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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 10, 1949

CABLE, STALIN TO MAO ZEDONG, NANJING PEACE PROPOSAL

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    Stalin informs Mao that they received a note from the Chinese Nationalist government in Nanjing proposing that the Soviet government act as a mediator between the Nanjing government and the Chinese Communist Party in the termination of the ongoing civil war.
    "Cable, Stalin to Mao Zedong, Nanjing Peace Proposal," January 10, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF), f. 45, op. 1, d. 330, pp. 95-96. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112659
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Comrade Mao Zedong.


On January 9 we received a note from the Nanjing government, proposing that the Soviet government act as a mediator between the Nanjing government and the Chinese Communist party [CCP] in the termination of war and the conclusion of peace. A similar proposal was sent simultaneously to the governments of the USA, Britain and France. The Nanjing government has not received any answer from these governments yet. Neither has the Soviet government given its answer. Obviously, the government's proposal had been inspired by the Americans. The aim of this proposal is to present the Nanjing government as the advocate of the termination of war and a peaceful settlement, while the Communist party of China would be presented as the advocate of the continuation of war, if it would directly reject peace negotiations with Nanjing.


We think we will give the following answer: the Soviet government was and continues to be in favour of the termination of war and the establishment of peace in China, but before agreeing to mediation it would like to know whether the other side--the Chinese Communist party--agrees to accept Soviet mediation. Therefore the USSR wishes that the other side--the Chinese Communist party--would be informed of the peace action by the Chinese government, and that the other side would be asked for its agreement to the mediation by the USSR. That is how we are planning to answer and we ask you to inform us whether you agree to this. If you do not, give your advice for a more expedient answer.


We also think that your answer, in case you will be asked for it, should be something like this:


The Chinese Communist party has always been a supporter of peace in China, because the civil war in China had not been started by it, but by the Nanjing government, which should bear all responsibility for the consequences of the war. The Chinese Communist party is in favour of talks with the Guomindang, but without the participation of those war criminals who provoked the civil war in China. The Chinese Communist party is in favour of the direct negotiations with the Guomindang, without any foreign mediators. The Chinese Communist party especially finds it impossible to accept the mediation by a foreign power which takes part in the civil war against the Chinese Popular Liberation forces with its armed forces and navy, because such a power cannot be regarded as neutral and impartial in the liquidation of the war in China.


We think that your answer should be approximately like this. If you do not agree, let us know of your opinion.
As for your visit to Moscow, we think that in the view of the abovementioned circumstances you should, unfortunately, postpone your trip again for some time, because your visit to Moscow in this situation would be used by the enemies to discredit the Chinese Communist party as a force allegedly dependent on Moscow, which, certainly, could bring no benefit to the Communist party of China or to the USSR.


We are waiting for your answer.
Filippov [Stalin]