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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 20, 1965

ZHOU ENLAI’S TALK WITH E. H. K. MUDENDA, AGRICULTURAL MINISTER OF ZAMBIA

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    Zhou Enlai explains Chinese opposition to peace talks with the United States to end the Vietnam War.
    "Zhou Enlai’s talk with E. H. K. Mudenda, Agricultural Minister of Zambia," August 20, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, The Diplomatic History Research Office of the People's Republic of China Foreign Ministry, ed., Zhou Enlai waijiao huodong dashiji, 1949-1975 (Chronology of Zhou Enlai's Diplomatic Activities, 1949-1975) (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 1993), p. 474. Translated by Qiang Zhai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111524
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The U.S. proposal for "unconditional discussions" is a plot. Conducting negotiations at this moment is nothing but a betrayal of the Vietnamese people, who have insisted on U.S. withdrawal of troops from Vietnam as the first step toward the settlement of the Vietnam problem. It the war continues in the present manner, the Vietnamese people can hold to their position. The war may not expand into a world war, but that probability will not be totally decided by the wish of people. If the United States wants war with China, it will not win over China. China will not ask other countries to participate in the war. Our position boils down to four sentences: (1) China will not initiate war; (2) the Chinese mean what they say; (3) China is prepared; (4) if the war breaks out, there will be no boundaries.