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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 12, 1982


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    Report describing China's subversive actions against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan.
    "CPSU Memorandum, 'The Position of the PRC on Afghanistan'," May 12, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Stiftung Archiv der Parteien- und Massenorganisationen im Bundesarchiv, Berlin, DY30/ vorl. SED 31955, n.p. Obtained and translated by David Wolff.
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12 May 1982

CPSU Material   Strictly Confidential

The position of the PRC on Afghanistan


The policy of the PRC [People’s Republic of China] towards Afghanistan proceeded, from the very beginning, from great-power, hegemonic ambitions and [Chinese leader] Mao Zedong’s and the Beijing leadership’s efforts.  Already during the Chinese government delegation’s first official visit, headed by Zhou Enlai, [there was] direct pressure on Afghanistan regarding Pushtunistan in the disagreement with Pakistan.[1] The Chinese also underlined more than once that the whole Pamir [area], so they say, is ancient Chinese territory. Current maps published in Beijing present the Wakhan area [corridor] as “lost” Chinese territory. […]

As early as 1978 Chinese specialists left Kandahar (from the hospital construction) and Bagram (from the textile factory construction [site]). In 1979, the remaining Chinese specialists left the country.  The construction of a secondary irrigation system in Parvan province was discontinued. […] The diplomatic personnel at the PRC embassy was cut in half.

The Chinese leaders at various levels announce their support for the anti-governmental forces in Afghanistan, encourage their subversive activities.  The PRC Premier Zhao Ziyang announced on 3 June 1981 in Islamabad that the government of China “ will provide active support – political, moral and material – to all who fight the hegemonic policy of the USSR in Afghanistan.” […]

Beijing’s subversive action takes place mainly from Pakistani territory, where a broad net of camps, bases and special schools with Chinese instructors (in Peshawar, Chitral, Badzhaur, Miramshakh, Quetta) are preparing bandit formations to be sent into the DRA [Afghanistan].  In Peshawar for example, a group of Chinese specialists is working on counterintelligence, helping to reorganize the counterintelligence apparatus of the northwest province of Pakistan, smoking out agents from among the Afghan refugees.

Analogous bases are active in the Xinjiang-Uighur autonomous area bordering the DRA and since 1981 also in the town of Linzhou (Tibetan autonomous area). The base at Linzhou has given special training to more than 3,000 diversionaries.  Separate Chinese instructors act directly in Afghanistan.

[A list of weapons provided by China follows.]

The Chinese embassy maintains a conspiratorial contact with the Afghan counter-revolutionaries. […] The Chinese embassy, whose workers have several times exhorted Afghan citizens to counter-revolutionary attacks. […]

The PRC embassy in Afghanistan coordinates its subversive actions against the DRA with the governments of the USA, England, West German, and Italy by attending weekly meetings in Kabul with the personnel of these embassies to trade information of a political intelligence nature.

Based on materials of the Scientific-Research Institute (NII) and foreign information.  

[1] In March 1965, a Chinese government delegation led by Foreign Minister Chen Yi visited Afghanistan to confer with King Zahir Shah.