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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 28, 1959

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 'THE SOVIET UNION’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SINO-INDIAN BORDER DISPUTE'

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    The Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union commented that Moscow was trying to maintain a neutral stance in the conflict because it still had important stakes in India. The report predicted that this attitude would have negative consequences and encourage the Indian rightists.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'The Soviet Union’s Attitude towards the Sino-Indian Border Dispute'," November 28, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-00946-04, 46-47. Obtained by Dai Chaowu and translated by 7Brands. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114759
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The Soviet Union’s Attitude towards the Sino-Indian Border Dispute

[To] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Since China’s new proposal on the settlement of the Sino-Indian border dispute, both the Indian rightists and the Indian government have continued to express views against China and, aiming to pressure us, the Indian government has even rejected our proposal without justification. Under these circumstances, the Soviet Union still maintains a neutral stance towards the dispute because it has many considerations regarding India. They are mainly as follows:

(1) The Soviet media only quoted Premier Zhou [Enlai’s] proposal. Other government documents from China and India, and also the news about China’s release of prisoners of wars, were objectively published without comment. The Soviet media even independently released Nehru’s counter-proposal on 16 [November] before we made any replies.

(2) The Soviet media has not expressed any attitude toward our new proposal, nor has it quoted the materials of China and various other countries that support our proposal and disclose the plot of the Indian rightists and the imperialists. The 47th issue of the New Era does not mention our proposal, although it refutes the claims of the rightists from India and other nations.

(3) The Soviet Union is still aggressively gaining the support of India. The leadership of the Soviet Union sang high praise of Nehru in the cable it sent in celebration of his birthday. It also attached great significance to Nehru’s many talks on India maintaining the policy of nonalignment despite the Sino-Indian border disputes and quoted him on the radio and in newspapers. The Soviet Union is also providing massive economic and technical aid to India. The central newspapers of the Soviet Union have also published several articles written by some famous Indians about India’s love for peace and the friendship between the Soviet Union and India.

We estimate that the Soviet Union will continue to maintain a neutral position regarding the Sino-Indian border disputes and its hopes that the border dispute can be settled through compromises from both the Chinese and the Indian sides. The Soviet Union’s policy of one-sidedly emphasizing unity with India will further stimulate the ambitions of Indian rightists and become an excuse to provoke tensions between China and the Soviet Union. It is going to generate a negative impact on the Sino-Indian relationship and Soviet-Indian relations.

The Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union

28 November [1959]