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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 19, 1949

TELEGRAM NO.1828 FROM FILIPPOV [STALIN] TO KOVALEV

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    Filippov (Stalin) gives his advice on whether or not China should refuse relations, loans, and trade with capitalist states. Stalin also discusses the Soviet loan to China. Kovalev is to relay this to Mao.
    "Telegram No.1828 from Filippov [Stalin] to Kovalev ," April 19, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, F. 45, Op. 1, D. 331, Ll. 24-25, and RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 331, ll. 0024-0025. Reprinted in Andrei Ledovskii, Raisa Mirovitskaia and Vladimir Miasnikov, Sovetsko-Kitaiskie Otnosheniia, Vol. 5, Book 2, 1946-February 1950 (Moscow: Pamiatniki Istoricheskoi Mysli, 2005), pp. 120-121. Translated by Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113356
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[…]

To Kovalev.

[…]

When meeting Mao Zedong, tell him the following:

First. We consider that the democratic government of China should not refuse establishing official relations with some capitalist states, including the USA, if these states officially renounce military, economic and political support of Jiang Jieshi and the Guomindang government.

This condition is absolutely necessary for the following motives. At the present time, the policy of the USA is directed toward breaking China up into southern, central, and northern China with three governments. At the same time, the USA is supporting the south-Chinese and central-Chinese governments of the Guomindang and, as one can see, do not mind supporting also the northern Chinese democratic government so that these governments fight among themselves and weaken China [as a whole], and the USA could extract benefit from that. Therefore, if you want a united China headed by the communists, one needs to restore diplomatic relations only with those capitalist governments which officially renounce support of the Canton and Nanjing groups of the Guomindang.

Second. We consider that one should not refuse a foreign loan and trade with capitalist countries under certain conditions. The issue is for the conditions of this loan and trade not to place such economic or financial responsibilities on China, which could be used to limit the national sovereignty of the democratic Chinese state and strangle Chinese national industry.

Third. As far as the loan on the part of the USSR to China is concerned, we must inform you of the following. We are conducting and will conduct trade with China on the principle of goods for goods. For this one does not need the permission of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. As for the loan, the government is not able to solve this question by itself, as the question of the loan is subject to the permission of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. And the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, not objecting to a loan to China, must nevertheless have a relevant document on an agreement about the loan, signed by the representative of China and the USSR. Without such a document the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet does not have a right to give agreement to a loan. If you are not able to send a delegation to Moscow to conclude the agreement on a loan, we could empower c[omrade] Kovalev to begin talks with the representatives of the CC CP China and develop a draft agreement, which in case of approval will be signed by the representatives of both sides. After this we will consider that the loan has been granted to you and you will receive both the equipment and the Russian specialists.

Filippov [Stalin]

[…]

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