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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 01, 1956

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN PAKISTAN, 'PAKISTAN’S RELATIONS WITH THE SOVIET UNION AND PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES SINCE MARCH'

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    The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan reports on the improving relation between Pakistan and socialist countries as well as the remaining apprehension.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, 'Pakistan’s Relations with the Soviet Union and People’s Democratic Countries since March'," August 01, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 105-0779-04, 21-22. Obtained by Sulmaan Khan and translated by Anna Beth Keim https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114885
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Copy to: Zhang, Zhang [Wenji], Ji [Pengfei], Peng, He, Liu, Qiao, General Office, Soviet and European Affairs Department, Asian Affairs Department, Information Department, Research Office, [Meng] Yongqian

From the Desk of the Ambassador to Pakistan

Priority: Regular

Received: 8 201

1 August 1956

Already Copied To: Chairman, [Liu] Shaoqi, [Zhou] Enlai, Zhu De, Chen Yun, [Peng] Dehuai, [Deng] Xiaoping, Chen Yi, [Xi] Zhongxun, [Yang] Shangkun, [Wang] Jiaxiang, [Li] Kenong, Investigation Department, Foreign Trade

Pakistan’s Relations with the Soviet Union and People’s Democratic Countries since March

Foreign Ministry, Investigation Department, Foreign Trade:

Since March of this year, relations between Pakistan and the Soviet Union have been gradually improving. Prior to March, the Soviet Union had invited Pakistan to send journalist delegations, scientist delegations, parliamentary delegations, a Karachi municipal council delegation and women’s delegations to visit the Soviet Union, but up until May there was no response at all from the Pakistani side. Despite this, in May the Soviet Union still took the initiative to donate 20,000 tons each of rice and wheat to Pakistan. This policy of steady striving gradually reaped results. On 22 June, Pakistan appointed an ambassador to the Soviet Union after a break of several years, and on the 27th a Pakistani-Soviet trade agreement was signed. The agreement stipulated that both sides would confer most-favored-nation treatment on each other (imperialist most-favored nation system excepted); the Soviet Union will pay in rupees when purchasing Pakistani goods, Pakistan can use those rupees to purchase Soviet goods, and Pakistan will permit the Soviets to send not just Commercial Counselor’s Office personnel but also trade delegates to stay in Karachi. Although this agreement is ordinary and not binding, both sides expressed the wish to develop trade further; it has made a very good impression in Pakistani industrial and commercial circles. According to directives that Ali sent back from London, Pakistan sent a parliamentary delegation to visit the Soviet Union on 17 July. Pakistan is also preparing to send a Karachi municipal council delegation, scientific delegation and women’s delegation to visit the Soviet Union in the near future.

At the same time that relations with the Soviet Union are being improved, a Hungarian commercial delegation signed a trade agreement with Pakistan on 30 July. A Czech trade delegation is also holding trade negotiations with the relevant Pakistani departments, and could also reach an agreement before long.

But on the other hand, Pakistan still has apprehensions about improving relations with the Soviet Union and other people’s democratic nations, and its steps are also relatively slow and hesitant. For example, during trade negotiations the Soviet Union once raised the question of giving technological aid to Pakistan; Pakistan stated that in the past it had always accepted this kind of “aid” from the West, and hoped the Soviet Union would reconsider the scale and content of its proposed aid, because Pakistan “cannot but consider the circumstances of the nations who aided Pakistan in the past and do so now.” The implied meaning of these words is that Pakistan fears that by receiving a little aid from the Soviet Union it will lose American “aid.” So on the issue of economic aid, despite the Soviet Union’s repeated statements that it is open to discussion should Pakistan bring it up, Pakistan has never mentioned it. The agreements that Poland, the Soviet Union, and Hungary have signed with Pakistan are all non-binding and there are no specific stipulations regarding the amount or value of imports and exports between them. Following the signing of the Polish-Pakistani trade agreement, the amount of trade volume in reality remains negligible. The Soviet Union once suggested that the trade agreement be in effect for five years, but Pakistan persisted with one year (renewable upon expiration). The Soviet Union once proposed establishing commercial representatives in East Pakistan, and Pakistan has found an excuse to refuse. The members of the parliamentary delegation to the Soviet Union do not have very high social standing. Pakistan remains unwilling to send a diplomatic envoy to live in Czechoslovakia. With respect to establishing diplomatic relations with Poland and Hungary, Pakistan continues its procrastination approach. There is development in the struggle of the Pakistani people demanding that the Pakistani government further change its foreign policy; the Pakistani ruling circle may have learned some lessons from failures in recent international activities. The steady-striving approach that we, the Soviet Union and other brother nations employ toward Pakistan will reap further good effects in future.

[Chinese] Embassy in Pakistan

1 August 1956

Telegram received on the 4th, 12:36 a.m. Printed on the 6th, 9:58 a.m.