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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 26, 1951


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    Report from the Foreign Ministry International Department on Soviet suggestion towards ceasefire negotiations in Korea.
    "Report from the Chinese International Liaison Department, 'Regarding Soviet Suggestion towards Ceasefire Negotiations'," June 26, 1951, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 113-00105-01, 1-8.
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Report: 1951 June 26 from the International Department

Comprehensive report on the Soviet Representative [Yakov] Malik proposal of peaceful resolution of the Korea issue:

(One) June 23 During a broadcast statement Soviet Representative Malik said that he once again suggested the peaceful resolution of the Korea issue and specifically proposed the first step: 1. The warring sides should negotiate a ceasefire and an armistice; 2. The two sides should remove their armies from the 38th parallel.

One. The spirit of the Soviet Union’s suggestion this time is the same as the previous times. In the previous times the Soviet Union did not list the Korea issue together with the Taiwan issue and the issue of [Chinese] representation. In terms of method of resolution, the Soviet Union once mentioned in the past: “[Resolution] by immediate ceasefire on both sides”

Two. The special characteristics of the [new] Soviet suggestion are:

1. Specifically mention steps towards peaceful resolution; the warring sides should negotiate and ceasefire.

2. Very clearly mentioned the 38th parallel as the demarcation line between the withdrawing two armies. It is not the first time the Soviet Union formally mentioned the 38th parallel.

3. It is not certain if peaceful resolution must be through the United Nations.

(Two) Description of proposed solutions from the Soviet Union, our country and other countries related to the peaceful resolution of the Korea issue, the issue of the 38th parallel and other issues:

One. In the past, towards the peaceful resolution of the Korea issue, the Soviet Union has proposed:

1. Ever since the armed intervention of the United States government, the Soviet Union officially suggested four times to peacefully resolve the Korea issue within the range of the United Nations. The first was when Stalin telegraphed Nehru on 1950 July 15. The same year on August 4th, the

Soviet representative in the Security Council provided a proposal to peacefully resolve the Korea issue. [The Soviet representative] again provided the proposal twice in the General Assembly on October 2nd and December 9th. Between the time when a proposal was provided by 12 countries and prior to Malik’s broadcast on June 23rd, the Soviet Union itself did not provide resolutions; [the Soviets] mostly support our suggestions.

2. In sum, within the four [Soviet] suggestions, ultimately they all address the Korea issue:

1. They have never mentioned the Taiwan issue or the issue of our country’s representation in the United Nations: Throughout [their] four suggestions, only in Stalin’s telegram to Nehru and the August Security Council proposal did they ever mention [supporting] the participation of the People’s Republic of China representative in the Security Council.

2. The content of the proposal from August 4th and the two proposals from the General Assembly – namely the five-nation proposal of October 2nd and the counter proposal of December 9th which refutes the six-nation proposal – their basic contents were [all about] withdrawing foreign armies from Korea and having the Korean people themselves resolve the Korea issue. (The latter was mentioned in a General Assembly proposal)

3. Regarding ceasefire, it was only generally mentioned. In the August 4th proposal it said: “stopping hostilities within Korea”. In the October 2nd proposal it said: “have the two warring sides ceasefire immediately”.

4. All four [proposals] have been provided to the United Nations organization: [one proposal] agreed to have the Security Council handle the issue, [one proposal] was a draft resolution to the Security Council, the other two [proposals] were draft resolutions to the General Assembly.

Two. Our previous proposals towards the peaceful resolution of the Korea issue

1. Our first expression towards the peaceful resolution of the Korea issue was on 1950 August 20 when our Foreign Minister Zhou [Enlai] telegraphed the Security Council in complete support of the Soviet August 4 proposal on peaceful mediation of the Korea issue. Between then and Foreign Minister Zhou’s 1950 December 22nd statement, we have made numerous statements (including Deputy Minister Wu’s speech at the Security Council); the main contents of which are: (One) withdrawal of all foreign armies from Korea; (Two) Korean internal affairs should be decided by the Korean people themselves. We have not listed the Taiwan issue and the issue of our representation within the United Nations with the Korea issue [prior to 1950 December 22nd].

2. On 1950 December 22, we first connected the Korea issue with the Taiwan issue and the issue of our [lack of] representation when Foreign Minister Zhou issued a statement regarding the illegal passage of a United Nations General Assembly resolution that established a “Korea Armistice Triumvirate Committee”. This year on January 17th when Foreign Minister Zhou proposed to hold a seven country conference, we officially proposed to resolve these three issues together.

Three. Regarding current situation within the United Nations related to connecting the Korea issue with the Taiwan issue and the issue of our [lack of] representation:

1. Twelve Asian United Nations countries first mentioned dealing with the Korea issue together with the Taiwan issue and the issue of China’s representation within the United Nations. On 1950 December 12, thirteen countries in Asia proposed to form the so called Triumvirate committee to arrange a ceasefire within Korea. At the same time twelve countries proposed to convoke a seven country meeting to formulate suggestions on the peaceful resolution of various existing disputes in the Far East. January 10th this year, the United Nations so called Triumvirate committee provided a five step proposal. This proposal proposed to first ceasefire then negotiate, the range of negotiation apart from the Korea issue also official includes resolving [other] issues of the Far East. After our Foreign Minister Zhou replied to the [United Nations] political committee on January 17 to propose four suggestions on the peaceful resolution of the issues of the Far East, on January 25th twelve countries again proposed to convoke a seven country conference so to make “all necessary measures towards peacefully resolution of the Korea issue, other issues of the Far East and secondary issues…”

2. After the United Nations illegally passed a resolution which slanders our country on February 1st, the United States and Britain no longer list the Korea issue with the Taiwan issue or the issue of China’s [lack of] representation. On March 18th Associated Press leaked a discussion between [Trygve] Lie and the representatives of the United States, Britain, France and the three committee members of the “Mediation committee” to [establish a] plan to separate the ceasefire in Korea from other issues of the Far East. Since then, talks from the United States and Britain only mention issues related to a ceasefire in Korea.

Four. Regarding the issue of the 38th parallel

1. On December 22nd Foreign Minister Zhou provided a statement to the “Triumvirate Armistice Committee” and said, due to the fact that the United States and [Syngman] Rhee blatantly crossed the 38th parallel, this “political geographical border has been destroyed and forever wiped away.”

2. The Soviet Union has never directly affirmed or denied the 38th parallel. The only [mention] was when [Andrei] Vyshinsky rebutted [Warren] Austin on 1950 October 2nd during the political committee of the General Assembly, he said: “There is no so called 38th parallel, it is an imagined non-existent border.” While he satirized the United States he claimed: “Without the existence of any border, there would be no border separating the two countries, and therefore there was no invasion.”

3. In official recommendations of the past, only the United States officially mentioned the 38th parallel. Last year in the June 25th proposal of the United States, they mentioned having “North Korean forces withdraw to the 38th parallel”

4. The United States, Britain and India all have their own opinion regarding the 38th parallel: (1) United States, since March this year, the idea of stopping the war along the 38th parallel has been widely speculated. [General Matthew] Ridgway claimed on March 12 that if the Korean War can end on the 38th parallel, then it would be a great victory for the United Nations. Press and observers in Washington reported that the United Nations and American armistice plans would be: to establish a 20 mile buffer zone (southern border at the 38th parallel) from east to west across Korea; under the ceasefire, all forces are to withdraw from the buffer zone; ceasefire will be monitored by the United Nations committee. On March 16 the New York Times claimed: “If the United Nations forces can stop the Korean War upon reaching the 38th parallel then that is great, but it is doubtful whether or not Beijing would also [stop at the 38th parallel].” India has always been attentive to the 38th parallel. On 1950 September 30th the Indian Information Agency reported that the Indian government stated if American forces crossed the 38th parallel then it would be a violation of the June 25th Security Council resolution that had condemned North Korea as the “aggressor”.