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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 10, 1962

ENTRY FROM THE JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO INDIA BENEDIKTOV, CONVERSATION WITH "COMRADE E"

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    Journal entry by Benediktov describing a conversation with the charge d'affairs of the Chinese Embassy in India, Comrade E Cheng-Cheng, referred to as "Comrade E." in the document. In the conversation, the Chinese official gave Beijing's version of the building Sino-Indian border confrontation, blaming India for attacking Chinese posts along the border, and asserting that India had "gone too far" to resume normal relations with the PRC. Ten days later, China launched a broad attack on Indian positions along the disputed frontier.
    "Entry from the Journal of Soviet ambassador to India Benediktov, Conversation with "Comrade E"," October 10, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVPRF), f. 90, op. 24, d. 5, p. 44, ll. 147-148. Obtained by James Hershberg and translated by Kathryn Weathersby. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112996
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I received Comrade E. in connection with his departure for his homeland and had a conversation with him.

Comrade E. on his own initiative dwelt in detail on the problem of the Indian-Chinese border dispute. He said that India has finally rejected the proposal of the PRC about negotiations [for] 15 October in Beijing. The Indian side continues to maintain that the recent clash on the eastern border occurred on Indian territory, south of the McMahon line, and was elicited by the advance of Chinese troops to the south and their attack on Indian posts. In fact, Comrade E. said, the entire affair was completely the opposite. Indian troops crossed the McMahon line and attacked Chinese posts far to the north of that line. Comrade E. talked about his last conversation in the Indian Foreign Ministry with the head of the China department, Menon. During this conversation Comrade E. asked Menon to take a map of the eastern part of the border, published in India in 1960, and find on it the region in which the clashes are now occurring, orienting by latitude and longitude the places indicated in the Indian notes. As a result it turned out that this region, the latitude and longitude of which were indicated by the Indians themselves, is located significantly to the north of the McMahon line on Chinese territory. Menon, in the words of Comrade E., was forced to acknowledge this, but maintained at the same time that it was not possible that the Indians had crossed the McMahon line and so forth.

Comrade E. stated that the main things that will motivate India to end the conflict with the PRC are, on the international level, the wish to receive money from the USA, and on the domestic level the desire to suppress political forces which are objectionable to the ruling circles. Moreover, in the opinion of Comrade E., the Indian government has already gone too far in this conflict to have the possibility of returning to normal relations....