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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 13, 1969

TELEGRAM FROM ROMANIAN AMBASSADOR IN BEIJING AUREL DUMA TO FOREIGN MINISTER CORNELIU MANESCU REGARDING CONVERSATIONS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF CHINESE MINISTRIES OF TRADE, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AND DEFENSE

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

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    Telegram from Romanian Ambassador to China, Duma, to Romanian Foreign Minister, Manescu, focusing on Duma's talks with China's Deputy Foreign Minister, Guanhua. Guanhua sees the USSR's building of relations with Mongolia and the DPRK as an attempt to encircle China. He also believes that American and Soviet aid are what is keeping anti-Chinese propaganda in circulation in India, although the Kashmir issue means there is no need to fear an Indo-Pakistani alliance. Additionally, he notes the anti-Chinese sentiment apparent in the European socialist bloc countries, and asserts that, although it wishes no harm to the Israeli people, China does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state.
    "Telegram from Romanian Ambassador in Beijing Aurel Duma to Foreign Minister Corneliu Manescu Regarding Conversations with Representatives of Chinese Ministries of Trade, Foreign Affairs, and Defense," May 13, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A.M.A.E., fond Telegrams, Beijing, vol. II, 1969, f. 24-28. Published in Relatiile Romano-Chineze, 1880-1974 [Sino-Romanian Relations, 1880-1974], edited by Ioan Romulus Budura, (Bucharest, 2005), pp. 918-920. Translated for CWIHP by Madalina Cristoloveanu. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117752
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No. 56 201 13 May 1969 Beijing

Confidential 3:00 pm

Urgent

On 12 May of this year we visited Qiao Guanhua, [China’s] Deputy Foreign Minister. During the same day we held a dinner party attended by Li Qian, Vice Minster of Foreign Trade (member of the Chinese Communist Party, elected at the 9th Congress), Qiao Gunahua and Pan Zhenwu, the Director of the Foreign Relations Division of the Ministry of Defense.

We relate the following points from the conversations we had on these two occasions with the Deputy Foreign Minister:

1. Sino-Soviet Relations.

The armed clashes in the Bao Island area have continued over the past weeks. Military incidents of smaller proportions are also taking place in the Western sector of the border (Xinjiang region). The Western media presents the incidents in this area of the border as being of great proportions. This news is of Soviet origin, which indicates certain intentions on the USSR’s part. We can indeed expect incidents of greater proportions. The Soviet side has recently been intensifying military preparations along the border: troop dislocations, increased military technology, conducting [military] exercises, etc. According to the Chinese government’s opinion, these actions constitute attempts at intimidation by the Soviet leadership, which does not believe in anything but the power of weapons and imagines that it could intimidate other states with nuclear weapons. Qiao Guanhua stated that this is a miscalculation, seeing that since Romania cannot be intimidated, how could China be intimidated?

China’s consistent position is that these problems need to be resolved peacefully, through treaties, while maintaining the status quo until a solution is found.

The Chinese position, stating that the negotiations need to be based on the treaties signed by the two states in the second half of the last century, could be reconsidered only if the USSR would not stubbornly persist in its obstructionist attitude. Regardless, the Chinese government does not intend to claim the 1 million km squared of territory [in question].

Of course, in order to find a solution, an atmosphere of calm that is lacking at the moment is needed.

Under these conditions, the Chinese side looks with skepticism at the possible results of the meeting between the permanent commissions for navigation issues, scheduled to take place in mid-June in Khabarovsk.

Commenting on Podgorny’s visit in the near future to Mongolia and to the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Qiao Guanhua expressed his opinion that this is part of the [USSR’s] attempts to encircle China.

2. Sino-American Relations.

The Chinese side continues to assess that no changes have occurred in the American position towards the People’s Republic of China. As it continues to occupy Taiwan and lead a two-Chinas policy, the United States persists in its hostile position towards the People’s Republic of China.

The American probing of China’s position is part of the United States’ duplicitous politics of combining aggression with negotiations. The Chinese government will assess the US attitude in regards to China’s actions, not declarations.

The Sino-American talks in Warsaw were suspended as a result of the provocative actions of the American side. Resuming these talks will depend on the evolution of America’s attitude.

3. The Vietnamese Question.

The Chinese government has no information on the situation in Vietnam other than the news related by the press.

At the 9th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, China reaffirmed its position regarding the fight of the Vietnamese people. The Chinese side considers that finding a solution to the Vietnamese problem falls under the jurisdiction of the Vietnamese comrades.

Qiao Guanhua expressed his opinion that the contradictions remaining between the US and the Saigon regime only concern secondary matters, while their principal positions continue to be identical (the American intention of staying in South Vietnam and the wish of the Saigon regime to support the Americans).

Referring to the National Liberation Front, the Deputy Minister assessed that this represents a significant political and military force, adding, however, that the force will not be capable of reaching its goal if a deficient political road is taken (alluding to the politics of negotiations).

4. Sino-Indian Relations.

The recent incidents on the Sino-Indian border had no particular significance. If the Indian government truly wants improved relations with China, it should have not used these cases as propaganda. China had a confrontation with India (in 1962), it knows what it can do, and that is why it does not pay any more attention to these incidents.

As a matter of fact, the Indian propaganda around these incidents is coordinated with the Soviet [propaganda] in order to present China in an unfavorable light in front of international public opinion.

According to the Chinese government, India cannot give up its anti-Chinese propaganda because it would not be able to enjoy American and Soviet aid.

Recently, the Soviet leadership undertook new actions with the purpose of bringing about an Indo-Pakistani rapprochement targeted against China. These attempts are bound to fail since the Kashmir problem will never allow such a rapprochement.

5. Certain aspects of China’s relations with the European socialist countries.

Currently, in certain European socialist countries a strong anti-Chinese campaign is taking place regarding the 9th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and the incidents at the Sino-Soviet border. The most active are the Bulgarians, the Poles, and the Germans, while the Hungarians are the most moderate. The Chinese side understands the influence played by the presence of Soviet military forces in the territory of these countries on their attitude towards the People’s Republic of China.

6. China’s position on Israel

Israel is an artificial creation and represents an instrument of imperialist politics. The People’s Republic of China does not recognize this country and does not maintain any relations with it.

Currently, certain Arab states have a reconciliatory position towards Israel under pressure from the Soviet Union, which is pursuing the consolidation of its position in the Near East.

Israel has committed an aggression and the People’s Republic of China is supporting the cause of the Arab states against this aggression; however, China differentiates between Israel’s leading circles and Israel’s people. The Chinese government does not support the idea of annihilating Israel, yet it considers that under current conditions, supporting Israel’s existence as a historical reality implies support for aggression.

To sum up, Qiao Guanhua informed that the Chinese side is working on sending an ambassador to Bucharest and hopes that he will arrive in his post before 23 August.

(ss.) A. Duma