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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 24, 1960

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN ROMANIA, 'THE CHANGE OF ROMANIAN ATTITUDE TOWARD CHINA BEFORE AND AFTER THE MOSCOW CONFERENCE'

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

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    The Chinese Embassy in Bucharest concludes that "the Romanian attitude toward us has warmed."
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Romania, 'The Change of Romanian Attitude toward China before and after the Moscow Conference'," December 24, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 109-01598-02, 32-34. Translated by Lu Sun. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117194
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The Change of Romanian Attitude toward China before and after the Moscow Conference

To the Foreign Ministry and the International Department, Central Committee of CCP:

Ever since the end of the Moscow Conference, there are some indications that the Romanian attitude toward us has warmed, which can be summarized as follows: First, for the Chinese Embassy bulletins, which were suppressed ever since the Bucharest Conference, the eighth and tenth issues were all of sudden printed on 30 November [1960].  (The seventh issue was not printed. We estimate that this is because its opinions were too confrontational.)  [The two issues] were sent to our embassy before the ink was dry, [so] we can see that this was a rush job.  Secondly, according to the cultural cooperation plan, we will hold a photo exhibition on agricultural construction.  When we asked our Romanian counterparts on 7 November, they replied that they did not have the location for the exhibition.  [They said that] it was difficult to materialize the exhibition in a short time, [and they would] make efforts to put on the exhibition this year.  But on 29 November, they informed us all of sudden that they had probably found a location for the exhibition, and notified us to put on the exhibition, and it would officially open 6 on December. We can see it was a rush job as it was such a short time in-between.  The location was quite good—at the center of the city.  Besides, about the booklet for the exhibition, when we negotiated with Romania this September, they once insisted that they would not allow us to include the “People’s Commune.”  But when the exhibition opened on 6 December, Romania printed our booklet as a whole without any abridgement.  Then, the four central newspapers reported Chairman Liu [Shaoqi’s] visit in the Soviet Union day after day in a conspicuous way.  Among this, even though some opinions from Chairman Liu’s speech were [only] partially reported, in general [the reports] reflected the situation that Chairman Liu was warmly received in the Soviet Union and the significance of Sino-Soviet friendship.

In the meantime, when Romania negotiated with us on business, it demonstrated a change of attitude.  It was willing to help us solve problems.  For example, on 12 December when we negotiated with the Romanian Foreign Ministry on the issue of [removing] the flag of the Jiang [Jieshi] regime in a Romanian painting exhibition, Romania removed the flag in two and half hours and repeatedly apologized to us.  Before the Bucharest Conference this year, we once asked Romania to draft a topographic map of the embassy and it did not give it to us [trans. note—the meaning here is not clear]. We did not ask again.  But this time when we went to the Foreign Ministry to negotiate about the flag of the Jiang regime, Romania took the initiative to give the topographic map to us. Recently we proposed to set a display window outside the embassy. We sent the proposal to Romania on 12 December, and it replied on 20 December and gave it full approval. One graduate student of China needed to go to the Soviet Union for study; the Romanian university will notify this student and ask the Chinese Embassy to negotiate with the Soviet Union directly. After the Moscow Conference, [the Romanian university] complained that this graduate student should not tell the embassy and said this problem should be solved by the university itself.

Besides, Romania began to take the initative and show friendly gestures.  For example, when the Romanian delegation of the party and the government went to the Soviet Union and accompanied Ambassador Xu back and forth, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej only shook hands [with the delegates] without saying a word, but showed warm feelings especially toward Ambassador Xu. When the delegation returned back to Romania, Ambassador Xu greeted him.  The delegation showed friendly gestures.  Besides shaking hands, they also exchanged a few words of greetings (on the same day among all the diplomatic envoys, only the Soviet ambassador and the Chinese ambassador exchanged greetings.)  In the past, when Ambassador Xu visited the International Department of the Central Committee of Romanian Communist Party, they were extremely indifferent.  We took the initiative to talk and they did not want to talk more.  Since the Moscow Conference, they have been willing to have more conversations (but they still avoid politics.)  On 12 December, the Romanian Foreign Ministry organized diplomatic envoys for hunting.  The deputy minister also took the initiative to converse with Ambassador Xu.  After the [North] Korean ambassador and Albanian ambassador departed, Ambassador Xu went to depart, the deputy minister asked Xu to stay a bit more, and said: “we are friends and a big family.” One month before the announcement of the declaration, our journalist once asked a Scinteia (“Party Life”) team to talk about how the Romanian Communist Party leads economic work.  They were indifferent and did not set a date for a while.  But one day after the announcement of the declaration, they called us immediately and arranged talks, and their tone became friendlier.  The Romanian Fine Arts Press did not send us pictorials ever since the Bucharest Conference.  But on the third day after the announcement of the declaration, they started to send us pictorials again.  Some professors and teaching assistants in Bahun University were scared to approach Chinese students after the Bucharest Conference, but recently they began to be friendly with Chinese students as they did in the past.  At present our aesthetics education delegation, which is visiting Romania, is receiving more friendly treatment.  The Romanians expressed that they would like to meet the needs of our delegate.  They could see whatever they want to see.  For a while before the Moscow Conference, Romania did not want to arrange visits and meetings [for foreign visitors].  This time they arranged visits to other places and three meetings, and told us that they would ask many questions at the meetings.  When visiting a comprehensive art school in Bucharest, the delegate initially wanted to stay for an hour, but it turned out to stay for three hours.  The school was extremely friendly.

On the aspect of reporting, after the Bucharest Conference, [the Romanian media] rarely reported news on China except a few reports on [China’s] National Day.  But on 20 and 22 November, Scinteia published the news on the Chinese State Council’s resolution to pardon a group of the reformed POWs from the Jiang regime and the puppet Manchukuo regime, as well as the news of a short summary of the Chinese government’s statement of supporting the Laos government to establish friendship with China.  On 12 December, [it also published] the summary of communique from the Sino-Cuban meeting, as well as the amount of Chinese aid to Cuba.  Afterwards [it also] published a concise summaries of an editorial on the Chinese government’s announcement about the Moscow Conference and a letter to the people of the world, our people’s feedback to the announcement, our announcement on the situation in Congo, and our second announcement on the situation in Laos, as well as a few reports on King Norodom Sihanouk’s visit to China and the future visit of the [Chinese] Premier [Zhou Enlai] to Burma.  [We] can see that, as a development of the Moscow Conference and the announcement of the declaration, there is an increase of reports on China.  On the other hand, [the Romanian media] still avoids reporting on the achievements of our economic construction, the Three Red Flags, and other policies [trans. Note—the “Three Red Flags” refers to the Great Leap Forward, the General Line, and the People’s Commune].

Within one year, it is obvious that Romania’s attitude toward us has shifted according to the Soviet Union’s attitude.  Thus by estimation, this shift of attitudes is due to the influence of the Soviet approach.  From the perspective of Romania itself, even though it is scared of war, it is also scared of breaking away from 650 million Chinese people, thus it has to pay attention to Sino-Romanian friendship.  As for some of the divisions on some major international issues with us, it’s hard to solve them in a short time.  Especially on the issue of war and peace, Romania’s fear of war still exits.  On the editorials on the Moscow Conference and the letter to the people of the world, and other reprints of editorials of other countries, it is obvious that Romania emphasized the aspect that war could be avoided, rather than the aspect that the danger of war still exists and [we should] heighten our vigilance.

  

The Chinese Embassy in Romania

24 December 1960