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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 23, 1989


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    Information Note of Romanian Embassy from Beijing to Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Chinese position on Gorbachev’s visit to China and the resumption of Sino-Soviet relations as indicative of future closer bilateral relations between the two countries
    "Information Note of Romanian Embassy from Beijing to Ministry of Foreign Affairs," May 23, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Telegrame, folder Beijing/1989, vol. 3, pp. 10-14. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu.
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23 May 1989, 09:00 am

Deputy Foreign Minister, Cde. Olimpia Solomonescu,

On 22 May, I was invited at the [Chinese] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for a discussion with Dai Bingguo, the Director of the Bureau for USSR and East-European socialist countries. [He] gave a presentation on the recent visit by Mikhail Gorbachev in the People's Republic of China. The main points of his presentation were:

1. This high level Sino-Soviet summit, taking place after over thirty years from the last [such meeting], represents the normalization of the relationship between the two states and the two parties.

A. Both parties agreed—during the talks—that the bilateral relations must be governed by the five principles of peaceful co-existence, agreement which was reiterated in the communique. It is for the first time when both sides accept the aforementioned principles as the basis for their interaction, and this has a major significance. If, in the future, the [bilateral] interaction will follow those principles, there will be a healthy and natural development of the bilateral relations.

B. The development of the inter-party relationship will be developed on the four principles: mutual respect, non-intervention in internal issues, independence and autonomy, and full equality [among the states]. In the future, there will be professional exchanges and reciprocal information between the two parties, though the modality of accomplishing this was not decided on during the meeting.

C. Both sides declared that the normalization of their relationship is not directed against any other state.

2. In the spirit of "ending [the problems of] the past and opening [new] perspectives," sincere discussions took place, addressing the problems of the past. In the spirit, Deng Xiaoping, representing the position of the Chinese side, told [his interlocutor]:

A. In the past, the great powers have divided and humiliated China. Japan has caused the greatest damage [of all major powers] but, the Czarist Empire and the Soviet Union—during a certain time—had taken great advantage [of China's weakness]. Through inequitable treaties, including the understanding at Yalta and the treaties with the Kuomintang (the [Chinese] Nationalist Party), the Russians took from China a surface of about 3 million square Km—including the present day Popular Republic of Mongolia, territory which is [rightfully] China's.

B. In the past 30 years, the main threat to China came from the Soviet Union, which, after the cooling of relations [during Sino-Soviet split] has concentrated troops in Mongolia and at the [Sino-Soviet] border and has placed missiles in the region.

C. The main problem of the bilateral relations was the position of the USSR vis-a-vis China, which was treated from a position of superiority and inequality. Those things were said—Dai Bingguo said—so that the Soviets will know the Chinese position and, in the future, the relationship will go smoother. The Soviets mentioned that they do not entirely agree with the Chinese position, but recognized that, in regards with some issues and during a previous period, they [the Soviets] have made mistakes.

3. In regards with the important situation of Cambodia, the Chinese have, once more, made clear their position:

A. It is necessary that the Vietnamese troops withdraw and that a deception be prevented.

B. After the withdrawal of the Vietnamese [troops], and before the elections, it is essential that a coalition government, formed from all the four factions and headed by the N. Sihanouk, be created.

C. To prevent a civil war, the reduction of [the existing] forces of the four factions to small and equal levels is necessary.

D. A [public] declaration must be made [in which] foreign aggression must be condemned. [The government of] Vietnam has not abandoned its plans for the formation of an Indo-Chinese Federation. The position of the Soviet [government] has remained different from the Chinese position, [especially] in regards with the main points: the Soviets are opposed to the formation of a provisional government and want, actually, to allow the Heng Samrin government to play [an important] role during the transition and maintain the consequences of the Vietnamese invasion. [The Soviets] are accepting the Vietnamese position.

In this problem there were no breakthroughs and the two sides agreed to continue consultations.

4. Other problems of bilateral interest.

A. Both sides have agreed to reduce the number of troops at their common border to a lower level, corresponding with the [new] friendly, neighborly relations. There was an agreement regarding the creation of a working group of diplomats and military experts, without suggesting its function.

B. The Chinese [government] expressed its hope that the Soviet [government] will withdraw all its forces from the Popular Republic of Mongolia (not just the three-fourths as promised) and the Soviets said that they would consider it after consultations with the Mongolian government.

C. Both sides convened to connect the problems of the western and eastern borders and find a common solution, though there was no concrete proposal in this regard. The current negotiating structure will continue, but the next round of negotiation has not yet been specified.

5. During discussions regarding important problems in the world community, [the conclusions] were [as follows]:
Both sides expressed their support for the fundamental improvement of the condition of international life and for reaching this objective; the Chinese government expressed its belief that a new world order must be instituted, [a world order] based on the five fundamental principles of peaceful co-existence.

6. The Soviet government voiced its belief that "a new political way-of-thinking" must be adopted. Both sides agreed not to attempt to gain hegemony in Asia, the Pacific, and the world, and to oppose any [state] which tries to obtain any type of hegemony. The Chinese government reaffirmed its devotion to its independent policy of peace, [indicating] that it will not seek any allies and will not enter any strategic partnerships with other states. During an exchange on the problems of constructing socialism, the two sides agreed that there is no unique model for reaching developing socialism and socialist reform, each countries taking actions based on its own specific situation. There was an agreement on sharing experiences on the process of reform as it is developing in the two countries.

7. During discussions between vice-prime minister Tian Jiyun and vice-president Masliukov, Iurii D. Masliukov, First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers there was an agreement [reached] on convening, this July in Moscow, the annual session of the Mixed Technical-Scientific Commission. Both sides expressed interest in developing exchanges in the border regions and in cooperating in [the field of] industry, transport, energy and creating [a] task-force (assigurarii fortei de munca), but no concrete proposals were made.

8. The foreign ministers concentrated, mainly, on reaching agreement on the contents of the final communique (negotiated previously by deputy foreign ministers and [bureau directors]. Due to time constraints, the problem of the Korean Peninsula was succinctly touched upon, as was the situation in Afghanistan. The Soviet side also briefly informed [the Chinese] on the conversations with the US Secretary of State [James A. Baker].

9. In conclusion, [Dai Bingguo] emphasized, the [Sino-Soviet] Summit will enhance the development of bilateral relations between the two countries in all aspects. Similar meetings between the two leaderships will continue. Of course, Deng Xiaoping will not visit the USSR; he no longer has foreign visits as part of his role.

At the same time, there [still] exist complex problems which need resolving. Evidently, it is not possible to resolve all [these problems] in just one high-level meeting. The Chinese government is conscious that new problems and frictions might emerge, [considering that] divergences [of opinion] are normal. [However, it considers that] the resolution of those problems must be undertaken in the spirit of the five principles of peaceful co-existence, [which will] insure the healthy development of bilateral relations.

(ss) [Ambassador] Angelo Miculescu