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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 05, 1963

ZHOU ENLAI’S DISCUSSION WITH A KENYAN AFRICAN NATIONAL FEDERATION DELEGATION (EXCERPT)

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

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    Zhou Enlai criticizes the Three-Nation Treaty (Limited Test Ban Treaty) of 1963, arguing that it signifies an attempt by the US, UK, and USSR to monopolize nuclear weapons. Enlai warns that the agreement will allow larger nuclear countries to commit “nuclear blackmail” against smaller, non-nuclear countries.
    "Zhou Enlai’s Discussion with a Kenyan African National Federation Delegation (Excerpt)," September 05, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dang de wenxian (Party Historical Documents), no. 3 (1994): 15-16. Translated by Neil Silver. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114355
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Now, the United States is again using the Three-Nation [Limited Test Ban] Treaty together with the Soviet Union, and some large countries are monopolizing nuclear weapons. Atmospheric nuclear testing, of course, has already ended, since people around the world oppose it, and, in fact, they already don’t need atmospheric nuclear testing. Why? Since they have already gotten the essential data. Besides this, everything else remains as it was. That is to say, use of nuclear weapons is permitted, underground nuclear testing is permitted, continued production is permitted, massive stockpiling is permitted, transport abroad and proliferation is permitted, and provision by the United States of nuclear weapons data to its allies and countries under its control is permitted. Of course, people all over the world oppose these things, and demand the total end to nuclear testing and the complete destruction of nuclear weapons. [But] by signing the Three-Nation Treaty, except for a temporary halt in atmospheric nuclear testing, everything else has been legitimized. All the countries that signed onto the treaty are restrained by the treaty, that means that all peace-loving countries that signed have no right to possess nuclear weapons, even while they still have to face nuclear blackmail and the danger of annihilation by nuclear weapons. This is one-sided. 

On the other hand, countries allied with American imperialism can still obtain nuclear weapons and data necessary to produce nuclear weapons. As the United States has said to France, you don’t need to test in the atmosphere, [since] we can give you the data and you can become a nuclear great power. The three countries have all agreed to this. The countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are all American allies, [and] the United States has said that it will establish a multilateral nuclear force in these countries and allow every country to get nuclear weapons. The Three-Nation Treaty does not prohibit this, but merely binds the hands and feet of our peace-loving countries and peoples, [while] they can even more unscrupulously carry out nuclear blackmail. But the socialist countries do not have this right, since the Soviet Union has undertaken this obligation. The United States and Britain only signed once they attained this enormous concession. Isn’t this simply the height of deception! After signing, the United States spoke up immediately, issuing a series of pronouncements, from [President] Kennedy, [Secretary of State] Rusk, [Undersecretary of State] Harriman, [Secretary of Defense] McNamara, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the chiefs of all the armed services, all the way to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The essence of it all was that this treaty assuredly does not prohibit the United States from using nuclear weapons, continuing to produce nuclear weapons, stockpiling nuclear weapons, and conveying nuclear weapons to its allies and countries under its control, and, moreover, that it will expand underground nuclear testing. Sure enough, after signing on August 5th, it carried out three underground nuclear tests. The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense said that [they] intend to expand the scope of underground nuclear testing, that all prohibited nuclear testing to the extent possible will be carried out underground; that [they] will expand defense expenditures, in order to establish more nuclear sites to produce nuclear weapons; and that [they] are prepared when necessary to resume atmospheric nuclear testing; and, moreover, publicly designated the establishment of an atmospheric nuclear testing site in the Pacific Ocean. Everybody knows this. How can this not increase the threat of nuclear war? Not only has world peace not been assured, but it has now been placed under even greater threat. In the past, people all over the world opposed this, and now it’s turned into a situation where all the signatory countries cannot oppose this. First of all, the Soviet Union can’t say a word, since it is a signatory country. Only a month after signing, the United States was even more aggressive, to an extent never before seen. Britain said nothing, since it is a follower of the United States. But the Soviet Union is a country in opposition [to the United States], and it didn’t utter a word either. The United States is even freer to continue to implement nuclear blackmail and bind the hands and feet of our peace-loving countries. So we oppose this.

Why is there no complete prohibition on nuclear testing? They say they want to take a step at a time. This sounds good, but this is duplicitous. With the United States so aggressive after signing, where is there any intention of a total prohibition [of nuclear weapons]? If there is no intention to fight, and no willingness to prohibit [nuclear weapons], what is the purpose? The purpose is to use this [situation] to carry out nuclear blackmail. Towards whom? Towards countries that do not have nuclear weapons, especially small, weak countries, Asian, African and Latin American countries. There are two ways to accomplish this: One is to listen, to sign and to bind up one’s own hands and feet; the other is not to listen, [and] then they will use nuclear weapons to carry out nuclear blackmail toward you, since you don’t have any. If you don’t sign, they will say you love war, that you are a “warmonger.” Take a look around. Where in China is there any atmosphere in favor of war? There are still some people in the world who speak on the basis of facts. Even some Western capitalist newspapers tell the truth, saying that they find no articles or discussions by Chinese indicating China wants to launch a nuclear war and cause the annihilation of half the population of the world. Not only France, Japan, northern Europe, and Britain have people who speak the truth, even the United States has some. This is really interesting. The Soviet Union says we are this type of war-lover, but the West says this is not so. Can it be that the West is especially good to us? No. The West exploits the contradiction between China and the Soviet Union. We will not fall for Western tricks, and will not be manipulated. We have come to a conclusion. The Three-Nation Treaty is a huge swindle. It is not the first step in prohibiting nuclear weapons, but an extremely dangerous step.

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周恩来同肯尼亚非洲民族联盟代表团的谈话(节录)

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目前,美国又用三国条约同苏联联在一起,几个大国垄断核武器。大气层核试验本来就已经停止了,因为全世界人民都反对,事实上它们已经不需要大气层核试验了。为什么?因为主要的资料它们已得到了。除此以外,其他的统统保留。也就是说,允许使用核武器,允许地下核试验,允许继续生产,允许大量储存,允许向外输送扩散,允许美国把制造核武器的资料给它的盟国和受它控制的国家。本来这些事全世界人民都反对,都要求全面禁止核试验,彻底销毁核武器。签订三国条约,除了大气层核试验暂时不搞外,其他统统合法化。凡是在条约上签字的国家都受条约的束缚,这就等于凡是签了字的爱好和平的国家,都没有拥有核武器的权利,但仍要遭受核讹诈和被核武器毁灭的危险。这是一方面。

另一方面,美帝国主义的盟国仍然可以得到核武器和生产核武器所需要的资料。如美国对法国说,你不用在大气层试验了,我可以给你资料,你可以变成一个核大国。这点它们三国都承认。北大西洋公约组织的国家都是美国的盟国,美国说要在这些国家中组织多边核力量,使每个国家都得到核武器。三国条约没有禁止这些,而只是把我们爱好和平的国家和人民的手脚束缚起来,它们却可以更肆无忌惮地进行核讹诈。可是社会主义国家没有这个权利,因为苏联已经承担了义务。英美取得这么大的让步才签了字,这还不是欺骗!签字后,美国马上就说话了,从肯尼迪、腊斯克、哈里曼、麦克纳马拉、副国防部长、各军种参谋长,直到三军参谋长联席会议主席,有一系列的发言。中心问题是说,这个条约并不禁止美国使用核武器,不禁止继续生产核武器,不禁止储存核武器,不禁止把核武器输出给盟国和它控制的国家,并且还要扩大地下核试验。果然,八月五日签字后就进行了三次地下核试验。美国副国防部长说,要把地下核试验的范围扩大,凡是禁止的核试验都要尽可能地在地下进行,还要增加国防经费,为生产核武器建立更多的核基地,还准备在需要时恢复大气层核试验,并公开指定在太平洋建立大气层核试验场地。这些大家都是知道的,这怎么能不增加核战争的危险呢?世界和平不但没有得到保障,而且受到了更大的威胁。过去世界人民反对这些,现在变成凡是签字的国家都不能反对。首先苏联不开腔,因为它是签字国。签字后仅一个月,美国就更嚣张,从来没有这样过。英国不说话,因为它是美国的追随者。但苏联是对立的国家,它也一样不开腔。美国更自由了,继续进行核讹诈,却把我们爱好和平国家的手足束缚起来,所以我们反对。

为什么不全面禁止核试验呢?他们说要分步骤走。听起来好听,但这是骗人的。签字以后美国如此嚣张,哪有什么全面禁止的意图。既不打算打,又不肯禁止,目的何在呢?目的是拿这个进行核讹诈。对谁呢?对没有核武器的国家,特别是弱小国家,亚、非和拉美国家。办法有两个:一是听话,签字,把自己的手足束缚起来;一是不听话,它就用核武器来对你进行讹诈,因为你没有。如果你不签字,它就说你好战,是“战争贩子”。你们看,中国什么地方有战争的气氛?世界上还是有一些讲事实的人,西方资产阶级的报纸也有说真话的,说找不到中国人的文章和讲话表明中国要发动核战争,造成世界一半人口的死亡。不仅法国、日本、北欧、英国有说真话的,甚至美国也有。这很有趣。苏联说我们是这样的好战,西方说不是这样,难道西方对我们特别好?不是。西方是利用中苏矛盾。我们不上西方的当,不受挑拨。我们得出结论,三国条约是一个大骗局,它不是禁止核武器的第一步,而是很危险的一步。