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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 12, 1972

ZHOU ENLAI’S TALK WITH LE DUC THO, SPECIAL ADVISER AT THE PARIS TALKS, IN BEIJING

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    Excerpt in which Zhou Enlai recounts his and Mao Zedong’s trip to China in 1945
    "Zhou Enlai’s Talk with Le Duc Tho, Special Adviser at the Paris Talks, in Beijing," July 12, 1972, 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 dashij, (Chronology of Zhou Enlai's Diplomatic Activities, 1949-1975) (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 1993), 637. Translated by Qiang Zhai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111531
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In 1945 Chairman Mao went to Chongqing to negotiate with Chiang Kai-shek. Before his departure, he asked the liberation areas to prepare for war and not to worry about his safety. At that time, many of our comrades in the liberation areas disapproved Chairman Mao's trip because they were afraid that Chiang Kai-shek would imprison Chairman Mao. Stalin sent us a telegram and Chairman Ho was aware of this matter. Stalin said that we must go to Chongqing to negotiate; otherwise the Chinese nation faced the danger of being destroyed. He was frightened by the two atomic bombs of the United States. The telegram was not signed with Stalin's name. In the end, both Chairman Mao and I went. Chairman Mao told me that we must be ready to be imprisoned and that imprisonment would give us time to read books. We cabled the liberation areas that if Chiang Kai-shek attacked you, you should resist him resolutely. While we were negotiating, our forces annihilated one division of Chiang Kai-shek's troops in North China. As a result, Chairman Mao returned to Yanan safely.



CHINESE (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

1945年毛主席到重庆去同蒋介石谈判。他走时指示解放区要准备打仗,不要考虑毛主席的安危问题。当时我们解放区的许多同志都不赞成毛主席去,怕蒋介石把毛主席抓起来。斯大林给我们打来一个电报,胡主席知道这件事。斯大林说你一定要去重庆谈判,不然中华民族就有毁灭的危 险,他就是被美国的两颗原子弹吓住了。这个电报的署名不是用斯大林的名 字。结果毛主席和我都去了。毛主席对我说,咱们准备坐牢,坐牢好读书。 我们打电报给解放区说,如果蒋介石打你们,你们就好好地回击它。就在谈判时,我们在华北消灭它一个师,结果毛主席安全地回了延安。