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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 15, 1962

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'INSTRUCTIONS ON THE SINO-INDIAN BOUNDARY ISSUE'

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    The Chinese Foreign Ministry analyzes the attitude of Latin American countries toward the Sino-Indian border conflict and gave instructions on how to mobilize support for China's cause.
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Instructions on the Sino-Indian Boundary Issue'," November 15, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 111-00596-01, 1-3. Translated by 7Brands. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114773
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Instructions on the Sino-Indian Boundary Issue

[To] Charge d’Affaires Huang [Zhen]:

According to our understanding, there have not been many comments from Latin American countries since the start of the conflict on the Sino-Soviet border: the Cuban government has not publicly expressed its attitude, but officials did express their support for China. Brazil and Mexico are neutral. Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Honduras openly supported India. Among the fraternal parties, the leftist Brazilian Communist Party and the Columbian [Communist] Party showed their position of supporting China, while other [parties] did not air their views.

India repeatedly refused the three recommendations proposed by us on 24 October and, relying on the aid from the United States, it is prepared to attack us. We will continue to fight against India’s military attack and, meanwhile, we will continue to persist in peace negotiations. The struggle between China and India over the boundary issue will be long-term and complicated.

Our three proposals are fair and reasonable. Now a few countries in Latin America support us or are neutral, some have not aired their opinions, and some follow the United States in opposing us and supporting India. It is estimated that some countries have been pressured by the imperialist United States, some parties are affected by revisionism, and many do not know the truth. Therefore, you must actively mobilize them according to their characteristics, strive for sympathy of more people, and obtain more support for China’s claim.

With respect to the following tasks, please study them and seriously implement them according to the actual conditions and the capacity of the embassy [in Havana].

(1) Charge d’Affaires Huang should make an appointment to meet the Cuban Foreign Minister and notify him of the truth of the Sino-Indian boundary issue and the Chinese government’s stance and tell him to report the information to Cuban President and Cuban Prime Minister [Fidel] Castro. The conversation should largely be based on our statement and Premier Zhou’s letter to Nehru dated 4 November and no specific requests should be proposed to Cuba.

(2)  Some foreign-oriented activities should be arranged. In such activities, the comrades at the embassy should publicize and explain the documents published in China and the circulars and instructions about the Sino-Indian boundary issue.

(3) Reporters of the Xinhua News Agency branch can invite some reporters and make the actual situation known to them so that they can have an understanding of the actual situation and our stance. But no press conference should be held.

(4) The embassy and the branch of Xinhua News Agency should send our statements and notes about Sino-Indian boundary issues to the Cuban authorities and the embassies of other countries that have not established diplomatic relations with China and have dealings with China and some people.

(5) With respect to personnel of Latin American fraternal parties in Cuba, the embassy and the Xinhua News Agency branch should introduce in an appropriate manner the situation and China’s stance, listen to their response, and answer their questions through comrades who have contacted them in the past.

(6) Take a serious and proper attitude in receiving visitors and dealing with letters: gratitude should be conveyed to those who indicate their support for us; explanations should be patiently made to those which ask questions and do not know the truth. With respect to those attacking us, the embassy should clearly explain the situation to them and refute [their views] with our claims, but it is not necessary to tangle with them. With respect to Trotskyites, the embassy should not deal with them.

In addition, the embassy should do propaganda work with a plan in mind, such as distributing propaganda materials and contributing articles to some newspapers.

Some leaders of some countries in Asia and Africa expressed their willingness to mediate the Sino-Indian conflict. We are grateful for their goodwill and we should also appropriately indicate that the Sino-Indian boundary dispute should and can only be solved by the two countries directly through negotiations. They are welcome to persuade India to reconsider China’s recommendations and agree to negotiate. If someone proposes to mediate, you should clearly explain China’s stance.

The Sino-Indian boundary issue is complicated and changing rapidly. In order to coordinate this struggle, the officers in the embassy should carefully study the relevant documents and materials issued by the Research Department and published in People’s Daily. You should especially study Nehru’s Philosophies and China’s Notes to India dated 26 December 1959. In addition to the existing documents, you should have a correct understanding of the historical background, the process, and the current situation of the events, as well as China’s stance and claims.

It is hoped that you can take a proactive attitude, seize opportunities, and conduct this struggle. If you have comments, please report to the Ministry.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

15 November 1962