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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 22, 1969

ZHOU ENLAI'S REPORT TO MAO ZEDONG AND MAO'S COMMENTS

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    "Zhou Enlai's Report to Mao Zedong and Mao's Comments," March 22, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi, ed., Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao (Mao Zedong’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China), vol. 13 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 1998), 21. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111243
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Zhou Enlai's Report (main points)


During the evening of [March] 22 the Soviet side has inquired several times about Chairman [Mao]'s phone number. The Soviet embassy in China also has visited our foreign ministry several times, stating that "following the instructions of the Soviet Council of Ministers, [we] have messages to convey." In the meantime, our side discovered that the Soviet Army was moving in the Zhenbao Island area, and, through reconnaissance, we learned that superiors on the Soviet side had been pushing the [units on the] front-line to take action. It is estimated that it is possible for the enemy to occupy the Zhenbao Island by force today, and that what they have been doing is no more than making an empty gesture. After discussions with comrades in relevant positions, we have reached the decision to strengthen our troop and weapon deployment on the river bank, wait for the enemy's fatigue, and prepare to defeat the enemy by letting him initiate offensive action. In the meantime, we will present a formal diplomatic note to the Soviet side in a meeting with the Soviet charge d'affaires. The note will point out that considering the current status of the relationship between China and the Soviet Union, it is no longer proper for the two sides to maintain contact via telephone. If the Soviet government has something to say, it should present its opinions to the Chinese government through formal diplomatic channels.


Mao Zedong's comments on Zhou Enlai's report:


[I] agree with the stand of the minute. Immediately prepare to hold diplomatic negotiations.