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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 27, 1951


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    Zhang Hanfu and Kaul discuss the grain trade between China and India, the situation at the border following the PRC's incorporation of Tibet, and the arrangements for Zhang Hanfu to attend the International Industrial Expo in Bombay
    "Meeting Minutes between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanfu and Indian Commisioner T.N. Kaul," November 27, 1951, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00082-03, 10-14. Obtained by Dai Chaowu and translated by 7Brands
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Meeting Minutes, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Central People’s Government

Visitor: T.N Kaul, the Indian Commissioner; Bai Chunhua, the Indian officer; Pu Shouchang, the interpreter

Recipient: Mr. Zhang, Vice Minister

Other attendees: Chen Shuliang, the Commissioner

Clerk: Li Da’nan

Time: 27 November 1951, 3:00 p.m.

Place: Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

[T.N.] Kaul: India intends to buy from China grains in a quantity of 1 to 2 million tons. Negotiations with the Ministry of Trade are anticipated.

Zhang [Hanfu]: The grain commissioner already reported it to our Department of Asian Affairs the day before yesterday and we are considering it now. Any further messages from the Ministry of Trade will be forwarded as soon as possible.

Kaul: Ambassador [K.M.] Panikkar has promised that China and India should settle any dispute through normal diplomatic issues in a cordial manner. President Nehru has also reiterated his wishes for peaceful coexistence between India and China. The Indian government feels happy about the peaceful liberation of Tibet and hopes that some cross-border issues between China and India can be settled through normal diplomatic approaches in a cordial manner. There are some rumors about the actions of the Chinese troops on the border between China and India and such actions may cause unnecessary disputes and therefore attention shall be given thereto. Upon departure, Ambassador Panikkar advised me to maintain frequent contact with your distinguished Vice Minister. I hereby would formally mention this issue today. I personally know that these rumors are incorrect. To avoid any negative impacts on the cordial relations between China and India and get rid of such rumors, relevant measures need to be taken by the Chinese government.

Zhang: We also have said it is necessary for China and India to coexist peacefully and cooperate cordially. This was also the idea of Ambassador Panikkar when he was in Beijing. We have to say all issues between both countries can be settled through normal diplomatic approaches. Regarding the rumors and instigations, we believe some capitalist forces expect to undermine the friendly relationships between China and India. You have also expressed your personal distrust of such rumors. As a matter of fact, anyone who believes in the truth is never concerned with such rumors. After the peaceful liberation of Tibet, our troops returned to Tibet just to perform the covenant and safeguard our frontier. However, the capitalist forces just fabricated the rumors about the conflict between the Chinese and the Indian troops. We do not need to bother about such rumors so long as we maintain our cordial relations and coexist peacefully. When Ambassador Panikkar was in Beijing, I used to talk with him about how some Kazakh bandits crossed our border into India. I hoped the Indian government could assist to settle this issue and Ambassador Panikkar made his promises in this regard. For that reason, we can ignore these rumors if we maintain our cordial relations and coexist peacefully.

Kaul: Thank you very much for your pledges. I personally do not need such pledges. However, the Indian government has received many reports in this regard and therefore dispatched me to have a talk with you. I believe our talks are going to reinforce the mutual understanding and trusts between our two countries.

Zhang: I am already well prepared to attend the International Industrial Expo to be held in Bombay. However, I cannot set out because I have not obtained your transit visa.

Kaul: I talked with the British Commissioner last week and they said they didn’t object to awarding the transit visa and were considering it then and would reply us this week. If no reply is received this week, I will call the Indian government to impose pressure in this regard.

Zhang: We can only say sorry if I cannot attend the Expo due to such unreasonable causes. We are not liable for it anyway.

Kaul: So far as I know, the problem lies in the transshipment via Singapore. Under the current conditions, the British government does not allow people of another country to take transshipment in Singapore. Is it possible to consider abandoning the transshipment via Singapore? An airplane may fly from Hong Kong to India. It may be considered for a dedicated ship not to call and berth at Singapore.

Zhang: Kaul talked with the delegation and the delegation expressed that it would arrive in India as soon as possible.

Kaul: This is possibly one example of the capitalist forces’ intention to undermine Sino-India relations. I personally have something to talk with you about in the future if there is an opportunity. I used to talk with your department head Mr. Chen, and the Nange Commissioner has also talked with your section head about this.

Zhang: You are always welcome if you have time.