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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 21, 1958


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    Responding to concerns about Great Britain expressed earlier by Premier Zhou in an earlier conversation, Ambassador Nehru reports that UK Prime Minister Macmillan believes that any major powers conference on disarmament should be organized by the US and USSR. Ambassador Nehru emphasized the necessity of Chinese involvement to PM Macmillan.
    "Abstract of Conversation: Vice-Minister Zhang Receives Indian Ambassador Nehru," January 21, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 110-00713-02. Translated by Anna Beth Keim.
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Foreign Affairs Ministry Document

Abstract of Conversation: Vice-Minister Zhang Receives Indian Ambassador Nehru

Time: 21 January 1958

Location: Foreign Affairs Ministry

Accompanying Attendees: Deputy Department Director Li Chen

Translator and Recorder: Qian Jiadong

Ambassador Nehru came to the Ministry to say goodbye to Vice-Minister Zhang, and spoke of his conversation with Premier Zhou on 12 January.  The Ambassador said he had already informed Premier Nehru of the conversation with Premier Zhou; because Premier Nehru was about to go to Assam for the National Congress Party’s annual conference, he had not yet had time to consider some major issues in the conversation with Premier Zhou, [but] would now first respond with the following points:

1.  Premier Nehru welcomes Vice Premier Chen Yi and his wife to visit India; the date can be decided later.

2.  If Premier Zhou is able to stop in India on his way to or from Eastern Europe or Egypt, Premier Nehru should welcome [him]; Premier Zhou could stay for any length of time, even a few days would be fine.  The Ambassador said that the two premiers had not met for a long time; now there were new developments in the situation, and it would be beneficial for them to meet and talk.

3.  [India] has already sent out an abstract of the conversation between Premier Nehru and [British Prime Minister] Macmillan, and the Indian embassy in China will receive it shortly.  Premier Nehru expressed concern to Macmillan on the disarmament question and American planes carrying hydrogen bombs flying over Britain, and proposed that it would be suitable to hold a major powers conference; the two countries of the United States and the Soviet Union should discuss and decide on how to hold the major powers conference.  Macmillan seems very conflicted: on one hand, based on the pressure of public opinion, he also thinks it would be suitable to hold a top-level conference; but on the other hand, he also fears that the Soviet Union holds a large advantage in terms of armaments.  Premier Nehru has already exerted all possible pressure on him.  Premier Nehru’s abovementioned views were also emphasized in his public statement.  India supports the Soviet Union’s suggestion about holding a top-level conference.  Premier Nehru also stated that without the participation of China and the Soviet Union, the issue of disarmament would not be a realistic one [to discuss]. The details of the talk will be conveyed to us after the abstract of conversation is received.