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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 18, 1955

PREMIER ZHOU ENLAI’S REPORT TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE ON THE POSSIBILITY OF REACHING AN ACCORD ON AN AGREED ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE ISSUE OF CHINESE AND AMERICAN NATIONALS

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    Zhou stated that the amendment to the Sino-US agreement proposed by the US on the eighth meeting showed that Washington was prepared to compromise. Zhou said that the PRC could benefit from the amendment and suggested that the PRC should accept the principles proposed by the US, make only minor changes, and seek to reach agreement as soon as possible.
    "Premier Zhou Enlai’s Report to the Central Committee on the Possibility of Reaching an Accord on an Agreed Announcement regarding the Issue of Chinese and American Nationals," August 18, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00017-15, 61-62. Translated by Yafeng Xia. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110869
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[To] the Chairman [Mao Zedong] and the Central Committee:

At the seventh Sino-American talk, the US side proposed a revised version, which consents to the format of an agreed announcement, but leaves out the issue of nationals with unfinished civil and criminal cases and the representation of civilians [by a third party]. In his speech, the US representative repeatedly claimed that the revised version is reciprocally favorable to both sides. It doesn’t violate our sovereignty or right to handle this issue. Neither does it attempt to force upon us this measure or that action, nor does it suggest that the cases of US nationals should be resolved above Chinese law. According to the US amendment and speeches, the US side is going to make concessions. The US proposed amendment is basically in our favor. It, in fact, admits our legal jurisdiction over Chinese nationals in the US Its publication would deal a severe blow to Jiang Jieshi’s bandit clique. Thus, we plan to make more modifications to the US proposed amendment and try our best to reach an agreement.

Regarding the revised US agreement, our main modification is to delete the sentence, “there are no nationals being prevented from leaving,” which is not to our advantage, and to replace it with “has already adopted, and will continue to adopt suitable measures” in order for nationals in the other country, who are willing to return, “to assert their right to return [to their country of origin].” In addition, in the light of some favorable remarks from the US representative at the seventh meeting, we will make two declarations on the two issues of civil and criminal cases and representation by the third party. We want US consent to put them on record. We will propose our amendment on this condition. If an accord could be reached on the basis of our amendment, it is in conformity with the Central Committee’s approved principle.

[We] have notified comrade [Wang] Bingnan in accordance with the aforementioned position. Hereby is the report.

Attached are instructions, the text of speech and draft agreed announcement of Chinese and American ambassadors.

Zhou Enlai

18 August 1955