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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 27, 1970

FOREIGN MINISTER, DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS, ASIA-OCEANIA, NOTE, 'POLISH OPINION ABOUT CHINESE POLICY'

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

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    The Secretary of the Polish Embassy in Paris offers his views on Sino-Soviet relations in the context of developments in the Vietnam War.
    "Foreign Minister, Department of Political Affairs, Asia-Oceania, Note, 'Polish Opinion about Chinese Policy'," May 27, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France. Obtained by Enrico Fardella and translated by Garret Martin. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116459
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Paris, 27th May 1970

Foreign Minister

Department of Political Affairs

Asia-Oceania

Note

Polish Opinion about Chinese Policy

M. Osmanki, Secretary of the Polish Embassy, told M. Duzer on the 26th May that Warsaw was noting a lesser role for the military on the Chinese political scene. This lesser role could be caused, amongst other reasons, by the reduced Sino-Soviet border tension.

The calm on the border, M. Osmanki observed, is not leading anyway to an improvement of the political relations between China and the USSR. Instead, their rivalry is more intense than ever to insure the ‘leadership’ of the revolutionary crowds.

How will the evolution of the Indochina crisis influence these relations? If the revolutionary crowds experience setbacks in their struggle, M. Osmanki indicated, we could expect a certain rapprochement between Beijing and Moscow, because both would have an interest in supporting the revolutionaries and finding certain practical approaches to help them.

In a similar way, an enduring American intervention in Cambodia could compel Moscow to progressively change its attitude towards Sihanouk and to take a similar position than Beijing towards Lon Nol.

However, M. Osmanki noted that a compromise was possible and that it would depend on a more reasonable attitude from the United States. He clearly hinted that the difficulties that these revolutionary crowds would eventually face, who might soon have to fight against other Asian armies such as from Thailand or Indonesia, might push them to give up some of their objectives. He did not exclude the chance that China might, in this case, change its position towards the Indochina problem.

These somewhat contradictory indications given by a junior diplomat should be viewed cautiously, but they deserve to be noted and to be possibly verified through other conversations with the Poles. The key to take from this is that the Poles seem to believe in an eventual failure of the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, and thus in an eventual compromise in Indochina.