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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 13, 1950


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    Zhou Enlai expresses that China is the most interested in the opinion of the U.S. and the UN regarding the conditions for an armistice on the Korean peninsula, and makes clear that the 38th parallel is no longer in existence.
    "Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Wu Xiuquan and Qiao Guanhua," December 13, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 3 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2008), 635-636. Translated by Jingxia Yang and Douglas Stiffler.
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Wu [Xiuquan] [and] Qiao [Guanhua]:

Have received your telegram from 16:00, [December] 11.  It is right for you to postpone your meeting with the Indian representative.  But when Rau asks to meet again, [you] should still see him once.  Yesterday I received Panikkar in Beijing and told him that we always insist on solving the North Korea issue peacefully and now are more willing to make great efforts to quickly end the military operations the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army and the North Korea People’s Army were compelled to take to resist the American invasion.  It is good that the Indian government is making great efforts for peace, however, it has not been entrusted [to do so] by either America or the UN.  Now what counts the most to end the war quickly is the USA.  We are eager to know the whole opinion of the USA and the UN regarding conditions for an armistice.  The Indian ambassador can make great efforts in this regard.  As to the 38th Parallel issue, it has long since been violated by the American invading armies and MacArthur, and is no longer in existence.  Panikkar expressed agreement to this fact right away.  I also pointed out that, at that time, many of the thirteen countries followed the USA, especially the Philippines, whose armies followed the USA in invading [the North].  Now the Philippines has also proposed an armistice, but their true intention is very clear.  The content of the above conversation, and especially the issue of the 38th parallel no longer being in existence, can be conveyed to Rau when you see him.

Regarding the thirteen countries’ experimental proposal, if they come to inquire about it, you can tell them that an armistice should not be a fraud, but should be able to truly end the Korean War.  Thus, it must require the USA to state clearly its opinion on the armistice conditions and see whether it wants to continue the war and expand the war or end the war.  So if the gentlemen representatives from all countries hope to truly end the Korean War, [they] should call for what the Soviet representative has proposed: that all foreign armies withdraw from North Korea, instead of anything else.

Zhou Enlai

December 13 [1950]


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