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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 11, 1957

HANDWRITTEN LETTER FROM NIE RONGZHEN TO ZHOU ENLAI ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC ENERGY INDUSTRY

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation, Carnegie Corporation

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    A letter to Zhou Enlai informing him that the industrial development plan for China's atomic energy program has not been finalized and that the technical agreement with the Soviet Union must be delayed.
    "Handwritten Letter from Nie Rongzhen to Zhou Enlai on the Development of the Atomic Energy Industry," July 11, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-00792-02, 15-16. Translated by Neil Silver. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114340
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Premier [Zhou Enlai]:

The atomic energy industrial development plan has yet to be decided, and especially unclear is the issue of the what to do after manufacturing enriched uranium. As a result, it is necessary to make a great number of revisions in the atomic energy agreement concluded and signed by Comrade [Li] Fuchun in Moscow on August 17 of last year. The Soviet side, however, is still moving forward in accordance with the agreement. Based on [my] discussion with [Soviet economic adviser to China] Comrade [Ivan] Arkhipov, to avoid pointless losses, our government needs to propose postponement in implementation [of the agreement] to the Soviet government before the Soviet side will consider [the matter]. I have now drafted a letter which I am forwarding to you. After you have carefully read and revised it, I ask that you instruct the Foreign Ministry to send it. Respectfully

 

Comment/Instruction [by Zhou Enlai]: Promptly send to the Chairman, Liu [Shaoqi], Deng [Xiaoping], and Peng Dehuai to read. I propose to agree and have the Foreign Ministry handle this.

Zhou Enlai