing and storing seeds to prepare for disasters, and various provincial administrative concerns.

  • 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.