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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 09, 1971

STENOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPT OF THE MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE ROMANIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (NIXON'S VISIT TO CHINA)

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

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    This stenographic transcript of a meeting of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party records a discussion among high-level party members with regard to US President's Nixon visits to Moscow and China in 1971 and the possible impact of these visits on Romania and the rest of the Warsaw Pact member states.
    "Stenographic Transcript of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party (Nixon's Visit to China)," October 09, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Translation by Nicolai Viorel Buta. Included in the document reader for the international conference "China and the Warsaw Pact in the 1970-1980s" held by CWHIP and the Parallel History Project March 2004 in Beijing. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114826
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STENOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPT

of the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian

Communist Party

October 9, 1971

Participants: comrades Nicolae Ceausescu, Emil Bodnaras, Manea Manescu, Paul Niculescu-Mizil, Gheorghe Pana, Gheorghe Radulescu, Ilie Verdet, Maxim Berghianu, Florian Danalache, Emil Draganescu, Janos Fazekas, Dumitru Popa, Dumitru Popescu, Leonte Rautu, Gheorghe Stoica, Stefan Voitec, Iosif Banc, Petre Blajovici, Miron Constantinescu, Miu Dobrescu, Ion Ionita, Vasile Patilinet, Ion Stanescu.

The meeting began at 11.00 and ended at 11.45. Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

We want to present to you an information note so that you all may know its content before it is published in

the press tomorrow or on Monday.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union addressed to the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, through the agency of the Embassy of the Soviet Union at Bucharest, a strictly confidential information note, which I am going to read to you (cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil reads the information note on the visit of Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, to Moscow in May, 1972).

Cde. Leonte Rautu:

Nixon is, therefore, the great unifier.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: Catalyst!

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

Fortunately, they [the Soviets] (?) are interested ideologically!

Cde. Ilie Verdet:

The second part (?) has a great future. Everything is presented to us as a great success.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Now we have to ask our comrades in the socialist countries what is their appreciation of this thing.

Cde. Leonte Rautu:

I think they will criticize the Soviet Union (laughter).

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

How will Brezhnev motivate/justify now the fact that he did not come to [our] 10th Congress? Let us see what he will say.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

He is interested to know if they (?) will further maintain the criticism that the visit to Beijing is directed against the socialist countries and the anti-imperialist forces.

By the way, why did the Warsaw Treaty member-countries not ask any questions? (laughter). Why did you

not ask them? (to cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil).

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

I could not ask more questions, comrade Ceausescu, because it was you who told me not to ask any questions. (laughter).

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

Let us ask Repin (?) this question.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Maybe we should propose that the Political Consultative Bureau of the Warsaw Treaty countries be convened.

Cde. Leonte Rautu:

And analyze whether the visit is opportune. (laughter).

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

[The Soviets] (?) will say that they will discuss about bilateral relationships.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu proposed twice at the meetings of the Political Consultative Committee that regarding the Berlin issue we should meet with [the Soviets] (?) and see what can be done.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

[We should know] in what situation place themselves the other [countries] (?) that were utterly against the visit to Beijing. To all appearances, the situation is not similar to [Nixon’s visit] to Beijing since that visit was made at Nixon’s wish, and it was convened. It is said here that there was agreement. It is said here that “at Nixon’s wish”, but actually it was at Brezhnev’s wish. In fact, it was Brezhnev who declared at the meeting of the Supreme Soviet that he was looking forward to a visit of Nixon, that the latter could come any time he felt like it. It was Brezhnev that said that, not Gromyko.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

Gromyko declared this at the meeting of the Supreme Soviet two days before Nixon’s visit to our country.

Cde. Janos Fazekas:

Now we can request those who criticized us to criticize themselves.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

They have blocked the others in the normalization of their relationships with the FRG before. [Willy] Brandt was described as being worse than [Konrad] Adenauer, and today they declare that Brandt is the greatest politician in Europe.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil: Greater than [Charles] de Gaulle.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Now they [the Soviets] (?) are blocking the others in the normalization of their relationships with China. The situation that occurred five years ago in connection with the normalization of the relationships with FRG repeated itself. Everybody called us names at the time.

Cde. Maxim Berghianu:

It will take them (?) five years to grasp things clearly.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Let us enroll them in our academy.

Cde. Miron Constantinescu: For recycling purposes.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

OK, but what subject should they take?

Cde. Miron Constantinescu: Something for beginners.

Cde. Ilie Verdet:

The difference between our visit to Beijing and Nixon’s visit to Moscow is, in their (?) opinion, that they (?)

do everything on behalf of the socialist countries.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Nixon declared to us that he wanted to come to our country, and we accepted; he also said he wanted to go to

Beijing and take [Henry] Kissinger along, but he did not say a word about his visit to Moscow.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

Two weeks ago, official declarations of the White House were issued, but there was nothing in them to suggest that a visit to Moscow was contemplated.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

I do not know what to think any more. Do they (?) think everybody is as harebrained as they are?

Cde. Maxim Berghianu:

If they were called to Beijing tomorrow, the situation would change.

  

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

They will normalize relationships with China as well.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

We can send Brezhnev a letter of thanks. Let us tell him that we gave Khrushchev our decoration “Star of the

SRR”, and would give him one as well if he worked similarly.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

We will not give him anything.

The Soviets keep running to and fro pointlessly, trying to make the dreams they had overnight come true. They concluded this agreement with India, which is not advantageous to them, they concluded economic agreements, for example a ten-billion-dollar-worth  agreement with Japan. Even the Japanese wonder what on earth got into them to increase the agreement so much, from eight hundred million dollars to ten billion

dollars, including the prospecting work in Siberia. Everybody realized that they had lost their North, and take advantage of this situation. FRG took advantage of it as well, only GDR lost over the issue of Berlin. The slogan, “We will do nothing until GDR is recognized.” is not heard any longer, either. Now they are

speaking only about the arrangements between the two German states.

How in the world could they forget about proletarian internationalism? (laughter).

Cde. Ilie Verdet:

They (?) wrote about the unity of the socialist countries.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

They (?) should have said they were judging from class positions. We ought to ask them what was the reason why they did not say this.

Cde. Ilie Verdet:

If we are to ask questions, we have to think it over what questions to ask.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

I like it when they (?) say that no concession will be made behind the backs of the socialist countries. Would this by any chance be a bit of self-criticism?

Cde. Leonte Rautu:

I am curious to see what explanations they will give in public.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

If they do not know what explanations to give, [Erich] Honnecker will give the explanations.

Cde. Maxim Berghianu:

Many people are going to wonder.

Cde. Leonte Rautu:

Such questions will be asked in their (?) country as well.

 Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

Everybody in the socialist countries wanted to normalize relationships with the United States, and now they will want to normalize them with China, too.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

It was convenient to them to have relationships with FRG. They allegedly said “no” to the Americans. Actually, [the meeting in] the Crimea was not directed against Romania, but against the other socialist countries, which were looking forward to do the same thing, and they had to call them to order.

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

In our country they will have to self-criticize. Let us salute that. (laughter).

Cde. Ilie Verdet: (smiling)

What would happen if cde. [Janos] Kadar changed his opinion about the visit?

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

It is not his business to discuss with Nixon since Brezhnev, who received his mandate, will discuss. Have you seen how proletarian internationalism looks like, comrade Stoica?

Cde. Gheorghe Stoica: It is clear.

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu :

What is the use of talking so much? A permanent revolution is needed!

Cde. Leonte Rautu: (smiling)

So you are partial to a permanent revolution? I did not know that!

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

When I was eighteen, I had hesitations about joining the communists. I also studied a few things about the trotskists at the time.

Cde. Leonte Rautu:

You could find something good in them, too.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

At all events, we have only to gain.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

I do not remember who it was that said you were right when people said you were not right.

Cde. Miron Constantinescu:

It was a Belgian, Dussart (?), who said that sometimes you were right just because someone began by saying you were not right.

 Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

It is the Chinese and Nixon that will stand to gain.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Nixon ensured his [re]election.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

I would like to see what Gus Hall [general secretary of the American Communist Party at the time – Translator’s note] is writing now (laughter) and, especially, what “Pravda” writes about it.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

They (?) will send Gus Hall the text for him to sign.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

I do not know whether they will send the text to him.

Cde. Ilie Verdet:

We do not have any reason to be angry.

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu: On the contrary.

Cde. Maxim Berghianu:

When he came to us then, it was not good, and now the fact that he goes to them is good? The international press will comment this thing.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

I do not know why they had not reached an agreement before the Paris talks ended.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

The Vietnamese will ask themselves about it.

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

They (?) did this because they were afraid of China.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

They make a stupid policy. They go from blunder to blunder/keep making huge mistakes.

They should see things better/clearer. Nixon visited Romania, the first socialist country visited [by an American president] after the Second World War. During the war, an American president visited the Soviet Union, but the circumstances were different. After the war, the first socialist country visited by Nixon, where he said that the United States wanted other relationships with the socialist countries was Romania, and these relations were to be based on the principles of national independence and sovereignty.

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

It is this way that this event will appear in history, it cannot be otherwise.

  

Cde. Gheorghe Stoica:

Hopefully, no new tensions will be created.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

There will be no tension. For whom could a tension be created?

Cde. Gheorghe Stoica: For the Chinese.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

The Chinese are laughing now.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

When the Chinese get wind of this, those of them who are ill will get healthy.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

[The Chinese] will have the Albanians write an article.

Before, our comrades (?) went to the communist parties and asked them to criticize our visit to China. Now they will go to these parties to ask them to praise Nixon’s visit to their country.

Cde. Paul Niculescu-Mizil:

The brotherly parties will be told that this visit will be made without prejudice to them.

Cde. Vasile Patilinet:

It is likely that the Chinese will not be announced [about the visit].

Cde. Gheorghe Radulescu:

They will learn about it from the Americans.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

This would be about all. I propose that the meeting be adjourned.

Total number of signs: 12,034

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