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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 26, 1949

CABLE, STALIN TO MAO ZEDONG [VIA KOVALEV]

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    Stalin gives to Mao (via Kovalev) his, Stalin's, stance on the economic situation in China, and how the Chinese are handling it (the creation of an administrative economic center in China). Stalin also discusses Sino-Soviet relations, and the state of the PLA and how best to use PLA forces.
    "Cable, Stalin to Mao Zedong [via Kovalev]," May 26, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, F. 45, Op. 1, D. 331, Ll. 73-75, and RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 331, ll.0073-0075. 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. 136-138. Translated by Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113370
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[...]

Convey to Cde. Mao Zedong the following:

First. [We] consider correct the idea of creating the administrative economic center. We have some observations on the draft of the structure of the administrative economic center, chosen by the CCP CC Commission:

a) The draft copies the Soviet construction of the administrative-planning center, and, besides, it is too bulky. This is not suitable for China now. It should be simplified and downsized.

b) The customs business and the protection of boundaries by the border forces has a great significance for China. Customs can give China large currency income. Therefore this business should be singled out into a separate department;

c) Private Chinese enterprises should not be placed on one plank with foreign industrial and financial enterprises; they should be assigned to two separate departments. We suppose, however, that the CCP CC knows better which organizational forms for the administrative economic center of China are more suitable to the Chinese conditions.

Second. The administrative economic center of China must be composed, understandably, of only Chinese figures. Therefore Cde. Kovalev must not have the membership of this center. It would be better if Cde. Kovalev were in a position of an adviser with the CCP CC, and if needed, at the same time adviser with the economic center.

Third. We have still not received the list of those Soviet specialists, which the CCP CC needs for helping in the organization of the economic center and economic life of Shanghai. We request the CCP CC together with Cde. Kovalev to make such a list and transmit it to us, so that we could take practical measures with regard to sending Soviet specialists to China. We consider that these Soviet specialists must have the positions of experts with those Chinese figures, which will be appointed to the relevant posts.

Fourth. We do not consider the current moment suitable for broad demonstration of friendship between the USSR and Democratic China. This demonstration could be timed to the formation of the Chinese democratic government and establishment of diplomatic relations between it and the USSR.

Fifth. We do not have objections against sending to the USSR, as well as to the countries of peoples democracy, of a delegation of Chinese democratic figures. One could include into this delegation also Zhang Zhizhong, Shao Lizi and Fu Zuoyi, if the CCP CC considers this expedient.

Sixth. We advise not to delay any longer the formation of the Chinese democratic government. Now there is no government in China. The CCP CC cannot be called a government. The Guomindang government has de facto ceased to be a government. China is left without a government. This is dangerous from the perspective of internal politics. [It is] also dangerous from the point of view of the international position of China. One cannot delay any longer the formation of a government.

Seventh. The successes of the PLA are brilliant, and we are very glad about these successes. We think, however, that one cannot consider the military campaign finished. Anglo-Franco-Americans cannot help but understand that the approach of the PLA to the borders of Indochina, Burma [and] India will create a revolutionary situation in these countries, as well as in Indonesia and on the Philippine Islands. This is fraught with the danger of the loss of these countries for the imperialists. Therefore the imperialists will take all measures from blockade to military clashes with the PLA in order to keep South China under their influence. There is danger that the Anglo-Americans might land in Qingdao their forces in the rear of the main forces of the PLA, which had left for the South. This is a very serious danger. It is possible that the Anglo-Americans will use other ports, for example, the port of Tanggu near Tianjin for landing in the PLA's rear. We therefore advise:

a) Not to hurry and seriously prepare the PLA's approach to the south for coming out to the borders of Indochina, Burma [and] India;

b) To assign two good armies from the main forces of the PLA heading south, move them into the Tianjin and Qingdao region, replenish them and keep ready for preempting the landing of enemy forces;

c) Not to cut back yet the number of PLA forces.

Eighth. We agree with the observations by Cde. Mao Zedong, which he made with regard to the questions of Korea, and also to the effect that one should not create an Eastern Cominform for now.

Ninth. We agree also with the observations of Cde. Mao Zedong, which he made with regard to American ambassador Stuart.

Tenth. The VKP(b) CC thanks Comrade Mao Zedong for the information.

Filippov [Stalin]

[...]

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