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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 15, 1972

SECRET TELEGRAM FROM MOSCOW TO WARSAW, NO. 13698

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    This gives a short overview of Chinese foreign policy in light of Communist and Soviet attitudes and perceptions in China. A possible Soviet response to such attitudes is suggested.
    "Secret Telegram from Moscow to Warsaw, No. 13698," December 15, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw (AMSZ), z-Depesze, Moskwa 1972. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Malgorzata K. Gnoinska. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113666
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Comrade Frelek [the Head of the International Department in CC PUWP]

(Comrade Nowak sends the dispatch regarding the following):

From the conversation between [Wladyslaw] Napieraj [the Director in Foreign Ministry Department] and Mikhail Kapitsa:

The new stage of China's isolation on the international arena has taken on a much more clear shape. The changes in China's tactics, which have taken place over two years (the normalization of relations with capitalist countries, and returning onto the international arena following the cultural revolution), combined with the old strategic goal of anti-Sovietism and aspirations to carry out a leading role in the world, brought only meager results for China (the improvement in relations with the US and Japan, the entry into the UN, and the improvement of relations with a series of other countries). In reality, however, the Chinese policy found itself in a dead end. The fact that they are banking on the differentiation policy toward socialist countries did not bear fruit (except for Romania). China, due to its “no” [voting] found itself in the same ranks in the UN along with the U.S., South Africa, and Portugal. The PRC's position on détente processes in Europe did not find any sympathy among the [Western European] capitalist countries. China's policy toward the African, Asian, and Latin American nations, is also facing failure due to China's lack of economic means which these countries want. The Chinese also jeopardized their relations with the national-liberation movements.

The base for the factional activities of the Maoist grouping within the communist movement has also narrowed. Maoism, as a trend, did not become, as they had hoped, the “leading” ideology. The Chinese leaders became disappointed that the improvement of their relations with the U.S., Japan, and the FRG cannot continue on the base of anti-Sovietism. These countries realize the international position of the USR and the defense power of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact.

There were many more important events, which favor détente (the USSR-FRG and Poland-FRG treaties, as well as the FRG-GDR treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States, Women's Rights Project in Helsinki, the UN session and so on, took place after Nixon's visit in Beijing. All of this causes nervousness among the PRC leadership and is the result of the PRC's policies. The PRC's banking on a military confrontation between the USSR and the US fell short.

The Chinese leaders don't have any positive program to present. It only limits itself to an old policy based on anti-Soviet demagogy. This approach, however, stops being popular even among some anti-Soviet circles of the NATO countries. Any of China's new programs that would have positive elements would have to include a possibility of improving China's relations with the USSR and socialist countries. Neither Mao nor Zhou would go for it since they have gone too far in factional activities. They see the weakening of their own positions in the failure of their foreign and domestic policies. This is why we have an increase in anxiety among the PRC leadership, increasing fears and making enemies of the USSR and socialist countries, as well as the intensification of criticizing these countries.

According to Kapitsa, we need to thoroughly discuss these issues during the upcoming meeting of the representatives of the CC International Departments of fraternal nations in Mongolia. The Soviet comrades are also considering the idea of having the foreign trade deputy ministers of fraternal nations meet, including the participation of politicians, in order to coordinate the socialist countries' trade and economic relations with the PRC. They [Soviets] have already prepared articles which are taking into account the above mentioned aspects of the assessment of the PRC's policy. We still don't have any decisions from the Soviet leadership regarding these two issues.

[Received by Foreign Minister Olszowski and the highest official with the Foreign Ministry and the CC PUWP International Department].