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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 08, 1949


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    Mao thanks Stalin for sending over Ivan Kovalev to help with economic struggles in China. Mao asks for materials with which China may build railroads.
    "Cable, Mao Zedong to Stalin," January 08, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF: F. 39, Op. 1, D. 37, L. 1. Reprinted in Andrei Ledovskii, Raisa Mirovitskaia and Vladimir Miasnikov, Sovetsko-Kitaiskie Otnosheniia, Vol. 5, Book 2, 1946-February 1950 (Moscow: Pamiatniki Istoricheskoi Mysli, 2005), p. 10. Translated for CWIHP by Sergey Radchenko.
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Comrade Stalin!

We are very grateful to you that you sent to us Comrade [Ivan] Kovalev for helping us in restoring railroads and other economic work!

With the help of Comrade Kovalev and other Soviet comrades the transport lines of the railroads in Manchuria have mainly been restored. Now Cde. Kovalev, together with the Chinese comrades, developed a plan of restoring the railroads of all of northern China, i.e. in the region north of the Yangzi River with the length of more than three thousand kilometers, in 1949. If this plan is implemented by the winter of this year, then we will have 18,000 kilometers of railroads (inclusive here of the Manchurian railroads), which will be put into use. For the implementation of this plan a series of most necessary materials will be needed; also needed will be locomotives, machines, instruments, oil and other materials for restoring the railroads in northern China. But besides what we can provide for ourselves, we need urgent help on your part, i.e. to receive from you a large part of these materials—only then will we be able to begin the work to restore the railroads.

Attaching herewith two lists of requests for materials, to procure which we need your help, as pointed out above, [I] request that you look through these lists and if [we] are able to receive approval on your part, and also if you make orders to supply [these materials] to us as soon as possible on credit with the fastest possible loading and dispatch, we will be very grateful to you.

With Bolshevik greetings and the best wishes for your health.

Mao Zedong
8 January 1949.