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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 06, 1950

CONVERSATION BETWEEN A. VYSHINSKY AND MAO ZEDONG, MOSCOW

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    In this conversation Mao and Vyshinskii talk about Sino-Soviet economic cooperation, including Soviet aid in rebuilding the Jilin power plant and provision of fuel supplies. The conversation the turns on the question of Japanese POWs. Mao wants to leave them in the USSR for a while longer, and Vyshinskii agrees. Finally, Mao tells Vyshinskii that he is of the opinion that the USSR and China must sign a new treaty of alliance, to which Vyshinskii (possibly unaware of the TASS interview) replies that he sees difficulties in this.
    "Conversation between A. Vyshinsky and Mao Zedong, Moscow," January 06, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF, f. 0100, op. 43, d. 43, papka 302, ll. 1-5. Obtained by Odd Arne Westad Daniel Rozas. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112676
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FROM THE DIARY OF SECRET
A.Y. VYSHINSKY

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION WITH THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLE'S CENTRAL GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, MAO ZEDONG
6 January 1950

On 6 January of the current year, I visited Mao Zedong. After a brief exchange of greetings and formalities conversation of the following content took place.


1. I informed Mao Zedong that with regard to the request of the People's Central Government of the People's Republic of China for assistance with the disastrous condition of the Jilin [Xiaofengman] hydro-electric power station, the Soviet government has made a decision--to send, within a period of five days, four Soviet experts to China for a month, who must write a report on the condition of the hydro-electric generating station and draft the necessary measures for putting an end to the disastrous condition of the Jilin [Xiao-fengman] hydro-electric power station.


Mao Zedong voiced his gratitude to the Soviet Government for rendering the necessary assistance by answering that the help rendered by the Soviet Union in this matter is of great significance to China's entire national economy.


2. I informed Mao Zedong that, with regard to Liu Shaoqi's telegram concerning fuel supplies from the Soviet Union for the use of pilot training, [we] intend to answer that, according to calculations made by our experts, it has been determined that the need for fuel for the aforementioned purpose is determined by the standards of the Soviet Army in the following amounts: 13,400 tons of high-octane gasoline, 5,270 tons of low-octane gasoline, 1,315 tons of aviation oil, and 26 tons of product P-9.


The Soviet Government will give an order to direct the aforementioned amount of fuel to China in the course of the first half of the year, starting with January. As far as the methods and conditions of payment by China for the delivered fuel are concerned, they can be determined during the negotiations concerning the commodity circulation for the year 1950.


Mao Zedong voiced his agreement with the telegram and asked to express gratitude to the Soviet Government for this assistance. As far as the amount of fuel goes, he said that "our people would like to acquire more" and they have to be under strict control. He is grateful to the Soviet Government for reviewing the calculations in this situation, an action with which he completely agrees. Mao Zedong added that the matter of fuel expenditure has to be dealt with in a strict manner, because it will be in the interests of China itself, which must be more frugal in using the articles of outside assistance. Mao Zedong asked [me] to leave him the text of the telegram.


3. I asked Mao Zedong whether he thinks it would be more expedient for the People's Republic of China to address the Security Council of the United Nations with a declaration that the remaining of the Guomindang representative in the Security Council is unlawful and that he must be expelled from the Council. As for itself, the Soviet Union intends to support this kind of declaration and, in its turn, to demand the Security Council to expel the representative of the Guomindang group from the Council. In the event that the Guomindang representative remains in the Security Council, the Soviet representative will declare that he will not participate in the work done by the aforementioned Council so long as the Guomindang representative will be participating in it.


Mao Zedong said that he agrees with this course a hundred percent and thinks that copies of such a declaration from the People's Republic of China to the Security Council can be directed to the members of the Security Council simultaneously.


I noted that after coordinating this matter from the Chinese side, I will have to present the proposal to the Soviet Government for consideration.


4. Mao Zedong said that, in regard to the message of the Soviet Government to the People's Government of China concerning the Japanese military criminals /971 persons/, he would like to report the following:


1. In general, there is no doubt that the Japanese military criminals must be transferred to China to stand trial.


2. However, the Chinese Government intends to put the Japanese military criminals on trial at the same time as the Guomindang military criminals. The organization of such a trial process is planned to take place approximately during the first or second half of 1951. Therefore, it would be desirable for the Soviet Government to agree temporarily to keep the aforementioned Japanese military criminals in the Soviet Union, roughly until the second half of 1950.


I noted that, since the Soviet Union is bound by corresponding obligations -- to repatriate all Japanese military prisoners by January of 1950, perhaps it would be more expedient to agree on formally considering the Japanese military criminals as having been transferred to China, but in fact to temporarily leave them on the Soviet territory.


Mao said that this is the exact formula he considers to be the most expedient.


5. Mao stated that he is increasingly coming to the conclusion that the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union need to draft a new treaty of friendship and alliance between the two nations. The drafting of a new treaty between us, he said, stems from the completely new relations, which have evolved between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union following the victory of the People's Revolution. A review of the existing treaty is especially necessary, since two important components of the treaty, Japan and the Guomindang, have suffered major changes: Japan has ceased to exist as an armed force and the Guomindang has been broken up. Besides, as is well known, a certain group of the Chinese people is expressing dissatisfaction with the existing treaty between China and the Soviet Union. Thus, the drafting of a new treaty of friendship and alliance between China and the USSR would be in the best interests of both sides.


While answering Mao Zedong, I said that the question of a new treaty, in my eyes, seems to be a complicated matter, since the signing of a new treaty or reviewing of the existing treaty and introduction of any kind of corrections may be used as an excuse by the Americans and the English for reviewing and altering parts of the treaty, changing which may cause damage to Soviet and Chinese interests. This is not desirable and must not be allowed to occur.
Mao noted that, without a doubt, this circumstance must be taken into consideration when creating a formula for solving the given problem.


Persons present during the conversation: comrades Kovalev I.V., Fedorenko N.T., and also Wang Jiaxiang and Shi Zhe /Karskiy/.

The conversation lasted approximately 45 minutes.

A. Vyshinsky