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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 31, 1949


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

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    Notes taken by Minister of Foreign Trade Anastas Mikoyan during a meeting with Mao Zedong in Beijing. They discuss relations with the United States and other Western powers and the nationalization of foreign-owned factories in China. Mikoyan also gave advice on developing the new Communist government in China. Noteably, Mikoyan wrote that "the path of the regime of the people’s democracies, or the path of the Russian Soviet revolution, is not quite appropriate for China. China has its own path of development."
    "Notes by Anastas Mikoyan ahead of Meetings with Mao Zedong," January 31, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, GARF fond 5446, opis 120, delo 957, listy 2-7, 35. Obtained by David Wolff and translated by Sergey Radchenko
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Notes by com[rade] A.I. Mikoyan (made in pencil)

1. The fact that the Western powers refused to mediate is explained by that, fearing to shame themselves, having learned somehow that we and the CCP are against, they refused [to do it]. Ask in this connection about secrecy [konspiratsii] (whether there are any of those who blabber).

2. The technology of bugging—when they leave, [they] put the machines in place. Bombs of delayed detonation in Beijing, etc., don’t take over [offices?] right away. A specialist [should be sent] twice to check for these machines.

3. If they ask about the concessions: we were afraid that Jiang Jieshi would bring in the Americans, we demanded this from Jiang Jieshi. And now [this question is] off the agenda, because Communists have come to power, but we don’t mind if they ask us [to remain?].

We don’t want concessions in Manchuria; our demands to Jiang Jieshi are off the agenda, because Communists have come to power.

4. Not to get too generous [ne osobenno razmakhivat’sya] with respect to the nat[ional] minorities, so as not to lose territory on the account of coming to power, give them autonomy but not independence.

5. About the USA. Do not tease the US government too much. One should leave an opportunity for an agreement with the Americans.

Nationalize the Japanese factories. The French, too. The British, too, inasmuch as possible. As for the American enterprises, conduct oneself carefully for now, creating an impression among the Americans that if the Americans behave themselves well with respect to the new coalition government headed by the Communists, then the Communists would try to take the interests of the Americans into consideration. Such a policy is necessary so as to allow the new government to strengthen itself and put all of China under its control.

After complete victory of the new government, policy with respect to the USA can be discussed again, depending on the US behavior.

6. One should not take a tough line for the time-being with respect to the Chinese haute bourgeoisie, say that the new government of China stands for the development of the nat[ional] industry. Then, after the complete victory of the new government, one can discuss this policy again, depending on the attitude of the haute bourgeoisie.

On unequal treaties, not to make haste with their cancellation, to give a hope for finding a modus [vivendi] with America, perhaps this will be taken into consideration [sic] (in the form of a question). In the people’s dem[ocracies] they were confiscated with a compensation.

If they ask about the recognition of the coalition government on the part of the USSR, reply that this question has not been discussed.

7. Absolutely reliable people should be appointed to head trade unions. Workers will strive to improve their lives, and here one should help workers to improve their lives. One must not forbid strikes. Otherwise, the CCP will lose the trust of the working class.

8. Other than the youth one should also pay attention to women, and involve [them] in the liberation movement. This will have great significance in the liberation movement.

One should not join [the CCP] to the Cominform but one should create a bureau of com[munist] parties of Asian countries under the leadership of the Chinese com[munist] party starting with Japan, Korea, China, and then other countries of East Asia could join.

Approach very critically members of the PB [Politburo] of Indonesia, India, Indochina, Siam, there are many agents of the Americans and the British there.

9. China really needs a navy. What do they think on this account? (if they want, we can discuss).

10. If they ask what we need, say we need cotton, wolfram, tin, antimony, tea, rice, mulberry. Can they give some?

11. The path of the regime of the people’s democracies, or the path of the Russian Soviet revolution, is not quite appropriate for China. China has its own path of development.

People’s democracies have two main factors: large national bourgeoisie has been compromised by the regime of the German occupation, and the outside force, which has come to help the revolution from the Soviet side—the Soviet army. This China does not have.

The path of the Russian revolution is also not quite appropriate, although there is a lot in common, for both Russia and China had no foreign occupation. Both countries came to the revolution through their own internal forces.

The path of the Chinese revolution is a path of a people’s democratic revolution, a regime, in Lenin’s words, of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry under the leadership of the Com[munist] Party, which was not realized in our case in pure form in February 1917, but which can be realized in China but without the Soviets of the deputies, where instead of the Soviets of the deputies one creates a worker-peasant all people’s parliament. The government is a coalition to begin with, but in spite of the participation of different parties in this coalition, this will be in essence a coalition of workers, peasants, and the democratic national intelligentsia.

As for the further prospects of the Chinese revolution, one would have to have a judgment on this in three-four years, depending on the internal and the external situation.

Addendum to p[oint] 11. Without the Soviets because it is Soviet power, because there is a direct path of destruction of the bourgeois state machinery and move to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

This question stood before the Russians in October 1917 but the Chinese revolution is not currently facing the question of the proletariat dictatorship, therefore one can do in China without Soviet power.

11. [sic] Advisers on military affairs and state security, on the monetary reform and finance—what do they think? This is a serious task, one should catch the spies (evidently, we’ll have to provide the advisers).

About Yugoslavia (nationalists and of anti-Soviet disposition, agents of the British and the Americans are sitting there).

The French, the Dutch, and others—are agents of America.

12. On the question of aviation. If they ask, can you help, we agree to help.

They should prepare the cadres. We can help on credit (regarding trophies).

Not to lose territory.

Party questions

1. Mutual permanent representation.

2. CCP attitude towards the Cominform.

3. Question of liaison with and leadership over parties of Siam, Indonesia, Malaya, Burma, the Philippines (?) (not through CP USA?), Vietnam and Indochina (not through the CP France?)

4. Relations with the CP Japan.

5. East Asian consultative or other bureau of communist parties.

6. Participation in the expenses with regard to the organization of com[munist] work in East Asian countries.

What information to obtain

1. Situation on the fronts and the nearest prospects.

2. Plan for the creation of a coalition government (time, temporary and permanent capital, place, composition of the coalition).

3. Which parties and organizations will enter the coalition, what do they look like?

4. What arrangement of the organs of power in the center and locally?

5. Arrangement of the army, use of military units, defecting from the Guomindang or captured (especially, generals and officers)

6. What attitude towards specific leaders of the Guomindang, prepared to take, or taking the CCP side.

7. Attitude towards the remnants of the Guomindang in the liberated areas (liquidated or reorganized).

8. Attitude towards the Guomindang as a whole (line of the liquidation or of creation of a leftist Guomindang, policy of splitting?). Attitude towards statesmen of the old type.

9. List of military criminals, and their fate.

10. Trade union and other public organizations in the liberated areas.

11. What organizations and forces does the CCP rely on in the Guomindang areas, in Formosa, in Hong Kong.

12. Attitude towards the intelligentsia.

13. The essence of the land reform (basic principles and methods of implementation).

14. Industry and transport – state or private, cooperation. (Deputy of c[omrade] Mikoyan in pencil: nationalization).

15. Foreign (at first) enterprises and capital.

16. Finances (tax policy, monetary system, banking system).

Information on foreign policy

1. Relations with the USA, England, France.

2. Relations with Japan, as well as with the countries of Southeast Asia, India.

3. Are they thinking, with the formation of the coalition government, to strive for recognition of [this] government by other countries and the UN and by what means, when?

4. Which treaties, specifically, are considered treacherous and how do they intend to go about them.

5. The problem of Hong Kong.


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