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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 08, 1959

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION WITH THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CCP CC, DENG XIAOPING

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    Memorandum of a conversation between V. S. Chervonenko and Deng Xiaoping. Chervonenko and Xiaoping discussed the progress of the socialist camp and emphasized friendship, unity and solidarity in their relations.
    "Memorandum of Conversation with the General Secretary of the CCP CC, Deng Xiaoping ," December 08, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI (formerly Center for Preservation of Contemporary Documentation [TsKhSD]), f. 5, op. 49, d. 235, ll. 107-110. Obtained by Paul Wingrove and translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111248
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From the diary of

S.V. CHERVONENKO

SECRET

8" December 1959

Memorandum of Conversation

with the General Secretary of the CCP CC, DENG XIAOPING

6 November 1959

I had my first visit with Deng Xiaoping and had a conversation with him. Deng Xiaoping told me that he had not yet fully recovered after breaking his leg. He is going back to work in two days, but the doctors are allowing him to work for only four hours at a time. Afterwards, he asked what was my impression of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the PRC. Answering Deng Xiaoping, I noted that the celebration had been organized on a grand scale. It demonstrated the huge enthusiasm of the people and their solidarity.

Deng Xiaoping said that he was present at the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution. In the USSR too, he added, everything had been organized well. Such round dates must be well noted. The most important point was that our great holidays demonstrate our solidarity, the great progress of the socialist camp, and the solidarity of progressive forces, of the fraternal parties.

I answered that the solidarity of the fraternal parties had found clear expression during the celebration of the CCP's tenth anniversary. During ten short years, the CCP had achieved successes which have rocked (vskolykhnut') the entire world, and no one is in a position to take those achievements away from the Chinese people. The solidarity of the fraternal peoples has already shown its great significance more than once. If, for instance, after the victory of the October Revolution, Ukraine had remained alone and had not been in the family of the other Soviet republics, it could have been overwhelmed and dismembered by the imperialists. Friendship is the greatest force of all and sometimes we do not fully recognize its significance. History will show what a huge significance it has.

Deng Xiaoping responded that unity and solidarity truly were the most important thing. With our solidarity, we do not fear any imperialists. "We are exerting every effort to preserve peace, and imperialism will perish in peaceful conditions. If madmen nevertheless unleash a war, they will only meet with their downfall. The entire affair consists of the fact that we are making progress, while they are being torn apart by contradictions. We have many friends, including in the USA - [those friends] are the working people."

I noted that comrade N.S. Khrushchev's visit demonstrated the great interest of the workers of America in our country and in socialism.

For that reason, Deng Xiaoping said, the ruling circles in the USA were afraid of that visit. They wanted to isolate comrade Khrushchev, but the people broke through the dike. Moreover, having agreed with [my] observation that even while making progress and augmenting socialism's strength it is necessary to display great vigilance toward the machinations of the imperialists, Deng Xiaoping said: "The imperialists especially want to undermine the unity of our countries, but that is a futile endeavor...."

To my observation that the most important thing in overcoming every difficulty is the presence of the leading role of the CCP, Deng Xiaoping said that both the one and the other were important, the leadership of the CCP and help from the Soviet Union. "At present," he went on, "we are in a better position than you were right after the October Revolution. If a new socialist country arises, it will, given the existence of the entire socialist camp, be in an even better position than we are. We are very happy that the situation in the Soviet Union is good in all respects. As for us, we are also not in a bad position."

I noted that even in a situation where our affairs are going well, we [always] take measures to use all our existing capacities as much as possible; we are self-critical of ourselves, and strive to root out all our shortcomings. We also have shortcomings, Deng Xiaoping answered, and they will always exist. One must even on occasion heed criticism coming from an enemy.

At the conclusion of the conversation, Deng Xiaoping said that we would meet again and more than once.

I thanked Deng Xiaoping for the conversation and expressed the hope that in its work, the Embassy would encounter assistance from him and from the CC CCP apparatus as before.

Head of the protocol division of the CCP Foreign Ministry, Yu Peiwen, assistant head of the division for the USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe Yu Zhan, [USSR] embassy counselor B.N. Vereshchagin and third secretary B.T. Kulik were present during the conversation.

Ambassador of the USSR in the PRC

[signature] (S. CHERVONENKO)

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