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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 23, 1952


This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Zhang Hanfu and Kaul discuss the Tibet issue as well as prisoners of war from the Korean War.
    "Meeting Minutes between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai and Indian Commissioner T.N. Kaul," June 23, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00025-03, 18-20. Obtained by Dai Chaowu and translated by 7Brands
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Meeting Minutes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Central People’s Government

Visitor: T.N. Kaul, Charge d’ Affaires of India

Recipient: Zhang, Vice Minister

Attendee: Chen Ying, Clerk

Interpreter: Pu Shouchang

Recorder: Li Da’nan

Time: 23 June 1952, 3:00 p.m.

Place: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

[T.N.] Kaul: With regard to the relations between China and India in Tibet which His Excellency Premier Zhou Enlai and His Excellency Ambassador Panikkar talked about previously, I would hereby like to communicate the views of the government of India (oral communications which are illustrated generally as follows):

“In the conversation between His Excellency Premier Zhou Enlai and His Excellency Ambassador Panikkar on 14 June, Premier Zhou Enlai stated that China did not wish to see any sudden changes to the present situation in Tibet because such sudden changes could result in a vacuum in Tibet. As for the actual steps to be taken, he recommended first determining the principles and changing the nature of the Indian mission in Lhasa. Other issues, including troops and post and telecommunication facilities, might be settled in subsequent negotiations, remier Zhou Enlai recommended changing the Indian mission in Lhasa into a consulate general and that China should establish a consulate general in Bombay in exchange. The Ambassador expressed his agreement to the Chinese government’s objections to any sudden changes to the situation in Lhasa. The Premier also stated that there would be no difficulty for the Indians in their pilgrimage to Lhasa and a solution would be figured out. Regarding the construction of highways, the Chinese government would be pleased to do the same if the Indian government could build a road on the border between both countries.

The Indian government fundamentally agreed to set up a consulate general in Lhasa in exchange for a Chinese consulate general in Bombay. The Indian government also expressed its major concerns over the commercial representative offices in Gyantse, Yadong and Gartok and commercial facilities in other places and expected to find a solution in subsequent negotiations. However, it expected to maintain the current situations before that.

With regard to the construction of highways, the only highway that connects the two countries directly must pass Gandu as the borders are characterized by mountainous terrain. The Indian government does not object to the construction of the highways but it will take some time.”

Zhang [Hanfu]: The proposals of the Indian government will be reported to the Chinese government.

Kaul: With regard to the Korean issue, Premier Zhou Enlai had a proposal, as an amendment to the Indian government’s proposal, during his conversation with the Ambassador. In his proposal, the Premier recommended two possible solutions. In the second solution, the prisoners of war (POW) that do not wish to be repatriated should be sent to Panmunjeom [Panmunjom] where personnel of four neutral nations and the UN Red Cross would talk to them. The results of their discussions should be respected, rime Minister Nehru personally thinks such a solution is very reasonable and he agrees to mediate for the settlement of this issue instead of just acting as a communicator because it [just acting as a communicator] is going to waste a lot of time. During the mediation, the Chinese government has no restriction at all before they express their comments on this solution. However, Prime Minister Nehru intends to make one clarification, i.e, remier Zhou used to say that these prisoners of war should not be sent to Panmunjeom under the convoy of armed forces. How can they be delivered from the POW camp to Panmunjeom? Shall the police replace armed forces to complete this mission? Without such convoys, the POWs would easily escape halfway, be delivered elsewhere, or even ambushed on the way. The receiving nation would easily be exempted of the liabilities if it is not in charge of the convoy. Clarifications are expected in this issue as soon as possible.

Zhang: The comments will be reported to the Premier.

Kaul: The last issue is about the delivery of Red Cross gift parcels to the POWs in Korea. Ambassador Panikkar already talked to Li Dequan, head of the Chinese Red Cross Society, on this issue at the previous banquet informally. Li Dequan stated that the gifts donated by the Chinese Red Cross Society could be delivered but the gift parcels from the Red Cross International Commission would not be accepted, rime Minister Nehru wondered if the gift parcels collected by the Indian Red Cross Society could be delivered. The sources of such parcels would be known sooner or later, i.e. they were from the Red Cross International Commission.

Zhang: Feedback will be provided on this issue after discussions with the relevant authorities.