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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 30, 1964


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    Information note from First Secretary I. Kalabukhov of the Far Eastern Department of the CC CPSU on Chinese teritorial claims on the People's Republic of Mongolia. The note recounts the discussions between Chinese leaders Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai with Com. A.I. Mikoyan on 7 April 1956.
    "Information Memorandum, 'About the Claims of the Chinese Leaders With Regard to the Mongolian People's Republic'," January 30, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Sergey Radchenko
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Information Memorandum, "About the Claims of the Chinese Leaders With Regard to the Mongolian People's Republic," by First Secretary of the Far Eastern Department of the USSR, I. Kalabukhov, 30 January 1964


About the claims of the Chinese leaders with regard to the Mongolian People's Republic (information)

After the 20th Congress of the CPSU, Com. A.I. Mikoyan visited the People's Republic of China and had conversations with the leading comrades of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]. During the conversation of Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai with Com. A.I. Mikoyan on 7 April 1956, the question was raised that Mongolia was at one time a part of China. Zhou Enlai, having reminded that in 1949, during com. A.I. Mikoyan's stay in China, they [the Chinese leaders] raised before Stalin the question of the possibility of returning Mongolia to the PRC [People's Republic of China] and that then Stalin through com. A.I. Mikoyan gave a wrong answer, asked whether we consider this answer one of Stalin's mistakes.

{{{ Note: In February 1949 during the confidential trip of com. A.I. Mikoyan to Shijiazhuang ahead of the 3rd March Plenum of the CC CCP, Mao Zedong in his conversation with the former, in the presence of Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai, raised the question of uniting two parts of Mongolia. Com. A. I. Mikoyan replied that, taking into consideration the territorial integrity of China, this would not be in China's interests, because a large part of the country--Inner Mongolia--would break away. Mao Zedong then commented that he had in mind the unification of Mongolia with its accession to China. Com. A.I. Mikoyan declared that the Mongolian people have tasted the fruits of sovereign existence and will hardly agree to abandon independence, in any case this question was the business of the Mongolian people. This note is based on oral report of a referent of the CC CPSU Department [for Relations with Socialist Countries] c. A.N. Katerinich, who has seen the transcript of com. A.I. Mikoyan's conversation. On this trip com. A.I. Mikoyan was accompanies by c. E.F. Kovalev. }}}

In response to com. A.I. Mikoyan's objection to the effect that he considers that Stalin was right then and that he still has the same opinion, that is--that Stalin gave a correct answer, Zhou Enlai said that formally Stalin really did give the right answer, having said that the Mongolian comrades should be asked about Mongolia's accession to China, because only they can solve this question. But in accordance with party principles, Stalin should have answered differently. Zhou Enlai supposed that Stalin should have expressed his opinion, because at the time that was a conversation between communists, and then he could say that the Chinese should talk to the Mongolians. Zhou Enlai believes that Stalin evaded this question and did not express his opinion. Com. A.I. Mikoyan explained that this answer of Stalin's should be interpreted in the sense that Stalin in effect spoke against raising the question about Mongolia's accession to China, but since he did not want to get into an argument with the Chinese comrades on this question, he suggested to leave the solution of this question to the Mongolians.

During the same conversation Liu Shaoqi added that the Chinese people allegedly are very deeply pained by the fact of Mongolia's secession from China. He noted that when the Soviet Union was celebrating the 300-year-anniversary of reunification of Ukraine with Russia, [some people] said in China that 300 years ago Mongolia already was a part of China and asked the question whether it could be re-united with China. The Chinese, Liu Shaoqi continued, consider Mongolia, like Taiwan, a part of their territory.

Com. A.I. Mikoyan replied that it is wrong to equate Mongolia with Taiwan. The Chinese live in Taiwan, but in Mongolia there is a completely different nation. Mongolia de facto was not a part of China even under the tsar. It acquired independent existence as a state after the October Revolution and the Mongolians, having learned the taste of national independence, will now hardly want to abandon it. We, continued A.I. Mikoyan, never had a thought of joining Mongolia to the Soviet Union. When the Japanese occupied a part of China and decided to grab Mongolia as well, we defended it with weapons in our hands. When the danger passed, we pulled out our forces from the MPR [Mongolian People's Republic] and helped the Mongolians create a national army to defend their own country. Moreover, at the time some Mongolian comrades raised the question of joining Mongolia to the USSR as a Soviet Republic. We categorically refused this. Finally, continued com. A.I. Mikoyan, the Chinese communists should not be worried about the existence of regret in the PRC regarding the MPR's secession from China, because the very act of Mongolia's formal secession from China was carried out by Chiang Kai-shek's government, and not by the PRC government, and this act was correct and proceeded from the [actual] situation.

Zhou Enlai and Liu Shaoqi said in conclusion that they are not raising the question of reuniting Mongolia with the PRC, this could be done later, but they considered it expedient to express "the opinion of the Chinese people on this question." In April of the same year, when he was Ulaanbaatar, com. A.I. Mikoyan informed the Mongolian friends about the content of the above-mentioned conversation with Liu Shaoqi and Zhou Enlai. Tsedenbal, on behalf of the members of the Politburo of CC MPRP, declared that they agree with the stated position of com. A.I. Mikoyan and emphasized that they stand for the independence of the MPR.

1st Secretary of the Far Eastern Department of the USSR
/I. Kalabukhov/