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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 09, 1955

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE 14TH MEETING OF THE SINO-US AMBASSADORIAL TALKS'

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    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.
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions for the 14th Meeting of the Sino-US Ambassadorial Talks'," September 09, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00019-01, 5-8. Translated by Yafeng Xia https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110232
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Top Secret

[To] Ambassador Wang Bingnan,

1. Your telegram dated 9:30 a.m., 8 September [1955], was received. After agreeing to the wording of the agreed announcement at the twelfth talk, the US side handed in the written agreement, in which the words “now” and “any such incident” were added. When accepting it, you did not carefully examine it and failed to notice [these changes] afterwards. Neither did you mention this in your report, nor did you telegram back the US amendment. This is negligence and a mistake. You are not allowed to commit this error in the future.

2. Based on all circumstances, it is possible that an accord could be reached on the return of civilians at the fourteenth talk. At the next meeting, we should first of all try to finalize the text of the agreed announcement. In view of the different nature of nationals of both countries, it is to our advantage to use different wordings for the notification to the other side…

3. After finalizing the text of the agreed announcement, we should take initiatives to suggest that both sides promulgate the agreed announcement simultaneously at 15:00 p.m. Geneva time (11:00 p.m. Beijing time, 24 September). You can also state that we will notify the US side of the results of the remaining US cases reviewed…If an accord could be reached, Beijing will promulgate the agreed announcement and announce the remaining US cases at an agreed time. We should also distribute the text of the agreed announcement to journalists at Geneva. But do not distribute notification of the results of the US cases.

4. Regarding the text of the agreed announcement, we should take the initiative to suggest that both sides proofread and exchange the text. But do not ask the other side to sign. We may give the text in Chinese to the other side, and ask the other side to give us the text in English. If the text is not ready at the talk, you may request a one-hour recess for proofreading and exchanging the text. You should carefully proofread the text in English submitted by the other party to guarantee that it is identical to our text in Chinese. You must know that the US side is cunning in these details and treat it with caution. Don’t be neglectful and careless.

5. After confirming that the other side has given up on its request on the issue of the time limit and consented to the condition for promulgation of the agreed announcement, you may notify the results of the US cases reviewed: three convicted US nationals will be released before their sentences expire and seven will be deported.

6. […]

7. If the US side raises the issue of the name list of US POWs from the Korean War and asks us to find out their whereabouts, you should deal with this in accordance with the telegram to you dated 10 August 1955. If the US side refuses to submit a complete list of Chinese nationals in the US, we absolutely cannot accept it nor promise to transmit it to the Korean Military Armistice Commission.[i]

8. Whether or not an accord can be reached on 10 September, we should take initiatives to suggest the next talk be on 14 September. We may also consent to a longer recess.

Foreign Ministry

10:00 p.m., 9 September 1955

[i] This is most likely referring to the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission, established at the end of the Korean War to supervise the Korean Armistice Agreement.