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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 06, 1958


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    Indian Ambassador to China Nehru and Premier Zhou discuss Sino-British relations, focusing on Britain's position on Chinese representation at the United Nations. According to the Premier, Britain is acceding to American demands and allowing the United States to create 'two Chinas.'
    "Abstract of Conversation: Premier Zhou and Ambassador Nehru," February 06, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 110-00713-02. Translated by Anna Beth Keim.
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Abstract of Conversation: Premier Zhou and Ambassador Nehru

Office of the Chargé d'Affaires in Britain, embassies in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, and Office of the Chargé d'Affaires in Holland:

Before Indian ambassador Nehru returned to his country, the Premier received him and [they] had a conversation about Sino-British relations, the key points of which are as follows:

The Premier spoke about China’s views of current Sino-British relations for the Ambassador to convey to Premier Nehru, and asked that Premier Nehru convey them to Macmillan if the opportunity arose.  The Premier said, The current situation is advantageous for peace; Britain could have argued with the United States and nudged the situation toward peace, but Britain did not take this road, and instead followed after the United States.  In Sino-British relations, Britain still does not agree to let China send traffic through Hong Kong or install a formal representative there; in trade, it still imposes an embargo on China; in foreign relations it on the one hand recognizes the New China, and on the other opens the way for the United States to create “two Chinas.”  There are three roads in front of Britain: One is to not recognize Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek], and vote for us at the United Nations.  Under American pressure, it is very difficult for Britain to take this road.  The second road is to abstain from voting on such issues as Jiang Jieshi’s representation at all international organizations, conferences and activities.  But Britain does not take this road either, but the third road, [which is] following after America and opening the way for America’s “two Chinas” plot.  This is the most unfriendly [road].  Britain has many relationships and interests in Asia.  For Britain to have a good relationship with the New China would bring it no losses, only advantages, and its reasonable interests could be preserved through negotiation, but Britain would rather offend the people of Asia — and in going along with America, not only its reasonable interests but all of its interests are taken away by America, step by step.  Britain is just afraid of America.  The Premier pointed out that, based on the experience of Sino-American relations, America bullies the soft and fears the hard.  We give it tit for tat, so it doesn’t dare to play the bully everywhere; this also makes it easier for India to promote international peace.  The Premier said that now is a good opportunity to advance peace, and hopes that India and Asian and African countries will all play a part in promoting [peace].  The Premier also stated that it would be best if the top-level conference of major powers included India.

Special Report.

Foreign Ministry

6 February 1958